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Member since: Sun Jul 31, 2011, 05:36 PM
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NASA rover closing in on Mars to hunt for life clues

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - NASA's Mars rover was on its final approach to the red planet on Sunday, heading toward a mountain that may hold clues about whether life has ever existed on Mars, officials said.

The rover, also known as Curiosity, has been careening toward Mars since its launch in November. The nuclear-powered rover the size of a compact car is expected to end its 352-million-mile (567-million-km) journey on August 6 at 1:31 a.m. EDT.

The landing zone is a 12-mile-by-4-mile (20-km-by-7-km) area inside an ancient impact basin known as Gale Crater, located near the planet's equator. The crater, one of the lowest places on Mars, has a 3-mile-high (5-km-high) mountain of what appears to be layers of sediment.

Scientists suspect the crater may have once been the floor of a lake.

If so, they believe that sediments likely filled the crater, but were carried away over time, leaving only the central mound.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/us-space-mars-idUSBRE86S0OY20120729?feedType=RSS&feedName=scienceNews&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&dlvrit=309301

Scientists unlock ocean CO2 secrets key to climate: study

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - From giant whirlpools to currents 1,000 km wide, scientists said on Monday they have uncovered how vast amounts of carbon are locked away in the depths of the Southern Ocean, boosting researchers ability to detect the impact of climate change.

Oceans curb the pace of climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. The Southern Ocean is the largest of these ocean carbon sinks, soaking up about 40 percent of mankind's CO2 absorbed by the seas.

But until now, researchers were unsure what mechanisms were involved because of the remoteness and sheer size of the Southern Ocean.

"By identifying the mechanisms responsible for taking carbon out of the surface layer in the ocean, we're in a much better situation to talk about how climate change might impact that process," said oceanographer Richard Matear, one of the authors of the Southern Ocean study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.


In jam, Romney tries not to make new Iran policy

JERUSALEM (AP) — Mitt Romney tried to pull back Sunday from an adviser's suggestion that he favored new American aggression on Iran, distancing himself from comments that the U.S. presidential candidate would "respect" an Israeli decision for unilateral military action to prevent Tehran from gaining nuclear capability.

Hours after the aide previewed Romney's upcoming foreign policy speech in Jerusalem, Romney backpedaled and said, "I'll use my own words and that is I respect the right of Israel to defend itself and we stand with Israel. We're two nations that come together in peace and that want to see Iran being dissuaded from its nuclear folly."

The address by the Republican challenger to President Barack Obama was promoted as the centerpiece of a weeklong trip abroad designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials and highlight his ability to lead on the world stage. But the mixed signals on Iran could undermine that goal.

"Because I'm on foreign soil, I don't want to be creating new foreign policy for my country or in any way to distance myself from the foreign policy of our nation, but we respect the right of a nation to defend itself," the former Massachusetts governor told CBS' "Face the Nation" a few hours before the speech and a day before a major fundraiser in the city.


Parents slain, sister taken; son, 33, held

LITTLE ROCK — A Little Rock man was arrested Saturday night in the deaths of his parents and the kidnapping of his sister Saturday afternoon, police said.

Antonio Whitlow, 33, was named as a suspect just a few hours after Bobby and Annette Whitlow, both 65, were found dead inside their residence at 2820 Zion St. He was arrested Saturday night in Memphis after police found him and his sister, Amber Whitlow, 12, on foot near Beale Street, according to Little Rock police spokesman Sgt. Cassandra Davis. Amber had no signs of physical injury, Davis said.

Little Rock detectives were traveling to Memphis on Saturday night to take custody of Antonio Whitlow, who is charged with two counts of capital murder and one count of kidnapping, Davis said.

Grady Carter, a member of Warriors for Christ Ministries, told police he went to the Whitlow residence about 3 p.m. Saturday to meet with Bobby Whitlow, the pastor of the church. When Carter arrived, he said the front door was open and he could see Annette Whitlow through the screen door, lying on the floor.



Another paranoid schizophrenic with a gun .... add one more to the Brady list http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021021325

Climate Change and the Next US Revolution

The U.S. heat wave is slowly shaking the foundations of American politics. It may take years for the deep rumble to evolve into an above ground, institution-shattering earthquake, but U.S. society has changed for good.

The heat wave has helped convince tens of millions of Americans that climate change is real, overpowering the fake science and right-wing media - funded by corporate cash - to convince Americans otherwise.

Republicans and Democrats alike also erect roadblocks to understanding climate change. By the politicians' complete lack of action towards addressing the issue, the "climate change is fake" movement was strengthened, since Americans presumed that any sane government would be actively trying to address an issue that had the potential to destroy civilization.

But working people have finally made up their mind. A recent poll showed that 70 percent of Americans now believe that climate change is real, up from 52 percent in 2010. And a growing number of people are recognizing that the warming of the planet is caused by human activity.


