Tuesday, September 14, 2010

BAUAW NEWSLETTER--TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

Open Letter to Bay Area Peace Activists

Dear Peace Activists,

Two groups have called meetings on Sunday, September 19 at 1:00 P.M. to do the same thing -- organize a series of mass antiwar actions and education this Fall and Spring of 2011.

Let's turn this situation into a good thing by asking each group, Bay Area United Antiwar Coalition (UNAC), and S.F. Act Now to Stop War and Racism, (A.N.S.W.E.R.) to make the next follow-up meeting after September 19th one big unified gathering. Let's ask both groups to pledge to work together and invite all antiwar groups and individuals to work together to build mass actions for human needs, not wars and occupations.

Both groups have basically the same antiwar agenda with the same demands on the government and the same approach of reaching out to the working people, youth, students, unions, communities of color, women, LGBT community, neighborhoods, to involve the largest numbers of people into mass actions to stop the wars and attend to human needs instead.

Let's remember the unified "The World Says No to War" actions of 10 million-plus worldwide before the U.S. invaded Iraq. Let's insist on this unity in action at both meetings, September 19th. The people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, and all the countries where the U.S. is conducting military interventions and placing U.S. bases deserve a campaign of unified solidarity from the people who live in and oppose the most violent military power in the world.

Sincerely,

Carole Seligman
Bonnie Weinstein

Next Northern California United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) meeting
Sunday, September 19, 1:00 P.M.
522 Valencia Street between 16th and 17th Streets
San Francisco

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Bay Area United Against War Newsletter
Table of Contents:
A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS
B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.
C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS
D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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A. EVENTS AND ACTIONS

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Courage to Resist SF Bay Area Events

Bradley Manning benefit w/ Dan Ellsberg, Tom Hayden, Aimee Allison
Thursday, September 16, 7:00-9:00 P.M.
Humanist Hall
390 27th St., Oakland, CA
(Between Telegraph and Broadway)

"Afghanistan: Occupation, Wikileaks, and Accused Whistle-blower Army Pfc. Bradley Manning" - a benefit for the Bradley Manning defense fund

Featuring:

--Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower

--Tom Hayden, author and activist

--Aimee Allison, author and KPFA Morning Show Host

--Carl Davison, US Marine/Army veteran of Guantanamo Bay, Africa, and Asia

--Wikileaks "Collateral Murder" video screening

Presented by Courage to Resist_with the help of Veterans for Peace-Bay Area Chapter, National Lawyers Guild Bay Area Military Law Panel, CodePink, War Resisters League-West, Iraq Veterans Against the War-Bay Area, BAY-Peace, World Can't Wait-SF Bay, Asian Americans for Peace and Justice, Grandmothers Against the War and Bay Area United for Peace and Justice.

The Bradley Manning defense fund is hosted by Courage to Resist (www.couragetoresist.org) in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network (www.bradleymanning.org). $5 requested donation at door to cover expenses, with defense fund pitch during the event. Wheelchair accessible via 411 28th Street entrance. For more info, please contact 510-488-3559 or courage@riseup.net

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COST OF THE U.S. WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WAY OVER $1 TRILLION MARK!
Stop the madness
Bring our troops home now!
Come Rally for Peace!
Friday, September 17th, 2 - 3 PM
Corner of Action and University
Wheelchair Accessible.

CONTACT:
Fran Rachel
Strawberry Creek Lodge Tenants Association
510-841-4143

Berkeley - East Bay Gray Panthers
510-548-9696
GrayPanthersBerk@aol.com
http://berkeleygraypanthers.mysite.com/

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March and rally: Free Bradley Manning!
Saturday, September 18, 2pm ~ San Francisco, California
Blowing the whistle on war crimes is not a crime!
2pm rally in front of the SF War Memorial Building, 401 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco ( map). 3pm march. 4pm end at Union Square. Organized by Courage to Resist, Veterans for Peace-SF Bay Area, ANSWER Coalition, CodePink, and United for Peace and Justice.

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Next Northern California United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) meeting
Sunday, September 19, 1:00 P.M.
522 Valencia Street between 16th and 17th Streets
San Francisco

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NEXT JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT RALLY ORGANIZING COMMITTEE MEETING
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 7:00 P.M.
ILWU Local 10
Henry Schmidt Room
400 North Point, SF
Please send in all endorsements for the rally from unions, community organizations, political organizations and churches to:
jackheyman@comcast.net.
We'll be doing a new rally flyer and need this information ASAP.
Thanks,
Jack Heyman

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Berkeley, CA: Robert Fisk "Lies, Misreporting, and Catastrophe in the Middle East"
Wednesday, September 22, 7:00pm

The Middle East Children's Alliance (MECA) presents the intrepid, witty and courageous author ROBERT FISK "one of the most famous journalists in the world" speaking on "Lies, Misreporting, and Catastrophe in the Middle East"

Fisk will be interviewed by scholar-activist DR. HATEM BAZIAN

Winner of countless journalism awards and three honorary doctorates, Beirut-based Robert Fisk has reported from the Middle East for over 30 years, covering 11 major wars.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 - 7pm
First Congregational Church of Berkeley
2345 Channing Way (@ Dana)6 blocks from Downtown Berkeley BART

**Tickets available for Special Reception with Fisk as well!**

Tickets: $15 general, $10 students/low income
$50 includes post-event reception plus reserved event seating in front rows.

BUY TICKETS ONLINE AT:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/119487

Only $15 tickets at area bookstores: (East Bay) Books Inc., Diesel, Moe's Books, Pegasus/Solano, Pegasus/Shattuck, Walden Pond (SF) Modern Times.

Benefit for children in Palestine & Lebanon. No one turned away for lack of funds.

Wheelchair accessible, ASL interpreted

For info: 510-548-0542, events@mecaforpeace.org

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[VIDEO] Balloons invade UC Berkeley on the first day of classes building for Oct. 7th Strike! Education 4 the People!
http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/balloons-invade-uc-berkeley-on-the-first-day-of-classes-oct-7th-strike/

October 7 Day of Action in Defense of Public Education - California

http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

MORE THAN 100 activists from across California gathered in Los Angeles April 24 to debate next steps for the fight against the devastating cutbacks facing public education.

The main achievements of the conference were to set a date and location for the next statewide mass action-October 7-and for the next anti-cuts conference, which will happen October 16 at San Francisco State University. The other key outcome was the first steps toward the formation of an ad hoc volunteer coordinating committee to plan for the fall conference.

These decisions were a crucial step toward deepening and broadening the movement. For example, the fall conference will be the key venue for uniting activists from all sectors of public education, and especially from those schools and campuses which saw action on March 4, but which have yet to plug into the broader movement.

This will be crucial for extending the scope and increasing the strength of our movement, as well as for helping us strategize and prepare for what is certain to be a tough year ahead. Similarly, the fall mass action will be crucial to re-igniting the movement following the summer months.

http://defendcapubliceducation.wordpress.com/

Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference at SFSU on OCT 16th
Posted on May 24, 2010 by ooofireballooo
Organizing for the next Statewide Public Education Mobilization Conference
@ San Francisco State University on October 16th

Please join the google group today.

* Group home page: http://groups.google.com/group/fallconferencesfsu

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Justice for Oscar Grant Rally
Saturday, October 23, 12:00 Noon
Frank Ogawa Plaza
(Oakland City Hall near 14th and Broadway)

Join family and friends of Oscar Grant, Labor and Community to demand:

--Maximum sentence for Johannes Mehserle!
--Stop police brutality! Jail racist killer cops!
--Expand jobs and education, not war and repression!

Stand up and make your voice heard! Johannes Mehserle was only arrested after people took to the streets to express their outrage. Without continuous labor and community action, Mehserle might have been acquitted. Together we can make sure that the killer cop gets the maximum sentence so other cops don't think they can get away with murder.

Sponsored by:

ILWU Local 10

Endorsed by other labor and community organizations.

For more information please contact:
Farless Dailey, Secretary Treasurer, 415-776-8100
local10secretarytreasurer@bayarea.net

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Media/Publicity: Jack Heyman 510-531-4717, jackheyman@comcast.net

PLEASE ENDORSE OCTOBER 23 RESOLUTION BELOW:

[SEND ENDORSEMENTS TO: jackheyman@comcast.net]

Resolution in Support of October 23 ILWU Rally for Justice for Oscar Grant

Whereas, Oscar Grant's killer, BART police officer Johannes Mehserle received a verdict of involuntary manslaughter on July 8, 2010 and will be sentenced on November 5; and

Whereas, video tapes show clearly that Oscar Grant was lying face down on the Fruitvale BART platform, waiting to be handcuffed with another cop's boot on his neck posing no threat when he was shot in the back and killed in cold blood by Mehserle; and

Whereas, wherever employers try to break a strike, police are there to protect the scabs and attack workers, as we know from the 1934 West Coast Maritime Strike, to the Charleston Five longshore struggle in 2000; and

Whereas, black and brown racial minorities, and especially immigrant workers today, struggling for equal rights have borne the brunt of police violence; and

Whereas , Oscar Grant's killing is another manifestation of the same unjust system where the message for the poor, the working class, and people of color is submission or death; and

Whereas, ILWU Local 10 has initiated the call for a mass labor and community protest rally on Saturday October 23, 2010 in Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza calling for justice for Oscar Grant in the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle,

Therefore be it Resolved, that (name of organization) endorses this rally along with other labor unions, community groups, civil rights organizations, civil liberties organizations and will help to mobilize for this rally for justice for Oscar Grant;

An Injury To One Is An Injury To All.

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NOVEMBER 2010 - CONVERGE ON FORT BENNING, GEORGIA
November 18-21, 2010: Close the SOA and take a stand for justice in the Americas.
www.soaw.org/take-action/november-vigil

The November Vigil to Close the School of the Americas at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia will be held from November 18-21, 2010. The annual vigil is always held close to the anniversary of the 1989 murders of Celina Ramos, her mother Elba and six Jesuit priests at a the University of Central America in El Salvador.

ORGANIZE YOUR COMMUNITY FOR THE 2010 VIGIL!

November 2010 will mark the 20th anniversary of the vigil that brings together religious communities, students, teachers, veterans, community organizers, musicians, puppetistas and many others. New layers of activists are joining the movement to close the SOA in large numbers, including numerous youth and students from multinational, working-class communities. The movement is strong thanks to the committed work of thousands of organizers and volunteers around the country. They raise funds, spread the word through posters and flyers, organize buses and other transportation to Georgia, and carry out all the work that is needed to make the November vigil a success. Together, we are strong!

VIGIL AND RALLY AT THE GATES, NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION, TEACH-IN, CONCERTS, WORKSHOPS AND A ANTI-MILITARIZATION ORGANIZERS CONFERENCE

There will be exciting additions to this year's vigil program. Besides the rally at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia with inspiring speakers and amazing musicians from across the Americas, the four day convergence will also include an educational teach-in at the Columbus Convention Center, several evening concerts, workshops and for the first time, the Latin America Solidarity Coalition will stage a one-day Anti-Militarization Organizers Conference on Thursday, November 18, 2010.

SHUT DOWN THE SOA AND RESIST U.S. MILITARIZATION IN THE AMERICAS

Our work has unfortunately not gotten any easier and U.S. militarization in Latin America is accelerating. The SOA graduate led military coup in Honduras, the continuing repression against the Honduran pro-democracy resistance and the expansion of U.S. military bases in Colombia and Panama are grim examples of the ongoing threats of a U.S. foreign policy that is relying on the military to exert control over the people and the resources in the Americas. Join the people who are struggling for justice in Honduras, Colombia and throughout the Americas as we organize to push back.

Spread the word - Tell a friend about the November Vigil:
http://www.SOAW.org/tellafriend

For more information, visit:
www.SOAW.org.

See you at the gates of Fort Benning in November 2010

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B. VIDEO, FILM, AUDIO. ART, POETRY, ETC.:

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REAL ESTATE RULES

(Scott Stringer, Manhattan borough president: "The entrance fee to live here is a million-dollar condo." - The New York Times, July 4)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses,"

Said Emma Lazarus - but time passes,

And the poor go back to being wretched refuse

For which the condo captains have no use.

And so the needy are forced again to disperse,

To search for ill-lit tenements, or worse,

From which their outcast children may behold

The soaring towers built of glass and gold.

Leon Freilich
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/nyregion/13diary.html?ref=nyregion

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Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love
http://www.booktv.org/Watch/11778/Bad+Sports+How+Owners+are+Ruining+the+Games+We+Love.aspx

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Good morning it was a pleasure speaking with you yesterday about the Diablo Valley film Festival. Our Festival is a benefit for the Contra Costa animal services department and the Martinez schools 20/20 program. Our event is September 11, 2010, this Saturday, and our 11AM feature is "Scarred Lands and Wounded Llives". You can find more information about the festival at our website www.DiabloValleyfilmFestival.com I thought that this would be a showing that would be of interest to you and your organization. We also have a block at five o'clock which is called "Save our Seas" which is a series of shorts on environmental issues regarding the oceans. Tickets can be purchased online at our website and the proceeds go to the above organizations. Your help in getting the word out to your membership and other causes that you think may be interested that I do not have access to will help to change the minds of hopefully more than a few people. Your help and your participation is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Here is a link to a trailer for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkOCIx6JAd8

Tony Blackburn, Executive Producer
Diablo Valley Film Festival
(925) 231-5365

Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives:
The Environmental Footprint of War

FILM SYNOPSIS

What prompts this film is recognition of our deep dependence on the natural world and the significant threat to that world posed by war and preparations for war.

The scale of environmental damage over the last half century is unprecedented. Falling water tables, shrinking forest cover, declining species diversity - all presage ecosystems in distress. These trends are now widely acknowledged as emanating from forces of humanity's own making: massive population increases, unsustainable demands on natural resources, species loss, ruinous environmental practices. Ironically however, war, that most destructive of human behaviors, is commonly bypassed.

In all its stages, from the production of weapons through combat to cleanup and restoration, war entails actions that pollute land, air, and water, destroy biodiversity, and drain natural resources. Yet the environmental damage occasioned by war and preparation for war is routinely underestimated, underreported, even ignored. The environment remains war's "silent casualty."

Activities that do such damage cry out for far-reaching public scrutiny. The very sustainability of our planet is at stake. We can no longer maintain silence about the environmental impact of war on the grounds that such scrutiny is "inconvenient" or "callous" at a time when human life is so endangered.

