The Lookout
  • bradley manningToday, WikiLeaks was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for "disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes." Julian Assange's muckraking website can likely thank Army Private Bradley Manning for the nomination, for he's the person who allegedly turned over the treasure-trove of classified military documents to them.

    Then again, if Julian Assange ends up a Nobelist, maybe he should be sure to thank Manning's commanding officers in his acceptance speech -- since they deployed him to process intelligence documents in Iraq over the objections of Army psychologists, who said the young private was too mentally unstable for active duty.

    The Washington Post's Greg Jaffe and Ellen Nakashima report today that an Army investigation into the young soldier's alleged transfer of reams classified information into the orbit of WikiLeaks found that an Army mental health specialist at Fort Drum, N.Y. recommended tagging Manning as mentally unfit to serve in a war zone. What's more, Jaffe and Nakashima report that "Manning's immediate supervisors did not follow procedures for overseeing the secure area where the classified information was kept, greatly increasing the risk of a security breach." All told, the warning signs seemed to indicate that Manning was a WikiLeak waiting to happen.

    "There were serious leadership failures within the unit chain of command and gross negligence in the supervision of Pfc. Manning in Iraq," an unnamed military official told the paper. "Something happened in his personal life after he joined the Army."

    Read More »from Report: Army ignored warning signs pointing to Bradley Manning’s instability
  • job seekersSince at least last year, economists have been arguing about the root cause of our ongoing jobs crisis. Is the problem a lack of demand in the labor economy? Or does the chronic high level of unemployment stem from more structural factors -- such as a mismatch between the skills that workers in a given location possess, and the skills that today's jobs require?

    The answer is crucial, because fixing a demand problem would require more government stimulus, while addressing a structural mismatch would mean a longer-term process of education and retraining -- an effort President Obama alluded to in his recent State of the Union address.

    Today, the Washington Post weighs in on behalf of the "structural" explanation. Post reporter Michael A. Fletcher notes that Fresno, Calif. has a jobless rate of 16.9 percent -- way above the still-high national rate of 9.4 percent -- but that many employers in the region have job openings, and can't find the right workers to fill them.

    Read More »from WaPo focus on structural factors in jobs crisis may be off
  • AP070615047449

    The housing bust has even extended to fancy private islands, apparently. The last patch of privately owned real estate in San Francisco Bay has been lingering on the market since at least 2007, though the price has increased to $22 million since then.

    According to the real estate site, the 5.7-acre Red Rock Island is still up for sale, and whoever buys it also gets the mineral rights, though it's unclear if the owner would be allowed to build on the island.

    Red Rock has a long history: Rumors circulated in the early 18th century that pirates buried gold there. According to a 1970 New Vista magazine article, the first full-time occupant of the island was Selim Woodworth, who built a house there in 1851. The government claimed ownership of the land after that, before finally relinquishing its rights in the 20th century.

    Read More »from San Francisco Bay’s only private island still for sale


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  • Russia's Kalashnikov sends 'condolences' to sanction-struck U.S. consumers

    The Russian arms maker Kalashnikov expressed its sympathies on Tuesday to U.S. consumers who cannot buy the company's famous weapons because of U.S. sanctions over Ukraine. U.S. sanctions have struck some of Russia's most famous arms companies.

  • Mother Nature vs. Washington: “Deadliest Catch’s” Keith Colburn on the politics of crab fishing
    Mother Nature vs. Washington: “Deadliest Catch’s” Keith Colburn on the politics of crab fishing

    Captain Colburn talks crab fishing, Alaska politics, and the impact of climate change

  • Video shows young girl learning her baby brother will grow up...
    Video shows young girl learning her baby brother will grow up...

    Young girl learns her adorable baby brother will grow up...

  • Russia's central bank supports sanctions targets
    Russia's central bank supports sanctions targets

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's central bank promised to support financial institutions hit by U.S. sanctions as stocks took a tumble in Moscow on Wednesday.

  • Origins of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Revealed
    Origins of Mysterious World Trade Center Ship Revealed

    In July 2010, amid the gargantuan rebuilding effort at the site of the World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, construction workers halted the backhoes when they uncovered something unexpected just south of where the Twin Towers once stood. Now, a new report finds that tree rings in those waterlogged ribs show the vessel was likely built in 1773, or soon after, in a small shipyard near Philadelphia. What's more, the ship was perhaps made from the same kind of white oak trees used to build parts of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were signed, according to the study published this month in the journal Tree-Ring Research. Archaeologists had been on-site throughout the excavation of the World Trade Center's Vehicular Security Center.


    DEAR ABBY: In short, my son is a klutz -- to the point that it affects his self-confidence. He's different from everyone else in the family. Is being a klutz genetic? Is it permanent? He's not doing well academically, either. How can I help him? -- PARENT WHO CARES DEAR PARENT: One way to help your son would be to stop other family members from making fun of him and labeling him as a klutz. When people laugh and ridicule others, it makes them only more self-conscious and more clumsy. Another way to help would be to have him examined by an ophthalmologist and a neurologist. ...

  • Rare storm at California beach hard to see coming
    Rare storm at California beach hard to see coming

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — A thunderstorm formed so rapidly over a Southern California beach that experts said Monday it was impossible for anyone to predict a lightning strike would turn a day of carefree fun into one of terror.

  • Furor engulfs Chicago's red-light camera system
    Furor engulfs Chicago's red-light camera system

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is scrambling to contain a furor over the city's red-light camera system, which may have ticketed thousands of motorists under questionable circumstances. Prompted by ...

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