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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

01 Mar 2012 15:08


World: Americans freed from Egyptian detainment after U.S. pays large bail

  • I’m pleased the court has lifted the travel ban and am looking forward to my son’s arrival in the US. I’d like to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this time.
  • Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood • From a statement today, on the flight home for seven American pro-democracy workers who had been held in Egypt, barred from traveling over accusations of illegal fundraising. One of the seven is his son, Sam LaHood, a high-profile family connection that helped highlight the diplomatic turmoil that unfolded over the Americans’ detainment. The price of getting these folks back home? A cool $5 million in bail, paid by the U.S. to Egypt. This brings an end to a perilous diplomatic situation, though the U.S. doesn’t seem ready to bury the hatchet and forget about this just yet – Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the State Department, said no decision has yet been made on the state of U.S. aid to Egypt. source

16 Feb 2012 18:39


Biz: Still think Detroit’s going bankrupt? Check out GM’s killer numbers

  • $4.7 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2010 fiscal year
  • $7.6 billion General Motors’ posted earnings for the 2011 fiscal year source
  • » What a record to break! One year removed from bankruptcy, American automaker General Motors posted record-setting earnings for the 2011 fiscal year. In recent weeks/months many investors worried that GM’s overseas operations would drag down the company’s year-end totals. GM lost a total of $747 million in European markets, with $562 million of the losses occurring in the fourth quarter alone. In South America, where the company reported $818 million in earnings for 2010, GM reported a net loss of $122 million. However, not only did the company defy global expectations, GM managed to break its former $6.7 billion earnings record, set in 1996.

10 Feb 2012 10:31



  • $310million Powerball jackpot in play this weekend source
  • » Trying to win it? Your odds are 1 in 175,223,510. (We like your odds, though.) This is the fifth-largest Powerball jackpot ever; the largest went for $365 million in 2006. 44 states take part in Powerball, and most of them chill with its brother from another mother, Mega Millions, too.

08 Feb 2012 14:41


World: Egypt/U.S. relations strained over detained American NGO workers

  • one As we’ve mentioned before, the Egyptian military government has barred 19 U.S. citizens from leaving the country. They worked for pro-democracy NGOs, and are being held on claim they took foreign money without official approval.
  • twoSenators John McCain, Kelly Ayotte and Joe Lieberman have warned of a potential “disastrous rupture” in U.S./Egypt relations. At risk is nearly $1.3 billion in military aid, which the U.S. has already threatened to halt. source

11 Jan 2012 20:16


World: More on the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan

  • How it happened: Mostafa Roshan was being taken to work when two people on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the side of his car, which then exploded. Roshan was killed in the blast, and his driver suffered fatal wounds. Roshan, the deputy director of commerce for the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was likely targeted for his prominent role in the facility, which is at the center of a major controversy over what the U.S. sees as a push by Iran to create nuclear weapons. Roshan, in his role, would likely have been in charge of procuring materials to build nuclear fuel. The U.S. has denied any role in his death. source

09 Jan 2012 10:27


World: American charged with “spying” sentenced to death in Iran

  • He has 20 days to appeal under Iranian law: Amir Hekmati, a 28-year-old former U.S. Marine who holds dual Iranian and American citizenship, was sentenced to death “for cooperating with the hostile country . . . and spying for the CIA,” according to Iran’s Fars news agency. His family disputes the claims, saying they believe the verdict wasn’t fair. “Amir is not a criminal,” they said in a statement. “His life is being exploited for political gain.” source

06 Jan 2012 10:06


U.S.: Ohio earthquakes may be man-made byproduct of “fracking”

  • These earthquakes were sitting there waiting to happen. We have triggered these earthquakes.
  • Seismologist John Armbruster • Discussing the recent string of earthquakes in Ohio. If you live in that state, you might have noticed up to a dozen small earthquakes since last spring. There hasn’t been a measured earthquake in the area ever until last March. Apparently, the disposing of waste water into the ground (during a energy-releasing process called “fracking”) may have flowed into an earthquake fault line. This same problem has happened in Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. In Arkansas alone, 1,000 mini-quakes were measured. source

03 Jan 2012 10:30


U.S.: 2012 in gay rights: Hawaii, Delaware legalize civil unions, couples cheer

  • aloha “We really don’t want to wait any longer because we have been together for 33 years waiting for the opportunity and our rights and everything that goes with it,” said Donna Gedge. She and her wife Monica were one of four couples to receive civil unions in Hawaii as the new year rang in Sunday.
  • not alone Now 11 states (plus D.C.) recognize same-sex civil unions or gay marriage. Hawaii and Delaware just joined the ranks of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa (as a good friend of ours reminded everyone last night), Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Illinois, New Jersey and Rhode Island. source

01 Nov 2011 00:16


U.S.: We just hope “Breaking Bad” doesn’t end the way this drug cartel did.

  • 76 arrested in a major drug ring which ran from Mexico into Arizona
  • $2B in profits over the past five years collected from the ring
  • 3M number of pounds of marijuana the drug ring brought to the U.S. source
  • » Their leader “El Chapo,” or “Shorty,” is still at large. Officials admit that it took them a long time to bust this particular ring, which also sent tens of thousands of pounds of cocaine and heroin into the United States. The drug ring, linked to the Sinaloa cartel, reportedly operated right under the noses of authorities by staying on rugged terrain. There are still plenty of holes in the U.S./Mexican border, but this is a very big win in the Drug War, regardless.