ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

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May 9, 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.     
  • Gouged by the Wind Renewable fuel mandates are raising electricity prices in the states. 
  • Obama makes his case for another term
  • Should Mitt Romney worry about Ron Paul? (Christian Science Monitor)
  • How Ron Paul could mess with Romney at the GOP convention (Bloomberg)
  • Key 9-11 suspects to appear in court (BBC)
  • CIA thwarts new underwear bomb plot by al Qaeda (CBS)
  • U.N.:  U.S. should give back stolen lands to Indian tribes (UK Guardian)
  • U.S. unemployment falls to 8.1 percent, economy adds 115,000 new jobs (RawStory)
  • Wind farms warming Texas (Discovery News)
WORLD
  • Thousands rejoice as Japan shuts off nuclear power (NPR)
  • Socialists celebrate as French vote nears close (Reuters)
  • Socialist Hollande in, Sarkozy out as France elects new president (CNN)
  • Greek’s governing parties lose majority at polls (BBC)
  • Putin returns to presidency in a changed Russia (UT San Diego)
  • Rupert Murdoch declared unfit to lead: The price of half-truths? (Christian Science Monitor)
  • Running blind: Chinese activist’s dramatic escape (UT San Diego/AP)
  • Ahmadinejad’s support crumbles in Iran runoff (UT San Diego)
  • The sorry lessons of green power subsidies (Globe and Mail)
  • Antarctic ice melting from below – video (Christian Science Monitor)
 
Scroll down for excerpts and links to full stories.  

U.S. 

     
Gouged by the Wind Renewable fuel mandates are raising electricity prices in the states.

May 4, 2012 Politicians keep promising to reduce energy prices, but they keep ignoring one easy step: repeal renewal energy standards. Twenty-nine states have these rules requiring local utilities to purchase between 20% and 33% of their electric power from renewable sources. They were enacted over the past decade when lawmakers bought into the fad about cheap "clean energy." Their real effect has been to force utilities to pay above-market prices for electricity, which means higher electric bills for consumers.
No state has learned that lesson the hard way more than Minnesota. In 2007 the legislature mandated that utilities ramp up their renewables ...http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303592404577364244006391420.html?mod=rss_opinion_main
Obama makes his case for another term
 
May 5, 2012 -- President Barack Obama officially launched his reelection bid Saturday, drawing a sharp contrast between his vision and his challenger's, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
"We're not going back.... We're going forward," the president said to a fiery crowd at Ohio State University in Columbus.
Repeatedly using his new campaign slogan "Forward," the president suggested that a Romney presidency would reverse Mr. Obama's policies benefiting the middle class and, instead, "rubber stamp" the congressional Republicans' agenda, reviving ideas of deregulation and trickle-down-economics that would benefit the wealthy.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57428592-503544/obama-makes-his-case-for-another-term/?tag=stack
Should Mitt Romney worry about Ron Paul? (Christian Science Monitor)

May 5, 2012 -- Ron Paul
 has the proverbial snowball’s chance in Hades of becoming the Republican presidential nominee this year. Compared to presumptive front-runner Mitt Romney (switching clichés) the image of gnat vs. elephant comes to mind.

Texas congressman Paul has yet to win a primary election or caucus. Romney has accumulated 10 times as many delegates as Paul (847-80). And yet long after the withdrawal of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich(both of whom had won more than twice as many delegates as Paul before quitting), the dedicated libertarian keeps on keepin’ on.
 
How Ron Paul could mess with Romney at the GOP convention (Bloomberg)
 
May 7, 2012 -- Mitt Romney wants nothing more than to lock up the Republican nomination and focus entirely on beating President Obama. But for Ron Paul’s supporters, the long primary season ain’t over till it’s over. The Texas congressman hasn’t won a single primary in his third run for the White House, yet his acolytes are much savvier at political maneuvering than in campaigns past. This year they’re determined to influence the nominating process at the GOP convention in Tampa.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-07/how-ron-paul-could-mess-with-romney-at-the-gop-convention
 
Key 9-11 suspects to appear in court (BBC)
 
May 6, 2012 -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others accused of plotting the 2001 attacks refused to respond to questions during the nine-hour hearing.
One launched into a defiant outburst, suggesting the Americans might kill him before the end of the trial.
The five refused to enter pleas on murder and terrorism charges.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17966362
CIA thwarts new underwear bomb plot by al Qaeda (CBS)
 
May 7, 2012 -- The CIA thwarted a plot by al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a new design, a U.S. counter-terrorism official tells CBS News. Officials, however, deny there was ever any immediate threat to the public.
U.S. officials tell CBS News the plot involved an upgrade of the underwear bomb that failed to detonate aboard a jetliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009. This new bomb was also built to be used in a passenger's underwear but contained a more refined detonation system.
 
U.N.:  U.S. should give back stolen lands to Indian tribes (UK Guardian)
 
May 4, 2012 -- A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.
James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.
 
