Monday, July 19, 2010

Contraception for Woman: Scientists say vaginal gel cuts HIV-infections by half!!!!!!!

A vaginal gel has significantly cut the rate of women contracting HIV from infected partners in an experiment in South Africa, researchers said.

They said the gel, containing Aids drug tenofovir, cut infection rates among 889 women by 50% after one year of use, and by 39% after two and a half years.

If the results are confirmed it would be the first time that a microbicidal gel has been shown to be effective.
Related stories

Warning Issued to Top Texan Appeals Court Judge

The presiding judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has been given a public warning for misconduct in a closely watched case. Sharon Keller has faced scrutiny after refusing to hear a last-minute appeal from a death row prisoner scheduled to be executed that night. Keller reportedly denied an appeal from the lawyers for Michael Wayne Richard at 5:20 pm on September 25th, 2007, saying, quote, “We close at five.” Richard had been on death row for two decades. He was killed later that night by lethal injection. In its warning, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct said Keller had "cast public discredit on the judiciary."


Oil Seep Discovered Near Ruptured Well
At Least 45 Killed in Iraq Suicide Bombing
Report: Karzai to Unveil 2014 Withdrawal Deadline
Amidst Clinton Visit, Pakistani Military Accused of Extrajudicial Killings
AIG Agrees to $725M Settlement in Fraud Suit
Couple Sentenced on Cuba Spying Conviction
NY Limits "Stop and Frisk" Database
Southwest Workers Union Member Critically Injured in Shooting Attack
Mandela Honored on 92nd Birthday
US Citizen Remains on No-Fly List After Returning Home
Appeals Court Upholds Sentence for Gitmo Whistleblower

Rich Nations Urged to Meet Pledges at Opening of Global AIDS Conference

A major international conference on global AIDS policy is underway in Austria this week. On Sunday, hundreds of people marched through the conference halls demanding rich nations meet their pledges to ensure universal access to AIDS treatment. Julio Montaner of the International AIDS Society criticized wealthy countries for failing to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
Julio Montaner: "I cannot hide my profound disappointment and deep frustration with the recently concluded GI and G20 meetings in anywhere else but Canada, by failing to take full responsibility for the universal access pledge, and, more importantly, for failing to articulate the next steps to meet not just the six MDGs [Millennium Development Goals], but also all of them, because without universal access (to AIDS treatment), there shall be no MDGs by 2015.

Unemployment Deficit and stupid republicans

Obama Chides Republicans on Unemployment Deadlock
Goodwin’s entry to the Senate could mark a significant boost for efforts to extend unemployment benefits to over two million jobless Americans. Republicans, as well as Democrats, have opposed approving the benefits, citing concerns over the deficit. In his weekly radio address, President Obama singled out Republican opposition.

President Obama: "They say we shouldn’t provide unemployment insurance because it costs money. So after years of championing policies that turned a record surplus into a massive deficit, including a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, they’ve finally decided to make their stand on the backs of the unemployed. They’ve got no problem spending money on tax breaks for folks at the top who don’t need them and didn’t even ask for them, but they object to helping folks laid off in this recession who really do need help."

Study: Half the World’s Poor Live in South Asia

A new study says more than half of the world’s poor live in South Asia, while a quarter live in Africa. According to the UN’s new multidimensional poverty index, there are more poor people in eight states in India than in all of sub-Saharan Africa.

Netanyahu in 2001: US "Won’t Get in the Way" of Israeli Expansionism

A newly revealed tape shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once openly discussed his intent to attack the Palestinian government, undermine the Oslo peace accords, and manipulate the United States to ensure its approval. The 2001 recording shows Netanyahu meeting with Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu was then out of government after serving his first stint in office. Apparently unaware he was being recorded, Netanyahu talks openly of a "broad attack" on the Palestinian government, saying, "The main thing, first of all, is to hit them. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne." Netanyahu also outlines how he would undermine the 1993 Oslo accords, he said, which established the basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, by declaring any West Bank land that Israel wants to retain as "military" and "security zones." Addressing potential US opposition to Israeli expansionism, Netanyahu says, "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won’t get in the way."

