Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Somalis in Yemen: Dangerously intertwined Basket Cases," by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Photo and Article: Courtesy TIME

"Nurta Mohamed Sheikh Maalim is still shocked that she's alive. Maalim remembers very little of how she washed up on Yemen's shores last month, but she does remember swimming for 30 minutes, exhausted and confused, through the shark-infested waters of the Arabian Sea after being dumped overboard by her Somali smugglers. Eight months pregnant at the time, alone and desperate for something better, Maalim says she risked her life to reach Yemen several months after her husband fled Somalia using the same route. Now squatting in the home of a Somali community leader in Bassatine — an African slum outside Yemen's southern port of Aden — she says her husband is probably dead, probably never having made it to shore. She was nearing the end of her pregnancy when a Somali community leader took her in off the street a few weeks ago and she delivered the baby in a local clinic. She has eight other children who remain in Somalia with her mother. And as for what comes next: neither Maalim nor anyone around her can guess."

Read remainder of article HERE.

"Despite Aid, Yemen Faces Growing Al-Qaeda Threat," by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Article and Photo: Courtesy of TIME

"With Yemen apparently on the verge of becoming the world's next failed state and a regional base for al-Qaeda, a series of U.S.-assisted air and ground assaults that shook pockets of Yemen last week might have seemed like a positive development in the troubled country's otherwise downward spiral. But the dramatic action, which appears to have resulted in a number of civilian casualties, may not right the situation at all. "The U.S. has been growing very concerned about al-Qaeda in recent years, but it seems as though the U.S. is coming rather late to the party," says Princeton University Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen, who contends last week's attacks would ultimately prove counterproductive."

Read remainder of article HERE.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Skamania Co. auditor under investigation for misusing funds," by Anita Kissee

Article and Video: Courtesy KATU

Records show Garvison billed taxpayers for $51,000 in travel expenses last year. This year he’s already racked up a reported $32,000.

Our investigation led to his early resignation and continues.

Watch/Read Part 1 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 2 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 3 HERE.

Watch/Read Part 4 HERE.

"Single in Portland: Building the skills and confidence to succeed," by Anita Kissee

Article and Video: Courtesy KATU

PORTLAND, Ore. – Dating in Portland can be hard but many are finding they just need to develop the confidence and the skills that will help them meet that special someone.

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"In Egypt, Debate Grows over a Successor to Mubarak," by Abigail Hauslohner

Article and photo: Courtesy TIME

"Hosni Mubarak has ruled Egypt for 28 of his 81 years, but he's not likely to run for re-election in 2011. And growing public debate over the identity of his successor is fueled in no small part by the fact that Egyptians are not fond of a President who is widely believed to be grooming his 45-year-old son, Gamal Mubarak, to take the reins. (Neither man acknowledges such a plan.) But while such a familial handoff would hardly be atypical in the Middle East, it's far from a done deal in Egypt.

The younger Mubarak was given a starring role in this month's annual conference of the ruling National Democratic Party, in what many see as an effort to position him to run in 2011 — and that would make his accession to the presidency largely a formality, since Egypt's regime does not tolerate a genuinely competitive democracy, and controls the political process to prevent it challenging the status quo. The most popular opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, remains banned, although its members running as independents have garnered a substantial minority of parliamentary seats."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Courts Force U.S. Reckoning With Dominance of GM Crops," by Paul Voose

Article: courtesy New York Times & Greenwire

"These days, there is no rarer commodity in farming than trust.

Take Oregon's Willamette Valley, which for generations has been the germ of the U.S. sugar beet industry, producing nearly all the country's seeds. Such breeding is complicated when neighbors grow genetically similar crops and stiff Pacific winds, baffled by the Coast Range mountains, shove pollen every which way.

But Willamette's growers have cooperated, establishing a system in which seed producers flag their plots on a collective map, giving fair warning of what is grown where. Voluntary distances between crops were established and, if abutting farms had a conflict in what they grew, well, they could usually figure it out."

Read the remainder of Part 1 HERE.

"For Tasmanian Devils, Hope Against a Wily Cancer," by Erica Rex

Article and photo: Courtesy New York Times

"They’re inky black, pointy-eared, furry and, in a fierce sort of way, cute. And in May of this year, they were added to Australia’s endangered species list.

