Headlines for Wednesday, February 27, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 5:33 minutes (5.09 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Witness testifies BP should have never used Macondo well
The BP civil trial continued today in New Orleans. It was the second day of testimony surrounding the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The day proceeded with more finger-pointing by the companies involved, including heavy pressure by Transocean and Halliburton lawyers to hold BP wholly accountable for the disaster. According to Reuters, one official with Fusion Petroleum Technologies testified that drilling of the Macondo well should not have been completed after BP discovered evidence of instability early on.
Hagel sworn in as new Secretary of Defense
Chuck Hagel was sworn in as Secretary of Defense this morning in a small private ceremony at the Pentagon, after the Senate confirmed his nomination yesterday afternoon. He addressed Pentagon staff soon after.
“To be part of your team, who you are, is the honor. That’s the great privilege. You’re not joining my team; I’m joining your team.”
Republicans had filibustered his nomination, but the chamber voted to end the filibuster earlier in the day. Once that hurtle was cleared, Senators voted 58-41 to confirm Hagel.
Violence Against Women Act goes before House
A group of Democrats in the US House have introduced the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act to counter a GOP-led push to strip out expanded protections for LGBT people, Native Americans and Immigrants. The House is expected to vote by the end of the week. Many House Republicans have opposed provisions in the Senate version that would allow Native American police and courts to intervene if a non-Indian person assaults a woman on tribal land. The Senate passed a renewal of the domestic violence law earlier this month.
Radioactive waste leaking from underground tanks at Hanford Nuclear Reservation
This week federal and Washington state officials announced more underground storage tanks than previously thought are leaking radioactive waste at the nation's most contaminated nuclear site. The cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation has been plagued by delays and mismanagement. Yesterday, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, requested an investigation into why the leaks went undetected for so long. FSRN’s Mark Taylor-Canfield reports from Seattle.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee says he was informed of the leaks in six radioactive storage units by outgoing US Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Although the Hanford Nuclear Reservation is located only five miles from the Columbia River, Inslee claims there is no immediate public health risk since it could take years for the toxins to seep into the surrounding groundwater.
The US Department of Energy says one tank, identified earlier in the process, has been leaking at a rate of 150 - 300 gallons a year. About 56 million gallons of radioactive waste from World War II and the cold war is currently stored in underground tanks at the site.
According to Inslee, Secretary Chu admitted that these latest leaks were missed during an initial survey due to a failure to adequately analyze the data collected. The Governor says the news raises serious questions about the integrity of all 149 single shell storage tanks at Hanford. Mark Taylor-Canfield, FSRN, Seattle.
Judge dismisses speedy trial motion from Manning defense
A military court in Maryland has struck down a motion for dismissal in the Bradley Manning case. Manning’s lawyer argued the overall slow pace has violated his client’s right to a speedy trial. Last Saturday marked Manning's 1000th day in detention. But the judge ruled that most of the delays were justified and not grounds for a dismissal. Manning is accused of passing thousands of classified and sensitive state documents to Wikileaks.
NYC Occupy activist fights charges following protest arrest
The first full day of arguments in the trial of a prominent New York activist charged with assaulting a police officer began today in a Manhattan court room. Supporters argue police have targeted and sought to over-penalize activists. FSRN's Peter Rugh has more.
Michael Premo, who has been a leading force behind a number of Occupy campaigns including Occupy Homes and Occupy Sandy, says he was attacked by police during a demonstration in December 2011. The New York Police Department is telling a different story. Officers say they approached Premo for obstructing traffic and he resisted arrest. But footage of the demonstration taken by activists shows that police kettled demonstrators in, making it difficult to impossible for them to leave the area. Rachel Falcone is Premo's parter.
“They're trying to make something out of nothing and they're trying to charge him with something that didn't actually occur.”
Insisting on his innocence and on challenging the NYPD before a jury, Premo turned down a plea deal offered by the Manhattan District Attorney's office that would have seen charges reduced. His trial is the latest in a string of cases in which law enforcement have been accused of targeting, over-penalizing, and otherwise repressing members of the Occupy Movement. Peter Rugh. FSRN. New York.
Bahrain police cleared in anti-government protester death
A court in Bahrain has acquitted two police officers accused of killing an anti-government protester in February 2011. The BBC reports an independent inquiry had accused state police of excessive use of force, but the Bahraini courts have consistently come down in favor of security officers in cases of violence or death. This week the government further cracked down on protesters by banning the Guy Fawkes mask, which has become a symbol of protest movements worldwide.