Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Breaking News Wed. Aug. 3, 2011

Seems like it's been pretty stressful for everyone lately. Hub sent this funny pic and I thought I'd share it with you. Laughter is good. Do it!! You'll feel better.
There, see? What'd I tell ya? You feel better now don't you? :D

Thanks to our good friends RJ at Global Glass Onion and the Ozarker at Conflicted Doomer for their links and help and kindness. Be sure to check out their excellent blogs.
Who knew our forums had so many talented writers! Take a little time and visit the blogs linked on the left as well as the forums down below.
Hope everyone has a good day and cooler weather.
And now for the news.

NDReport: Japan moves to next stage to bring Fukushima NPP under control

TreeHugger: A Nuclear Engineer on Fukushima And The Future Of The Industry 
Bloomberg: Japan Quake Rebuilding Boosts Western Ports 
Bloomberg: Japan Parliament Passes Tepco Compensation
NYT: Japan Passes Law Supporting Nuclear Plant Operator
TOKYO — Japan’s Parliament on Wednesday passed a law that will allow the use of public funds to support the company operating the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, and help it pay what is expected to amount to billions of dollars in compensation claims. 
SeattleTimes: Toyota tells suppliers to prepare for growth
Toyota has told its suppliers in Japan to prepare for ramped up production in 2012 and following years, signaling that the automaker is confident it's back on a growth track after being hit by massive recalls and the tsunami disaster.

Global Conflict
MSNBC: US prepares for worst-case scenario with Pakistan nukes
As U.S.-Pakistani relations spiral downward, the specter of a showdown between the increasingly antagonistic allies is garnering more attention, including the worst-case scenario of the U.S. attempting to “snatch” Pakistan’s 100-plus nuclear weapons if it feared they were about to fall into the wrong hands.
CTVnews: Fears of far-right rise in crisis-hit Greece
BBC: Trial of Egypt's ex-leader Hosni Mubarak trial to open
Guardian: Hama – the city that's defying Assad

The Syrian city of Hama, the scene of a bloody crackdown by President Assad's army, has a long history of standing up to the brutal Ba'athist regime
TheAtlantic: Terror Attacks to Make You Really Worried
GlobeandMail: Syria tightens siege on Hama
StrategyPage: Turkey's Military Resigns
In a democracy, when senior military officers can no longer support the policies of the elected civilian government they serve, they are supposed to resign their posts and retire -- not launch a coup.
This is one way to initially frame the complex circumstances surrounding last week's mass resignation by the most senior armed forces commanders in Turkey, the culturally Islamic nation bridging Europe and Asia and possessing NATO's second-largest military establishment.
TheAtlantic: Is the Israeli Air Force Agitating for an Iran Attack?
ABCNews: Afghan Kill Team Whistleblower To Plead Guilty
The U.S. soldier who was the first to come forward about the alleged sport killings of Afghan civilians last year has reached a plea agreement in his case, according to a person familiar with the agreement. 
Mubarak trial: Egypt's ex-president denies all charges
UPI: Hezbollah offered billions to disarm
SeattlePI: Israeli lawmaker says he offered Mubarak asylum

Hacker News

Reuters: Biggest-ever series of cyber attacks uncovered, U.N. hit
(Reuters) - Security experts have discovered the biggest series of cyber attacks to date, involving the infiltration of the networks of 72 organizations including the United Nations, governments and companies around the world.
CNN: Meet Dark Tangent, the hacker behind Black Hat and DEF CON
MSNBC: 'DefCon Kids' is for hackers ages 8-16

Financial News
ZeroHedge: Food Stamp Use Surges By Most In Years As Alabama Foodstamp Recipients Double In May 

Reuters: U.S. Congress plans to block consumer agency job 
BusinessInsider: Meet The Two Most Dangerous Economists In The World Right Now 
TheCapitalSpectator: The Big Squeeze
MSNBC: Private-sector payrolls grew modestly in July Private employers added 114,000 jobs last month, ADP report shows 
MSNBC: Debt downgrade still possible despite deal Geithner unsure; reduced rating might have only small impact

