Officials Caught Forcing State Scientist to Alter Findings to Cover Up Earthquake Fracking Link

frackingfracking

Hydraulic fracturing is a natural gas extraction method that has become extremely controversial for its environmental impacts. Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand, and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. Wastewater produced from this process is highly toxic and filled with a variety of chemicals.

In many cases, people who live near fracking sites have been able to set fire to the water and air that comes through their pipes. It has also been found to contaminate drinking water. Unfortunately, fracking is still somewhat popular publicly because people know very little about it and it is also popular politically because all of the politicians have a hand in it.

Due to an increased prevalence of seismic activity in the vicinity of fracking areas, many activists have pointed that this process may cause earthquakes as well. While environmentalists have been hoping to raise awareness about this problem for years, new testimony from one of the country’s top seismologists gives us a glimpse into why the scientific community has been largely silent about this issue.

According to Austin Holland, the former lead seismologist for the state of Oklahoma, officials at the University of Oklahoma worked to actively cover up scientific findings that linked fracking to earthquakes. Oklahoma is one of the most drastic examples of how fracking can cause an upsurge in seismic activity, with the state seeing 639 earthquakes in the year of 2016 alone.

In a deposition last month, Holland stated that Larry Grillot, former dean of OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, and Randy Keller, the former director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey pressured him to alter his findings to be more favorable to fracking companies. After the incident, Holland left his position at OU and the Oklahoma Geologic Survey.

“I don’t know if ‘angry’ is the right word, but just disappointed … that I’d spent my time working towards something, and I thought I was in my dream job, and then I couldn’t be a scientist and do what scientists do, and that’s publish with colleagues. Well, that’s the point at which I realized that for my scientific credibility, I had to leave the position I was in,” Holland said.

Keller and Grillot took issue with Holland’s report because they said that it advocated for specific policy changes. However, the only policy measures that Holland advocated was to ensure that important information about fracking and its effects were made available to the public.

Holland was told that the following passage in his article was “unacceptable“:

“Even if a network is owned and operated by industry, regulators must ensure that seismic data are not withheld from the public,” the report read. “Similarly, making injection data, such as daily injection rates, wellhead pressures, depth of the injection interval, and properties of the target formation, publicly accessible can be invaluable for attaining a better understanding of fluid-induced earthquakes. Open sharing of data can benefit all stakeholders, including industry, by enabling the research needed to develop more effective techniques for reducing the seismic hazard.”

Holland went through with publishing the report anyway, and although he did not receive a formal reprimand, his superiors were not pleased.

“Well, the president of the university expressed to me that I had complete academic freedom, but that as part of being an employee of the state survey, I also have a need to listen to the people within the oil and gas industry. So Harold Hamm expressed to me that I had to be careful of the way in which I say things, that hydraulic fracturing is critical to the state’s economy in Oklahoma, and that me publicly stating that earthquakes can be caused by hydraulic fracturing was — could be misleading, and that he was nervous about the war on fossil fuels at the time,” Holland said.

Holland also pointed out that while energy companies and environmentalists both contacted him and attempted to recruit him as a spokesperson for their cause, he did not feel directly threatened by them as he did by the bureaucratic structure within his own industry.

“I was navigating a difficult landscape, but I was not pressured by industry to change what I’m doing, I was pressured by staff. Now, I did — was pressured by Harold Hamm to change the way I spoke about [fracking] in public. And I did have people in the industry say, ‘Well, you can’t say that’ or ‘You can’t say this.’ But the ones that actually write the paycheck control what I say in the public eye and what I don’t,” Holland said.

It was also reported this week that the EPA approved dangerous fracking chemicals even though previous studies had shown that they had a significant negative impact on living creatures and ecosystems.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/officials-force-state-scientist-alter-findings-earthquake-fracking-link/

‘They Killed Him’ Officials Delayed Care For Vermont Inmate Suffering From Untreated Cancer


Bobby Hutt died of cancer in October 2014, after suffering for over a year. His sisters say the Vermont Department of Corrections “killed him” by waiting until the cancer got so bad that Bobby’s leg broke beneath him.

