Mar 23 2013

What We Now Know

(10 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

This week on Up with Chris Hayes we learned about the extreme impact climate change on our coastal cities. New research show storm surges like the one from Hurricane Katrina could become ten times more frequent. Host Chris Hayes and his guests Rashid Khalidi, professor of modern Arab studies at Columbia University; Noura Erakat, adjunct professor at Georgetown University; Matt Duss, policy analyst at American Progress; and Ann Lewis, former advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discuss what they have learned this week.

More hurricane surges in the future

by Aslak Grinsted, Nils Bohr Institute

By examining the frequency of extreme storm surges in the past, previous research has shown that there was an increasing tendency for storm hurricane surges when the climate was warmer. But how much worse will it get as temperatures rise in the future? How many extreme storm surges like that from Hurricane Katrina, which hit the U.S. coast in 2005, will there be as a result of global warming? New research from the Niels Bohr Institute show that there will be a tenfold increase in frequency if the climate becomes two degrees Celcius warmer. The results are published in the scientific journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, PNAS.

NFL passes new helmet rule, eliminates ‘Tuck Rule’

by Jim Corbett, USA Today

The most controversial rules change passed at these now-concluded owners meetings will ban players from delivering forcible blows with the crown of the helmet. It was the biggest step aimed at making the game safer, particularly in regards to concussion prevention in these meetings that approved three new rules related to player safety. [..]

Wednesday’s other changes included passing a rule to fix the Thanksgiving Day challenge faux pas when Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz tried to challenge a Justin Forsett 81-yard touchdown run and his challenge negated the official’s ability to review the scoring play. Now a challenge of a play like that will result in a 15-yard penalty with the original play getting reviewed.

The other notable change? The infamous “Tuck Rule” is no more. The New England Patriots abstained from voting, as did Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, who was an Oakland Raiders executive in January 2002 when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s seeming fumble when his throwing arm came forward was ruled an incompletion. The Patriots went on to win that playoff game and eventually the Super Bowl.

No More Drones for CIA

by Daniel Klaidman, The Daily Beast

At a time when controversy over the Obama administration’s drone program seems to be cresting, the CIA is close to taking a major step toward getting out of the targeted killing business. Three senior U.S. officials tell The Daily Beast that the White House is poised to sign off on a plan to shift the CIA’s lethal targeting program to the Defense Department.

The move could potentially toughen the criteria for drone strikes, strengthen the program’s accountability, and increase transparency. Currently, the government maintains parallel drone programs, one housed in the CIA and the other run by the Department of Defense. The proposed plan would unify the command and control structure of targeted killings and create a uniform set of rules and procedures. The CIA would maintain a role, but the military would have operational control over targeting. Lethal missions would take place under Title 10 of the U.S. Code, which governs military operations, rather than Title 50, which sets out the legal authorities for intelligence activities and covert operations. “This is a big deal,” says one senior administration official who has been briefed on the plan. “It would be a pretty strong statement.”

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