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NORAD Exercise Flights Planned Over W. Va., Baltimore, D.C. and Richmond

NORAD Exercise Flights Planned Over West Virginia, Baltimore, D.C. and Richmond 17 Jun 2010 North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct multiple exercise flights next week in the skies in the vicinity of northern West Virginia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Va. People may hear and see NORAD fighter aircraft in close proximity with DOD-contracted general aviation aircraft as they practice their intercept and identification procedures. NORAD has conducted exercise flights of this nature throughout the U.S. and Canada since the start of Operation Noble Eagle, the command’s response to the terrorist attacks [inside job] that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001.

Iran denies US assertion its missiles menace Europe

Iran denies US assertion its missiles menace Europe 19 Jun 2010 Iran's defense minister on Saturday denied US assertions that its missiles posed a threat to Europe and said Washington was spreading propaganda. Ahmad Vahidi accused US counterpart, [war criminal] Robert Gates of engaging in "psychological warfare" when he said on Thursday US intelligence showed Iran had "scores or even hundreds" of missiles it could use against Europe.

Gulf Coast residents brace for more oil

Gulf Coast residents brace for more oil --The largest spill in U.S. history threatens the coastal economies of four states including hard-hit Louisiana. 19 Jun 2010 Residents of the Gulf Coast braced for more oil from a ruptured BP Plc well to hit their beaches on Sunday as oil washed ashore at Panama City, a popular Florida tourist destination. The city's beaches remained open after clean-up crews removed the tar balls from shore, authorities said. Even so, the sight is a worry for a state with an annual tourism industry worth $60 billion.

BP Chief Draws Outrage for Attending Yacht Race

BP Chief Draws Outrage for Attending Yacht Race 19 Jun 2010 BP officials on Saturday scrambled yet again to respond to another public relations challenge when their embattled chief executive, Tony Hayward, spent the day off the coast of England watching his yacht compete in one of the world’s largest races. Two days after Mr. Hayward angered lawmakers on Capitol Hill with his refusal to provide details during testimony about the worst offshore oil spill in United States history, Mr. Hayward sparked new controversy from afar.

Napolitano: Internet Monitoring Needed to Fight Homegrown Terrorism

Napolitano: Internet Monitoring Needed to Fight Homegrown Terrorism 18 Jun 2010 Fighting homegrown terrorism by monitoring Internet communications is a civil liberties trade-off the U.S. government must make to beef up national security, the nation's homeland security chief said Friday. As terrorists increasingly recruit U.S. citizens, the government needs to constantly balance Americans' civil rights and privacy [?!?]  with the need to keep people safe, said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. But finding that balance has become more complex as homegrown terrorists have used the Internet to reach out to extremists abroad for inspiration and training.

Airport whole-body scans called vital by Napolitano

Airport whole-body scans called vital by Napolitano --Machines' use to continue, says Homeland chief 19 Jun 2010 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday that controversial whole-body imaging technology is necessary to combat terrorists who continue to target airliners. The Advanced Imaging Technology, which 18 airports will install sometime this year, uses either electro­magnetic waves or X-rays to render a nude image of the body. The machines are already in place in 32 other airports.

Petroleum industry objects to polar bear plan

Petroleum industry objects to polar bear plan 15 Jun 2010 Advocates for the petroleum industry in Alaska told the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the agency's polar bear critical habitat plan is seriously flawed. Marilyn Crockett, director of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association, said Tuesday that additional consultations because of polar bears, plus the cost of development projects being delayed or tied up in litigation, would be huge for the petroleum industry. [Hey, petroleum industry: Go f*ck yourself!]

U.S. Testing Pain Ray in Afghanistan

U.S. Testing Pain Ray in Afghanistan By Noah Shachtman 19 Jun 2010 The U.S. mission in Afghanistan centers around swaying locals to its side. And there’s no better persuasion tool than an invisible pain ray that makes people feel like they’re on fire. OK, OK. Maybe that isn’t precisely the logic being employed by those segments of the American military who would like to deploy the Active Denial System to Afghanistan. ...[T]hose ray-gun advocates better think long and hard about the Taliban’s propaganda bonanza when news leaks of the Americans zapping Afghans until they feel roasted alive. Because, apparently, the Active Denial System is "in Afghanistan for testing."

