ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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May 2, 2012 --  (San Diego’s East County) – ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflecting all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:    
 
 
 
 
 
U.S.
  • Officials watch for body bombs on US bound planes (ABC news)
  • Occupy activists breathe new life into May Day (The Nation)
  • Why you should be worried about the California mad cow case (Mother Jones)
  • Number of painkiller addicted newborns soars (USA Today)
  • New world trade center surpasses Empire State Building (CBS News)
  • Why is safety a divisive issue for nuclear regulatory commission? (Los Angeles Times)
  • Wind farms warming earth in Texas: Turbines mixing air at night could affect local climate and farming (Discovery)
  • CMS:  Obama healthcare law has saved seniors $34 billion on prescription drugs (The Hill)
  • Romney: Osama hit was easy call (The Hill)
WORLD
  • Mexico passes crime victims’ law (BBC)
  • 2-horse race in final stretch for Egypt presidency (Reuters)
  • Ugandan army says Sudan is backingJoseph  Kony’s  LRA (BBC)
  • Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in U.S. (Fairewinds)
  • Transcript: Obama hails 'light of a new day' in Afghanistan
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories. 
 
 
U.S.
 
Officials watch for body bombs on US bound planes (ABC news)
 
April 30, 2012 -- With the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death looming, American and European authorities told ABC News today that they fear al Qaeda may soon try to explode U.S.-bound aircraft with explosives hidden inside the bodies of terrorists.
As a result, security at several airports in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe and the Middle East has been substantially stepped up, with a focus on U.S. carriers.
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/officials-fear-terrorists-body-bombs-us-bound-planes/story?id=16245827#.T59N-sV1cf4
Occupy activists breathe new life into May Day (The Nation)
 
May 1, 2012 -- Outside the US, May 1 is international workers’ day, observed with speeches, rallies, and demonstrations. Ironically, this celebration of working-class solidarity originated in the US labor movement in the United States and soon spread around the world, but it never earned official recognition in this country. Since 2006, however, American unions and immigrant rights activists have resurrected May 1 as a day of protest. And this year, in the wake of Occupy Wall Street and the rebirth of a national movement for social justice, a wide spectrum of activist groups will be out in the streets to give voice to the growing crusade for democracy and equality.http://www.thenation.com/article/167611/activists-breathe-new-life-may-day
 
Why you should be worried about the California mad cow case (Mother Jones)
April 27, 2012 -- Move along, nothing to see here.
That sums up the USDA's public reaction to news that a downed California dairy cow was discovered to have contracted bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. The cow had an "atypical" case of BSE, one that likely doesn't come from BSE-infected feed, but rather from a genetic mutation, the agency insists.
Moreover, it never came close to entering the food supply, USDA stressed—it had shown up dead at a rendering facility, where it was randomly chosen for testing as part of the USDA's BSE-testing program. USDA chief Tom Vilsack, ever ready to jump to the meat industry's aid at a time of needdeclared on CNN, "I'm having beef tonight for dinner. And that's no lie."
 http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/04/mad-cow-california
Number of painkiller addicted newborns soars (USA Today)
 
April 30, 2012 -- About 3.4 of every 1,000 infants born in a hospital in 2009 suffered from a type of drug withdrawal commonly seen in the babies of pregnant women who abuse narcotic pain medications, the study says. It's published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
That's about 13,539 infants a year, or one drug-addicted baby born every hour, says the study's lead author, Stephen Patrick, a fellow in neonatal-perinatal medicine at the University of Michigan.
 
New world trade center surpasses Empire State Building (CBS News)
 
April 30, 2012 -- The new One World Trade Center - under construction on the site of the original World Trade Center, destroyed in the 9/11 terror attacks - has surpassed the height of the Empire State Building to become New York City's tallest building.
Workers erected steel columns that make the unfinished frame of the building a little more than 1,250 feet high - the level of the Empire State Building's highest observation deck.
The tower still isn't as high as the antenna that sits on the Empire State Building, but when complete will stand at 1,368 feet, beating out the midtown skyscraper that was for decades the world's tallest. When counting a 408-foot-tall antenna spire that will sit on its roof, the "Freedom Tower" will measures 1,776 feet.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57424100/world-trade-center-tower-surpasses-empire-state/?tag=stack
Why is safety a divisive issue for nuclear regulatory commission? (Los Angeles Times)
 
April 29, 2012 -- Reading between the lines, it's probably fair to say that Greg Jaczko may not be someone you'd want to work for.
As chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, he's been accused of yelling at people, browbeating subordinates and picking fights with his fellow NRC commissioners when he doesn't get his way. That's pretty much the totality of the bill of particulars Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) put out in December in support of a concerted, albeit unsuccessful, campaign to drive Jaczko from his job.
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20120429,0,1556565.column
Wind farms warming earth in Texas: Turbines mixing air at night could affect local climate and farming (Discovery)
 
