Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

03 Mar 2012 12:53


U.S.: Tornado outbreak tears across the Midwest and South

  • Tornado outbreak leaves towns leveled, at least 33 dead. A series of tornadoes left 16 dead in Kentucky, 14 dead in Indiana,  2 in Ohio, and 1 Alabama. Officials have warned that additional fatalities could be reported, and early reports suggest that the Indiana town of Marysville has been almost completely destroyed. In an interview with CNN, Governor Mitch Daniels said, “we’re not unfamiliar with Mother Nature’s wrath out here in Indiana, but this is about as serious as we’ve seen in the years since I’ve been in this job.” (photo by C.E. Branham/The News and Tribune via Associated Press) source

03 Mar 2012 11:15


U.S.: BP reaches massive settlement with Gulf of Mexico investors

  • $7.8B will be paid by BP to thousands affected by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill that occurred in April 2010; the settlement doesn’t bring an end to the oil company’s legal troubles
  • $2.3B of the total settlement will go to the Gulf seafood industry alone; the company also faces separate spill-related legal actions from the governments of Louisiana and Alabama
  • $17B in additional fines could come as the result of a settlement with the US government over civilian fines resulting from the wide-reaching spill, if BP is found guilty of gross negligence source
  • » But are the fines enough to teach BP a lesson? Some say no, including shrimp producer Dean Blanchard, who told The Guardian, “I want my day in court. If they can get off with just paying the money — well, they’ve got plenty of money, they are not really going to learn a lesson.” In addition to the settlement, BP announced that it would use the remainder of the $20 billion compensation fund it raised during the summer of 2010 to settle additional complaints from residents and businesses in the region. In a statement released late Friday night, BP chief executive Bob Dudley said, “the proposed settlement represents significant progress toward resolving issues from the Deepwater Horizon accident and contributing further to economic and environmental restoration efforts along the Gulf Coast.”

08 Feb 2012 10:01


Politics: Must-read of the week: The Washington Post’s “Capital Assets” series

  • In case you haven’t seen this, the Post’s coverage of how members of Congress are directing spending to places where it benefits them personally is pretty impressive. Examples: Sen. Richard Shelby helped push more than $100 million in earmarks to help rebuild Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and much of that money went to nicen up an area directly around an office building he owns in the city, which has risen in property value as development has increased. (Watch the video; it syncs up with a map of Tuscaloosa.) He’s not alone. Congressmen around the country directly or indirectly benefited from millions in spending that, at the very least, might give them a nicer view around their property — or in other cases, benefited their family members. The Post did a lot of great work on this piece, and it shows. source

10 Jun 2011 15:31


U.S.: Worse than Arizona? Alabama’s new anti-immigration law

  • Alabama is going to start checking students to see if they’re legal immigrants. It’s sort of reminiscent of that law in Arizona that’s being challenged in court, only this one is a little more invasive. Alabama’s law would require all businesses to check the status of their workers and register them in an online database, as well as checking all students to make sure they’re legal. Scott Beason, the GOP state senator who sponsored the law, says that it will help give jobs back to people in Alabama. But that leads us to the question, “are they jobs people would want in the first place?” This bill is definitely invasive, possibly racist and certainly unfair. It’d make life harder for a lot of people. source

29 Apr 2011 15:45



  • I have never seen devastation like this. It is heartbreaking. This is something I don’t think anyone has seen before.
  • President Barack Obama • Discussing his reaction to the damage in Tuscaloosa. The president, flanked by Michelle Obama and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. The storms have killed at least 310 — 210 in Alabama alone — and left hundreds injured, along with tearing up a huge chunk of a number of towns across the South, especially in Tuscaloosa. “We can’t bring those who’ve been lost back,” he said. “They’re alongside God at this point … but the property damage, which is obviously extensive, that’s something we can do something about.” For their sake, let’s hope so. source

28 Apr 2011 13:55


Tech: Alabama nuclear plant shut down after violent storms, tornados

  • Alabama Nuclear Plant safely shut down: In the midst of the destruction caused by tornadoes (which as we mentioned earlier, have a minimum confirmed death-toll of 214 people), here’s something, albeit remote, to make you maybe feel a smidge better about crisis preparedness; namely, the Browns Ferry Nuclear Facility in Huntsville, Alabama, was safely handled after a power failure. When the storms knocked out primary power, the plant’s batteries and diesel generators still worked, and the plant safely shut down. It may just be everything going according to plan, but in times like these, even that can be a comfort. source

28 Apr 2011 10:29


U.S.: Death toll from tornadoes, storms in South absolutely insane

  • 213+ people killed by storms throughout the South
  • 131+ were killed by severe storms in Alabama alone
  • 32+ were killed by severe storms in nearby Mississippi
  • 12+ people were killed by storms in Georgia
  • 30+ people were killed by the storms in Tennessee
  • 8+ people were killed as far north as Virginia source
  • » An unprecedented toll: In Alabama in particular, where Tuscaloosa took incredibly strong damage from the storm and many died in Birmingham, officials were still trying to wrap their heads around the disaster. “I would be pretty sure about saying we’ve never had 128 people die in one day,” said Yasamie August, the Alabama Emergency Management Agency’s information manager. (The number’s jumped since she spoke.) “It’s going to be difficult to get an accurate count of damage or injuries at this point. Many people can’t get to a hospital.”

19 Jan 2011 20:43


Politics: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley really sorry for religious comments

  • If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.
  • Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley • Giving one of those non-apology apologies we kinda sorta love after he decided to throw all non-Christians under the bus in his first speech as governor. Hint: Anytime anyone says “I am sorry if I offended anyone,” it means they’re not apologizing for their stance, but for putting it in the public sphere for the dogs to pick at. Here’s a word of advice for Mr. Bentley: Like the brand of cars that shares your name, stay elegant and classy. And also, do things that make people of all cultures and walks of life – even rappers – like you. Set the standard for others to follow. Just a tip from your friendly news bloggers. source

27 Dec 2010 13:18


U.S.: Alabama at top of Medicaid bonus class … and then some

  • So, fun fact about Medicaid for children: Around two-thirds of uninsured children are eligible to receive it. But nearly 4.7 million children who are eligible for the service don’t receive it. Why? Well, to put it simply, state and federal governments are absolutely terrible at informing parents that it’s an option. It’s something the Obama administration has been working on, however, and thanks to some incentives, 15 states are being rewarded for insuring more children (around 874,000 in total) in the last year. Or, actually, Alabama and 14 other states:
  • $309
    the amount in Medicaid bonuses that the Obama administration is handing to the states
  • $55
    the amount that Alabama – *ALONE* – is taking in, more than double any other state on the list source

05 Aug 2010 20:24


U.S.: al-Shabab: Somali terror group the root of latest terror arrests

  • 14 the number of alleged al-Shabab supporters indicted for providing support to the group
  • three the number of states in which they were residing – Alabama, California and Minnesota source