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Saturday, October 16, 2010

U.S. Will Enforce Marijuana Laws, State Vote Aside - NYTimes.com

U.S. Will Enforce Marijuana Laws, State Vote Aside - NYTimes.com
LOS ANGELES — The Department of Justice says it intends to prosecute marijuana laws in California aggressively even if state voters approve an initiative on the Nov. 2 ballot to legalize the drug.
The announcement by Eric H. Holder Jr., the attorney general, was the latest reminder of how much of the establishment has lined up against the popular initiative: dozens of editorial boards, candidates for office, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and other public officials.
Still, despite this opposition — or perhaps, to some extent, because of it — the measure, Proposition 19, appears to have at least a decent chance of winning, so far drawing considerable support in polls from a coalition of Democrats, independents, younger voters and men as Election Day nears. Should that happen, it could cement a cultural shift in California, where medical marijuana has been legal since 1996 and where the drug has been celebrated in popular culture at least since the 1960s.
But it could also plunge the nation’s most populous state into a murky and unsettling conflict with the federal government that opponents of the proposition said should make California voters wary of supporting it.
Washington has generally looked the other way as a growing medical marijuana industry has prospered here and in 14 other states and the District of Columbia, but Mr. Holder’s position — revealed in a letter this week to nine former chiefs of the Drug Enforcement Administration that was made public on Friday — made explicit that legalizing marijuana for recreational use would bring a whole new level of scrutiny from Washington.
More...
__________________________
The illegality of marijuana has never made any sense medical or social.  It was only made illegal based upon lobbying by the liquor industry which did not want the competition.  It is milder and less harmful than alcohol.  This is utter stupidity.
John H. Armwood

North Korea Vows to Attack South Over Propaganda - NYTimes.com

North Korea Vows to Attack South Over Propaganda - NYTimes.com
EOUL, South Korea — In the first aggressive threat by North Korea since a new leadership hierarchy was announced last month, the North vowed to attack South Korea if the South resumed a propaganda war along their border, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday.
With the youngest son of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il, now officially in line to succeed him, the North vowed to destroy propaganda sites in the South with “physical strikes,” according to a military official who was not named in the K.C.N.A. report. Those sites would most likely include radio transmitters placed along the border.
“We do not want tension to intensify, nor will we ever condone any minor provocation or act of war that threatens peace,” the K.C.N.A. report said, in a translation by the Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.
The North Korean military official was also quoted as saying, “If the South does not stop anti-Pyongyang psychological broadcasts and the dissemination of leaflets, it will be met with our military’s strikes on those sites.”
It was not clear if the report was suggesting that broadcasts had been restarted by the South, and a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry could not be reached for comment early Saturday morning.
On Oct. 5, just days after a meeting of the North Korean Workers’ Party, the South Korean defense minister, Kim Tae-young, said his military had expanded its system of loudspeakers along the border and was prepared to send helium balloons into North Korea carrying AM radios and propaganda leaflets. He said a new propaganda war would be initiated if the South was provoked.
The North has previously warned that its artillery will fire across the border to destroy the loudspeakers if the broadcasts resume. It also said it would shut down a jointly operated industrial complex in a North Korean town, Kaesong.
The language in the latest K.C.N.A. report was relatively restrained. The agency often issues bellicose threats against South Korea and the United States, employing a vivid vocabulary that resembles the propaganda broadsides and baleful slogans used by the former Soviet Union.

Friday, October 15, 2010

CBC News - New Brunswick - Saint John's black community seeks royal apology

CBC News - New Brunswick - Saint John's black community seeks royal apology
Saint John's black community is appealing directly to the Queen Elizabeth for an apology for a 1785 decree that severely restricted where they could live or fish.
Saint John is celebrating the 225th anniversary of the royal charter that created the southern New Brunswick city.
But that same charter made white loyalists the only free citizens of the city and black loyalists, who fought for King George III in the American Revolution, with few exceptions, were denied the right to live or set up businesses within city boundaries.