Ordinarily solitary, Tasmanian devils commune only to feast on carrion and to mate in short-lived passionate couplings during which they tear each other to ribbons. Their spine-decalcifying caterwauls — a sequence of whuffings, snarlings and growlings — have evoked satanic visions since the first European settlers arrived on the island of Tasmania over a century ago.

“Parents used to tell their kids: ‘Don’t go out into the bush because the devil will get you,’ ” recalled Dr. Greg Woods, an associate professor of immunology at Menzies Research Institute in Hobart, Tasmania’s capital."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Biodiversity a Bitter Pill in 'Tropical' Mediterranean Sea," by Paul Voosen

Article: Courtesy New York Times & Greenwire

"Two weeks ago, a group of marine biologists from Israel's National Institute of Oceanography set sail from the country's central coast. Under a full moon, with the lights of hectic Tel Aviv a band on the horizon, they cast their nets into waters that have sustained civilization for millenia in the Levantine Basin, the eastern branch of the Mediterranean Sea.

They had a rich catch that night on the research vessel Shikmona, according to Bella Galil, a senior scientist at the institute. Spilling from the nets were pucker-faced dragonet fish, sprawling octopuses and brown crabs, snapping their claws. On the examination table, it seemed a display of the sea's bounty.

Unfortunately, it was another sea's bounty."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Cancer I Can't Afford," by Erica Rex

Article: Courtesy New York Times

"Finding out I had breast cancer came as a shock. But the really rude awakening was learning I’m not middle class anymore.

I found a lump in my breast last March. This wasn’t like the lumps of my youth. Those earlier iterations had been hard as pebbles, painful, nested between my sternum and the base of my breast. They had come and gone with my monthly cycle.

This new lump, a lima bean in size and shape, lay recumbent, a half-inch south of my right nipple, just under the skin. And it didn’t hurt. At all. When I pressed on it, it seemed to dip, as though
bobbing on water."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Death-Penalty Holdouts," by Daarel Burnette II

Article courtesy: Chicago Tribune

"If not for two men, James Degorski would be headed to death row for the Brown's Chicken massacre. Juan Luna would be there already without the efforts of a married mother of two from Chicago.

The three -- jurors in the mass murderers' criminal trials -- intrigue legal experts for their rare ability to withstand intense pressure during deliberations and their refusal to support the death penalty.

Though a staple of courtroom movies and television dramas, the lone holdout or two is an anomaly inside jury rooms, experts say. That's even truer in capital cases where the law bars people who morally oppose the death penalty from serving, making it more difficult for those who favor a life sentence for a particular defendant to find allies."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Safe Harbor," by Laura Colarusso

Photo and article courtesy: The Boston Globe

"Combat psychologist Leslie Lightfoot will soon open the Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center in Gardner to help vets wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is the fifth program you’ve started in New England as part of your nonprofit, Veteran Homestead. How did you begin working with veterans?
I was an Army medic from 1967 to 1970. When I got out, I used my VA benefits to go back to school and get degrees in counseling. Most of the people that came to me for counseling were veterans. It just kind of happened. I try to find where people are falling through the cracks and do something about it."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"Abbas' Move on War-Crimes Report: A Boost for Hamas" by Abigail Hauslohner

Photo and article courtesy: TIME

"Mahmoud Abbas is not in the business of doing favors for his bitter rivals in Hamas, which is why the Islamists may have been more taken aback than anyone else at the massive political gift presented to them on Oct. 2 by the Palestinian Authority President. At the instruction of Abbas, the Palestinian delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council withdrew support for moves to pursue war-crimes charges over Israel's January offensive in Gaza, effectively shelving U.N. action on an inquiry led by former international war-crimes prosecutor Richard Goldstone that accused both Israel and Hamas of war crimes. So furious has been the reaction of Palestinians across the political spectrum that the move is being widely seen as the final nail in the President's political coffin — with the Palestinians due to hold parliamentary and presidential elections next year, Abbas may no longer be a viable candidate for his Fatah movement."

Read remainder of article HERE.

"In Yemen conflict, number of displaced grows" by Haley Sweetland Edwards

Photo by M.S. 2009 Grad Paul Stephens
Photo and article courtesy: Los Angeles Times

"It was sometime after 2 a.m. when gunfire and mortars startled Oqaba Mohammed out of sleep. She thanked God she was alive and quickly gathered her four children, walking into the night and away from the only home she had ever known."

