April 3, 2014 |
SEATTLE - A Coast Guard investigation into the 2012 grounding of the Kulluk, an offshore drilling rig operated by Royal Dutch Shell in the harsh Arctic, blasted the oil company for legal violations, poor management and taking undue risks, according to the final report released Thursday. The Kulluk ran aground 15 months ago on New Year's Eve after breaking free of its tow lines during severe weather and was beached for several days on a remote, rocky shore in southern Alaska. Although the company has invested an estimated $5 billion in recent years in offshore oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic, the Kulluk's problems were among the difficulties that kept Shell from offshore drilling in 2013 and forced the company to abandon any renewed drilling efforts this year.
April 3, 2014 |
BEIRUT - A series of mortar shells fired by rebels killed six children and injured 16 others Thursday in and around the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to Syria's official news agency. Rebels based in the capital's outskirts frequently fire mortar shells into the city, which is under tight security. The recent rise in strikes on the capital comes after a relative lull in such attacks earlier in the year. Government officials condemn the mortar fire as indiscriminate. Commanders of forces opposing President Bashar Assad say the attacks target only military, police and government installations.
March 27, 2014 |
Cesar Chavez, the man who became the face of disenfranchised California farmworkers, was many things: courageous, controversial, quietly charismatic, politically astute, singular in his focus. "Cesar Chavez" the movie, starring Michael Peña as the Mexican American activist and America Ferrera as his wife, Helen, could use more of those qualities. Chavez was loved, hated and feared, at times by friend and foe alike, for his impassioned fight to unionize immigrant pickers and pruners beginning in the late 1960s.
March 4, 2014 |
Hillary Rodham Clinton will not announce for months whether she will run for president, but as she arrived in California for events this week the machinery of a campaign was cranking into gear around her. The Ready for Hillary "super PAC," created to encourage her candidacy, will launch a website this week that could serve as the framework for an eventual campaign to organize supporters across the 50 states. The leaders of another super PAC, Priorities USA Action, have been meeting on the West Coast with a select group of donors, seeking six- and seven-figure pledges (and in some cases checks)
March 1, 2014 |
DAVENPORT, Iowa - Alta Price seems just the kind of person who could propel Hillary Rodham Clinton through the glass ceiling into the White House. A doctor and Democratic activist, she cited Clinton's matchless resume as a former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of State. Besides, Price allowed with a smile, "It would be very cool to have a woman president. " But Price, 61, won't necessarily support Clinton should she run again in 2016. "I would not vote for her or support her over some man if I thought the man was better on the issues," said Price, who preferred Barack Obama to Clinton the first time she ran. In 2008, Clinton was the overwhelming Democratic favorite, nationally and in Iowa, with an aura suggesting the actual tabulation of ballots was little more than a formality.
February 17, 2014 |
Glass may be hard, but it's all too easy to break, as anyone who's seen a shattered window knows. But now scientists have discovered that they can make glass 200 times tougher than normal by making it 'weaker' - using a laser to etch wavy micro-cracks into an otherwise solid surface. The discovery, described last month in Nature Communications, borrows secrets from mollusk shells, which use very brittle, breakable materials to create some of nature's toughest structures. Seashells lined with iridescent mother-of-pearl are more than just pretty - they're a remarkable feat of microengineering, said study co-author François Barthelat, a mechanical engineer at McGill University in Quebec, Canada.