1550266936 vexsome tldr: A shorter front page of the internet


1. Supreme Court of Canada says bankrupt energy companies must clean up old oil, gas wells before paying off creditors

The receiver wanted to sell Redwater's profitable wells to pay off the company's debts and leave the non-producing ones to Alberta's industry-funded Orphan Well Association, which handles the cleanup of sites whose owners have gone bankrupt. The list includes provinces concerned about the implications - Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and Ontario - as well as environmental groups, Alberta farmers concerned about wells on their land, and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The Orphan Well Association currently has more than 3,000 wells in its inventory, up from about 700 in 2015.

2. NRA Attempts To Distance Itself From Trip To Moscow In 2015

"It's not credible for the NRA to claim that they played no official role in the 2015 Moscow trip," Wyden said. The NRA's belated explanation for the 2015 Russia trip doesn't pass the smell test, and the key question remains: Why did so many high-level officials & supporters of this purportedly all-American organization fly to Moscow to schmooze with Putin officials?https://t. Members of that delegation included former NRA president David Keene, future NRA president Pete Brownell, and several other NRA dignitaries.

3. Labour complaint against Amazon Canada alleges workers who tried to unionize were fired - Union says the e-commerce giant violated Employee Standards Act

In a series of applications filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board in July, initially reported on by The Logic, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada Local 175 accused Amazon subsidiary Amazon Canada Fulfillment Services Inc., of using its control over sub-contractors to create a "Chilling effect" meant to influence them to not "Support, assist or co-operate with" the organization of a union. The Seattle-based company took issue with the anti-union tactic allegations and with the union's descriptions of work conditions it says couriers working for companies sub-contracted by Amazon face across North America. DEC's union drive began in June 2017 and resulted in the company's owners allegedly warning employees that if they did things Amazon did not like, Amazon would take work away from DEC.Union organizer and supporters allegedly fired.

4. Microplastics found in every marine mammal surveyed in UK study. The research on 50 stranded creatures, including porpoises, dolphins, grey seals and a pygmy sperm whale, found an average of 5.5 particles in their guts, the most comprehensive analysis of microplastics in wild cetaceans and seals.

Microplastics are being widely ingested by Britain's marine mammals, scientists say, with samples found in every animal examined in a study. "It's shocking - but not surprising - that every animal had ingested microplastics," said Sarah Nelms, of the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory, lead author of the research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Dr Penelope Lindeque, the head of the marine plastics research group at PML, has found microplastics in animals at every level of the food chain, from tiny zooplankton to fish larvae, turtles, and now marine mammals.

6. Marathon church service ends as Netherlands lets Armenian family stay. Supporters used a law that bars police from entering a place of worship while a service is in progress to stop them from being deported.

The country's Cabinet late Tuesday decided to allow the Tamrazyans and other families rejected for permanent residence to stay in the country after all. The Tamrazyan parents, along with their two daughters and a son, have lived in the Netherlands for nearly nine years, as their asylum application and various appeals proceeded through the country's legal system. Last year, the country's highest administrative court ruled they must return to their home country, which is considered safe by the Dutch government.

7. NRA ties to Russia and alleged spy Maria Butina run deep despite denials, report reveals

One NRA employee even helped Butina arrange travel for the group, and Butina met the delegates at the airport carrying a sign that read "Welcome NRA." During the trip, the members of the NRA met with officials from the Kremlin. "Put simply, the NRA's half-baked explanation for its infamous 2015 Russia trip doesn't pass the smell test. It's time for the NRA to dispense with the smoke and mirrors and tell the full truth about its ties to the Kremlin," John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told Newsweek. Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has launched an investigation into the NRA's ties to Russia.

8. In a blow to Trump, European powers create workaround to US trade sanctions against Iran

The deal offered expanded trade with Iran in exchange for the country abandoning its ballistic missile program. New U.S. sanctions against Iran have dissuaded European companies from investing in the country. "The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!" Trump tweeted, a day after Director of National Intelligence and CIA Director Gina Haspel offered testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee that appeared to contradict the president's views on Iran.

9. Special counsel Robert Mueller wants Roger Stone case slow-walked to trial because of vast amount of complex evidence

The evidence collected in the criminal case of President Donald Trump's longtime political advisor Roger Stone is "Voluminous and complex," special counsel Robert Mueller says. The evidence collected in the criminal case of President Donald Trump's longtime political advisor Roger Stone is "Voluminous and complex," special counsel Robert Mueller said in a court filing Thursday. Stone is accused of lying to Congress about his communications with top Trump campaign officials regarding WikiLeaks' releases of information damaging to Democrat Hillary Clinton's campaign.