Gulf Coast Workers to Have Cleanup Pay Deducted from Claims

Earlier today, BP said the oil spill cleanup has cost nearly $4 billion so far, including $207 million to settle damage claims. Gulf Coast residents meanwhile are voicing outrage over news the government-administered claim fund will subtract any money they earn by working for the cleanup effort from any future claims. Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg says the ruling will apply to anyone who participates in the Vessels of Opportunity program, which has employed hundreds of Gulf Coast residents left out of work because of the spill. A group of fishermen walked out of a public meeting on Friday after Feinberg announced the decision.


The one thing Republicans have made clear is that they're yearning for the good ol' days of President Bush. Cornyn recently told C-SPAN that Bush's "stock has gone up a lot since he left office. ... I think a lot people are looking back with more fondness on President Bush's administration, and I think history will treat him well." They are also clinging to the notion that the government can cut taxes and not offset the spending -- despite all their deficit-cutting rhetoric and criticisms that Obama is "spending trillions of dollars we do not have on things we do not need." Showing that he is a deficit fraud, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) recently said, "[Y]ou should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans."

white racists talk about racism (part II)

Led by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA) last night, lawmakers convened for a special session of floor speeches urging a repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Rather than participate positively in the discussion, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) took to the floor to deliver a hate-filled response. Gohmert fired off a litany of attacks, calling the DADT repeal “perverse…social experimentation” and that soldiers are being “held hostage by a sociological attack.” His rant included a bizarre argument that the Matthew Shepard hate crimes bill would lead to a legalization of necrophilia, pedophilia, and bestiality. Later in the speech, after reading lengthy passages from the Bible against homosexuality, Gohmert said that taking away “moral teaching in America” would create a situation similar to that of Germany in the “1920’s and 1930’s” when a “little guy with a mustache” took over:

white racists talk about racism

The often-controversial Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa said on a radio show Monday that President Obama's policies favor black people.

On G. Gordon Liddy's radio show, King said, "The president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race - on the side that favors the black person." (RealClearPolitics has audio of the remarks available here.)

King made that remark in a discussion about Arizona's controversial new immigration law, which makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires law enforcement officials to question a person about his or her immigration status during a "lawful stop" if there is "reasonable suspicion" that person may be in the country illegally. Mr. Obama has said the law could lead to racism against Latinos.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Haiti: A new Economy for HAiti (not for the wealthy and Powerful)


Dear Friend,
Although it was reported as a wholesale victory for Monsanto1, the recent Supreme Court decision on "Roundup Ready" alfalfa has actually put food activists in a good position to maintain the ban on Monsanto's genetically engineered GMO seeds.
The court ruled that the planting of GMO alfalfa is still illegal, but it assigned authority to the USDA to determine whether to allow some provisional planting to go forward as soon as next spring. The responsibility for maintaining a total ban on the GMO seeds — and protecting organic crops from likely contamination — falls squarely on the shoulders of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.
The court supported farmers' claims that the USDA illegally allowed Monsanto to sell its seeds before a full environmental review could be completed, but Monsanto knows that it can use its power within the USDA to speed up the review process. The company has already requested that the USDA permit a so-called "partial deregulation" that would allow some plantings of Roundup Ready alfalfa before we know the full risks.
A landmark element of the recent Supreme Court ruling was its recognition that the USDA must take into account economic harms from genetic contamination of conventional seed by genetically engineered seed — things like the loss of export markets or loss of organic certification, as well as the risks to the environment of this "gene flow" effect. Monsanto wants the agency to ignore those risks and let them plant now.
We can't let them. Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter DeFazio delivered a letter signed by over 50 lawmakers demanding that the USDA not legalize GE alfalfa.2 Over 83,000 Credo members added their voice by calling on their members of Congress to sign on to the letter.
Thank you for standing up for safe and healthy food.
Adam Klaus, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

US government lifts lid on alleged leak to WikiLeaks

The US state department has told the BBC it believes an alleged whistle-blower obtained secret diplomatic data despite being at a field base in Iraq.
Serviceman Bradley Manning, 22, faces two charges related to the illegal transfer and transmission of classified information from a US military network.
The US said he was suspected of downloading from SIPR Net.
He reportedly then passed on the data, including army videos and diplomatic messages, to the WikiLeaks website.