April 29, 2012 -- New research finds that wind farms actually warm up the surface of the land underneath them during the night, a phenomena that could put a damper on efforts to expand wind energy as a green energy solution.
Researchers used satellite data from 2003 to 2011 to examine surface temperatures across as wide swath of west Texas, which has built four of the world's largest wind farms. The data showed a direct correlation between night-time temperatures increases of 0.72 degrees C (1.3 degrees F) and the placement of the farms.
"Given the present installed capacity and the projected growth in installation of wind farms across the world, I feel that wind farms, if spatially large enough, might have noticeable impacts on local to regional meteorology," Liming Zhou, associate professor at the State University of New York, Albany and author of the paper published April 29 in Nature Climate Change said in an e-mail to Discovery News.
http://news.discovery.com/earth/hot-wind-farms-120429.html
CMS:  Obama healthcare law has saved seniors $34 billion on prescription drugs (The Hill)
April 30, 2012 -- Seniors have saved $3.4 billion on prescription drugs because of President Obama’s healthcare law, the Medicare agency said Monday.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said seniors saved an average of $837 in the first three months of this year.



CMS said more than 5 million seniors have benefited from the law’s drug discounts — a provision that Democrats often highlight as they try to build public support for a law that remains stuck at about 50 percent approval.
http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/224473-cms-health-law-has-saved-seniors-34-billion-on-prescription-drugs
 
Romney: Osama hit was easy call (The Hill)
April 30, 2012 -- Mitt Romney is trying to flip the script on President Obama and use the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death to his own political advantage. 
Romney on Monday dismissed the supposed courageousness of Obama’s decision to send a team of Navy SEALs to Pakistan to kill bin Laden, calling it an easy decision that “even Jimmy Carter” would have made. 
He also announced plans to campaign Tuesday with New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in an appearance timed to the anniversary of bin Laden’s death. 
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/224675-osama-hit-was-easy-call-says-romney
WORLD
 
Mexico passes crime victims’ law (BBC)
 
April 30, 2012 -- Members of Congress in Mexico have unanimously approved a bill which will provide compensation to the victims of organised crime.
The law will create a national body to record such crimes as kidnapping and forced disappearances.
It will also oversee legal, medical and financial support to crime victims.
About 50,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon began deploying soldiers to fight organised crime in 2006.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17902965
2-horse race in final stretch for Egypt presidency (Reuters)
 
April 30, 2012 -- Egypt enters the last stage of its first democratic presidential race on Monday with its field narrowing to a two-horse race between the urbane former head of the Arab League and a charismatic Islamist medic jailed for years under Hosni Mubarak.

A poll published in state-run al-Ahram daily on Monday showed veteran diplomat Amr Moussa in the lead, followed by Abdel Moneim Abol Fotouh, who has emerged in recent days as the leading Islamist candidate after securing the support of the ultra-conservative Salafist movement.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/30/us-egypt-election-idUSBRE83T11R20120430
Ugandan army says Sudan is backingJoseph  Kony’s  LRA (BBC)
 
April 30, 2012 -- The Ugandan army says the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) led by Joseph Kony is being supported and supplied by the Sudanese government.
The LRA is accused of rape, mutilation, murder and the recruitment of child soldiers.
A Ugandan army colonel told the BBC they had captured a member of the LRA who was wearing a Sudanese uniform, and carried its weapons and ammunition.
Sudan's ambassador to London has denied the allegations as "a big lie".
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17890432
Tokyo soil samples would be considered nuclear waste in U.S. (Fairewinds)
 
March 25, 2012 -- While traveling in Japan several weeks ago, Fairewinds’ Arnie Gundersen took soil samples in Tokyo public parks, playgrounds, and rooftop gardens. All the samples would be considered nuclear waste if found here in the US. This level of contamination is currently being discovered throughout Japan. At the US NRC Regulatory Information Conference in Washington, DC March 13 to March 15, the NRC's Chairman, Dr. Gregory Jaczko emphasized his concern that the NRC and the nuclear industry presently do not consider the costs of mass evacuations and radioactive contamination in their cost benefit analysis used to license nuclear power plants. Furthermore, Fairewinds believes that evacuation costs near a US nuclear plant could easily exceed one trillion dollars and contaminated land would be uninhabitable for generations.
http://www.fairewinds.org/content/tokyo-soil-samples-would-be-considered-nuclear-waste-us
Transcript: Obama hails 'light of a new day' in Afghanistan
 
Link for video and transcript:

 

http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/01/politics/obama-afghanistan-speech/index.html