Friday, September 5, 2008

The Nightowl Newswrap

Boeing Machinists to strike at 12:01 a.m. PDT
Saturday after negotiations fail
Members of the
Machinists Union and Boeing failed to come to terms after the Union
agreed to a 48 hour extension to continue talks. Workers rejected
Boeing's contract offer this week, voting instead to go on strike,
mainly over job security. Both sides agreed to the 48 hour extension
at the request of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire.

Coast Guard
helicopter crash off Hawaii kills three, one missing
Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin helicopter went down Thursday night while
conducting search and rescue training drills about five miles south of
Honolulu International Airport about 8:15 p.m. Thursday evening.
"This is a very difficult case because rescuers are being rescued,"
said Rear Adm. Manson Brown, 14th Coast Guard District commander.
Firefighters from Honolulu pulled three of the four crew members from
the water and transported them to the Queen's Medical Center, where
they were pronounced dead. There were no new developments from the
overnight search for the missing crew member, said Coast Guard Petty
Officer Luke Clayton.

Unbelievable--who's stupid enough to ask Joe for help on anything? Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is among several national security experts helping brief Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin on foreign policy issues as she prepares to hit the campaign trail while cramming for a debate with her Democratic opponent, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), in less than a month, according to officials from Sen. John McCain's campaign. Lieberman, who was the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee but is now an independent, has helped introduce Palin to officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the leading pro-Israel lobby. In a meeting Tuesday, the day before she delivered her prime-time address at the Republican National Convention here, Palin assured the group of her strong support for Israel, of her desire to see the United States move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and of her opposition to Iran's aspirations to become a nuclear power, according to sources familiar with the meeting.

Pennsylvania dentist charged in New Jersey with
dumping medical waste
in the most serious beach-dumping
case in two decades. Authorities said Friday that Thomas McFarland
took his motorboat to Townsend Inlet near Avalon on Aug. 22 and dumped
a bag full of some 300 dental-type needles, along with 180 cotton
swabs and other materials from his Wynnewood, Pa., medical office.
According to police affidavits, McFarland admitted tossing the
material from his boat. He is charged with one count each of
unlawfully discharging a pollutant and unlawful disposal of regulated
medical waste. Each charge carries a possible five year prison term,
and fines could total $125,000. Here's hoping he gets the max, and
the sentences run consecutively.

Federal Highway Fund running out of money A vital account in the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this month, which could hamper completion of road and bridge construction projects
across the country. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said on
Friday that because the fund is dwindling so fast, the Transportation
Department will be forced to delay payments for local projects, or
reduce their amount. She said her department will begin to dole out
money from the fund on a pro-rated basis. For instance, if there are
only enough funds to cover 80 percent of the payment requests the
department receives for federally financed local projects, the agency
will pay only 80 percent of each request.

Haiti is hurting: Humanitarian aid arrived to be distributed to the desperate victims of Hurricane Hannah on Friday as the rust-bucket cargo ship Trois Rivieres, chartered by the U.N. World Food Program, steamed into a
private port near Gonaives, Haiti. Argentine peacekeepers got busy
distributing as much aid as possible during the daylight hours because
the city was deemed to be too dangerous to work in after dark. I am
starting to fear that there is only one hope for Haiti...they need to
discover oil, quickly.

Pakistan restores judges removed by Musharref The Supreme Court of Pakistan reinstated three judges who had been ousted by former
President Pervez Musharraf in another victory for Asif Ali Zardari,
the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the man
set to succeed him as head of state in an election that will be held

Tehran? Utah? Who can tell? A bill that would allow men in Iran to take additional wives without the consent of their first wife has generated so much controversy that parliament had to postpone a vote for more debate. Polygamy is not practiced in mainstream Iranian society, but the government of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has pursued amendments to a landmark women's rights bill to allow multiple marriages, as it seeks to enshrine elements of Islamic law into the country's legal system. The Family Protection Bill was drawn up by the judiciary with the intention of allowing women to serve as judges for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. As initially drawn up, it would also impose prison sentences for men who marry girls before they have reached legal age. But the government's push to add articles allowing multiple marriages without the first wife's consent raised so much ire from women's rights groups and the judiciary that a vote in parliament had to be postponed Tuesday.

You can always count on the Bushies to screw things up: The United States will likely scrap a US-Russia civilian nuclear cooperation pact next week in response to Moscow's actions in Georgia, a US official said Friday. "It's probably going to happen next week," the State Department official told reporters when asked about the issue. "The president (George W. Bush) has to withdraw the document from Congress. So he needs to take that step, and that's what will happen." The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, did not explicitly say whether the decision had already been taken to withdraw the pact. The White House said August 28 that it was considering dropping the agreement. The agreement aims to allow US and Russian companies to form joint ventures in the nuclear sector and gives the go-ahead for exchanges of nuclear technology between the two countries, according to officials on both sides. What's not said is this--anything that keeps the world safe, the Bushies are against it. Ratcheting up the fear is all that matters.

Great Lakes study crtiticized by review panel: Substandard science has hurt a federal agency's seven-year effort to document possible links between industrial pollution and health problems in the Great Lakes region, an independent review panel said Friday. The Institute of Medicine said drafts of a report still under development by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were deeply flawed. Shortcomings included use of questionable data and conclusions that were overstated or not backed by sufficient evidence, the institute said.