If we cannot eliminate war, we can at least require a fuller accounting of war's costs and consequences, and demand that destructive forces used in our name leave a lighter footprint on this highly vulnerable planet. It is to this change in values and actions that this documentary film is directed.

Directors

Alice T. Day was born in New York City and educated at the Brearley School in New York and at Smith College (BA, magna cum laude), Columbia (MA in sociology), and the Australian National University (PhD in sociology). Alice currently sits on the board of the Council for a Livable World; the Task Force on Environment and Natural Resources, Woman's National Democratic Club (Washington); and the Environmental Film Festival (Washington.)

Before moving to Washington, Alice was most recently Hofstee Fellow, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague, 1994, and Director, Successful Ageing, A.C.T., an Australian government project, Canberra, A.C.T., 1990-93.

Best known books of the more than 30 books, professional articles, book chapters, and reports that she has written are: Remarkable Survivors - Insights into Successful Aging among Women; We Can Manage - Expectations about Care and Varieties of Family Support among Persons 75 Years of Age and Over; and (with Lincoln H. Day) Too Many Americans.

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Lincoln H. Day was born in Ames, Iowa and educated in the public schools of Denver, Colorado, and at Yale (BA, cum laude) and Columbia (MA and PhD in sociology). He currently sits on the board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation; the Environmental Film Festival (Washington); and is a member of the Council for a Livable World (Washington).

Before moving to Washington, Lincoln was most recently Hofstee Fellow, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, The Hague, 1994, and Senior Fellow in Demography, Research School of Social Sciences, Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 1973-1993.

In addition to some 80 book chapters and articles in professional journals, he is the author of two books, co-author of four others (two of which were written in collaboration with Alice T. Day), and editor and part author of two more. Apart from Too Many Americans (written with Alice T. Day), his best-known books are: The Future of Low-Birthrate Populations; and Analysing Population Trends - Differential Fertility in a Pluralistic Society.
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Executive Producer of the Diablo Valley Film Festival
www.diablovalleyfilmfestival.com
Student of the Grape
Soccer Player (Goal Keeper)
Wine Maker (In my own mind)
Facebook Ho (Friend Me!)
Motorcycle Rider (Kawasaki ZZR1200)

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From The Gulf Stream To The Bloodstream - THE VIDEO BP DOESN'T WANT YOU TO SEE!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drasiXNFaw

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Plume? Stationary ROV covered by non-stop 'clouds' on seafloor (VIDEO)
September 4th, 2010 at 04:21 AM Print Post Email Post
Live feed from Development Driller 2 ROV 1, September 3, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. EDT:
http://www.floridaoilspilllaw.com/plume-stationary-rov-continuously-covered-by-non-stop-clouds-video

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Air Force sprays oil dispersant
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtM58wPxf60&feature=related

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Appeals Court Ruling Allows Government to Use GPS to Track People's Moves
Gps
http://www.democracynow.org/2010/9/2/appeals_court_ruling_allows_government_to

A federal court in California has issued a ruling that's raising widespread alarm among advocates for civil liberties. Earlier this month, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said law enforcement agents can sneak onto a person's property, plant a GPS device on their vehicle, and track their every movements. The court's ruling means the spying is legal in California and eight other Western states.

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HONOR RALLIES AFTER WAR
COMMENTARY BY MUMIA-ABU-JAMAL
http://www.prisonradio.org/audio/mumia/2010MAJ/08August10/HonorRalliesAfterWar.mp3

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New video! Fishermen find dispersants and oil on Mississippi shrimp and oyster grounds
http://bridgethegulfproject.info/node/29

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The Video the US Military doesn't want you to see
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1MazfmZYxw

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George Orwell's "1984_
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2010/08/25/watch-movie-adaptation-george-orwells-1984-3585/

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OBAMA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU_p2i5bfBM&feature=related

Lyrics: Smiling Faces Sometimes
http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/the_undisputed_truth/smiling_faces_sometimes.html
Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend
Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

The truth is in the eyes
Cause the eyes don't lie, amen
Remember a smile is just
A frown turned upside down
My friend let me tell you
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth, uh
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
Beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
I'm telling you beware
Beware of the pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Jealousy (jealousy)
Misery (misery)
Envy

I tell you, you can't see behind smiling faces
Smiling faces sometimes they don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
(Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes)
I'm telling you beware, beware of the handshake
That hides the snake
Listen to me now, beware
Beware of that pat on the back
It just might hold you back
Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth
Smiling faces, smiling faces
Tell lies and I got proof

Your enemy won't do you no harm
Cause you'll know where he's coming from
Don't let the handshake and the smile fool ya
Take my advice I'm only try' to school ya

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Toxic Soup in Ocean Springs Ms By Lorrie Williams
August 13, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXBLCekZiyA
August 16, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/user/LorrieofOceanspring

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BP Oil Spill Cleanup Worker Exposes the Realities of Beach Cleanup In Gulf of Mexico
August 11, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IlMDBAGLFI

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WikiLeaks' Collateral Murder: U.S. Soldier Ethan McCord's Eyewitness Story
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelmEZe8whI&feature=player_embedded

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On The Move: Mumia Abu-Jamal's Message to the United National Peace Conference
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9QAgr1wNZA&feature=player_embedded

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Video: George Carlin: "The American Dream"/"Workers Nightmare"
Because the Owners of This Country Own Everything - They Own You - They Don't Want Critical Thinking - They Want Obedient Workers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=159216125164&ref=mf

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Citizens of New Orleans Respond to the BP Oil Spill
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCCX8kLm3Sc

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C. SPECIAL APPEALS AND ONGOING CAMPAIGNS

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Deafening Silence, Chuck Africa (MOVE 9)

Peace People,
This poem is from Chuck Africa, one of the MOVE 9, who is currently serving 30-100 years on trump up charges of killing a police officer. After 32 years in prison, the MOVE 9 are repeatly denied parole, after serving their minimum sentence. Chuck wanted me to share this with the people, so that we can see how our silence in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom is inherently an invitation to their death behind prison walls.

Deafening Silence

Don't ya'll hear cries of anguish?

In the climate of pain come joining voices?

But voices become unheard and strained by inactions

Of dead brains

How long will thou Philly soul remain in the pit of agonizing apathy?

Indifference seems to greet you like the morning mirror

Look closely in the mirror and realize it's a period of mourning....

My Sistas, mothers, daughters, wives and warriors

Languish in prisons obscurity like a distant star in the galaxies as does their brothers

We need to be free....

How loud can you stay silence?

Have the courage to stand up and have a say,

Choose resistance and let go of your fears.

The history of injustice to MOVE; we all know so well

But your deafening silence could be my DEATH KNELL.

Chuck Africa

Please share, inform people and get involve in demanding the MOVE 9's freedom! www.MOVE9parole.blogspot.com

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Instituto del Derecho de Asilo - Casa Museo Leon Trotsky, A.C.
(IDA-CMLTAC)
Avenida Río Churubusco No. 410
Col. del Carmen Coyoacán
CP 04100 México, DF -- MEXICO
Tel. 56 58 87 32
gall.museotrotsky@gmail.com
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Dear Friends in the United States:

We are writing this letter to invite you to support the effort to preserve and renovate the Leon Trotsky Museum (IDA-MCLTAC) in Mexico City.

Already many of our U.S. supporters have sent out appeals to their friends urging support for our project. We thank them for their efforts, and we thank the dozens of you who have already sent in financial contributions to our fund.

On August 20, at 4 p.m., we launched the International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum at a special event in a larger venue than our Museum's auditorium: the Foro Coyoacanense, Hugo Argüelles, Calle Allende No. 36, in the center district of Coyoacán, in the southern region of Mexico City.

This event was part of a three-day series of activities on August 19-21 marking the 70th anniversary of the assassination of Leon Trotsky, the 35th anniversary of the opening of the Trotsky Museum, and the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Institute on the Right of Asylum.

We would like to invite all our friends and supporters in the United States to join "International Friends."

If you would like to join "International Friends," please send us a note to the email address listed above. We welcome all who support our Museum's six-point "Statement on Social Objectives" and our four-point "Renovation Project" [see below], and who wish to help us raise desperately needed funds to promote these objectives.

Our goal is for International Friends to include the broadest possible regroupment of personalities, democratic rights activists (including supporters of the right to asylum, which is one of the main themes of our Museum), political activists, and museologists of different progressive political tendencies and backgrounds.

On August 19 and August 20 we also held in our Museum's auditorium a Conference on "Socialism, Democracy and Dissident Movements." There were presentations by Mexican and international speakers. Some of the panels were the following:

- Trotsky and the Dewey Commission (Prof. Olivia Gall, UNAM and Trotsky Museum),

- Participation and Rights of Latinos in the United States (Prof. Suzanne Oboler, Editor, Latino Studies, CUNY),

- Dissident Social Movements on the Left and the Right in the United States (Alan Benjamin, Editor, The Organizer),

- The Relevance of Victor Serge (Suzi Weissman, KPFK Radio producer and author),

- Trotsky and the Dissident Movements in Eastern Europe (Prof. Gabriel García Higueras, University of Lima, Peru), and

- Victor Serge, the POUM and the "Socialism and Liberty" group (Prof. Claudio Albertini, UACM).

The program of the event launching the International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum on August 20 included presentations by Esteban Volkov (Trotsky's grandson and president of the board of directors of the museum) and Olivia Gall (director of the museum); a theatrical presentation by Grupo Sol Azul of Moises Mendelewicz titled "Conversations with Trotsky"; a presentation on Political Asylum in Mexico by Pablo Yankelvich (INAH); and a trailer presentation of the film "Planet Without a Visa" (by David Weiss and Linda Laub), with an introduction by Linda Laub.

Finally, on August 21, there was a placing of a wreath on the tombstones of Leon Trotsky and Natalia Sedova, with a presentation by Esteban Volkov.

We invite you to donate to our Museum preservation/renovation fund and to join our International Friends of the Leon Trotsky group and campaign. Please send your checks, payable to Global Exchange (write "Trotsky Museum" on Memo line of your check), to International Friends of the Leon Trotsky Museum, P.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140.

Sincerely,
Esteban Volkov Bronstein
Grandson of Leon Trotsky
President of the Board of the IDA-MCLTAC
Olivia Gall
Full Professor, CEIICH-UNAM
Director of the IDA-MCLTAC
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Appendix No. 1

International Friends of the
Leon Trotsky Museum (IFLTM)

(Excerpts)

The IDA-MCLTAC's Social Objectives

The Social Objective of the Institution is:

1. To maintain, protect, preserve, restore, guard and improve in all pertinent and necessary ways, the Leon Trotsky House-Museum, who must offer its visitors the best possible museology services.

2. To maintain, protect, preserve, guard and increase, in all pertinent and necessary ways, the existing materials in the Rafael Galván Library and in the association's Documentary Center, which must offer its visitors the best possible information and research services.

3. To promote and develop research, analysis, education and effective communication regarding the topic of the right of asylum, and, when related to asylum, on those of migration and refuge.

4. To promote and develop the study, analysis, education and effective communication regarding "the defense of public rights and public freedom."

5. To manage the association's assets and resources, as well as those received through donations, contributions, transfers, bequests, wills, liens, trusts, funding, agreements or employment contracts, in cash or in kind, coming from individuals or corporations, domestic or foreign, public or private. These funds and resources will be used exclusively for the purposes of the Association.

6. To establish partnerships through agreements or other legal forms provided by existing legislation, with any cultural, artistic, social or academic national or international institution, both public and private, which may contribute to the better attainment of its goals.

********************

Appendix No. 2

Renovation Project

The Directive Council of the Institution has developed a project consisting in gradually transforming the IDA-MCLTAC into an institution that takes the figure of Leon Trotsky as its central axis, but also approaches the different ideological and political currents of socialist thought, actions and debates, the right of asylum and the history of revolutionary and post-revolutionary Mexico, in which Trotsky was admitted as a political refugee. The goal is to create an institution that will establish agreements with academics, museums and documentary, visual and bibliographical archives from all over the world, in order to offer the public:

1. A MODERN MUSEUM

* A well-preserved house-museum that will give its visitors an idea of the real environment in which Trotsky, his friends, guards, secretaries and guests lived between May 1939 and August 1940: a tense and anguished environment, not always but sometimes joyful, not very prosperous, but of hard work and comradeship.

* Permanent as well as temporary exhibits built on visual, audiovisual, documentary and interactive materials.

2. A RESEARCH, EDUCATIONAL AND INFORMATION CENTER, INTERESTED IN THE ANALYSIS OF HISTORICAL FACTS AND IN THE EXCHANGE OF IDEAS, THROUGH

* Consultation of printed, graphic, audiovisual and interactive materials, in situ or via the web,

* The development of educational and cultural programs, which will consist in conferences, symposia, book presentations, courses and workshops.

* A small bookstore in which our visitors will find books -in three languages, if possible- related to the institution's subjects.

3. A CINEMA CLUB

In it, old and new short films, movies and documentaries, organized according to different subjects of historical, political, intellectual and cultural interest will be shown and discussed.

4. A SPACE FOR ART, ART CRAFTS, CULTURE, ENVIRONMENT, CUISINE AND SOCIAL GATHERING

A space that will try to constitute an original, simple, elegant and international cultural option that will harbor:

* Diverse cultural expressions of our contemporary world: sculptors, painters, mimes, actors, storytellers, dancers, poets, musicians, etc.

* The house's garden, such as it was kept by Natalia Sedova and by Sieva Volkov's family between 1939 and the early 1970s.

* A cafeteria that will serve very good coffee, tea, pastries and appetizers, and that will offer in Coyoacán a touch of originality given by four combined elements: (a) a simple international menu made by a few Baltic, Jewish, Balkan, Turkish, French, Norwegian and Mexican dishes, typical of the countries where Trotsky lived or was exiled, (b) the access to reading, in situ, some international newspapers and magazines, (c) a decoration that will portray the style of Mexican restaurants in the thirties, and (d) some music or poetry evenings.

* A shop, selling posters, little boxes, mugs, pens, calendars book markers, agendas, etc., so that our visitors may take home some of the museum's souvenirs.

