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Dark Days: Bill Nye Boo'd In Texas For Saying The Moon Reflects The Sun

bill nye
Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were "visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence," according to the Waco Tribune.

Heart - Black

Sickening: Mother suspected of putting household bleach in toddler's eyes

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When a little girl arrived at the Seattle Children's ER last year with swelling in her eyes and sensitivity to light, doctors sent her to the Opthalmology department. The 13-month-old was treated for a scratched cornea and a mild infection and sent home. But she didn't get better. It was weeks before the horrible truth about her injuries was revealed.
A Pierce County woman faces possible child abuse charges for putting household bleach in her child's eye medication. A Pierce County woman is charged with assault of a child in the first degree for allegedly putting bleach in her toddler's eye drops, causing what will likely be permanent eye damage.

The 13-month-old girl arrived at the emergency room at Seattle Children's Hospital last year with swelling in her eyes, sensitivity to light, scratched corneas and a mild infection. She was sent to the Opthalmology Department, treated and sent home. But she didn't get better. It was weeks before the horrible truth about her injuries was revealed.
Over the following days and weeks, the child's parents repeatedly brought the toddler back to Children's. She was given the standard treatment, including antibiotics and eyedrops, for a common problem. Still, she didn't improve.

Childrens' chief of opthalmology, Doctor Avery Weiss says with each visit, they did more diagnostic work and even quizzed the mother. "I'm sure we asked her, 'What are you putting on the eye?'" recalled Weiss. Her answer, "The antibiotics that you prescribed."

Arrow Down

Fear as UK manufacturing slows sharply

Export orders for Britain's manufacturers have collapsed at their fastest rate in almost three years, a key survey has found, raising fresh fears about the state of the economy.
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© Unknown
Manufacturing output expanded for the fifth consecutive month in April, but at the weakest pace since December.

Poor export orders pulled activity in the UK's key manufacturing industry down to its slowest rate of growth in four months in April, according to the closely-watched purchasing managers' index (PMI), as companies reported fewer orders across the board - from Europe, the US and Asia.

Foreign demand for British goods has now deteriorated for two of the past three months as export orders dropped at their fastest pace since May 2009. The sharp decline in exports caused total new order books to shrink for the first time in five months.

The overall PMI reading fell from 51.9 to 50.5 for April, worse than forecasts of a decline to just 51.5 and the slowest pace of expansion since December.
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© Markit/Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply

Economists said the figures, from Markit and the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, came as a blow following the economy's slide back into recession in the first quarter.

Light Sabers

Euro 2012 faces diplomatic crisis over Ukraine's jailed opposition leader

Germany leads west European and EU states threatening to boycott football tournament unless Yulia Tymoshenko is released


The 2012 European Championships were heading towards a diplomatic fiasco on Monday after more EU leaders said they would join Germany in a boycott of the event next month unless Ukraine freed the opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko.

On Sunday, Angela Merkel said that she and her cabinet would not attend any games played in Ukraine, which is co-hosting the tournament with Poland, unless the human rights situation under President Viktor Yanukovych improved.

On Monday, the president of the European commission, José Manuel Barroso, and Viviane Reding, the commissioner for justice, said they would not be travelling to Ukraine either. The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, announced he was cancelling a visit to Yalta, while Germany's president, Joachim Gauck, called off a trip to the same central European leaders' summit last week.

An European commission spokeswoman said that "as things stand" Barroso had "no intention of going" to Euro 2012. She described Tymoshenko's predicament as "a very, very serious situation". "It gives rise to very serious concern," she added.

Dominoes

Censored: ISPs Ordered to Block the Pirate Bay

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© Unknown
The Pirate Bay Logo
Looks like the Pirate Bay ship is sailing away from the UK.

British courts have ruled that internet service providers in the United Kingdom must block file-sharing site The Pirate Bay. Back in February, a British High Court ruling found that TPB and users of the service breach copyright on a major scale. Justice Arnold of the British High Court ruled that TPB went "far beyond merely enabling or assisting" copyright infringement. Now it seems access to The Pirate Bay will soon be blocked by ISPs across the country.

The BBC reports that today's ruling orders five major UK ISPs to block subscribers from accessing TPB. Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media will all have to block The Pirate Bay while British Telecom has asked for more time to review the situation. The case is a massive win for the music and entertainment industry as a whole but particularly for the British Phonographic Industry, which requested that the ISPs voluntarily block TPB late last year.

"The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale," the BBC cites BPI as saying in a statement today. "Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong - musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else."

Speaking about the decision, a spokesperson for the Pirate Party UK said that today's ruling was a step toward web censorship in the UK.

"Unfortunately, the move to order blocking on The Pirate Bay comes as no surprise," Loz Kaye told the BBC. "The truth is that we are on a slippery slope towards internet censorship here in the United Kingdom."

The order to block The Pirate Bay follows similar proceedings that saw access to another file-sharing site, Newzbin2, blocked. ISPs were last year ordered to block access to Newzbin2 following a ruling from Mr Justice Arnold, the same judge that presided over today's Pirate Bay case.

Stormtrooper

Fascist Golden Dawn Aiming High in Greek Elections

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Golden Dawn is looking to take advantage of Greeks' disillusionment of mainstream parties
The boxes are packed with warm clothes, the plastic bags full of long-life food. There is even a teddy bear in tow. All sit piled in a rickety blue van, winding its way through Athens to be delivered to the Greek capital's needy.

Behind the aid is not a humanitarian organisation but Greece's ultranationalist party, Chrysi Avgi - or Golden Dawn. Their critics call them violent extremists. But they are keen to show off their soft side - and it wins votes.

One of the recipients is 76-year-old Katerina Karousi. She breaks down in tears as she talks of battling with cancer.

