Cartoon: April 9, 2015

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Mukasey faces opposition over his ambiguous stances on torture methods

first_imgWASHINGTON – The nomination of Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general encountered resistance on Friday, with Democratic senators suggesting for the first time that they might oppose Mukasey if he did not make clear that he opposed waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques that have been used against terrorism suspects. The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, joined in the expressions of concern about Mukasey. Specter said in an interview on Friday that the nomination could hinge on Mukasey’s written responses to questions posed to him this week about the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies, including its use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which simulates drowning, and about his larger views on executive power. At his Senate confirmation hearings last week, Mukasey, a retired federal judge from New York, declined to say whether he agreed with many lawmakers and human rights groups that waterboarding is a form of torture and is unconstitutional. He said he did not know the details of how waterboarding, which has been used by the CIA against senior leaders of al-Qaida, was conducted. In waterboarding, interrogators pour water onto cloth or cellophane that has been placed over the face of a suspect, creating the sensation of drowning. In an initial letter to the Judiciary Committee that was dated Wednesday and made public Friday, Mukasey repeated the assertion he had made at his confirmation hearings that torture was unconstitutional and a violation of American obligations under international treaties. But once again, he did not address the question of whether waterboarding was torture. In the letter, he also repeated his suggestion that the administration’s program of eavesdropping without warrants was legal despite criticism by lawmakers that it violated terms of federal surveillance laws. Specter said he hoped Mukasey would offer satisfactory responses, especially about his views on waterboarding. “I think now that he has had a chance to know exactly what waterboarding is, my expectation would be that – like everyone else – he would condemn it,” the senator said. “But he’s got to speak for himself.” Bush complained Friday that Democratic leaders in Congress were acting too slowly on Mukasey’s nomination, as well as on several pieces of legislation. He noted that the Senate had failed to approve the nomination “even as members complain about the lack of leadership at the Department of Justice.” On Tuesday, all 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Mukasey asking him to make a clear-cut statement of opposition to waterboarding and to describe it as illegal. On Thursday, the majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, was asked by a reporter if Mukasey should be confirmed in light of his failure to make a statement of opposition to waterboarding. “We’ll have to wait and see,” Reid said, adding that he was “troubled” by Mukasey’s testimony last week about waterboarding. “I think if he doesn’t change his direction in that regard, he could have at least one concern. And that’s me.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Until this week, the nomination of Mukasey to replace Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general appeared to be a sure thing. Many Democratic lawmakers say privately that he is still likely to be confirmed, given the need for leadership in the Justice Department after months of turmoil. Apart from Specter, no Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have raised public doubts about the nomination. But Mukasey’s sometimes awkward responses at his confirmation hearings to a series of questions about his views on the administration’s anti-terrorism policies and its expansive views of its wartime powers under the Constitution prompted the first significant expressions of concern about the nomination from some lawmakers. “A number of issues need clarification,” Specter said in a telephone interview on Friday. “I’m troubled by the depth of his assertion of executive powers.” Spector said he was worried specifically about whether Mukasey would advise President George W. Bush to disregard acts of Congress, including a proposed law that would limit the ability of the White House to conduct electronic eavesdropping. “I don’t know that I would confirm a guy who is going to say that he’d advise the president that he has the constitutional authority to ignore a deal he has made with Congress on a specific provision” of a law, Specter said in reference to the eavesdropping legislation. last_img read more

Man charged in connection with stabbing at party appears in court

first_imgA Sligo man has been charged in connection with an incident in which a husband and wife were stabbed at a family function.Father-of-five Michael Sweeney appeared at Letterkenny District Court following a serious attack at Crozen Park, Sligo on Saturday evening last. Husband and wife Martin and Margaret Sweeney, were both stabbed at the party following an altercation with the accused.The 40-year-old accused man was also rushed to hospital after he received a punctured lung when he was also stabbed during the incident.The court was told that Martin Sweeney is the brother in law of the accused and they had gathered to celebrate the news of a pregnancy in the family.The accused, who was found by Gardai two doors down from the scene of the original attack said “I was scared because I had been stabbed with a samurai (sword).I was trying to hide.”The court heard there was a high level of security following the attack and armed Gardai had to be called to Sligo General Hospital where the three people had been rushed to.Gardai objected to the bail of Michael Sweeney, of 38 Old Bundoran Road, Sligo who was charged under Section 3 of the Non Fatal Against the Persons Act.They said they feared Sweeney would interfere and intimidate witnesses in the case and they also feared the accused could be under threat.However, solicitor Rory O’Brien said his client was a family with a wife and five children who was willing to comply with any bail conditions.Judge Deirdre Gearty refused bail saying she felt there was a real risk he would interfere with witnesses in the case.She adjourned the case to Harristown District Court to next Friday, September 1st.Man charged in connection with stabbing at party appears in court was last modified: August 24th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Liverpool reportedly interested in Daniel Sturridge loan deal

