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EPA withholding Animas River toxic spill documents from Congress

Congress is slamming the Environmental Protection Agency for withholding documents pertaining to the enormous amount of toxic chemicals it sent into the largest source of drinking water for the western part of the United States.

"It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the EPA failed to meet the House Science Committee's reasonable deadline in turning over documents pertaining to the Gold King Mine spill," said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). "These documents are essential to the Committee's ongoing investigation and our upcoming hearing on Sept. 9. But more importantly, this information matters to the many Americans directly affected in western states, who are still waiting for answers from the EPA."

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee gave the EPA until Tuesday morning to hand over documents surrounding the agency's clean-up effort. The EPA failed to produce a single document.

Comment: It's looking more and more like the EPA is trying to hide something:

Red Flag

Bar that used naked women as fruit platters sparks outrage

© Twitter
A bar in Sydney sparked outrage after using naked women as fruit platters.

Cruise Bar hosted a tropical-themed opening night party, and shared pictures of the women lying covered in fruit on social media.

They wrote on their Facebook page: "Amazing night to officially launch to the public. More pics to come tomorrow!" However, members of the public weren't sure how "amazing" the party was after seeing the pictures of nude women being used as plates.

Jane Oakley wrote on the page: "Thanks Cruise Bar for so openly showing your contempt for women and contributing to the disgusting view that women's bodies are just a utensil. I won't be coming to your venue when I'm looking for a night out."

Cell Phone

Living life through a cell phone: Over 280 million mobile addicts in the world

Comment: When one thinks about the abysmal state of ignorance of the average American and the complete lack of interest in anything happening outside of their own lives, it's not surprising to see the state that the world is in. We have been given handheld distraction machines to keep us from paying attention to reality, to keep us in a virtual world, and the vast majority of the world is more than happy to remain distracted. Considering how much global mobile use is increasing, it certainly looks as though people are turning more and more to blocking out reality via their cellphones than ever before.

Smartphone and tablet users just can't get enough of their mobile devices. Some do nearly everything with phone in hand.

U.S. consumers spend, on average, three hours and 40 minutes each day on their mobile devices, an increase of 35% from a year ago in the second quarter of 2014. And that time spent on mobile devices continues to increase, said Simon Khalaf, senior vice president of publishing products at Yahoo.

Globally there are 280 million "mobile addicts," who use apps more than 60 times daily. Effectively, "these folks are conducting their lives on mobile," Khalaf said. Regular users access apps up to 16 times daily, Flurry's research found.

Over the last six months, the average time consumers spend on their phones or devices has increased by 43 minutes, or 24%, he said. "This is the mobile revolution," Khalaf said. "There hasn't been a single industry that hasn't been disrupted by mobile and its applications."


Colorado theater shooter James Holmes sentenced to 12 life sentences

© RJ Sangosti / Reuters
Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes (C) leaves court for the last time before beginning his life sentence with no chance of parole after a hearing in Centennial, Colorado August 26, 2015
Colorado theatre shooter James Holmes, who killed 12 people 3 years ago, received 12 life sentences and the maximum of 3,318 years in prison. A Colorado judge said he "does not deserve any sympathy."

The 27-year-old gunman was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday, after a jury failed to reach unanimous agreement on the death penalty, Reuters reported. During a midnight screening of a Batman film in a Denver suburb on July 20, 2012, he killed 12 people and wounded 70 with a semiautomatic rifle, shotgun, and pistol.

"It is the court's intention that the defendant never set foot in free society again ... If there was ever a case that warranted the maximum sentences, this is the case," Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour said, as cited by Reuters.

Comment: It's worth remembering that this case is not so cut-and-dry as the media and law enforcement would have us believe. There is quite a bit of evidence that James Holmes did not act alone and was set up as a patsy by others to take the fall for the attack:

Light Sabers

Women tracks down man who molested her, fights backs until he begs for forgiveness

© Ruptly
A young woman in her teens allegedly harassed by a man tracked him down and gave him a thorough beating in public before the case was handed over to the police.

The Indian city of Lucknow saw an unusual demonstration of justice being served right in the street on Tuesday when a young woman beat her molester until he fell on his knees and begged for forgiveness.

The girl says the man, identified as Dhirendra, was molesting her while she was trying to get some sleep on her house's roof. She turned to Red Brigade, a women's organization which deals with cases like this in India.

They tracked the man down and took a video to teach others a lesson.

Star of David

"The real victims of the war are survivors": One year later, Gaza still in crisis

© Robert Ross
Gaza, Summer 2015
"The real victims of the war are the survivors," my friend Hamza, a Palestinian journalist, told me earlier this month, as we drank mango juice at a beach café in Gaza City.