"Why not vote for Golden Dawn?" she asks. "They're helping us, so I should give them something in return."

But beyond the benevolent facade is a party that strikes fear into many here. With a virulent anti-immigrant line, Golden Dawn are often labelled neo-Nazis.

Better Earth

Protesters out for May Day rallies

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© Lefteris Pitarakis/AP
Workers and activists rally on May Day.
Protesters across the world hit the streets Tuesday on May Day to rally against austerity measures and call for higher wages and more jobs. In the United States, the protests are seen as the biggest test for the Occupy movement since many of its camps were shuttered late last year.

Occupiers in more than 100 cities across the country were expected to protest on the day that traditionally celebrates workers' rights.

Demonstrators in New York will hold a "free university" and a "Guitarmy" will lead a march; in Nashville, they will hold a torchlight procession to commemorate worker struggles and victories; and in Oakland, they plan to occupy Child Protective Services and picket business associations.

"We've got hundreds of people out already and I know a lot of people are going to be trickling in as the day goes along. We've had pickets at the Bank of America, Chase, Disney," Mark Bray of the Occupy Wall Street PR team said as protesters chanted "We are the 99 percent" in the background. "(The) mood is very spirited, the rain is lightening up... ."

Dorian Warren, an assistant professor of political science at Columbia University, said he thought Tuesday would be the "biggest test since the fall of where Occupy is."

Bomb

Entrapment: Five arrested in bridge bombing plot

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© Unknown
The FBI is displaying this map in the room where it will apparently announce the arrests of five people in connection [an alleged plot to blow up a bridge.]
Five people, claiming to be anarchists, have been arrested in Cleveland for trying to blow up a four-lane bridge across the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

The public was never in danger from the devices, according to Fox News. The explosive devices were inoperable and controlled by an undercover FBI agent. Charges were against the suspects were filed Tuesday morning in Cleveland.

Douglas Wright, 26, Brandon Baxter, 20, and Anthony Hayne, 35, were arrested Monday and charged with conspiracy and attempted use of explosive material to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce, according to WEWS-NewsNet5 in Cleveland. Two other men, Connor Stevens, 20, and Joshua Stafford, 23, were also arrested, but not charged, the station reported.

The suspects were targeting the state Route 82 bridge that spans the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, according to WEWS. The suspects had bought fake explosives and placed them near the bridge Monday. The suspects were arrested after 9 p.m. Monday, the station reports.

The suspects had considered a series of plots over several months. Among the alternative targets was the Veteran's Memorial Bridge, according to WEWS. One of the suspects, Wright, had talked about driving a car into the Federal Reserve Bank to blow it up, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

The FBI's Cleveland office is displaying a photo of the apparent bridge in question, according to WEWS-NewsNet5 in Cleveland. The state Route 82 bridge is in Brecksville, south of Cleveland.

Comment: "The suspects had bought fake explosives and placed them near the bridge Monday." From who did they buy the explosives? The "undercover FBI agent" who knew the "explosive devices were inoperable" seems most likely.


Che Guevara

Bob Marley documentary let down by its eurocentrism

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I went to see Marley, the new and highly-publicised documentary about Robert Nesta Marley, at the Rio cinema in the heart of gentrified Dalston. While I enjoyed my green tea and organic chocolate bar (definitely a step up from pepsi and popcorn!), I found that being surrounded by trendy middle-class types only added to my sense of fear that the film was going to be annoyingly eurocentric and patronising.

But let's start with the good parts. Doing justice to the legacy of Bob Marley in the space of two hours and 24 minutes is an impossible task. All things considered, the people behind the film did a pretty decent job. The archive and interview footage is nothing short of incredible. The production team must have gone to extraordinary lengths to get the level of access they got. The interviews with Rita Marley, Bunny Wailer, Lee Scratch Perry, Danny Sims and other important figures in Bob's life are brilliant, and do a lot to explain how this giant of a man came to be who he was. For any fan of Bob Marley, the film is worth watching for the footage alone.

Unfortunately, the film is let down (as I knew it would be) by its eurocentric perspective. Let's face it, the first feature-length documentary on Bob Marley should have been directed by somebody else. Kevin Macdonald is perfectly competent as a film director, but he is a western white liberal. The story of Bob Marley is the story of black suffering and strength inna Babylon; the story a great revolutionary activist; the story of a people stripped of their freedom, languages, religions and traditions, building a voice and a collective identity. In short, it is not a story that Kevin Macdonald is qualified to tell.

Cow Skull

Baby Dolphin Die-Offs Continue in the Gulf

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© NOAA
Researchers perform necropsies and physical exams on stranded dolphins in an aim to determine the cause of death.
An unusually high number of dead dolphins - including stillborn and infant calves - have washed up along the Gulf of Mexico shores in the two years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded into flames, unleashing tens of thousands of barrels of oil into the ocean.

More than 100 dolphin strandings already this year add to a pattern of death and disease among the marine mammals. In a normal year before the spill, about 74 strandings would be reported in the area. That number has increased eightfold in the past two years. Since February 2010, more than 600 have been found on the shores between the Louisiana-Texas border and the western coast of Florida.

And many of these dolphins have serious health problems -- lung disease, liver problems and low blood sugar -- according to autopsies on the animals and other research.

Scientists suspect oil as a major culprit, but linking the spill definitively with the dolphin die-offs has been tricky. Decomposition causes tissue to decay, making the animals difficult to study.

"In all of the dolphin deaths... only 17 percent are stranded alive or stranded in fresh-dead conditions," said Jenny Litz, a research fishery biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who is studying the die-offs. Decomposition makes it much harder to study tissues during a necropsy (A necropsy is the animal equivalent of an autopsy).