That’s from the World Bank’s new “What a Waste” report, which estimates that 1 to 5 percent of the world’s urban population is employed in some form of solid-waste management — that includes everyone from workers at recycling plants to the more than 2 million informal “waste-pickers” in poorer countries.And the garbage will keep piling up. Currently, the world spends $205.4 billion to handle about 1.3 billion tons of trash each year.
When the tsunami hit the northern coast of Japan last year, the waves ripped four dock floats the size of freight train boxcars from their pilings in the fishing port of Misawa and turned them over to the whims of wind and currents.
NOAA’s tsunami marine debris coordinator Ruth Yender said if the Pacific were shrunk to the size of a football field, something like the dock would be the size of a human hair, making it very difficult to monitor, even from satellites
More than three-quarters of the U.S. government’s satellite images don’t come from government satellites. They’re provided by two companies, GeoEye and DigitalGlobe. So alarms began to ring in Washington in February, when those two companies started talk to become one, forming a monopoly in space and radically altering the economics of the commercial satellite industry and how we see the Earth from above.
Months of friendly merger talks were sparked by fears of military budget cuts that made both companies think of joining forces to avoid huge losses. On May 6 DigitalGlobe turned down a surprise $792 million hostile takeover bid from GeoEye. But talks continued … until now, it seems. According to an industry official familiar with the negotiations, the chances of the two companies combining are growing slim, in large part because key congressional panels won’t allow the satellite budget to get cut. “It appears that Congress is being receptive to the importance of having two companies in space,” the official tells Danger Room.
The latest Radiolab “shorts” episode, entitled Grumpy Old Terrorists, seems like a bit of a departure in subject matter for that program — but fits right in with something we’ve been talking a lot about lately. Over the past few years, we’ve noticed the rather disturbing trend in how the FBI keeps publicly celebrating stories about stopping terrorist plots — but in almost every case the details show that it was actually just stopping its own terrorist plots that it feeds to hapless individuals, often nudging them and pushing them down the road to “become” terrorists, despite commonly displaying little to no aptitude for actual terrorism.
In the last few weeks, the mainstream press has started to notice this as well, with stories about it appearing in both the NY Times and Rolling Stone. However, the Radiolab episode highlights a similar, but slightly different story, that was actually covered in great detail in an article in Esquire a few months back, entitled Waffle House Terrorists – which includes the mugshots of the four “terrorists.”
The youngest one of that bunch is 65-years old. The oldest is 73. As the Radiolab episode and the Esquire piece detail, while these guys do seem hateful, they also seemed absolutely unable to doanything… until an “FBI informant” joined their pack and pushed and prodded them along, introducing them to the “contacts” to get weapons and even providing “the money” to buy said weapons. The Esquire article goes into great detail about the “informant” and his rather questionable legal history (he first contacted the FBI while in jail for molesting his wife’s daughter from a previous marriage).
On Radiolab, they play the audiotapes the guy made of the plotting — and there’s obviously some crazy stuff being said. But, as they look deeper into the role of the informant, the Radiolab hosts conclude the episode by noting that the whole situation doesn’t really make them feel any safer. Yes, these old guys were hateful and helped join in this plan to cause lots of death and destruction. But, so much much of the plot and the participation of these guys really does seem driven by the “informant,” who does not seem like the most credible of guys. And it’s this exact scenario that we keep seeing over and over again. It may not reach the level of entrapment, and it may put some people really ignorant and crazy people in jail — but is this really the best use of the FBI’s time and efforts? Creating bogus “terrorist” plots involving people who had no real means to actually do anything?
House Republicans are trying to “keep the public in the dark” by blocking a new rule that requires broadcasters to post political ad data online, according to the media reform group Free Press.
The Federal Communications Commission adopted a measure in April that requires broadcasters to provide information about political ad buys — including advertising rates — on the Internet. Previously, the rule only required the files to be available to the public. However, in almost all cases anyone who wanted access to them had to physically visit the stations.
A House Appropriations subcommittee approved the 2013 Financial Services bill on Wednesday, which includes a provision to block the new FCC rule. Democrats tried to strip the provision from the bill, but lost a party-line vote.
“Some members of Congress, working at the behest of the broadcast industry, want to keep the public in the dark,” Free Press Action Fund Senior Policy Counsel Corie Wright said. “The FCC’s online political file rules will shine a brighter light on the political ads that have inundated local airwaves this year.”
“Broadcasters spent nearly $14 million on lobbyists in 2011,” Wright added. “Now they’re spending millions more on campaign contributions to buy support from some members of Congress — but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to over $3 billion in political ad revenues that television stations stand to pull in this election cycle.”
NBC News, ABC News, Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution have all lobbied against the measure.
“This information is already available in paper format, and it is entirely reasonable to make it accessible online, especially when there is little actual cost to doing so,” Rep. Jose Serrano said.
With the aid of more than $45.6 million, most of it from outside the state, that paid for ads praising him for his “courage” in taking on unions and attacking labor for its “selfish” intransigence. As one ad put it, “Labor union mobs led by Barack Obama’s Organizing for America are trying to intimidate and harass Governor Walker and lawmakers in Madison, simply because they’re finally doing the right thing.”
Now Obama is a mob leader. Wew, at least we are over that birth certificate thing.
Mr. Walker’s campaign raised seven times as much money as Mr. Barrett’s, much of it in six-figure checks from some of the same business interests contributing millions to Republican “super PACs” and advocacy groups this year, including Sheldon Adelson and Bob Perry.
So you can simply buy an election these days…
Business networking website LinkedIn has admitted that a data breach has compromised the passwords of some of its users.
In a post on the California-based website’s blog on Wednesday, engineer Vicente Silveira said some passwords had been “compromised” and the situation was being investigated.
He said users whose accounts had been affected would find that their passwords were no longer valid, and would receive an email instructing them how to reset their passwords.
LinkedIn has more than 161 users worldwide, with almost two-thirds located outside the United States.
This last line doesn’t surprise me, for some reason. How long before AJ fixes it?