Friday, 5 June 2015

U.S. researchers uncover secret of Greenland's vanishing lakes

Scientists were baffled last year after meltwater lakes atop Greenland's ice sheet suddenly drained out at rates rivaling Niagara Falls.
Now a team of U.S. researchers says it has figured out the bizarre phenomenon and that could help them forecast global sea-level rise.
Vertical shafts in the ice sheet, called moulins, can funnel melt water beneath parts of the glacier and lift them up. This causes cracks beneath the so-called supragalcial lakes that can empty them in days, according to scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MIT/WHOI) Joint Program in Oceanography.
Draining lakes can accelerate sea-level rise by suddenly injecting large volumes of water into the ocean and lubricating the flow of ice offshore. However, the finding suggests that only lakes at lower, warmer altitudes on the ice sheet where moulins are more prevalent are vulnerable, according to the research published in the journal Nature.
"The trigger is less likely to occur at lakes at higher elevations on the ice sheet — even though water volumes in those lakes can be large," according to the research.
"Our discovery will help us predict more accurately how supraglacial lakes will affect ice sheet flow and sea level rise as the region warms in the future," lead author Laura Stevens wrote in a Woods Hole press release.
Scientists at Ohio State and Cornell University said last year that two lakes on the Greenland ice sheet that had previously held billions of gallons of water had mysteriously disappeared.
The Greenland ice sheet covers more than 600,000 square miles (1.6 million square kilometers) and is expected to be a significant contributor to sea-level rise as it melts.

Missouri Gov. Nixon vetoes right-to-work legislation

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a measure Thursday that would have made Missouri the 26th right-to-work state, and it's unclear whether proponents will be able to muster enough support in the Republican-led Legislature to override the veto.
The governor, a longtime opponent of the effort, traveled to the Kansas City area to announce the veto among about 200 local United Auto Workers union members near a Ford assembly plant. The bill would have barred workplace contracts that require all employees— even those who aren't union members — to pay union fees.
"This extreme measure would take our state backward, squeeze the middle-class, lower wages for Missouri families, and subject businesses to criminal and unlimited civil liability," Nixon said in a statement. "Right to work is wrong for Missouri, it's wrong for the middle-class and it must never become the law of the Show-Me State."
The legislation also would make anyone "who directly or indirectly violates" its provisions subject to misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. Civil lawsuits also could be brought against anyone who violates, or threatens to violate, the bill's ban on mandatory union fees in workplaces.
Nixon slammed the bill as a "big-government overreach."
Most of the Missouri's eight neighboring states already have right-to-work laws; the only two that don't are Illinois and Kentucky. Republican legislators and governors in the Midwestern states Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin all enacted right-to-work laws in the past three years.
Supporters in Missouri say the legislation would attract businesses and spur economic growth, citing lawmakers' failure to pass a law as an incentive for companies to instead expand in nearby right-to-work states. Reviews of research into the economic effects of right-to-work laws have generally concluded that it is difficult to isolate that provision from other policies and preferences in the state.
"Missouri is at an economic disadvantage that must be reversed," Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said in a statement. "Missouri has a well-trained workforce and great resources, but we have been told time and again by site-selection consultants that companies pass over non-right-to-work states, no matter their qualifications."
Others tout the measure as a matter of fairness for workers who now can be forced to pay fees even if they don't want to join a union.
Critics argue it would weaken unions by creating a free-rider system and could lead to lower wages.
"If enough members opt out of paying union dues, they're able to basically get the benefits of belonging to the union for free," said Jason Starr, 39, a team leader at Ford's Kansas City Assembly Plant. He said that "would essentially weaken the ability of the union to function."
This year marks the first that Missouri legislators were able to foster enough support to send a bill to the governor, and it came at a cost. The Legislature effectively shut down the last week of session after some GOP senators forced a vote on the measure, and Democrats in response filibustered for days. Only one other bill was passed in the Senate.
Even with a record number of Republicans in the Missouri House and a near-record in the Senate, the bill's original passage still fell short of the two-thirds majority vote that would be needed in both chambers to overturn Nixon's veto. The GOP was split, with some members joining Democrats in opposition. Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, the top Republican in that chamber, was among those who voted against right to work.
While bill sponsor Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, said in a statement that he's "optimistic" fellow representatives will join him in an attempt to override the veto, House Minority Leader Jake Hummel of St. Louis said Democrats are "confident" such efforts would fail.
The measure passed 17 votes short of what's needed to override a veto in the House.
Legislators are to reconvene in September to consider overriding vetoes