Time to Value Women's Unpaid Work (:United Nations)

By Daniela EstradaSANTIAGO, Jul 9, 2010 (IPS) - The time has come for Latin American countries to put an economic value on the work that women do as they take care of households, children and the elderly, says ECLAC, the United Nations regional economic agency.

That recommendation, to be presented at the 11th Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, Jul. 13-16 in Brasilia, is stated clearly in the report "What Kind of State? What Kind of Equality?" prepared for the intergovernmental meet by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.

According to the document, in order to achieve parity between men and women it is essential for women to have economic, physical and political autonomy. "Labour equality," which is the focus of the ECLAC proposal, is needed to attain that goal.

The participation of the urban female population in general economic activity is 52 percent across the region -- far below the male population's 78 percent.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Delhi survey suggests women 'unsafe' in city

Two in every three women in the Indian capital have faced some form of sexual harassment in the last year, a government-backed study has suggested.
Delhi women face continuous and different forms of sexual harassment in crowded and secluded places, it says.

CBO boosts climate bill

Senate backers of a long-shot bid to pass legislation with greenhouse gas caps got some fresh help Wednesday when the Congressional Budget Office reported that one high-profile proposal would help curb the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade.

The CBO analysis of the American Power Act, championed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) found that government revenues would grow by about $751 billion from 2011 to 2020 if the bill became law. By contrast, the legislation would create direct spending of $732 billion over the same 10-year period.

New Black Panters Movement

On Election Day in 2008, two members of a separatist hate group -- the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) -- stood outside of a polling place in a majority-black precinct in Philadelphia, dressed in paramilitary clothing, with one member carrying a billy club. The two men, King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, flung insults like "white devil" and "you're about to be ruled by the black man, cracker" at poll watchers before the police arrived and made Shabazz, who was holding the weapon, leave while allowing Jackson, a certified poll watcher, to stay. The incident was caught on video, which "was played again and again on local and cable news," becoming "a cause célèbre in the conservative media world." "Shortly before President George W. Bush left office, the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against the two men, the New Black Panther Party and its leader, Malik Zulu Shabazz," seeking an injunction against "the members of the NBPP from deploying athwart the entry of polling places in future elections." In April 2009, "the division seemed to win the case by default because the New Black Panthers failed to show up in court. But the following month, a longtime Justice official, Loretta King -- who was then the acting head of the division -- decided to reduce the scope of the case," dropping the charges against everyone but Samir Shabazz, against whom they successfully gained an injunction prohibiting him "from displaying a weapon within 100 feet of any Philadelphia polling place through 2012." Since the Justice Department "announced it would not go further in prosecuting the other members of the [NBPP], conservative critics have demanded more action against the group and more answers from the agency." The conservative critics, including a former lawyer in the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, claim that the decision is an example of "the profound hostility by the Obama Civil Rights Division in the Justice Department towards a race-neutral enforcement of civil rights laws." The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which is dominated by conservatives, picked up the cause and is "investigating the dismissal of the Black Panther case" as the topic of their annual report. The conservative hysteria over the case launched into overdrive last week when Fox News interviewed J. Christian Adams, a conservative former Justice Department lawyer who resigned in May over the handling of the case. Adams claimed that the Civil Rights Division has "a pervasive hostility to bringing" civil rights cases where the defendant is black and the victim is white. Adams testified before the Civil Rights Commission on Tuesday. His public charges against his former colleagues have led the story to move from just conservative media to the establishment press, getting coverage by the AP, the New York Times and CNN, despite the fact that the conservative vice chair of the Civil Rights Commission says "too much overheated rhetoric filled with insinuations and unsubstantiated charges has been devoted to this case."

Ex-Justice Dept lawyer says whites' rights ignored

PHILADELPHIA — Witnesses described an ugly scene: Two members of the New Black Panther Party threatening white voters the day Barack Obama was elected president, flinging insults like "white devil" and "you're about to be ruled by the black man, cracker."

