FROM Jennifer Oldham
The Bakken Bust? In a very short time, the State of North Dakota surpassed Alaska as America's second-largest producer of oil. That was when the price was on the rise. Now it's on the decline. Photo by J Stephen Conn "For most of the past decade, North Dakota [was] the economic envy of every state in America." Now, it's in trouble because of something officials never expected: a severe drop in the price of oil. That's according to Jennifer Oldham, writing for Bloomberg .
Fires Blaze in East Valley and Porter Ranch Major fires have been burning all day in the San Fernando Valley, risking lives and property, causing evacuations, massive traffic jams and extensive air pollution.
LAX, Terrorist Plots and Airport Security British police have now arrested 24 people in a plot to blow up 10 planes bound for the US , causing what one official called "mass murder on an unimaginable scale." On CNN, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff agreed it was the biggest threat to this country since September 11. The discovery, which has American airports on "high" alert, includes LAX , where five airlines operate 20 daily non-stops to and from London-Heathrow. There's no evidence that LA-bound planes were targeted, but Mayor Villaraigosa calls it "a target of opportunity" and confirms a "clear and rapid response" today at all levels of government, indicating that that the city was prepared. New security measures instituted today will mean long lines and require early arrivals. No liquids will be allowed in carry-on baggage because they might be components of explosives. We get details of how the latest reported conspiracy will disrupt travel plans at the height of vacation season.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.