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Friday, May 29, 2015

John Murphy, Congressman Convicted in Abscam Sting, Dies at 88 - NYTimes.com

"John M. Murphy, a former New York City congressman who served 18 years in the House before being caught taking a $50,000 cash payment in the Abscam sting operation in the late 1970s, died on Monday on Staten Island. He was 88.

His death, at a hospital there, was confirmed by his grandson John M. Murphy III.

Mr. Murphy, a Democrat from Staten Island, was one of seven members of Congress found guilty of taking illicit payoffs in the Abscam operation, which involved undercover agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation posing as Middle Eastern tycoons offering bribes in exchange for help with immigration and other matters. The F.B.I. videotaped the payoffs."

Saturday, May 23, 2015

NYTimes: U.S. Flies Over a Chinese Project at Sea, and Beijing Objects

"WASHINGTON — The United States and China on Friday escalated their dispute over contested territory in the South China Sea, after the Chinese repeatedly ordered an American military surveillance plane to abandon flights over areas where China has been building artificial islands."

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cuomo: Oil spill in Hudson River after nuclear plant fire | Fox News Latino

"And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told the media on Sunday that "There is no doubt but that oil did escape from the transformer, there is no doubt that oil did go into the holding tank and exceeded the capacity of the holding tank, and there is no doubt that oil was discharged into the Hudson River. Exactly how much, we don't know."

The portion of the plant affected by the fire was shut down automatically, while the rest of the facility continued operating normally.

Plant authorities said Sunday that the installation remains partially shut down, but stable, after the problem, which did not affect its nuclear area.

Cuomo visited the plant on Saturday night and called the incident "not a major situation," but said that he takes nothing lightly when it comes to the Indian Point plant since it is located so close to New York, with its high population density.

He added that the transformer that caught fire was seriously damaged.

Cuomo, as reported by local media, also expressed his concern over the environmental effects of the incident, not due to radioactivity but rather to the chemicals used to put out the blaze.

According to the governor, the remains of the foam used to quell this kind of fire can pass through the sewer system and into the nearby Hudson River, which runs through New York City.

He assured the public that environmental protection authorities are working to avoid possible negative consequences of those chemicals. EFE"

Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Keystone Pipeline Just Lost Big in a Shocking Canadian Election | Mother Jones

"On Tuesday, the lefty New Democratic Party (NDP) won the provincial elections on a platform that promises to diversify Alberta's fossil fuel-dependent economy. The NDP campaigned on criticism of the Conservatives for being too close to the oil industry and a pledge to tax more oil profits. From The Wall Street Journal:

The longtime ruling party of Canada's energy-rich Alberta province lost its four-decade hold on power on Tuesday, ushering in a left-leaning government that has pledged to raise corporate taxes and increase oil and gas royalties.

The Alberta New Democratic Party swept enough districts to form a majority, taking most of the seats in both the business center of Calgary and the provincial capital of Edmonton, according to preliminary results from Elections Alberta."


Stephen Colbert shocks South Carolina schools by funding every single teacher-requested grant

"Comedian Stephen Colbert announced Thursday that he would fund every existing grant request South Carolina public school teachers have made on the education crowdfunding website DonorsChoose.org.

Colbert made the announcement on a live video feed Thursday at a surprise event at Alexander Elementary School in Greenville."

NYTimes: N.S.A. Phone Data Collection Illegal, Appeals Court Rules

Friday, May 01, 2015