PND News

Scientists warn: World moving closer to “doomsday”

January 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Climate change and the danger of nuclear war pose an ever-growing threat to civilization and are bringing the world closer to doomsday, a group of prominent scientists and Nobel laureates said Thursday. 'It is now three minutes to midnight,' said Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as the group moved its symbolic 'Doomsday Clock' two minutes forward. The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947. It has changed 18 times since then, ranging from two minutes to midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjbntj8  

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Mexico: Narco-drone laden with meth crashes near US border

January 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Police in a Mexican border city said Wednesday that a drone overloaded with illicit methamphetamine crashed into a supermarket parking lot. Tijuana police spokesman Jorge Morrua said authorities were alerted after the drone fell Tuesday night near the San Ysidro crossing at Mexico's border with California. Six packets of the drug, weighing more than six pounds, were taped to the six-propeller remote-controlled aircraft. Morrua said authorities are investigating where the flight originated and who was controlling it. He said it was not the first time they had seen drones used for smuggling drugs across the border." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kr4acfe  

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MA: Difficulty of jury tampering delays opening statements in Tsarnaev show trial

January 22, 2015
posted by

Reuters    

"Opening statements in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been postponed as jury selection has taken longer than expected, meaning lawyers will not begin presenting cases Monday as planned, the court said on Thursday. The delay comes as Tsarnaev's attorneys launched a fresh effort to move the trial outside of Boston, arguing that it will be impossible to find an unbiased panel of jurors in the city where the attack took place." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m3uqmeh  

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CO: Baker faces complaint for refusing anti-gay message on cake

January 22, 2015
posted by

US News and World Report    

"Marjorie Silva, owner of Denver's Azucar Bakery, is facing a complaint from a customer alleging she discriminated against his religious beliefs. According to Silva, the man who visited last year wanted a Bible-shaped cake, which she agreed to make. Just as they were getting ready to complete the order, Silva said the man showed her a piece of paper with hateful words about gays that he wanted written on the cake. He also wanted the cake to have two men holding hands and an X on top of them, Silva said. ... KUSA-TV reported the complainant is Bill Jack of Castle Rock, a bedroom community south of Denver. In a statement to the television station, Jack said he believes he 'was discriminated against by the bakery based on my creed.'" (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5b9jaq  

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NY: Assembly speaker Silver arrested on public corruption charges

January 22, 2015
posted by

KMPH 26 News    

"New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested Thursday on public corruption charges and accused of using his position as one of the most powerful men in Albany to obtain millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks masked as legitimate income. The 70-year-old Silver was taken into custody around 8 a.m. at the FBI's New York City office, FBI spokesman Peter Donald confirmed. Silver faces five counts, including conspiracy and bribery charges." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lyskokk  

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Source: DoJ to recommend no civil rights charges in Ferguson shooting

January 22, 2015
posted by

New York Times    

"The Justice Department has begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., who killed an unarmed black teenager in August, law enforcement officials said. That would close the politically charged case in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. The investigation by the F.B.I., which is complete, found no evidence to support civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, the officials said." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mgwx64m  

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NY: Silver to be arrested on corruption charges

January 22, 2015
posted by

New York Post    

"Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York state Assembly, is expected to be arrested on corruption charges by federal authorities on Thursday after prosecutors subpoenaed records in a probe of undocumented payments he received from a law firm, according to a report. Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who has served as speaker for more than 20 years, is expected to be charged following an investigation sparked when Gov. Cuomo abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013, The New York Times said." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m3o4qwn  

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UK: Chilcot inquiry “will not be published until after the election”

January 22, 2015
posted by

The Telegraph [UK]    

"The long-awaited Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war will not be published until after the general election in May, it has emerged. The inquiry chairman, Sir John Chilcot, will set out his reasons for the further delay in an exchange of letters with Prime Minister David Cameron, according to Government sources. ... The Chilcot inquiry, which was originally set up by the then prime minister Gordon Brown in 2009, took public evidence from its last witness in 2011. However publication of the report has been held back by negotiations over the publication of private communications between Tony Blair, prime minister at the time of the 2003 conflict, and then US president George Bush." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m5xutzu  

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VA: Pol who won election from jail faces new charges

