Showing posts from May 2, 2014

Fracking Data Woefully Lacking in Canada, Finds Federal Report

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[No surprises here since the Harper government is seriously allergic to information about the state of the real world, which has a nasty habit of contradicting their corporately driven policies. "Responding to statements by British Columbia energy minister Rich Coleman about the safety of fracking, [U. of Guelph study head John] Cherry was unequivocal: 'Your minister is wrong,' he said. 'There is no reason for government to be confident.'"*RON*]
 Erika Thorkelson, DeSmog Blog Canada, 2 May 2014.

There is simply not enough reliable information to be confident about the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing, according to a new report released by the Council of Canadian Academies.

The report, commissioned by Environment Canada, takes a broad view of the implications of “fracking,” from possible contamination of land and water to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to human health and social impacts. It identified several…

Number of missing Nigerian schoolgirls rises

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[In shocking news, 276 high school girls are kidnapped in Nigeria, some reportedly being sold off as 'wives' for $12. In a piece of dark irony, the name Boko Haram literally translates as "Western education is sinful." *RON*]

Source: Agencies, Al Jazeera, 2 May 2014.

The number of Nigerian schoolgirls still missing from recent kidnappings at a secondary school in Chibok has risen to 276 - 30 more than the previous estimate, police say.

Police Commissioner Tanko Lawan also said the number of girls who escaped from their captors had increased to 53.

Lawan said confusion over numbers occurred because students from other areas were brought into the Chibok Government Girls' Secondary School for final exams last month after other schools in the Borno state were shut because of attacks.

The schoolgirls were abducted by gunmen from the school in Nigeria's Borno state last Tuesday.

"The students were drawn from schools in I…

Why Only One Top Banker Went to Jail for the Financial Crisis

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[Not a hard question to answer perhaps, but... A thorough piece in classic New York Times style of all the ways in which prosecutors' tools have been dulled by a combination of corporate lobbies, Congressional pressure, court rulings, and the Justice Department's employees' own fear of failure. *RON*]

By Jesse Eisinger, New York Times Magazine, April 30, 2014

This article is a collaboration between The Times and ProPublica, the independent nonprofit investigative organization.

On the evening of Jan. 27, Kareem Serageldin walked out of his Times Square apartment with his brother and an old Yale roommate and took off on the four-hour drive to Philipsburg, a small town smack in the middle of Pennsylvania. Despite once earning nearly $7 million a year as an executive at Credit Suisse, Serageldin, who is 41, had always lived fairly modestly. A previous apartment, overlooking Victoria Station in London, struck his friends as a grown-up dor…

Low-Income, Black, And Latino Americans Face Highest Risk Of Chemical Spills

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["people who live closest to U.S. chemical facilities are 75 percent more likely to be black, 60 percent more likely to be Latino, and 50 percent more likely to be poor... show[ing] a troubling pattern of environmental racism among chemical and petroleum companies" *RON*]
By Emily Atkin, Think Progress, May 2, 2014

The people who face the greatest threat from potential toxic chemical disasters are disproportionately low-income, black, or Latino, according to a study released Thursday by three environmental groups.

Compared to the national average, the 134 million people who live closest to U.S. chemical facilities are 75 percent more likely to be black, 60 percent more likely to be Latino, and 50 percent more likely to be poor, the study showed. The demographics of these areas — called “fenceline zones” — show a troubling “pattern of ‘environmental racism,’” among chemical and petroleum companies, the report said.

“The question now is:…

RCMP Did Not Consult Public Prosecutor On Nigel Wright

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[Even though it is an indictable offense under the Parliament of Canada Act to offer compensation to a senator in regard to "any claim, controversy, arrest or other matter before the Senate," the RCMP are not pursuing charges against Nigel Wright, and they felt free to make this decision without consulting the director of public prosecutors. No comment on how often they consulted the PMO. *RON*]

By Joan Bryden, CP / Huffington Post, 05/01/2014

OTTAWA - The RCMP do not appear to have seriously considered using the Parliament of Canada Act to lay charges against Nigel Wright for his central role in the Senate expenses scandal, even though some parliamentary law experts believe the statute offered the best chance of securing a conviction.

Sect. 16 of the act stipulates that it's an indictable offence — punishable by a year imprisonment and a fine of $500 to $2,000 — to offer compensation to a sitting senator in regard to "any cla…