The fallout from the case has become even uglier. Most charges against the men were dropped for lack of evidence, the U.S. Justice Department says. Now a former Justice Department lawyer is accusing his ex-superiors of ignoring white voters' rights and creating a systematic "one-way" approach in which only minorities are protected.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tallest man on earth: Shallow Grave


Oil From BP Spill Reaches Texas

Oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill has reached Texas for the first time, more than 75 days after the oil spill began. Tar balls were spotted Monday at a pair of Texas beaches. Nearly 500 miles of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, from Texas to Florida, have now been contaminated. Tar balls and oil sheen have also been spotted in Louisiana’s Lake Pontchartrain, the large body of water north of New Orleans that is connected to the Gulf of Mexico.

Promised Land: South Africa

Environmentalist Facing 3-Year Prison Sentence For Unfurling Banners in Senate Office Building

The Revolution is Now

Monday, July 5, 2010

Price increases fuel fears of food ‘crises’

By Javier Blas in London
Food commodity prices will increase more than previously expected in the next decade because of rising energy prices and developing countries’ rapid growth, two leading organisations said on Tuesday, worsening the outlook for global food security.

“A return to higher global economic growth . . .  together with continuing population gains, are expected to increase demand and trade and underpin prices,” the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said in their annual agricultural outlook.
Higher crude oil prices would add force to rising agricultural commodities prices, particularly in those regions – including Europe and the US – where energy inputs such as fertilisers were used intensively, said the report.
For the next 10 years the FAO and OECD forecast that significant food prices, with the exception of pork, would remain above the 1996-2007 average, in both nominal and real terms – adjusted for inflation. Although prices were unlikely to surge back to the record levels of early 2008, they warned that “if history is any guide, further episodes of strong price fluctuations . . . cannot be ruled out, nor can future short-lived crises”.
Angel Gurría, secretary-general of the OECD, said all indications pointed to a “period of high prices”, although these would be below the peaks of the 2007-08 food crisis when prices spiked to record levels, triggering riots in countries from Bangladesh to Haiti.

Climate Peacocks

Like deficit peacocks who pretend to be hawkish on budgets but refuse any real solution, climate peacocks are politicians who strut with fine words about science, energy reform, and the environment, but reject solutions to the threat of climate change. "Climate peacocks like to preen and call attention to themselves with flashy moves," Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Joe Romm writes, "but they are not sincerely interested in taking the difficult but necessary steps toward reducing carbon pollution." With the greatest oil disaster in United States history destroying the Gulf of Mexico and the hottest year on record killing Americans with extreme heat waves and freak storms, now would seem to be the time for the Senate to end its allegiance to fossil fuels. Some senators, like James Inhofe (R-OK) and John Barrasso (R-WY), simply deny the threat of man-made global warming and defend the oil and coal companies who fill their campaign coffers. Unlike these true obstructionists, the climate peacocks hypocritically profess to be concerned and say that the Congress should act -- but somehow find fault in any solution offered. "The line from most of these folks is that they want Congress, rather than the [Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)], to take the lead on global warming," the New Republic's Brad Plumer writes. "Trouble is, many of them won't vote for a climate bill, either."

World Cup’s Rural Shadow

"If we are not listened to and if the demands are not met we will continue the struggle. In fact we will become more radical and militant the longer government ignores us." 
By Raj on 06/18/2010
When I was on DemocracyNow! last week, I managed, in my own stuttering-at-five-in-the-morning-oh-my-god-I’m-talking-to-Amy-Goodman-and-Juan-Gonzales kind of way to suggest two things about the current World Cup in South Africa. First, as S’bu Zikode told me last week
It is becoming clear that in the world cup we’re going to be excluded but our names are being used to justify the goodness of our country in the world. The country is divided. There are certain people who are benefiting and we are excluded – we want to tell the other side of the story. Some of us are homeless, hungry, don’t have freedom of expression.
In other words, the poor are being used by the World Cup. But the other point I wanted to argue was that World Cup can also, in a clearly asymmetric way, be used by the poor. This isn’t a story that makes it either to the press, or to the analysis about the ills of Fifa. Protests in Durban recently have tried to get the world’s press to shine a light on how apartheid remains, and to provide cover for street marches that would have been illegally shut down in the past. See, for instance, this:

Michael Moore on His Life, His Films and His Activism

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Agroecology better than large scale industrial farming for global food security

