tagged w/ Picked for Current Tonight
Greenpeace is up to their usual antics to try and bring attention to an electronics manufacturer they're particularly upset with - Hewlett-Packard. This morning, Greenpeace activists climbed to the roof of HP's global headquarters in Palo Alto, California and painted "Hazardous Products" in enormous letters. It is a response to the fact that HP is backing away from a promise to exclude PVC and BFRs from their products by the end of the year. But, do big words on a rooftop lead to big actions from big manufacturers?
Greenpeace activists painted the message “Hazardous Products” in big, bold letters on the roof as a way to protest the backtracking of the company, and with the hopes that it would get the company to be serious about removing toxic materials from their products.
The message, applied using non toxic children’s finger-paint, covered over 11,500 square ft., or the size of two and half basketball courts.
According to Greenpeace:
Apple’s new computer lines, virtually free of PVC and completely BFR free demonstrate the technical feasibility and supply chain readiness of producing alternatives to these hazardous substances. Competitors Dell, Lenovo and Acer have stayed ahead of HP by putting models on the market that are free of or at least significantly reduced in the use of PVC and BFRs. HP currently stands in 14th place in the quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics having been penalized in the previous ranking for its backtracking on PVC/BFR phase out.
They have a point. Though we're not sure how the rooftop graffiti will effect HP's actions. We'll watch and see.Greenpeace is up to their usual antics to try and bring attention to an electronics... more
LONDON, England — Most of British troops leave Iraq after the invasion of the country six years ago.LONDON, England — Most of British troops leave Iraq after the invasion of the... more
Germany's Paul Biedermann shattered Michael Phelps world record in the 200-meter freestyle, by a whole minute. The win for Biedermann only intensifies the debate over polyurethane swimsuits (Biedermann was wearing one). FINA, the organization in charge of swimming protocol, ratified a ban of the suits. However, there is no set date as to when the ban will be enacted. Biederman admitted that the suit makes him "really fast" and stated “I think the suits are destroying a little bit the sport. It’s just, put on a suit, and you’re really, really fast.”
What do you think? Should the swimsuits be banned?Germany's Paul Biedermann shattered Michael Phelps world record in the 200-meter... more
A car bomb exploded outside a police barracks in northern Spain early Wednesday, leaving around 50 people slightly injured in an attack authorities blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA.
The powerful bomb, which went off at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT) in the city of Burgos, destroyed the facade of the barracks of the Civil Guard police force and gouged a crater in front of the modern building, according to images on Spanish television.
Police said 46 people, including 22 women and six children living in the barracks, were slightly injured, most suffering cuts and bruises.
The Spanish government delegate for the Castilla y Leon region, Miguel Alejo, said it appeared to be an attack "like those that the ETA killers carry out."
But he told reporters at the scene that that no warning call was made, something ETA traditionally does prior to its bomb attacks and which has allowed authorities in the past to evacuate the area targeted and reduce the risk of casualties.
He said this attack therefore appeared to be aimed at causing deaths.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso condemned the attack as "indiscriminate and savage."
"I want to express our firm condemnation of the attack on the Civil Guard barracks in Burgosk," he said.
The European Commission's expressed its "complete solidarity with the citizens and the democratic institutions of Spain in the fight against terrorism," he added in a statement.
ETA has frequently targeted the Civil Guard in its 41-year campaign to carve a Basque homeland out of northern Spain and southwestern France.
The group, considered a terrorist organisation by the European Union and the United States, is blamed for the deaths of 825 people.
Spanish public television last month said a new road map of strategic plans by ETA reaffirms its commitment to violence to achieve its aims.
"The terrorists believe that Basque independence is their irreversible goal. Only then will ETA no longer kill," TVE said, quoting a document that it said outlined the group's strategy put together over the past three years.
The latest attack came just two days before the 50th anniversary of ETA's founding, on July 31, 1959, by nationalist students inspired by Marxist-Leninist teachings.
