Tag Archives: United States

House Passes Bill That Would Prevent Scientists from Advising EPA On Their Own Research

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The headline issue in Congress last Tuesday (November 18) was the Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline. The 1,179-mile pipeline extension eventually failed in the Senate by one vote, leading to jubilation from climate activists and other groups opposed to the new pipeline. But while these people celebrated, the House of Representatives was quietly passing a different bill: H.R. 1422. The bill, which passed 229-191 along mostly partisan lines, would reconfigure the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Michael Burgess, a Republican

NSA Chief Says China Is Capable of Shutting Down Entire U.S. Power Grid With Cyber Attack

Admiral Michael Rogers is the head of the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command. Speaking to the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday (November 20), Rogers said that China and “one or two” other countries currently possess the ability to shut down the entire U.S. power grid, as well as other critical infrastructure. Rogers told the congressional panel that his agencies had detected malware in China capable of breaking into the computer networks of major power companies and other critical systems. “It enables

Everything You Need to Know About President Obama’s New Immigration Plan

Tonight, President Obama will deliver a speech to the American public outlining his plans for immigration reform. The president has stated on numerous occasions that his decision to address immigration unilaterally (ie. via executive order) is a result of Congressional inaction on the issue. Obama’s (mostly Republican) opponents in Congress say that the move is unlawful and unconstitutional. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, said that it will, “poison the well” for future cooperation between the president and the new Republican-dominated Congress

Sioux Native Americans Release Statement Calling Keystone XL Pipeline “An Act of War”

In 2008, Canadian oil and gas company TransCanada began construction on the Keystone Pipeline, an extensive, four-phase pipeline project to connect Canadian tar sands (a vast source of crude oil) to refineries and distribution centers in the U.S. The first phase, completed in 2010, is a 2,147-mi stretch of pipeline that runs from Hardisty, Alberta to southern Illinois via Steele City, Nebraska. Phase II, completed in early 2011, added another 291 miles of pipeline, connecting the Keystone pipeline in Steele City

Why Hundreds of Australian Climate Change Activists Just Buried Their Heads In the Sand

Photo Credit: David Gray/Reuters

Yesterday (November 13) was an interesting day on Sydney’s Bondi Beach. Someone walking along the beach yesterday would have seen 400 people with their heads buried in the sand. These people were climate activists, and they were mocking Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s stance on climate change. Specifically, the protest aimed to criticize the Australian government for not putting climate change on the agenda of the upcoming G20 summit that will take place in the country this weekend. The G20 summit is an

Russia and China Just Signed A $400 Billion Gas Deal. What Does It Mean For Global Affairs?

On May 21st of this year, China and Russia signed an enormous gas deal, worth an estimated $400 billion. The agreement calls for Russia’s government-controlled Gazprom to supply state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation with up to 38 billion cubic metres of gas a year over the span of 30 years, beginning in 2018. On November 10th, China and Russia struck a second agreement that deepened their budding energy ties. The new deal lessens Russian reliance on Europe and secures almost a fifth of the gas supplies China

U.N. General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly In Favor of Ending U.S. Embargo On Cuba

For the 23rd straight year, the United Nations General Assembly has once again voted to condemn the American embargo on Cuba. Out of the 193 member countries, 188 voted in favor of the “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” resolution. Only two countries, the U.S. and Israel, voted against the resolution (Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands abstained from the vote). The Cuban embargo was enacted in 1960 to impose economic regulations, travel restrictions,

President Obama Speaks Out, Endorsing “Strongest Possible Rules” to Protect Net Neutrality

Credit: Larry Downing/Reuters

Net neutrality has been a major issue of discussion in the United States since the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted back in May to move forward on a plan that would create “internet fast lanes”, allowing larger companies to pay more for faster speeds on their sites. The American public has shown strong opposition to this idea, and while FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has expressed his support for the fast lanes, the people now have a very powerful ally on

New Global Regulations Aim to Prevent Bailouts of Banks That Are “Too Big to Fail”

During the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, governments around the world spent trillions of dollars bailing out banks that had gone belly-up as a result of overly-risky trading practices. In the United States alone, the total cost of financial bailouts has been estimated at anywhere from about $10 trillion to upwards of $29 trillion (that’s 72% more than our annual GDP). The logic behind the bailouts: allowing such large and influential institutions to go bankrupt would have torpedoed what was left of

“Lichtgrenze”: An Amazing Art Display to Mark the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Video)

Following the fall of the Nazi regime and the end of World War II, Germany’s capital city of Berlin was split in half, creating separate states in East and West Germany. West Germany generally aligned itself with the United States and the other Western European nations (Britain, France, etc.), while East Germany attempted to build a socialist state under the heavy influence of communist leadership from the Soviet Union. Unfortunately for the Soviet Union, many Germans living in East Germany weren’t too keen on the Soviet version of

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