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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
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New Study Links Fracking to Birth Defects in Heavily Drilled Colorado


New study links fracking to birth defects in heavily drilled Colorado

by Renee Lewis January 30, 2014 9:45PM ET

Risks of some birth defects increased as much as 30 percent in mothers who lived near oil and gas wells

Living near hydraulic fracturing — or fracking — sites may increase the risk of some birth defects by as much as 30 percent, a new study suggests. In the U.S., more than 15 million people now live within a mile of a well.

The use of fracking, a gas-extraction process through which sand, water and chemicals are pumped into the ground to release trapped fuel deposits, has increased significantly in the U.S. over the past decade. Five years ago, the U.S. produced 5 million barrels of oil per day; today, it's 7.4 million, thanks largely to fracking.

Supporters of the industry say it creates jobs and spurs the economy, while critics say its development is largely unregulated and that too little is known about pollution and health risks.

The report by the Colorado School of Public Health, released Jan. 28, gathered evidence from heavily drilled rural Colorado, which has among the highest densities of oil and gas wells in the U.S.

“What we found was that the risk of congenital heart defects (CHD) increased with greater density of gas wells — with mothers living in the highest-density areas at greatest risk,” Lisa McKenzie, a research associate at the Colorado School of Public Health and the lead author of the study, told Al Jazeera.

The study examined links between the mother’s residential proximity to natural gas wells and birth defects in a study of more than 124,842 births from 1996 to 2009 in rural Colorado.

The study found that “births to mothers in the most exposed (areas with over 125 wells per mile) had a 30 percent greater prevalence of CHDs than births to mothers with no wells in a 10-mile radius of their residence."


Breaking: Obama to Say 'America Does Not Stand Still,' Vows to Act w/out Congress to Boost Economy

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Obama to say, `America does not stand still,' vows to act without Congress to boost economy.

@AP: BREAKING: Obama to say in State of the Union, `Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled.'


— Jan. 28, 2014 6:32 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — Declaring that upward economic mobility has stalled for millions of Americans, President Barack Obama is challenging a deeply divided Congress to restore the nation's belief in "opportunity for all" — while telling lawmakers that he will act on his own "wherever and whenever" he can.

"America does not stand still and neither will I," Obama was saying in his State of the Union address Tuesday night. Excerpts of his remarks were released in advance.

In the address to a joint session of Congress and millions of Americans watching on television, the president planned to announce an array of executive actions to raise the minimum wage for new federal contracts, help the long-term unemployed find work and expand job-training programs. He also planned to renew his calls for Congress to expand the minimum wage increase to all workers, pass a sweeping immigration overhaul and increase access to early childhood education programs — all initiatives that stalled after Obama first announced them in last year's State of the Union address.

While unemployment is falling and financial markets are soaring, Obama acknowledged that many Americans have yet to see effects of any broader economic recovery.

"The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by, let alone get ahead," Obama says. "And too many still aren't working at all."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/obama-speech-big-new-theme-some-familiar-content

Pete Seeger & Springsteen: Obama Inaugural Concert 2009

BREAKING: American Toubadour, Folk Singer and Activist Pete Seeger Has Died at Age 94

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: American troubadour, folk singer and activist Pete Seeger has died at age 94, family says.

Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94


— Jan. 28, 2014 1:53 AM EST

NEW YORK (AP) — American troubadour, folk music singer and activist Pete Seeger has died at a hospital in New York. He was 94.

Seeger's grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, says Seeger died Monday night after being hospitalized for six days.

Seeger gained fame as a member of The Weavers, the quartet formed in 1948 and had hits such as "Goodnight Irene."

He continued performing and recording for six decades afterward and was still an activist as recently as October 2011 when he marched in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

He was onstage in January 2009 for a gala Washington concert two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated.

But in the 1950s, his leftist politics got him blacklisted and he was kept off commercial television for more than a decade.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/folk-singer-activist-pete-seeger-dies-ny

I was there...

The Johnny Cash Show:

Janis Ian just posted this on her Facebook page. She says one of her earliest memories is of being on Pete's knee, with his banjo on the other.

From Wikipedia:

On August 18, 1955, Seeger was subpoenaed to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Alone among the many witnesses after the 1950 conviction and imprisonment of the Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress, Seeger refused to plead the Fifth Amendment (which asserted that his testimony might be self incriminating) and instead (as the Hollywood Ten had done) refused to name personal and political associations on the grounds that this would violate his First Amendment rights: "I am not going to answer any questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or my political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be asked, especially under such compulsion as this." Seeger's refusal to testify led to a March 26, 1957, indictment for contempt of Congress; for some years, he had to keep the federal government apprised of where he was going any time he left the Southern District of New York. He was convicted in a jury trial of contempt of Congress in March 1961, and sentenced to 10 years in jail (to be served simultaneously), but in May 1962 an appeals court ruled the indictment to be flawed and overturned his conviction.