Indeed, despite 12 months of relative peace, Gazans are still enduring the aftermath of three Israeli wars in the past six years, an ongoing Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade, a crippled economy, and internal political strife.

"Everyone here—100 percent of the people—are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder," Hamza said. Just moments earlier, he and his brother instinctively ducked their heads upon hearing a nearby firework explode.

This sentiment was echoed numerous times by the doctors, public health officials, journalists, artists, and aid workers I spoke with throughout my visit to Gaza.

"The war ended on the 26th of August, 2014," said Dr. Ghada al-Jadba, the Chief Field Health Program officer for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). "But another crisis began. You will see the destruction of the houses but behind the houses you will see more and more destruction of the people. Behind each house, there will be a very sad story, a disaster, a humanitarian disaster."

Comment: There was a deafening silence from the U.S. lasts summer while Gaza was being systematically destroyed by Israel. That silence continues to this day. There will likely come a day soon that many Americans are wondering why no one is speaking up about what is happening to them, and it will be no joy to remind them of their silence in the face of immense suffering around the planet. You reap what you sow.

Bad Guys

EU migrant crisis: Up to 50 bodies found decomposing in truck in Austria

Police stand in front of a truck parked on the shoulder of the highway A4 near Parndorf south of Vienna
Austrian police have confirmed that between 20 and 50 refugees have been found dead in a tractor trailer in the country's east. It appears the migrants, whose bodies have begun to decompose, suffocated in the back of the truck.

The food delivery truck was found parked on the shoulder of the A4 highway near the town of Parndorf, according to an interior ministry spokesperson.

"Unfortunately there are many dead people in there," the spokesperson told Reuters. He described the people as refugees, but said he did not have an exact number of those found in the lorry.

Comment: For more information on this horrific and rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis:

Read this sott focus article: Victims of Western wars forced to flee their countries called 'swarms of marauding people' by Western warmongering politicians

Listen to last week's 'behind the headlines' show on blog talk radio: NATO, war refugees and the EU immigration crisis


Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops

© Christopher Pala for the Guardian
fter four separate attempts to rein in the companies failed, an estimated 10,000 people marched through Honolulu’s Waikiki tourist district.
Pediatrician Carla Nelson remembers catching sight of the unusually pale newborn, then hearing an abnormal heartbeat through the stethoscope and thinking that something was terribly wrong.

The baby was born minutes before with a severe heart malformation that would require complex surgery. What worried her as she waited for the ambulance plane to take the infant from Waimea, on the island of Kauai, to the main children's hospital in Honolulu, on another Hawaiian island, was that it was the fourth one she had seen in three years.

In all of Waimea, there have been at least nine in five years, she says, shaking her head. That's more than 10 times the national rate, according to analysis by local doctors.

Comment: Read more:


Virginia shooter's manifesto included racial grievances and Charleston shootings as reasons for attack

Vester Lee Flanagan, who was known on air under the name Bryce Williams, has reportedly cited Charleston church shooting as a trigger for his attack on WDBJ news crew. His tweets also reveal his frustrations.

Williams killed Alison Parker, a 24-year-old reporter, and Adam Ward, a 27-year-old cameraman, during a live broadcast at 6:45 a.m. local time.

Flanagan wrote a 23-page manifesto, in which he details his grievances. He faxed it to ABC News about 2 hours after the shooting took place and called them on the phone, saying that authorities are after him and "all over the place" and hung up. ABC immediately sent the fax to the authorities.

While ABC has not released the full text, they have published some excerpts. The shooter said that he was suffering from racial discrimination and sexual harrassment at work, as a homosexual African-American.

A large part of his motivation appears to be as revenge for the Charleston shooting, where a white man killed nine black people in a historic church.


Fire at Dublin Airport prompts suspension of flights

© Cathal McNaughton / Reuters
Dublin airport
A fire has been contained at a hangar of the Dublin airport after the blaze prompted the suspension of all incoming and departing flights for about an hour.

Four fire engines were at the scene to deal with the fire, which started at 0715 local time (0615 GMT). The Dublin airport's firefighters were also tackling the fire. No injuries have been reported.

Comment: It appears an unusual amount of buildings have been catching fire or exploding lately. In Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, Pierre Lescaudron presents the possibility that certain types of buildings or factories can act as attractors for dramatic electrical discharges, whether 'sparked' by incoming comet fragments or atmospheric electrical conditions. So could something similar be responsible for some of these fires?