Links 7/9/13

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America Is No Longer the Most Obese Country in the World Gawker

CDC Says Doctors Overprescribe Painkillers Patient Safety Blog

We interrupt this program to warn the Emergency Alert System is hackable ars technica (Chuck L)

Judge Orders U.S. to Release Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service File Wired

The ‘Australian moment’ passes MacroBusiness

China faces a difficult credit bubble workout Financial Times

China free coal policy in the north ‘cut lifespans’ BBC

Plants pollute Hangzhou Bay secretly: report Shanghai Daily (martha r)

Chinese police open fire on unarmed Tibetans Financial Times

Pakistan’s Bin Laden dossier Aljazeera (Synopticist)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch:

Edward Snowden: ‘The US government will say I aided our enemies’ – video interview Guardian. Not as riveting as the first one but still worth seeing. Notice repeated mention of “direct access”.

Judge refuses to grant provisional extradition warrant for Edward Snowden RTE Ireland (Ed M). Second time the US couldn’t be bothered to submit the right paperwork.

Edward Snowden case: Bolivia summons envoys over jet BBC

Snowden reveals Australia’s links to US spy web The Age

The corporate media’s long relationship with the spook world may help explain why it doesn’t like Snowden Undernews (Chuck S)

As Pentagon Furloughs Start, Congress Yawns Roll Call

Insurers game risk against each other PNHP

Chris Christie’s Boondoggle DSWright, Firedoglake

Financial data groups face NY probe Financial Times

On That September Tapering Tim Duy

May 2013 Consumer Credit Growth of 8.25% Is Imaginary Global Economic Intersection

Nearly 1 in 6 Americans Receives Food Stamps WSJ Real Time Economics

The baby boomer divide Walter Kurtz

Renteria Withdraws Name for CFTC Spot WSJ Washington Wire. this was the candidate who was so unqualified as to be laughable.

Elizabeth Warren, Champion of Small Banks American Banker (registration required)

Blackstone Raises $5 Billion Rental Bet With Lending Arm Bloomberg

Corzine off the crook No criminal charges New York Post (1 SK). I think we knew that with the filing of civil charges…but this would have been a slam dunk Sarbanes Oxley case (you could have filed a civil suit, the language for criminal violations is parallel, and filed criminal charges after you prevailed in the civil suit)

Who Decided There Are No Crimes in MF Global Collapse? masaccio, Firedoglake

Fumbling Through the Fog Around Too Big to Fail Simon Johnson, Bloomberg

Antidote du jour (furzy mouse):

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  1. dearieme

    The older babyboomers have already inherited grandma’s house, the younger haven’t.

    1. Little Voice in Texas

      Here in Austin where the economy is booming and it’s a fairly young population I”m beginning to notice a resentment among people younger than 30. Sorta of a generational gap that they resent the baby boomers who have had a better and much easier life. The new divide won’t be racial, but generational.

      1. sleepy

        The sad thing is that the future children of those who are now in their 20s will probably resent the “ease” of their parents’ lives as things in general continue downhill for the next generation.

      2. darms

        The economy here in Austin may be ‘booming’ for some but there are a number of older tech professionals (like me) who are long-term unemployed as there are no jobs here in our current or related fields…

        1. LucyLulu

          It isn’t just in Austin or in the tech industry. Many older workers who lost their jobs during the Great Repression aren’t just ending up as long-term unemployed/underemployed but permanently so. It’s one thing to be young and poor, quite another to be old and poor.

      1. jrs

        They’ll be no inheriting of houses, it will all go to long term care. The middle class will not inherit.

      2. run75441


        This is nothing new and it has been going on since Medicaid came into play. Medicare does not provide long term assisted care or nursing home care, you have to be on Medicaid to gain such. As we ALL know, in order to get on Medicaid, you have to be < 100% FPL or < 138% FPL under the PPACA. Some states are a**holes (states determine this) and require a lower % of FPL such as Michigan.

        My point? This is not new news.

    2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I think we will see more younger men marrying older women and more older men marrying younger women – that is the path of least resistance.

      1. dearieme

        The way to avoid Inheritance Tax, at least under the British laws, would be for the young-elderly daughter’s boyfriend to marry her very old widowed mother.