10. Russian "troll farm" at heart of Mueller investigation evicted from headquarters after wave of bomb threats

The infamous Internet Research Agency, dubbed the "Troll farm" at the center of Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation into Russia's election interference, has been evicted from its St. Petersburg headquarters after a series of bomb threats, according to Russian media. For five straight days, the Russian firm was harassed with "Fake" bomb threats, leading to the building's evacuation and the annoyance of other tenants, The Moscow Times reported on Thursday. Russian officials have denied the accusations, arguing that the entire investigation is based on false reports and "Frenzied" media.

11. Pipeline Work Destroyed Salmon Habitat, Puts Orcas at Risk, Scientists Say: 'Shoddy work on a section of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Chilliwack, British Columbia has “degraded” a local coho and chum salmon habitat'

Biologist Mike Pearson found that poor work on the Trans Mountain pipeline made a local stream unsuitable for chum salmon. Shoddy work on a section of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Chilliwack, British Columbia has "Degraded" a local coho and chum salmon habitat, says a BC-based biologist with more than 30 years' experience. Pearson says that salmon populations, and the orcas that rely on them as as a food source, could be at risk in the future if other streams receive the same treatment if the pipeline expansion gets the go-ahead. In a statement released Wednesday on its website, Trans Mountain Corp. said Pearson's comments were "Inaccurate." Stewart Creek construction plans were approved by relevant regulatory agencies, and third-party environmental professionals assessed the work, the company added.

12. Ireland dismisses the suggestion that they should leave the European Union and join the United Kingdom

Ireland has dismissed the suggestion that the best solution to the Brexit impasse might be for the country to quit the EU and join the UK. Questioned about the possibility by the BBC Today presenter John Humphrys, Ireland's Europe minister, Helen McEntee, said it was not contemplating quitting the EU, that polls showed 92% of the population wanted to remain in the bloc, and "Irexit" was not plausible. The Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted he was "Gobsmacked" to hear the BBC suggest "That the solution to #Brexitshambles is for Ireland to leave the EU & rejoin the UK! Such woeful ignorance of history & of modern day Ireland." The Irish senator Neale Richmond said this was what Ireland "Was dealing with" in commentary in the UK. McEntee appeared on Today just hours after the Irish taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, raised the prospect of police or soldiers being deployed on the border with Northern Ireland in the event of no deal.

13. Sri Lanka halts imports of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder pending asbestos tests

COLOMBO - Sri Lanka has halted imports of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder until the company proves its product is free from cancer-causing asbestos, two government officials and the product's local distributor told Reuters. Stocks of the product already in Sri Lanka can still be sold, but there will be no new imports of the talc, a popular healthcare product across Sri Lanka and much of Asia, until J&J India, from where Sri Lanka imports the product, provides fresh test results. On Dec. 14, Reuters reported that the U.S. drugs and consumer products group knew for decades that asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder, leading to tests in several countries, including in India.

14. Meat from endangered sharks is finding its way on to the British menu, according to a study. DNA tests show that shark products destined for restaurants include two species vulnerable to extinction.

The UK is playing a continuing role in the "Damaging trade in endangered shark species", they say. "The discovery of scalloped hammerheads in shark fins that were destined to be sold in the UK highlights how widespread the sale of these endangered species really is," Dr Andrew Griffiths told BBC News. The scalloped hammerhead shark was identified among 10 shark fins imported for the UK restaurant trade.

15. Belgian children step up climate protest | For a fourth week, tens of thousands of children have skipped school in Belgium to join protests demanding tougher action against climate change. New impetus came in an open letter from 3,450 Belgian scientists saying "the activists are absolutely right"

For a fourth week, tens of thousands of children have skipped school in Belgium to join protests demanding tougher action against climate change. Ahead of the marches in Brussels, Liège and Leuven, dozens of children protested outside the home of Belgium's environment minister. Isidore Vlassenroot, 12, at school in Ghent: "I am marching because I believe we should make our voice heard as young people. It is very special to be part of such a huge crowd. We all have the same goal: a better planet. So many children wanting a better planet is something very unique. We have four ministers and no climate policy, which is very sad.".

16. New Zealand brings first 'fake mānuka honey' prosecution - Company is accused of adding synthetic chemicals, including one used in tanning lotion, to honey

Now the Auckland-based health company is being prosecuted by New Zealand Food Safety on 64 charges of alleged adulteration of honey with artificial chemicals. Rumours are rife of a global "Fake" m?nuka honey problem and the latest figures suggest up to half of honey sold as m?nuka worldwide is not genuine. "Bryan Wilson, the head of New Zealand Food Safety, said in a statement:"New Zealand Food Safety is prosecuting Evergreen Life Ltd and its manager for alleged adulteration of honey with synthetic MGO and DHA. "There are a total of 64 charges - the most serious carrying maximum penalties of five years' imprisonment or $500,000 fine in the case of a body corporate."

