Friday, October 4, 2013

Last night's top news from Reuters

I got halfway through composing a fast fill-in edition of Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos last night when I found out that someone else had posted a replacement diary ahead of me.  Since I don't like to waste my efforts, where are the top stories from Reuters from last night rearranged for my usual sustainability format.

The lead story is, no surprise, the U.S. federal government shutdown.

U.S. shutdown seen dragging on as debt ceiling fight nears
By Mark Felsenthal and Richard Cowan
Thu Oct 3, 2013 10:46pm EDT
(Reuters) - The shutdown of the U.S. government appeared likely to drag on for another week and possibly longer as lawmakers consumed day three of the shutdown with a stalling game and there was no end in sight until the next crisis hits Washington around October 17.

Bowing to the reality that the impasse requires him to remain in Washington, President Barack Obama canceled plans to attend summits in Indonesia and Brunei next week. Earlier this week, he canceled visits to Malaysia and the Philippines because of the shutdown.

October 17 is the date Congress must raise the nation's borrowing authority or risk default, and members of Congress now expect it to be the flashpoint for a larger clash over the U.S. budget as well as President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
I'll have more on the shutdown later. For now, follow over the jump for the rest of last night's top news according to Environment, Economy, and Society, AKA People, Planet, Profit.


Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant operator says another tank leaked toxic water
Reporting by Mari Saito, James Topham and Stanley White, Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Clarence Fernandez
TOKYO | Thu Oct 3, 2013 12:07am EDT
(Reuters) - The operator of Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said on Thursday another tank holding highly contaminated water overflowed, probably sending the liquid into the Pacific Ocean, in the second such breach in less than two months.

Recent site mishaps have returned Tokyo Electric Power Co, or Tepco, to the spotlight, calling into question its ability to execute a complex cleanup that could last decades. The company has vowed to monitor the tanks more closely and improve its water management.

Amid mounting international alarm, Japan's government stepped in last month and said it would fund efforts to improvement water management at the plant.
Other than the anniversaries of the earthquake and tsunami, I haven't been following Fukushima closely on this blog.  Maybe that should change.


Speaking of problems with commercial applications of energy technology, Tesla grapples with impact of battery fire in U.S.
By Ben Klayman
DETROIT | Thu Oct 3, 2013 4:58pm EDT
(Reuters) - Two days after a video of a burning Tesla electric car went viral, the "green car" maker grappled with ways to contain the damage as investors shaved $2.4 billion off the company's market value.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O) has confirmed that the car caught fire after the driver ran over a large metallic object on Tuesday morning just south of Seattle, causing extensive damage to the front end of the Model S sedan. Emergency officials at the accident said the fire occurred in the electric vehicle's lithium-ion battery.

It was the latest in a string of problems for lithium-ion batteries, which are used heavily in EVs sold by various automakers. However, the battery fire was the first for Tesla, the California-based EV maker founded by billionaire Elon Musk.
There are more stories out there about this, too.

Switching over from the business of energy technology to the business of information technology, Twitter reveals rip-roaring growth, big losses ahead of IPO.
By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO | Thu Oct 3, 2013 7:31pm EDT
(Reuters) - Twitter Inc, racing toward the largest Silicon Valley IPO since Facebook Inc's 2012 coming-out party, hopes to woo investors with rip-roaring revenue growth despite never having made a profit in the past three years.

The eight-year-old microblogging service, the preferred communications tool for celebrities and politicians alike, gave potential investors their first glance at its financials on Thursday when it publicly filed its IPO documents.

Revenue almost tripled to $316.9 million in 2012, driven largely by advertising. In the first half of 2013, it posted revenue of $253.6 million but had a loss of $69.3 million.
Twitter is both influential and popular, but making that profitable is going to be a challenge.


Going from social media to society, there isn't much good people news as Driver shot dead in car chase near Capitol.
By Richard Cowan and Margaret Chadbourn
WASHINGTON | Fri Oct 4, 2013 12:04am EDT
(Reuters) - A dramatic car chase through the streets of Washington from near the White House to the U.S. Capitol ended in gunfire on Thursday when law enforcement officers shot and killed the driver as lawmakers and aides huddled in a lockdown.

The incident rattled Washington less than three weeks after a government contractor opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard, about 1.5 miles from the Capitol, killing 12 people and wounding three others before he was shot to death by police.

The car involved in the chase was registered to Miriam Carey, 34, of Connecticut, and law enforcement officials believe she was the driver, the Washington Post reported, citing officials. NBC News also identified the driver as Carey.
"If it bleeds, it leads"--not here at Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

In some ways, things get worse as Belarus leader says Obama surprises him, 'blacks were slaves'.
Reporting By Thomas Grove; editing by Ralph Boulton
MOSCOW | Wed Oct 2, 2013 1:39pm EDT
(Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko, a frequent critic of the United States, said recent comments by President Barack Obama about American 'exceptionalism' had surprised him, given the country's history of slavery.

Obama termed the United States exceptional last month in a speech made when Washington was mulling military strikes on Syria for a chemical attack it blames on President Bashar al-Assad. The concept of American "exceptionalism" supposes a particular U.S. commitment to democratic values and an obligation to promote those values globally.

"Not long ago at all, blacks in America were slaves, and now they're talking about some kind of exceptionalism," the Belarus leader said in an interview with Kazakh television station 24KZ. "I never thought that a person coming from such poor (social) strata could use that kind of rhetoric."
In addition to all his other problems, the man is a racist, too.

I can't end on such a sour note, so I leave with the good news: California governor signs law expanding protections for journalists.
By Sharon Bernstein
SACRAMENTO, California | Thu Oct 3, 2013 11:44pm EDT
(Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law on Thursday to give journalists in the state five days' notice before government agencies serve subpoenas on their records held by third parties, such as phone companies and internet service providers.

The law, which was approved by unanimous votes in the California Assembly and Senate, expands on the state's existing shield law for journalists and will apply to subpoenas sought in state courts.

The California law comes after two cases earlier this year that sparked debate about whether the U.S. Justice Department had infringed on the free-speech rights of journalists in aggressive probes of government leaks.
I like Jerry Brown much better the second time around.

With the closing of the loop back to politics, this entry is now complete.

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