The newspaper El Mundo said on Sunday that security forces were on the alert after receiving information from France that ETA planned to bring three vans packed with explosives into Spain.A car bomb exploded outside a police barracks in northern Spain early Wednesday,... more
A group of fiscally conservative House Democrats announced Wednesday they had reached a deal with the chamber's Democratic leaders on a bill that would revamp the nation's health care system.
President Obama stresses the urgency of health care reform at a town hall meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, speaking for four of the Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Wednesday that the agreement called for the panel to begin debating the bill later in the day, but for the full House not to vote until after the August recess.
Ross and the Blue Dogs had threatened to derail the bill in the committee because of concerns that it costs too much and fails to address systemic problems in the nation's ailing health care industry. It was not immediately clear Wednesday if other Blue Dogs beyond the four represented by Ross would agree to the deal he announced.
The Energy and Commerce Committee is the last of three House committees required to pass the bill before it goes to the full chamber.
The Blue Dogs had presented committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman a list of 10 items that they wanted changed in health care reform proposals. Neither side revealed what the 10 items were.
Waxman said his committee would take up the bill Wednesday at 4 p.m., with hopes of approving it by Friday.
Ross said the deal between four Blue Dogs on the House committee, the House Democratic leadership and the White House lowers the cost of the House health care reform plan by $100 billion and also exempts businesses with payrolls below $500,000 from having to provide health coverage for workers.A group of fiscally conservative House Democrats announced Wednesday they had reached... more
A gunman sprayed automatic fire at an Israeli club for gay teenagers on Saturday, killing two people and wounding at least eight, police and witnesses said.
The shooting spree in central Tel Aviv set off a citywide security clampdown, reviving memories of Palestinian attacks that have ebbed in recent years. But a police spokesman said that the incident was "criminal, rather than nationalistic."A gunman sprayed automatic fire at an Israeli club for gay teenagers on Saturday,... more
In his first public appearance since having a beer at the White House on Thursday with the officer and President Barack Obama, Gates said the national debate over racial profiling sparked by his arrest shows that issues of class and race still run "profoundly deep" in the United States.
"They have not been resolved at all," he said, speaking to a crowd of more than 150 who came to see him at the Martha's Vineyard Book Festival.
Gates was mostly light-hearted during his speech and even poked fun at himself after a man in the crowd told him he admired his sense of humor.
"I should have been funnier in the kitchen of my house on July 16," he said.
But Gates also described how the incident and the subsequent national debate affected him personally. He said he had to shut down his public e-mail and change his cell phone number after receiving numerous death and bomb threats, including one that read, "You should die; you're a racist."
Obama stepped into the fray during a White House news conference when he said Cambridge police had "acted stupidly" by arresting Gates after they had identified him as being in his own home. The president later said he should have chosen his words more carefully and invited the two men to the White House for a beer.
Gates said that the night before he went to the White House, he dreamed about getting arrested there...
If it's safe to joke about it now, then I think this story can be laid to rest now.In his first public appearance since having a beer at the White House on Thursday with... more
A 27 year old woman is seeking the $70,000 she spent on tuition from her Alma mater. This is a great idea. Colleges are a racket. Get some payback.A 27 year old woman is seeking the $70,000 she spent on tuition from her Alma mater.... more
WASHINGTON — A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a woman from the African nation of Cameroon. It differs from the three known strains of human immunodeficiency virus and appears to be closely related to a form of simian virus recently discovered in wild gorillas, researchers report in Monday's edition of the journal Nature Medicine.WASHINGTON — A new strain of the virus that causes AIDS has been discovered in a... more
The Philippines is observing 10 days of national mourning following the death of Corazon Aquino, the 76-year-old former president, from cardiac arrest.
People lined the streets of the capital, Manila, on Saturday as the hearse bearing Aquino's body made its way to a Catholic school where the public will be able to pay their last respects.
Military honour guards received the coffin, pledging to defend the democratic system "that she fiercely fought to regain".
Aquino, the widow of assassinated opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, was propelled into the spotlight in 1986 when she headed a massive "people power" movement that toppled Ferdinand Marcos, the then-leader.
"Today, the Philippines lost a national treasure," Gloria Arroyo, the Philippines president, said during a visit to Washington DC.