TheHill: Pelosi says new tax is 'on the table' Pelosi, appearing on PBS's "The Charlie Rose Show" asserted that "it's fair to look at" the VAT as part of an overhaul of the nation's tax code.
CalculatedRisk: ISM Non-Manufacturing Index indicates slower expansion in July
EarlyWarning: German Exports 
MCalvany: The Crash Course: An Interview With Dr. Chris Martenson
GlobeandMail: The Second Great Contraction
CNNMoney: Spending cuts: Here comes the hard part 
BusinessInsider: If Geithner Leaves, Here's One Clue To His Replacement
PBS: Budget Impasse, Partial Shutdown Costing FAA Millions in Lost Revenue 
MarketWatch: U.S. debt deal fails to assuage China
Possible U.S. downgrade, weaker dollar may pose challenges for China, analysts say

BusinessInsider: Barton Biggs: Buy Stocks Aggressively, And Get Ready For A "Different Kind Of QE3"
MyBudget360: The Retirement fantasy
Middle class Americans are quickly realizing that a secure retirement future may only be a myth. Stagnant income, debt illusion, and the future outlook for working Americans.
Bloomberg: Panel Sees Odds of U.S. Recession Rising
IBTimes: HSBC sheds 30,000 jobs, posts surprise profit rise 
CNNMoney: Americans choose to save, not spend, in June 
TheAtlantic: Eurocontagion Spreads 
BusinessInsider: Art Cashin Explains The Root Cause Behind Yesterday's "Unrelenting" Selling
Hosted: FAA shutdown to continue as Congress leaves
NakedCapitalism: Small Business Owners Using Pawnshops to Make Payroll
CreditWriteDowns: Debt Ceiling Deal: All cuts, no taxes
TheTelegraph: Europe's money markets freeze as crisis escalates in Italy and Spain
The European money markets have begun to seize up as pressure mounts on the Italian and Spanish banking systems, tracking the pattern seen during the build-up towards the financial crisis in 2008.
MSNBC: GOP moves to block consumer watchdog chief
Will keep Senate in 'pro forma' sessions to stop Obama naming Cordray outright
CNN/ORC Poll: Most Americans dislike debt deal, think lawmakers acted like 'spoiled children'
LAT: Senate fails to fund FAA, leaving 4,000 on unpaid furlough
'Essential' workers such as airport safety inspectors have been asked to work without pay and put expenses on personal credit cards. The FAA insists that safety is not affected.
BBC: US to avoid default as Senate backs debt ceiling rise
The US Senate has passed a deal struck between Republicans, Democrats and President Barack Obama to increase the US debt ceiling and avert a default.
Bloomberg: Debt Agreement Puts U.S. on Path to End Stimulus Just as Economy Falters
Bloomberg: Fed May Weigh More Stimulus on Slow Recovery
Slate: Moody's Junkies
If everyone hates the credit rating agencies, why won't anyone enforce the Dodd-Frank provision to dethrone them?
Calculatedrisk: Personal Income less Transfer Payments Revised Down Sharply
DSNews: Homeownership Rate Drops to 13-Year Low
GuardianUK: US debt crisis continues as turmoil infects Italy and Spain
Markets spooked as bond yields in both founder members of single currency hit monetary union records
Reuters: Fed might mull easing, but no action seen
(Reuters) - Pressure will build among Federal Reserve policymakers at a meeting next week for measures to pep up a stumbling recovery with a stronger commitment to rock-bottom interest rates.
MSNBC: Consumer bankruptcies decline for 7th month
Trend should continue as consumers try not to overextend themselves in soft economy
MetroUK: Pay freeze hits 3 in 4 workers in the UK
Only one in four workers has had a pay rise this year, with most seeing their wages frozen, claims a study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
MotherJones: Welcome to the United States of Austerity
Polluted water, smoggy skies, crumbling bridges, less education funding, more unhealthy Americans: the impact of the debt deal's massive cuts.
CalculatedRisk: U.S. Light Vehicle Sales 12.23 million Annual Rate in July
Bloomberg: Container-Ship Plunge Signals U.S. Slowdown
Economix: Is Deflation Back?
YahooFinance: Americans cut spending for first time in 20 months
Americans cut spending in June and their income grew at the weakest rate in 9 months
Bloomberg: Market Erases 2011 Gains on Recession Concern
AngryBear: It's not the tax and spending cuts, it's the destroyed trust that has doomed our economy
RawStory: Pentagon lands extra $50 billion out of debt deal
BlackListedNews: Greece Hit By Silent Bank Run
RawStory: Moody’s upholds United States’ AAA rating, but outlook ‘negative’
KSGHarvard: High Noon: The Outcome to the Debt Ceiling Standoff 
After a month of high drama the Senate at high noon today voted to pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling.    How to evaluate this outcome?
  • 1. Those who favored a US default — in some cases deliberately, not just as a bargaining tactic — did not prevail.
  • 2. Those who sought to force the Congress and White House to go through the madness of voting on the debt ceiling every few months between now and the next presidential election did not prevail.
  • 3. The bill’s 10 years of spending cuts are not front-loaded. Frontloading would have substantially raised the chances of going back into a new recession. (So would have default or an uncertainty-maximizing short-term fix.)
  • 4. The bill has a mechanism that just might in November demonstrate to the arithmetically innumerate that it is literally impossible to eliminate the budget deficit if the cuts are to come primarily by cutting discretionary non-security spending. 
RortyBomb: A Quick Note on the Long-Term Unemployed and Duration 
It is probably very easy to sound like Chicken Little with how bad the economy is these days and how concerned everyone should be about new numbers coming out.  But it needs to be said again and again: Friday’s BEA numbers should have everyone worried.
NakedCapitalism: Beleaguered Bank of America Seeking Yet Another Get-Out-Liabilty-Almost-Free Card in AG Negotiations
OfftheCharts: What the Debt Limit Deal Means for States 
LAT: Auto sales are sluggish in July but inch up slightly
U.S. carmakers General Motors, Ford and Chrysler showed increases compared with a year earlier. Japanese manufacturers had a rockier month, with Toyota, Honda and Subaru sales sliding.
ProPublica: Our Sputtering Economy, by the Numbers
MarketWatch: China's service sector growth eased in July: HSBC