January 22, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"A Virginia state legislator who was re-elected last week while serving a jail sentence for a sex scandal was indicted on Wednesday on felony charges stemming from the case. In a fresh political embarrassment for Virginia, Joseph Morrissey was charged by a Henrico County grand jury with four counts of allegedly lying under oath and submitting a forged document to the court. Morrissey, a member of the House of Delegates, is serving a six-month jail term for a misdemeanor conviction of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The case involves a former receptionist who was 17 when she worked in his law office. The receptionist is now 18 and pregnant. She has denied having sex with Morrissey, 57." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odbwx7f  

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TX: State employees kill prisoner

January 22, 2015
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"A 41-year-old Texas prisoner was put to death Wednesday evening for the slayings of three people during a robbery at their San Antonio home more than 21 years ago. Arnold Prieto became the first prisoner to receive a lethal injection this year in Texas, which carried out 10 executions in 2014." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvxmjar  

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House GOP aims at Roe v. Wade anniversary on abortion bill

January 22, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"House Republicans searched for a way Wednesday to advance the new Congress' first abortion legislation, hoping to avoid an inter-party implosion over a bill that at one point seemed all but certain of passage. Legislation that was intended to be voted on Thursday -- the 42nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision -- would criminalize virtually all abortions for pregnancies of 20 weeks or longer. It would offer some exceptions, including for victims of rape that have already been reported to authorities. Some Republicans, including female members of Congress, objected to that requirement, saying that many women feel too distressed to report rapes and should not be penalized." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjft4jn  

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CO: Potential jurors want out of theater shooting case

January 22, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Prospective jurors in the Colorado theater shooting trial presented a judge with a number of excuses on Wednesday for why they shouldn't be on the panel that decides if defendant James Holmes was insane at the time of the deadly attack. By the end of the second day of what promises to be a long slog to picking a jury, Judge Carlos Samour had excused at least 20 people who had doctors' notes, didn't speak English, or weren't residents of Arapahoe County, where the 2012 attack occurred. However, in a sign of how difficult it might be to get excused, a summons for a woman who reported being 'violently ill' and requested an ambulance was only delayed but not canceled." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxuf5py  

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TX: SCOTUS hears case testing civil rights act

January 21, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"A sharply divided US Supreme Court on Wednesday took up a challenge to the Fair Housing Act (FHA) in an action that liberal critics say could gut the major civil rights provision. At issue in a case from Dallas, Texas, is whether the housing law authorizes lawsuits over racially neutral measures that nonetheless disproportionately impact minority residents. Liberals support the so-called disparate impact theory of civil rights enforcement, while conservatives warn that such an approach could lead to racial quotas in housing and other areas." [editor's note: That last sentence might be the best objective analysis of the two "sides" (on this and other issues) I've seen in years? - SAT] (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ntgqutd  

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MO: Justice Department said ready to clear Ferguson officer

January 21, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted law enforcement officials as saying that federal prosecutors had begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, after an FBI investigation found no evidence to support charges against him. The Justice Department declined comment." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q99ap7g  

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BP boss predicts: Oil prices “low for up to 3 years”

January 21, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The boss of oil giant BP's boss Bob Dudley has said that oil prices could remain low for up to three years. He added that could send UK petrol prices below £1 per litre. He told BBC Business editor Kamal Ahmed in Davos BP was planning for low oil prices for years to come. That is expected to lead to job losses and falling investment in the North Sea oil industry and elsewhere, curbing supply and eventually forcing the price back up." (01/21/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-30913321  

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NE: Corporate welfare queen TransCanada launches 90 land theft attempts

January 21, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"TransCanada Corp., the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, filed eminent domain proceedings against an estimated 90 Nebraska landowners Tuesday to secure the right [sic] to build the controversial project across their property. ... Nebraska is the project's most contentious battlefield. A 2012 law allowed the governor to bypass the state Public Service Commission and give the project the go-ahead. Approval for the current route was granted in 2013. In February, a lower court declared the law unconstitutional and left the troubled pipeline with no approved route through Nebraska. This month, however, the Nebraska Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s ruling and cleared the way for Obama to act." (01/20/15)

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-keystone-land-2015-0120-story.html  

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Study downgrades climate impact of wood burning

January 20, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Surprising new research has sharply downgraded the perceived climate impacts of the gathering and burning of wood by residents of poor and developing countries who rely on the fuel to keep warm and cook food. Of the 2.8 billion people forced to use wood for fuel, often filling their humble homes with life-shortening soot, the vast majority are chopping down and gathering their fuel in ways that allow forests and woodlands to regrow. That isn’t just good for the environment around them; carbon-hungry growth of trees that replace those that were felled helps cancel the climate-changing effects of carbon dioxide pollution released when the wood is burned." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k25ko2t  

