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Overnight News Digest, aka OND, is a community feature here at Daily Kos. Each editor selects news stories on a wide range of topics.
|By Winda Benedetti
Hacking collective LulzSec has struck its biggest target yet — the Central Intelligence Agency.
The loose-knit organization claimed via its Twitter feed that it was responsible for the outage of the CIA.gov website for awhile Wednesday during the early evening hours ET. The website is now back online.
A visit to the site of the CIA's public website earlier confirmed that it was, indeed, offline, and a CIA spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said the agency is looking into what happened.
Missouri River floodwaters near Iowa town's new levee
|By Michael Avok
(Reuters) - A handful of downtown businesses stood open on Wednesday as contractors pushed to finish a temporary top to a floodwall that protects Hamburg's southern section from approaching Missouri River floodwaters.
Federal flood officials expect additions to the secondary floodwall to be completed by Wednesday evening, not long after water pouring from a Missouri River levee breach five miles away is expected to reach the base of the protection.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to tour Hamburg, a city of 1,200 in the southwest corner of the state, Wednesday night. About 300 residents of the south side of Hamburg were under mandatory evacuation orders and water spilling from the levee breach has forced some rural residents out of their homes and the closing of parts of Interstate 29 and other roads.
Going back to a terrifying place where a young man grew old
|By Col. Jack Jacobs
There is a reason they call it the “infantry.”
Even before the word became part of the English language about 500 years ago, it was always young people who bore the brunt of fighting, on the ground with primitive weapons, toe-to-toe with the enemy. The adults were to the rear, often on horses. The image that we have today, of a grizzled John Wayne, is the creation of modern media. It has always been the kids – scrawny, immature children – who did the fighting.
Most new soldiers are about 19 years old, and so when I went to war at 22, I was already middle-aged by infantry standards. But in the rear-view mirror of advanced age I look very young indeed. Combat is life-changing for anyone who experiences it, and while some things are difficult for old people to remember, the terrifying days you fought for your life are not among them.
An open, fallow rice paddy near Cao Lanh, Vietnam, was the site of a ferocious ambush in which I was caught a long time ago.
CIA drone plan in Yemen faces obstacles
|By Mark Hosenball
(Reuters) - An Obama administration plan to expand the use of CIA-operated drones against militants in Yemen faces obstacles and will take considerable effort to put into full operation, a U.S. official familiar with the plan said.
It "could take months, not weeks" for the U.S. spy agency to bring its planned Yemen drone activities up to full speed, the official told Reuters.
Other U.S. officials have said that the CIA was trying to build up a drone surveillance and attack capability in Yemen similar to the program the agency uses against militants in tribal areas along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.
But the officials said disorder in Yemen was hampering the agency's efforts to expand its activities. Yemeni government disorganization and, more recently, anti-government protests have made it difficult to set up the kind of physical infrastructure and deploy equipment needed to run a drone program, officials say.
NRC hearing raises questions about safety at nuclear plants
|By Mark Clayton
A Nuclear Regulatory Commission hearing offered fresh findings in the runup to a final 90-day safety review report on the US nuclear fleet due next month.
A safety task force staff told the five-member commission that America's nuclear plants were safe, but noted that:
• In many cases, older "vintage" plants that undergo relicensing examinations to operate an added 20 years are not required to bring those plants fully up to current safety standards
How to watch the lunar eclipse right now on YouTube
|By Matthew Shaer
The very first lunar eclipse of 2011 –– and also the longest lunar eclipse since 2000 –– will begin Wednesday afternoon at around 1:24 EDT. For space lovers and astronomy geeks, that is the good news. This is the bad news: The lunar eclipse will only be visible to people in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. Just about everywhere, in other words, but North America.
Which has really, really bummed out the tech team at Google. "[W]hen we learned that part of the world will be treated to a rare 100-minute long total lunar eclipse.... we were both excited and disappointed that this rare occasion wouldn’t be visible from our Mountain View campus," Noel Gorelick, Google's "Chief Extraterrestrial Observer," wrote in a blog post today.
Luckily, Gorelick and his pals had a solution: Google has hooked up with Slooh Space Camera, a kind of Web 2.0 astronomy club, to provide a live feed of the lunar eclipse. Interested? You've got some options. You can watch the eclipse from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. PST on the Google YouTube channel. You can download the Slooh Android app. You can select the "sky" layer on Google Earth.
America's tale of 2 different dads
|By Wayne Drash, CNN
A tale of two different fathers has emerged in America: Those who regularly participate in their children's everyday lives and those who live apart from their kids, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center.
"On the one hand, fathers who live with their kids seem to be far more actively involved with their kids than they were 50 years ago," says Gretchen Livingston, the lead author of the Pew study.
"But at the same time, the share of dads living apart from their children has more than doubled" since 1960.
Low-Carbohydrate, High-Protein Diets May Reduce Both Tumor Growth Rates and Cancer Risk
Eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the growth of tumors already present, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The study was conducted in mice, but the scientists involved agree that the strong biological findings are definitive enough that an effect in humans can be considered.
"This shows that something as simple as a change in diet can have an impact on cancer risk," said lead researcher Gerald Krystal, Ph.D., a distinguished scientist at the British Columbia Cancer Research Centre.
