Andrew Emett

News Report

On the night of April 18, 2013, Dias Kadyrbayev asked UMass-Darthmouth sophomore Andrew Dwinells to enter the dorm room Dwinells shared with the alleged Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. After Dwinells agreed to let him in, Kadyrbayev searched the room for any incriminating evidence against his friend. He left the dorm room accompanied by Azamat Tazhayakov, Robel Phillipos, and a backpack containing Tsarnaev’s laptop, thumb drive, headphones, fireworks, Vaseline, a bag of marijuana, and an astray.

 

Earlier that day, photos of the Boston Bombing suspects had been released. While flippantly confronting Tsarnaev about seeing his face on the news, Kadyrbayev received this text from his friend: “Ifyu want yu can go to my room and take what's there :) but ight bro Salam aleikum.”

 

Returning to their off-campus apartment with the backpack, Tazhayakov conducted internet searches related to the FBI investigation into the Boston Marathon bombings as Kadyrbayev retreated to his bedroom with his girlfriend, Bayan Kumiskali. Upon learning about the backpack, Bayan ordered her boyfriend to remove the evidence from their apartment. Kadyrbayev kept the laptop, but tossed the backpack into a dumpster.

 

A few hours later, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, died in a shoot-out with the police. Law enforcement officials claimed Dzhokhar ran over his brother while fleeing the gunfight. Tamerlan’s death certificate states he was “shot by police and then run over and dragged by motor vehicle.” The medical examiner determined the cause of death had been from “gunshot wounds to torso and extremities” with additional blunt trauma to Tamerlan’s head and torso.

Is There Any Scientific Study - Not Sponsored by Industry - that Asserts Fracking is Safe?
Steve Rushton
News Report

A Talk Fracking event in London, which was the finale to a U.K.-wide tour, recently offered the opportunity to ask this burning question. With more than 250 in attendance, the motto of the day was: "Listen to the leading voices on both sides of the argument and have your say.” Talk Fracking had invited experts, industry insiders, environmentalists, politicians and diplomats to debate in a panel discussion format.

But amazingly, no one from the industry – that is, no one backing the case to frack – showed up, leaving many questions unanswered.

Who Says Fracking is Safe, and Who is Paying Them?

While fracking is still in its initial phases, the U.K.'s government and industry have made no secret of their plans to spread it across the country. The question remains: Has any objective scientist, not paid by the industry, actually confirmed that the drilling process is safe?

Last year’s Shale Gas Environmental Summit in London evoked this question as well, as research into the supposedly independent experts making the case to frack Britain revealed those individuals were either in the pay of the fracking industry or linked to it in other direct ways.

For instance, the summit’s chair, an academic named John Howe, presented research into the impacts of fracking that was paid for by fracking giant Cuadrilla, one of the main companies that aims to frack all over Britain.

Another example is the Royal Academy of Engineering, which takes direct funding from the natural gas industry. The Academy's former president, Lord Browne, is chairman of Cuadrilla. And its most recent president headed Anglo American, with fracking interests in South Africa.

Patrick Youngblood
Op-Ed

Many people assume the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is particularly difficult to understand, perhaps even convoluted beyond a solution, and for a long time I would have agreed. Even when I started educating myself about U.S. foreign policy in the late 1980s — topics like Central America, Iraq and Iran, and corporate-led globalization — I avoided what I assumed was the dizzyingly complicated topic of Israel/Palestine. But I was wrong.

Maybe it's a combination of factors that create this perception: the region’s religious history and the passions that arise from that, the existential threat faced by European Jews that culminated in the Holocaust, and the (mis)perception that this roughly 60-year-old conflict has gone on for centuries. Whatever the causes, one result is that many in the United States dismiss the topic as both impossible to understand and impossible to resolve.

Below is a short list of recommended resources and a brief discussion of the current crisis. One must read widely and critically to grasp a topic, and this is no exception. The information below is intended to serve as a good foundation from which to explore.

THE FOUNDATIONS

Middle East Research and Information Project - long one of the most valuable sources of information about Asia and the Middle East - maintains an updated primer on Israel and Palestine, covering everything from Ottoman rule to the recent Palestinian bid for membership in the United Nations. This is THE place to start.

British Supermarket to Power Itself Solely With Food Waste
Brandon Baker
News Report

It’s good to refrain from wasting energy, but it’s even better to procure energy from items that you otherwise would waste.

That’s the thinking behind the latest announcement from Sainsbury’s, the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. The chain’s Cannock location will soon be powered solely by the company’s own food waste. Waste management and recycling firm Biffa has partnered with the store to use its advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and a power link that allows the Cannock store to use the waste generated from Sainsbury’s other locations.

“This groundbreaking project helps to close the loop on food recycling and [allows] Sainsbury’s to continue to send zero operational waste to landfills,” reads the chain’s announcement.

Biffa trucks pick up Sainsbury’s food waste to take it to its AD plant. From there, large silos break down the waste in a process Sainsbury’s compares to the human stomach. The gas generates electricity, which supplies the Cannock store through a nine-mile cable. Any surplus energy returns to the national electricity grid.

Sainsbury’s is already the UK’s largest AD user, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes.

 

Veena Trehan
Op-Ed

Kudos to The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor and Huffington Post for their continued focus on campus sexual violence. July 13's New York Times devoted much of A1 and a full page spread to the disturbing narrative of Hobart and William Smith freshman which echoes other student rapes. Anna and witnesses described her rape, photographed by other students, by members of the school's popular football team. After accusing them she was harassed. The attackers' stories changed at least twice. Anna did not receive justice: the college investigative panel missed key evidence and asked inane questions, clearing them in under two weeks, and a criminal case was quickly dismissed despite DNA evidence. Fortunately, campus action is leading to the reevaluation of school policies.