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Say No to Islamophobia!
Defend Mosques and Community Centers!
The Fight for Peace and Social Justice Requires Defense of All Under Attack!
http://www.petitiononline.com/nophobia/petition.html

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Kevin Keith Update: Good News! Death sentence commuted!

Ohio may execute an innocent man unless you take action.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/save-kevin-keith

Ohio's Governor Spares Life of a Death Row Inmate Kevin Keith
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/03/us/03ohio.html?ref=us

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Please sign the petition to release Bradley Manning

http://www.petitiononline.com/manning1/petition.html (Click to sign here)

To: US Department of Defense; US Department of Justice
We, the Undersigned, call for justice for US Army PFC Bradley Manning, incarcerated without charge (as of 18 June 2010) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.

Media accounts state that Mr. Manning was arrested in late May for leaking the video of US Apache helicopter pilots killing innocent people and seriously wounding two children in Baghdad, including those who arrived to help the wounded, as well as potentially other material. The video was released by WikiLeaks under the name "Collateral Murder".

If these allegations are untrue, we call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

If these allegations ARE true, we ALSO call upon the US Department of Defense to release Mr. Manning immediately.

Simultaneously, we express our support for Mr. Manning in any case, and our admiration for his courage if he is, in fact, the person who disclosed the video. Like in the cases of Daniel Ellsberg, W. Mark Felt, Frank Serpico and countless other whistleblowers before, government demands for secrecy must yield to public knowledge and justice when government crime and corruption are being kept hidden.

Justice for Bradley Manning!

Sincerely,

The Undersigned:
http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?manning1

--
Zaineb Alani
http://www.thewordsthatcomeout.blogspot.com
http://www.tigresssmiles.blogspot.com
"Yesterday I lost a country. / I was in a hurry, / and didn't notice when it fell from me / like a broken branch from a forgetful tree. / Please, if anyone passes by / and stumbles across it, / perhaps in a suitcase / open to the sky, / or engraved on a rock / like a gaping wound, / ... / If anyone stumbles across it, / return it to me please. / Please return it, sir. / Please return it, madam. / It is my country . . . / I was in a hurry / when I lost it yesterday." -Dunya Mikhail, Iraqi poet

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http://couragetoresist.org/donate

Dear Gio,

Thanks again for supporting military war resisters. We do this work because it is a tangible contribution to a future without empire and war. With your help, we've won a number of victories recently--you might have read about "Hip Hop" stop-loss soldier Marc Hall, or single mom, and Afghanistan deployment resister, Alexis Hutchinson in the news.

Now, intel analyst Bradley Manning is in the headlines and facing decades in prison for leaking a video of a massacre in Baghdad. If Pfc. Manning is the source of the video, then he did what he had to do to expose a war crime. Regardless, he's wrongly imprisoned and we are doing everything we can to support him. Keep an eye out for action alerts in the coming days on how to support Bradley!

If you have not yet had a chance to make a donation recently, I'm asking that you please consider doing so now so that together we can step up to support Bradley Manning and all GI war objectors!

http://couragetoresist.org/donate

Jeff Paterson,
Project Director, Courage to Resist

p.s. Our new August print newsletter is now available:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/aug10-newsltr.pdf

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Please forward widely...

HELP LYNNE STEWART -- SUPPORT THESE BILLS

These two bills are now in Congress and need your support. Either or both bills would drastically decrease Lynne's and other federal sentences substantially.

H.R. 1475 "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act Amended 2009," Congressman Danny Davis, Democrat, Illinois

This bill will restore and amend the former federal B.O.P. good time allowances. It will let all federal prisoners, except lifers, earn significant reductions to their sentences. Second, earn monthly good time days by working prison jobs. Third, allowances for performing outstanding services or duties in connection with institutional operations. In addition, part of this bill is to bring back parole to federal long term prisoners.

Go to: www.FedCURE.org and www.FAMM.org

At this time, federal prisoners only earn 47 days per year good time. If H.R. 1475 passes, Lynne Stewart would earn 120-180 days per year good time!

H.R. 61 "45 And Older," Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee (18th Congressional District, Texas)

This bill provides early release from federal prison after serving half of a violent crime or violent conduct in prison.

Please write, call, email your Representatives and Senators. Demand their votes!

This information is brought to you by Diane E. Schindelwig, a federal prisoner #36582-177 and friend and supporter of Lynne Stewart.

Write to Lynne at:

Lynne Stewart 53504-054
MCC-NY 2-S
150 Park Row
New York, NY 10007

For further information call Lynne's husband, Ralph Poynter, leader of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee
718-789-0558 or 917-853-9759

Send contributions payable to:

Lynne Stewart Organization
1070 Dean Street
Brooklyn, New York, 11216

---

Listen to Lynne Stewart event, that took place July 8, 2010 at Judson Memorial Church
Excerpts include: Mumia Abu Jamal, Ralph Poynter, Ramsey Clark, Juanita
Young, Fred Hampton Jr., Raging Grannies, Ralph Schoenman
http://www.takingaimradio.com/shows/audio.html

And check out this article (link) too!
http://www.baltimorechronicle.com/2010/062210Lendman.shtml

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AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL GRAVELY CONCERNED THAT RULING PUTS TROY DAVIS ON TRACK FOR EXECUTION; CITES PERSISTING DOUBTS ABOUT HIS GUILT
"Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence."
Amnesty International Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Contact: Wende Gozan Brown at 212-633-4247, wgozan@aiusa.org.

(Washington, D.C.) - Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) today expressed deep concern that a federal district court decision puts Georgia death-row inmate Troy Anthony Davis back on track for execution, despite doubts about his guilt that were raised during a June evidentiary hearing. Judge William T. Moore, Jr. ruled that while executing an innocent person would violate the United States Constitution, Davis didn't meet the extraordinarily high legal bar to prove his innocence.

"Nobody walking out of that hearing could view this as an open-and-shut case," said Larry Cox, executive director of AIUSA. "The testimony that came to light demonstrates that doubt still exists, but the legal bar for proving innocence was set so high it was virtually insurmountable. It would be utterly unconscionable to proceed with this execution, plain and simple."

Amnesty International representatives, including Cox, attended the hearing in Savannah, Ga. The organization noted that evidence continues to cast doubt over the case:

· Four witnesses admitted in court that they lied at trial when they implicated Troy Davis and that they did not know who shot Officer Mark MacPhail.

· Four witnesses implicated another man as the one who killed the officer - including a man who says he saw the shooting and could clearly identify the alternative suspect, who is a family member.

· Three original state witnesses described police coercion during questioning, including one man who was 16 years old at the time of the murder and was questioned by several police officers without his parents or other adults present.

"The Troy Davis case is emblematic of everything that is wrong with capital punishment," said Laura Moye, director of AIUSA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign. "In a system rife with error, mistakes can be made. There are no do-overs when it comes to death. Lawmakers across the country should scrutinize this case carefully, not only because of its unprecedented nature, but because it clearly indicates the need to abolish the death penalty in the United States."

Since the launch of its February 2007 report, Where Is the Justice for Me? The Case of Troy Davis, Facing Execution in Georgia, Amnesty International has campaigned intensively for a new evidentiary hearing or trial and clemency for Davis, collecting hundreds of thousands of clemency petition signatures and letters from across the United States and around the world. To date, internationally known figures such as Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter have all joined the call for clemency, as well as lawmakers from within and outside of Georgia.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 2.8 million supporters, activists and volunteers who campaign for universal human rights from more than 150 countries. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.

# # #

For more information visit www.amnestyusa.org/troydavis.

Wende Gozan Brown
Media Relations Director
Amnesty International USA
212/633-4247 (o)
347/526-5520 (c)

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Please sign the petition to stop the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal and
and forward it to all your lists.

"Mumia Abu-Jamal and The Global Abolition of the Death Penalty"

http://www.petitiononline.com/Mumialaw/petition.html

(A Life In the Balance - The Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, at 34, Amnesty Int'l, 2000; www. Amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/001/2000.)

[Note: This petition is approved by Mumia Abu-Jamal and his lead attorney, Robert R. Bryan, San Francisco (E-mail: MumiaLegalDefense@gmail.com; Website: www.MumiaLegalDefense.org).]

Committee To Save Mumia Abu-Jamal
P.O. Box 2012
New York, NY 10159-2012

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Donations for Mumia's Legal Defense in the U.S. Our legal effort is the front line of the battle for Mumia's freedom and life. His legal defense needs help. The costs are substantial for our litigation in the U.S. Supreme Court and at the state level. To help, please make your checks payable to the National Lawyers Guild Foundation indicate "Mumia" on the bottom left). All donations are tax deductible under the Internal Revenue Code, section 501c)3), and should be mailed to:

It is outrageous and a violation of human rights that Mumia remains in prison and on death row. His life hangs in the balance. My career has been marked by successfully representing people facing death in murder cases. I will not rest until we win Mumia's case. Justice requires no less.

With best wishes,

Robert R. Bryan
Lead counsel for Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Short Video About Al-Awda's Work
The following link is to a short video which provides an overview of Al-Awda's work since the founding of our organization in 2000. This video was first shown on Saturday May 23, 2009 at the fundraising banquet of the 7th Annual Int'l Al-Awda Convention in Anaheim California. It was produced from footage collected over the past nine years.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTiAkbB5uC0&eurl
Support Al-Awda, a Great Organization and Cause!

Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition, depends on your financial support to carry out its work.

To submit your tax-deductible donation to support our work, go to
http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the simple instructions.

Thank you for your generosity!

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KEVIN COOPER IS INNOCENT!
FLASHPOINTS Interview with Innocent San Quentin Death Row Inmate
Kevin Cooper -- Aired Monday, May 18,2009
http://www.flashpoints.net/#GOOGLE_SEARCH_ENGINE
To learn more about Kevin Cooper go to:
savekevincooper.org
LINKS
San Francisco Chronicle article on the recent ruling:
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/13/BAM517J8T3.DTL
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling and dissent:
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2009/05/11/05-99004o.pdf

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COURAGE TO RESIST!
Support the troops who refuse to fight!
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/
Donate:
http://www.couragetoresist.org/x/content/view/21/57/

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D. ARTICLES IN FULL

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1) Number of Families in Shelters Rises
By MICHAEL LUO
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/us/12shelter.html?hp

2) Barge Leaks 100 Tons of Gasoline Into Nile
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/11/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Egypt-Oil-Spill.html?ref=world

3) U.S. Strike Kills 3 in Pakistan, Officials Say
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/world/asia/12dronestrike.html?ref=world

4) China, Japan, America
By PAUL KRUGMAN
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/opinion/13krugman.html?hp

5) Retiring Later Is Hard Road for Laborers
By JOHN LELAND
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/us/13aging.html?hp

6) More Post-Combat U.S. Gunfire in Iraq
[U.S. troops are not there for combat, they're just there to help kill people...bw]
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/middleeast/13iraq.html?ref=world

7) The Oil Spill's Money Squeeze
By SHAILA DEWAN
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/science/earth/13funds.html?ref=us

8) How Many Jobs Do We Need?
"Corporate profits have rebounded, partly as a result of high unemployment, which makes it easier to cut labor costs."
By NANCY FOLBRE
September 13, 2010, 6:00 am
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/how-many-jobs-do-we-need/?ref=business

9) A Recovery's Long Odds
By BOB HERBERT
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/opinion/14herbert.html?hp

10) 3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution
By ASHLEE VANCE
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/technology/14print.html?hp

11) Confessing to Crime, but Innocent
"There are also people like Mr. Lowery, who says he was just pressed beyond endurance by persistent interrogators. ...An article by Professor Garrett draws on trial transcripts, recorded confessions and other background materials to show how incriminating facts got into those confessions - by police introducing important facts about the case, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during the interrogation. ...Proving innocence after a confession, however, is rare. Eight of the defendants in Professor Garrett's study had actually been cleared by DNA evidence before trial, but the courts convicted them anyway."
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14confess.html?hp

12) Cuba's Public-Sector Layoffs Signal Major Shift
By ELISABETH MALKIN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/world/americas/14cuba.html?hp

13) Civil Rights Photographer Unmasked as Informer
By ROBBIE BROWN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14photographer.html?hp

14) In Iraq, Clearer Image of U.S. Support
"During two days of combat in Diyala Province, American troops were armed with mortars, machine guns and sniper rifles. Apache and Kiowa helicopters attacked insurgents with cannon and machine-gun fire, and F-16's dropped 500-pound bombs." [And exactly how does this differ from "active combat?".....bw]
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/world/middleeast/14military.html?ref=world

15) U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics
"Is producing the cheapest food in the world our only goal?" asked Dr. Gail R. Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has campaigned for new limits on farm drugs. "Those who say there is no evidence of risk are discounting 40 years of science. To wait until there's nothing we can do about it doesn't seem like the wisest course."
By ERIK ECKHOLM
September 14, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/us/15farm.html?ref=us

16) Gulf May Avoid Direst Predictions After Oil Spill
"In blog posts from a research vessel in the gulf, Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia, reports that she observed a layer several centimeters thick on the sea floor, 16 miles from the wellhead, that she says was not a result of natural seepage."
By LESLIE KAUFMAN and SHAILA DEWAN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/science/earth/14spill.html?ref=us

17)Marijuana Ballot Measure in California Wins Support of Union, Officials Say
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14marijuana.html?ref=us

18) Louisiana: Work on Well Resumes
By HENRY FOUNTAIN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/science/14brfs-WORKONWELLRE_BRF.html?ref=us

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1) Number of Families in Shelters Rises
By MICHAEL LUO
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/us/12shelter.html?hp

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - For a few hours at the mall here this month, Nick Griffith, his wife, Lacey Lennon, and their two young children got to feel like a regular family again.

Never mind that they were just killing time away from the homeless shelter where they are staying, or that they had to take two city buses to get to the shopping center because they pawned one car earlier this year and had another repossessed, or that the debit card Ms. Lennon inserted into the A.T.M. was courtesy of the state's welfare program.

They ate lunch at the food court, browsed for clothes and just strolled, blending in with everyone else out on a scorching hot summer day. "It's exactly why we come here," Ms. Lennon said. "It reminds us of our old life."

For millions who have lost jobs or faced eviction in the economic downturn, homelessness is perhaps the darkest fear of all. In the end, though, for all the devastation wrought by the recession, a vast majority of people who have faced the possibility have somehow managed to avoid it.

