Thursday, October 22, 2009

22 Oct 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

University of Alaska Scientist Rick Steiner Loses Federal Grant Funding After Criticizing Oil Industry
University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner says he’s lost his federal grant funding for being an outspoken critic of the oil industry. For years, Steiner has criticized what he considered irresponsible actions by the oil industry, beginning with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Last week, a university lawyer rejected a claim to overturn a decision to pull Steiner’s $10,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, known as NOAA. In its decision, a university lawyer wrote if a recipient of grant funding “uses his position and his time to, for example, advocate for or against a particular development project, the funding agency may have a legitimate concern.” [includes rush transcript]

Toxic Waters: Regulatory Absence Allows Chemical, Coal and Farm Industries to Pollute US Water Supplies
We speak to New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg about the latest in his investigative series “Toxic Waters,” which examines the worsening pollution in the nation’s water systems. Duhigg joined us last month to discuss how chemical companies have violated the Clean Water Act more than 500,000 times in the last five years, most without punishment. Since then he has written articles focusing on how coal-fired power plants and large farms are threatening the nation’s drinking water.

CIA Invests in Software Firm Monitoring Blogs, Twitter
Wired magazine has revealed the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency has invested in a software firm called Visible Technologies that specializes in monitoring social media sites, including blogs, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Wired reporter Noah Shachtman writes, “America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates—even check out your book reviews on Amazon.” [includes rush transcript]

Headlines


US to Order Pay Cuts at Bailed-Out Firms
Dems Advance Repeal of Insurance Industry Antitrust Exemption
Pentagon: Iraq Withdrawal Plan “Not Rigid”
US Warns Japan on Revisiting Military Ties
Iran Accepts Draft Agreement on Uranium Production
20 Killed in Somalia Clashes
Uruguay to Hold Referendum on Repealing Military Amnesty
Biden Touts Revamped Missile Shield
Afghan National Forcibly Held in US as Witness in Bribery Trial
Rep. Grayson Unveils Website for Deaths of Uninsured
Protesters Urge CNN to Oust Dobbs


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