AP: “Equipment Didn’t Detect North Dakota Oil Leak”

The Associated Press via ABC:

Electronic monitoring equipment failed to detect a pipeline rupture that spewed more than 176,000 gallons of crude oil into a North Dakota creek, the pipeline’s operator said Monday.

It’s not yet clear why the monitoring equipment didn’t detect the leak, Wendy Owen, a spokeswoman for Casper, Wyoming-based True Cos., which operates the Belle Fourche Pipeline, said.

A landowner discovered the spill near Belfield on Dec. 5, according to Bill Suess, an environmental scientist with the North Dakota Health Department.

I can’t tell if this is unbelievable or completely believable, but either way this is terrible.

United Airlines will charge for overhead bins

Ben Brooks:

United has a new ticket fare, where no luggage is included in the price (except what fits at your feet). If you want overhead bin space, or to check, you pay. I actually love this, though I would much rather checked luggage be free and overhead charged for everyone.

I have no doubt this scheme is at least partly motivated by a desire for increased revenue on the side of the airlines, but I’m pleased that people will now be forced to more deliberate in the size and location of their bags when flying – a couple of times I’ve had pieces of luggage damaged by people cramming in overheads.

Shared interests of the populist right and the progressive left

Jeremy Corbyn via the BBC on the relationship between the progressive left and populist right:

“They are political parasites feeding on people’s concerns and worsening conditions, blaming the most vulnerable for society’s ills instead of offering a way for taking back real control of our lives from the elites who serve their own interests.

“But unless progressive parties and movements break with a failed economic and political establishment, it is the siren voices of the populist far right who will fill that gap.”

The Labour leader said economic conditions had been exploited by the populist right.

“We know the gap between rich and poor is widening; we know living standards are stagnating or falling and insecurity is growing; we know that many people rightly feel left behind by the forces unleashed by globalisation, powerless in the face of deregulated corporate power,” he said.

Bernie Sanders via CBS This Morning:

“We will hold Mr. Trump accountable. We have all of the things he has said and we are going to say to Mr. Trump, if you have the courage to actually stand up to the big money and trust of the billionaire class, if you have the courage, in fact, to develop policies to improve lives for working people count us in,” Sanders said. “You want for increase the infrastructure and way equity for women, we are on your side.”
Two different countries, politicians, and messages, but same cautious view of the populist right.


WSJ: “China’s Dalian Wanda Group Faces Renewed U.S. Regulatory Scrutiny”

The Wall Street Journal reports of Chuck Schumer, New York Senator and House Minority Leader:

Mr. Schumer said the ability for Chinese companies to take a majority stake in U.S. assets, often backed by state officials and China’s sovereign-wealth funds, is unfair considering stateside companies are handicapped from doing similar deals in China. U.S. companies hoping to do business in China usually have to form a joint venture that often includes the sharing of intellectual property—an arrangement that Mr. Schumer called a “pay to play system.”

I was critical of the decision to go with Schumer as minority leader, but if he continues to take action like this, I would gladly retract that.