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East Coast Pirate

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Member since: Tue May 15, 2012, 02:33 PM
Number of posts: 775

Journal Archives

NASA Releases Image of Oklahoma Tornado as Seen From Space

NASA released this image today. It shows the storm that produced the devastating F4 tornado that hit Oklahoma yesterday minutes before the tornado touched down south of Oklahoma City. The image was taken with NASA’s MODIS instrument on one of their Earth Observing System (EOS) satellites. You can donate $10 to the victims of the tornado by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed May 22, 2013, 06:00 PM (1 replies)

Elizabeth Warren Asks New Treasury Secretary If He'll Be As Bad On Big Banks As The Old One


Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) grilled Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on Tuesday, pressing him for concrete answers on whether the department would continue his predecessor's policy of rejecting steps to break up big banks.

Warren began by speaking about a string of scandals that emerged as a result of the continued existence of "too big to fail banks." Despite this evidence and the fact that many officials have admitted the dangers to the economic system posed by big banks, Warren noted that various members of President Barack Obama's administration have appeared unwilling to prescribe concrete measures to address them. She then pointed specifically to a quote from a Treasury official during former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's tenure that suggested the department had been instrumental in scuttling an earlier bipartisan amendment that would have enacted restrictions on "too big to fail."

"The question I want to ask now is, has Treasury Department's position changed, or are you still opposed to capping the size of the largest financial institutions?" Warren asked.

Lew and Warren then went back and forth over what steps the Treasury Department -- which Lew maintained was intent on "ending too big to fail" -- would actually take to reach that goal. Apparently unsatisfied with Lew's responses to questions about the rapid concentration of wealth within the big banks, Warren rephrased her query.

"How big do the biggest banks have to get before we consider breaking them up?" Warren asked. "They're 30 percent bigger now than they were five years ago. Do they have to double in size, triple in size, quadruple in size before we talk about breaking up the biggest financial institutions?"
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed May 22, 2013, 05:06 PM (9 replies)

Syrian army destroys trespassing Israeli vehicle, Israel responds with 2 rockets

Source: Xinhua

DAMASCUS, May 21 -- The Syrian army destroyed an Israeli military vehicle that trespassed on Syrian territories and Israel responded by firing two rockets at a military site in Syria, the military general command said in a statement Tuesday.

The army destroyed the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon after it surpassed the ceasefire line between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights and moved toward the town of Beir al-Ajam where the armed rebels are active, the statement said.

Following the destruction of the vehicle, the Israeli army fired two rockets at a Syrian army position in the town of Zbaidieh but caused no casualties, the statement added.

Syria has recently accused Israel of helping the rebels, especially after two Israeli air strikes hit military positions in Syria over the past month.

Read more: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-05/21/c_132398298.htm
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Tue May 21, 2013, 07:19 AM (2 replies)

In the Shadow of Stonewall Inn, a Gay Man Is Killed


Mark Carson did not hide that he was gay, and when he went out on the town he would often head to Greenwich Village, where years before he was born, much of the struggle for gay liberation unfolded. Yet late Friday night, just blocks from the Stonewall Inn, among the most important landmarks of that struggle, he was confronted with a man screaming antigay slurs, who then stalked him before pulling out a silver revolver and fatally shooting him, the police said.

“This clearly looks to be a hate crime,” Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said at a news conference on Saturday.

Mr. Kelly described a chaotic scene that involved a man seemingly out looking for trouble when he crossed paths with Mr. Carson and ended up shooting him in the face. The violence was quickly followed by a police chase and an arrest on the corner of West Third and Macdougal Streets as scores of bar hoppers looked on in shock.

Mr. Kelly said there had been a rise in bias-related crimes in New York City this year — 22 compared with 13 during the same period last year. In just the past three weeks, there have been five attacks directed at gay men, including a vicious assault on a gay couple outside Madison Square Garden on May 5.

