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Koch Industries refuses to comply with US senators' climate investigation

Koch industriesThe Koch brothers’ conglomerate Koch Industries has refused to comply with an investigation by three Senate Democrats into whether the company has funded groups or researchers who deny or cast doubt on climate change.

In response to a request from senators Barbara Boxer, Edward Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse for information about Koch Industries’ support for scientific research, Koch general counsel Mark Holden invoked the company’s first amendment rights.


Elderly Indian nun gang-raped in convent school attack

Indian nun rapedPolice in eastern India are searching for a group of six men who gang-raped an elderly nun in West Bengal.

The men ransacked the convent school in Ranaghat early on Saturday morning and stole money before entering the convent itself.  The 74-year-old nun is now recovering in hospital.

Christian groups have recently held protests in the Indian capital, Delhi, saying they are being targeted and demanding better protection.


Military restrictions hinder Gitmo coverage, media say

GitmoOnly a handful of news organizations were represented at the latest installment in the trial of the alleged co-conspirators of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

A major factor in the lack of robust coverage is the location — Guantanamo Bay, the controversial detention center where journalists are often hindered by the military's media restrictions and limitations.


South Pacific cyclone leaves 'utter devastation,' at least eight dead

South pacific cycloneTropical Cyclone Pam "utterly devastated" the South Pacific Vanuatu islands, killing at least eight people, relief workers said. More casualties are expected.

The Category 5 storm, packing 167 mph winds with gusts up to 200 mph, left a trail of destruction that stretched the nation of Vanuatu, an archipelago of 80 islands off Australia's northeastern coast. Homes were leveled and power lines were downed. There is no running water or electricity in the capital city of Port Vila, where about 47,000 people live. There are reports of entire villages being decimated.


Dozens feared dead as Myanmar ferry sinks

Myanmar ferry sinksAt least 47 people are feared dead after an overloaded ferry sank in bad weather off the western coast of Myanmar, government officials said Saturday, though local residents said they believed the death toll was much higher.

The ship was reportedly carrying 214 passengers and crew when it ran into high seas late on Friday on a voyage from the coastal town of Taunggok to Sittwe, capital of Rakhine state, a police officer in Sittwe told Agence France-Presse.


A Very Special Pi Day: 3/14/15

Pi dayHappy birthday, Einstein! But this is also Pi Day, and a very special Pi Day at that.

Why so special? The date is 3/14/15, the first five digits in the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

And—get ready for this—at 26 minutes and 53 seconds after 9 a.m., we will pass a date and time represented by the first 10 digits of π. Very exciting! If you miss it, there will be one more chance at 9 p.m. After that, you’ll have to wait another 100 years for that auspicious moment to happen again, assuming that we will still be writing our Julian calendar dates as we do in America.


NASA Scientist Says Epic Drought Leaving California With Only 1 Year Of Water Left

California schoolsA NASA scientist is saying California only has about one year of water left in its reservoirs, after years of record drought.

In an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Jet Propulsion Laboratory / Caltech senior water scientist Jay Famigleitti cited data from NASA satellites, which show water stored in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins was 34 million acre-feet below normal in 2014.

“We’re not just up a creek without a paddle in California, we’re losing the creek too,” the scientist wrote.


Ellen Pao gender discrimination trial grips Silicon Valley

ellen PaoIt is standing room only in court 602 of the superior court of San Francisco, the hallways are blocked by television news crews and satellite TV trucks line the sunny streets outside.

Of those who have managed to secure a seat in the courtroom, a significant proportion have laptops out, busily transcribing every word of the proceedings straight to live blogs for the many tech websites fighting to provide the most comprehensive coverage.


Son of Carl Sagan is a 9/11 truther: ‘It’s a cover up, basically’

Jeremy saganIn an interview with Internet broadcast 9/11 Free Fall, the son of the late Carl Sagan claimed that there is a massive conspiracy to “cover up” evidence that the collapse of the World Trade Center tower in 2001 was an inside a job.

The interview was highlighted by Gizmodo on Thursday.

Jeremy Sagan, the son of Sagan and his first wife, biologist Lynn Margulis, told Free Fall host Andrew Steele that he grew more suspicious about the collapse after watching video at a friend’s house, months after the attack that killed almost 2,700 people in New York City that day.


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