Monthly Archives: March 2014

Israel enters Syrian conflict after Golan false flag

Israel has attacked several Syrian military sites. Syrian state media said one soldier was killed and seven others were wounded at three positions outside Quneitra. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-26641815 The Israeli military said the targets had included a headquarters, a training facility and artillery batteries. The Syrian army had “aided and abetted” the attack on a patrol near […]

NY industrial plant illegally releases carcinogen benzene into air

A western New York industrial plant and its environmental controls manager face sentencing Wednesday for illegally releasing the carcinogen benzene into the air and improperly handling hazardous sludge. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/03/19/us/ap-us-air-pollution-criminal-charge.html?ref=us Tonawanda Coke Corp., along the Niagara River, and manager Mark Kamholz are due in federal court in Buffalo, where they were convicted following a trial last […]

Both Syrian rebels and government terrorizing civilian population

Opposition forces and the Syrian government are both terrorizing the country’s civilian population in defiance of a recent Security Council resolution, a panel of investigators told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday. But while atrocities are increasing, the international community, apart from providing humanitarian aid, “has done little but bear witness to the […]

Robots taking writing jobs at The Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles Times was the first newspaper to publish a story about an earthquake on Monday – thanks to a robot writer. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26614051 Journalist and programmer Ken Schwencke created an algorithm that automatically generates a short article when an earthquake occurs. Mr Schwencke told Slate magazine that it took around three minutes for the […]

US to relinquish control of internet to ICANN

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Friday it plans to give up control over the body that manages Internet names and addresses. The action means that the U.S. government will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages a number of technical functions that […]

AP demands White House open access for independent press

The Associated Press is seeking to broaden independent news coverage of the White House under an administration that is hypersensitive about its image and which frequently bars the press from events involving President Barack Obama. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/03/18/us/ap-us-white-house-media-complaints.html?ref=us AP White House correspondent Julie Pace and chief White House photographer Charles Dharapak (DAR’-uh-pak) described the AP’s efforts Tuesday […]

Study finds saturated fat does not increase heart attack risk

A large and exhaustive new analysis by a team of international scientists found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/study-questions-fat-and-heart-disease-link/?ref=us The new findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue […]

US central bank denies bubble as it widens wealth inequality

March has been an up-and-down stretch for the stock market, but it is turning into a month of milestones nonetheless. The bull market reached its fifth anniversary last weekend, and if the trend continues this week, on Saturday it will become the fifth-longest bull market since 1928. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/business/fed-challenge-pull-back-without-pulling-the-rug-out.html?ref=us Already, it’s the fourth-strongest bull, with a […]

Energy co. keeps polluting N Carolina river after toxic spill

Duke Energy, the giant utility whose spill of toxic waste into a North Carolina river last month is under federal investigation, released wastewater last week from a second site near Raleigh that state regulators said could be illegal. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/us/north-carolina-investigating-another-duke-energy-site.html?ref=us Aerial photographs of two Duke coal ash ponds at the head of the Cape Fear River […]

Afghans claim western intelligence tied to journalist execution

With few facts emerging about why a Swedish journalist was gunned down on a crowded street here last week, some Afghan officials have begun offering a familiar theory: A spy war involving Western intelligence agents was to blame.. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/asia/facts-elusive-in-kabul-death-of-swedish-reporter.html?ref=world No officials who offered the theory wanted their names attached to it, and none could say […]

Radiation in Pacific 10,000 times Chernobyl contamination

In the chaotic, fearful weeks after the Fukushima nuclear crisis began, in March 2011, researchers struggled to measure the radioactive fallout unleashed on the public. Michio Aoyama’s initial findings were more startling than most. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/17/world/asia/squelching-efforts-to-measure-fukushima-meltdown.html?ref=world  As a senior scientist at the Japanese government’s Meteorological Research Institute, he said levels of radioactive cesium 137 in the […]

Fire, radiation leak at nuclear waste site deeply concerning

Maintenance and safety lapses were at the root of a lorry fire that shut down the only US underground nuclear waste repository in February, a report says. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-26587349 The report also cited problems with emergency response and oversight at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), outside Carlsbad, New Mexico. The state’s two senators called the […]

GM acknowledges decade old problem that caused 300 deaths

A report has linked faulty airbags in two of the six models recalled by General Motors to 303 deaths. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-26571988 The study, commissioned by the Center for Auto Safety, reviewed US federal crash data for the models. GM has recalled nearly 1.6 million vehicles over faulty ignition switches which could turn off the engine, disabling […]

Venezuela accuses Kerry and the US of orchestrating unrest

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Elias Jaua has accused US Secretary of State John Kerry of inciting violence and called him a “murderer”. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-26588528 Mr Jaua was reacting to comments by Mr Kerry, who accused Venezuela of waging a “terror campaign against its own people” in its response to protests. Venezuela has repeatedly accused the US of […]

Could Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have been hacked?

The communications systems of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 were deliberately disabled, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak has said. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26591056 According to satellite and radar evidence, he said, the plane then changed course and could have continued flying for a further seven hours. The plane disappeared a week ago with 239 people on board. Mr […]

Ukrainian issue puts Russia and West on war footing

In confident and knowing tones, people here say they have heard that Russian spies have infiltrated the city, or that pro-Ukrainian fighters are hoarding weapons for an attack, or that thousands of Russian citizens have been bused in from across the border to foment riots. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/15/world/europe/rumors-mushroom-in-eastern-ukraine-fueling-expectations-of-war.html?ref=world&_r=0 Donetsk, a coal-mining city where blue-collar sensibilities reign and […]

Obama rejects human rights accountability for US forces

The Obama administration declared Thursday that a global Bill of Rights-style treaty imposes no human rights obligations on American military and intelligence forces when they operate abroad, rejecting an interpretation by the United Nations and the top State Department lawyer during President Obama’s first term. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/world/us-affirms-stance-that-rights-treaty-doesnt-apply-abroad.html?ref=world The administration affirmed that stance in a meeting in […]

Facebook can spread a state of mind through social media

A study by researchers at the University of California, Yale, and Facebook has found that moods can spread virally through social media sites such as Facebook. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26556295 Using data from millions of Facebook users, the researchers examined the impact of rainy days. They found that for every one person directly affected by rain, one to […]

Internet inventor Sir Tim calls for user “Bill of Rights”

The inventor of the world wide web has marked the 25th anniversary of his creation by calling for a ‘Magna Carta’ bill of rights to protect its users.  http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-26540635 Sir Tim Berners-Lee told BBC Breakfast the issue could be compared to the importance of human rights. He has been an outspoken critic of government surveillance […]

Unconstitutional checkpoints get scrutiny from lawmakers

U.S. transportation officials on Wednesday responded to mounting questions about the tactics used by a roadside survey on drinking and drugged driving by announcing that survey-takers will no longer collect breath samples from motorists without their consent. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/03/12/us/ap-us-roadside-survey.html?emc=eta1 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said its contractor will get motorists’ permission before using a device […]