Like many people who have lost a loved one to cancer, his sisters look back on his decline with a mix of love and despair.

Bobby’s older sister, Melissa Dumont, and younger sister, Janice Hutt, spent most of 2014 fighting to bring Bobby home.

He found out about his diagnosis in January 2014, as an inmate at a privately owned prison in Arizona contracted by the Vermont Department of Corrections. Before his diagnosis, Bobby spent months requesting medical care for a pain in his leg. One day in November 2013 as he put his pants on in his cell, his sisters say, Bobby’s femur snapped.

He was sent to emergency surgery in a nearby hospital. According to a lawsuit filed by his sisters, the bone in his leg was visibly abnormal during surgery. Bobby wasn’t told about his cancer for weeks after that.

That’s one of those things his sisters still seethe about. They haven’t forgiven the Vermont Department of Corrections officials who they say allowed this to happen, or the prison staff who missed opportunities to get their brother the help he needed.

“I think if they had acknowledged when he broke his femur that he had cancer and had started treatments then, he may have had more time with us,” Dumont says.

“Or if they had actually done an X-Ray when he first started complaining about his leg,” Janice Hutt adds. “You know, maybe he wouldn’t have broken it. Maybe it wouldn’t have spread, and he’d still be here.”

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Officials Fight To Suppress Video Of Brownsville Police Officer Fatally Shooting Man


The Brownsville, Texas Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety have decided to ask a Texas Attorney General’s Office opinion regarding the release of police body camera video that shows police officers killing a man after they allegedly feared for their lives.

It seems strange that they would not want the video to be released if it supports their disputed version of the incident.

German Ornelas, 31, was fatally shot Oct. 5 as police tried to serve a warrant on him, reported The Browsville Herald.

Police claim Ornelas was armed with a knife and refused to put it down. The Brownsville PD incident report alleges Ornelas lunged at them with the knife and the officers fired multiple gunshots at him because they feared for their lives.

The victim’s family, who was present when he was killed, dispute the police version of events, saying that Ornelas was not armed when officers killed him.

The shooting was caught on body camera video, and The Brownsville Herald on Oct. 6 filed a Texas Open Records Act request with Brownsville PD and the DPS seeking access to the video, police reports and radio communications pertaining to the shooting.

In their letters to the AG, both Brownsville PD and the DPS state that because the shooting is an ongoing investigation, the release of the video would interfere with the investigation and prosecution of the case. Their requests for an AG opinion were filed Oct. 20.

The Texas Rangers are investigating the killing which occurred at an apartment complex located at 55 West St. Charles St.

The Herald reported on the police version of the events:

Investigators with Brownsville PD’s Special Investigation Unit were attempting to serve a burglary of habitation felony warrant on Ornelas.

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Texas Officials Forcing Hurricane Victims to Pledge Loyalty to Israel to Receive Funding—Seriously

israelisrael

As the Americans who were affected by Hurricane Harvey attempt to rebuild their homes and replace their belongings, they have the option to request help from the city they live in—but residents in Dickinson, Texas, are learning that their city’s “Harvey Repair Grant” comes with a strange clause.

According to a document titled “Hurricane Harvey Repair Grant Application and Agreement” from the City of Dickinson, in addition to a requirement that the applicant “must adhere to all applicable rules, regulations, and laws, including building codes, safety rules and securing of all required permits,” there is also a “verification not to boycott Israel” agreement.

Verification not to Boycott Israel. By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.”

Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney drew attention to the document on Twitter, writing, “It’s true, folks. One has to pledge not to boycott Israel in order to get funding to rebuild your home.”

The American Civil Liberties Union released a statement criticizing the requirement and noting that while “the city appears to be enforcing a recently passed Texas law that requires all state contractors to certify that they are not participating in boycotts of Israel,” it is still a clear violation of the First Amendment.

“The First Amendment protects Americans’ right to boycott, and the government cannot condition hurricane relief or any other public benefit on a commitment to refrain from protected political expression. Dickinson’s requirement is an egregious violation of the First Amendment, reminiscent of McCarthy-era loyalty oaths requiring Americans to disavow membership in the Communist party and other forms of ‘subversive’ activity.”

