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Whistleblower: BP Risks More Massive Catastrophes in Gulf

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gulf_oil_spillby: Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t |

A former contractor who worked for British Petroleum (BP) claims the oil conglomerate broke federal laws and violated its own internal procedures by failing to maintain crucial safety and engineering documents related to one of the firms other deepwater production projects in the Gulf of Mexico, according to internal emails and other documents obtained by Truthout.

The whistleblower, whose name has been withheld at the person's request because the whistleblower still works in the oil industry and fears retaliation, first raised concerns about safety issues related to BP Atlantis, the world's largest and deepest semi-submersible oil and natural gas platform, located about 200 miles south of New Orleans, in November 2008. Atlantis, which began production in October 2007, has the capacity to produce about 8.4 million gallons of oil and 180 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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Mayor Bloomberg vs Artists: The Battle for the Soul of New York City

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bloombergHuffington Post

Last week a bubbly women from Ohio stopped by our table in Union Square. "This is why I love coming to New York!" she explained as she flipped through our silkscreens. "Everywhere else I go, it's the same imported crap in the stores. But out here, I can meet local artists making art with their own hands."

Well, not for long...

Mayor Bloomberg's legal henchmen have unilaterally issued an administrative ruling effectively barring most art from New York's City's parks. Under the false guise of "public safety" and "congestion" they've crafted a complex set of rules banning 80-90% of artists from even displaying their work in Columbus Circle, Union Square Park and any other public park in Manhattan.

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Greek Wealth Is Everywhere but Tax Forms

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ATHENS — In the wealthy, northern suburbs of this city, where summer temperatures often hit the high 90s, just 324 residents checked the box on their tax returns admitting that they owned pools.

So tax investigators studied satellite photos of the area — a sprawling collection of expensive villas tucked behind tall gates — and came back with a decidedly different number: 16,974 pools.

That kind of wholesale lying about assets, and other eye-popping cases that are surfacing in the news media here, points to the staggering breadth of tax dodging that has long been a way of life here.

Such evasion has played a significant role in Greece’s debt crisis, and as the country struggles to get its financial house in order, it is going after tax cheats as never before.

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”The Suffering of Displaced Persons in Australia Today”

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immigrationBy Dinos Toumazos

Although many countries in the western world accept waves of desperate migrants, with differences in intensity and dimension from country to country, the phenomenon has an exceptional relevance  for us here in Australia.

This is due to the following facts:

  1. Excluding the small percentage of indigenous people, we, the remaining residents of the country, are all migrants of no more than a handful of generations.
  2. Compared to the number of illegal migrants that other countries accept, the percentage that reaches Australia is minimal.
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Why I support recognition of the Armenian Genocide

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john_sarbanesBy: Congressman John P. Sarbanes MD-03, HuffingtonPost

April 24th marked the 95th commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the systematic annihilation of more than 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman-era Turkish authorities. On March 4, 2010, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted in favor of Resolution 252 to recognize the Genocide. The next step is to achieve recognition in the full House of Representatives. The Armenian Genocide, the first of the 20th Century, included massacres, deportations, and death marches where hundreds of thousands were herded into the Syrian Desert to die of thirst and starvation. Without final rites, the remains of these victims lay strewn across the desert in testament to a horrific demise.

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In Defense of the Pope

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Pope-Benedict-XVIBy Alan M. Dershowitz, FrontPage Magazime

Having criticized particular Catholic cardinals for blaming everything–including the Church’s sex scandal–on “the Jews”, let me now come to the defense of the Pope and of the Church itself on this issue.  To begin with, this is an extraordinarily complex problem, because the Church has at least five important traditions that make it difficult to move quickly and aggressively in response to complaints of abuse.

The first tradition involves confidentiality, particularly not exclusively the confidentiality of the priest with regard to the penitent.  But there is also a wider spread tradition of confidentiality within the Church hierarchy itself.

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Should There Be an Inquisition for the Pope?

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By Maureen Dowd, New York Times

It doesn’t seem right that the Catholic Church is spending Holy Week practicing the unholy art of spin.

Complete with crown-of-thorns imagery, the church has started an Easter public relations blitz defending a pope who went along with the perverse culture of protecting molesters and the church’s reputation rather than abused — and sometimes disabled and disadvantaged — children.

The church gave up its credibility for Lent. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are now becoming Cover-Up Thursday and Blame-Others Friday.

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Islamist Female Suicide Bombers—Neither Sexy Nor Liberated

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by Phyllis Chesler, NewsReal Blog

Contrary to myth, Islamist female suicide bombers are neither “liberated” nor empowered women. They are not driven by feminist or nationalist ideologies. They are not always “black widows”—women, (most recently in the Moscow train bombings),   who have lost terrorist husbands to the enemy and who want revenge.

Some  female (Palestinian suicide bombers) are clinically depressed after years of family abuse, or upon discovering that they are infertile and that their husbands are divorcing them. Some female (Iraqi suicide bombers) are desperate for “mothering,” and are easily indoctrinated by an older woman figure who “mothers” them into martyrdom. Some female (Palestinian suicide bombers) are trapped by male indoctrinators who seduce them, then threaten to tell their husbands or families if they do not go out in a redemptive blaze of glory; otherwise, they will be honor murdered.

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When Peace Is Not a Priority

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by P. David Hornik,  FrontPage

U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell is here in Israel again, and it's not stirring much excitement or even interest. On Sunday he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with the latter saying Mitchell had "interesting ideas" on how to get Israeli-Palestinian talks going again but not saying what the ideas were.

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