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Thursday, October 22, 2009

  • University of Alaska Scientist Rick Steiner Loses Federal Grant Funding After Criticizing Oil Industry

    Steiner-web

    University of Alaska professor Rick Steiner says he’s lost his federal grant funding for being an outspoken critic of the oil industry. For years, Steiner has criticized what he considered irresponsible actions by the oil industry, beginning with the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Last week, a university lawyer rejected a claim to overturn a decision to pull Steiner’s $10,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, known as NOAA. In its decision, a university lawyer wrote if a recipient of grant funding "uses his position and his time to, for example, advocate for or against a particular development project, the funding agency may have a legitimate concern." [includes rush transcript]

  • Toxic Waters: Regulatory Absence Allows Chemical, Coal and Farm Industries to Pollute US Water Supplies

    Water4-web

    We speak to New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg about the latest in his investigative series "Toxic Waters," which examines the worsening pollution in the nation’s water systems. Duhigg joined us last month to discuss how chemical companies have violated the Clean Water Act more than 500,000 times in the last five years, most without punishment. Since then he has written articles focusing on how coal-fired power plants and large farms are threatening the nation’s drinking water. [includes rush transcript]

  • CIA Invests in Software Firm Monitoring Blogs, Twitter

    Visibletech-web

    Wired magazine has revealed the investment arm of the Central Intelligence Agency has invested in a software firm called Visible Technologies that specializes in monitoring social media sites, including blogs, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon. Wired reporter Noah Shachtman writes, “America’s spy agencies want to read your blog posts, keep track of your Twitter updates — even check out your book reviews on Amazon.” [includes rush transcript]