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Sun, 17 Jan 2021
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Government backtracks on fracking

The fracking plant in Lancashire which has been blamed for earth tremors
© Getty
The fracking plant in Lancashire which has been blamed for earth tremors
Ministers decide there is not enough gas under UK to justify controversial 'earthquake' drilling

The Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on.

Supporters of the fracking technology - which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock - argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.

But The Independent on Sunday has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK's reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract.

Now senior coalition figures have agreed that shale gas has the potential to be deeply controversial without securing major benefits in lowering carbon emissions or reducing energy costs.


Rankin Paynter Buys Everything in Kentucky Kmart, Gives it to Needy

Besides having a super-cool name, Rankin Paynter may just be the coolest man in Kentucky. When Paynter heard that the Kmart in his hometown was closing its doors, he got to work.

He entered the store, went for his wallet and bought everything in sight.

And when we say everything, we mean the entire $200,000 worth of inventory the store had left. And then -- here's the best part -- he gave it all away to Clark County Community Services, a nonprofit that helps families in Winchester, Kentucky.

Paynter's reasoning was rather simple: "It's time to give back."

Wow. According to news reports, the gift of goods was the largest donation the nonprofit group ever received. And, thanks to one man, the local children in need will have enough coats and hats during the next winter.

According to MSNBC: Paynter, who runs a jewelry-exchange business known as Rankin Paynter Buying Center, also rented out a building to store all the items.

Bad Guys

NATO Activists "disappeared" Without Warrant or Charges, Claims Lawyers Guild

National Lawyers Guild spokesman Kris Hermes says Chicago police officers unjustly raided a Bridgeport apartment complex on Wednesday evening and detained several people without cause.


BigPharma and Wall Street Profit from the Drugging of Children and Elderly

© cchrint.org
Pediatric psychopharmacology is a billion-dollar business that sustains Pharma and Pharma investors on Wall Street.

In his book Psychiatryland, psychiatrist Phillip Sinaikin recounts reading a scientific article in which it was debated whether a three-year-old girl who ran out into traffic had oppositional-defiant disorder or bipolar disorder, the latter marked by "grandiose delusions" that she was special and cars could not harm her.1

How did the once modest medical specialty of child psychiatry become the aggressive "pediatric psychopharmacology" that finds ADHD, pediatric conduct disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, mixed manias, social phobia, anxiety, sleep disorders, borderline disorders, assorted "spectrum" disorders, irritability, aggression, pervasive development disorders, personality disorders, and even schizophrenia under every rock? And how did this branch of psychiatry come to find the answer to the "psychopathologies" in the name of the discipline itself: pediatric psychopharmacology? Just good marketing. Pharma is wooing the pediatric patient because that's where the money is. Just like country and western songs about finding love where you can when there is no love to be found at home. Pharma has stopped finding "love" in the form of the new blockbuster drugs that catapulted it through the 1990s and 2000s. According to the Wall Street Journal, new drugs made Pharma only $4.3 billion in 2010 compared with $11.8 billion in 2005 - a two-thirds drop.2


Facebook faces US $15 billion lawsuit

© Reuters/Shannon Stapleton
Facebook faces US $15 billion lawsuit
Tracking users after they log out and violating US wiretapping laws - these are the allegations behind a 15-billion-dollar nationwide class-action lawsuit filed against Facebook in California.

­The suit, combining 21 cases of alleged privacy violations by the social networking giant, was filed on Friday in the Federal Court in San Jose, Emil Protalinski writes on ZDNet.com. In their consolidated complaint, the plaintiffs claim that Facebook used cookies to track them across the Internet.

And yet, where does the staggering sum of the lawsuit come from? Violation of the Federal Wiretap Act provides suggests compensation of US $100 per day per user for every case of violation, up to a maximum of US $10,000 per user. The accusations also fall under the Computer Fraud and Abuse act, the Stored Communications Act, as well as various California Statutes and California common law.

"This is not just a damages action, but a groundbreaking digital-privacy rights case that could have wide and significant legal and business implications," said David Straite, a partner at Stewarts Law. The firm is one of the plaintiffs leading the claim.

Che Guevara

Tens of Thousands of Protestors march against NATO in Chicago

Thousands of protesters took to Chicago's streets ahead of the NATO summit due to kick off there on Sunday. National Nurses United teamed up with trade unions and the Occupy movement to form a mass rally in the Windy City.

­The NNU members demanded a Robin Hood tax to be introduced on banks' financial transactions. That demand was rather a supplement to the protest against proposals to cut back nurses pensions.

"We've worked 30 years for them and don't want to get rid of them," said Deb Holmes, a nurse at a hospital in Worcester.