The Supreme Court ruled on the “right to boycott” in the 1982 case of NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. As the ACLU noted, the Supreme Court acknowledged that the NAACP’s decision to boycott a Mississippi business to protest segregation and racial injustice was a protected form of free association and free expression,” based on the fact that “political boycotts empower individuals to collectively express their dissatisfaction with the status quo and advocate for political, social, and economic change. These are precisely the freedoms the Constitution is meant to protect.

As The Free Thought Project reported in July, the United States Congress is currently considering the Israel Anti-Boycott Act, which would make it a crime to “boycott Israel” that could lead to “a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison.”

“Under the terms of the bill, a pair of U.S. laws that prohibit U.S. citizens from supporting a boycott request from a foreign government against an ally of the United States would be updated to specifically prohibit Americans from supporting international boycott efforts against Israel.”

In addition to the problems that stem from the fact that requiring Americans to agree to not “boycott Israel” is in direct violation of their rights to free speech guaranteed by the First Amendment, it is also a broad term that can be defined in a number of ways.

Does agreeing not to boycott Israel mean that one specifically agrees not to support the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Movement against Israel, or can the meaning be as broad as to include that one agrees to not criticize the Israeli government, the blockade it has imposed on Palestine, or even the nearly $4 Billion the U.S. sends Israel in military assistance each year?

In the following video, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul looks at the proposed Israel Anti-Boycott Act and notes that even some Americans who support the United States’ close relationship with Israel, have criticized the act for violating the First Amendment.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/hurricane-harvey-israel-pledge/

‘UK teen almost hacking US officials a serious concern for American security’

British teenager Kane Gamble pleaded guilty to trying to hack top US officials’ personal computers.

Gamble is autistic and was only 15 years old when he attempted to hack the computers of former CIA chief John Brennan and the head of security of the Obama administration. He was released on bail and is due to be sentenced by a British regional court in December.

While it is not clear how close Gamble was to getting hold of sensitive information, red flags have been raised about the ability of the US government network to defend itself against hacking.

RTKane Gamble is charged with attempting to hack the computers. Did he actually get access to sensitive information?

Mark Chapman: The important thing to recognize here is that he’s pleaded guilty to the hacking allegations. That is certainly something that we don’t condone. But there is a serious concern here – vulnerability of American computers – because if a British teenager can get access, or even look to get enough access that he has been caught, that is something that other hackers, be they from rogue states, be they from anyone wishing to do the US harm… that is very concerning.

RT:  Were they personal computers with highly sensitive personal information, or just somebody’s laptops?

MC: As I understand it, they were personal computers. But that distinction isn’t perhaps as significant as people would often make out. If you can access somebody’s personal computer, you learn all about their life, you can then use that information to get the passwords, to get everything that they know, that they have, to enable to then use that information to access further. 

RT:   So the guy just admitted that he attempted to get this information. So, if he didn’t manage to enter the system, doesn’t that mean that the security here actually worked?

MC: That is one for the CIA to be looking at themselves. Clearly it is very concerning that however close he got, whether or not he got in, that it was close enough for them to be concerned, for them to not just brush it off, but go to the effort of informing the UK government of putting the arrest in place for him to have to plead guilty to the charges.

RT:  Kane is autistic and was about 15 years old when he committed the crimes. Will they go lightly on him because of that?

MC: It is hard to tell. I think it would be the right thing to do if that was the case. However, we saw with Gary McKinnon that the element of autism isn’t something that will be taken into account. His age might well be. This is a child, when he was committing those crimes. We will have to see what happens in due course.

Source Article from https://www.rt.com/usa/406040-us-computers-vulnerable-hackers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Catalonia referendum: 90% voted for independence, say officials – live updates


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California officials prepare for nuclear strike deriving from North Korea



(INTELLIHUB) — On Aug. 16 the Joint Regional Intelligence Center released an unclassified 16-page bulletin to officials in the State of California titled “Nuclear Attack Response Considerations” which details key points to review “radiation protection basics” regarding “nuclear explosions.”