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GA: Man cited for eating cheeseburger while driving

January 20, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A man says he was cited by police outside Atlanta for eating a cheeseburger while driving. Madison Turner, who's from Alabama, tells Atlanta station WSB-TV he ordered a double quarter-pounder with cheese from a McDonald's in the Marietta area shortly before he was pulled over last week. Turner says the officer told him he saw him eating the cheeseburger for two miles, telling the man 'You can't just go down the road eating a hamburger.' The ticket, issued under Georgia's distracted driving law, states in the comments section that the offense is 'eating while driving.'" (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oqnczdz  

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Alaska: Unique hurdles facing legal pot in live-and-let-live state

January 20, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Presiding over busy waterways and airspace that serve as unofficial highways of an inhospitable state twice the size of Texas, the federal government has a looming presence over Alaska and its famously live-and-let-live residents. And Uncle Sam considers marijuana illegal over every inch. This poses unique hurdles for entrepreneurs hoping to capitalize on an Alaska move to legalize recreational marijuana, and who seek to grow and process products to be marketed across the state, much of which is accessible only via transport links policed by U.S. agencies and governed by federal law." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q7dvn5t  

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Report: Odds of gas tax hike growing

January 20, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"With Washington’s most famous climate-change skeptic expressing interest in raising the federal gasoline tax, Bay Area Rep. Jared Huffman sees an opening to grab the brass ring of the environmental movement: a tax on carbon. Taxing gasoline is, after all, a form of taxing carbon -- a step environmentalists believe could reduce America’s global-warming emissions. Huffman reasons that if Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, who once wrote a book calling climate change 'The Greatest Hoax,' can get Washington talking about raising the gas levy, it’s a good time to make the tax a little more sophisticated so it reflects the carbon content of all fuels." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvn6uvo  

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Islamic State demand: $200 million cash for two Japanese hostages

January 20, 2015
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"The Islamic State's new hostage video, in which it threatens to kill two Japanese captives and demands $200 million in ransom, comes as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is touring the Middle East and offering the same amount in humanitarian aid to countries affected by the terrorist group. The video, which is not dated and has not yet been authenticated, echoes past releases by the group, with two men in orange clothing kneeling in a desert landscape. A voice-over instructs the Japanese public that it has three days to convince its government to end its 'foolish' support of the US-led campaign against the self-described Islamic State, Reuters reports." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lvn6uvo  

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Nepal: Violence and arrests over new constitution

January 20, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Scuffles broke out in Nepal's parliament and police arrested protesters in the capital as tensions rose before a deadline to draft a new national constitution. Opposition lawmakers threw chairs and microphones and attacked the parliamentary Speaker early on Tuesday. The Maoist opposition accuse the ruling coalition of trying to push through their proposals without consensus. Nepal's leaders have set 22 January as a deadline for the draft constitution." (01/20/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-30894714  

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SCOTUS rules for bearded Muslim inmate

January 20, 2015
posted by

PBS Newshour [US state media]    

"The Supreme Court is siding with a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas who sued for the right to grow a short beard for religious reasons. ... The justices said that inmate Gregory Holt could maintain a half-inch beard because Arkansas prison officials could not substantiate claims that the beard posed a security risk. Holt claimed that he has a right to grow a beard under a federal law aimed at protecting prisoners' religious rights." (01/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k44wkvn  

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Senate unveils toned down Iran sanctions bill

January 20, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Supporters of Iran sanctions in the US Senate have unveiled a toned-down bill aimed at gaining enough votes to override a presidential veto. President Barack Obama has argued forcefully against any new measures against the Islamic Republic, saying Iran was already chafing under existing sanctions and imposing new ones could torpedo ongoing talks on an agreement to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear bomb, a goal it denies having. On Thursday, the Senate banking committee will discuss and vote on the re-jigged bill proposed by Republican Mark Kirk and Democrat Robert Menedez, two senators who have sponsored previous sanctions bills." (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lzbbjou  

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Report: By 2050, cancer will kill few under 80

January 20, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Today, cancers are 'becoming either preventable or effectively curable,' a researcher notes, which means that by 2050, hardly anyone under 80 will die of such diseases, a study says.... Lifestyle changes, protective technologies, and improved therapies will pave the way, the study notes. Things could move even faster if people follow advice to take aspirin daily, according to the study, although some have questioned that advice, given aspirin's link to ulcers and stomach bleeding, Yahoo UK reports." (01/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lm4ttm7  

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