What's At Stake In 2010 Governors' Races : NPR

What's At Stake In 2010 Governors' Races : NPR

Bishop Eddie Long: Another lawsuit filed against New Birth  | ajc.com

Bishop Eddie Long: Another lawsuit filed against New Birth | ajc.com
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church is the focus of another lawsuit, this one by a former employee who alleges she was the victim of sexual harassment, sexual discrimination and retaliation.
Tama Colson, who is described in the lawsuit as a married resident of Georgia, claims a male supervisor showed her photographs of a male sex organ on a cellphone. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta, Colson alleges she was harassed, demoted and later discharged from the Lithonia church after she complained.
Barbara Marschalk, an attorney who represents New Birth said it was "too premature for us to comment now."
Colson, who also attended New Birth with her family, said in the suit that she was hired by the church in August 1998 as an audio engineer and was eventually promoted to duplication manager, overseeing the reproduction of broadcasts of New Birth services.
The lawsuit alleges that in October 2009, a male supervisor in the church's television department showed her a picture of a sex organ on his cellphone. Colson said she was "horrified" and asked the supervisor "what the hell is your problem." She said he grinned and walked away.
The lawsuit claims the church was aware of previous incidents between the supervisor and female employees and congregants but never took corrective action.
In May 2010, the suit alleges, Colson learned that her department was going to be placed under the control of the television department, where the male supervisor worked. She asked to be transferred out of that department or warned that she would resign. A church elder convinced her to stay, but in June she found out that the man would be her boss. She said he began a "campaign of torment" against her, including coming into her office and staring.
She complained and alleges she was later demoted to secretary. Eventually, she claimed, she was discharged from the job.
The suit seeks an unspecified amount in damages.

The John H. Armwood Weekly News Podcast Friday October 15, 2010

This podcast is for the week ending Friday October 15, 2010.  The Archive of my previous News Podcasts is found here




Subscribe to John H. Armwood News Podcasts by Email

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Voter Mood Still Favors GOP But Not Totally: NPR Poll : It's All Politics : NPR

Voter Mood Still Favors GOP But Not Totally: NPR Poll : It's All Politics : NPR

Voter sentiment leading into the midterm elections continues to look like it could deliver Republicans a decisive victory and House control, according to a new survey done for NPR.

But the poll, done by Democratic pollster Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies, suggests that, as bad as things seem now for Democrats, it was somewhat worse a few months ago.



NPR Battleground Survey - October 7-10, 2010

Reid, Angle Trade Barbs In Nevada Senate Debate : NPR

Reid, Angle Trade Barbs In Nevada Senate Debate : NPR
n a crackling campaign debate, Republican challenger Sharron Angle attacked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday night as a career politician who lives in a fashionable Washington condominium and has voted to raise taxes 300 times. The four-term veteran called his party-backed rival extreme and accused her of distorting his record.
"My opponent favors big banks, she's against Wall Street reform," Reid said, adding that her views are sympathetic to big health insurance companies.
Angle played the aggressor from the opening moments of the hour-long debate, at one point taunting him to "man up Harry Reid" as she urged him to concede that Social Security faces financial difficulty.
Across a stage at a local PBS station, there was little or nothing the two agreed on — not taxes, not health care, immigration, energy policy or federal spending.
Reid took aim at Angle's statement that it's not the job of a senator to create jobs. "What she's talking about is extreme," he said.
"Harry Reid, it's not your job to create jobs," she replied sharply. "It's your job to create policy" that leads to the creation of jobs.
With their debate, Reid and his challenger shared a local stage and a national spotlight, the only joint appearance of a campaign pitting the embodiment of the Democratic establishment against a challenger who was little known outside Nevada before winning the nomination in an upset.