We had nothing but the clothes on our bodies, but I didn't look back," said Mohammed, who had carried her physically disabled daughter in one arm and her 15-month-old son in the other. "We walked for three days, from village to village, asking for food from ordinary people. And then we arrived here."

Mohammed and her family were among the first wave of displaced Yemenis to make it to Mazraq, a United Nations camp in the northwestern province of Hajjah, where 7,000 people now live. They have fled the war in nearby Saada province, where the nation's army, after five years of sporadic warfare in the region, has launched what it calls a final offensive against a Shiite Muslim rebel group called Houthis."

Read remainder of the article HERE.

"Will Obama bypass Congress on climate rules?" by Maha Atal

Article excerpt courtesy: Fortune /

"NEW YORK (Fortune) -- If Congress won't get the job done on climate change, President Obama has a way to do it himself. But is he strong-arming the legislative branch?

It certainly looks that way as a series of new environmental regulations, released over the past two weeks by the EPA, are putting legislators on notice and executives on edge.

The rules are the federal government's broadest swipe yet at regulating greenhouse gasses. According to EPA chief Lisa Jackson, "We've taken the historic step of proposing the nation's first-ever greenhouse-gas emissions standards for vehicles, and moved substantially closer to an efficient, clean energy future."

The Environmental Protection Agency, which reports to the White House, is a new player in this arena. Before 2007, greenhouse gases were considered outside the EPA's purview because regulating them would have required cracking down on specific industrial practices that other agencies had under their charge."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"FTC takes on pay-per-post" by Maha Atal

Photo/Art and article excerpt courtesy: Fortune/

"Topic A in the blogosphere: An agency wants to suss out paid endorsements on blogs.
Log on to New York food blog today, and you’ll see an advertisement for cookbook publisher Cook’s Illustrated, served up by Google’s (GOOG) AdSense service.
No surprise, really, since AdSense matches advertisements to website content. Indeed, Adam Roberts, who writes the blog, has twice tested and reviewed recipes from Cook’s Illustrated. What could be more relevant to readers than a link from one recipe site to another?
Yet despite their utility to readers, ads like these might get Roberts, Cook’s Illustrated and Google in trouble with the Federal Trade Commission.
Today, the Commission announced its new “Guide Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” The announcement marks the first regulatory update since 1980, and a long overdue attempt to grapple with the digital transition."

Read remainder of article HERE:

"New Stu" by Aaron Scott

Photo: Courtesy of KATU
Clip: Courtesy of WNYC and Radio Lab

"Stu Rasmussen, of Silverton, Oregon, is an avid metalworker, woodworker, and electrician - and in 2008 became our country's first transgendered mayor. News of his election swept the country, but what was it like at home?"

Listen to the Radio Documentary and read more HERE.

"Yemen water crisis builds" by Haley Sweetland Edwards

Photo and Article: Courtesy of Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Sana, Yemen - Aisha Sufi, a woman with tired eyes and nine children, waits for a water truck in a nation of drought.

She is one of an estimated 150,000 Yemenis who have left their villages this year bound for Sana, Yemen's capital, in search of basic needs. Water and jobs, for example, are increasingly scarce in rural regions where many populations have quadrupled since the 1980s.

"It's not good here or there, but it's better to be here," said Sufi, who lives in the Hoshaishiya neighborhood of Sana. "There, in the village, is nothing. No rain, no modern facilities, nothing to help you at all."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"Wal-Mart Bodegas Lift Profit in Mexico: Week Ahead" by Emily Schmall

Photo and article courtesy: Bloomberg

"Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Wal-Mart de Mexico SAB, Latin America’s largest retailer, is profiting from the worst recession since the 1930s by offering smaller, cheaper products to Mexicans at its Bodega Express shops.

Walmex, as the Mexico City-based retailer is known, will report this week a 12 percent increase in third- quarter net income to 3.66 billion pesos ($269 million), according to the average analyst estimate. A rise would mark the fourth straight quarterly advance in earnings."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"In the Tunnels: Gaza's Underground Economy" By ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Photo and article: Courtesy TIME Magazine and

"A 30-ft. drop was the only way into the dark, earthy abyss, and the Palestinian tunnel workers were giggling nervously at the prospect of a foreign journalist going for a plunge. It didn't seem like a good idea. Apart from the descent, there had been Israeli air strikes for the past three days targeting the dense smuggling network that snakes beneath the Gaza Strip's border with Egypt. An Israeli F-16 was circling overhead at that very moment."