By Raj on 06/23/2010 in Uncategorized
Olivier de Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Food, is one of the most thorough thinkers I know. He doesn’t take a position until after he’s had a chance to run it by dozens of people, opponents and advocates (full disclosure: I’m one of the people who gets to see some of Olivier’s pre-publication thinking on economic matters), sifting through the evidence and arguments and arriving at a position that is unassailable. So it’s very pleasing to read his latest press release on the merits of agroecological farming. No doubt he’ll pay hell for the trouble he causes the proponents of Big Ag. But if he’s given the chance, he’ll argue them into a very tight corner. There’ll be a few follow-up documents from this meeting. When they’re released, you’ll find them on this site. Meantime:
Right to Food: “Agroecology outperforms large-scale industrial farming for global food security,” says UN expert
BRUSSELS (22 June 2010) – “Governments and international agencies urgently need to boost ecological farming techniques to increase food production and save the climate,” said UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, while presenting the findings at an international meeting on agroecology held in Brussels on 21 and 22 June.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

US Social Forum

The War On Journalism - John Pilger

G20: Illegitimate, Incompetent and Out of Control

By Raj Patel
You can’t formulate a sensible international economic policy without the basics: helicopters, snipers, riot police, attack dogs, tanks and miles of chain link fence. Wherever ministers of finance gather, the essential accessories for crowd control and popular repression are always to be found. But even by the historical levels of unaccountability, profligacy and cowardice set at meetings of the world’s richest economies, this weekend’s Canadian G8/G20 meetings raise the bar. By the time the teeth of the last protester are hosed from the soles of the last Mountie, the security bill will have topped one billion dollars. The six kilometer fence in the middle of Toronto cost $5 million alone but most of the rest of the bill is secret – ‘national security’ provides an alibi for backhanders and white elephants.

So what will Canadians (and the rest of the word) get for their money? Very little. The meeting will produce a tepid ‘big tent’ declaration with language elastic enough to stretch over the bickering interests of thrifty Europeans, improvident Americans, tightrope-walking Chinese, and restive Saudis. All done.
What’ll be worse, though, is what the G20 meeting will fail to do. It will prevent open debate about alternatives, it will let those responsible for the financial crisis maintain their veneer of legitimacy, and it’ll chip away at the institutions that, still, offer an alternative to the G20’s traveling circus. Here, just for the record, are three reasons why the G20 is already a failure.

Protesters demand G8/G20 leaders address rights of women and girls around the world

Standing in the courtyard outside Pitman Hall at Ryerson University, Jessica Yee clutched the megaphone and eyed the crowd of over 200 demonstrators.

As she began to speak, the television cameras, reporters and photographers inched closer.
“We’re here today because if we don’t have rights over our own bodies, what do we have?” asked Yee, a self-described Indigenous feminist reproductive justice freedom fighter.

Her commanding voice thundered through the crowd, some of whom were holding signs that read “Maternal Health Includes Abortion”, “Sex Work Is Real Work” and “Hey G8, Support For Women Everywhere.”
“We’re here today because women aren’t shutting the fuck up and because sex workers make a valuable contribution to society.”


"To appease these Republicans, the conference committee yesterday agreed to eliminate the bank tax and "bring an early end to the Troubled Asset Relief Program," which would free up about $11 billion to pay for the bill. Every single Republican on the committee voted against this measure, instead opting to add to the deficit and put taxpayers on the hook for the legislation" 
On Friday, the conference committee reconciling the House and Senate versions of financial regulatory reform legislation approved final language (along a party-line vote) after a marathon 20-hour negotiating session. Lawmakers made a flurry of changes, including the addition of an exemption to the Volcker rule -- a ban on banks trading for their own benefit with federally insured dollars -- added at the behest of Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), and a weakening of Sen. Blanche Lincoln's (D-AR) provision requiring banks to spin-off their derivatives trading desks. However, the final bill retained Lincoln's language requiring exchanges and clearinghouses for derivatives, as well as a provision that compels banks to hold more capital against losses. Unfortunately, Republicans decided they were not yet done making changes. Yesterday, negotiators had to briefly reopen conference proceedings "after Senate Republicans who had supported an earlier version of the measure threatened to block final approval unless Democrats removed a proposed tax on big banks and hedge funds." Maine GOP Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe had announced that they would be joining Brown -- whose campaign received heavy support from Wall Street -- in voting against the reform bill because it imposes a $19 billion fee on the biggest financial firms to cover the cost of the law's implementation. But as Mother Jones' Kevin Drum noted, the bank fee is "not there to punish banks or to create a slush fund for new spending. It's there solely to make the bill deficit neutral." Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) challenged the Republican hold-outs to find some other way to pay for the bill. "Do they want to add to the deficit?" he asked, calling these peacocks out on their deficit hypocrisy. "Is there another way? What's their other way?" To appease these Republicans, the conference committee yesterday agreed to eliminate the bank tax and "bring an early end to the Troubled Asset Relief Program," which would free up about $11 billion to pay for the bill. Every single Republican on the committee voted against this measure, instead opting to add to the deficit and put taxpayers on the hook for the legislation.