  2. rjs

    on a quick look, i’m going to have to disagree with the article on consumer credit from econintersect; while student loans have certainly been the story in the G19 (which ive covered for 2 years), i dont see that it’s the entire story in May…

    see the 2nd table, major types of credit, by holder, which is not seasonally adjusted; clearly revolving credit outstanding rose from $807.6 billion in April to $816.6 billon in May, while non revolving credit outstanding was up from 1,968.6 billon in April to $1,979.1 billion in May; of that, student loans were up $3.8 billion to $566.1 billion…

    i cant see where he got his percentages, but i’ll look his post over again before i cover it this weekend, but right now the headline looks like nonsense to me…and if nothing else, his charts are worth looking at for a good overview today…

  3. AbyNormal

    Scientists Trace Heat Wave To Massive Star At Center Of Solar System

    PASADENA, CA—Groundbreaking new findings announced Monday suggest the record-setting heat wave plaguing much of the United States may be due to radiation emitted from an enormous star located in the center of the solar system.

    Scientists believe the star, which they have named G2V65, may in fact be the same bright yellow orb seen arcing over the sky day after day, and given its extreme heat and proximity to Earth, it is likely not only to have caused the heat wave, but to be responsible for every warm day in human history.

    “Our measurements indicate the massive amount of energy this thing gives off is able to travel 93 million miles and reach our planet in as little as eight and a half minutes,” said Professor Mitch Kivens, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology. “While we can’t see them, we’re fairly certain these infrared rays strike Earth’s surface, become trapped by the atmosphere, and just heat everything up like a great big oven.”

    “We originally thought that if this star was producing temperatures of 100-plus in the South and Midwest, it must be at least 100 degrees itself,” Kivens added. “But it turns out it’s far, far hotter than that, with a surface temperature of nearly 10,900 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    Kivens and his CalTech colleagues said this intense radiation, which results from constant nuclear reactions converting hydrogen to helium in the star’s core, could also account for why the orb in the sky is extremely bright and difficult to stare at directly.

    While scientists initially assumed the heat and luminescence of the star must make it the largest in the universe—a theory lent credence by the star appearing much bigger than other objects in the sky—they said the data actually appear to refute such a notion.

    “Apparently it’s gigantic simply because it’s closer to us than any other star,” Kivens said. “Which would also account for why we feel this particular star’s heat during the day but are not warmed by the tiny blinking stars we see at night.” Fascinating! & im so glad this whole warming mess is now cleared up!!…luv aby.,21088/

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      If one rambles long enough, sometimes one gets lucky.

      I was just wildly speculating, the other day, about galactic warming.

  4. mk

    “America Is No Longer the Most Obese Country in the World” ———–
    Mexico is the biggest consumer of soft drinks in the world, with a per capita consumption 40 percent greater than in the United States.

    The average per capita consumption is 163 liters (43 gallons) per year, while the neighboring country reaches only 118 liters (31 gallons), according to the results of a study that the director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, Kelly Brownell, released at a press conference in Mexico City.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      I wonder what country’s standard of living, when applied to all nations globally, resembles the one that will be sustainable for the entire planet.

  5. Butch In Waukegan

    Re the article The corporate media’s long relationship with the spook world may help explain why it doesn’t like Snowden, this may or may not be connected . It is revealing though; the total ignorance of basic facts and issues of the Snowden leaks by a Washington Post held-high-in-esteem reporter is breathtaking.

  6. Fayettevillain

    A little history of the Snowden-on-his-way-to-Latin America mess:
    Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a book written by John Perkins and published in 2004. It provides Perkins’ account of his career with consulting firm Chas. T. Main in Boston. Before employment with the firm, he interviewed for a job with the National Security Agency (NSA). Perkins claims that this interview effectively constituted an independent screening which led to his subsequent hiring by Einar Greve,[1] a member of the firm (and alleged NSA liaison) to become a self-described “economic hit man”.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Confessions of an Economic Hitman is a worthwhile read as is its sequel,The Secret History of the American Empire. Whereas Confessions is Perkins’ personal story, The Secret History recounts the stories of other people with similar experiences who were inspired to come forward in response to Confessions.

  7. sleepy

    On the “oversubscription” of pain killers:

    “Nearly two decades ago, according to the L.A. Times, those fears began to subside in the wake of a movement to alleviate suffering among people with noncancer pain. New painkillers were thought to be less prone to abuse. Doctors began writing prescriptions for them to relieve toothaches and arthritis.”