first_imgLiverpool are reportedly interested in signing forward Daniel Sturridge on loan from Chelsea.The Guardian and Daily Mirror suggest the Blues may look to loan Sturridge out if they can bring in Bayer Leverkusen’s André Schürrle before the transfer window closes.Tottenham and Arsenal are also said to be interested in Sturridge, whose future at Stamford Bridge has been the subject of much speculation.The Daily Telegraph say Chelsea are set to make a £20m deadline-day bid for Schürrle and that Liverpool have made an approach for Sturridge.The Daily Express also believe Schürrle could be on his way to west London.Arsenal have made an attempt to sign Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien on a season-long loan, according to the Daily Mail.The Mail aslo say Everton have tried – and failed – to agree a loan deal for Essien.Meanwhile, the Mirror again suggest that Liverpool could offload Charlie Adam in order to fund the signing of Clint Dempsey from Fulham.The Express is among a number of papers to suggest Fulham have shattered their wage structure in order to sign striker Dimitar Berbatov from Manchester United.This page is regularly updated.  Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Using Server Farms to Heat Buildings

first_imgWhy not recycle the heat with air conditioning?Another way to do this is with variable refrigerant flow (VRF) heat pumps. These are the big brothers to minisplits that allow you to do simultaneous heating and cooling, bypassing the outdoor unit of the heat pump altogether. The refrigerant picks up heat in a room that needs to be cooled and sends it to another room that needs to be heated.Using waste heat from computers reminds me of Martin Holladay’s April Fool’s Day article a few years ago: Researchers Predict U.S. Furnace Industry Is Doomed. In it he wrote that plasma TVs would soon be labeled with their heat output in BTU/hr. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, energy consultant, RESNET-certified trainer, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Put a “data furnace” in your basementIt’s not a new idea. As long as people have been going into server rooms and feeling the heat, they’ve been talking about what a great idea it would be if you could use that heat. It’s fairly low-grade heat, though, so it wouldn’t be ideal for generating electricity, but is just right for heating buildings… if you can get the heat to where it needs to be. The Amazon plans aren’t out yet, at least not in what I’ve seen, but they’re going to capture the heat in water and move it to their office building.A few years ago, Microsoft published a paper called The Data Furnace: Heating Up with Cloud Computing, which looked at the possibility of heating homes with servers. They found that it would take 37 to 114 of those 350-watt servers to provide all the heat for homes in five different climates. The owner of the data furnace would net about $300 in savings for each server.It’s an interesting idea, but I just don’t see that one taking root. What Amazon is doing, though, should represent a new trend. And Seattle is the ideal place to do it because their design temperatures are moderate and they use heat throughout the year. I recall having the heat on and wearing my wool sweater even in July one year when I lived there. RELATED ARTICLES Capturing and Distributing Waste Heat From Power GenerationDistrict HeatingCombined Heat and Power in SwedenBringing Combined Heat and Power to BrattleboroResearchers Predict U.S. Furnace Industry Is DoomedWater Heat Exchangerscenter_img Last week in my ASHRAE newsletter, I saw an interesting story about a cool thing that Amazon.com is planning to do with heat. Amazon, in case you didn’t know, is a heavy user of computers. Not only do their run their online store but they also have a popular cloud computing service. Computers turn electricity into kitten videos, celebrity tweets, and waste heat. And despite what Facebook and Twitter may have led you to believe, that last one is the most important.A typical server uses about 350 watts of power and produces about 1,200 BTU/hr of waste heat. (These numbers are from a paper written in 2011, but more about that later.) With 50 servers, you could get as much heat as a 60,000 BTU/hr furnace, but most of the time that heat is not only not used, the owner of the server farm pays to have it removed from the server room with the use of air conditioning — even in cold climates. Amazon is building a new office center in Seattle, and they’re planning to heat it with waste heat from a nearby server farm. The project is going through the approval process with the local government now, but this would turn around the energy flows and make use of the heat given off instead of using more energy to get rid of it.last_img read more