“Rampaging Toyotas” were the focus of a Strib story and headline on Koua Fong Lee’s bid for a new trial. Lee, jailed after conviction of criminal vehicular homicide. Witness after witness took the stand to tell of their own Toyota Camry mishaps, and loss of control when brakes failed without warning. Continue reading
Tag Archives: BP
The World Cup international soccer tournament, held every four years, launched with opening ceremonies in South Africa last night. Less-known in the United States, the World Cup is a huge international event, leading news and Twitter postings worldwide. More than three million tickets have been sold, and hundreds of millions will watch on television in 215 countries. This is the 19th World Cup, and the first time the tournament has taken place in Africa. The 64 games will take place over the next month, with the final game on July 11. Wikipedia describes in detail how the 32 national teams were selected and scheduled. Continue reading
Officially, unemployment fell slightly in May, to a seasonally adjusted 9.7 percent. The total unemployment figure, including those who are marginally attached to the workforce, discouraged workers, and those working part-time because they cannot find full-time work – seasonally adjusted at 16.6 percent. Continue reading
Campaign season, but these politicos can kick back and relax: Willmar’s West Central Tribune reports that MN Representative Paul Anderson from Starbuck (District 13A) doesn’t have to worry about campaigning this summer. He’s one of five legislators with no opponent in November. All five are Republicans – State Senator Warren Limmer (District 32), Representative Paul Shimanski (18A), Representative Paul Torkelson (21B), and Joe Hoppe (31B). Continue reading
I’m a fan of MPR’s “Five by 8” – five stories highlighted by 8 a.m. in the NewsCut blog. They range from the deadly serious (competing video accounts of Israel’s attack on the Gaza flotilla) to the whimsical (robots creating robots) to the silly (do dogs prefer HDTV?) A little later than 8 a.m., my picks for the stories of the day include Twin Cities school news and lay-offs, Gaza news coverage, attacks on peace talks in Afghanistan, and BP’s ongoing failures as the oil slick nears Florida beaches. Continue reading
UPDATE 6/2/2010: The latest maneuver – trying to cut the pipe and then cap it – ran into trouble, as the drill got “stuck.” The Justice Department is now pursuing unspecified criminal investigations. And the oil is nearing Florida’s beaches.
Operation Top Kill has failed to stop the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. The Los Angeles Times quotes BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles: “After three full days, we have been unable to overcome the flow from the well, so we now believe it is time to move on to another option . . . This scares everybody — the fact that we can’t make this well stop flowing or the fact that we haven’t succeeded so far.” Continue reading
What were they thinking? A misguided U.S. Wireless billboard campaign folded after a few hours of intense Facebook-organized protests yesterday.
USI Wireless is a pimp. This is how they’re selling their wireless service in Minneapolis. Give them… a call at 952.253.3262 (Option 1) or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. When I called, they assured me that they did some test marketing and everybody loved it, but the 100,000 American girls sexually trafficked in the US with an initial recruitment age of 11-14 might not guffaw quite as loudly as the focus group did. By: Stacey Burns Continue reading
Robyne Robinson moved from news anchor to news maker yesterday, with the disclosure that she has been asked by the Matt Entenza campaign to be his lieutenant governor candidate. The campaign stayed mum, while Robinson apparently confirmed the rumors – and MinnPost’s David Brauer critiqued the journalistic ethics and conflict of interest involved in Fox9’s reporting:
I realize this is the very definition of conflict of interest, but so many things were wrong here. As I’ve written, Robinson should be sidelined as long as she’s a political newsmaker in play. If not, Fox9 political reporter Jeff Goldberg should’ve grilled Robinson (and Entenza) for a report — her statements (that she’s been offered the gig) are being dodged by the campaign, which only says it has a list of folks whose identities won’t be revealed yet.
Robinson previously announced that she is leaving Fox9 News, with her last day set for Wednesday.
The bigger question, however, is what difference there is between the three DFL primary contenders – DFL-convention-endorsed former MN House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton, and former MN Representative Matt Entenza. Most of the news focuses on the horse race – who’s ahead in the polls, who’s naming a running mate, how will that running mate pull votes or strengthen the ticket. Relatively little focuses on substantive differences (if any) between the candidates.
Those differences may not be large – all three support opting in to Medicaid for MN’s poorest patients, as does Independence Party gubernatorial candidate Tom Horner. That’s in stark contrast to GOP Tom Emmer’s parrot-like denunciationof “ObamaCare! ObamaCare! ObamaCare!”
More drilling permits and environmental waivers were handed out by the federal government during the month since the Deepwater Horizon disaster, even as oil rolls through the fragile marshes and onto Gulf shores, with plenty of BP promises, but no end in sight. According to the New York Times, “federal regulators have granted at least 19 environmental waivers for gulf drilling projects and at least 17 drilling permits, most of which were for types of work like that on the Deepwater Horizon.” Department of Interior officials are bobbing and weaving around the moratorium supposedly declared by the administration, saying it applies only to new drilling, not to existing projects. The NYT notes that some of the permits and environmental waivers are for projects that go even deeper, and are therefore even riskier, than Deepwater Horizon.
Then there’s the conflict between Environment Secretary Ken Salazar’s tough talk on BP (“If we find they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately.” and Coast Guard Admiral Thad W. Allen’s admission that the feds just don’t have what it takes to take over – “[BP has] the eyes and ears that are down there. They are necessarily the modality by which this is going to get solved.”
In news from Somalia, BBC reports that a German military security firm is contracting to provide security to a Somali warlord who declared himself president in 2003, but has not been in Somali in five years. Asgaard German Security Group says it will provide security services when Abdinur Ahmed Darma becomes president, but some German politicos say the contract is private foreign policy that violates U.N. sanctions on arming rebels.
Meanwhile, the U.N.-backed president, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, is attending peace negotiations in Germany.
BBC’s Mark Doyle in Istanbul says it is far from clear if the president, described in the West as a moderate, will prevail.
He has Western support now, because Washington hopes he will keep al-Qaeda at bay in East Africa, but Western support is a poisoned chalice in nationalist Somalia, he says.
More secret war may be in the cards, under Obama administration policy that looks more and more like Bush administration policy. The New York Times reports that a secret directive signed by General David Petraeus in September authorized sending U.S. Special Ops troops to countries throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa.
While the Bush administration had approved some clandestine military activities far from designated war zones, the new order is intended to make such efforts more systematic and long term, officials said.