    I have had a number of abscessed teeth throughout my life, and the pain is excruciating, even after eating aspirin and other OTC meds like crazy. I have always been prescribed codeine tablets for a day or two until I could get the tooth worked on. It works.

    I shudder to think of the unwarranted suffering the CDC recomendations will cause.

    I can’t imagine

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps shamanic healing is an alternative.

      Interesting enough, a shaman can do that by just drumming (I think Harner wrote that), without marijuana.

      And in an episode of How Art Made The World, another shaman in South Africa (the Sand People) did it with chanting and dancing (sort of like the Dervishes, I guess).

      It’s the same story in the ’60s with people flocking to Zen temples seeking the high that came with satori, until they found out it was less work with grass.

      1. Inverness

        There are definetely instances when codeine and the like are warranted. An abcess sounds quite painful. Yet I can recall the ease with which I was prescribed all kinds of heavy duty painkillers, even though my pain was not so severe (for wisdom teeth extraction, broken bones). I would take the paper, for “just in case…”I was left with the impression I must have a freakish tolerance for pain…which I doubt is actually the case.

        I did not ask for these pills, the doctors simply asked me what I was doing for the pain. They did not ask me how much pain I had, which would have been more helpful.

    2. Peter Pan

      My 40 year experience with doctors and pain is quite different to what is described.

      Those times when I was experiencing a great deal of pain the doctor/dentist would refuse to prescribe a painkiller. Those times when the pain was tolerable and treatable with OTC painkillers the doctor would harass me to get a prescribed painkiller. WTF?

      1. Inverness

        A question the article doesn’t raise: what about doctor kickbacks? Could some doctors be getting some money on the side?

    3. Lord Koos

      I find it interesting that the prescribed drug of choice is now always Oxycontin and hydrocodone – (basically synthetic heroin) rather than codeine. There seems to be no rational reason for this substitution other than I[m guessing drug companies can make more money from patented synthetics than they can from a natural opium-derived drug. The synthetics seem to be more addictive than codeine, and having tried these drugs for various pain episodes, I personally prefer codeine as the side effects seem milder.

      1. AbyNormal

        keep’m comin back 4 mo…where black mkt turns green for Purdue Pharma

        And far and wide, in a scarlet tide, The poppy’s bonfire spread.
        bayard taylor

      2. LucyLulu

        Hydrocodone isn’t “synthetic heroin” anymore than codeine or other narcotic analgesics (except perhaps morphine). It’s a bit more effective than codeine and with less side effects. It’s more commonly known as Vidodin when combined with tylenol, and at least used to be dirt cheap. It was long scheduled III but got moved to schedule II not long ago (couple/few years maybe???) after becoming the most widely abused rx drug, in large part because it was schedule III and thus docs were quite willing to prescribe it. Schedule II drugs have more burdensome documentation.

        Tylenol with codeine is still schedule III, and is now the most potent painkiller that isn’t a schedule II. I wonder if it will replace vidodin as the next #1 abused drug?

        *Schedule II and III are 2 of 5 levels used in US for controlled (addictive, potential for abuse) medications

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I’m not as certain that they are as similar as you suggest.

          I utterly despise Hydrocodone. I used it when I had dry socket (terrible pain, I hate using painkillers but this was necessary) and felt so Gawd-awful on it I instead megadosed everything I could lay my hands on OTC instead (not Tylenol, that will kill you, but Aleve, ibuprofen, and aspirin, in rotation).

          By contrast, in Oz they are less worried about opiates and you can get them OTC. although I am sure not very high doses. I had a horrible muscle spasm (lasted for MONTHS even with acupuncture and massage) and was taking muscle relaxants off and on, where the active ingredient was an opiate. Didn’t bother me at all.

    4. annie

      i live most of the time in italy. once i had an abscess. dentist injected a local but in the same motion began jabbing the abscess to drain it. tears were running (sideways) down my face. walked out fine, giddy. another time a doctor removed an infected, deeply embedded tick with a scalpel, no anaesthetic. ‘i do this all the time with children.’ he was a pediatrician. never offered painkillers.
      in the states i get so many prescriptions for painkillers which i always fill, never use.
      italians have a different attitude towards pain.
      of course they need it.

  8. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    On that September taper.

    A taper is something one uses to light something else, to make something burn…like gas, I think.