Western governments have "no right to interfere" in China's affairs: FM spokesman - People's Daily Online

Western governments have "no right to interfere" in China's affairs: FM spokesman - People's Daily Online
China Thursday questioned the intentions of foreign governments who supported the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize going to Liu Xiaobo, saying those governments had no right to interfere in China's internal affairs.
"What is the true intention of those foreign political figures and governments who support the granting of the Nobel Peace Prize to Mr. Liu Xiaobo? Is it because they resent China's development path and hate China's political system?" Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu questioned.
Ma said at a regular news briefing that whether China had chosen the best way to more forward, both politically and socially, was best judged by the development reality in China, and the 1.3 billion Chinese people had the biggest say.
"China's affairs should be left to Chinese people themselves," Ma said, adding that the few biased individuals with the Norwegian Nobel Committee had no right to judge China, and western governments had no right to interfere in China's internal affairs.

Push on Talks With Taliban Confirmed by NATO Officials - NYTimes.com

Push on Talks With Taliban Confirmed by NATO Officials - NYTimes.com
BRUSSELS — The United States is helping senior Taliban leaders attend initial peace talks with the Afghan government in Kabul because military officials and diplomats want to take advantage of any possibility of political reconciliation, Obama administration and NATO officials said Thursday.
Even as top American officials cautioned that they are not yet ready to formally join the nascent peace effort with their Taliban foes of the past nine years, they acknowledged that the reconciliation effort is a key part of the American-led war in Afghanistan.
“Whenever opportunity arise that are worth exploring, we ought to take advantage of that,” said Defense Secretary Robert Gates, appearing before reporters alongside Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a NATO conference here. “Whether this leads into something concrete,” Mr. Gates said he couldn’t say, but added that “we need to be open to opportunities that arise.”
While Mrs. Clinton was even more cautious about the pace of the peace talks, she acknowledged during an interview on Thursday that while Americans may be squeamish about the idea of peace talks with the people who harbored Osama Bin Laden prior to the Sept. 11 attacks, the American public at some point may have to swallow the idea of reconciliation with the Taliban in order to have peace in Afghanistan.
“You don’t make peace with your friends,” Mrs. Clinton told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in an interview that aired on Thursday. She said that she thinks “it’s highly unlikely that the leadership of the Taliban that refused to turn over Bin Laden in 2001 will ever reconcile.” But, she added, “stranger things have happened in the history of war.”

Georgia Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Nathan Deal Accused Of Corruption, Deal family Business Under Fire Again | ajc.com


Nathan Deal refuses to answer questions concerning the numerous questions concerning his financial dealings.
John H. Armwood

'Nonpolitical' Groups Target Democrats In Ad Blitz : NPR

'Nonpolitical' Groups Target Democrats In Ad Blitz : NPR
This election season, more money than ever is flowing from supposedly nonpolitical groups into TV ad campaigns.
Americans for Job Security ad targeting Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA)
Most of the ads are negative, sponsored by ambiguously named organizations like "Americans for Job Security" and "The Commission on Hope Growth and Opportunity." Who are those groups?



Coons vs. O'Donnell Debate For Joe Biden's Former Senate Seat

O'Donnell stumbles on question regarding a Supreme Court Decision she opposes, echos of Sarah Palin.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Country Rejoices as Chilean Miners Are Brought to Freedom - NYTimes.com