Extra insult: Colds in summer nastier, last longer
|By Maureen Salamon
Your beach bag is packed, your swimsuit beckons and your calendar is full of fun plans for barbecues and backyard parties. But if you’re stuck inside with a miserable cold, you’re probably wondering what the heck happened.
And to make things worse, summer colds often last longer and have a higher chance of recurring, according to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, attending physician for infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y.
"The summer cold is really kind of tricky," Hirsch said, "probably because the viruses that cause it [can be] different than a winter cold. Something about it is awful and insidious."
Greek PM says will form new government after mass protest
|By Renee Maltezou and Ingrid Melander
Greece's prime minister said he would form a new government and seek a vote of confidence from his parliamentary group after violent protests against austerity on Wednesday, with Athens teetering on the brink of default.
Senior European Union officials said agreement among the region's governments on a second international bailout of Greece was now unlikely to be reached at a summit next week and could be delayed until mid-July, after they failed to form a consensus on how private investors would share the burden.
The euro sank 1.8 percent against the dollar, heading for its biggest daily drop since early May, and other currencies around the world also fell as investors feared Europe's plans to rescue Greece were falling apart.
Medicaid kids denied medical care, says study
|By Lindsey Tanner
Children on public insurance are being denied treatment by doctors at much higher rates than those with private coverage, according to an undercover study that had researchers pose as parents of sick kids seeking an appointment with a specialist.
Snubbed even by specialists whose offices supposedly accept public insurance patients, these kids also had to wait much longer to see a doctor. Low Medicaid reimbursements are the likely reason, the study authors said.
The study was done in Cook County, Ill., the nation's second-most populous county which includes Chicago, but the researchers and others say the results likely reflect practices around the country.
Jury convicts Georgia woman of trafficking 2 Nigerian women
|By Dana Ford
A Georgia woman has been convicted of human trafficking and other charges for bringing two Nigerian women to the United States and forcing them to work in her lavish home like slaves, the U.S. Justice Department said Monday.
Bidemi Bello, 41, was convicted on eight counts by a federal jury late last week: two counts each of forced labor, trafficking for forced labor and making false statements in an application to become a U.S. citizen, and one count each of document servitude and alien harboring.
"The evidence showed that this was a case of modern-day slavery hidden within an expensive home in an upscale neighborhood," said Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
James Arthur Ray Didn't Help the Dying, Witnesses Say
|By Howard Breuer
After attending many courses led by self-help guru James Arthur Ray, Dennis Mehraver says he developed great trust in his mentor and came to believe that Ray "knew how far I could go better than myself."
But as Mehraver and others struggled to remain conscious in the stifling heat of a sweat lodge during a retreat with Ray in 2009, their leader did nothing to stop the ceremony or to check on their well-being, Mehraver says.
Mehraver's last memory was an urge to flee, and when he finally came to after passing out, a smiling Ray was sitting in a chair and saying, "Go get a shower and get ready for dinner," Mehraver has testified in Camp Verde, Ariz., where Ray, 53, is on trial on reckless manslaughter charges. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison for each manslaughter count.
Places In Peril: 2011's Most Endangered Historic Sites
|by Cheryl Corley
On Wednesday, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its latest list of places the trust considers the most endangered in the country. The list of 11 includes a Chicago hospital; a jazz musician's home; and a plant in Minneapolis that was once the world's most advanced flour mill.
Here are sites in every region of the country on this list, but the Old Prentice Women's Hospital in Chicago is in the most imminent danger of being torn down. Preservationists rallied at the hospital Wednesday, chanting for landmark status as the building's concrete, cloverleaf-shaped tower loomed in the background. Jonathan Fine, the executive director of Preservation Chicago, says the old hospital — designed by architect Bertrand Goldberg in the 1970s — is a modern masterpiece.
In a city renowned internationally for architecture, Fine says, destroying such a structure would be a travesty: "It's not what great cities do or culturally literate cities do. We don't destroy works of art."
Lifeguards' special-status pensions under scrutiny in California
|By Catherine Saillant and Mike Reicher
As lifeguards begin their busy summer season, the bronzed guardians of California's beaches find themselves at the unlikely center of the battle over costly public pensions.
The six-figure salaries of some full-time municipal lifeguards have fueled talk radio segments and blog comments in recent weeks, with some commentators expressing surprise at the pay for those who patrol the beaches.
For local government, the larger concern is over the pensions that lifeguards receive when they retire. Most full-time lifeguards get the most generous public retirement plan — the same "public safety" pensions received by police officers and firefighters. Lifeguards argue that they deserve the benefits because they put their lives at risk, not just from rescuing beachgoers but because of an elevated risk of skin cancer from years under the sun.
Parsing The Details Of New Sunscreen Regulations
|By Nancy Shute
The federal Food and Drug Administration is ordering sunscreen manufacturers to change the way they label their products to prohibit the use of certain marketing terms. The rules are also designed to clear up confusion about the meaning of "sun protection factor," or SPF, and other terms like "waterproof."
SPF measures a sunscreen's ability to prevent sunburn, which is caused by ultraviolet B (UVB) light. Scientists now also know that ultraviolet A (UVA) is a major cause of aging and also contributes to skin cancer. But SPF labels on sunscreen do not currently address the risks of UVA light.
"Consumers might have a misinterpretation, not realizing that they're not being fully protected," says Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, a group that has been pushing the FDA for years to require better sunscreen labels.