Nevertheless, from 2007 through 2009, the number of families in homeless shelters - households with at least one adult and one minor child - leapt to 170,000 from 131,000, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

With long-term unemployment ballooning, those numbers could easily climb this year. Late in 2009, however, states began distributing $1.5 billion that has been made available over three years by the federal government as part of the stimulus package for the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program, which provides financial assistance to keep people in their homes or get them back in one quickly if they lose them.

More than 550,000 people have received aid, including more than 1,800 in Rhode Island, with just over a quarter of the money for the program spent so far nationally, state and federal officials said.

Even so, it remains to be seen whether the program is keeping pace with the continuing economic hardship.

On Aug. 9, Mr. Griffith, 40, Ms. Lennon, 26, and their two children, Ava, 3, and Ethan, 16 months, staggered into Crossroads Rhode Island, a shelter that functions as a kind of processing and triage center for homeless families, after a three-day bus journey from Florida.

"It hit me when we got off the bus and walked up and saw the Crossroads building," Ms. Lennon said. "We had all our stuff. We were tired. We'd already had enough, and it was just starting."

The number of families who have sought help this year at Crossroads has already surpassed the total for all of 2009. Through July, 324 families had come needing shelter, compared with 278 all of last year.

National data on current shelter populations are not yet available, but checks with other major family shelters across the country found similar increases.

The Y.W.C.A. Family Center in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest family shelters in the state, has seen an occupancy increase of more than 20 percent over the last three months compared with the same period last year. The UMOM New Day Center in Phoenix, the largest family shelter in Arizona, has had a more than 30 percent increase in families calling for shelter over the last few months.

Without national data, it is impossible to say for certain whether these are anomalies. Clearly, however, many families are still being sucked into the swirling financial drain that leads to homelessness.

The Griffith family moved from Rhode Island to Florida two years ago after Mr. Griffith, who was working as a waiter at an Applebee's restaurant, asked to be transferred to one opening in Spring Hill, an hour north of Tampa, where he figured the cost of living would be lower.

He did well at first, earning as much as $25 an hour, including tips. He also got a job as a line cook at another restaurant, where he made $12 an hour.

The family eventually moved into a three-bedroom condominium and lived the typical suburban life, with a sport-utility vehicle and a minivan to cart around their growing family.

In January, however, the restaurant where Mr. Griffith was cooking closed. Then his hours began drying up at Applebee's. The couple had savings, but squandered some of it figuring he would quickly find another job. When he did not, they were evicted from their condo.

They lived with Ms. Lennon's mother at first in her one-bedroom house in Port Richey, Fla., but she made it clear after two months that the arrangement was no longer feasible. The family moved to an R.V. park, paying $186 a week plus utilities. By late July, however, they had mostly run out of options.

They called some 100 shelters in Florida and found that most were full; others would not allow them to stay together.

They considered returning to Rhode Island. An Applebee's in Smithfield agreed to hire Mr. Griffith. They found Crossroads on the Internet and were assured of a spot. Using some emergency money they had left and $150 lent by relatives, they bought bus tickets to Providence.

Now, the family is crammed into a single room at Crossroads' 15-room family shelter, which used to be a funeral home. All four sleep on a pair of single beds pushed together. There is a crib for Ethan, but with all the turmoil, he can now fall asleep only when next to his parents. A lone framed photograph of the couple, dressed up for a night out, sits atop a shelf.

The living conditions are only part of the adjustment; there is also the shelter's long list of rules. No one can be in the living quarters from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The news is even off-limits as television programming in the common area. Residents were recently barred from congregating around the bench outside.

Infractions bring write-ups; three write-ups bring expulsion.

The changes have taken a toll on the family in small and large ways. Ethan has taken to screaming for no reason. Ava had been on the verge of being potty-trained, but is now back to diapers. Their nap schedules and diets are a mess. Their parents are squabbling more and have started smoking again.

Mr. Griffith found that he could work only limited hours at his new job because of the bus schedule. The family did qualify last week for transitional housing, but that usually takes a month to finalize. They are still pursuing rapid rehousing assistance.

Others at the shelter with no job prospects face a steeper climb meeting the requirements.

Every few days, new families arrive. A few hours after the Griffiths got back from the mall, a young woman pushing a stroller with a toddler rang the shelter doorbell, quietly weeping.

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2) Barge Leaks 100 Tons of Gasoline Into Nile
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/11/world/middleeast/AP-ML-Egypt-Oil-Spill.html?ref=world

Filed at 3:20 p.m. ET

LUXOR, Egypt (AP) -- A barge has leaked some 100 tons of gasoline into the Nile River in southern Egypt after it became partially submerged while workers unloaded its cargo.

The vessel docked Saturday in Aswan, about 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) south of Cairo, when part of the barge sank below the surface and began spewing gasoline into the river. The leak has since been stopped.

Officials in three southern Egyptian provinces have declared a state of emergency to contain the spill and to prevent it from spreading down river.

The barge belongs to the Nile Company for River Transport. Officials say it was carrying 244 tons of gasoline.

The chief of the Luxor drinking water company urged people to stockpile water in case the spill reaches the city's water purification facilities.

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3) U.S. Strike Kills 3 in Pakistan, Officials Say
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 11, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/world/asia/12dronestrike.html?ref=world

MIR ALI, Pakistan (AP) - A suspected American missile strike early Sunday killed at least three men believed to be associates of a Pakistani warlord who is fighting Western troops in Afghanistan, intelligence officials said.

The powerful warlord and militant leader, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, struck a truce with the Pakistani military and agreed to stay on the sidelines last year as the military waged an offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area against the Pakistani Taliban, a group dedicated to attacking the Pakistani government, among other targets.

Mr. Bahadur has focused instead on battling American and NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan

Two Pakistan intelligence officials told The Associated Press that two missiles targeted a home in the North Waziristan tribal area where Mr. Bahadur's associates were believed to be staying. The officials said three men were believed to be wounded.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the news media.

A steady series of strikes thought to be from American drones have happened in North Waziristan, a lawless region home to Al Qaeda leaders plotting attacks in the West, insurgents battling foreign troops in Afghanistan and extremists behind bombings in Pakistan.

Four airstrikes pounded the area over 24 hours this past week, the last killing five suspected militants early Thursday, officials said.

There were at least four other attacks earlier in the week.

Most are believed to be fired from the remotely piloted drones, which can hover for hours above the area.

Pakistan has condemned the American missile strikes as violations of its sovereignty, warning that the civilian casualties they cause deepen anti-American sentiment and complicate the fight against terrorism.

But many suspect the two countries have a deal allowing the drone attacks.

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4) China, Japan, America
By PAUL KRUGMAN
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/opinion/13krugman.html?hp

Last week Japan's minister of finance declared that he and his colleagues wanted a discussion with China about the latter's purchases of Japanese bonds, to "examine its intention" - diplomat-speak for "Stop it right now." The news made me want to bang my head against the wall in frustration.

You see, senior American policy figures have repeatedly balked at doing anything about Chinese currency manipulation, at least in part out of fear that the Chinese would stop buying our bonds. Yet in the current environment, Chinese purchases of our bonds don't help us - they hurt us. The Japanese understand that. Why don't we?

Some background: If discussion of Chinese currency policy seems confusing, it's only because many people don't want to face up to the stark, simple reality - namely, that China is deliberately keeping its currency artificially weak.

The consequences of this policy are also stark and simple: in effect, China is taxing imports while subsidizing exports, feeding a huge trade surplus. You may see claims that China's trade surplus has nothing to do with its currency policy; if so, that would be a first in world economic history. An undervalued currency always promotes trade surpluses, and China is no different.

And in a depressed world economy, any country running an artificial trade surplus is depriving other nations of much-needed sales and jobs. Again, anyone who asserts otherwise is claiming that China is somehow exempt from the economic logic that has always applied to everyone else.

So what should we be doing? U.S. officials have tried to reason with their Chinese counterparts, arguing that a stronger currency would be in China's own interest. They're right about that: an undervalued currency promotes inflation, erodes the real wages of Chinese workers and squanders Chinese resources. But while currency manipulation is bad for China as a whole, it's good for politically influential Chinese companies - many of them state-owned. And so the currency manipulation goes on.

Time and again, U.S. officials have announced progress on the currency issue; each time, it turns out that they've been had. Back in June, Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, praised China's announcement that it would move to a more flexible exchange rate. Since then, the renminbi has risen a grand total of 1, that's right, 1 percent against the dollar - with much of the rise taking place in just the past few days, ahead of planned Congressional hearings on the currency issue. And since the dollar has fallen against other major currencies, China's artificial cost advantage has actually increased.

Clearly, nothing will happen until or unless the United States shows that it's willing to do what it normally does when another country subsidizes its exports: impose a temporary tariff that offsets the subsidy. So why has such action never been on the table?

One answer, as I've already suggested, is fear of what would happen if the Chinese stopped buying American bonds. But this fear is completely misplaced: in a world awash with excess savings, we don't need China's money - especially because the Federal Reserve could and should buy up any bonds the Chinese sell.

It's true that the dollar would fall if China decided to dump some American holdings. But this would actually help the U.S. economy, making our exports more competitive. Ask the Japanese, who want China to stop buying their bonds because those purchases are driving up the yen.

Aside from unjustified financial fears, there's a more sinister cause of U.S. passivity: business fear of Chinese retaliation.

Consider a related issue: the clearly illegal subsidies China provides to its clean-energy industry. These subsidies should have led to a formal complaint from American businesses; in fact, the only organization willing to file a complaint was the steelworkers union. Why? As The Times reported, "multinational companies and trade associations in the clean energy business, as in many other industries, have been wary of filing trade cases, fearing Chinese officials' reputation for retaliating against joint ventures in their country and potentially denying market access to any company that takes sides against China."

Similar intimidation has surely helped discourage action on the currency front. So this is a good time to remember that what's good for multinational companies is often bad for America, especially its workers.

So here's the question: Will U.S. policy makers let themselves be spooked by financial phantoms and bullied by business intimidation? Will they continue to do nothing in the face of policies that benefit Chinese special interests at the expense of both Chinese and American workers? Or will they finally, finally act? Stay tuned.

Ross Douthat is off today.

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5) Retiring Later Is Hard Road for Laborers
By JOHN LELAND
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/us/13aging.html?hp

At the Cooper Tire plant in Findlay, Ohio, Jack Hartley, who is 58, works a 12-hour shift assembling tires: pulling piles of rubber and lining over a drum, cutting the material with a hot knife, lifting the half-finished tire, which weighs 10 to 20 pounds, and throwing it onto a rack.

Mr. Hartley performs these steps nearly 30 times an hour, or 300 times in a shift. "The pain started about the time I was 50," he said. "Dessert with lunch is ibuprofen. Your knees start going bad, your lower back, your elbows, your shoulders."

He said he does not think he can last until age 66, when he will be eligible for full Social Security retirement benefits. At 62 or 65, he said, "that's it."

After years of debate about how to keep Social Security solvent, the White House has created an 18-member panel to consider changes, including raising the retirement age. Representative John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio and the House minority leader, has called for raising the age as high as 70 in the next 20 years, and many Democrats have endorsed similar steps, against opposition from some liberal groups. The panel will report by Dec. 1, after the midterm elections.

Mr. Hartley says he feels like the forgotten man. Discussion has focused mostly on the older workers who hold relatively undemanding jobs at desks and computers that can be done at age 69 or beyond. But hard labor is not a thing of the past for older workers, who are on the whole less educated than younger ones.

A new analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research found that one in three workers over age 58 does a physically demanding job like Mr. Hartley's - including hammering nails, bending under sinks, lifting baggage - that can be radically different at age 69 than at age 62. Still others work under difficult conditions, like exposure to heat or cold, exposure to contaminants or weather, cramped workplaces or standing for long stretches.

In all, the researchers found that 45 percent of older workers, or 8.5 million, held such difficult jobs. For janitors, nurses' aides, plumbers, cashiers, waiters, cooks, carpenters, maintenance workers and others, raising the retirement age may mean squeezing more out of a declining body.

Mr. Hartley had planned to retire at 58, but he and his wife had high medical expenses, and the company froze one year of its pension plan, reducing benefits. He is, he said, "stuck here."

Workers like Mr. Hartley present a conundrum for a Social Security overhaul, said Eugene Steuerle, a fellow at the Urban Institute, who favors raising the retirement age. People are living longer, and providing "old age" benefits to them when they are relatively young and healthy, he said, makes less available to them when they are older and frailer.

"We're close to the point when one-third of adults will be on Social Security and will be retired for a third or more of their adult lives," Mr. Steuerle said. "It's true that some people in late middle age have issues of physically demanding jobs, but saying we're going to give everyone more years of retirement is not an efficient way of dealing with that issue."

Any changes in Social Security's retirement age will not affect workers currently in their late 50s and their 60s, who are eligible for full benefits at age 66. But their experiences now are a harbinger of things to come, said Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York, who opposes raising the Social Security retirement age because she says it will have a disproportionate impact on lower-income workers and minorities, who tend to have lower life expectancies and so fewer years of collecting benefits. At the same time, blue-collar workers often spend more years paying into Social Security because they start full-time work younger, she said.

"People who need to retire early - and they need to - are folks that start working in their late teens, whereas people who are promoting raising the retirement age are people who were in graduate school or professional school and got into jobs that would logically take them into their late 60s and 70s," she said.

A study by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics found that for workers ages 55 to 60, the share who said their jobs required "lots of physical effort" all or almost all of the time declined between 1992 and 2002, to 18 percent from 20 percent, but the percentages who said they had to lift heavy loads, stoop, kneel or crouch increased.

In 2002, 29 percent of workers ages 55 to 60 said they experienced chronic pain in their jobs, and 46 percent said they had arthritis.

And though more Americans are retiring early, it is not always voluntary. A 2006 study by McKinsey & Company found that 40 percent of early retirees said they were forced into it, about half for health reasons.

"If you try to punish people for retiring earlier" by raising the retirement age, "you're punishing people who aren't choosing it," Professor Ghilarducci said.

This is not news to Jim McGuire, 62, a ramp serviceman for United Airlines, who started lifting bags into airplanes 43 years ago. He has had rotator cuff surgery and separated a shoulder on the job.

"From 50 to 60 was a drastic change," he said. "The aches and pains, the feeling that your back could go at any second. My hips are worn out. In a seven-day week, I take Advil five nights for the pain."

