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Scientist finds Gulf sea floor still oily, covered with dead creatures

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© AP Photo/ University of Georgia, Samantha Joye
This Dec. 1, 2010 photo provided by the University of Georgia, made from the submarine Alvin, shows a dead crab with oil residue near it on a still-damaged sea floor about 10 miles north of the BP oil rig accident. Marine biologist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia said, “We consistently saw dead fauna (animals) at all these sites. It’s likely there’s a fairly large area impacted,” she said.
Washington - Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.

At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn't.

"There's some sort of a bottleneck we have yet to identify for why this stuff doesn't seem to be degrading," Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington. Her research and those of her colleagues contrasts with other studies that show a more optimistic outlook about the health of the gulf, saying microbes did great work munching the oil.

Video

Rising anger in US over austerity measures: Wisconsin State Representative Gordon Hintz on the "Budget repair bill"

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© WisconsinEye
Uploaded under Fair Use. Original audio and video copyright WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network.

It seems some pretty shady tactics are being used to push the bill through. Rep Gordon Hintz provides some insight on the bill's handling from an opposing representative's point of view.

Transcript provided by AffirmationNow.


Wolf

US: Annandale Civic Association Elects Dog as President

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© Rob Baird (NB: Ms Beatha Lee not pictured) Source: Herald Sun
Boss with bite ... Members of the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association elected Ms Beatha Lee as its president, not knowing she was a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
For more than 20 years, candidates running for office in the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association in Annandale have stood, waved and received polite applause at the annual meeting in June. Everyone votes, eats ice cream, chats with neighbors and goes home.

This past election, to make the meeting move faster, only the names and qualifications of the candidates were announced. Running for president, Ms. Beatha Lee was described as a relatively new resident, interested in neighborhood activities and the outdoors, and who had experience in Maine overseeing an estate of 26 acres.

Though unfamiliar with Lee's name, the crowd of about 50 raised their hands, assuming that the candidate was a civic-minded newcomer. These days, it's hard to get anyone to volunteer to devote the time needed to serve as an officer. The slate that Lee headed was unanimously elected. Everyone ate ice cream, watched a karate demonstration and went home.

Only weeks later did many discover that their new president was, in fact, a dog.

Che Guevara

China Web Users Call for 'Jasmine Revolution'

Postings circulating on the Internet have called on disgruntled Chinese to gather on Sunday in public places in 13 major cities to mark the "Jasmine Revolution" spreading through the Middle East.

The calls have apparently led the Chinese government to censor postings containing the word "jasmine" in an attempt to quell any potential unrest.

"We welcome... laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end 'one party rule'," one posting said.

The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.

Protesters were urged to shout slogans including "we want food to eat," "we want work," we want housing," "we want justice," "long live freedom," and "long live democracy."

Chinese authorities have sought to restrict media reports on the recent political turmoil that began in Tunisia as the "Jasmine Revolution" and spread to Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Family

The world's biggest family: The man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren


  • Ziona Chana lives with all of them in a 100-room mansion
  • His wives take it in turns to share his bed
  • It takes 30 whole chickens just to make dinner
He is head of the world's biggest family - and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives.

Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.

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© Richard Grange / Barcroft India
The full monty: The Ziona family in its entirety with all 181 members

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© Richard Grange / Barcroft India
You treat this place like a hotel: With 100 rooms the Ziona mansion is the biggest concrete structure in the hilly village of Baktawng

Arrow Down

Canada: Gas Pipeline Explodes in Remote Part of Northwestern Ontario; no injuries

A natural gas pipeline ruptured and exploded in northwestern Ontario, creating a fireball that made one resident feel like "the world was coming to an end."

Police said there were no injuries in the blast that occurred around midnight Saturday near Beardmore, Ont., about 170 kilometres northeast of Thunder Bay.

The flames shot up "a couple hundred feet in the air" and were spotted by airplanes flying over the area, said Sgt. Greg Moore of the Ontario Provincial Police.

Darlene Enders and her family were among a number of residents forced to leave their homes while police investigated the blast.

"It seemed like the world was coming to an end," Enders said Sunday from her home in Beardmore.

"The sky lit right up _ it was like daylight _ and the house started vibrating," the 51-year-old said. "We were scared to go out and scared to stay in."

Residents of the small town gathered at a community centre and were allowed to return home within about an hour, Moore said.

Highway 11 through the area was closed until about 8 a.m. Sunday while emergency crews extinguished the flames and turned off the gas.

Pistol

Attacks in Mexico resort of Acapulco Kill 12 Taxi Drivers, Passengers Ahead of Tennis Tourney

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© The Associated Press / Bernardo de Niz
A Guadalajara state policeman stands next to a burnt-out bus on the outskirts of the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Tuesday Feb. 1, 2011. Police are reporting gunmen set up at least 4 roadblocks and launched 2 grenade attacks in the metropolitan area of Guadalajara. No fatalities have been reported.
A spate of attacks on taxis in the Mexican resort city of Acapulco has left 12 taxi drivers or passengers dead, police said Sunday, just hours before the Mexican Open tennis tournament is scheduled to start.

Acapulco has been the scene of bloody drug cartel turf wars, and taxi drivers have often been targeted for extortion or recruited by the gangs to act as lookouts or transport drugs.

The organizers of the largest tennis tournament in Latin America said in a statement Sunday that the Mexican government has assured them that appropriate security measures have been taken for the event that starts Monday.

Police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said that four suspects had been detained in relation with some of the attacks. The suspects had guns, a grenade and a machete that police say may have been used to decapitate some of the victims.

The attacks began Friday, when five taxi drivers were found dead in or near their vehicles.

The slaughter continued Saturday, when a driver was found bound and shot to death near his taxi, and two others were found dead of bullet wounds inside their vehicles. One of the drivers had been beheaded.

Attention

Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050, experts say

A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.

Bomb

Canada: Pipe Bomb Found in West Vancouver Park

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© CBC News
The RCMP bomb squad used a robot to detonate a pipe bomb in West Vancouver's Burley Park.
West Vancouver police are trying to determine who left a dangerous pipe bomb in a neighbourhood park on Saturday morning.

The device was found in Burley Park around 10 a.m. by resident Geoff Dunn, who noticed a suspicious package and called police.

"Black, plastic, PVC pipe capped off at both ends. Typical looking pipe bomb you see on TV or whatever," said Dunn.

Police closed off the small park, which is located just west of Taylor Way and south of the Upper Levels section of Highway 1. They also evacuated about 30 homes in the area and closed the eastbound lane of Highway 1 for about five blocks.

The RCMP explosives disposal unit was brought in to examine the bomb with a robot, and then blow it up using a controlled explosion.

Cpl. Fred Harding said investigators were then able to verify it was a real bomb and not a fake device.

"This was a weapon. It was designed to injure or maim. And we need to know more about who put this down," he said.

Stormtrooper

Libyan unrest spreads to Tripoli as Benghazi erupts

AFP

Bahraini anit-government protester

Tripoli - Libya's unrest spread to the capital Tripoli on Sunday after scores of protesters were killed in the second city Benghazi, which appeared to have slipped out of control of forces loyal to strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi has attempted to put down protests with a violent crackdown, triggering some of the worst bloodshed in the two months since unrest began sweeping across the Arab world.

In the first sign of serious unrest in the capital, thousands of protesters clashed with supporters of Gadaffi in Tripoli. Gunfire could be heard and police using tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.