Country Rejoices as Chilean Miners Are Brought to Freedom - NYTimes.com

SAN JOSÉ MINE, Chile — Two months, nine days, and eight hours after their excruciating ordeal began, the last of the 33 miners trapped in an apartment-sized hole a half mile under Chile was delivered safely to the earth’s surface, capping one of the most dramatic survival stories in mining history.
With the entire nation rapt and much of the world riveted, the last miner, Luis Urzua, rose smoothly out of the small hole in the ground, prompting an eruption of applause and cheers that seemed just as heartfelt as the outpouring that followed the emergence of the first miner nearly a day earlier.
The sight of the miner’s face — wearing sleek sunglasses to protect his fragile eyes from UV rays — brought a joyous end to an operation that began under grim circumstances in early August, when the mine caved in. For more than two weeks after the collapse, rescuers had no contact with the miners and could not be sure they were even alive. But by late evening here, the precarious mission to hoist the miners to safety had moved along so efficiently that it was clear it would end far ahead of schedule.
For 22 hours, the miners emerged at regular intervals in a pageant that has moved a worldwide audience — watching on television, on computers, even on mobile phones — to tears and laughter.
The second miner to reach the surface, Mario Sepúlveda, left the rescue capsule in a kind of victory dance, hugging family members and officials. He embraced the Chilean president, Sebastián Piñera, three times and presented people with gifts: rocks from the mine. He punched fists with the crowd and led a cheer: “Chi, Chi, Chi, le, le, le,” they shouted. “Miners of Chile!” The refrain echoed as subsequent miners reached the surface.
“I’ve been near God, but I’ve also been near the devil,” Mr. Sepúlveda said through a translator. “God won.”
The 12th miner — Edison Peña, 34, known for running miles in the mine tunnels every day — stepped from the escape capsule to rapturous cheers and the embrace of his girlfriend, and then another from Mr. Piñera.
“Thank God we’re alive,” Mr. Peña said. “I know now why we’re alive.”
Laurence Golborne, the mining minister, praised the rescue operation at an afternoon briefing on Wednesday, saying that officials were able to cut the time down between miners rescued from an hour to 45 minutes.
After the miners were pulled out, there were six rescue workers still left down in the mine, and they were to be pulled out next, Mr. Golborne said.
Mr. Golborne said the most difficult rescue was that of Mario Gómez, 63, the oldest miner in the group, who had struggled with a lung condition. “We took additional precautions in this case, but he’s fine,” Mr. Golborne said. Mr. Gomez was the ninth man rescued. “Maybe we overdid it, but it’s better to do more than less.”
Jaime Mañalich, the health minister, said one patient was suffering from acute pneumonia and two others had dental infections requiring surgery, but that 17 of the first 20 miners rescued were in conditions that were “more than satisfactory.” To respect the privacy of the miners, he said he would not reveal the identity of the sick.
Mr. Mañalich said that two medical rescue workers were sent down to the mine, one to focus exclusively on the patient with pneumonia and to start him on a course of antibiotics. “He is now better than he was a couple of days ago,” he said. “If all goes well, at the very maximum, he should stay at the hospital through this weekend.”
Cameras inside the mine showed the miners sending off an evacuee with cheers, and another camera positioned on the top of the capsule carried images of a seemingly smooth shaft slipping by around a taut metal cable as a winch pulled the capsule up.
The race to save the miners has thrust Chile into a spotlight it has often sought but rarely experienced. While lauded for its economic management and austerity, the nation has often found the world’s attention trained more on its human rights violations and natural disasters than on uplifting moments.
The San Jose mine — which produced copper and gold — collapsed on Aug. 5, leaving 33 men unaccounted for. After 17 days of frantic drilling, rescuers made contact. What they found captivated the world — all the men had survived with their spirits apparently intact.
They had to withstand nearly two more months of waiting for this day, hanging firm to discipline and collaboration held firm in the lightless, dank space. Their perseverance has transfixed the globe with a universal story of human struggle and the enormously complex operation to rescue them.

