Harvard University students blockaded its administration offices to persuade Harvard to divest endowment investments in oil, gas, and coal companies. This is only the latest campaign to persuade U.S. universities and colleges to divest from fossil fuels investments over concerns about climate change and pollution.
The campaign has persuaded 11 colleges to divest wholly or partially from fossil fuels. Harvard’s $33 billion endowment is the largest targeted of any educational institution. Demands for divestment of investments by colleges in fossil fuel companies have been backed by many students and more than 100 faculty members.
Have these students and faculty members given up fossil fuels? Are they living a fossil fuel free existence? Do they jump on their motorcycles or in their cars to drive to the coffeehouse, to work, to school? Are they heating their living spaces with fossil fuels? Are the student and faculty members benefiting from fossil fuels? The students blockaded the administration offices of Harvard University to make a point they are not living. Hypocrisy!
A second case of MERS, a deadly virus discovered in the Middle East in 2012, has been found in the state of Florida.
The patient is a healthcare provider who resides and works in Saudi Arabia. He is visiting Florida and traveled on May 1st from Saudi Arabia to Florida. On May 8th, the patient went to the emergency department of a Florida hospital and was admitted on the same day.
Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State of the United States received assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress … to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Opponents to designating Boko Haram were concerned that adding the group to the FTO list would make the United States and Western interest more of a target and would enhance Boko Haram’s status among extremist groups. The opponents were 21 U.S. based African studies academics, former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell, some members of the State Department, the Nigerian government, and Scholars on Twitter.
As Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton’s leadership is open to question. Secretary Hillary Clinton seems to have disregarded the assessments and urging from the CIA, FBI, the Justice Department, U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, General Ham, and some members of Congress.
A contempt charge is usually to compel either testimony or the production of documents.
The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.
The House voted 231-187 for a resolution holding Lerner in contempt. All the Republicans voted yes, along with six Democrats.
Lerner’s case will now be sent to the Justice Department, which then must decide whether to essentially prosecute Lerner in the case.
Minutes after the Lerner vote, the House passed a resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS by a vote of 250-168.
House Speaker John Boehner issued a statement following the vote saying, “It’s time for Lois Lerner to account for her actions, and if she won’t then the full force of the law should be brought to bear.”
What happens next? Will the Justice Department decide to prosecute? Congress in 2012 voted to hold Eric Holder, the Attorney General of the United States, in contempt of Congress for withholding documents related to the gun-running operation “Fast and Furious.” Holder saw his contempt of Congress vote as ‘partisan sport’. Will Holder view the House vote holding Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress as partisan politics and do nothing?
Expect the issue to linger through the election season.
Less than a day after former IRS official Lois Lerner was found in criminal contempt of Congress, her old agency has agreed to turn over copies of all her emails and other correspondence to one of the Republican-led House committees investigating the scandal that led to her retirement.
Yuck! Wash Your Hands. New York University’s Dirty Money Project found 3,000 types of bacteria on a $1 bill.
In the first comprehensive study of the DNA on dollar bills, researchers at New York University’s Dirty Money Project found that currency is a medium of exchange for hundreds of different kinds of bacteria as bank notes pass from hand to hand.
By analyzing genetic material on $1 bills, the NYU researchers identified 3,000 types of bacteria in all—many times more than in previous studies that examined samples under a microscope. Even so, they could identify only about 20% of the non-human DNA they found because so many microorganisms haven’t yet been cataloged in genetic data banks.
Easily the most abundant species they found is one that causes acne. Others were linked to gastric ulcers, pneumonia, food poisoning and staph infections, the scientists said. Some carried genes responsible for antibiotic resistance.
“It was quite amazing to us,” said Jane Carlton, director of genome sequencing at NYU’s Center for Genomics and Systems Biology where the university-funded work was performed. “We actually found that microbes grow on money.”
Today’s Supreme Court ruling in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway, upheld that the American tradition of public prayer before a legislative session does not violate the Constitution. It protects the freedom of community volunteers to pray according to their faith in a public setting, without censorship and it defends the prayer giver’s freedom of speech over an “offended” person’s demands for censorship. Common sense won!
The Supreme Court Monday ruled 5-4 that prayers given before meetings of an upstate New York town council did not violate the First Amendment even if they stressed Christianity. The decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway, wrote by Justice Anthony Kennedy, is likely to have wide-reaching implications. It upholds the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers at open government meetings, even if the prayers are overwhelmingly Christian. For years activists have sought to require prayers that have no faith specific content, for example excluding and forbidding the mention of Jesus Christ.
Amer Ahmad, former Mayor Rahm Emanuel aid, was arrested at an airport in Lahore, Pakistan, when he was on the run to avoid a prison sentence. Authorities confiscated $176,000, 17,000 in Euros and a fake passport. While working for Democratic Treasurer Kevin Boyce (Ohio House of Representatives), Ahmad steered state business to his financial adviser in exchange for more than $500,000 in kickbacks. Amer Ahmad plead guilty in December to bribery, conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, and wire fraud.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced May 2nd the first confirmed case of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the United States in Indiana. The person was providing healthcare in Saudi Arabia before traveling by plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London, England into O’Hara International Airport in Chicago, Illinois and then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana. The U.S. patient began suffering symptoms April 27th.
The CDC is investigating along with health officials in Indiana; the CDC said “this case represents a very low risk to the general public.” Health officials do not know how the MERS virus spreads but it is thought it is transmitted from people who have very close contact with an infected person.
The MERS virus has been found in camels, but doctors are not sure how it is spreading to humans. The hub of the MERS outbreak is Saudi Arabia. Of the “401 confirmed cases of MERS infection in 12 countries all have originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula” states the CDC.
There is no vaccine, this virus’ symptoms are shortness of breath, coughing and fever. People with existing conditions or weakened immune systems are more at risk.