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Wednesday, Apr 01st

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Alex Baer: Freedom's Just Another Word

FreedomSituation Report:  I steamed my eyelids open again with real coffee, a nice treat for a weekday.  This idle, schedule-less time is a gift from my era.  It is a gift from the same chunk of time that decided a long while ago that I was not only economically redundant, but execrably so, and so, I was added to the Shoals of the Doomed & Adrift -- and then expertly excreted from the highly-lauded realm of competitive, cutthroat capitalism and into the murky lagoons and mired holding ponds of Excess Capacity.

In economics, as in most other areas of America life since, oh, 1960, it's best to fog and cloud the real issues, and all-too-human effects, with cold, distancing euphemisms.  So, the Shoals of the Shredded & Damned are magically converted -- presto! -- to Excess Capacity.  Language is very much like statistics:  What is revealed is routine; what is concealed is essential.

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Conservation group: Over 20,000 elephants poached in Africa in 2013

elephants poachedThe Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, a major wildlife conservation group, reported poaching of African elephants remains high, with over 20,000 illegally killed in 2013.

The group's report shows an increase in seizures of ivory, particularly in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and Secretary-General John Scanlon said organized crimes and African insurgent militias are heavily involved in the illegal ivory trade.

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Will Fracking Cause Our Next Nuclear Disaster?

frackingThe idea of storing radioactive nuclear waste inside a hollowed-out salt cavern might look good on paper. The concept is to carve out the insides of the caverns, deep underground, then carefully move in the waste. Over time, the logic goes, the salt will move in and insulate the containers for thousands of generations.

"The whole game is to engineer something that can contain those contaminants on the order of tens of thousands of years," Tim Judson, the executive director of the Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS), told Truthout. NIRS is intended to be a national information and networking center for citizens and environmental activists concerned about nuclear power, radioactive waste, radiation and sustainable energy issues, according to Judson.

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Hundreds more fatalities if Keystone XL isn’t built? Not exactly

Keystone XL pipeline reportOn Friday, the State Department revised its January report on the environmental impacts of building or not building the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, including the number of potential injuries and fatalities if Canadian oil would move by rail instead.

The New York Times reported that the revisions projected “hundreds more fatalities and thousands more injuries than expected over the course of a decade.”

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Greenpeace Erects Fracking Site at UK Prime Minister's Estate

GreenpeaceAs British Prime Minister David Cameron prepared for the announcement of a controversial new fracking law in the UK, Greenpeace activists gave the leader a taste of his own policy early Wednesday when they set up a mock fracking operation at his country estate.

Police were called after the activists, wearing hard hats and day-glo vests, erected security fencing around Cameron's cottage in the Cotswold hamlet of Dean, Oxfordshire. Signs were posted that read: "We apologise for any inconvenience we may cause while we frack under your home," and ordered complaints to be directed to the PM's office.

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4 Worker Fatalities Linked to Used Fracking Fluid Exposure

fRACKING fatalitiesField studies conducted by the U.S. Government have revealed that hydrofracking fluids are responsible for the deaths of four field workers since 2010.

The report, recently released by the National Institute for Occupational Safety, suggests that workers could be exposed to hazardous levels of toxic volatile hydrocarbons found in waste fracking fluids.

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EPA to make Obama's big move on climate change

epa When the Obama administration unveils its much-anticipated proposal to curb power plant emissions, this cornerstone of the president's climate change policy - the most significant environmental regulation of his term - will not be declared in a sun-bathed Rose Garden news conference or from behind the lectern in a major speech.

It will not be announced by the president at all, but instead by his head of the Environmental Protection Agency, while President Barack Obama adds his comments in on an off-camera conference call with health advocates.

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