World news networks on Chilean miner rescue

World news networks on Chilean miner rescue

Open Letter in China Calls for Free Speech | The Atlantic Wire

Open Letter in China Calls for Free Speech | The Atlantic Wire
Twenty-three elder members of China's Communist Party have put out an open letter to the National People's Congress calling for an end to censorship and a move toward truly free speech in China. Making headlines around the world, the letter, as the BBC notes, "comes just days after the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded this year's Nobel Peace Prize" while in prison. The signatories include Mao Zedong's former personal secretary, a former editor of party newspaper the People's Daily, a former vice minister in the CCP, and a number of professors and journalists. Here are the key points of the letter.
HOW FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS GRANTED IN CHINA'S CONSTITUTION
Article 35 of China's constitution as adopted in 1982 clearly states that: "Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration." For 28 years this article has stood unrealised, having been negated by detailed rules and regulations for "implementation".
WHY CENSORSHIP IS HARD TO IDENTIFY AND COMBAT
It's not even just high-level leaders--even the premier of our country does not have freedom of speech or of the press. ... We are utterly incapable of putting our finger on a specific person. This is the work of invisible hands ... often ordering by telephone that the works of such and such a person cannot be published, or that such and such an event cannot be reported in the media. The officials who make the call do not leave their names, and the secrecy of the agents is protected, but you must heed their phone instructions. These invisible hands are our central propaganda department. Right now the department is placed above the central committee of the Communist party, and above the state council.
FROM A CENSORSHIP SYSTEM TO A 'SYSTEM OF LEGAL RESPONSIBILITY'
Our core demand is that the system of censorship be dismantled in favour of a system of legal responsibility. ... The so-called system of legal responsibility means that published materials need not pass through approval by party or government organs, but may be published as soon as the editor-in-chief deems fit. If there are unfavourable outcomes or disputes following publication, the government would be able to intervene and determine according to the law whether there are cases of wrongdoing.
DEMANDS
1. Abolish sponsoring institutions of [Chinese] media, allowing publishing institutions to operate independently; and truly implement a system in which directors and editors-in-chief are responsible for their publication units.
2. Respect journalists and make them strong. Journalists should be the "uncrowned kings". ....
3. Abolish restrictions on extra-territorial supervision by public opinion by the media, ensuring the right of journalists to carry out reporting freely throughout the country.
4. ... internet regulatory bodies must not arbitrarily delete online posts and online comments. ...
5. There are no more taboos concerning our party's history. Chinese citizens have a right to know the errors of the ruling party.
6. Southern Weekly and Yanhuang Chunqiu should be permitted to restructure as privately operated pilot programmes in the independent media. The privatisation of newspapers and periodicals is the natural direction of political reforms. ...
7. Permit the free circulation within the mainland of books and periodicals from Hong Kong and Macao. ...
8. Transform the functions of various propaganda organs, so that they are transformed from agencies setting down so many "taboos" to agencies protecting the accuracy, timeliness and unimpeded flow of information ... Our propaganda organs have a horrid reputation within the party and in society. They must work for good in order to regain their reputations. At the appropriate time, we can consider renaming these propaganda organs to suit global trends.
________________________________
All of my five blogs and my domain, Armwood.Com are blocked in China as a result of that countries censorship policies. My blogs and websites are accessible in Hong Kong.
John H. Armwood

Regents ban illegal immigrants from some Ga. colleges  | ajc.com

Regents ban illegal immigrants from some Ga. colleges | ajc.com
Illegal immigrants can no longer attend the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and other academically competitive public colleges, starting next fall.
The State Board of Regents voted Wednesday to prohibit illegal immigrants from attending any college that has rejected academically qualified applicants for the past two academic years because of a lack of space or other issues.
The vote means Georgia will join South Carolina as the only states banning illegal immigrants from public colleges. South Carolina bans these students from all public colleges, while Georgia’s rules will apply to some campuses.
The list of barred campuses can change over time but the regents said the following are impacted immediately: UGA, Georgia Tech, Georgia State University, Medical College of Georgia and Georgia College & State University.

'I'm so happy!' Nine Chile miners gain freedom - World news - Americas - msnbc.com

'I'm so happy!' Nine Chile miners gain freedom - World news - Americas - msnbc.com
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile — The miners emerged like clockwork, jubilantly embracing wives, children and rescuers and looking remarkably composed Wednesday after languishing for 69 days in the depths of a mine that easily could have been their tomb.
The anxiety that had accompanied the final days of preparation melted away at 12:11 a.m. when the stoutest of the 33 miners, Florencio Avalos, 31, emerged from the missile-like rescue capsule smiling broadly after his half-mile journey to the surface.
In a din of cheers, he hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son and wife and then President Sebastian Pinera, who has been deeply involved in an effort that had become a matter of national pride.
The most ebullient of the bunch came out second, an hour later. Mario Sepulveda, 40, hugged his wife, Elvira, and then jubilantly handed souvenir rocks from his underground prison to laughing rescuers.
"I'm so happy!" Sepulveda yelled, grinning, punching his fist in the air and hugging everyone in sight. Sepulveda later said he had spent the last 10 weeks "between God and the devil."
"They fought, God won," he added.
Nine men have been pulled out in the rescue operation in the Chilean desert — a drama in which the world was captivated by the miners' endurance and unity as officials meticulously prepared their rescue.
Like wives on the surface who had their hair and nails done for the occasion, the men looked groomed and clean-shaven.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some S. Koreans Dismayed At U.S.-N. Korea Relations