17. Mueller says Russians are using his discovery materials in disinformation effort

Russians are using materials obtained from special counsel Robert Mueller's office in a disinformation campaign apparently aimed at discrediting the investigation into Moscow's election interference, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday. Concord Management, a company owned by a Russian oligarch known as President Vladimir Putin's "Chef," is one of three Russian entities that were accused by the special counsel last February of helping to mastermind the social media meddling into the 2016 election. Prosecutors added, "The fact that the webpage contained numerous irrelevant files suggest that the person who created the webpage used their knowledge of the nonsensitive discovery to make it appear as though the irrelevant files contained on the webpage were the sum total evidence of 'IRA and Russian collusion' gathered by law enforcement in this matter in an apparent effort to discredit the investigation."

18. Brexit crisis: MPs ordered to stay in parliament to solve EU withdrawal chaos as February recess cancelled

Rea Leadsom has announced that parliament's week-long recess in February has been cancelled in order to deal with the sheer amount of Brexit legislation. Speaking in the chamber on Thursday, Ms Leadsom said she had no intention to bring forward a motion on February recess dates and said MPs "May therefore need to continue to sit to make progress" on Brexit legislation. Earlier on Thursday, Mr Hunt echoed Ms Leadsom's concerns about the need to pass the necessary legislation before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March - in just 57 days' time.

19. Italy has just fallen into recession

Italy has fallen into recession after its economy shrank by 0.2 per cent in the final three months of 2018. Gross domestic product in the eurozone's third-largest economy fell 0.2 per cent between October and December, following a 0.1 per cent decline in the third quarter, Italy's national statistics office ISTAT reported on Thursday. Destatis, the country's statistics office, reported that its economy grew by just 1.5 per cent last year, down from 2.5 per cent in 2017 and the weakest performance since 2013.

20. Russian lawmaker arrested on the Senate floor for ordering at least two contract killings

Then a vote was announced to relieve Arashukov of his parliamentary immunity to allow him to be charged for murder. Reports from the courtroom said Arashukov tried to escape the chamber via the balcony while being told to "Sit down" by the chairwoman of the Federation Council, often called Russia's senate. During the interrogation, Arashukov reportedly requested an interpreter because he did not speak Russian well and required translation into his native language, according to an investigative committee spokeswoman.

21. Apple is Doing More to Police Facebook Than the U.S. Government

When Apple said on Wednesday that, in response to a revelation that Facebook was monitoring minors' cellphone usage, it would curtail the platform's ability to distribute apps, it overshadowed the U.S. government as a regulator of the company's privacy practices. "Despite early reports, there was nothing 'secret' about this; it was literally called the Facebook Research App," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement emailed to Mother Jones. Facebook says the Facebook Research app was not built to replaced Onavo.

22. U.S. Far Right Figures Flew to Russia to Party with Oligarchs and Fascists

A cache of hacked emails revealed that a senior figure in the Bradley Foundation, a prominent financier of right-wing groups in the US, attended a gala alongside Russian oligarchs and officials shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2014. The Daily Beast reported that a new leak site called Distributed Denial of Secrets hacked the email accounts of Russian officials and sanctioned oligarchs. The 2014 gala is significant as it illustrates a concerted effort from Russian officials to court the American religious right.

23. Italy falls into recession as eurozone economy struggle

The Italian economy slipped into recession in the final three months of the year, weighing on the wider eurozone's growth, official figures showed Thursday. The Italian statistics agency said that Italy, the third-largest economy in the 19-country eurozone, contracted by a quarterly rate of 0.2% in the fourth quarter. The recession in Italy has weighed on the wider eurozone, which grew by only 0.2% in the final three months of 2018, the same as in the previous quarter.

24. Monarch butterfly population wintering in Mexico increases 144%

The population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144% over last year, according to new research. Jorge Rickards, director of World Wildlife Fund in Mexico which participates in the monitoring, cautioned that the butterflies, like other insects, see their annual populations rise and fall and the monarchs have had a declining trend. Norris saw little connection between this year's increase and the concerted conservation efforts along the butterflies' migration route, especially in Mexico where the government, with the help of local communities, has nearly eliminated illegal logging inside the butterflies' protected area west of Mexico City.

25. City-Sized 1,000-Foot Deep Cavity Found in Glacier, Warns NASA, Signaling 'Rapid Decay' of Antarctic Ice

Scientists expected to find some relatively small gaps between the glacier and bedrock, but were unsettled by the 1,000-foot deep cavity the mission revealed. Cool cool, scientists just discovered a giant cavity amounting to 14 billion tons of missing ice beneath Antarctica's most imperiled glacier https://t. In the part of the Thwaites Glacier where the cavity has been detected, the scientists have observed a "Complex pattern of retreat and ice melt" with parts of the glacier retreating about 2,625 feet per year.