    It seems like a dangerous thing to do for people who don’t know what they are doing, though, I must admit, it’s equally dangerous for them not to do something, given the situation they have gotten us and themselves in.

    1. ambrit

      Dear MLTPB;
      Your comment is spot on. Since tapers were used to light candles and gas jets, both earlier sources of illumination, the use of the term in relation to the present Economic Fubar is entirely appropriate. This taper will bring the true nature of our Neo-Liberal economy into the light. It might also light a fire which will consume said economy.
      “I, ambrit, do attest and confirm that I am not a spammer.”

  9. rjs

    well, since you ate my comment on the econintersect article on consumer credit, i have taken my disagreement with it to the site; steven hansen & i have an exchange about it there…

  10. barrisj

    We’ve read recently about the militarised Robocop as a growing feature of municipal police forces; well, private security firms are as well going all-in on weaponry. Check out this remarkable story (via Charles Pierce)…
    (from Josh Marshall’s TPM site):

    TPM Editor’s Blog
    Rent-a-Paramilitaries Freak Out Wisconsin

    Here’s a fascinating little story. There’s been a battle royale up in Wisconsin over an effort to establish a big iron mining operation near Lake Superior, to be owned and operated by a company called Gogebic Taconite. The Republican legislature approved the mine in March over environmentalists’ objections. Some protests have been staged since the operation got started. But people started to get freaked out over the weekend when the company brought in what the Wisconsin State Journal calls “masked security guards who are toting semi-automatic rifles and wearing camouflaged uniforms.”

    The photos alone are worth the read. This clearly is where America is headed: outsized, overly-weaponised public and private militias, where the “security industry” is making money hand-over-fist, assisted by the US government and agencies such as DHS. Billions now for “border security” are now on offer, thanks to the Senate’s “immigration reform” bill; drones, tanks, APCs, night-visions goggles and laser-sighted automatic rifles, there really is no limit at all to what is being brought to bear on achieving “security”, with the “private sector” reaping a bonanza from all this.

      1. Massinissa

        Heh, I didnt read your comment when I wrote mine. Yeah, I cant see how else someone could use these goons other than employing them as high powered strike breakers or something truly terrifying like that.

        Truly terrifying. The Pinkertons did enough damage just with their single shot rifles.

      2. ambrit

        Dashiell Hammett was a Pinkerton man during the Ultra Capitalist Period around the beginning of the Twentieth Century. His books, especially the Continental Op stories, are pure history regarding the Pinkertons. Remember, the Pinkertons started out as Lincolns CIA during the War Between the States. History doesn’t repeat exactly, and all that.

    1. Massinissa

      Good jesus lord mercy. Surely theres no actual reason to hire paramilitaries in a country like this?

      By the way, check out the Bulletproof companies website. They do all sorts of services. Heres the one on surveillance.

      “Bulletproof Securities offers a full staff of surveillance experts with strong military and law enforcement backgrounds. Our surveillance operators utilize the best equipment available to ensure the success of their mission. Bulletproof Securities’ surveillance operators will use night vision, thermal optics, long range video and camera equipment, and even items such as plate reader technology. Our surveillance operators are all licensed security operators and may work in conjunction with take-down teams if the mission requires. We have the latest satellite tracking equipment for both vehicles and personnel which can be deployed covertly when necessary. Bulletproof Securities provides surveillance teams to counter potential threats from workplace violence events and high risk employee terminations. The increase of workplace shootings and violence has transformed the need for corporations to hire more experienced security and surveillance operators who are equipped to handle these high risk threats.”

      … Workplace violence events? I dont know of any workers in companies or factories that get THAT violent.

      By workplace violence events, I almost wonder if they mean strikes. The Pinkertons would have nothing on these boys in terms of strike breaking…

    2. jrs

      Oh good grief. I thought immigration reform bringing in more immigrants, while not entirely positive, (it does flood the labor market and not all of it low paid) would at least mean less draconian border enforcement. I thought we’d at least get that positive out of it. Nah we’re going to have a full military on the border regardless it seems. Sigh …

      1. skippy

        10 Pictures Of Riot Police At A Peaceful Women’s Rights Protest In Virginia

        Virginia police in full riot gear showed up at a women’s rights protest at the Virginia State Capitol this weekend. Hundreds of people were protesting a new amendment that passed that Virginia House that would require women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion. 31 people were arrested. (Thanks to Style Weekly for taking most of these pictures.)

        skippy… who’s wearing the balaclava now[???]… sigh.