Mr. McGuire said that he did not have a planned retirement date, but that he hoped to make it to 66. Since United's pension plan was taken over by the government, cutting his benefits in half, he says Social Security has become a much bigger part of his future plans.

For Bobbie Smith, 69, a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home in Miami, getting older has just meant using her body more judiciously. Providing direct care to the elderly, Mrs. Smith belongs to one of the fastest-growing work forces in the country and one of the grayest.

"I learned to arrange work so it won't be so hard on me," she said. "I try to encourage patients to the point that they help themselves."

She said she planned to continue working, even as she got older than some of her patients.

"What am I going to do if I sit at home, keep cleaning the house?" she said. "I need the money. I bought me a car, and I want to pay for it. But I would still work."

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6) More Post-Combat U.S. Gunfire in Iraq
[U.S. troops are not there for combat, they're just there to help kill people...bw]
By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/world/middleeast/13iraq.html?ref=world

BAGHDAD - American military units fired on insurgents while supporting Iraqi troops northeast of the capital on Sunday, Iraqi officials said. It was the second such episode since the United States declared an end to its combat operations in Iraq less than two weeks ago.

There were no American casualties in the fighting in Hudaidy, a village about 50 miles from Baghdad that has long harbored members of the Sunni insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia.

Iraqi security officials said three people were killed: an Iraqi soldier, an Iraqi police officer and an insurgent. Ten people were wounded.

The United States military did not confirm its role in the fighting. An American military spokeswoman said Sunday in an e-mail that she was awaiting "releasable information."

But Iraqi military and civilian officials said American helicopters and some ground troops had taken part after Iraqi forces requested assistance. The Iraqis had come under fire while raiding Sunni insurgent hide-outs in the agricultural area.

Since Sept. 1, the primary mission of American troops in Iraq - which number slightly less than 50,000 - has changed from conducting combat operations to training and advising Iraqi security forces in preparation for the planned American military withdrawal at the end of 2011. The ability of Iraqi forces to fight insurgents and to protect the country's borders without American help has been an underlying concern.

On Sunday, Maj. Dhalib Attiya of the Diyala Police said insurgents had placed bombs at the perimeter of a 12-acre palm grove in Hudaidy to prevent Iraqi forces from approaching.

Some of the fighters then climbed into tall palms and fired at Iraqi Army and police units with sniper rifles, he said.

Isam Shakar Mizher, a member of the security committee of the Diyala Provincial Council, said Iraqi forces sought help from American helicopters after being unable to locate the snipers.

"This support was necessary to deal with some of these targets," Mr. Mizher said.

After arriving American helicopters fired rockets at the snipers, United States soldiers on the ground helped Iraqi troops defuse at least two bombs planted by insurgents, Iraqi officials said.

The battle started Saturday afternoon after Iraqi security forces arrested at least eight men suspected of having ties to the insurgency, the Iraqi police said.

Not long afterward, Iraqi soldiers and police officers were attacked near the orchard, and a police officer was killed by a bomb. Major Attiya said the Americans did not join the fight until Sunday morning, after the Iraqi military had formally requested assistance.

On Sunday evening, Iraqi security officials said the palm grove had been surrounded by Iraqi troops who planned to enter the field at dawn. It was not immediately clear whether American troops would accompany them.

One week ago, on Sept. 5, insurgents attacked the headquarters of an Iraqi Army division in Baghdad. At least 12 people, including six insurgents, were killed and 36 were wounded.

An American military spokesman said American soldiers had provided "suppressive fire" for Iraqi troops in a counterassault.

Yasir Ghazi and Zaid Thaker contributed reporting from Baghdad, and an Iraqi employee of The New York Times from Diyala Province.

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7) The Oil Spill's Money Squeeze
By SHAILA DEWAN
September 12, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/science/earth/13funds.html?ref=us

In May, Harriet M. Perry, the director of the fisheries program at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, was asked to examine some mysterious droplets found on blue crab larvae by scientists at Tulane University. An early test indicated that the droplets were oil, and she has continued to find similar droplets on fresh larvae samples taken all along the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the potential significance of the discovery, Dr. Perry does not have research money to cover further tests. And like other scientists across the Gulf Coast who are racing to sketch out the contours of the BP oil spill's effects, she has few places to turn for help.

The only federal agency to distribute any significant grant money for oil spill research, the National Science Foundation, is out of money until the next fiscal year begins Oct. 1. The Environmental Protection Agency, which has only $2 million to give out, is still gearing up its program. A $500 million initiative for independent research promised by BP, which was to be awarded by an international panel of scientists, has become mired in a political fight over control. State agencies, too, are stymied.

"We have met with every possible person we can regarding this issue, built the templates, sent in the requests, and we are waiting to see," said Hank M. Bounds, the Mississippi commissioner of higher education, speaking of the needs of Ms. Perry and other scientists.

There is plenty of science being done on the spill, but most of it is in the service of either the response effort, the federal Natural Damage Resource Assessment that will determine BP's liability, or BP's legal defense. Scientists who participate in those efforts may face restrictions on how they can use or publish their data. More important, they do not have a free hand in determining the scope of their studies.

"Independent research is being squeezed by federal agencies on one side and BP on the other," said Dr. Perry, whose only offer of help has come from BP (she declined). "It's difficult for the fishing community and the environmentalists to understand why we are not receiving the money that we need."

Scientists view the situation as urgent because the environmental picture in the gulf region changes daily, as the plume of undersea oil disperses and degrades, fish eggs hatch and crabs molt.

"Time is of the essence," said Lisa Suatoni, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental group. "Knowing the answers to basic questions like how much oil is below the surface, where is it going and what is its fate - those are answers that are slipping through our fingers."

John H. Paul, a biological oceanographer at the University of South Florida, has found evidence of stress and even genetic damage in plankton exposed to the spill. "Everything that I've done, I've not had funding for," he said. "I've had to pull people off my other projects and say, 'Here, let's do this for two weeks.' "

Ralph Portier, an environmental scientist at Louisiana State University, said earlier grants would have meant earlier answers to key questions like how long it will take for the oil in the marshes to break down. "We could have had a much better answer to that by now if we had started in the summer," he said.

But, Dr. Portier said, there was no mechanism set up to provide research money in the event of an oil spill. "We always seem to be reacting and reacting and reacting, rather than being proactive," he said.

Dr. Suatoni said the federal agencies that scientists normally looked to might not get significant allotments from Congress for spill research. "The government is afraid it's going to look like we're asking taxpayers to pay to study a spill that was a result of BP's actions," she said.

Right after the spill, gulf research institutions exhausted their budgets, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for sea voyages and sampling. Scientists used their personal credit cards to begin research projects.

After complaints about the scarcity of research dollars, BP announced that it would spend $500 million over 10 years in a program it called the Gulf Research Initiative. The original structure of the initiative, with an international panel of scientists appointed to review proposals, was applauded by many scientists, who were persuaded that BP genuinely intended to distance itself from the choice of projects and would set no limits on the publication of results.

But gulf scientists and state officials expressed fears that the process would take too long and that the money would go to large, well-financed research institutions outside the gulf region.

So BP wrote checks for $30 million to research centers in the region for "high-priority studies" - $10 million to the Florida Institute of Oceanography, $10 million to the Northern Gulf Institute, and $5 million to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama, all university consortiums, and another $5 million to Louisiana State University. Last week, BP announced that $10 million of the initiative money had been awarded to the National Institutes of Health.

The money was in high demand - the Florida Institute of Oceanography, for example, received 233 proposals and gave awards to only 27.

BP promised that guidelines for disbursing the rest of the money were imminent, but politics intervened. Governors of the Gulf States still wanted more local control of the money, and in mid-June the White House backed them up, announcing, "As a part of this initiative, BP will work with governors, and state and local environmental and health authorities to design the long-term monitoring program to assure the environmental and public health of the gulf region."

A White House spokesman said that statement was never intended to delay the financing process, but the announcement forced BP to rethink its plans and caused anxiety among scientists. Some feared that the delay would extend indefinitely, and that as the spill receded from the public eye, the money would never materialize. Others divined a money grab by governors for their own cash-starved environmental departments. BP has said little, other than that it is following the "White House directive" to consult with the states.

At least three of the governors have signed on to a proposal that a group called the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, a partnership led by state natural resource and environmental agencies, administer the money. Under the plan now being worked out, BP would appoint 10 members of the peer review board and each governor would appoint two members, said William W. Walker, the director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the co-chairman of the alliance. In Mississippi's case, he said, there would most likely be one appointee from a state agency and one from a research institution.

But scientists are skeptical of the gulf alliance, in part because it is controlled by agencies rather than universities, and the public silence surrounding the negotiations has raised suspicions.

"It looks like maybe BP caved," said Gary M. King, a microbial ecologist at Louisiana State University. "There's no sense of trust that a group of governors are actually going to do the right thing and ensure that there will be good science."

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8) How Many Jobs Do We Need?
"Corporate profits have rebounded, partly as a result of high unemployment, which makes it easier to cut labor costs."
By NANCY FOLBRE
September 13, 2010, 6:00 am
http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/how-many-jobs-do-we-need/?ref=business

Nancy Folbre is an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The answer to how many jobs the United States needs depends on how you define "we" and how you define need.

People who have secure jobs may not be too worried about employment levels. Some may even anticipate a comfortable ride over the next few months, whether it leads to another dip in economic growth or to "jobless recovery."

In an increasingly global economy, some big businesses may look to exports as a source of demand for their goods and services. Others may be able to just sit tight until conditions improve. Corporate profits have rebounded, partly as a result of high unemployment, which makes it easier to cut labor costs.

Do those unemployed really need jobs? Some economists suggest that many are just free-riding on the rest of us by taking extended unemployment benefits. In last week's post, I argued that a focus on the decline in wage and salary jobs is useful, because it sidesteps the assertion that the unemployed are just pretending to want work.

The problem is not just fewer jobs, but more potential job applicants.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Trends in the employment-population ratio over the last 10 years, shown in the chart above, put these two factors together. The current decline started in 2006 and intensified in 2008. The decline in 2009 was the largest since 1948, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began to collect this data.

As Bradford DeLong of the University of California, Berkeley, observes, the continuing decline in the employment-population ratio - albeit at a less precipitous rate - suggests that economic upturn is an inappropriate description of our current situation.

Long-run trends show that the employment-population ratio increased steadily between the 1970s and the 1990s, as more women joined the work force. Men's employment rates declined over this period, but not enough to counterbalance increases for women.

The ratio has always declined in recession years, but now the recession-related declines have swamped long-term trends - we are now at an employment-population ratio about the same as in 1977.

As I argued in a post last year, we shouldn't assume that paid employment is the only productive activity that individuals engage in. Unpaid work in the home should be counted as part of an expanded measure of gross domestic product and may help buffer some of the effects of unemployment.

But families are limited in their ability to substitute time for money. You can't engage in home improvements if you can't buy building materials. You can't cook your own meals if your utilities have been cut off. You can't grow your own food if you don't have a garden.

It's nice to have more time to care for children and other family members, but not if you lack the money to pay for their food, clothing, shelter and education.

Indeed, our increased dependence on the market economy helps explain why unemployment today is more economically stressful in some respects than it was in the 1930s, when fewer families depended on wage employment to put food on the table.

You can move in with Mom and Dad, and maybe even help cut their lawn. But you probably can't help out on the family farm or contribute to the family business, because they don't own anything but their home - and even that may be in foreclosure.

The most outspoken advocates of job creation project recent trends in the employment-population ratio into the future, pointing out that job shortages are likely to remain severe.

But many economists who oppose public job-creation efforts, like my fellow Economix blogger Casey Mulligan, also predict very slow growth in employment over the next few years.

The big question then, is not whether many people will need jobs, but whether the rest of us need to do anything about their need.

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9) A Recovery's Long Odds
By BOB HERBERT
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/opinion/14herbert.html?hp

We can keep wishing and hoping for a powerful economic recovery to pull the U.S. out of its doldrums, but I wouldn't count on it. Ordinary American families no longer have the purchasing power to build a strong recovery and keep it going.

Americans are not being honest with themselves about the structural changes in the economy that have bestowed fabulous wealth on a tiny sliver at the top, while undermining the living standards of the middle class and absolutely crushing the poor. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have a viable strategy for reversing this dreadful state of affairs. (There is no evidence the G.O.P. even wants to.)

Robert Reich, in his new book, "Aftershock," gives us one of the clearest explanations to date of what has happened - how the United States went from what he calls "the Great Prosperity" of 1947 to 1975 to the Great Recession that has hobbled the U.S. economy and darkened the future of younger Americans.

He gives the Obama administration and the Federal Reserve credit for moving quickly in terms of fiscal and monetary policies to prevent the economic crash of 2008 from driving the U.S. into a second great depression. "But," he writes, "we did not learn the larger lesson of the 1930s: that when the distribution of income gets too far out of whack, the economy needs to be reorganized so the broad middle class has enough buying power to rejuvenate the economy over the longer term."

The middle class is finally on its knees. Jobs are scarce and good jobs even scarcer. Government and corporate policies have been whacking working Americans every which way for the past three or four decades. While globalization and technological wizardry were wreaking employment havoc, the movers and shakers in government and in the board rooms of the great corporations were embracing privatization and deregulation with the fervor of fanatics. The safety net was shredded, unions were brutally attacked and demonized, employment training and jobs programs were eliminated, higher education costs skyrocketed, and the nation's infrastructure, a key to long-term industrial and economic health, deteriorated.

It's a wonder matters aren't worse.

While all this was happening, working people, including those in the vast middle class, coped as best they could. Women went into the paid work force in droves. Many workers increased their hours or took on second and third jobs. Savings were drained and debt of every imaginable kind - from credit cards to mortgages to student loans - exploded.

With those coping mechanisms now exhausted, it's painfully obvious that the economy has failed working Americans.

There was plenty of growth, but the economic benefits went overwhelmingly - and unfairly - to those already at the top. Mr. Reich cites the work of analysts who have tracked the increasing share of national income that has gone to the top 1 percent of earners since the 1970s, when their share was 8 percent to 9 percent. In the 1980s, it rose to 10 percent to 14 percent. In the late-'90s, it was 15 percent to 19 percent. In 2005, it passed 21 percent. By 2007, the last year for which complete data are available, the richest 1 percent were taking more than 23 percent of all income.

