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Feed Techdirt: Sens. Feinstein And Durbin Specifically Try To Carve Citizen Journalists Out Of (techdirt.com)

There was a lot of reasonable concern earlier this year when a much needed federal shield law proposal appeared to ignore participatory journalists and only cover those employed by major media companies. After people complained about this we were relieved to see Senators Chuck Schumer and Arlen Specter change the bill to cover participatory journalism as well. As they realized such a law should be about protecting acts of journalism not some arbitrary definition of journalists.

Unfortunately, it looks like some other Senators disagree. Karl Bode alerts us to the news that Senators Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Durbin are specifically trying to limit the bill to only covering major media journalists. It's hard to see any rationale for such a move, but it does seem rather obnoxious. One of the fundamental points of a strong media is the ability to protect their sources. Without that, it's that much harder for the media to actually hold anyone accountable, since sources will be more afraid to reveal important information. Why would Senators Feinstein and Durbin be so against protecting the process of journalism?

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Submission + - No ice at the North Pole? (independent.co.uk) 2

Raver32 writes: It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year. The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic — and worrying — examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer. "From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!