  11. newyorker

    Painkillers are often used by sufferers so they can continue to work in somewhat physically demanding jobs. They should be going on disability if doping themselves is necessary, but those trying to get this benefit often get the runaround.

    1. Lord Koos

      In a similar vien, millions of workers are on anti-depressants so that they can continue to work in shitty temp jobs without going mental.

  12. wunsacon

    >> Second time the US couldn’t be bothered to submit the right paperwork.

    Idle speculation: Because Snowden’s far more well-known than Manning, I’m not sure the G-men know what they want to do with him if they get him. So, maybe they prefer not to extradite him. Maybe they prefer he “disappear” while in some 3rd-world country.

  13. Hugh

    Kleptocracy favors devolution. It makes looting easier if government doesn’t function normally. I think that is why Justice can’t get together with State to craft acceptable paperwork for foreign jurisdictions. But the rot goes far deeper than these two instances. Legal divisions at Justice are often run by people with political biases which conflict with the core mission of those divisions. I mean just look at Lanny Breuer who ran the Criminal Division and protected the Wall Street perpetrators of the largest frauds in human history.

    The there was the scandal of the politicization of the US Attornies under Bush which Obama did nothing to rectify.

    And then there is the federal Judiciary and the SCOTUS, who have done so much to create and enforce our two-tiered legal system.

    As for Snowden, our political and media elites feel that they have blunted the impact of his revelations. They can weather them and are already back to business as usual in terms of the operation of the surveillance state. In their eyes, they succeeded in making it about Snowden and their various smears against him have been successful.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Hugh;
      (Thanks again for doing the hard work for the rest of us concerning the monthly employment figures.)
      The elites may think they have defanged Snowden, but I’m eagerly awaiting the release of some more of the %90 of the information Greenwald says Snowden has left. A lot of serious people think that “The Marriage of Figaro” significantly moved along the pace of the French Revolution. Snowden is our Beaumarchais.

  14. rich

    Libor’s New Manager Has Its Own Conflicts

    The really big news in financial markets this morning was the U.K.’s decision to hand over administration of the London interbank offered rate to the parent of the New York Stock Exchange. The price tag: one pound. The conflicts of interest involved: countless.

    The scandal-plagued benchmark sets the interest rates for mortgages, corporate loans and derivatives — more than $300 trillion in contracts worldwide. It was mismanaged by the British Bankers’ Association, on whose watch traders rigged Libor to make their positions more profitable. Barclays Plc, UBS AG and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc have been fined more than $2.5 billion by U.S. and U.K. regulators and more than a dozen other firms are under investigation worldwide.

    As of January, Libor will be run by NYSE Euronext, the owner of the iconic stock exchange and a London-based futures exchange that happens to be a dominant player in interest-rate derivatives. A new owner was essential. But one that runs one derivatives exchange and is about to be subsumed by another, IntercontinentalExchange Inc.?

    That strikes me as problematic. NYSE Euronext operates Liffe, Europe’s second-largest derivatives exchange. Its interest-rate futures and other derivative instruments, some of which use Libor and related benchmarks as a component, are among the most heavily traded in the world.

    Handing off the benchmark to owners whose profitability depends on Libor’s continued credibility isn’t necessarily a bad idea. But it does give Libor’s new owner a billion reasons not to upset the status quo, and the status quo isn’t right.

    1. AbyNormal

      “GOOD JESUS LORD MERCY” ~Massinissa…”But with uncertainty about the future regulation of Libor – and given NYSE Euronext is being bought by U.S. peer IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) (ICE.N) for $8.2 billion – not everyone was convinced the appointment was appropriate.”
      YA THUNK
      “We had a ‘fox guarding the henhouse’ issue here, and we should learn from that,” said Bart Chilton, a member of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) regulator.

      Chilton added: “I firmly believe that having a truly neutral third-party administrator would be the best alternative, and I’m not sure that an exchange is the proper choice.”
      Meanwhile, Brussels is also seeking to take on powers held by national regulators. According to an EU law to be proposed shortly, regulation of major benchmarks like Libor and oil indexes – also at the centre of rigging allegations – could be shifted from London to the Paris-based European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

      In an effort to bridge the gap between British and U.S. views, the IOSCO group of securities regulators will later this month propose final principles on the governance of benchmarks, which will be reflected in the upcoming EU draft law.