: Senate Democrats tried and failed on three separate occasions this month to pass a tax extenders bill that included an extension of expired unemployment benefits. Republicans, along with Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), killed it by threatening a filibuster, potentially forcing states to cut 200,000 jobs, putting in jeopardy health and education programs, and denying benefits to 1.2 million out-of-work Americans. As a result, as Garofalo notes, Senate Democrats whittled the bill down to appease the GOP and "subjected more and more of the bill to spending offsets, ultimately leaving just the jobless benefits extension unpaid for." While Republicans still refused to budge, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) -- who joined the filibuster threat all three times -- is now advocating for a benefits-only bill, even if it adds to the deficit. "Of course, passing a stand-alone bill neglects all the other important provisions that were in the extenders bill, including COBRA subsidies to help laid-off workers purchase health insurance and aid to states to help them with their Medicaid bills," adds Garofalo. "Failing to pass such measures is only going to add to the economic misery that Snowe at least seems aware is occurring." There are currently 15 million Americans unemployed, and almost half of them have been out of work for at least six months -- a post-World War II record. The House plans to vote on extending unemployment benefits again today, after an attempt to do so was blocked by 139 Republicans and 16 Democrats yesterday.

Palestinian Children in Israeli-Run West Bank Areas Suffer Worst Conditions Than Gazans

In Israel and the Occupied Territories, a new report says Palestinian children in some areas of the West Bank are enduring a worse humanitarian crisis than children in Gaza. According to Save the Children, the plight of children living in the 60% of the West Bank that remains under full Israeli administration has reached a "crisis point." The Israeli and U.S. governments have long touted improved living conditions in the West Bank to counter criticism of the occupation.

BP Accused of Using Dispersant to Mask Spill Size

BP is facing accusations of using a toxic dispersant to deliberately hide the size of the oil spill in the Gulf. In an interview with CNN, Dallas investment banker Fred McCallister said the dispersant has been used to sink the oil in order to mask to minimize BP’s financial liability.

Fred McCallister: "The issue that BP is facing right now is whether to use practices that are normal around the world, which is to try to cause the oil to come to the surface, and then deploy the right amount of equipment and the right type of equipment to gather that oil up and get it out of the Gulf. Using the dispersants allows the oil to stay under the surface, and this accomplishes several purposes. It allows the—it makes it a lot more difficult to quantify the amount of oil that’s coming out, which has a direct impact on damages and royalties that have to be paid. It keeps it out of sight and out of mind. And it allows BP to amortize the cost of the cleanup over several years, 10 to 15 years, because some of this oil is going to biodegrade, but a lot of that oil is going to roll up on the beaches for 10 or 15 years."
McCallister says BP has rebuffed his attempts to organize a fleet of foreign skimmers to assist with the cleanup effort, saying the company is fearful the skimmers could help tally the size of the spill.


  1. House Approves Financial Regulation Overhaul
  2. GOP Continues Senate Filibuster of Unemployment Benefits
  3. Senate Panel Votes to Remove Spill Liability Cap
  4. BP Fined $5.2M for False Reporting on Colorado Leases
  5. House Panel Votes to Undo Cuba Trade, Travel Restrictions
  6. Puerto Rican Police Quash Protest at State Capitol
  7. Israeli Peace Group Calls for New Flotilla Probe
  8. Study: Media Stopped Calling Waterboarding "Torture" Following Its Disclosure as Routine U.S. Practice
  9. ACLU Sues U.S. over No-Fly List