News in Brief: Obama Administration Considering Military Containment of Iran and More ...
Friday 11 June 2010
by: Yana Kunichoff, t r u t h o u t | News in Brief
News estimates of the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico from the leaking BP well may be as high as 53.6 million to 64.3 million gallons if the oil flow has been largely consistent since the April 21 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused the leak. This new estimate of oil spilled, obtained by The Washington Post and calculated by the US Geological Survey, is about five to six times the amount spilled in the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaskan waters. This also indicates that estimates of the flow rate by BP and the federal government severely underestimated the magnitude of the spill.
As Iran continues to defy UN sanctions against its nuclear weapons program, the Obama administration considers harsher moves. According to The New York Times, if Plan A, the containment of Tehran's 20-year-long push for nuclear capability through sanctions against their shipping lines, financial institutions and military-run businesses, fails, the administration has a Plan B, C and D. These plans include military containment and the CIA Braindrain Project to lure Iran's nuclear intelligence to the US, as well as ramping up a Bush-era covert program to undermine the nuclear weapons infrastructure of Iran.
Seventy-four Cuban opposition activists have signed a letter in support of a bill making its way through Congress that would increase American food exports to the island and lift the ban on American travel to Cuba, reported The Associated Press. “We share the opinion that the isolation of the people of Cuba benefits the most inflexible interests of its government, while any opening serves to inform and empower the Cuban people and helps to further strengthen our civil society,” said the letter, which was signed by dissidents including blogger Yoani Sánchez, hunger striker Guillermo Fariñas and human rights leader Elizardo Sánchez.
Ethnic clashes in Kyrgyzstan have killed at least 26 people in the second-largest city of Osh, reported the BBC. The fighting between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek groups has left more than 400 people wounded, and the southern city has declared a state of emergency. Osh is the power base of the former President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was overthrown in April, and home to a sizable, ethnic Uzbek population. The interim government has had little success in imposing order in the city since Bakiyev's removal.
The FBI is investigating a data breach by AT&T, which exposed the email addresses of more than 114,000 owners of the Apple iPad, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. The leak included the addresses of US government officials. "The FBI is aware of these possible computer intrusions and has opened an investigation to address the potential cyber threat," FBI spokesman Jason Pack said Thursday.
Hundreds of remains may have been misidentified or misplaced at Arlington National Cemetery, reported The Associated Press, according to an Army investigation. The cemetery has been the nation's main burial ground for honored dead since the Civil War. Following the revelation, Army Secretary John McHugh said the two civilian leaders of the cemetery would resign, and a new chief would be appointed to conduct an investigation into the scandal. "I deeply apologize to the families of the honored fallen resting in that hallowed ground who may now question the care afforded to their loved ones," McHugh said at a Pentagon news conference.
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