Tag Archives | Al Jazeera

EPA Publishes Chemical Risk Assessment After 28 Years

500px-Environmental_Protection_Agency_logo.svgIn other environmental news: the EPA, in an unprecedented act, has failed to publish a chemical risk assessment in over 28 years. They finally broke this shockingly long duration last month with their assessment of trichloroethylene (TCE).

via Al Jazeera America:

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hit a major milestone that some people, including leaders at the agency itself, think shouldn’t be celebrated.

On Wednesday, the agency released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE), an industrial solvent used by artists, car mechanics, dry cleaners and others. The EPA’s in-depth report, released after a two-year analysis, shows that long-term exposure to TCE can cause cancer and other health issues, and recommends that workers take serious precautions if they must use TCE.

But in its press release, the EPA acknowledged there was something wrong — not with the risk assessment itself — but with its timeline: It was the first final risk assessment for a chemical issued by the EPA since 1986.

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Egyptian Court Sentences Al-Jazeera Journalists To Seven Years

Al JazeeraTwo journalists are currently facing seven years imprisonment after an Egyptian court found them guilty of spreading false news and aiding terrorists. Don’t get up on your high horse yet, fellow Americans: For a country that has historically prided itself on the freedom of its press, we’re doing a lot to repress our own journalists.

Two Al-Jazeera journalists detained in the case known as the “Marriott Cell” have been sentenced to seven years in maximum security prison. A third journalist has been sentenced to 10 years.

The two defendants, Australian Journalist Peter Greste and Canadian-Egyptian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, sentenced to seven years in prison were detained on December 29 at the Marriott in Cairo and had been accused of defaming Egypt and spreading false news that harms the nation’s interests.

The third journalist, Baher Mohamed, was detained a day later and has been sentenced to 10 years in prison by the criminal court.

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Debating The Global Media—in Kazakhstan

Sun and EagleAstana, Kazakhstan: Most people wouldn’t bother going half way around the world for their fifteen seconds of fame.  Ok, so maybe there was little fame to be found but, it was still worthwhile to spend two days flying back and forth to attend the two-day annual Eurasian Media Forum in Kazakhstan, a Central Asian nation that is actually the 9th largest country in the world, with ultra wealthy oil and gas fields.

It was also one of the few countries in the world that gave up its nuclear weapons. South Africa is another one.

Kazakhstan flickered briefly in our popular culture when the film Borat made fun of the place—it was shot in Romania, not there—and more recently, figured in the investigation into the terrifying actions of the Tsarnaev ‘Bomb Brothers’ in Boston responsible for doing so much vicious damage at the Marathon. It was reported that they had also lived here although local media disputes it.  (Two Kazakh kids are said to be in jail now in the US for visa violations although it’s not clear how or if they are linked.)

The forum here deals with political and media issues and attracts top journalists and policymakers to hold forth on panels.  I was on one with none other than Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor.… Read the rest

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Al-Jazeera Buys Current TV, Pundits’ Heads Explode

Picture: Flickr User Mike Licht (CC)

Current TV was sold to Al-Jazeera English for a reported $500 million dollars. Eliot Spitzer has quit his show, while the Young Turks made a point of saying they are independent, and thus owned by neither organization.

Time Warner Cable opportunistically jumped at the chance to drop Current with the ‘change of ownership’ clause in their contract. Time Warner contends it was not a political move, but cited ‘lack of demand’ and their already-streaming online free content as factors. According to the New York Times, Time Warner Cable wrote: “We are keeping an open mind, and as the service develops, we will evaluate whether it makes sense, for our customers, to launch the network.”

The point has been made at AlterNet that Time Warner subscribers are hit with the cost of political organizations they may not even want, with FOX charging $1 per month for its content and MSNBC 20 cents.… Read the rest

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Glenn Beck: Al Gore Wouldn’t Sell Current to Me, Chose Buyer That ‘Hates America’

Glenn Beck at CPAC 2010. Photo: Gage Skidmore CC

So good it has to be true! From The Wrap:

Glenn Beck says Al Gore refused to consider selling him Current TV before selling the channel to Al Jazeera, a network that Beck says “hates America.”

Current TV announced Wednesday that it had been sold to Al Jazeera, the network financed by Qatar. It plans to shut down Current’s lineup of liberal-skewing news and talk in favor of its own programming.

After the Wall Street Journal reported that Gore turned away interest from Beck last year, Beck took to the airwaves Thursday to offer his side of the story. He said his negotiators approached Current about buying the network in order to get Beck’s network, Blaze TV, into the 60 million U.S. homes reached by Current.

Beck said his people were told that the former vice president would have to be consulted on the possibility.

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Noam Chomsky on the History of the Commons

Down the road only a few generations, the millennium of the Magna Carta, one of the great events in the establishment of civil and human rights, will arrive. Whether it will be celebrated, mourned, or ignored is not at all clear.

That should be a matter of serious immediate concern. What we do right now, or fail to do, will determine what kind of world will greet that event. It is not an attractive prospect if present tendencies persist – not least, because the Great Charter is being shredded before our eyes.

The first scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone. It was not an easy task. There was no good text available. As he wrote, “the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats” – a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished.

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