Anna Chapman, a member of the spy ring. Photo: thesmokinggun.com
They had lived for more than a decade in American cities and suburbs in Yonkers, Boston and northern Virginia, where they seemed to be ordinary couples working ordinary jobs. But on Monday, following an F.B.I. investigation that began at least seven years ago, federal prosecutors accused 11 people of being part of a Russian espionage ring, living under false names and deep cover in a patient scheme to penetrate American “policy making circles.”
Criminal complaints filed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Monday read like an old-fashioned cold war thriller: Spies swapping identical orange bags as they brushed past each other in a train station stairway. An identity borrowed from a dead Canadian, forged passports, messages sent by shortwave burst transmission or in invisible ink.
Continue reading NYT: In Ordinary Lives, U.S. Sees the Work of Russian Agents
epThe Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that formaldehyde, used in countless consumer products, is carcinogenic when inhaled by humans. The EPA also identified seven other non-cancer health effects of the chemical: sensory irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; upper respiratory tract pathology; pulmonary function; asthma and atopy; neurologic and behavioral toxicity; reproductive and developmental toxicity; and immunological toxicity. The findings could lead to new stringent regulations of the widely used chemical.
Formaldehyde garnered national attention after Hurricane Katrina when some people living in the 120,000 FEMA trailers as temporary housing reported respiratory and other health problems. Trailer occupants had prolonged exposure to the chemical which is contained in wood products in the trailers.
The National Academy panel will hold its first meeting on the EPA’s draft assessment Monday in Washington.
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Continue reading The Times-Picayune: Formaldehyde causes cancer, EPA declares
After BP’s “top kill” procedure failed to plug the Gulf of Mexico leak and was aborted late Saturday, BP renewed an effort Monday to use a containment dome to funnel some of the crude to a tanker on the surface. Officials said they had solved some of the technical problems that forced them to abort last time.
If successful, the containment dome would capture most of the oil but the leak would not be stopped until BP completes the relief well sometime in August.
Engineers positioned submarine robots Monday that will try to shear off a collapsed 21-inch riser pipe. If that is achieved, it will take at least a couple of days to position the dome over the blowout preventer.
White House environmental and energy adviser, Carol M. Browner warned that severing the riser could cause the well to leak an additional 20 percent.
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Continue reading NY Times: BP Tries Again to Divert Oil Leak With Dome