"Aquino helped lead a revolution that restored democracy and a rule of law of our nation at a time of great peril. Our nation will mourn her passing."
Aquino's five children have said they will bury their mother in a private ceremony next week.
"She would have wanted us to thank each and everyone of you for all the prayers and continued love and support," Senator Benigno Aquino Jr, her son, said outside the hospital where the former president died after a battle with cancer.
"It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for our country."
In the Makati financial district of Manila, huge posters of the former president were put up to mark her death.
Hundreds of people travelled to the family home to leave flowers and light candles.
Others tied yellow ribbons to their cars and trees to mark her passing.
As a former housewife who reluctantly became president, Aquino once said: "What on earth do I know about being president?" before taking up the challenge to run against Marcos.
Her victory not only marked a new era for the Philippines, but also for the region as she became Asia's first female president.
During her presidential term, which her supporters say helped restore democracy in the Philippines, Aquino, known as Cory to millions of Filipinos, oversaw the writing of a new constitution, thereby limiting a president's time in office to one six-year term.
"The history books are going to remember her well," Roland Simbulan, a professor in development studies and political economy at the University of the Philippines, told Al Jazeera.
"She helped a lot in the democratic institutions that had been badly damaged, especially during the Marcos dictatorship. During her six-year term of office she was able to tame the military establishment."
She left office in 1992, but remained politically active until beset by illness.
Aquino brought half a million people out in the streets to protest in the 1990s when Fidel Ramos, her successor as president, tried extending his presidential term.
She was also involved in protests that brought an end to the presidency of Joseph Estrada, Ramos' successor, in 2001.
She also supported a campaign to remove Arroyo, who was accused of vote-rigging and corruption.
But Aquino was obliged to withdraw from public life after being diagnosed in March 2008 with colon cancer, which spread to her liver just days before her death.
"She inspired a nation, but she did not move us to any big reform or any real change in our social or economic situation," Marites Vitug from the Philippines Centre for Investigative Journalism told Al Jazeera.
"It was so black-and-white, Marcos was black and she was white, so everything that she touched turned into white, or goodness."The Philippines is observing 10 days of national mourning following the death of... more
The Obama administration will suspend the "cash for clunkers" program unless the Senate provides $2 billion more for the popular car incentive plan, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday.
He said he expects the current $1 billion pool to be exhausted by the end of this weekend. The House approved an additional $2 billion on Friday and the administration is pressing the Senate to go along before its summer vacation begins at week's end.
"If we don't get the $2 billion from the Senate ... we would have to suspend the program next week," LaHood said in an interview with C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" show. He said the administration "will continue the program until we see what the Senate does and I believe the Senate will pass this."
He added, "Any deal that is made tomorrow or the next day and that is in the pipeline, ... the dealer will be reimbursed and the car buyer will be reimbursed."
At least one GOP senator questioned the need to speed the money.
"This is crazy to try to rush this thing through again while they're trying to rush through health care, and they want to get on to cap and trade electricity tax," said Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C. "We've got to slow this thing down."
Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said car and truck building had begun to rebound even before the program got under way. But, he added, "there is no doubt that that very extraordinary response is a very important indicator that the state of confidence in the economy is beginning to pick up." If the incentive program had gone into place six months ago, he said, "it would have probably been a dud."
Obama officials scrambled last week to add money to the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), which is designed to get old, polluting vehicles off the road and scrapped while helping car dealers emerge from the recession. The $1 billion has led to the sale of 250,000 new vehicles.
Owners of gas-guzzlers can receive rebates of $3,500 or $4,500 toward the purchase of a new fuel-efficient car. LaHood said 62 percent of the traded-in vehicles were trucks and "these people are buying cars that get much better gas mileage."
The program helped lift Ford Motor Co. to its first monthly sales increase in two years, the company's top sales analyst said Sunday.
July sales results mark the first year-over-year gain for Ford since November 2007 and apparently the first uptick by any of the six biggest carmakers since last August, George Pipas said. He declined to disclose a specific total before sales results are officially reported Monday.