In 1960, the San Diego school board told him that he could not play a scheduled concert at a high school unless he signed an oath pledging that the concert would not be used to promote a communist agenda or an overthrow of the government. Seeger refused, and the American Civil Liberties Union obtained an injunction against the school district, allowing the concert to go on as scheduled. In February 2009, the San Diego School District officially extended an apology to Seeger for the actions of their predecessors.

Pete with Woody Guthrie:

2-Year-Old Pete with his Musical Family:

Rest in PEACE.

TOM TOMORROW: If It Were Terrorism...

Daily Kos Link: Support Tom Tomorrow - Join Sparky's List: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/01/27/1272260/-Cartoon-If-it-were-terrorism

German TV: Snowden Says NSA Also Spies on Industry

Source: Associated Press


Jan. 26, 2014 6:05 AM EST

BERLIN (AP) — Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden claims in a new interview that the U.S. agency is involved in industrial espionage.

German public television broadcaster ARD released a written statement before an interview airing Sunday night in which it quotes Snowden as saying that if German engineering company Siemens had information that would benefit the United States — but had nothing to do with national security needs — the National Security Agency would still use it.

ARD did not give any further context and it was not clear what exactly Snowden accused the NSA of doing with such information.

Snowden faces felony charges in the U.S. after revealing the NSA's mass surveillance program. He has temporary asylum in Russia.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/german-tv-snowden-says-nsa-also-spies-industry

Police Say They Disabled Crude Attempts at Explosives Devices Found in Gunman's Bag at MD Mall

Source: Associated Press


Jan. 25, 2014 10:27 PM EST

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — Police say they disabled crude attempts at explosive devices that were found in a bag carried by a gunman to a deadly shooting at a Maryland mall.

Police say the gunman shot two other people and then himself Saturday morning in Columbia, Md.

A news release late Saturday night says investigators searched the gunman's bag inside the store where two employees were shot. They found and disabled what they described as "crude devices that appeared to be an attempt at making explosives using fireworks."

The mall will remain closed Sunday and police will use dogs to search the mall overnight, which is standard procedure.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/police-say-3-people-killed-mall-suburban-baltimore

W. Va. Company Ordered to Remove (All Above-Ground) Tanks After Spill

Source: Associated Press


— Jan. 25, 2014 5:04 PM EST

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia's governor on Saturday ordered the company at the center of a chemical spill that tainted the state capital's water supply to remove all above-ground storage tanks from the Charleston operation.

A statement released by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office said Freedom Industries must start the dismantling process by March 15.

The Jan. 9 spill of a chemical used to clean coal at Freedom Industries contaminated the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians, some of whom couldn't use their tap water for a week.

The order to dismantle and properly dispose of the tanks also includes associated piping and machinery. The facility currently has 17 tanks. The governor's statement said crude MCHM leaked from one of three now-empty tanks containing the chemical at the plant.

All 17 tanks "are located within inadequate secondary containment areas," the statement said.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/wva-company-ordered-remove-tanks-after-spill

Bloomberg News Graphics: A Timeline of Governor Christie’s Unfolding Scandals

Bookmark It! Reference It! Play Along! To Get Along!



A Timeline of Governor Christie’s Unfolding Scandals

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 51, is facing scrutiny over his staff’s involvement in the closing of traffic lanes to the George Washington Bridge, which connects the state with Manhattan. The September closings caused miles of backups in Fort Lee, New Jersey, a town of 37,500 just before the bridge. Fort Lee’s Democratic mayor didn’t endorse Republican Christie in his re-election bid. Christie has denied knowledge of his staff’s involvement, which threatens his possible presidential ambitions. The following is a timeline of events. RELATED CONTENT >>

Aug. 2013. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. 2014


US Sues KBR in Connection With Army Work in Iraq

Source: Associated Press


Jan. 23, 2014 7:57 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is suing Kellogg, Brown & Root Services Inc., charging that the defense contractor submitted false claims and took kickbacks in connection to a U.S. Army contract in Iraq.

The government alleges that KBR employees took kickbacks from two Kuwaiti companies that it hired as subcontractors in 2003 and 2004, then filed claims for reimbursement for inflated costs.

The Justice Department said Thursday that it filed the lawsuit in federal court in Illinois.

Houston-based KBR said it could not comment on the lawsuit Thursday because it had just been filed.

KBR had a contract to provide transportation, maintenance, food, shelter and other services to support the Army in Iraq, and it used local subcontractors to perform some of the work.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/us-sues-kbr-connection-army-work-iraq
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