The richest one-tenth of 1 percent, representing just 13,000 households, took in more than 11 percent of total income in 2007.

That does not leave enough spending power with the rest of the population to sustain a flourishing economy. This is a point emphasized in "Aftershock." Mr. Reich, a former labor secretary in the Clinton administration, writes: "The wages of the typical American hardly increased in the three decades leading up to the Crash of 2008, considering inflation. In the 2000s, they actually dropped."

A male worker earning the median wage in 2007 earned less than the median wage, adjusted for inflation, of a male worker 30 years earlier. A typical son, in other words, is earning less than his dad did at the same age.

This is what has happened with ordinary workers as the wealth at the top has soared into the stratosphere.

With so much of the middle class and the rest of working America tapped out, there is not enough consumer demand for the goods and services that the U.S. economy is capable of producing. Without that demand, there are precious few prospects for a robust recovery.

If matters stay the same, with working people perpetually struggling in an environment of ever-increasing economic insecurity and inequality, the very stability of the society will be undermined.

The U.S. economy needs to be rebalanced so that the benefits are shared more widely, more equitably. There are many ways to do this, but what is most important right now is to recognize this central fact, to focus on it and to begin seriously considering the most constructive options.

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10) 3-D Printing Spurs a Manufacturing Revolution
By ASHLEE VANCE
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/technology/14print.html?hp

SAN FRANCISCO - Businesses in the South Park district of San Francisco generally sell either Web technology or sandwiches and burritos. Bespoke Innovations plans to sell designer body parts.

The company is using advances in a technology known as 3-D printing to create prosthetic limb casings wrapped in embroidered leather, shimmering metal or whatever else someone might want.

Scott Summit, a co-founder of Bespoke, and his partner, an orthopedic surgeon, are set to open a studio this fall where they will sell the limb coverings and experiment with printing entire customized limbs that could cost a tenth of comparable artificial limbs made using traditional methods. And they will be dishwasher-safe, too.

"I wanted to create a leg that had a level of humanity," Mr. Summit said. "It's unfortunate that people have had a product that's such a major part of their lives that was so underdesigned."

A 3-D printer, which has nothing to do with paper printers, creates an object by stacking one layer of material - typically plastic or metal - on top of another, much the same way a pastry chef makes baklava with sheets of phyllo dough.

The technology has been radically transformed from its origins as a tool used by manufacturers and designers to build prototypes.

These days it is giving rise to a string of never-before-possible businesses that are selling iPhone cases, lamps, doorknobs, jewelry, handbags, perfume bottles, clothing and architectural models. And while some wonder how successfully the technology will make the transition from manufacturing applications to producing consumer goods, its use is exploding.

A California start-up is even working on building houses. Its printer, which would fit on a tractor-trailer, would use patterns delivered by computer, squirt out layers of special concrete and build entire walls that could be connected to form the basis of a house.

It is manufacturing with a mouse click instead of hammers, nails and, well, workers. Advocates of the technology say that by doing away with manual labor, 3-D printing could revamp the economics of manufacturing and revive American industry as creativity and ingenuity replace labor costs as the main concern around a variety of goods.

"There is nothing to be gained by going overseas except for higher shipping charges," Mr. Summit said.

A wealth of design software programs, from free applications to the more sophisticated offerings of companies including Alibre and Autodesk, allows a person to concoct a product at home, then send the design to a company like Shapeways, which will print it and mail it back.

"We are enabling a class of ordinary people to take their ideas and turn those into physical, real products," said J. Paul Grayson, Alibre's chief executive. Mr. Grayson said his customers had designed parts for antique cars, yo-yos and even pieces for DNA analysis machines.

"We have a lot of individuals going from personal to commercial," Mr. Grayson said.

Manufacturers and designers have used 3-D printing technology for years, experimenting on the spot rather than sending off designs to be built elsewhere, usually in Asia, and then waiting for a model to return. Boeing, for example, might use the technique to make and test air-duct shapes before committing to a final design.

Depending on the type of job at hand, a typical 3-D printer can cost from $10,000 to more than $100,000. Stratasys and 3D Systems are among the industry leaders. And MakerBot Industries sells a hobbyist kit for under $1,000.

Moving the technology beyond manufacturing does pose challenges. Customized products, for example, may be more expensive than mass-produced ones, and take longer to make. And the concept may seem out of place in a world trained to appreciate the merits of mass consumption.

But as 3-D printing machines have improved and fallen in cost along with the materials used to make products, new businesses have cropped up.

Freedom of Creation, based in Amsterdam, designs and prints exotic furniture and other fixtures for hotels and restaurants. It also makes iPhone cases for Apple, eye cream bottles for L'Oreal and jewelry and handbags for sale on its Web site.

Various designers have turned to the company for clothing that interlaces plastic to create form-hugging blouses, while others have requested spiky coverings for lights that look as if they could be the offspring of a sea urchin and a lamp shade.

"The aim was always to bring this to consumers instead of keeping it a secret at NASA and big manufacturers," said Janne Kyttanen, 36, who founded Freedom of Creation about 10 years ago. "Everyone thought I was a lunatic when we started."

His company can take risks with "out there" designs since it doesn't need to print an object until it is ordered, Mr. Kyttanen said. Ikea can worry about mass appeal.

LGM, based in Minturn, Colo., uses a 3-D printing machine to create models of buildings and resorts for architectural firms.

"We used to take two months to build $100,000 models," said Charles Overy, the founder of LGM. "Well, that type of work is gone because developers aren't putting up that type of money anymore."

Now, he said, he is building $2,000 models using an architect's design and homegrown software for a 3-D printer. He can turn around a model in one night.

Next, the company plans to design and print doorknobs and other fixtures for buildings, creating unique items. "We are moving from handcraft to digital craft," Mr. Overy said.

But Contour Crafting, based in Los Angeles, has pushed 3-D printing technology to its limits.

Based on research done by Dr. Behrokh Khoshnevis, an engineering professor at the University of Southern California, Contour Crafting has created a giant 3-D printing device for building houses. The start-up company is seeking money to commercialize a machine capable of building an entire house in one go using a machine that fits on the back of a tractor-trailer.

The 3-D printing wave has caught the attention of some of the world's biggest technology companies. Hewlett-Packard, the largest paper-printer maker, has started reselling 3-D printing machines made by Stratasys. And Google uses the CADspan software from LGM to help people using its SketchUp design software turn their creations into 3-D printable objects.

At Bespoke, Mr. Summit has built a scanning contraption to examine limbs using a camera. After the scan, a detailed image is transmitted to a computer, and Mr. Summit can begin sculpting his limb art.

He uses a 3-D printer to create plastic shells that fit around the prosthetic limbs, and then wraps the shells in any flexible material the customer desires, be it an old bomber jacket or a trusty boot.

"We can do a midcentury modern or a Harley aesthetic if that's what someone wants," Mr. Summit said. "If we can get to flexible wood, I am totally going to cut my own leg off."

Mr. Summit and his partner, Kenneth B. Trauner, the orthopedic surgeon, have built some test models of full legs that have sophisticated features like body symmetry, locking knees and flexing ankles. One artistic design is metal-plated in some areas and leather-wrapped in others.

"It costs $5,000 to $6,000 to print one of these legs, and it has features that aren't even found in legs that cost $60,000 today," Mr. Summit said.

"We want the people to have input and pick out their options," he added. "It's about going from the Model T to something like a Mini that has 10 million permutations."

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11) Confessing to Crime, but Innocent
"There are also people like Mr. Lowery, who says he was just pressed beyond endurance by persistent interrogators. ...An article by Professor Garrett draws on trial transcripts, recorded confessions and other background materials to show how incriminating facts got into those confessions - by police introducing important facts about the case, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during the interrogation. ...Proving innocence after a confession, however, is rare. Eight of the defendants in Professor Garrett's study had actually been cleared by DNA evidence before trial, but the courts convicted them anyway."
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14confess.html?hp

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Eddie Lowery lost 10 years of his life for a crime he did not commit. There was no physical evidence at his trial for rape, but one overwhelming factor put him away: he confessed.

At trial, the jury heard details that prosecutors insisted only the rapist could have known, including the fact that the rapist hit the 75-year-old victim in the head with the handle of a silver table knife he found in the house. DNA evidence would later show that another man committed the crime. But that vindication would come only years after Mr. Lowery had served his sentence and was paroled in 1991.

"I beat myself up a lot" about having confessed, Mr. Lowery said in a recent interview. "I thought I was the only dummy who did that."

But more than 40 others have given confessions since 1976 that DNA evidence later showed were false, according to records compiled by Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. Experts have long known that some kinds of people - including the mentally impaired, the mentally ill, the young and the easily led - are the likeliest to be induced to confess. There are also people like Mr. Lowery, who says he was just pressed beyond endurance by persistent interrogators.

New research shows how people who were apparently uninvolved in a crime could provide such a detailed account of what occurred, allowing prosecutors to claim that only the defendant could have committed the crime.

An article by Professor Garrett draws on trial transcripts, recorded confessions and other background materials to show how incriminating facts got into those confessions - by police introducing important facts about the case, whether intentionally or unintentionally, during the interrogation.

To defense lawyers, the new research is eye opening. "In the past, if somebody confessed, that was the end," said Peter J. Neufeld, a founder of the Innocence Project, an organization based in Manhattan. "You couldn't imagine going forward."

The notion that such detailed confessions might be deemed voluntary because the defendants were not beaten or coerced suggests that courts should not simply look at whether confessions are voluntary, Mr. Neufeld said. "They should look at whether they are reliable."

Professor Garrett said he was surprised by the complexity of the confessions he studied. "I expected, and think people intuitively think, that a false confession would look flimsy," like someone saying simply, "I did it," he said.

Instead, he said, "almost all of these confessions looked uncannily reliable," rich in telling detail that almost inevitably had to come from the police. "I had known that in a couple of these cases, contamination could have occurred," he said, using a term in police circles for introducing facts into the interrogation process. "I didn't expect to see that almost all of them had been contaminated."

Of the exonerated defendants in the Garrett study, 26 - more than half - were "mentally disabled," under 18 at the time or both. Most were subjected to lengthy, high-pressure interrogations, and none had a lawyer present. Thirteen of them were taken to the crime scene.

Mr. Lowery's case shows how contamination occurs. He had come under suspicion, he now believes, because he had been partying and ran his car into a parked car the night of the rape, generating a police report. Officers grilled him for more than seven hours, insisting from the start that he had committed the crime.

Mr. Lowery took a lie detector test to prove he was innocent, but the officers told him that he had failed it.

"I didn't know any way out of that, except to tell them what they wanted to hear," he recalled. "And then get a lawyer to prove my innocence."

Proving innocence after a confession, however, is rare. Eight of the defendants in Professor Garrett's study had actually been cleared by DNA evidence before trial, but the courts convicted them anyway.

In one such case involving Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a murder in Poughkeepsie, prosecutors argued that the victim may have been sexually active and so the DNA evidence may have come from another liaison she had. The prosecutors asked the jury to focus on Mr. Deskovic's highly detailed confession and convict him.

While Professor Garrett suggests that leaking facts during interrogations is sometimes unintentional, Mr. Lowery said that the contamination of his questioning was clearly intentional.

After his initial confession, he said, the interrogators went over the crime with him in detail - asking how he did it, but correcting him when he got the facts wrong. How did he get in? "I said, 'I kicked in the front door.' " But the rapist had used the back door, so he admitted to having gone around to the back. "They fed me the answers," he recalled.

Some defendants' confessions even include mistakes fed by the police. Earl Washington Jr., a mentally impaired man who spent 18 years in prison and came within hours of being executed for a murder he did not commit, stated in his confession that the victim had worn a halter top. In fact, she had worn a sundress, but an initial police report had stated that she wore a halter top.

Steven A. Drizin, the director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law, said the significance of contamination could not be understated. While errors might lead to wrongful arrest, "it's contamination that is the primary factor in wrongful convictions," he said. "Juries demand details from the suspect that make the confession appear to be reliable - that's where these cases go south."

Jim Trainum, a former policeman who now advises police departments on training officers to avoid false confessions, explained that few of them intend to contaminate an interrogation or convict the innocent.

"You become so fixated on 'This is the right person, this is the guilty person' that you tend to ignore everything else," he said. The problem with false confessions, he said, is "the wrong person is still out there, and he's able to reoffend."

Mr. Trainum has become an advocate of videotaping entire interrogations. Requirements for recording confessions vary widely across the country. Ten states require videotaping of at least some interrogations, like those in crimes that carry the death penalty, and seven state supreme courts have required or strongly encouraged recording.

These days Mr. Lowery, 51, lives in suburban Kansas City, in a house he is renovating with some of the $7.5 million in settlement money he received, along with apologies from officials in Riley County, Kan., where he was arrested and interrogated.

He has trouble putting the past behind him. "I was embarrassed," he said. "You run in to so many people who say, 'I would never confess to a crime.' "

He does not argue with them, because he knows they did not experience what he went through. "You've never been in a situation so intense, and you're naïve about your rights," he said. "You don't know what you'll say to get out of that situation."

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12) Cuba's Public-Sector Layoffs Signal Major Shift
By ELISABETH MALKIN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/world/americas/14cuba.html?hp

MEXICO CITY - In perhaps the clearest sign yet that economic change is gathering pace in Cuba, the government plans to lay off more than half a million people from the public sector in the expectation that they will move into private businesses, Cuba's labor federation said Monday.

Over the past several months, President Raúl Castro has given stern warnings that Cuba's economy needs a radical overhaul, beginning with its workers. With as many as one million excess employees on the state payroll, Mr. Castro has said, the government is supporting a bloated bureaucracy that has sapped motivation and long sheltered a huge swath of the nation's workers.

"We have to erase forever the notion that Cuba is the only country in the world where one can live without working," he told the National Assembly last month.

Since permanently taking over from his brother Fidel two years ago, Mr. Castro has often pledged to make Cuba's centralized, Soviet-style economy more efficient and open up opportunities for people. The government has handed tens of thousands of acres of state-held farmland to private farmers and begun freeing up a market for agricultural supplies. It has loosened restrictions on cellphones and other electronics, and created a few areas for private business, allowing barbers' shops to become cooperatives and giving more licenses to private taxi drivers.