Read remainder of article and see video of the tunnel HERE.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Yemen rebels, government issue contradictory claims of battlefield success" by Haley Sweetland Edwards and Borzou Daragahi

Photo and article: Courtesy the Los Angeles Times

"Reporting from Beirut and Sana, Yemen - Yemeni rebels and government-controlled media issued contradictory claims of success in combat Wednesday, amid a 5-week-old army offensive that has roiled this Arabian peninsula nation.

The fighting in the northwestern province of Saada and elsewhere has created a growing humanitarian problem mostly beyond the reach of aid agencies, with about 35,000 people driven from their homes in the last month, according to the United Nations. That adds to the estimated 100,000 people who have been displaced in the combat zone in an on-and-off war that began in 2004."

"Entering Gaza: The Hard Way in from Egypt" by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

Article and Photograph: Courtesy TIME

"Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock is chaos at Rafah Crossing, the Egyptian-controlled entrance to the Gaza Strip. Black-clad Egyptian security forces stand by their trucks, ready if things get out of hand. Aid convoys line up in front of the main gate. Hundreds of Palestinians have already massed before the first checkpoint, yelling at border security in their effort to push through. Off to one side, a group of travelers tries to revive a sick woman who has lost consciousness. Egyptian security look on. Tempers are mounting. This is Day One of a rare three-day border opening."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"The Answer to China's Future Energy Demands May Be Blowing in the Wind" by Sarah Wang

Photo and article courtesy Scientific American

"After just four years of rapid development, China has the world's fourth largest wind power capacity: more than 12 gigawatts. However, the power of the breeze has become available so fast that the nation is struggling to make use of it.

For instance, the Jiuquan wind power basein Gansu Province—better known as "Three Gorges on Land"—is expected to supply 10 gigawatts of electricity when it reaches peak capacity in 2020. The wind farm, under construction in the Gansu Corridor—a narrow natural passage cutting through the Gobi Desert, Qilian Mountains and the Alashan Plateau—is just one of seven such giant complexes approved by the Chinese government."

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

"Could Auto Battery Advances Lead to Better Robots?" by Paul Voosen

Article courtesy Greenwire and The New York Times:

"Every robot has its limit.

For the famous Roomba vacuum, it's two to three hours. For the several thousand robots deployed in Iraq, about the same. For the warehouse robots sorting our sneaker orders, eight hours. And the Energizer Bunny? Forget about it -- a few minutes, tops.

Perhaps more than any other factor, the life span of batteries has limited the infiltration of robotics into daily life. As computer processing and sensors have become cheaper and more powerful by the year, batteries, woefully inefficient and slow to recharge, have slogged behind, leaving engineers to dream of a day when they'll have the juice to give life to their boldest creations."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

"U.S. Airlines Fly into International Carbon Cap" by Paul Voosen

Photo and article courtesy of Scientific American:

"The first U.S. industry to face a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions is not, as may be expected, the coal-burning power utilities. It's not the oil refineries, churning through crude. It's not the automakers, manufacturing again.
It's the airline industry.

Sometime this month, the European Union will release a list of airlines it will regulate under its existing cap-and-trade system for carbon dioxide. Beginning in 2012, all international flights landing in the region must abide by the regulations. And several airlines on that list will have a decidedly New World feel: Delta, United and American."

Read the remainder of the article HERE.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Review: "Quick Change" by Abigail Deutsch

Excerpt & photograph courtesy: N1BR

"In a 1998 essay recently reprinted in his book Close Calls with Nonsense, critic Stephen Burt christened the "Elliptical school" of poetry, which encompasses writers prone to "hinting, punning, or swerving away from a never-quite-unfolded backstory," who "believe provisionally in identities (in one—or in at least one—‘I' per poem)," but who, amid their "fast-forward and cut-up," "suspect the I's they invoke." He grants only an elliptical mention to April Bernard, noting that he wishes he had room to quote her first volume, Blackbird Bye-Bye (1989). That book embraces a rhetoric of zig-zags, shifting swiftly from one image or sentiment to the next, featuring speakers and selves who flicker in and out of poems, intimate yet unidentifiable."


