Electrical waste such as cellphones, TV sets, refrigerators and others are forecasted to go up by at least a third by the year 2017. This was based on a study by the United Nations which was released Sunday. Electrical waste is defined as anything that features a battery or an electrical cord. It is considered to be a big concern due to the fact that most often it contains harmful materials that are toxic to humans and the environment if not properly disposed of.
Amount Will Rise
A UN think tank that is focused on the problem says that the amount of e-waste will go up by at least 48.9 million metric tons in 2012 to about 65.4 million metric tons by 2017. The size is nearly 200 times the weight of the Empire State Building. Last year, the United States dumped the most electric waste with about 9.4 million metric tons, followed by 7.3 million tons coming from China.
The Chief of the National Security Agency said that there is no better way his agency can help protect the United States from foreign threats than with spy programs that collect billions of internet and phone records from around the world. Gen. Keith Alexander, who was pleading with the Senate Judiciary Committee to not abolish the National Security Agency’s bulk-collection programs, warned that global threats are developing particularly in Syria and Iraq.
How to Connect the Dots?
General Alexander said, “How do we connect the dots? Referring to often hidden connections between a foreign terror threat and a possible attack on the United States. He further said, “There is no other way that we know of to connect the dots. … Taking these programs off the table is absolutely not the thing to do.” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said that it was quite unnerving the US government was collecting millions of records from ordinary Americans. He has proposed a legislation that would effectively prohibit the NSA from the bulk collection of US phone records.
New declassified documents show that former CIA Director Leon Panetta revealed information to “Zero Dark Thirty” scriptwriter Mark Boal when Panetta gave a speech at the headquarters of the CIA marking the successful raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden. Panetta mentioned through a spokesperson that he did not know that Boal was in the room.
A request was filed by Judicial Watch for the more than 200 pages of documents that the CIA released. The documents showed the internal investigation of its role in the movie about the raid on bin Laden’s lair. Panetta said, “I had no idea that the individual was in the audience. To this day, I wouldn’t know him if he walked into the room.” According to Jeremy Bash the spokesperson for Panetta said that the former CIA Director assumed that everybody in the audience had the proper security clearance to hear the contents of his speech.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is scheduled to visit Pakistan on Monday. Pakistan’s relations with the United States soured as of late due to numerous drone strikes as well as military operations conducted by the US along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Relations between the two countries began to thaw off with the recent visit of President Barack Obama last October to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Assess Security Threats & Other Matters
The Pentagon Chief will have a talk with Prime Minister Sharif in order to discuss among other things security threats and Afghanistan. The announcement that the US Secretary of Defense was going to visit its ally on the war on terror was made during an informal Sunday meet and greet with US troops stationed in Camp Leatherneck located in Afghanistan. The last US Defense secretary that was able to visit Pakistan was Robert Gates who went there in 2010 January.
Gallant in his deeds, elegant in his manner and venerated in his image, the late Nelson Mandela served as both muse and cause in the entertainment industry. From the time that he was a prisoner in the 1960s apartheid South Africa until up to the fall of the racist regime, Mandela inspired songs, movies, works of fiction and poems.
Inspiration to Artists Everywhere
A lot of artists were drawn to the ideals of what Nelson Mandela stood for. During the more than a quarter-century that he was in prison, his freedom became identical with the freedom that his country longed for. Many songwriters and poets evoked his name in campaigning to end the apartheid movement. Nobel laureate Toni Morrison said, “Nelson Mandela is, for me, the single statesman in the world. The single statesman, in that literal sense, who is not solving all his problems with guns. It’s truly unbelievable.”
Paul Walker, the “Fast & Furious” star was killed by injuries sustained from the impact of collision and subsequent fire that resulted when the Porsche Carrera GT that his friend was driving lost control and slammed onto a light pole and a tree. This was according to the results of the autopsy released Wednesday.
Combined Effects of Traumatic and Thermal Injuries
According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, the late actor succumbed to the combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries as a result of the crash. The results of the toxicology testing won’t be out until after another six to eight weeks.
Walker was the star of six high-octane blockbuster “Fast & Furious” movies that glorified street racing and customized vehicles. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Meanwhile, Universal Studios has shut down production for the 7th installment of the franchise due to the actor’s demise.
US employers can now put in place mandatory arbitration agreements which waive all rights to class-action lawsuits over workplace complaints. The 5th US District Court of Appeals overturned a National Labor Relations Board that ruled the previous year that such agreements were in conflict with existing federal laws and therefore workers had the right to campaign for collective action in order to air gripes about the workplace environment.
Win for Business
The ruling from federal court is considered to be a big win for businesses that aim to minimize legal exposure from increasing costs of class action lawsuits over uncompensated overtime as well as other wage violations. However, the ruling is a setback for workers who find it convenient to simply come together as a group in order to challenge company policies. A number of business organizations including the US Chamber of Commerce had protested the ruling of the NLRB and have filed separate appeals to the appeals court to throw out the decision.
Quite unexpectedly, the leader of anti-government protests in Thailand said that he had met the nation’s Prime Minister on Sunday. The meeting came after daylong clashes between the police and the anti-government supporters. At the meeting, the leader is supposed to have defiantly told the Thai PM that his group would accept nothing less than her government stepping down from position and being replaced by an appointed council.
Defiance amidst lusty cheers
Suthep Thaugsuban’s meeting with Prime Minsiter Yingluck Shinawatra was overseen by the military, which has maintained that it remains neutral in the conflict. The defiance with which Thaugsuban spoke to the PM was met with lusty cheers from his supporters.
Meanwhile, throughout the day the police had to battle out with protest mobs which were hurling rocks and attempting to get inside the heavily fortified government headquarters and offices. Residents of Bangkok were asked to stay indoors to avoid getting injured in the street skirmishes.
The destruction of the deadly chemical weapons in possession with Syria on any country’s soil comes with a host of problems including diplomatic, environmental and security concerns. To steer clear of such vexing troubles, the Obama administration plans to explore the use one of its government owned ships so that the weapon disposal may be carried out in international waters.
Plan to be approved by OPCW
According to the plan, the weapons would be transported to the MV Cape Ray, a 700-foot long ship in the Mediterranean Sea which would be outfitted with a special system to do away with the chemicals.
The final call on whether to use the ship or not will be taken by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is a global chemical weapons watchdog agency consisting of 190 member states.
However, Jonathan Lalley, a spokesman for President Barack Obama’s National Security Council insisted that until now no decision had been reached to destroy the weapons outside of Syria.
Its official, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are divorced. It has been a year since Kutcher sought to end his marriage with Moore and on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted Kutcher his wish by finalizing the couple’s split.
End of Eight Years of Marriage
Moore and Kutcher tied the knot in September 2005 and 6 years later, in November 2011, Moore announced that the two had separated. The duo has had no children from the marriage.
While they were together, the couple had started a foundation that fights against the sexual exploitation of girls from around the world.
Currently, Kutcher who is starring in ‘Two and a Half Men’ is dating Mila Kunis, his co-star from ‘That 70s Show’.
Moore was previously married to Bruce Willis with whom she had three daughters. The actress will soon appear on-screen in the upcoming film ‘Very Good Girls’.
TMZ, the celebrity website, was the first to report the divorce judgment on Wednesday.