Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Recession Victims Not Minorities, But 'Good Americans'
Republicans criticized Rep. Paul Kanjorski for what they said were remarks suggesting minorities are not "average, good American people." The 13-term Pennsylvania Democrat vigorously denied the charge, saying Republicans were taking his words out of context to score political points. In remarks Wednesday night defending a program to help homeowners facing foreclosure stay in their homes, Kanjorski said: "We're giving relief to people that I deal with in my office every day now unfortunately. But because of the longevity of this recession, these are people — and they're not minorities and they're not defective and they're not all the things you'd like to insinuate that these programs are about — these are average, good American people."
Republican Lou Barletta, the mayor of Hazelton, Pa. who hopes to unseat Kanjorski this fall in a rematch, called on the congressman to apologize. "This is outrageous and shows how out of touch Kanjorski is with the real world," Barletta said in a statement. A Kanjorski spokeswoman said the congressman was defending people who get government help from those who unfairly criticize them.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Reuters Admits Cropping Photos Of Ship Clash
The British-based Reuters news agency has been stung for the second time by charges that it edited politically sensitive photos in a way that casts Israel in a bad light. But this time Reuters claims it wasn’t at fault. The British-based Reuters news agency has been stung for the second time by charges that it edited politically sensitive photos in a way that casts Israel in a bad light. But this time Reuters claims it wasn’t at fault. The news agency reacted to questions raised by an American blogger who showed that Reuters' photo service edited out knives and blood traces from pictures taken aboard the activist ship Mavi Marmara during a clash with Israeli commandos last week. Nine people were killed and scores were injured in the clash. The pictures of the fight were released by IHH, the Turkish-based group that sponsored the six-ship fleet that tried to break Israel's blockade of Gaza. In one photo, an Israeli commando is shown lying on the deck of the ship, surrounded by activists. The uncut photo released by IHH shows the hand of an unidentified activist holding a knife. But in the Reuters photo, the hand is visible but the knife has been edited out. The blog “Little Green Footballs” challenged Reuters' editing of the photo. “That’s a very interesting way to crop the photo. Most people would consider that knife an important part of the context. There was a huge controversy over whether the activists were armed. Cropping out a knife, in a picture showing a soldier who’s apparently been stabbed, seems like a very odd editorial decision. Unless someone was trying to hide it,” the blog stated.In a second photo the unedited print issued by IHH showed blood along the ship's railing and a hand holding a knife as an Israeli soldier lies on the deck. Both the blood and the knife were missing in the photo that Reuters released. Reuters on Tuesday denied it intended to alter the political meanings of the photographs. “The images in question were made available in Istanbul, and following normal editorial practice were prepared for dissemination which included cropping at the edges," the news agency said in a statement. "When we realized that a dagger was inadvertently cropped from the images, Reuters immediately moved the original set as well." Reuters has yet to respond to charges about the second photo. This is the second time Reuters has been accused of manipulating photos. In 2006 a Reuters photographer, Adnan Hajj, doctored several photos of the destruction caused by Israel's bombing of Beirut. In one he added smoke to a panoramic picture of South Beirut to make the damage look more severe than it was. In a second photo, he showed a woman whose home had supposedly been destroyed in the same raid, but an investigation revealed that the woman's house had been destroyed prior to the Israeli strike. Reuters later removed all of Hajj's more than 900 photos from distribution and severed its relationship with him. A photo editor also was fired. What happened on the Mavi Marmara and who was responsible for the killing and bloodshed on the ship is still a matter of debate. Activists charge that Israeli commandos fired first and provoked the skirmish. Israeli commandos say they were compelled to use deadly force after they were attacked by people on board the ship.
Saturday, June 05, 2010
Thursday, June 03, 2010
I Can Plug Oil Leak, Says NY Genius
BP's engineers can't stop the gushing oil spill, but a young genius from Long Island says she found the solution in less time than it takes most people to finish a crossword puzzle. Since the "top kill," "junk shot" and "top hat" techniques failed to end the environmental nightmare, Alia Sabur -- who started her engineering Ph.D. at age 14 -- is pushing for a more radical idea. The Northport native, who started reading before she could walk and who at 18 broke a 300-year-old record to become the youngest-ever college professor, proposes surrounding a pipe with deflated automobile tires, inserting it into the leaking riser, and then inflating the wheels to form a seal. She calls the plan the "seabed retread." "It's not completely out there, considering that tires are used for everything and they're expected to withstand a lot," Sabur, 21, told The Post. The idea came to her while watching television reports of the failed attempts to plug the hole last week, she said. And she had it all worked out in a just a few minutes, sketching it out on paper. "I can't believe that at this point, with all our technology, that something like this can happen and devastate an entire area," she said. "Even at the smallest estimate, it's still a lot of oil." Since BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20, more than 40 million gallons of crude have spilled into the Gulf. Sabur, who is finishing her doctorate in engineering at Drexel University in Philadelphia, said it frustrated her that none of BP's solutions seemed to have any success. The oil company has tried to drop containment domes over the leaks, but one missed its mark and the other got clogged with an icy mix of methane gas and water. It has also tried pumping mud, golf balls, tire scraps and other objects into the well to stop the flow.
Alia Sabur"I figured experts would know more about it than I did but their ideas didn't work," she said. "So I started thinking about it." The prodigy, who has received awards and fellowships from NASA and the Department of Defense, decided to take a different tack from BP's latest strategy, the "lower marine riser package," in which the riser pipe is cut and a housing is placed over it to collect the oil. "This was a thought experiment," she said. "They tried covering it and now they're trying to block it, and it seems they are trying things that go on it or around it. "I started thinking of something that goes inside it." The tires might not be able to fully inflate inside the pipe, but the resulting seal would be able to stem the flow of oil and redirect it into a new pipe, she said. A valve in the pipe could be closed to block the oil or open to allow it to flow, presumably to a ship on the surface. Sabur admitted that she's not certain the inflated tires would be enough to hold the new pipe in place. "But if it works, then it might be possible to then put something on top of it -- to brace the inserted pipe -- to do something more permanent," she said. "Obviously, I hope that what they're doing now works. It's just absolutely terrible." Even if her idea fails to stave off further catastrophe, Sabur has an amazing history. At the age of 2, she started reading novels, and at 11 she played the clarinet with the Rockland Symphony Orchestra. She hasn't yet been able to get her idea to BP, but thinks they should consider it if other efforts fail.
3 Charged With Stealing Identities Of Soldiers Killed In Iraq
Police say two men and one woman from Wisconsin printed checks with the names of fallen Wisconsin soldiers. The three then used those checks to buy several items at stores in Oneida County, just north of Wausau.Investigators found computers, software and torn up checks in the suspect's car. All three were arrested and are now in jail.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Porn Actor Goes On Rampage
A pornographic actor who was threatened with losing his job went a on a rampage at a Van Nuys, Calif. production facility Tuesday night, killing one co-worker and injuring two, the Los Angeles Times reported. Stephen Hill, 30, who had been working and living at the offices of Ultima DVD Inc. for several months, lashed out when he was told by employees of the business that he would be losing his job and needed to make other living arrangements. Hill reportedly attacked one co-worker in the office with a “machete-like” weapon around 10:20 pm local time Tuesday night.Two other employees who came to the defense of their co-worker were also injured by Hill. One of them later died in a local hospital. The extent of the other two employees' injuries is unclear, though police said both are expected to survive. Following the attack, Hill fled the scene in a SUV and is still on the run. Police are looking for a blue Toyota RAV4 with license plate 5YTC423. Hill had acted in several porn movies, according to Los Angeles police.