Timothy Lunceford, 56, who has lived in the West Village for 35 years, said he believed the killing was a brazen display of a kind of intolerance he had not known in New York for decades. “It’s outrageous,” he said. “They say we’ve worked through homophobia, but it’s not gone away. It’s just not usually as out there in the open like it was this morning.”
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat May 18, 2013, 09:13 PM (3 replies)

Elizabeth Warren Slams ‘Dangerous’ Legislation That Would Weaken Wall Street Reform


A week after a bipartisan group of lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee overwhelmingly approved a rollback of certain financial reforms contained in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, one of the Senate’s biggest consumer advocates is pushing back.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) came out swinging against the repeal of new rules meant to regulate derivatives, the complex financial instruments that were at “the center of the storm” that caused the financial crisis. The rules shouldn’t be weakened or repealed just because big banks want to see them eliminated, Warren argued Thursday, The Hill reports:

“The big banks won some battles and lost some battles during the financial regulatory debate in 2009 and 2010, but their tune never changed and their lobbying never let up,” she said. “It is dangerous for Congress to amend the derivatives provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act without at the same time taking accompanying steps to strengthen reform and maintain the law’s equilibrium.”

One rule the package of legislation advanced by the House committee would eliminate is a “push out” provision that would limit derivatives trading at banks that receive federal backing. Similar to the Volcker Rule, another provision Wall Street largely opposes, it is aimed at making taxpayer-backed banks safer to avoid crises similar to the one that thrust the United States into a recession and led to a bailout of major banks in 2008.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Sat May 18, 2013, 07:47 PM (5 replies)

Crazy' Ants Driving Out Fire Ants in Southeast


Invasive fire ants have been a thorn in the sides of Southerners for years. But another invasive species, the so-called "crazy" ant — that many describe as being worse — has arrived and is displacing fire ants in several places.

"When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back," said Edward LeBrun, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, in a statement from the school. "Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound."

Crazy ants, on the other hand, "go everywhere," invading homes and nesting in walls and crawlspaces, even damaging electrical equipment by swarming inside appliances. [Image Gallery: Ants of the World]

A study published in the April issue of the journal Biological Invasions found that in areas infested with crazy ants, few to no fire ants were present. Exactly how they are able to outcompete fire ants is so far unknown. In areas with crazy ants, the researchers also found greatly diminished numbers of native ant species, according to the study.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri May 17, 2013, 09:07 PM (20 replies)

NASA Announces Brightest Lunar Explosion Ever Recorded


A boulder-sized meteor slammed into the moon in March, igniting an explosion so bright that anyone looking up at the right moment might have spotted it, NASA announced Friday.

NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office is reporting the discovery of the brightest impact seen on the moon in the eight year history of the monitoring program.

Some 300 lunar impact events have been logged over the years but this latest impact, from March 17, is considered many orders of magnitude brighter than anything else observed.

“We have seen a couple of others in the ‘wow’ category but not this bright,” said Robert Suggs, manager of NASA’s Lunar Impact Monitoring Program at Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

The blast lasted only about a single second and shone like a 4th magnitude star—making it bright enough to see with just the unaided eye.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Fri May 17, 2013, 08:54 PM (4 replies)

U.S. Top of List for First-Day Deaths in Rich Nations


The United States has the highest rate of first-day deaths in babies than any other industrialized nation, according to a report released this week by the humanitarian group Save the Children.

Throughout the world, the first day of life is the most hazardous time for a baby; just over one million children die each year within 24 hours of being born.

Save the Children's annual "State of the World's Mothers" report ranks 176 countries on levels of well-being among children and mothers. This year's edition puts a special emphasis on newborn health, featuring its first-ever Birth Day Risk Index. The index ranks countries from the safest to the most dangerous for a baby to be born in.

In the United States, babies are 50 percent more likely to die on the same day they were born than in all of the other industrialized countries combined, according to the report. Each year, nearly 11,300 babies die on the day they were born in the United States, making American babies twice as likely to die in their first 24 hours as European Union babies.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Thu May 9, 2013, 08:13 AM (3 replies)

Boston suspect's friend in YouTube video: I'm "an average guy"

Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed May 1, 2013, 07:53 PM (2 replies)

May Day marked by global protests


Demonstrations are taking place across the world as protesters gather to mark May Day, the traditional date for demanding better workers' rights.

Protests first began in Asia, with tens of thousands of workers in Jakarta calling for improved conditions and mobilising against government plans to cut fuel subsidies.

Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen, reporting from Jarakata, said: "Everywhere I look I see demonstrating workers; this is the biggest rally I've seen here.

"The president [Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono], announced yesterday that the fuel price will go up as it is heavily subsidesed.
Posted by East Coast Pirate | Wed May 1, 2013, 06:08 AM (0 replies)
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