Former Rage Against the Machine guitarist and Occupy activist Tom Morello performed live at the event.

Despite the largely peaceful nature of the event, one man was arrested for aggravated battery of a police officer.

Che Guevara

Police arrest 400 "Blockupy" activists as tensions rise at European Central Bank in Frankfurt

© Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Frankfurt police have detained 400 anti-capitalist protesters ahead of a key conference on monetary policy scheduled for the weekend. With thousands more heading into the city in the coming hours, new clashes are expected.

­Authorities say anti-capitalists were erecting barricades, vandalizing road signs and blocking traffic at various locations across the city.

Frankfurt - Germany's financial capital - is home to the European Central Bank (ECB). As the eurozone faces a deepening of the economic crisis following fears that Greece can no longer remain part of the currency bloc, policymakers from EU member states have arrived in the city for two days of intense talks.

Meanwhile, up to 30,000 protesters are expected to make their way into the Frankfurt over the weekend.

Their chief demand is an end to austerity - cuts in government spending, often made by sovereign governments in exchange for offers of loans from the EU - which activists say is leading to "Europe-wide impoverishment."

In homage to the Occupy Wall Street protests last year, the movement labels itself "Blockupy."


All-White Jury Acquits Houston Ex-Police Officer in Videotaped Beating of Black Teen Chad Holley

Hundreds of people rallied in Houston on Thursday to protest the acquittal of a former police officer in the videotaped beating of an African-American teenager. On Wednesday, the officer, Andrew Bloomberg, was found not guilty by an all-white jury in the beating and stomping of 15-year-old burglary suspect Chad Holley. Video taken of the March 2010 incident shows Holley being stopped by a police vehicle. After Holley falls to the ground, he is clearly seen surrendering and putting his hands behind his head. But instead of placing him in handcuffs, Bloomberg and six fellow officers proceed to attack Holley with stomps and kicks. "It seems we have become jaded, willing to accept in too many instances, young black people being grossly mistreated," says NAACP President Ben Jealous.


In the Name of My Father: Requiem and Renewal in the Shadow of Wall Street


NYPD officers guard an icon to Wall Street fascism
On May 1, after a day of May Day activities on the streets and avenues of Manhattan, my wife and I and a troop of other OWS celebrants marched into Zuccotti Park to jubilant exhortations of "welcome home" from a throng of fellow occupiers. The next day, my wife and I boarded a southbound Amtrak train to join family gathered at my dying father's bedside to bid him farewell.

May in Georgia...In this age of climate chaos, the local flora comes to bloom a full month earlier than in decades past. This season, magnolias and hydrangeas blossomed in early May. Their petals opened to the world as my father's life is fading. The magnolia petals have grown heavy; his body is shrinking. Soon he will drift from this world...carried by the scent of late spring blossoms.

In our once laboring class neighborhood, McMansions blot out the late spring sun. In the arrogant shadow of these shoddily constructed, bloated emblems of late capitalism, the neighborhood's remaining 1950's single level, brick homes seem to recede...fading like memory before the hurtling indifference of passing eras.

In late spring, veils of pollen merge with shrouds of Atlanta traffic exhaust. Timeless nature has awakened as the noxious capitalist certainties underpinning the aberration known as the New South are dying.

Magic Hat

State of the US: Blown Up Election

© Linh Dinh, State of the Union
If family values are in the news, you can be sure an American election is just around the corner. According to Republicans, gay marriage is a glory hole puncturing the sanctity of the nuke-clear family, so for backing such a ghastly proposal, with ring, no less, Obama is the "gayest president," according to Rand Paul, or "The First Gay President," per Newsweek. Anything to sell that particular brand of rectum tissues, I suppose, although I'd rather use corn cobs.

Countering, Democrats will huff that the travails of their dead battery, soft spot, touching turmoil or whatever it is that's inside their boxer's shorts or panties is no one's business, least of all the government, though of course the Democrat-appointed Janet Napolitano and her TSA hordes have set up an enduring base next to their exposed, uh, discount toys. Irradiated and propped up by Cialis, they don't look half bad. Oh yes, they do.

According to Democrats, Obama is a good liberal because he will also send gay men and women worldwide to massacre whoever gets in the way of the oil liberals need to drive their SUVs to anti-war rallies.

According to Republicans, Mitt is a good conservative since he can't stand Ellen DeGeneres, Johnny Weir or Barney the Dinosaur, although he will condemn a husband or wife halfway across the globe to commit unspeakable acts for years, while the remaining spouse languishes at home in anxiety and loneliness, to be comforted by some groggy chick at the bar, talk radio, a young cable guy, Jesus, reruns of American Idol or, in the best case scenario, nothing at all.