The bulletin goes on to warn that a nuclear attack in the region ‘would lead to devastating casualties critical infrastructure damage and extended elevated radiation levels’ and points out that the electromagnetic pulse triggered by such an explosion would take out communications infrastructure which would hinder response time.

“There will be no significant federal assistance at the scene for 24–72 hours following the attack. The full extent of federal resources will not be available for several days,” it warns. “Immediate shelter, followed by evacuation, will be required for the general public. With limited understanding of radiation risks, they will experience high anxiety and may be non-compliant.”

A nuclear attack in the Southern California would be catastrophic” it says, also pointing out that first responders are sworn to their duty and “are expected to remain operational to preserve human life, maintain order, and aid in the recovery process.”

“Continuity of Government/operations (COG/COOP) plans will be activated.”

Los Angeles, California (Ron Reiring/Flickr)
©2017. INTELLIHUB.COM All Rights Reserved. 

Shepard Ambellas is an opinion journalist, analyst, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Intellihub News & Politics (Intellihub.com). Shepard is also known for producing Shade: The Motion Picture (2013) and appearing on Travel Channel’s America Declassified (2013). Shepard is a regular contributor to Infowars. Read more from Shep’s World. Follow Shep on Facebook. Subscribe to Shep’s YouTube channel.


Source Article from https://www.intellihub.com/california-officials-prepare-for-nuclear-strike-deriving-from-north-korea/

Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego has officials washing streets and extending public restroom hours as the disease infects hundreds

Image: Hepatitis A outbreak in San Diego has officials washing streets and extending public restroom hours as the disease infects hundreds

(Natural News)
San Diego has long been known for its beaches and zoo, but now it is making a name for itself in far less appealing categories, like feces and disease.

A state of emergency for San Diego Country was declared on September 1 as the city contends with an outbreak of Hepatitis A. Nearly 450 people there have been infected by the illness, with a further 70 cases popping up in Santa Cruz.

Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that is usually spread by consuming contaminated water and food or by contact with someone who is infected with it – or their fecal matter. The city’s increasing homeless population and general lack of public bathrooms are believed to be contributing to the outbreak. San Diego County has the nation’s fourth largest homeless population.

The outbreaks have prompted city officials to sanitize the streets and other areas downtown that have been described as “fecally contaminated.” A spokesman for the city’s mayor says the cleanings will take place three times per week every other week. This entails using high-pressure washing with bleach-spiked water to get rid of all the feces, bodily fluids, blood and other contaminants from surfaces. It is believed that the outbreak could end up costing the county’s health department as much as $1 million.

According to the Huffington Post, Hepatitis A can spread quite easily. For example, you could get it from touching a door handle right after a contagious person who didn’t wash their hands touched it and then eating lunch. Many homeless people defecate outside due to a lack of city restroom facilities, so it’s easy to imagine just how big this problem could become.

Ease of transmission fueling worries

Its ease of transmission has small business owners, especially restaurants, in the affected areas concerned that even the slightest misstep could cause them to infect customers and lose business. This particular outbreak might not be related to food safety, but should a restaurant worker become contaminated, for example, they could easily pass it on to all of the people who dine there.

The city has extended restroom hours and installed more than 40 hand washing stations in places where homeless people tend to sleep in hopes of getting the problem under control. Homeless people are the most likely to contract and spread Hepatitis A, and illicit drug users are also highly vulnerable. The hand washing stations contain information about how the disease is spread.

Hepatitis A has an incubation period of between two and three weeks. It can range in severity depending on the person. Those with the illness might experience a loss of appetite, fever, nausea, jaundice, diarrhea, and dark-colored urine. In the worst cases, it can spur acute liver failure and become fatal.

Poor sanitation, a lack of clean water, living or having sexual relations with a person who is infected, traveling to high-risk areas and recreational drug use are considered risk factors. The illness does not have any specific treatment, and it can take several months to recover from its symptoms.

Outbreaks also reported in L.A. County

On Tuesday, L.A. County declared a hepatitis A outbreak as well. Ten cases have been reported there so far, half of which were linked to the San Diego outbreaks. Some of the infected individuals are drug users and homeless people, and others are health care workers who helped those who were infected. It won’t be surprising to see even more areas following suit as this highly contagious disease continues to spread.

