Showing posts from April 12, 2014

Oil and gas sector now Canada's biggest generator of greenhouse gases

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[The usual, a "...summary report released quietly Friday." *RON*]

By CP /Huffington Post, 04/12/2014

TORONTO - An environmental analyst says a new report revealing that oil and gas production has become the single biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions adds further weight to calls for Ottawa to regulate the sector.

An Environment Canada summary report released quietly Friday shows that energy production has now surpassed the transportation sector as the largest generator of the climate-change causing gases.

Analyst P.J. Partington with eco think tank the Pembina Institute says the change further underlines the need for the Harper government to bring in long-delayed regulations for the oil patch.

The report covers the period from 1990 to 2012, and states that crude oil production and the oilsands were behind the energy sector's 70 per cent emissions jump in that time span.

Oil and gas is now responsible for one-quarter of Canada's…

Squatters dispute threatens Andalusia coalition government

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[Some effects of austerity in the south of Spain. The issue here is that the government wants to be "fair" by maintaining a wait list for housing, but trouble arises from the fact that they are grossly inefficient in running the program. Thus, "last year an average of 184 home evictions were carried out each day across Spain while an estimated 3.4 million homes, 14 per cent of all properties, are reported to stand empty." *RON*]

By Fiona Govan, Madrid, The Telegraph, 11 Apr 2014

A row over the fate of dozens of squatters in Seville who were handed keys to new homes by officials from a Left-wing coalition party is threatening to derail the regional government of Andalusia.

The region's public works department, which is controlled by the United Left (IU), bumped 22 families up the social housing waiting list ahead of 12,000 others after they were turfed out of the building they had occupied.

CIA and White House under pressure after Senate torture report leaks

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[Senate committee found CIA interrogations and detentions to be 'brutal' and urges administration to release report as quickly as possible. As of this morning, there are 607 comments to this Guardian article! *RON*]

By Spencer Ackerman in New York,, Friday 11 April 2014
A leak of the major findings of a landmark Senate inquiry into the CIA’s post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees led, on Friday, to intensified pressure on the White House and the CIA to release the inquiry speedily and with a minimum of redactions.

The classified study, prepared by the Senate select committee on intelligence, concluded that the CIA’s interrogations, secret detentions and outsourced torture sessions were “brutal, and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers.”

More suspected terrorists underwent the agency’s post-9/11 treatment, which largely lasted from 2002 to 2006, than the CIA has publicly admitted, according to the report’s…

AA and Rehab Culture Have Shockingly Low Success Rates

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[Interesting discussion of the (lack of) science on 12-Step programs. My feeling -- with nothing to back it up except the commonsense of the thing -- is that 12-Step programs would work better with ideological conservatives, since the concepts provide a better match with their general worldview. Would Dodes' results hold up if you divided the subjects along conservative-liberal lines? *RON*]
Excerpted in AlterNet from The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry by Lance Dodes, and Zachary Dodes. Copyright 2014. Excerpted with permission by Beacon Press.

Alcoholics Anonymous is a part of our nation’s fabric. In the seventy-six years since AA was created, 12-step programs have expanded to include over three hundred different organizations, focusing on such diverse issues as smoking, shoplifting, social phobia, debt, recovery from incest, even vulgarity. All told, more than five million people recit…

Findings That Fracking Causing Quaking Leads to Drilling Shutdown in Ohio

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[State regulators suspend gas drilling outside of Youngstown, Ohio. *RON*]

By Common Dreams staff, April 11, 2014

Responding to geologists who claim they have made direct links between fracking operations and seismic activity in the state, Ohio regulators on Friday pulled permits for at least one drilling operation.

According to the Associated Press: State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers told The Associated Press on Friday that the state has halted drilling indefinitely at the site near Youngstown where five minor tremors occurred in March following investigative findings of a probable link to fracking. A deep-injection well for fracking wastewater was tied to earthquakes in the region in 2012. Simmers says Ohio will require sensitive seismic monitoring as a condition of all new drilling permits within three miles of a known fault or existing seismic activity of 2.0 or greater. Drilling will pause for evaluation with any tremor of 1.0 magnitude …

Heartbleed is a Sucking Chest Wound in the NSA's Reputation

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[Did the NSA know about Heartbleed from the start and do nothing about it, or were they completely asleep at the switch? *RON*]

—By Kevin Drum, Mother Jones, Sat Apr. 12, 2014

On Friday, Bloomberg's Michael Riley reported that the NSA was aware of the Heartbleed bug from nearly the day it was introduced:
The U.S. National Security Agency knew for at least two years about a flaw in the way that many websites send sensitive information, now dubbed the Heartbleed bug, and regularly used it to gather critical intelligence, two people familiar with the matter said....Putting the Heartbleed bug in its arsenal, the NSA was able to obtain passwords and other basic data that are the building blocks of the sophisticated hacking operations at the core of its mission, but at a cost. Millions of ordinary users were left vulnerable to attack from other nations’ intelligence arms and criminal hackers. Henry Farrell explains just how bad this is here. But la…