A US judge in Florida denied two motions to postpone and reduce the prison sentence of Bradley Birkenfeld, a former UBS employee who blew the whistle on the Swiss banking behemoth’s illegal offshore banking practices. Defense attorneys had argued that prosecutors at the Justice Department misled both the judge and Birkenfeld. GAP Homeland Security Director Jesselyn Radack was quoted in the article (Law.com):
Jesselyn Radack, homeland security director for the Government Accountability Project in Washington, said Birkenfeld is a victim of a power struggle between two branches of government."What appears to be the case is that the Department of Justice got upstaged by the Senate and is punishing the whistleblower," she said.
In environmental news, the CIA is sharing information with top U.S. climate scientists (NYT) to evaluate the effects of climate change around the world. This partnership was initially shut down by the Bush administration, but has been restarted of late. Some of the information shared includes satellite images. Also, world leaders issued many directives at the Copenhagen climate summit in December; however, none of the follow up work necessary to ensure the realization of the major directives was finished by the end of the conference (ClimateWire). Many are unsure when and how the directives will play out, including the major concern of funding to poor nations for climate change adaptability.