November1, 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:
- Sandy blamed for 157 deaths (CNN)
- Impact by state: States pick up pieces as Sandy fades (CNN)
- Hurricane Sandy blows election off course (Reuters)
- Obama on storm recovery: We will not quit until this is done (CNN)
- Romney’s challenge: How to campaign after Sandy (CBS)
- Romney ties to voting machine company that could decide the election causing concerns (Forbes)
- Romney’s lax regulation may have fueled meningitis outbreak (Salon)
- Did U.S. go too far in secret surveillance of citizens? Case heads to Supreme Court (Christian Science Monitor)
- U.S. sues Bank America for mortgage fraud (NPR)
- Citing food safety concerns, Kroger calls it quits on sprouts (NPR)
- Bloomberg Backs Obama, Citing Fallout From Storm
- Death knell for wind farms: Enough is enough, says Energy Minister in Britain (UK Telegraph)
- In world first, biggest refugee camp gets university (Christian Science Monitor)
- In vitro fertilization increases risk of birth defects (Jerusalem Post)
- AP interview: Japan nuke plant water worries rise (U-T San Diego)
- Did Israel just blow up an Iranian weapons factory in Sudan? (Christian Science Monitor)
- Death toll tops 100 in ethnic strife in Myanmar (NPR)
Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.
Sandy blamed for 157 deaths (CNN)
November 1, 2012 -- Sandy's grim death toll mounted Thursday as survivors struggled to regain a semblance of the normalcy that the storm swept away this week when it struck the Northeast.
The storm was blamed for the deaths of 157 people -- at least 88 of them in the United States, two in Canada and 67 in the Caribbean.
The bodies of two children were found Thursday. The boys, ages 2 and 4, had been riding with their mother on Staten Island when the storm surge swamped their SUV, authorities said.
Impact by state: States pick up pieces as Sandy fades (CNN)
November 1, 2012 -- As Sandy fades after days of inflicting misery, the extent ofthe superstorm's tragedy is becoming clearer.
Dozens of families are making funeral arrangements, with Sandy's death toll standing at 88 in the United States and at least 157 overall, including in the Caribbean and Canada.
Now that floodwaters have begun to recede, those in the hardest-hit areas are sifting through enormous physical wreckage and, in many cases, are facing a steep emotional toll as they try to cope with personal and community loss.
Hurricane Sandy blows election off course (Reuters)
October 28, 2012 -- Hurricane Sandy blew the U.S. presidential race off course on Sunday even before it came ashore, forcing Republican Mitt Romney to shift his campaign inland and fueling fears that the massive storm bearing down on the East Coast could disrupt an election that is already under way.
As he juggled his governing duties with his re-election effort, President Barack Obama said the heavily populated East Coast could face power failures and other disruptions for several days.
Obama on storm recovery: We will not quit until this is done (CNN)
November 1, 2012 -- Cnn's news blog for storm recovery news.
Romney’s challenge: How to campaign after Sandy (CBS)
October 30, 2012 -- In the wake of the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, Mitt Romney had a difficult decision to make: To campaign or not to campaign?
There were compelling cases to be made on both fronts. The argument for campaigning: The election is just one week away, two-thirds of the country is unaffected by the storm, and the candidates want to do everything they can to gain an edge in a very tight race.
Romney ties to voting machine company that could decide the election causing concerns (Forbes)
October 20, 2012 -- It’s 3:00 a.m. on November 7, 2012.
With the painfully close presidential election now down to who wins the battleground state of Ohio, no network dares to call the race and risk repeating the mistakes of 2000 when a few networks jumped the gun on picking a winner.
As the magic boards used by the networks go ‘up close and personal’ on every county in the Buckeye State, word begins to circulate that there might be a snafu with some electronic voting machines in a number of Cincinnati based precincts. There have already been complaints that broken machines were not being quickly replaced in precincts that tend to lean Democratic and now, word is coming in that there may be some software issues.
Romney’s lax regulation may have fueled meningitis outbreak (Salon)
October 30, 2012 -- The fatal meningitis epidemic sweeping the United States can now be traced to the failure of then-Gov. Mitt Romney to adequately regulate the Massachusetts pharmaceutical company that is being blamed for the deaths.
At least 344 people in 18 states have been infected by the growing public health crisis and 25 have died so far.
Did U.S. go too far in secret surveillance of citizens? Case heads to Supreme Court (Christian Science Monitor)
October 28, 2012 -- The US Supreme Court on Monday is set to hear oral argument in a case examining whether Americans have legal standing to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a US surveillance program designed to vacuum up millions of international telephone and email messages to mine for critical intelligence.