But these initial reforms have been comparatively limited, many analysts contend, and Cuba's economy - grappling with the fallout from the global financial crisis and the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in 2008 - appears to be in dire shape.

Tourism revenues have flagged, the country has faced rice shortages and its sugar crop has been disastrous. Last year, as the government tried to hold onto desperately needed hard currency, imports fell by 37 percent.

In its statement Monday, the Cuban Workers' Central, the country's only recognized labor federation, openly acknowledged the nation's troubled economy, saying that changes were "necessary and could not be delayed."

"Cuba faces the urgency to advance economically," the statement said. "Our state cannot and should not continue supporting companies" and other state entities, "with inflated payrolls, losses that damage the economy, which are counterproductive, generate bad habits and deform the workers' conduct," the labor federation added.

To that end, the government has previously said that it would grant new licenses to entrepreneurs, vastly expanding the kinds of businesses that can be run privately. But the announcement on Monday - saying that the layoffs would be completed by next March - suggested that Mr. Castro now intended to move ahead vigorously.

"What's stunning today is that they put a date and they put a number on it - 500,000," said Philip Peters, who follows Cuba for the Lexington Institute. "It's a very substantial decision," he added. "It's a major shift towards a larger private sector in a socialist economy."

New openings in the private sector would be welcomed by many Cubans, who are weary of the island's stagnation and desperate for new opportunities.

Even so, the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of jobs - and with them the security of a salary, workplace meals and the chance to make extra money through tips in some cases - would come as a shock.

While Cubans have access to free health care, education and subsidized food and housing, the government has already cut some of the subsidies that many Cubans rely on to supplement their average monthly wage of about $20. And given the government's record of introducing new areas for enterprise only haltingly, it is unclear that new jobs can be created as quickly as the public sector positions will be cut.

"They are in the process of massively reducing the size and participation of the state in Cuban life," said Julia E. Sweig, a Cuba expert at the Council on Foreign Relations who was in Havana a couple of weeks ago. "There is a belief that there is so much pent-up demand on the one hand and so much skill on the other that the private sector will absorb them pretty rapidly."

Ms. Sweig said that it appeared the government was preparing to open up a vast range of activities, including light manufacturing like furniture making and garment production. Cuba's underground economy already provides a broad array of products, she said, but under the new arrangement the government would begin to tax those new businesses.

To absorb all those workers who will be laid off, the federation said that hundreds of thousands were expected to move into some form of private enterprise over the next few years.

Just how strongly the government plans to hold onto its traditional economic philosophies are a matter of debate.

In an interview published online by the Atlantic last week, Fidel Castro said that the Cuban model no longer worked. But in a speech at the University of Havana shortly after his remarks were published, he said that he had been misinterpreted and that what he meant was that capitalism did not work.

Ms. Sweig, who was present for the first interview, said that Mr. Castro's speech correcting himself was not backtracking. Instead, she said his words were most likely intended to reassure Cubans that he did not intend to import American-style capitalism. "It is a hybrid that is evolving," she said.

Still, John Kavulich, a senior adviser for the U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council, warned that it would be difficult for Cuba to follow through on the full scale of its announcement. On a practical level, he asked, would the government be able to import all the tools the new entrepreneurs or small manufacturing cooperatives will need?

There is also a larger question that goes to the heart of Cuba's ideology, Mr. Kavulich said. "The Cuban government is going to allow and by definition encourage people to go into private sector opportunities," he said. "What happens when some people get rich?"

"The government is going to have to determine whether it will allow and embrace success, not just opportunity," he said.

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13) Civil Rights Photographer Unmasked as Informer
By ROBBIE BROWN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14photographer.html?hp

ATLANTA - That photo of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. riding one of the first desegregated buses in Montgomery, Ala.? He took it. The well-known image of black sanitation workers carrying "I Am a Man" signs in Memphis? His. He was the only photojournalist to document the entire trial in the murder of Emmett Till, and he was there in Room 306 of the Lorraine Hotel, Dr. King's room, on the night he was assassinated.

But now an unsettling asterisk must be added to the legacy of Ernest C. Withers, one of the most celebrated photographers of the civil rights era: He was a paid F.B.I. informer.

On Sunday, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis published the results of a two-year investigation that showed Mr. Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, had collaborated closely with two F.B.I. agents in the 1960s to keep tabs on the civil rights movement. It was an astonishing revelation about a former police officer nicknamed the Original Civil Rights Photographer, whose previous claim to fame had been the trust he engendered among high-ranking civil rights leaders, including Dr. King.

"It is an amazing betrayal," said Athan Theoharis, a historian at Marquette University who has written books about the F.B.I. "It really speaks to the degree that the F.B.I. was able to engage individuals within the civil rights movement. This man was so well trusted."

From at least 1968 to 1970, Mr. Withers, who was black, provided photographs, biographical information and scheduling details to two F.B.I. agents in the bureau's Memphis domestic surveillance program, Howell Lowe and William H. Lawrence, according to numerous reports summarizing their meetings. The reports were obtained by the newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on its Web site.

A clerical error appears to have allowed for Mr. Withers's identity to be divulged: In most cases in the reports, references to Mr. Withers and his informer number, ME 338-R, have been blacked out. But in several locations, the F.B.I. appears to have forgotten to hide them. The F.B.I. said Monday that it was not clear what had caused the lapse in privacy and was looking into the incident.

Civil rights leaders have responded to the revelation with a mixture of dismay, sadness and disbelief. "If this is true, then Ernie abused our friendship," said the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., a retired minister who organized civil rights rallies throughout the South in the 1960s.

Others were more forgiving. "It's not surprising," said Andrew Young, a civil rights organizer who later became mayor of Atlanta. "We knew that everything we did was bugged, although we didn't suspect Withers individually."

Many details of Mr. Withers's relationship with the F.B.I. remain unknown. The bureau keeps files on all informers, but has declined repeated requests to release Mr. Withers's, which would presumably explain how much he was paid by the F.B.I., how he was recruited and how long he served as an informer.

At the time of his death, Mr. Withers had the largest catalog of any individual photographer covering the civil rights movement in the South, said Tony Decaneas, the owner of the Panopticon Gallery in Boston, the exclusive agent for Mr. Withers. His photographs have been collected in four books, and his family was planning to open a museum, named after him.

His work shows remarkable intimacy with and access to top civil rights leaders. Friends used to say he had a knack for being in the right place at the right time. But while he was growing close to top civil rights leaders, Mr. Withers was also meeting regularly with the F.B.I. agents, disclosing details about plans for marches and political beliefs of the leaders, even personal information like the leaders' car tag numbers.

David J. Garrow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who has written biographies of Dr. King, said many civil rights workers gave confidential interviews to the F.B.I. and C.I.A., and were automatically classified as "informants." The difference, Mr. Garrow said, is the evidence that Mr. Withers was being paid.

Although Mr. Withers's motivation is not known, Mr. Garrow said informers were rarely motivated by the financial compensation, which "wasn't enough money to live on." But Marc Perrusquia, who wrote the article for The Commercial Appeal, noted that Mr. Withers had eight children and might have struggled to support them.

The children of Mr. Withers did not respond to requests for comment. But one daughter, Rosalind Withers, told local news organizations that she did not find the report conclusive.

"This is the first time I've heard of this in my life," Ms. Withers told The Commercial Appeal. "My father's not here to defend himself. That is a very, very strong, strong accusation."

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14) In Iraq, Clearer Image of U.S. Support
"During two days of combat in Diyala Province, American troops were armed with mortars, machine guns and sniper rifles. Apache and Kiowa helicopters attacked insurgents with cannon and machine-gun fire, and F-16's dropped 500-pound bombs." [And exactly how does this differ from "active combat?".....bw]
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/world/middleeast/14military.html?ref=world

WASHINGTON - American forces provided extensive support to the Iraqi military in a recent operation north of Baghdad, illustrating the risks that United States troops still endure in their new advisory role there.

During two days of combat in Diyala Province, American troops were armed with mortars, machine guns and sniper rifles. Apache and Kiowa helicopters attacked insurgents with cannon and machine-gun fire, and F-16's dropped 500-pound bombs.

One American soldier was slightly wounded during the operation, which at times put United States forces within the range of insurgents' hand grenades in an area thick with trenches and palm groves.

"This operation demonstrates the importance and dangers of the mission in Iraq during Operation New Dawn," Col. Malcolm B. Frost, the commander of the Second Advise and Assist Brigade, said in an e-mail response to a reporter's questions.

"The elements in close ground combat were about 25 U.S. assisting and advising approximately 200 I.A. and I.P.," the colonel added, using the acronyms for the Iraqi Army and Iraqi police.

The Obama administration declared an end to the United States combat mission in Iraq on Sept. 1, a step intended to underscore the Iraqis' increasing role in providing for their own security, but which was also aimed at reassuring Americans that President Obama was keeping his promise to remove forces from Iraq.

The American mission was renamed "Operation New Dawn," and American officials stressed that the main American role would now be to advise Iraqi troops and escort civilian American advisers.

But the six United States advisory brigades that remain retain all the weapons and forces of a combat brigade. Their rules of engagement allow them to defend themselves if they come under attack and to come to the aid of Iraqi forces - which is what occurred in recent days.

The latest round of fighting began when nearly 600 Iraqi soldiers and police mounted an operation in Diyala Province, a strategically vital area rife with sectarian tensions. A major purpose of the operation was to uncover arms caches and detain people from Sunni insurgent groups like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia and Jaish al-Islami. The town of Al Hadid was one objective in a five-day campaign that covered 21 towns and cities.

Colonel Frost's unit - a Stryker combat brigade from the 25th Infantry Division in Hawaii that was converted to an advisory unit - was charged with helping the Iraqis, who began the operation with their own forces. It turned out to be the biggest Iraqi operation that the American brigade has supported since it arrived in July.

While searching for an arms cache near Al Hadid, Iraqi forces came under attack from hand grenades and machine guns in an area laced with trenches. Late on Sept. 11, Iraqis asked for American help that very evening, and the Americans responded.

All told, 49 American soldiers were on the ground in support, including two Stryker platoons and a 10-person Special Forces detachment. Apache helicopters responded with 30-millimeter cannon fire and Kiowa helicopters fired their machine guns. F-16's dropped bombs. Iraqi helicopters and Iraqi armored personnel carriers were also involved in the operation.

"This was a grinding, slow, close combat fight," Colonel Frost wrote, also referring to the Iraqi security forces, or I.S.F. "Over the course of two days, U.S. forces advised I.S.F. leaders, and through air and ground, supported them as the I.S.F. conducted several attacks against a determined and well-armed enemy dug into a web of trenches in this thick palm grove area."

The colonel added, "U.S. soldiers were right there the whole time, advising and assisting the ISF every step of the way."

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15) U.S. Meat Farmers Brace for Limits on Antibiotics
"Is producing the cheapest food in the world our only goal?" asked Dr. Gail R. Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has campaigned for new limits on farm drugs. "Those who say there is no evidence of risk are discounting 40 years of science. To wait until there's nothing we can do about it doesn't seem like the wisest course."
By ERIK ECKHOLM
September 14, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/us/15farm.html?ref=us

RALSTON, Iowa - Piglets hop, scurry and squeal their way to the far corner of the pen, eyeing an approaching human. "It shows that they're healthy animals," Craig Rowles, the owner of a large pork farm here, said with pride.

Mr. Rowles says he keeps his pigs fit by feeding them antibiotics for weeks after weaning, to ward off possible illness in that vulnerable period. And for months after that, he administers an antibiotic that promotes faster growth with less feed.

Dispensing antibiotics to healthy animals is routine on the large, concentrated farms that now dominate American agriculture. But the practice is increasingly condemned by medical experts who say it contributes to a growing scourge of modern medicine: the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including dangerous E. coli strains that account for millions of bladder infections each year, as well as resistant types of salmonella and other microbes.

Now, after decades of debate, the Food and Drug Administration appears poised to issue its strongest guidelines on animal antibiotics yet, intended to reduce what it calls a clear risk to human health. They would end farm uses of the drugs simply to promote faster animal growth and call for tighter oversight by veterinarians.

The agency's final version is expected within months, and comes at a time when animal confinement methods, safety monitoring and other aspects of so-called factory farming are also under sharp attack. The federal proposal has struck a nerve among major livestock producers, who argue that a direct link between farms and human illness has not been proved. The producers are vigorously opposing it even as many medical and health experts call it too timid.

Scores of scientific groups, including the American Medical Association and the Infectious Diseases Society of America, are calling for even stronger action that would bar most uses of key antibiotics in healthy animals, including use for disease prevention, as with Mr. Rowles's piglets. Such a bill is gaining traction in Congress.

"Is producing the cheapest food in the world our only goal?" asked Dr. Gail R. Hansen, a veterinarian and senior officer of the Pew Charitable Trusts, which has campaigned for new limits on farm drugs. "Those who say there is no evidence of risk are discounting 40 years of science. To wait until there's nothing we can do about it doesn't seem like the wisest course."

With the backing of some leading veterinary scientists, farmers assert that the risks are remote and are outweighed by improved animal health and lower food costs. "There is no conclusive scientific evidence that antibiotics used in food animals have a significant impact on the effectiveness of antibiotics in people," the National Pork Producers Council said.

But leading medical experts say the threat is real and growing. Proponents of strong controls note that the European Union barred most nontreatment uses of antibiotics in 2006 and that farmers there have adapted without major costs. Following a similar path in the United States, they argue, would have barely perceptible effects on consumer prices.

Resistance can evolve whenever drugs are used against bacteria or other microbes because substrains that are less susceptible to the treatment will survive and multiply.

Drug use in humans, including overuse and misapplication, clearly accounts for a large share of the surge in antibiotic resistant infections, a huge problem in hospitals in particular. Yet biologists and infectious disease specialists say there is also enormous circumstantial and genetic evidence that antibiotics in farming are adding to the threat.

Livestock and poultry have been identified as the most likely sources of drug-resistant strains of microbes like salmonella and campylobacter that have caused outbreaks of severe intestinal illness in people and of E. coli strains that cause serious bladder, blood and other infections. (Resistant strains have not been implicated in the recent outbreak of salmonella contamination in eggs.)

In a letter to Congress in July, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cited "compelling evidence" of a "clear link between antibiotic use in animals and antibiotic resistance in humans."