Peak oil and Energy News
McClatchy: U.S. dependence on foreign oil has dropped
The United States was so dependent on foreign oil that by 2008 it imported two-thirds of what the country's refineries needed to produce enough gasoline, diesel and the other petroleum products to meet the country's needs.
But recently the federal Energy Information Administration reported that in 2010 imports had fallen far more than many realized — to 49 percent of the country's needs.
TheEnergyCollective: Studies Show Thorium Can Be Used In Many Different Reactor Types
Platts: Total sees no reason for concern over oil-for-food charge

MineWeb: Gold heading for $1850 this year as rising global risk giving gold a lift
Signs of weaker than hoped economic growth worldwide has been giving the gold price, which reached another record high today, renewed vigour and it could be heading much higher by the year end
ZeroHedge: Is Gold A Bubble? 14 Charts, The Facts And The Data Suggest Not

Environmental News
Time: The GOP's Hidden Debt-Deal Agenda: Gut the EPA
Discovery: Forty-One Percent of U.S. Abnormally Dry
CNN: No relief from the blistering heat -- even at night 
Statesman: Scientists convene to solve Gulf problems
Discovery: A Row to the Pole on Melted Ice
It's not news that ice is melting at rapid and unprecedented rates in the Arctic. To draw more attention to the problem, six British rowers are in the midst ofan adventure that is only possible because the ice is vanishing.
Last week, the crew of six embarked on the first attempt to row to the Magnetic North Pole. If successful, it will be the first open-boat polar expedition to the Pole since Ernest Shackleton’s historic trip in 1896, according to an article in the Mirror. The team plans to row 450 miles in sections, with stretches of up to 60 miles a day. Each rower will consume about 7,000 calories per day.
NPR: After Tornado, Joplin Creates Makeshift Schools
MSNBC: Tropical Storm Emily aims at Caribbean island of Hispaniola 
HuffingtonPost: It's Hotter Than It Used to Be; It's Not as Hot as It's Going to Be 
LAT: The dark side of solar and wind power projects
Building and maintaining solar and wind power projects can be hazardous, and industry watchdogs worry that the push for more green energy places more workers and bystanders in harm's way.
LAT: Federal officials investigate eagle deaths at DWP wind farm
Pine Tree facility in the Tehachapi Mountains faces scrutiny over the deaths of at least six golden eagles, which are protected under federal law. Prosecution would be a major blow to the booming industry.

