TOP SECRET AMERICA
A Washington Post Investigation
A hidden world, growing beyond control
Dana Priest and William M. Arkin
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight.
Patch heralds new era in battle against pandemics
Scientists unveil an innovative and cheap method of delivering vaccines without the need for needles or medical experts
By Steve Connor, Science Editor Monday, 19 July 2010
A revolutionary way of vaccinating against infectious diseases has been invented by scientists who have developed a skin patch containing an influenza vaccine.
The patch does away with needles and syringes and could transform the battle against future pandemics by painlessly inoculating patients with vaccines that could be sent out in the post and self-administered in the home by somebody with no medical experience.
Seep near capped well worries U.S.
Concerns prompt a stern warning to BP from Washington’s point man on the gulf oil spill.
By Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times
Reporting From Atlanta – Worried about a substance seeping near BP’s sealed oil well, the federal government demanded late Sunday that the company intensely monitor the seabed and be prepared to reopen the well immediately if new oil leaks spring up around the wellhead.
At the same time, the government is allowing BP to keep the well sealed, which means the Gulf of Mexico will continue to be spared vast plumes of oil – at least for now.
Unlikely Senate candidate Alvin Greene lays out his platform
By Jim Morrill | McClatchy Newspapers
MANNING, SC – Unlikely U.S. Senate nominee Alvin Greene introduced himself to a worldwide audience as well as curious neighbors Sunday as he laid out his platform in an eight-minute speech that alternated between forceful and awkward.
Nearly 400 people, including TV networks and reporters from as far as London, packed a middle school gym in his hometown to hear South Carolina’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate deliver his first known campaign speech.
Grandiose Nazi airport becomes a wild and free park
Luckily for cash-strapped Berlin, a new generation is happy to enjoy the unstructured landscape of Tempelhof Park as it is.
By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
July 19, 2010
Reporting from Berlin –
When an airport that symbolized the sweep of 20th century German history shut down in the capital of this industrious nation two years ago, everyone had an idea about what to do with the colossal piece of prime real estate.
Turn it into a shopping center and amusement park, one famous architect urged. Nonsense, others scoffed – we need more affordable housing. Or how about a scientific research center with giant satellite dishes connecting Berlin to the heavens? Or maybe a giant artificial lake with a beach at one end?
Blow for Angela Merkel as ally resigns
A German state governor from chancellor Angela Merkel’s party has announced his resignation, becoming the sixth conservative state leader to leave office in the last 10 months.
Published: 7:00AM BST 19 Jul 2010
The resignation will take effect August 25, said Ole von Beust, the mayor of the northern port city Hamburg. Interior Minister Christoph Ahlhaus is set to succeed him.
The 55-year-old’s resignation comes as another blow to the German chancellor, who has been rocked by several abrupt resignations in the past two months, among them the conservative president and two state governors who also were deputy chairmen of her Christian Democrats (CDU).
Death in Police Encounter Stirs Calls for Change in Egypt
By KAREEM FAHIM
Published: July 18, 2010
ALEXANDRIA, Egypt – The two undercover police officers seemed unfazed by the bystanders, who watched as the officers beat a 28-year-old man in the lobby of a building here last month, one witness said.
One of those bystanders, Amal Kamel, stood at the top of a short flight of marble stairs in the lobby, watching the officers punch and kick the man, Khaled Said, smashing his head against the bottom step until his body was still and he stopped begging for his life. The officers dragged Mr. Said to a car, Ms. Kamel said, and returned 10 minutes later to leave his body at the bottom of the stairs.
Turkey’s tourist resorts threatened with terrorist campaign
Turkey has been threatened with a new terrorist campaign targeting tourist resorts as the holiday season gets under way.
Justin Vela in the Qandil Mountains, Iraqi Kurdistan
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish separatist group, has said it plans a wave of violence following the breakdown of a year-long ceasefire.
The PKK strategy will target major Turkish cities, rather than just army patrols and bases in the Kurdish heartlands.
These are likely to include the metropolises of western Turkey, including those popular with tourists and businessmen, which have occasionally been hit by bombings in the last decade.
A triple-bombing struck the resort of Marmaris in 2006, while a year later a suicide bomber struck a popular shopping street in the capital, Ankara.
Found: Sri Lankan primate thought to be extinct for 60 years
Researchers photograph and measure the Horton Plains slender loris, but fear there could be fewer than 100 left alive
The Guardian, Monday 19 July 2010
A mysterious primate driven to the brink of extinction by Britain’s taste for tea has been photographed for the first time. The Horton Plains slender loris, found only in Sri Lanka, was for more than 60 years believed to be extinct.
Then one was spotted fleetingly in 2002 when a light shone in its eyes and was reflected. Researchers have now managed to get the world’s first pictures of the animal.
More than 1,000 night surveys were carried out in 120 forested regions by Sri Lankan researchers working in partnership with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
Sabotage probe after Indian train crash kills 56
AP Monday, 19 July 2010
An express train crashed with a passenger train at a station in eastern India early today, mangling the carriages and killing 56 people, railway police said.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee raised the possibility the crash could have been another case of sabotage, two months after Maoist rebels were blamed for a derailment that killed 145 people.
Ms Banerjee said she and top officials were rushing to the scene to investigate. “We have some doubts in our mind,” she said.
The crash happened about 2am when the Uttarbanga Express slammed into the Vananchal Express as it left the platform at Sainthia station, about 125 miles north of Calcutta.
Zero-percent unemployment Cuba’s labor strife
by ANNE-MARIE GARCIA 7/18/20
HAVANA – At a state project to refurbish a decaying building in Old Havana, one worker paints a wall white while two others watch. A fourth sleeps in a wheelbarrow positioned in a sliver of shade nearby and two more smoke and chat on the curb.
President Raul Castro has startled the nation lately by saying about one in five Cuban workers may be redundant. At the work site on Obispo street, those numbers run in reverse.
It’s a common sight in communist Cuba. Here, nearly everyone works for the state and official unemployment is minuscule, but pay is so low that Cubans like to joke that “the state pretends to pay us and we pretend to work.“