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Claim: Oil clean-up crews sent away as body parts washed up on beach

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A former BP contractor who worked on Gulf oil clean-up efforts is alleging that officials ordered clean-up crews off a Florida beach shortly before human body parts began to wash up on shore.

The contractor, who insisted that he remain anonymous because he was ordered not to talk about what he had seen and heard, made the allegation in a videotaped interview with Gregg Hall, a citizen journalist in Pensacola, Florida, who has been chronicling the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster.

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The contractor says he was working on a clean-up crew on the beach in Destin, Florida, when supervisors ordered the crew off the beach.

“One hour after we were shifted [out], body parts started washing up on Destin,” the contractor said. “Hands, arms, one leg with a foot on it. That wasn’t talked about.”

“I’ve never heard about that,” a surprised Hall responded.

The unnamed contractor went on to explain that a separate crew at the Destin site had dug a 15-foot deep trench on the beach, and supervisors wouldn’t explain why it was being dug.

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“Once they dug the hole and covered it up, everybody disappeared. Boom, they were gone,” the contractor said. “No telling what could be in there.”

“We were told at that time, don’t say anything to anybody,” the contractor continued. “If they ask you questions, you can say one thing, talk to that white shirt [supervisor] over there.”

The contractor said there was a system in place to give the “runaround” to anyone asking questions by referring them to one official after another.

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The contractor also said he heard supervisors talking openly about BP paying researchers “so that they would report the way BP wanted them to.” BP wanted these studies to “quieten people down” about the oil spill, he alleged.

But the contractor stressed this was only what he heard from supervisors. “Whether that’s a fact, I don’t know.”

The following video was posted to YouTube by Gregg Hall of PColaGregg.

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Quantum dots that light up TVs could be used for brain research

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While many people love colorful photos of landscapes, flowers or rainbows, some biomedical researchers treasure vivid images on a much smaller scale – as tiny as one-thousandth the width of a human hair.

To study the micro world and help advance medical knowledge and treatments, these scientists use fluorescent nano-sized particles.

Quantum dots are one type of nanoparticle, more commonly known for their use in TV screens. They’re super tiny crystals that can transport electrons. When UV light hits these semiconducting particles, they can emit light of various colors.

That fluorescence allows scientists to use them to study hidden or otherwise cryptic parts of cells, organs and other structures.

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If impeachment comes to the Senate – 5 questions answered

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Editor’s note: If the House of Representatives concludes its impeachment inquiry by passing articles of impeachment of President Donald Trump, attention will turn to the Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, is known as a master of the Senate’s rules, and has been raising campaign donations with ads touting the power he would have over impeachment proceedings. Constitutional scholar Sarah Burns from the Rochester Institute of Technology answers some crucial questions already arising about what McConnell might be able to do, to either slow down the process or speed things along.

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Andrew Yang’s ‘freedom dividend’ echoes a 1930s basic income proposal that reshaped Social Security

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Entrepreneur and political novice Andrew Yang is hoping a wild gambit will help him win the Democratic presidential nomination: give 10 American families US$1,000 a month.

The announcement of a test run of his signature universal basic income proposal, which Yang argues is necessary to counter automation’s threat to millions of American jobs, garnered cheers from the student audience at the September debate and gave his candidacy a boost. At least half a million people have entered Yang’s basic income raffle.

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