Brett Michael Dykes

    Brett Michael Dykes

    National Affairs Reporter
  • FINAL LOOK: Fracking spill in Pennsylvania after blowout of gas well

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • On the anniversary of the BP spill, a natural gas well in Pennsylvania has blown out and a major operation is underway to "kill the well." (Grist) • Firefighters in Texas are battling massive blazes across the state. (CNN) • [...]

  • A snapshot of lives changed course by Gulf oil disaster

    It's been a year since the Gulf oil disaster captivated the nation and turned countless lives along the Coast upside down. We spoke with some residents of the region whose lives were connected and deeply altered by the events of April 20, 2010. Here, to honor the anniversary, those forever-changed locals tell us how the [...]

  • FINAL LOOK: Bradley Manning moved to another prison

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • Bradley Manning is being moved to another prison. (Washington Post) • A six year-old in Texas brought a gun to school. (Houston Chronicle) • Fidel Castro says he's retired from leading Cuba. (Bloomberg) • A single company in Philadelphia owns [...]

  • Report: Natural gas drillers injected tons of carcinogenic chemicals into wells

    The New York Times' Ian Urbina reported over the weekend that, according to a report released by three House Democrats--Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California, Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Diana DeGette of Colorado--natural gas drillers injected hundreds of millions of gallons of 29 known carcinogens into the ground in 13 states while fracking [...]

  • FINAL LOOK: FBI shuts down top online poker websites

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • The FBI shut down the three largest online poker websites today. (LA Times) • Some industry observers believe that the plans put forth by oil companies to begin drilling again in the Gulf are inadequate. (McClatchy) • The owner of [...]

  • Ex-marine/veterans advocate’s suicide has many reeling

    It's been hard enough for most Americans to keep absorbing the grim news about the growing mental health crisis among U.S. soldiers, which has in turn fed skyrocketing suicide rates. And now the news that Clay Hunt committed suicide is like a hard punch to the solar plexus of U.S. armed forces. You see, Hunt, a [...]

  • Three of the five Western journalists missing in Libya spotted in detention camp

    Just days after releasing four journalists working for the New York Times, Muammer Gadhafi's Libyan security forces took more Western reporters captive last week. And though details of their condition and whereabouts are still scant, three of the missing five--Clare Morgana Gillis, a freelancer on assignment for The Atlantic, James Wright Foley, a correspondent for [...]

  • BP plotted to influence what scientists say about oil spill’s impact, internal emails reveal

    With the first anniversary of the onset of the BP oil spill coming up next week, spill-weary Gulf natives have a fresh reminder of how the oil giant has devoted itself to studiously downplaying the damage of the disaster: A recently leaked body of internal company correspondence shows senior BP brass trying to spin scientific [...]

  • FINAL LOOK: Senator intentionally landed plane on closed runway

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • A sitting U.S. senator endangered the lives of airport workers when he landed his private plane on a closed runway he was specifically told not to land on. (Smoking Gun) • Black athletes attending BYU are much more likely to [...]

  • EPA official tells Congress that agency is ‘taking action’ on fracking

    The Environmental Protection Agency is "pushing forward in a very strong and strenuous way" to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, EPA Deputy Administrator Robert Perciasepe told the Senate Environment and Public Works committee yesterday. "We are taking action," Perciasepe told the committee, in reference to the drilling companies that extract natural gas from deep shale [...]

  • Hoax press release targets G.E. tax controversy

    A strong wave of populist outrage greeted last month's news that  G.E.--in addition to paying no income tax on $5.1 billion in U.S. profits--received a $3.2 billion tax refund from the government. Given the country's sour fiscal condition, the company's big refund sparked a fresh round of calls to end large-scale tax breaks for corporations--and [...]

  • Hot pink-toenailed boy in J. Crew ad sparks controversy

    When J. Crew sent out its latest catalog, we doubt that the classic clothing company expected it would be blasted by social conservatives as "transgendered child propaganda." But alas, it has. The images in question fall under pages titled "Saturday with Jenna" -- featuring products personally favored by J. Crew president and creative director Jenna [...]

  • FINAL LOOK: Body of Japanese tsunami victim washes up on Oregon coast

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • The body of a Japanese tsunami victim has washed ashore in Oregon. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) • TEPCO delayed issuing a full warning about the severity of the nuclear crisis in Japan. (Telegraph) • The Flip camera that was all the rage [...]

  • Convicted felon claims he owns 50 percent of Facebook

    Yesterday, an appeals court struck down an attempt by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's archnemeses, the Winklevoss twins, to override their 2008 settlement with the company and sue for more money. Then just hours later, a new drama about the origins of the social media giant emerged: A man, who claims to be Zuckerberg's initial funder, [...]

  • Is the president of the Czech Republic a pen stealer?

    As just about anyone who's ever worked in an office can attest, one of life's most festering annoyances are people who don't return pens that they borrow. Now it appears as though Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus may be one of those people, and the citizens of the nation he rules over are none too [...]

  • New chili pepper crowned world’s hottest

    Fighting fire with more fire -- and a WWF-worthy name -- there's a new champ holding the title of  world's hottest chili pepper. As you may recall, in December The Lookout reported on the Naga Viper and its initiation as the chili pepper with the most heat. But now there's a hotter ticket in town:  [...]

  • FINAL LOOK: Aetna CEO admits he couldn’t get insurance on private market

    Here is our roster of stories that managed to evade the full-on blog treatment: • More people lived in New York City homeless shelters last year than ever before. (Fox) • Documents show that Donald Rumsfeld didn't have complete trust in his own generals at the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Gawker) [...]

  • Winklevoss twins cannot sue Facebook for more money, says court

    A federal appeals court ruled today that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have to live with the terms of their 2008 settlement with Facebook. The identical twin former Harvard University classmates of the site's founder Mark Zuckerberg have long insisted that he stole their idea. Now comes a ruling that the twins were smart enough to [...]

  • New York serial killer thought to be real-life ‘Dexter’

    With summer approaching, a cunning, vicious and prolific serial killer is on the loose in New York City--a sadly familiar refrain--and experts believe he may be someone well-versed in forensic investigations. In other words, Gotham may have its own real-life "Dexter" on the loose, responsible for the deaths of at least four women, possibly eight. [...]

  • Study: Fracking for natural gas more hazardous than burning coal

    The natural gas industry has long put forth that its product is superior to other energy sources because it burns cleaner. But a new study by Cornell University finds that the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking"--employed recently on a grand scale to extract gas from shale formations deep below the earth's surface--is actually [...]