U.S. unemployment falls to 8.1 percent, economy adds 115,000 new jobs (RawStory)
 
May 4, 2012 -- The US unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in April as the economy created a modest 115,000 jobs, official figures showed Friday, the eve of President Barack Obama’s maiden reelection rally.
Despite the meager job creation, the Labor Department data showed unemployment at the lowest level in over three years.
But the report will do little to sweeten popular sentiment about the health of the recovery, which has been beset by pitfalls.
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/05/04/u-s-unemployment-rate-falls-to-8-1-percent-economy-adds-115000-new-jobs/ 
Wind farms warming Texas (Discovery News)
 
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.
http://news.discovery.com/earth/hot-wind-farms-120429.html

WORLD
 
Thousands rejoice as Japan shuts off nuclear power (NPR)
 
May 5, 2012 -- Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation's 50 nuclear reactors Saturday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol.
Japan will be without electricity from nuclear power for the first time in four decades when the reactor at Tomari nuclear plant on the northern island of Hokkaido goes offline for routine maintenance.
http://www.npr.org/2012/05/05/152082036/thousands-rejoice-as-japan-shuts-off-nuclear-power?ft=1&f=1004
Socialists celebrate as French vote nears close (American Police Beat)
 
California is often called the trend-setter state: the place where new things are born and then spread across the nation. The most recent wave of attacks on law enforcement pensions is well underway on the left coast and will most likely be coming to your state if it is not already there. A related American Police Beat article this month reports that the City of San Francisco plans to put a charter amendment on the ballot to “drastically reshape the city’s pension system.” A “Charter City” is one which is governed by its own charter or “constitution.”
http://www.apbweb.com/news/9-opinion-editorial/1456-the-problem-with-charter-cities.html
 
 Socialist Hollande in, Sarkozy out as France elects new president (CNN)
 
May 6, 2012 -- Francois Hollande defeated French President Nicolas Sarkozy in a presidential runoff Sunday, signaling a shift to the left as the country and Europe fight to dig out of a weak economy.
In a victory speech to supporters in Tulle, Hollande declared his win "a great date for our country, and a new start for Europe."
 
Greek’s governing parties lose majority at polls (BBC)
 
May 7, 2012 -- Two-thirds of Greek voters backed parties opposed to the EU/IMF deal, renewing fears that Athens may default on its debts and leave the eurozone.
Germany's Angela Merkel has made clear that Greece's reforms must go on.
But her focus on austerity has taken a knock with the election in France of pro-growth Socialist Francois Hollande.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17975370
Putin returns to presidency in a changed Russia (UT San Diego)
 
 May 5, 2012  -- Vladimir Putin's return to the presidency on Monday will technically give him greater powers than he wielded as prime minister. The irony is that his position will be arguably weaker than at any time since he first came to power more than 12 years ago.
In part because of the heavy-handed way in which he reclaimed the presidency, Putin finds himself the leader of a changed country, where a growing portion of society is no longer willing to silently tolerate a government that denies its citizens a political voice.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/05/putin-returns-to-presidency-in-a-changed-russia/ 
Rupert Murdoch declared unfit to lead: The price of half-truths? (Christian Science Monitor)

May 1, 012 -- In Rupert Murdoch's appearances before the British parliamentary inquiry into allegations of illegal phone hacking and bribery of public officials by two of his UK newspapers, his strategy has been a simple one: Claim he had no knowledge of the extent of the problem, complain that he was misled by subordinates, and promise to fix the culture of his company going forward.

In the damning report News International and Phone-Hacking, the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee has now responded by saying, in effect, that if Mr. Murdoch is taken at his word then he should no longer be running his $49 billion News Corporation.
 
Running blind: Chinese activist’s dramatic escape (UT San Diego/AP)
 
April 30 , 2012 --  Chen Guangcheng's blindness was a help and a hindrance as he made his way past the security cordon ringing his farmhouse.
He knew the terrain - he had explored his village in rural China as a blind child and moved as easily in darkness as in daylight. He was alert for the sounds of people, cars and the river he would have to cross.
But he stumbled scores of times, arriving bloody at a meeting point with a fellow dissident - the first of an underground railroad of supporters who eventually escorted him to safety with U.S. diplomats.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/apr/30/running-blind-chinese-activists-dramatic-escape/ 
Ahmadinejad’s support crumbles in Iran runoff (UT San Diego)
 
May 5, 2012 --  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's support in Iran's parliament crumbled as final results released Saturday showed conservative rivals consolidating their hold on the legislative body in a runoff vote.
Iran has touted a robust turnout for Friday's vote as a show of support for the country's religious leadership in its confrontation with the West over the Islamic Republic's controversial nuclear program.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/may/05/ahmadinejads-support-crumbles-in-iran-runoff/ 
The sorry lessons of green power subsidies (Globe and Mail)
 
April 30 , 2012 -- A recent study, co-authored by Fraser Institute energy economist Gerry Angevine, found that Ontario residents will pay an average of $285-million more for electricity each year for the next 20 years as a result of subsidies to renewable energy companies.
By the end of 2013, Ontario household power rates will be the second-highest in North America (after PEI), and they will continue to accelerate while they level off in most other jurisdictions. Even more alarming for Ontario’s economic competitiveness, businesses and industrial customers will be hit by almost $12-billion in additional costs over the same period.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/the-sorry-lessons-of-green-power-subsidies/article2417284/ 
Antarctic ice melting from below – video (Christian Science Monitor)

April 26, 2012 -- Data collected from a NASA ice-watching satellite reveal that the vast ice shelves extending from the shores of  western Antarctica are being eaten away from underneath by ocean currents, which have been growing warmer even faster than the air above.

The animation above shows the circulation of ocean currents around the western Antarctic ice shelves. The shelf thickness is indicated by the color; red is thicker (greater than 550 meters), while blue is thinner (less than 200 meters).
http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0426/Antarctic-ice-melting-from-below-reveals-satellite-video?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+feeds%2Fscience+%28Christian+Science+Monitor+|+Science%29