"We were having a good month _ and Ford's been having some good months lately _ but the (clunkers) program really put us over the top for sure," Pipas said.The Obama administration will suspend the "cash for clunkers" program unless... more
"LOS ANGELES – A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation into Michael Jackson's death says the pop star's personal doctor administered the powerful drug that authorities believe killed him.
Jackson regularly received the anesthetic propofol (PROH'-puh-fahl) to go to sleep. The official, who requested anonymity because the probe is ongoing, told The Associated Press on Monday that Dr. Conrad Murray gave Jackson the drug the last night of his life.
Murray was with Jackson when he died June 25 and has been identified in court papers as the subject of a manslaughter investigation.
Murray's lawyer has said the doctor didn't prescribe or administer anything that should have killed Jackson"Breaking News!
"LOS ANGELES – A law enforcement official with knowledge... more
A father, his two sons and four other men living in North Carolina are accused of mililtary-style training at home and plotting "violent jihad" abroad, federal authorities said Monday.
Officials said the men were led by Daniel Patrick Boyd, a married 39-year-old who lived in an unassuming lakeside home in a rural area south of Raleigh, where he and his family walked their dog and operated a drywall business.
But court records indicate Boyd was a veteran of terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet Union.
"These charges hammer home the point that terrorists and their supporters are not confined to the remote regions of some far away land but can grow and fester right here at home," U.S. Attorney George E.B. Holding said.
The seven men made their first court appearances in Raleigh on Monday, charged with providing material support to terrorism. If convicted, they could face life in prison.A father, his two sons and four other men living in North Carolina are accused of... more
There are several reports that the beer diplomacy between President Obama, Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley and Henry Louis Gates Jr. will take place on Thursday.
The Boston Globe reports:
Charles Ogletree, one of Gates's lawyers, tells the Globe that the meeting will be on Thursday and that both Crowley and Gates can bring family members. The White House would not immediately confirm those details.
When President Obama said last week that the whole incident involving Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge police department could be worked out over a beer at the White House, he wasn't speaking figuratively. CNN is reporting today that the White House has confirmed that the president is to meet with the two men this week to do just that.
As Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on "Fox News Sunday," "the president believes this can be a teachable moment." And what better way to begin putting things in perspective in the dog days of summer than to serve a cold beer.
As for drink orders, CNN says Obama will be having a Bud and Crowley a Blue Moon. No word yet on Gates' beverage of choice.There are several reports that the beer diplomacy between President Obama, Cambridge... more
The annual rate of US new home sales jumped 11% in June, government figures have shown, a further indication that the housing sector is over the worst.
The Commerce Department said sales hit a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 384,000 in June, against an upwardly-adjusted rate of 346,000 in May.
June's sales figure was the strongest pace seen since November 2008.
However, the median sale price was $206,200, down 5.8% from May and 12% lower than a year ago.
New home sales have now risen for three months in a row.
"The data will reinforce the developing thinking that housing market has bottomed and that economy has stabilised and will grow in the third quarter," Jim Awad, managing director at Zephyr Management in New York, told Reuters.
Last week, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of previously-owned US homes had risen for the third month in a row in June, and at a quicker rate than expected.
However, it also found that prices remained depressed, with prices still down 15.4% on a year ago with the average sale price at $181,000.The annual rate of US new home sales jumped 11% in June, government figures have... more
Daisy Baker's, a bar in Troy, NY is being sued by officials from the record industry for allegedly allowing live performances of copyrighted material by bands who played in the bar.
The six songs, which are copyrighted by artists like Prince and Stevie Ray Vaughn, were played in the establishment by bands in Feb. 2007 and Dec. 2008.
The lawsuit accuses Jim Scully, owner of Daisy Baker's, of six counts of copyright infringement and seeks damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per count.
According to the Syracuse, NY attorney representing the musicians the incident has caused "great injury to the plaintiffs" and they "will suffer irreparable harm" if they are infringed upon again.Daisy Baker's, a bar in Troy, NY is being sued by officials from the record... more
3 years ago
I don't really have an opinion on this but I just think it's funny that Congress had to vote on a resoultion that proves or declares that Obama was born in Hawaii. I guess they just want to put an end to it. I'll probably side with Congress on this one as it seems to be a huge distraction from critical issues that have to be dealt with no matter who is president.