IBTimes: Romantic Looking Fallen Autumn Leaves Pose Health Risk
Perceived as romantic by many, the fallen leaves of autumn transfer mercury from the atmosphere to the earth’s environment, posing a health risk to humans and wildlife, a recent study has revealed.
According to U.S. Geological Survey research, the litterfall, the leaves and needles that drop to the forest floor each year, delivers as much mercury as precipitation does every year to eastern U.S. ecosystems.
"Our research found that annual amounts of mercury deposited in autumn litterfall from deciduous forests were equal to or exceeded the annual amounts deposited in precipitation," USGS research hydrologist Martin Risch said in a statement.
SkepticalScience: How we know we're causing global warming in a single graphic
TheAtlantic: Support for Farmers in Africa Dried Up Long Before Somalia's Famine
Nineteen years ago, 300,000 Somalis starved to death. What can the international community do keep it from happening again?

America in Decline
TheDailyBeast: Hoover’s Secret Files
The FBI director kept famous files on everything from Martin Luther King’s sex life to never-before-reported secret meetings between RFK and Marilyn Monroe, as a new book reveals. An exclusive excerpt from Ronald Kessler’s 'The Secrets of the FBI.'
RawStory: Police called criminals as New Orleans trial closes
AddictingInfo: Planned Parenthood Firebombed In Texas
TheAtlantic: The Legislation That Could Kill Internet Privacy for Good

Every right-thinking person abhors child pornography. To combat it, legislators have brought through committee a poorly conceived, over-broad Congressional bill, The Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011. It is arguably the biggest threat to civil liberties now under consideration in the United States. The potential victims: everyone who uses the Internet.
Cryptogon: The Secret Patriot Act Is Staying Secret
Two Senators have been warning for months that the government has a secret legal interpretation of the Patriot Act so broad that it amounts to an entirely different law — one that gives the feds massive domestic surveillance powers, and keeps the rest of us in the dark about the snooping.
“There is a significant discrepancy between what most Americans – including many members of Congress – think the Patriot Act allows the government to do and how government officials interpret that same law,” wrote the Senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall. “We believe that most members of the American public would be very surprised to learn how federal surveillance law is being interpreted in secret. ”
Next story is actually a good one!
NewScientist: A stunning verdict for Taser
TASER International, the maker of the electro-shock stun gun, has seen off 127 lawsuits from families who have claimed that its 50,000-volt weapon, in the hands of police, killed a relative. In all but one case the firm's lawyers have successfully argued that mitigating circumstances - mainly the victim's alleged drug use or a pre-existing cardiac condition - meant they would have died from the trauma of being physically subdued by police officers in any case.
In the one case the company lost, it paid out $150,000 in damages. But on 19 July the Arizona-based firm lost a major decision when a jury in a US district court ruled that Darryl Turner, a 17-year-old shop assistant in Charlotte, North Carolina, had been killed by a police taser after receiving an extended 37-second shock. The ruling orders the firm to pay Turner's family $10 million in damages.

Food and Water
TreeHugger: Grain Production Falling as Soil Erosion Continues
MSNBC: Famine (Photos)
A woman from southern Somalia holds her malnourished children at Banadir hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Reuters: RPT-Australia wheat crop hit by cold dry weather - CBA
BigPictureAgriculture: What is NOT driving up food prices? Bulk shipping rates.
BigPictureAgriculture: Farmworker Country of Origin Trends
WashingtonPost: Innovations in the fight against famine

Science and Technology
PopSci: You Built What?! A Homemade Scanning Electron Microscope 
 BBC: Internet Explorer story was bogus
A story which suggested that users of Internet Explorer have a lower IQ that people who chose other browsers appears to have been an elaborate hoax.
TheSeattleTimes: Chinese firm floods U.S. with fake IDs WASHINGTON — When the motorcycle hit the curb, scraped past a utility pole and hurled 20-year-old Craig Eney to his death, a bogus South Carolina driver's license was in the hip pocket of his jeans.
gizmag: VINCI Tab: Soft-sided Android-based tablet for toddlers NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter Poised for Friday Launch
YahooNews: Debris From Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster Found in Texas
PopSci: Nissan Rolls Out a System that Lets Your Electric Car Serve as a Backup Battery for Your House 
CosmmicLog: 2012 Watch: 'Death Star' debunked
CNN: Facebook lets expectant parents list unborn child as family 
MSNBC: 20 million-year-old ape skull found in Uganda
Scientists show off 'highly important fossil' of tree-climbing primate 