The recent emergence of Kim Jong Un as the designated successor to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il once again put the spotlight on the secretive communist nation.
But while everyone was focused on the succession, little was said about U.S. efforts to re-engage North Korea.
Many observers, especially in South Korea, had seen President Obama's inaugural speech as opening up the possibility of a new beginning with North Korea, but as usual on the peninsula, it turned out to be a lot more complex.
Some South Koreans Express Disappointment
When Obama was elected president in 2008, South Korea had just elected a new hawkish president after 10 years of a gentler "sunshine policy" toward North Korea. Many in South Korea listened to President Obama's inaugural speech about extending the American hand to those who would unclench their fist, and thought that it might herald a new U.S. approach to North Korea, after eight years under President Bush that yielded few results.
More...

Judge Orders Injunction on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ - NYTimes.com

Judge Orders Injunction on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ - NYTimes.com

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops.

U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not

"This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking," said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United, the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans.

He was the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights organization that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.

U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.

Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler said the government was reviewing Phillips' ruling Tuesday and had no immediate comment.

Legal experts say government attorneys are not likely to let the ruling stand since Obama has made it clear he wants Congress to repeal the policy.

"The president has taken a very consistent position here, and that is: 'Look, I will not use my discretion in any way that will step on Congress' ability to be the sole decider about this policy here,' " said Diane H. Mazur, legal co-director of the Palm Center, a think tank at the University of California at Santa Barbara that supports a repeal.

Government attorneys had warned Phillips that such an abrupt change might harm military operations in a time of war. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the 19,000 members of the Log Cabin Republicans, which includes current and former military service members.

The Department of Justice attorneys also said Congress should decide the issue — not her court.

Phillips disagreed, saying the law doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services by hurting recruiting during wartime and requiring the discharge of service members with critical skills and training.

"Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights," Phillips said in her order.

She said Department of Justice attorneys did not address these issues in their objection to her expected injunction.

Phillips declared the law unconstitutional after listening to the testimony of discharged service members during a two-week nonjury trial this summer in federal court in Riverside.



Court Issues Decision On Civil Rights Coalition Lawsuit Against Arizona Racial Profiling Law | American Civil Liberties Union

Court Issues Decision On Civil Rights Coalition Lawsuit Against Arizona Racial Profiling Law | American Civil Liberties Union

PHOENIX, AZ – Plaintiffs in Friendly House et. al. v. Whiting et al. won an important legal victory in their constitutional challenge to SB 1070, Arizona’s racial profiling law. Among other things, the court found that the plaintiffs’ claim that “Racial discrimination was a motivating factor for [S.B.] 1070’s enactment” establishes a valid constitutional challenge to the law. This decision was filed in response to the defendants’ motions to dismiss the case and the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction.

Today’s order is an important first step in challenging this unconstitutional law. The civil rights coalition will continue its legal fight until all of SB 1070 is taken off the books.



White House to Lift Ban on Deep-Water Drilling - NYTimes.com

White House to Lift Ban on Deep-Water Drilling - NYTimes.com
The Obama administration on Tuesday plans to announce that it is lifting the moratorium on deep-water oil drilling, after putting in place new rules intended to tighten safety.
President Obama imposed the moratorium after the blowout of a BP well in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 led to the largest maritime oil spill in American history. But the White House has come under intense pressure from the industry and from regional officials and businesses that have complained about the economic impact.
“The process is coming to its natural end,” Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, told reporters on Tuesday morning. “I believe the process will wrap up very soon.” The Interior Department later sent reporters an e-mail announcing that it would hold a telephone news conference at 1 p.m. to discuss the resumption of deep-water drilling.