As drug-resistant strains of microbes evolve on the farms, they are passed along in meat sold in grocery stores. They can infect people as they handle the uncooked product or when eating, if cooking is not thorough. The dangerous strains can also enter the environment via manure or the clothes of farm workers.

Genetic studies of drug-resistant E. coli strains found on poultry and beef in grocery stores and strains in sick patients have found them to be virtually identical, and further evidence also indicated that the resistant microbes evolved on farms and were transferred to consumers, said Dr. James R. Johnson, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Minnesota. Hospitals now find that up to 30 percent of urinary infections do not respond to the front-line treatments, ciprofloxacin and the drug known as Bactrim or Septra, and that resistance to key newer antibiotics is also emerging. E. coli is also implicated in serious blood, brain and other infections.

"For those of us in the public health community, the evidence is unambiguously clear," Dr. Johnson said. "Most of the E. coli resistance in humans can be traced to food-animal sources."

The proposed Food and Drug Administration guidelines focus on the use of antibiotics to speed growth. Just how antibiotics have this effect, which has been known for decades, is unclear, but scientists suspect that the drugs improve the absorption of nutrients as they prevent low-grade disease.

Mr. Rowles, the proprietor of Elite Pork and a trained veterinarian himself, estimates that by feeding his pigs an antibiotic in their final months he is saving $1 to $3 per animal in feed costs. For the consumer, this is negligible, but from his perspective it looms larger because, he said, in good years his net profit is only $7 to $10 per animal.

More contentious is the routine use of antibiotics to prevent disease, as Mr. Rowles and other pork producers do with newly weaned pigs.

Dr. James McKean, an extension veterinarian at Iowa State University, said experience in Denmark, Europe's leading pork producer, showed that ending the practice would result in more illness, suffering and death among pigs, and cause a jump in antibiotic treatments of actual disease.

Dr. McKean estimated that a ban on most nontreatment uses of antibiotics would raise the cost of pork by 5 cents a pound.

Others counter that farmers in Denmark have learned to hold down illness in young pigs by extending the weaning period, altering feeds and providing more space and veterinary scrutiny of the animals. Some of the drugs used in prevention by farmers like Mr. Rowles would also be permitted under the measure before Congress because they are not used in human medicine.

"In the end, the producers will do what is right," Mr. Rowles said. "We will make sure we deliver a product that meets the needs of consumers."

"My only concern is that we make decisions in a scientific fashion, not a political fashion," he said.

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16) Gulf May Avoid Direst Predictions After Oil Spill
"In blog posts from a research vessel in the gulf, Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia, reports that she observed a layer several centimeters thick on the sea floor, 16 miles from the wellhead, that she says was not a result of natural seepage."
By LESLIE KAUFMAN and SHAILA DEWAN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/science/earth/14spill.html?ref=us

NEW ORLEANS - Marsh grasses matted by oil are still a common sight on the gulf coast here, but so are green shoots springing up beneath them.

In nearby bird colonies, carcasses are still being discovered, but they number in the thousands, not the tens of thousands that have died in other oil spills.

And at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the zone of severely oxygen-depleted water that forms every summer has reappeared, but its size does not seem to have been affected by the Deepwater Horizon spill.

How much damage resulted from almost five million barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico is still being toted up in laboratories and government offices. It will be some time before the government releases its formal assessment of the effects - one that will define the scope of environmental restoration required by BP, Deepwater Horizon's operator, and other companies.

Separately, scientists are arguing heatedly about how fast a large plume of dispersed oil more than a half-mile below the surface of the gulf is breaking down and how great a threat it poses to sea life.

Yet as the weeks pass, evidence is increasing that through a combination of luck (a fortunate shift in ocean currents that kept much of the oil away from shore) and ecological circumstance (the relatively warm waters that increased the breakdown rate of the oil), the gulf region appears to have escaped the direst predictions of the spring.

While its findings were disputed by some, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported several weeks ago that the oil was breaking down and dispersing rapidly, probably limiting future damage from the spill.

And preliminary reports from scientists studying the effects on marshes, wildlife and the gulf itself suggest that the damage already done by the spill may also be significantly less than was feared - less, in fact, than the destruction from the much smaller Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in 1989.

The scientists caution that much remains unknown, and that oil spills can have subtle effects that last for decades. Layers of oil are being found buried beneath the surface, both onshore and deep at sea. In blog posts from a research vessel in the gulf, Samantha Joye, a professor of marine sciences at the University of Georgia, reports that she observed a layer several centimeters thick on the sea floor, 16 miles from the wellhead, that she says was not a result of natural seepage.

But many scientists still say they are cautiously optimistic.

"Based on what I have seen so far, it could have been a lot worse," said Lisa DiPinto, acting chief of NOAA's marine debris division.

Perhaps no images evoked more heartbreak than those of the creatures inadvertently caught in the slick's path: brown pelicans so covered with reddish oil that they could not lift their wings, sea turtles haplessly beached.

At the height of the spill, crates of birds arrived daily at a rehabilitation center in Fort Jackson, La.

Now the center is much quieter. On an August day, only about a dozen birds were brought in for rescue. But on the same day volunteers recovered more than twice as many dead birds, said Cathy Rezabeck, the spokeswoman for the Houma Joint Information Center run by BP and the government.

A similar pattern is being seen around the Gulf Coast, with the number of dead birds far exceeding the number of live ones being collected. Scientists attribute the rising death toll partly to the end of the nesting season - they can now go into the bird colonies to collect carcasses. They also believe fledglings have finally left the safety of their nests and are encountering residual oil.

Still, the numbers of oiled birds collected dead or alive - in the mid-7,000s as of Sept. 1 - is small compared with the avian toll of the Exxon Valdez. Carcasses of more than 35,000 birds were found immediately after that spill; 250,000 were believed to have died.

For the BP spill, said Melanie Driscoll, director of bird conservation for the Audubon's Louisiana Coastal Initiative, "the final number will be in the thousands, not the tens of thousands." Ms. Driscoll cited several reasons, including warmer temperatures, which make it easier for birds to regulate their body temperatures, and the inability of much of the oil to penetrate the marshes.

Assuming that the food chain remains healthy - and this remains a major question for scientists - even threatened birds like the brown pelican will come back, she said.

The spill also raised alarms about Kemp's ridley sea turtles. Some 600 were stranded, more than seven times the usual number found from May to August, and 56 dead ones were collected, a majority with no visible signs of oil, suggesting they may have been killed by shrimpers. Rescuers scooped up hundreds of living, heavily oiled turtles from mats of sargassum seaweed where they congregate and feed.

Since mid-July, however, rescuers have found the sargassum mats not blackened but clean and teeming with food, and with them, turtles free of oil or so lightly oiled that they could be cleaned and released on the spot, said Dr. Brian Stacy, an NOAA veterinarian.

"I personally didn't anticipate such a dramatic change so quickly," he said.

Leland Hales, an environmental scientist inspecting marshy areas where oil had previously been seen, says much the same thing. Mr. Hales, who inspects previously oiled sites for BP, travels by boat to coordinates near Terrebonne Parish where his notes mention things like "10-by-10 yards oiled grass on the southeast" of an island of nesting terns.

In many cases, there is no longer anything to see. Oil has washed away, leaving grass that appears healthy. "I would have expected rapid die-off," Mr. Hales said, "but that's not what's out there."

The federal government estimated last month that half the oil leaked into the gulf had evaporated or otherwise been removed, leaving one quarter of it dissolved into tiny droplets and another quarter visible in forms like surface sheen and tar balls. The figures are controversial, and some scientists say they are vastly underestimated.

But according to NOAA's figures, the BP spill oiled far less coastline than the Exxon Valdez spill. As of Aug. 31, NOAA had surveyed 1,796 miles of Louisiana coast and found 35 miles of shoreline to be heavily oiled, 71 miles to be moderately oiled and 115 miles to be lightly oiled. By contrast, the Exxon Valdez spill contaminated 1,300 miles of shoreline, about 200 miles of it heavily or moderately oiled, according to the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council.

Of the oil that did reach shore in the gulf, most has remained at the fringe of the dense marshes. That is largely good news for hundreds of thousands of acres of wilderness inside the fringe.

"The huge expanses of marshes that occur interiorly to the shoreline have been spared," said Irving A. Mendelssohn, a professor of oceanography and coastal plant ecology at Louisiana State University.

Mr. Hales and other scientists say that even the oiled part of the marsh appears to be recovering.

Mark Kulp, an associate professor of coastal geology at the University of New Orleans, who also does research for a contractor for BP, says his observations of vegetation, from Spartina grasses to black mangrove forests, reveal a surprising rebirth. "There are places that I've seen where the stalks were laid over with oil and there is now new vegetation coming up through," he said. "It is a pervasive thing."

Marshes and wetlands are particularly sensitive to oil. If it enters the soil, it can kill grasses and their roots, leading to erosion. In some spills, including the Exxon Valdez, residual oil has been found in marshes decades later. Dr. Kulp suggests that will not be true for the gulf. "One thing working in our favor is the nature of the substrate," he said, referring to the marsh bottom. "It is made dominantly of muddy sediment and is relatively impenetrable."

Others are less sanguine. John W. Day Jr., a retired professor of oceanography and coastal sciences at Louisiana State, has worked with a private firm that developed a complex sensor for aerial detection of oil and gas. Its measurements show that plants in the marsh interior which appear healthy are, in fact, stressed and will probably soon die. Dr. DiPinto of NOAA is also concerned. She said that marsh creatures that dig burrows, like crabs, may eventually bring oil deeper into the soils.

And Wilma Subra, a chemist who provides technical assistance to the Louisiana Environmental Action Network and who has found substantial residual oil in marshes and estuaries near the mouth of the Mississippi River, the Atchafalaya River and Terrebonne Bay, said: "The government and BP continue to say it is very much improved out there, but there is still a lot of oil. Any fisherman could tell you that."

Ms. Subra said the government needs to do more to assess the situation. "I am not saying their people in the field are not doing a good job, but there is a lot we are hearing about from fishermen and seeing ourselves that is not being investigated," she said. "I've seen a lot of heavily oiled areas where the vegetation is not coming back."

The spill's greatest scientific challenge may be understanding how the oil is interacting with the undersea environment. The oil was released 5,000 feet beneath the water's surface and then treated with an unprecedented volume of chemical dispersants. Some enormous fraction - how much is disputed - formed at least one great undersea plume of microscopic droplets.

Oil, which is toxic, poses a threat to wildlife, especially if continually ingested over time, though so far all seafood samples tested by the Food and Drug Administration have been ruled safe.

Still, scientists at Tulane University and the University of Southern Mississippi have reported finding tiny droplets of oil on blue crab larvae. The droplets have not been ingested but are lodged under the carapace, and seem to disappear when the larvae molt, said Harriet Perry, a biologist at Southern Mississippi. That suggests the droplets might affect animals that prey on the larvae more than the crabs themselves.

Scientists also worried that the plumes would severely deplete oxygen levels in the gulf because of a population explosion in oil-eating bacteria.

Low oxygen levels are already an acute concern. Every summer, agricultural runoff from the Mississippi stimulates the bacteria population, producing a "dead zone" the size of New Jersey, stretching from the mouth of the Mississippi River west to Galveston, Tex. The zone is so oxygen-depleted that it supports no life. Scientists, relying on data that did not include the oil spill, estimated in May that the zone would be somewhat larger this year.

But so far, there is little evidence of severe oxygen depletion outside the predicted zone. NOAA has taken more than 2,000 samples to measure oxygen levels, drawing water from the surface to the bottom within a radius of about 60 miles of the well site, said Steve Murawski, chief science adviser to NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Program. They have found oxygen depression, but not levels too low to support fish, he said.

More recent findings, by Department of Energy scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, suggest that the plume has already largely dispersed or degraded, though other scientists vigorously dispute that claim. The scientists at Lawrence were working under a grant from the EnergyBiosciences Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, which was financed several years ago by a 10-year, $500 million grant from BP.

Terry Hazen, a microbiologist and the head of the ecology department at the laboratory, said oxygen levels may have remained high because the droplets in the plume were so diffuse.

Dr. Hazen said a small part of him was disappointed that the plume had become undetectable, because it could no longer be studied.

"But that's just the scientist in me," he said. "The ecologist and environmentalist is glad that it's gone - it was an ecological disaster."

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17)Marijuana Ballot Measure in California Wins Support of Union, Officials Say
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/us/14marijuana.html?ref=us

LOS ANGELES - A ballot measure to make California the first state to legalize the sale and use of marijuana has won the support of one of the state's most powerful union, officials said Monday, offering the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift.

The decision by the executive board of the Service Employees International Union of California will be announced in the next few days, according to officials who have been briefed about it but were not allowed to speak publicly before it was announced.

The measure has faced strong opposition from law enforcement groups, including Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County, who said he would lead a campaign against it as a threat to public safety.

But the proposal also won support on Monday from some former law enforcement officials, including police officers, judges and prosecutors.

The measure, known as Proposition, 19 would legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. It has been promoted as a way to raise money for the financially beleaguered state, while dealing a setback to Mexican drug cartels.

The measure is quickly emerging as one of the top - and most contentious - ballot issues in the nation this November. Polls show that it has the support of a slight majority of voters. But political analysts said that this kind of measure, given the social stigma that comes with illicit drug use, could prove difficult to poll.

At the very least, the support by the S.E.I.U., which claims over 700,000 members in the state, could make it easier for other groups to rally around the measure. More practically, it means access to the union's considerable campaign apparatus, which could finance mailings, telephone calls and leaflets.

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18) Louisiana: Work on Well Resumes
By HENRY FOUNTAIN
September 13, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/14/science/14brfs-WORKONWELLRE_BRF.html?ref=us

BP said Monday that it resumed drilling of a relief well that is intended to put the final plug in its stricken well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said that the crew of the Development Driller III rig began drilling again after technicians installed a device called a lockdown sleeve at the top of the stricken well on the seabed. The sleeve will keep a seal in place, preventing further leakage of oil and gas, if pressure inside the well increases during the final plugging operation. No appreciable amount of oil or gas has leaked for nearly two months. Company officials have said it will take about four days for the relief well to intercept the stricken well. After that, the final plugging operation, which will involve pumping mud and cement into the stricken well, should take about a week.
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