Yes colleges are a toxic brew of hormones, inadequate supervision, alcohol abuse and poor judgment. Yet universities are poorly equipped to deal with assaults -- estimated as affecting one in five girls -- that occur on their campuses. A recent national survey by Senator Claire McCaskill's office found that 40 percent of schools had not investigated any assaults in five years, one-fifth don't train faculty and staff and one-third students.


Fortunately government and campuses are taking significant steps to address an often discriminatory and hostile climate. A White House Task Force released recommendations in April. Dartmouth held a summit with representatives from 60 schools earlier this month. Collegiate best practices have significant potential to curb such violence:

VOICES FOR CHANGE

Cheap Talk at the Fed
Dean Baker
"

Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen made waves in her Congressional testimony last week when she argued that social media and biotech stocks were over-valued. She also said that the price of junk bonds was out of line with historic experience. By making these assertions in a highly visible public forum, Yellen was using the power of the Fed’s megaphone to stem the growth of incipient bubbles. This is an approach that some of us have advocated for close to twenty years.

" ::
Gaza War Devastates Israeli Tourism Revenue, Points to Fragile Apartheid Future
Juan Cole
"

A Hamas rocket hit and destroyed a house in Yahoud, a town only a mile from Ben Gurion Airport in Israel on Tuesday, raising severe alarm in among the international airlines and leading most of them to cancel flights to Tel Aviv.  The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration called for a 24 hour moratorium on U.S. flights to Israel, and United Airlines, U.S. Airways and Delta ...

" ::
Citigroup’s $7 Billion Wrist Slap
Jim Hightower
"

When Citigroup accepted what the media hailed as a whopping $7 billion penalty for defrauding its own investors and wrecking our economy, the bank just shrugged. “We believe that this settlement is in the best interest of our shareholders and allows us to move forward and to focus on the future,” Citi CEO Michael Corbat said. Note the lack of any regret, apology, or shame. And the total absence of any pledge that ...

" ::
Can a $7 Billion Penalty Be a Good Deal?
Jim Hightower
"

Media outlets across the country trumpeted the stunning news with headlines like this: "Citigroup Punished."At last, went the storyline, the Justice Department brought down ...

" ::
Professor of Chemistry Turns India’s Plastic Trash into Useable Roadways
Christina Sarich
"

Scenes from the movie Slumdog Millionaire accurately depict India’s latest consumer-influenced economy. Tree groves are littered with a rainbow color of plastic bags like some kind of ominous carnival wreckage. Plastic bottles, candy wrappers, and other ‘garbage’ liters the streets in a land where city officials have long forsaken their ...

" ::
Will the Blabbermouths Wake Democrats Up?
Froma Harrop
"

It is often said, believed and undoubtedly right that the Republicans' ace in midterm elections is apathetic Democrats not showing up at the polls. But that once predictable waltz into November is threatened by blabbermouths of the right's seeking self-aggrandizement by hurling darts at the sleeping Democratic bear.  It's not that they don't know better. It's that their fame and fortune rests not on electing Republicans but on ...

" ::
The Actor and the Minister
Chris Hedges
"

On June 30 I was at the First Church in Jamaica Plain, Unitarian Universalist, which had turned its hall over to Michael Milligan, traveling the country performing his one-man play about a husband and wife trapped in our dysfunctional health care system. I arrived early at the stone church, whose present structure was erected in 1853, to help set up the chairs and clear the stage. The minister, the Rev. Terry Burke, who was a classmate of mine at Harvard Divinity School, officially ...

" ::
Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
"

Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies.This doesn’t include the ...

" ::
Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
"

Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies. This doesn’t ...

" ::
Are Solar Roadways Next on Our Clean Energy Horizon?
Christina Sarich
"

Do you remember the last time you stepped out on some hot asphalt or concrete on a sweltering summer day? You likely felt a tinge of the intense energy of the sun compacted into the over 4 million miles of roads that stretch across the United States. The US transportation system is vast, and it could just be ready for an enormous green facelift utilizing solar technologies. This doesn’t ...

" ::

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Water

State officials say the water is safe to drink now but environmentalists are skeptical - Would you drink it?

Tax Evasion

Inversion...it could cost the US an estimated $17 billion in revenue over the next decade if we don't change this.

Shelling

This is not the first attack on a UN school...Will it be the last?

Food Health

Republican legislators have railed against around the new federal school lunch standards, but a study suggests 70 percent of students now like the new lunches.

Immigration

It's still mostly teens that travel solo to the United States, but an alarming 7,500 kids under are 13.

Climate Change

A group of top scientists recently called for an essential change to how the United States deals with risks to its Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Wall Street

GOP sabotage and bureaucratic foot-dragging have combined to prevent full implementation of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law.

Obamacare

A federal judge has thrown out a U.S. Senator’s legal challenge to a part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law.

Corporate Tax

Corporations get enormous benefits, like limited liability, that regular “persons” do not.

Food Health

While the movement is an upward trend, it might play a significant role on the environment.

Religion

Young Americans are tired of “partisan crap.”

Israeli/Palestinian Peace Process

This is the third time the hospital has been under attack since the Israel land offense started.

Ukraine News

Reports say remains of 196 victims of jet disaster loaded on to train, with destination said to be a rebel-held town.

Immigration

Central American leaders are asking President Obama to support a regional development and security plan to stem the tide of illegal child migrants to the United States.

Organic Food

Just because food is labeled organic doesn’t mean it’s what you’re expecting.

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