Moron’ terrorist takes a selfie in front of ISIS headquarters, Air Force bombs it 22 hours later

Apparently, looks can kill. In a very real story that we assure you did not originate from The Onion, a terrorist from ISIS recently took a selfie of himself and posted it online.
Shortly thereafter, U.S. Intelligence, which heavily monitors social media accounts from ISIS members and supporters, managed to pinpoint an ISIS headquarters building in Syria by using the selfie photo as a reference point.
According to Air Force General Hawk Carlisle (which is a perfect name for an Air Force General we must say), airmen from Hurlburt Field, Florida in the 361st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group were the first to pick up on the photo.
“The guys that were working down out of Hurlburt, they’re combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command,”Carlisle said in an interview with Defense Tech. “And in some social media, open forum, bragging about the command and control capabilities for Daesh, ISIL. And these guys go: ‘We got an in.’ So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three [Joint Direct Attack Munitions] take that entire building out.”

Exclusive: Alleged Dennis Hastert sex abuse victim is named by family

In Steve Reinboldt’s 1970 high school yearbook, wrestling coach Dennis Hastert wrote that Steve was his “great, right hand man” as the student equipment manager of the Yorkville, Illinois wrestling team.
But Steve was also a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Hastert, Steve’s sister said today in an interview with ABC News. It is the first time an alleged Hastert victim has been identified by name since his indictment for lying to the FBI and violating federal banking laws to cover-up past misconduct. Hastert, due in court next week, has not responded to the allegations.
In an emotional interview, Steve Reinboldt’s sister Jolene said she first learned of her late brother’s purported years-long sexual abuse at the hands of the future Speaker of the House back in 1979 when her brother revealed to her that he was gay and had been out of high school for eight years.
“I asked him, when was your first same sex experience. He looked at me and said, ‘It was with Dennis Hastert,’” Jolene said. “I was stunned."
Jolene said she asked her brother why he never told anyone. “And he just turned around and kind of looked at me and said, ‘Who is ever going to believe me?’”
 Jolene said that Steve told her the abuse lasted throughout Steve’s four years of high school as he served as team student manager. “Mr. Hastert had plenty of opportunities to be alone with Steve, because he was there before the meets,” she said. “He was there after everything because he did the laundry, the uniforms. So he was there by himself with him,” she added.
Her brother also spent time with Hastert as a member of an Explorers troop, which Hastert ran. Photos taken by her brother show Hastert with a group of boys on a diving trip to the Bahamas.
Reinboldt’s sister says she has no doubts about the veracity of what her brother told her 36 years ago.
Jolene said she believes the abuse ended when Steve moved away after his high school graduation in 1971. Reinboldt died of AIDS in 1995. She believes Hastert’s alleged actions irrevocably changed Steve's life for the worse.
“He took his belief in himself and his kind of right to be a normal person,” Jolene said. “Here was the mentor, the man who was, you know, basically his friend and stepped into that parental role, who was the one who was abusing him… He damaged Steve I think more than any of us will ever know.”
“I was just there just trying to bite my tongue thinking that blood was coming out because I was just… So after he had gone through the line I followed him out into the parking lot of the funeral home,” Jolene said. “I said, ‘I want to know why you did what you did to my brother.’ And he just stood there and stared at me. He didn’t say, ‘What are you talking about?’ you know, [or], ‘What? I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ He just stood there and stared at me.
“Then I just continued to say, ‘I want you to know your secret didn’t die in there with my brother. And I want you to remember that I’m out here and that I know.’ And again, he just stood there and he did not say a word.”
Hastert got in his car and drove away. Jolene said Hastert’s non-response “said everything.”
In the two decades after Steve’s death, Jolene said that she tried to expose Hastert, even writing to ABC News and another news organization as well as some advocacy groups in 2006 after another congressman, Rep. Mark Foley, was discovered having sexually explicit message exchanges with an underage male page.