Medical and Health
DetroitFreePress: Nationwide salmonella outbreak hits 10 in Michigan; ground turkey blamed
RawStory: Israeli scientists develop date-rape drug detector
LiveScience: Unhealthy Midlife Leads to Brain Shrinkage, Dementia Later On 
Yahoo: Desperate, sick Indonesians use railroad 'therapy' 
LAT: U.S. employers expand health benefits coverage under reform 
CNN: Sexual assault, domestic violence can damage long-term mental health  
TheChart: Get Some Sleep: Avoid frequent leg cramping

Doomsteading, Gardening, Urban Farming
Grist: How to get into urban beekeeping
Grist: Michigan’s gangsta gardener gets off [VIDEO]
Good news for the outlaw urban farmers everywhere: Charges have been dropped against Julie Bass, the Michigan woman facing jail time for growing a garden in her front yard. According to her blog, the case was quietly dimissed by a mysterious judge she'd never heard of. Good news, kind of, except that Bass still has to appear in court for supposedly not licensing her dogs, and the threat of gardener persecution (and prosecution) lives on elsewhere. Demand justice on Facebook, and then watch this local news report for comic relief: City planner Kevin Rulkowski's douchey quote about Webster's definition of "suitable" comes off even douchier on-screen, and the montage of sound bites from supportive neighbors only enhances his Scrooge-like persona:
MetroUK: 'Exclusive' La Bonnotte potatoes worth £400 a bag to be sold at Tesco
La Bonnotte potatoes, said to be the world's 'most expensive and exclusive' spuds worth £400 a bag, are to be sold at Tesco.
DailyPlanet: Lawns vs. Food
What’s up with all the backlash against urban food production? Google the phrase “urban farming illegal” and you’ll see what I mean. Communities in Minnesota and across North America are struggling with what to do when some energetic entrepreneurs begin raising produce in their yards on a scale that goes beyond planting a few tomatoes in pots. When confronted with a new idea—or at least an idea that’s new to them—local officials give many off-the-cuff reasons for banning it. But in the case of urban farming, let’s be honest: at the root of many of these concerns is that a produce garden is not Kentucky bluegrass, and we fear what we don’t know.
(and then you have a story like this one from Cleveland) Kids growing up as they grow vegetables on city farms in Cleveland Botanical Garden program (videos and gallery)
PreparednessPro: Preserving fresh eggs. Check. Now for a great egg-substitute! You won't believe how easy this is!
TreeHugger: Space Station Architect Designs Out Of This World Trailer

Other News
WTOP: Man detained after jumping White House fence 
PopSci: Saudis Set to Build Kingdom Tower, Soon to be The World's Tallest Building 
Forbes: FAA Looks Into News Corp’s Daily Drone, Raising Questions About Who Gets To Fly Drones in The U.S.
While drones are now in heavy use by the U.S. military in our wars abroad, and to a certain extent by U.S. law enforcement within our country’s borders, the use of drones by private entities is still a highly-regulated and legally murky area. 
RawStory: Tea party headed to Wisconsin to defend Republican state senators
Grist: Swede finds out why nuclear, unlike renewables, can never be DIY
Blog your experience building a nuclear reactor in your kitchen, go to jail. Them's the laws in Sweden, where the no nerd's supervillain-esque childhood fantasy fulfillment goes unpunished.
TheAtlantic: The Eerie Beauty of Rare Alphabets
A Vermont-based writer is preserving ancient scripts by carving them into wood
TheSeattleTimes: Chinese firm floods U.S. with fake IDs
WASHINGTON — When the motorcycle hit the curb, scraped past a utility pole and hurled 20-year-old Craig Eney to his death, a bogus South Carolina driver's license was in the hip pocket of his jeans.
Good: Is This What a Legalized Marijuana Brand Would Look Like?
As Proposition 19 nears possible passage next week, the marijuana industry in California has been examining the branding implications for their nearly-legal wares.

The Forums
TinfoilPalace:European men share King Tut's DNA

TinfoilPalace:Kindness is in our genes: How desire to do good deeds is hard-wired into us by evolution
TheOilAge:Personal income, spending miss, downward revisions
Hubberts-Arms:Treasury Curve Pancaking As Stocks Approach 1252 Support
Hubberts-Arms:When oil and gas are depleted
SilentCountry:Across the Bay Area, urban farming is in season
SilentCountry:Electronic Armageddon