Thursday, February 18, 2016

Nuke Material Stolen In Iraq – Dirty Bomb Fears Grip Governments
A newly discovered document has uncovered a bombshell: A Category 2 radioactive substance was stolen from a U.S.-owned facility in Iraq last November now has officials fearing that it has fallen into the hands of ISIS and used as a dirty bomb.

The storage facility in question was located in the southern Iraq city of Basra, and with no signs of forced entry could signal an inside job. Additionally, investigators believe the perpetrator knew how to handle the material which was in a protective case the size of a laptop.

According to the Independent:

An anonymous senior environment ministry official based in the city told Reuters the device contained up to 10 grams (0.35 ounces) of Ir-192 “capsules”, a radioactive isotope of iridium also used to treat cancer.

The material is classed as a Category 2 radioactive by the International Atomic Energy Agency – meaning it can be fatal to anyone in close proximity to it in a matter of days or even hours. 

The fears are now that as ISIS has proven they are willing to use chemical weapons, as they did in August killing 35 Kurds with mustard gas – they would love to get their hands on material to make a dirty bomb.

A dirty bomb is radioactive material strapped to conventional explosives with the intent of spreading the contaminant over a large area.

Iraqi officials urged calm staying that they are working tirelessly to get back the nuclear material.
Shortly after news broke last weekend about the death of conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement taking a stand against the confirmation of an Obama nominee to replace him.

"Today our country lost an unwavering champion of a timeless document that unites each of us as Americans. Justice Scalia's fidelity to the Constitution was rivaled only by the love of his family: his wife Maureen his nine children, and his many grandchildren. Through the sheer force of his intellect and his legendary wit, this giant of American jurisprudence almost singlehandedly revived an approach to constitutional interpretation that prioritized the text and original meaning of the Constitution. Elaine and I send our deepest condolences to the entire Scalia family," McConnell released in a statement. “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President.

To be clear, McConnell did not say Obama doesn't have the authority to nominate a replacement, he's simply execising the constitutional authority of the Senate to deny a nominee.
The president and first lady will not be in attendance at Justice Antonin Scalia's funeral this Saturday. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill will be in attendance. The service will be held on Saturday at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

President Obama and Michelle will pay their respects at the Supreme Court on Friday. Scalia will lie in repose in the Court's Great Hall until 8:00 p.m. that night.
Obama and first lady Michelle Obama instead will go to the Supreme Court on Friday “to pay their respects to Justice Scalia” while the justice lies in repose in the Great Hall, press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.
The last time a justice died was Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2005, and at that time President George W. Bush not only attended the funeral but also eulogized him.
Earnest declined to elaborate on what the Obamas would be doing on Saturday in lieu of the funeral.

While it's not unheard of for presidents to miss the funerals of retired justices, Obama's absence on Saturday may be the first time in at least 65 years that a current president has skipped the funeral of a sitting justice.