At the time ABC News could not corroborate Jolene's allegation and Hastert denied the claim.
 So for years, Jolene watched helplessly as Hastert basked in fame and power, seated to the left of the president for years in the early 2000s for the nationally-televised State of the Union address.
“I would just watch for a while and then I would just have to get up and leave the room and just, you know, either cry or scream,” Jolene said. “I can’t believe the audacity of that man and how he thinks he will get away with it.”
She said she struggled with the decision to try and put it all behind her.
“I finally got to a point where I needed – I just had to lay it down,” she said. “And right before this last Christmas, I had – I have a couple of bins and things, boxes that have a lot of his [Steve’s] stuff in it – and I just remember sitting on the floor, packing it all up and just saying, ‘Steve, I did the best I could. And I know you’re okay.’”
Then just two weeks ago, Jolene said she got a message from the FBI. They wanted to talk about Hastert.
“That’s when I just kind of lost it and said, 'Oh my God, I can’t believe – I never thought I was going to get this phone call… I thought it was over,'” she said.
A few days after that Jolene and her husband watched on television as it was reported Hastert had been indicted on charges of bank fraud relating to large payments to someone that Hastert undertook to conceal “prior misconduct.”
“There are no words to describe what it felt like, to, you, know, it’s just like Stevie had done it. It’s gonna happen, we got him,” she recalls thinking when the news broke.
Sources knowledgeable of the case told ABC News Hastert was paying a man -- still unidentified except as “Individual A” -- hundreds of thousands of dollars to hide that Hastert had engaged in sexual misconduct with him while Hastert was the high school wrestling coach.
Jolene never asked for money from Hastert, but his sister believes that “Individual A” is familiar with what happened with her brother. She does not know who Individual A is, but she said she’s thankful that Hastert’s alleged misconduct is coming to light.
“I feel vindicated and that Steve’s vindicated, that Mr. Hastert can’t pull this wool over everybody’s eyes,” she said. “Finally the truth comes out.”
Jolene said she wanted to speak publicly on behalf of her family about her brother’s ordeal because she believes there may be other victims and she wanted them to know they’re not alone, “that when they were kids, at that point in their life when they were going through this, it wasn't talked about like it is now.”
“But now there’s people that are going to believe them,” Jolene said. “I just think it’s really important that these kids get a chance to work through this because I think it’s going to give them a lot of relief... Please, come forward.”
Hastert, now 73, is scheduled to make his first court appearance regarding the fraud charges next week. Hastert and his representatives have repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations, including to ABC News for this report.
The FBI declined to comment for this report.

New Abia Governor drops 'His Excellency' title, bans congratulatory messages & advertisement

Press statement from the Governor's office
The Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has formally directed that the appellations; His Excellency and Executive , be dropped in all official and informal communication with him. He would rather prefer to be addressed simply as Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, Governor of Abia State. The Governor wants all public communication to be concentrated on the work and policies of the state and not on the person of the Governor and has therefore directed all contractors, political groups, individuals and party loyalists not to put his portrait on billboards, posters and signages but to only use the pictures of ongoing projects in their billboards and posters.
The Governor has also directed the general public to remove all congratulatory posters and election billboards littering the environment as these public posters are defacing the environment of the state. He has further charged the people of the State to be partners with Government in ensuring a healthy and beautiful environment. He is also, by this directive, re-assuring the good people of Abia State of his mission of service to the people and therefore urged the citizenry to key into the new vision.

Signed: Godwin Adindu Chief Press Secretary to the Govern