69 Nations Have More US Troops Than Olympic Athletes

Here is a link (http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/MILITARY/history/hst1009.pdf) to a list of U.S. troops deployed to various nations around the world: PDF. These are permanent deployments openly admitted to by the U.S. military. When U.S. Special Forces drive off a bridge in Mali, as recently happened, we discover that U.S. troops are in Mali in greater numbers than we knew, but those troops aren't listed here or considered in the calculation below. No secret forces are considered here, no allied forces funded or trained or armed by the United States, and of course no drones.

Here is a link to the number of athletes participating in the 2012 Summer Olympics from countries around the world: Link. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Summer_Olympics#Participants)

Many nations have sent very small delegations. Many nations have a very small U.S. troop presence. In many nations the U.S. troop presence falls just short of or exactly equals the size of the Olympic team.

In 69 nations, there is a larger U.S. military presence than the nation's Olympic team. This count excludes the oceans of the world, in which over 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed, but which of course don't have Olympic teams. The count includes, however, Diego Garcia, which could have an Olympic team if we hadn't removed all the people to make room for the military base. And it includes other nations that have been demoted to U.S. territories. It also includes South Korea, despite the U.S. military not releasing the numbers, because the U.S. military has many times the number of troops (and growing) there than South Korea has athletes on its Olympic team.


Tell the Candidates: We Want Solutions to the Gun Madness

Our nation seems caught in a never-ending, inescapable loop of random mass tragedy and destruction. Every few months, we endure it all again. The first special reports on cable news about a shooting. The first video of the location, a school, a grocery store, a movie theatre. The sirens and the flashing lights of the first responders. The heartbreaking stories of the victims. The speculation about the shooter’s motives. And on and on.

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Tucson. Now Aurora. As the loop replays yet again, in recent years there is another familiar refrain. Despite the undeniable fact that guns, often with extraordinary firepower, were the enablers of mass killing in every case, we are told that nothing will be done about the guns. Why? Because, we are told, the political debate about guns in America is over.

Who is telling us this? Why, the political punditry. The experts. The people who love to tell us what we believe and how we will behave.

Take last Sunday’s Meet the Press. Moderator David Gregory noted that although it may be “lunacy” for somebody like the Aurora shooter to be able to build an arsenal, “there’s not really a gun control debate in politics anymore.” He received quick agreement from Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum, “Yeah, there is none. I think the issue is settled.” Republican Strategist Steven Schmidt quickly agrees, noting the “consensus . . . in this country today that there’s not going to be any further gun control measures passed by the United States Congress. It’s an absolutely settled issue.”



We can do better ...

Group Of House Republicans Stand By Islamophobic Witch Hunt = "Double Down and Raise Ya"

Despite criticism from leading Republicans over their attacks on a notable senior aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a group of House Republicans conducting a witch hunt on government officials supposedly linked to the Muslim Brotherhood are doubling down on their accusations.

The group, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), has yet to provide actual evidence of the “infiltration” they say is occurring, and the attacks on Huma Abedin, a long-time and well-known Clinton aide, drew ridicule from across Washington and highlighted the shoddiness of the entire report. But the lawmakers aren’t giving up, The Hill reports:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told The Hill that the media’s focus on Abedin was a “deliberate effort to change the subject.”

“The focus in the media has been on one sentence in one of those letters, and … they have the right to do that,” Franks said. “But it certainly doesn’t serve the American people when they overlook the central focus of the letters to try to take out of context one element of it that seems to be the only thing the left can aim at.”


Cheney: Picking Palin as VP 'a mistake'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney thinks the selection of Sarah Palin as the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee “was a mistake,” he told ABC’s Jon Karl in an interview excerpted Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

“That one I don’t think was well handled,” Cheney said of the 2008 selection process.

When it comes to choosing a vice presidential nominee, Cheney told Karl in an interview conducted recently on Cheney’s Wyoming ranch, “I sort of think of it as there are two lists. There is the big list. And it’s got a lot of folks on it.”

To get on the smaller list, though, politicians need to be able to clear a higher bar, said Cheney, who helped run the selection processes for former Republican Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.

“And the test to get on the small list has to be is this person capable of being president of the United States, and that’s usually a very, very short list,” he said, asserting that electoral considerations shouldn’t “override” Oval Office readiness.


Romney on "wimp" headline: I don't care what media says

Source: CBS News

CBS News) While traveling in Israel on a foreign policy "listening tour," Mitt Romney said he's not a foreign policy wimp, which is how he's depicted on the latest cover of Newsweek.
"If I worried about what the media said I wouldn't get much sleep, and I sleep pretty well," Romney told CBS News' Jan Crawford during an interview Sunday in Jerusalem.

"They tried that on George Herbert Walker Bush. He was a pretty great president and anything but," Romney said, adding that he doesn't "recall" ever being called a wimp before.

Romney's interview came shortly after his senior adviser, Dan Senor, said Mitt Romney would back an Israeli attack of Iran if all other diplomatic options had been exhausted.

The Republican presidential candidate softened the statement but reaffirmed his support of Israel.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57481910/romney-on-wimp-headline-i-dont-care-what-media-says/?tag=socsh
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