(CNN) – There are new developments this morning the in the Federal investigation of former Senator and Presidential candidate John Edwards. A new round of subpoenas have gone out and at issue is whether Edwards used campaign funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter.
CNN producer Raelyn Johnson was embedded with the Edward’s campaign in 2008 and told American Morning's John Roberts and Kiran Chetry that, according to her sources, “they are casting a very wide net.”
By Carol Costello and Ronni Berke, CNN
(CNN) – Marcy Hughes has lived in western Pennsylvania her whole life. Her home in Beaver County is like a picture postcard: Rolling hills. Lush farmland. Great schools. Back in the 1970s, Hughes says, she listened enthusiastically as representatives for Pennsylvania Power proposed building "Little Blue Run." Sure, its purpose was a place to dispose of coal ash - the waste left over from burning coal for electricity - but, that coal ash would serve as a foundation for a man-made lake.
"They said that they were going to have it where you could swim, you could picnic - they even showed a sailboat."
Today, Little Blue Run is a 1300-acre facility, with an impoundment measuring nearly 1000 acres, and 400 feet deep in some places. FirstEnergy Corporation, the utility company that now owns Little Blue, pumps tons of coal ash and other waste into it every year.
But, you won't find any sailboats. The EPA says that coal ash contains toxic agents like arsenic, cadmium and lead, some of which are known to cause cancer. And, Little Blue is about to get bigger. FirstEnergy produces so much waste to make electricity, it wants to build an adjacent facility to store it.
Little Blue Run is one of about 600 surface impoundments in the country that contain coal ash from coal-fired power plants like FirstEnergy's Bruce Mansfield Plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania. In addition, there are about 300 landfills containing dry waste.
The Environmental Protection Agency is now holding hearings across the country on coal ash waste. After the disastrous coal ash spill in Tennessee two years ago, the agency is considering whether to toughen regulations and classify coal-ash as "hazardous" waste. Right now it's considered ordinary garbage. The proposed changes could have an enormous financial impact on the hundreds of coal-fired power plants that produce half the nation's electricity.
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Administration criticized over oil spill estimates
(CNN) – The Obama administration vastly underestimated the tens of thousands of barrels of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, despite contrary information from scientists using better methodologies, a report from a national panel investigating the response said Wednesday.
And, the report said, the White House Office of Management and Budget squelched higher worst-case estimates once government officials accepted them, preventing the public from hearing them.
The staff also sharply criticized later White House estimates that 75 percent of the oil had been scooped up, burned or naturally dispersed, saying an operational tool - known as the oil budget - used by responders failed to accurately account for biodegradation and was not peer-reviewed by scientists. FULL STORY
Afghanistan starts peace council
(CNN) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday launched a council to help negotiate with the Taliban and find a way for peace.
Karzai told the group, made up of about 68 Afghan clerics and elders, that it can help establish peace in Afghanistan.
The peace council meeting is one of several addressing the war in recent days.
Political figures from Pakistan and Afghanistan were also sitting down this week in Kabul for a dialogue aimed at ending the nine-year-old Afghan war, in what one Afghan official called a "new phase" in building bridges and making peace with the Taliban
But a Taliban spokesman told CNN that the group was not interested in peace talks. FULL STORY
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