Sources include:

DailyMail.co.uk

FoxNews.com

HuffingtonPost.com

NBCSanDiego.com

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Source Article from http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-09-20-hepatitis-a-outbreak-in-san-diego-has-officials-washing-streets-and-extending-public-restroom-hours.html

“A Lot of People Will Be Killed”: California Officials Preparing for Nuclear Attack

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(ZH) With each passing day and each new ICBM launch from a seemingly unhinged North Korean dictator, the fears of an attack on the U.S. mainland, though faint, increasingly weigh on the hearts and minds of Americans, particularly those in California.  As The Guardian points out this week, those fears have even prompted a group of California public health officials and emergency responders to gather for a strategy session with Hal Kempfer, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel, to discuss which areas are the most likely targets and how citizens should respond to an attack.

“A lot of people will be killed,” he said, “but a large percentage of the population will survive. They will be at risk and they will need help.”

“If you want to mess up southern California, if you want to mess up the west coast, if you want to mess up our country – where do you attack?” Kempfer asks. “If I’m sitting in North Korea and looking at possible targets, I’m going to be looking at Long Beach very closely.”

He talks about the port and downtown Long Beach being “toast” – no exaggeration, since the blast wave is likely to vaporize everything in its immediate path. But the city health department, the Long Beach airport and fire department might not be; they are all somewhat protected by a hilly area that is likely to halt the initial blast wave. And so the city can, tentatively, think about setting up a center of emergency operations.

Of course, the radioactive fallout created as the explosion gathers up tremendous quantities of dust and ocean water and spits them into the atmosphere would represent a secondary grave risk, especially in the first hours after an attack.

Not to mention the electromagnetic pulse that is likely to knock out electronic systems including phones and computers, the pile-ups expected on the freeways as drivers are blinded by the flash of the explosion, the rush for food, water and gasoline as millions of Angelenos attempt to drive out of the region, and the terror triggered by even the idea of a second, follow-up attack.

Meanwhile, lest you think this was all just a creative way for some public employees to skip work for a day, Ventura County, located just northwest of Los Angeles, has even taken the unusual step of prepping a 250-page plan on how to respond to the humanitarian crisis that would result from a nuclear attack in Los Angeles.

In fact, their efforts even include this truly bizarre public service announcement that instructs folks to shelter in place and cover windows with plastic.

Of course, as we pointed out back in August, while a global nuclear confrontation is generally viewed as a bad thing, for Ron Hubbard, President of Atlas Survival Shelters in Los Angeles, it has resulted in an economic windfall as a staggering number of Californians have suddenly turned into doomsday preppers.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/california-officials-preparing-nuclear-attack/

UK Officials Say Trump's 'Speculation' On London Tube Attack Is 'Unhelpful'

LONDON ― U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and London Mayor Sadiq Khan were quick to slam President Donald Trump’s response to Friday’s terror attack at a London tube station. 

In a Friday morning Twitter rant, Trump speculated heavily about the perpetrators of a bomb attack that left at least 22 people injured. He referenced the so-called Islamic State, despite there being very little confirmed information about the bombing. He also used the incident as an excuse to push his U.S. travel ban on citizens from six Muslim-majority countries. 

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May said on Friday.

“I’ve simply been too busy this morning to look at Twitter,” Khan said in response to a question by a British radio station about Trump’s tweets. “I’m not going to go there. My priority today is catch the individual or individuals responsible.”

“I’m hopefully the last person who’s speculating about these sort of things,” he added.

A police spokesperson told CNN that Trump’s comments on Scotland Yard were “pure speculation” and “unhelpful.”

This isn’t the first time Trump has angered officials in the U.K., one of the United States’ closest allies. The U.S. president specifically called Khan out on Twitter in June after seven people died in a terror attack in London. U.K. politicians of all stripes condemned Trump following the spat. May said he was “wrong” to have lashed out at Khan.

His comments come in contrast to his silence for two days following the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last month. He justified his inability to condemn hatred by claiming he didn’t want to speak because he “didn’t know all the facts.” 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/uk-officials-trump-apos-apos-145700357.html