The secret program, begun under the Bush administration, uses bottlenecks in the telecommunications system to collect telephone conversations and emails that might help the government collect “foreign intelligence.”
U.S. sues Bank America for mortgage fraud (NPR)
October 24, 2012 -- The government sued Bank of America on Wednesday, claiming it stuck taxpayers with losses by intentionally selling dodgy home loans to the government-backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The civil suit, filed by the U.S. attorney in New York, seeks at least $1 billion in damages. The government says Countrywide Financial, a mortgage lender acquired by Bank of America in 2008, had a system called "the hustle" that skirted quality control to quickly sell defective mortgages to Fannie and Freddie.
Citing food safety concerns, Kroger calls it quits on sprouts (NPR)
October 26, 2012 -- Sprouts have taken one step closer to culinary oblivion, with the big grocery chain Kroger saying that as of this week, it's banishing sprouts from its 2,425 stores because they pose too big a food safety risk.
The crunchy green microplants have long been touted as raw food chock full of nutrients. But that very freshness is also why they've caused more than 54 disease outbreaks since 1990, including a mega-outbreak of E. coli in Germany in 2011 that killed 53 people.
Bloomberg Backs Obama, Citing Fallout From Storm
November 1, 2012 -- In a surprise announcement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Thursday that Hurricane Sandy had reshaped his thinking about the presidential campaign and that as a result, he was endorsing President Obama.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent in his third term leading New York City, has been sharply critical of Mr. Obama, a Democrat, and Mitt Romney, the president’s Republican rival, saying that both men had failed to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. But he said he had decided over the past several days that Mr. Obama was the better candidate to tackle the global climate change that he believes might have contributed to the violent storm, which took the lives of at least 38 New Yorkers and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Death knell for wind farms: Enough is enough, says Energy Minister in Britain (UK Telegraph)
October 30, 2012 -- John Hayes said that we can “no longer have wind turbines imposed on communities” and added that it “seems extraordinary” they have allowed to spread so much throughout the country.
The energy minister said he had ordered a new analysis of the case for onshore wind power which would form the basis of future government policy, rather than “a bourgeois Left article of faith based on some academic perspective”. The comments sparked speculation that Conservative ministers are planning to drop their support for wind farms — a move which would trigger a major Coalition rift.
In world first, biggest refugee camp gets university (Christian Science Monitor)
October 27, 2012 -- Refugees in the world's largest refugee camp will soon be able to go for higher education at the world's first university being set up near a camp for its inhabitants.
The campus is being set up by Kenya's Kenyatta University (KU) near the sprawling “city” of tents of Dadaab, where more than 500,000 people are sheltering from war and famine. It will serve both refugees and local Kenyans.
In vitro fertilization increases risk of birth defects (Jerusalem Post)
October 27, 2012 -- In vitro fertilization may significantly increase the risk of birth defects, particularly those of the eyes, heart, reproductive organs and urinary system, according to a new UCLA study.
UCLA researchers presented findings from their abstract, "Congenital Malformations Associated With Assisted Reproductive Technology: A California Statewide Analysis," recently at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans.
AP interview: Japan nuke plant water worries rise (U-T San Diego)
October 24, 2012 -- Japan's crippled nuclear power plant is struggling to find space to store tens of thousands of tons of highly contaminated water used to cool the broken reactors, the manager of the water treatment team said.
About 200,000 tons of radioactive water - enough to fill more than 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools - are being stored in hundreds of gigantic tanks built around the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant. Operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. has already chopped down trees to make room for more tanks and predicts the volume of water will more than triple within three years.
Did Israel just blow up an Iranian weapons factory in Sudan? (Christian Science Monitor)
October 25, 2012 -- The Sudanese government is blaming Israel for an explosion at a munitions plant in Khartoum early yesterday morning that Israeli media say was owned by Iran's Revolutionary Guard and made arms for Hamas.
The Sudan Tribune reports that Ahmad Bilal Osman, Sudan's media minister, said in a press conference yesterday that the government had proof that Israel was behind the explosion that destroyed the Yarmook military factory and killed two people around midnight.
Death toll tops 100 in ethnic strife in Myanmar (NPR)
October 26, 2012 -- The death toll from recent ethnic violence in Myanmar's western state of Rakhine has surpassed 100, an official said Friday, as the government warned that the strife risks harming the country's reputation as it seeks to install democratic rule.
Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said 112 people had been killed in clashes that began Sunday between members of the Buddhist Rakhine and the Muslim Rohingya communities. He said 72 people were reported injured, including 10 children.