      According to a document seen by Reuters, it will recommend using market transactions, but will allow for estimates when markets are illiquid. Trading had dried up between banks at the height of the 2007-2008 credit crunch, making it difficult to calculate accurate interbank rates.

      (ya know rich…you submit some of the nastiest reads on this site! for health reasons im gonna have ta ration your reads to 2 a week’)

  15. AbyNormal

    An onshore spill bigger than the Valdez
    Keep in mind when you read this article about the alarming number of onshore spills–more than **16 everyday**–that these are just the spills that get reported or caught. Many of the spills get covered up with sand or gravel.

    U.S. well sites in 2012 discharged more than Valdez
    Mike Soraghan, E&E reporter
    EnergyWire: Monday, July 8, 2013

    15.6 million gallons of oil, fracking fluid, wastewater and other liquids reported spilled at production sites last year. That’s more than the volume of oil that leaked from the shattered hull of the Exxon Valdez in 1989. About 11 million gallons gushed from that ship.

  16. Klassy!

    About that train derailment in Quebec– Am I the only one or did anyone else wonder if this was the work of some pipeline proponent? I imagine this says more about my more conspiaratorial frame of mind than anything else. Thinking it through it is hard to imagine anyone committing such an act. And yet.

    1. ambrit

      Dear Klassy!;
      Think, Reichstag Fire, Gulf of Tonkin “Incident,” Death of Superman, etc.

  17. skippy

    LIVING near a busy road can increase the risk of lung cancer, according to a large study that will increase the pressure on governments to reduce air pollution.

    Even low levels of traffic fumes have risks comparable with passive smoking, according to researchers, who say that pollution should be added to a World Health Organisation list of recognised causes of lung cancer. The risk increases by roughly 20 per cent when moving from clean areas to moderately polluted ones, and by the same again when moving to the most polluted zones, the international survey found.

    Researchers say that, while the risks to an individual are low, air pollution must be considered a serious public health problem. They looked at 17 previous studies that had collected data on 313,000 people around Europe, and recorded pollution levels where they lived. Of those, 2,095 developed lung cancer, or 0.67 per cent.
    Digital Pass $1 for first 28 Days

    Airborne particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter, known as PM2.5, and those smaller than 10 micrometres in diameter, known as PM10, were both linked to lung cancer.

    “The more traffic nearby, the more particles; and the more densely populated the area, the more particles,” said Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, of the Danish Cancer Research Centre in Copenhagen, who led the study. “Both traffic and the degree of urban development matters.”

    For every extra 5micrograms of PM2.5 in a cubic metre of air, lung cancer risk increases by 18 per cent, his team reports in The Lancet Oncology. For every extra 5 micrograms of PM10 in a cubic metre, the risk increases by 22 per cent, even after adjusting for class, wealth and other factors linked to lung cancer.

    This rule held even at levels considered safe by the EU, Dr Raaschou-Nielsen said. “We found no threshold below which there was no risk.”

    skippy… Duh~

  18. Dan Lynch

    Yves and Lambert, I highly recommend this story on the neoliberal deregulation of the Canadian Railroads, that may have contributed to the disaster in Lac-Megantic.

    “In 1999 the Liberal government of the day deregulated Canada’s railroads by amending the Railway Safety Act to implement Safety Management Systems (SMS). This change eliminated the role of Transport Canada in the oversight of railroads, and passed the onus onto the individual companies to regulate themselves.”

  19. LucyLulu

    Fukushima has found the highest levels of Cesium 134 and 137 since the tsunami in samples taken from a well on the ocean side of reactor #2, 150-200 times the acceptable level. Levels had risen 90 fold over a 3 day period per article linked below. LeMonde has reported the results of samples from today which are yet another 20+% higher but I only have the French version and couldn’t find another outlet with a similar update. Tepco is unclear if the contaminants are making it out to sea.

  20. mookie

    Scary Name, Scary Disease Leigh Cowart

    “A new disease is making people nervous. And rightfully so. Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, or MERS-CoV for short, has a mortality rate higher than 50% and a poorly understood method of transmission. It’s nothing to feel too comfortable about.”

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