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No “Eureka” Moment in Boston Bombing Videos or Images
by Lara Turner
Grainy, dark, faded and inconclusive. That’s what most of the photographic and video evidence in the case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev looks like. And since the defense has done little to question it, who’s going to? Lara Turner looks at the state of the prosecution’s proof.
OPINION: The Glaring Absence of Cameras in the Boston Bombing Trial
by Andrew Quemere
In a case that fully demonstrates the pervasiveness of surveillance cameras in America, the absence of cameras at one of the biggest trials of the year is glaring. Andrew Quemere examines how the federal courts have managed to stay happily anachronistic.
As Netanyahu Prevails in Israel, a Thorny Relationship Persists for U.S.
Bibi’s Likud Party pulled off a stunning victory in yesterday’s election after veering to the extreme right. Now comes the hard part. Not only does he have to form a coalition, but he’s alienated the Palestinians, shut down the peace process and poisoned the well at the White House … a well the State of Israel drinks from to the tune of well over $3 billion annually.
The US Government Is Pressuring Europe to Dial Back Its Pesticide Rules
Europe is so “Old World.” They just don’t get it. In 2011, the EU restricted the use of endocrine-disrupting pesticides—a class of chemicals that interferes with naturally-occurring hormones. Unlike America, they don’t like “innovation” or looking forward to a brave new world of obesity, diabetes, behavior issues, learning problems and reproductive disorders. But fear not, U.S. trade negotiators are currently pressing for “harmonization” of pesticide rules between the U.S. and the EU. (See our analysis of what’s at stake in the massive U.S.-EU trade deal.)
US Sets New Record for Denying Federal Files Under Freedom of Information Act
The “Most Transparent Administration in History” just wants you to know that you’re on a need-to-know basis. And, if the last two years are any indication, there is a helluva lotta stuff you simply don’t need to know. More than ever, the Obama Administration refused access to files, is piling up a growing backlog of unanswered requests and, in one of three cases, admits it improperly withheld documents after being challenged.
Republican Budget Hawks Propose Budget Trick: Use War Funds To Skirt Defense Caps
The GOP’s fiscal 2016 budget resolution proposes $523 billion for defense. That number meets limits set by the 2011 Budget Control Act, a.k.a. “The Sequester.” But they want to spend more. So, they—in what’s become an annual tradition since 9/11—dumped $94 billion into a convenient war chest called Overseas Contingency Operations. This slush fund basically “hides” a chunk of defense spending from the official budget number. (Take a look at Bob Hennelly’s trenchant analysis of the roots of this spending plan.)
Pentagon Loses Track of $500 Million in Weapons, Equipment Given to Yemen
Speaking of slush funds … officials speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed that they lost track of half-a-billion dollars worth of ammo, night vision goggles, pistols, M-4 rifles, body armor, Humvees, helicopters, drones and a transport plane in the hurly-burly of Yemen’s civil war. Did anyone check under the couch cushions? Oopsy-doopsy!
Watch Four Years of Oil Drilling Collapse in Seconds
Yes, U.S. producers are still cranking out oil and gas. The American Petroleum Institute just reported U.S. oil surplus inventory rose by 10.5 million barrels to a total of 450 million barrels. But, as this detailed infographic shows, the number of active rigs just hit a wall after four years of the fastest expansion of oil production in U.S. history. The big crunch is starting. Check it out.
First Case of Fish Removed from Endangered Species List Thanks to Habitat Restoration
Guess what? The Endangered Species List works. At least it did in the case of the Oregon chub. After a two-decade restoration of the chub’s habitat, the three-inch-long minnow went from less than a thousand in 1993 to approximately 140,000 today. The key takeaway: Mother Nature will repair itself if we just stop getting in her way, give her a little time and help, and let her do that voodoo she does so well.
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