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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

February 10, 2010

BREVITAS

Water Tech Online - A study by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection has found that even properly disposed of pharmaceuticals may find their way into the drinking water supply. . . Researchers found small amounts of medications - including antidepressants, birth control pills and over-the-counter pain relievers - in landfill water, or leachate. . . The results of the study have been released at the same time that Maine legislators are debating a bill which would require drug manufacturers to collect and dispose of unused drugs.

The Hill - Federal agencies were closed on Monday and Tuesday at an estimated cost of $100 million a day in lost productivity and opportunity costs, according to the calculation of the Office of Personnel Management. . . Tele-working could help, but relatively few federal workers have tele-working agreements. A 2009 report by OPM said 102,900 federal staffers were tele-working, out of a total of 1.96 million employees. . . The 2009 OPM report said almost half of all agencies had not integrated tele-work into their contingency plans for occasions when circumstances make it hard to continue operations, as has been the case this snowbound week. The report said management resistance was one of the biggest barriers to modernization and change.

Tree Hugger - Xie Yan, the China Country Program Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, estimates that fewer than 50 South China Tigers are left in the wild, with about "10 still live in the southwestern province of Yunnan, some 15 in Tibet, and 20 or so in northwestern Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces." Even if take a step back and look at 12 Asian countries and Russia, it is estimated that only about 3,500 tigers are left in the wild, compared to around 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century

Boston Phoenix - The National Republican Congressional Committee has added 14 new candidates to its "Young Guns" program, and promoted 15 of its Young Guns to "Contender" status. Of the 14 added, one is a woman; of the 15 promoted, one is a woman. There are now four women in the program, out of 64 candidates. That's an even lower percentage than the current female makeup of Republican House members -- which is below 10%.


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