Scott Pelley interviews Mike Williams, Chief Electronics Technician and one of the last Deepwater Horizon crew members to escape the rig before its collapse. Williams claims a series of mishaps, in the weeks before the explosion, may have led to the catastrophe.
Behind schedule, A BP manager ordered crew to increase the penetration rate. The faster pace caused the bottom of the well to split open. The well had to be abandoned and a new well had to be drilled costing BP two weeks and millions of dollars, putting even more pressure on the crew. This was just the beginning.
Describing a previously unreported incident, Williams claims that the rig’s most vital piece of safety equipment, the blow out preventer, was damaged. A rig supervisor said it was no big deal.
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Continue reading 60 Minutes: Details of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster
After last month’s launch of X-37B, the U.S. Air Force’s secret space plane, some speculated that it might be a prototype for an orbiting bomber. Others thought it could be a weapons platform used to take out enemy satellite assets. Russian military officials even pressed Moscow to begin work on its own space arsenal. British press insinuated the U.S. was testing new laser weapons systems.
A new report from the Secure World Foundation, however, claims that the space plane will likely be used by the American Military to spy from Earth’s orbit. The pentagon has occasionally used the Space Shuttle to put spy satellites in orbit, but with the shuttle’s retirement in 2010 the X-37B may now serve this purpose.
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Continue reading Wired: Report: Secret Space Plane Likely an Orbiting Spy
Microsoft founder, Bill Gates has funded plans for a sea trial of cloud-whitening technology. Some scientists think that it could be possible to reflect more sunlight into space and reduce global warming by increasing the whiteness, or albedo, of clouds.
Silver Lining, a U.S.-based research organization, is using the $300,000 in funding to develop machines which change seawater into microscopic particles that they can scatter on the clouds.
It would be the largest geoengineering to date, covering an area of 10,000km2
Some criticize the idea as too risky and are arguing for a global ban on geoengineering experiments until regulations can be established.
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Continue reading Guardian.co.uk: Bill Gates’ cloud-whitening trials ‘a dangerous experiment’
Israeli President Shimon Peres created panic in the Middle East last month by claiming that Syria sent scud missiles to Hezbollah. The missiles would change the balance of power in the region allowing Hezbollah, which previously could only reach northern towns in Israel, to attack Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
The U.S. State Department Initially backed up the claims, but was much more timid the following day with Assistant Secretary of State P.J. Crowley saying “We haven’t [made] any particular judgment at this point as to whether any transfer has taken place but… this is something we have great concern about.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri compared the situation to the claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, a claim that later proved to be false.
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Continue reading Global Post: Is Syria arming Hezbollah with Scuds?