Sunday, September 6, 2009

"DDT use provokes political battle in Uganda" by Alison Hawkes

Photo and article excerpt courtesy PRI's The World:

"The pesticide DDT, long banned in the United States, has made something of a comeback in Africa. DDT can be an effective weapon against malaria. The U.S. government, and the World Health Organization are encouraging African countries to use the insecticide, and say it is safe when handled properly. But in the East African nation of Uganda, DDT has provoked a fierce political battle. And the experience has taught a hard lesson: effective malaria control involves more than just fighting mosquitos. Reporter Alison Hawkes traveled to northern Uganda."

Download the documentary and read the remainder of the article HERE.

"As Mubarak Visits U.S., Strikes Cripple Egypt" by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER/AL-MAHALLA AL-KUBRA

Photograph and Article courtesy TIME Magazine:

"Saad al-Husseini may be a member of a banned political organization, but he's feeling the wind at his back. At the entrance to al-Mahalla al-Kubra, one of Egypt's largest industrial towns, the tall, bearded "independent" Member of Parliament from the Muslim Brotherhood — whose members are regularly arrested and tortured by the state — hops into a car, buoyed by signs of local dissent. "There are two strikes in Mahalla today," he says, cheerfully. "We will show you."

Read the remainder of the article, and watch a related video HERE

"Military Drones & the Ethics of Warfare" by Laura Colarusso

Courtesy HuffingtonPost: "On Aug. 27, at least six people died in a U.S. drone attack in the South Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan. According to the Associated Press, two missiles were fired at a militant hideout. Nine others were reportedly injured.

The unmanned missile strike, the fourth reported by the media last month, is the latest in a long line of attacks from remotely piloted aircraft. More than eight years into the war in Afghanistan, the military and CIA are increasingly relying on drones and robotic ground vehicles to fight an elusive and dangerous enemy on rough terrain. These weapons have an advantage over manned platforms because they can fearlessly fly through heavy anti-aircraft fire, defuse roadside bombs or be the first to go through the door of a building where insurgents might be hiding. And if they happen to meet an untimely demise, the commanders who sent them into battle don't have to write condolence letters to bereaved family members back home...."

Find the remainder of the story from Huffington Post HERE.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is Google Evil? by Maha Atal & Damian Kahya

Article and Photograph: Courtesy of NewStatesman

"The online search giant is the internet’s greatest success story. But as ever more data is amassed, concerns over how the company may use it grow."
"Records of Broughton in Buckinghamshire date back to the Domesday Book, the first medieval census - a comprehensive account of hitherto uncollected personal information. Nearly a millennium later, the online search giant Google was in the former village (now a suburb of Milton Keynes) updating records for its online mapping tool, Street View. A little after 9am on a Wednesday morning, an unmarked black Vauxhall Astra was spotted with a camera on a metre-high pole. People didn't like that "it could see over their garden walls", recalls the local councillor John Bint."

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Could TriMet's fat benefits sink the transit agency? by Anita Kissee


PORTLAND, Ore. - You may have heard the radio ads calling out TriMet, which spends as much as $1,900 per employee, per month, just for health insurance benefits.

Radio Ad: "Free breast enhancement, fitness centers, eyeglasses, no co-pay -- and taxpayers are paying for all of it!"

That's enough to win the so called 'Golden Fleece Award' for wasting taxpayer money but you will be floored when you see the millions more TriMet is spending every year on people who don't even work there.

Over the last month, KATU investigated TriMet's union benefits package and we learned the same kind of deal that drove GM into bankruptcy is happening right here, even as the transit agency faces a $31 million budget deficit.

Click here for the link.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In Egypt, Invoking Islam to Combat Sexual Harassment - by ABIGAIL HAUSLOHNER

"Doaa Kassem, like most Egyptian women, is used to being catcalled and grabbed at by men in the crowded streets of Cairo. The 24-year-old executive secretary is well versed in women's rights, having studied the subject in Sweden, and she is bolder than most when it comes to dealing with her harassers. "I'm brave enough to stop them and tell them [what they're doing is wrong]," she says. Sometimes she even chases them down..." (Click link above to read entire article.)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Moving Out Due to Taxes - by Anita Kissee

Story and Photo: Courtesy of KATU

Tax hikes may force some higher income families to move out of Oregon and over the river to Washington. Here's the story for KATU.

Rich Man, Poor Town - by Anita Kissee

Photo and Story: Courtesy of KATU


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where in the World are YOU?

Click here and enter the supersecret username and password to add a pushpin showing your (general) location. See, Josie's already done it!

Save and exit, and then the map will update with a pin showing where you are, and then maybe someday you'll have visitors.