"This evening, the House passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) that commemorates Hawaii’s 50th anniversary as a U.S. state by a vote of 378-0. The resolution also contains this provision: “Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii,” a measure that some GOP members may have had trouble supporting. However, many of the Republican representatives who at expressed at least subtle doubt that Obama was not born in the U.S. voted for the resolution. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), who had earlier in the day prevented the resolution from coming to a voice vote on the House floor, and Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who sponsored a bill requiring presidential candidates to prove natural-born citizenship, both voted for the resolution. Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), a co-sponsor of Posey’s bill who expressed doubt about Obama’s citizenship last week on MSNBC, did not vote."
Conversely, here are the reasons that the birthers still have issues regarding Obama's birth certificate (From Infowars.com):
1) the document does not have a raised, embossed seal
2) it is not signed (take a look at your birth certificate and see if it has the signature of a physician or hospital officials)
3) there are no creases from folding in the scanned version above
4) the certificate number is redacted
5) the document claims to be a “certification of birth,” not a “certificate of birth,” and
6) the date supposedly bleeding through the back of the document says 2007, not 2008, when it was allegedly released.I don't really have an opinion on this but I just think it's funny that... more
The Senate panel charged with her nomination has voted 13 to 6 to approve her for a vote by the full Senate next week as the next justice of the Supreme Court and the first Hispanic justice.The Senate panel charged with her nomination has voted 13 to 6 to approve her for a... more
Nicolas Sarkozy, the fitness-fanatic French president, was admitted to hospital after he was taken ill during an exercise routine.
The Elysée said that the president "felt faint" while exercising and was immediately seen by his doctor.
He was under observation in a military hospital in Paris this afternoon undergoing additional tests, according to his office. The Elysée said it would release more details later today.
Sarkozy, 54, who has built much of his media image as the energetic "super-Sarko" around pictures of him on morning runs, regularly takes 45-minute jogging sessions.
He has often been photographed jogging with his ministers or while on official trips for summits. Recently he has started regular running routines with his wife, Carla Bruni, and additional workouts with her personal trainer.
The president is believed to have been taken ill during his regular Sunday morning run. The Elysée did not confirm the location but initial reports suggested he had been running near his weekend residence, La Lanterne, at Versailles, where military helicopters had been seen.Nicolas Sarkozy, the fitness-fanatic French president, was admitted to hospital after... more
With the US Defence Secretary standing at his side, Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defence Minister, today warned Iran that a military strike on its nuclear facilities was still an option.
“We clearly believe that no option should be removed from the table. This is our policy. We mean it. We recommend to others to take the same position but we cannot dictate it to anyone,” Mr Barak said at a press conference with Robert Gates in Jerusalem.
The renewed threat of military action came a day after Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, told Iran that its pursuit of nuclear ambitions was “futile”.
Israel recently sent warships and a submarine through the Suez Canal in what was widely interpreted as a flexing of muscles toward the Iranian regime, still struggling to handle the fallout from disputed elections last month.
Mr Barak, a seasoned army general, said that diplomatic initiatives, including tough sanctions, should be tried before a military option. Israeli officials sense that the US willingness to engage Iran in dialogue, which had so worried the new right-wing government before the elections, has waned since Tehran’s crackdown on reformist demonstrations.
Mr Gates’s visit was part of an important diplomatic drive by the Administration of President Barack Obama to move the stalled Middle East process forward. The Defence Secretary arrived hard on the heels of the regional envoy, George Mitchell, who flew in after meeting President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, with whom he said he held frank and constructive talks.
He will be followed this week by James Jones, the National Security Adviser, and Dennis Ross, a senior adviser on the region. The United States is pushing for a regional settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and hoping to secure recognition of Israel by the Arab world in return for the creation of a viable Palestinian state.With the US Defence Secretary standing at his side, Ehud Barak, Israel’s Defence... more