BBC News - Cabbage shortage in South Korea

BBC News - Cabbage shortage in South Korea

Monday, October 11, 2010

Andrew Cuomo, Rev. Al Sharpton engage in delicate dance with one another

Andrew Cuomo, Rev. Al Sharpton engage in delicate dance with one another
here's a thaw in the icy freeze that's kept gubernatorial front-runner Andrew Cuomo and the Rev. Al Sharpton at odds.
The two Dems have been sparring for months over the lack of diversity on the statewide ticket - as well as Sharpton's belief that Cuomo hasn't been sufficiently strong in his denunciation of the racist emails and anti-Semitic statements of his Republican opponent, Carl Paladino.
Sharpton has pointedly refused to endorse Cuomo. He even skipped a summit of black leaders convened by Cuomo in Harlem in late September.
Cuomo, the state's attorney general, upped the tension Saturday by campaigning with Democratic legislative candidates in Suffolk County and Staten Island instead of attending Sharpton's birthday bash at his National Action Network in Harlem.
But Cuomo was quick to call Sharpton to wish him a happy 56th birthday yesterday after the Daily News inquired about their relationship. Sharpton's spokeswoman Rachel Noerdlinger confirmed the call, which she said was brief and "cordial." A Cuomo spokesman declined to comment.
Noerdlinger said Sharpton "vehemently urged" Cuomo to "personally attack" Paladino for his statements and emails.
Cuomo responded by telling Sharpton the two should "meet soon," according to Noerdlinger. She said Sharpton won't be "inclined to engage" in endorsement discussions until there are "specific commitments made toward diversity in [Cuomo's] administration."

Nobel prize for economics: three share prize for labour market study | Business | guardian.co.uk

Nobel prize for economics: three share prize for labour market study | Business | guardian.co.uk
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 10 million Swedish kronor prize (£947,000) to the three economists for their analysis of 'markets with search frictions'
Three economists have shared the Nobel prize medal. Photograph: Ted Spiegel / Corbis
This year's Nobel prize for economics has been awarded to American economists Peter Diamond of MIT and Dale Mortensen of Northwestern University, as well as British-Cypriot Christopher Pissarides of the London School of Economics for their work on unemployment and the labour market.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Chilean miners prepare to see the light of day | World news | The Guardian

Chilean miners prepare to see the light of day | World news | The Guardian
Rescuers worried that trapped miners may risk blood clots and panic attacks as they are hauled to the surface
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 10 October 2010 20.26 BST
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The grandchildren of Mario Gomez, one of the 33 trapped miners, waiting at the San José mine near Copiapo, Chile. The men are expected to start being brought out on Wednesday. Photograph: Ariel Marinkovic/AFP/Getty Images
The 33 miners trapped under Chile's Atacama desert today began preparing for their imminent rescue with a detailed medical checkup and a prescription of aspirin to prevent hypertension or blood clots as they are hauled nearly half a mile to the surface.
Emergency workers sent down special equipment to monitor the men's heart rates, respiration and skin temperature, said Chile's health minister, Jaime Manalich. If the rescue goes ahead as planned they could be winched up in just 20 minutes.
The rescue capsule is expected to rotate up to a dozen times as it rises through the 28-inch escape shaft, and to prevent nausea, the men have been given compression socks and a high-calorie liquid donated by Nasa.
Each escape capsule has been fitted with a two-way communication system and a video camera so each miner's face can be watched by rescuers, but Manalich said that the biggest concern for officials was that the men could suffer panic attacks during the ascent. "This is the first time in many weeks that the miners are going to be completely alone," he added.
The rescue team hopes to start extracting the men on Wednesday after reinforcing the top segment of the escape shaft with steel tubing.
A video inspection showed that most of the shaft, 622 metres deep, was solid rock and did not require a lining, speeding up a complex and often fraught challenge, officials said.
During conversations with the miners tonight, they were asked to help officials agree the order in which they will be hauled to the surface.

Massive Parade In North Korea (DPRK) Introduces Heir Apparent To The World