Israel closes Gaza trade crossings

Israel closes Gaza trade crossings 20 Jun 2010 Just a day after having announced it would ease restrictions, Israel has once again closed all trade crossings leading to the Gaza Strip. Under international pressure, Israel declared on Thursday that it agreed to a plan to ease the blockade of Gaza.

6 killed in bombing in S Afghanistan

6 killed in bombing in S Afghanistan 20 Jun 2010 Six people have been killed in a deadly bomb attack in southern Afghanistan as the United Nations voices concern over the deteriorating situation in the country. The incident occurred on Saturday when a bomb, apparently planted inside a police station in the Deh Rawood area of Uruzgan province, was detonated, local governor Khalifa Sadat told a Press TV correspondent.

Report: U.S., Israeli warships cross Suez Canal toward Red Sea

Report: U.S., Israeli warships cross Suez Canal toward Red Sea --Egypt opposition angered at government for allowing the fleet of more than 12 ships to cross Egyptian manned waterway, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reports. 19 Jun 2010 More than twelve United States Naval warships and at least one Israeli ship crossed the Suez Canal towards the Red Sea on Friday, British Arabic Language newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported Saturday. According to the report, thousands of Egyptian soldiers were deployed along the Suez Canal guarding the ships' passage, which included a U.S. aircraft carrier.

BP: Tony Hayward remains in charge

BP: Tony Hayward remains in charge 19 Jun 2010 BP clarified on Saturday that Tony Hayward was still in charge of the energy giant and its Gulf cleanup operations a day after another executive told Sky News that Hayward was relinquishing day-to-day spill duties, the New York Times reports... BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said in an e-mail Friday evening to USA TODAY that Hayward was still BP's CEO and was leading the oil response. "He has the full support of the board," Beaudo said.

Thousands Protest Electricity Shortage in Iraq

Thousands Protest Electricity Shortage in Iraq 19 Jun 2010 Thousands of demonstrators surged through the sweltering streets of Iraq’s second-largest city to protest persistent shortages of electricity on Saturday, clashing with the police in a disturbance that underlined the growing popular anger here over the Iraqi government’s inability to provide the basic necessities of life. One person was killed when the police opened fire on the demonstrators, who were throwing rocks at the provincial headquarters in Basra. [Saddam Hussein: *Clearly,* the better deal.]

Israelis robbed us, Flotilla members say

Israelis robbed us, Flotilla members say --Israel also arrested and later released nearly 700 activists from 42 countries who were on board the ships of the Freedom Flotilla. 19 Jun 2010 Freedom Flotilla activists say that the Israeli forces who arrested them stole some of their personal possessions and have still not returned them. The Israeli military attacked the Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea on May 31, killing nine Turkish citizens on board the M.V. Mavi Marmara and injuring about 50 other people who were part of the team on the six-ship convoy.

Blackwater Firm Gets $120M U.S. Gov't Contract

Blackwater Firm Gets $120M U.S. Gov't Contract 18 Jun 2010 CBS News has learned in an exclusive report that the State Department has awarded a part of what was formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide a contract worth more than $120 million for providing security services in Afghanistan. Private security firm U.S. Training Center, a business unit of the Moyock, N.C.-based Blackwater, now called Xe Services, was awarded the contract Friday, a State Department spokeswoman said Friday night. Under the contract, U.S. Training Center will provide "protective security services" at the new U.S. consulates in Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan, the spokeswoman said.

Deadly bombings kill at least 6 in Iraq

Deadly bombings kill at least 6 in Iraq 19 Jun 2010 At least six people have been killed and more than 80 others have been wounded after two car bombs went off in northern parts of Iraq, police sources say. The first blast took place near the home of a provincial official from the Turkman minority in Tuz Khurmato town on Friday, police Colonel Hussein al-Bayati told AFP. About 50 people -- among them women and children -- were injured and six others died due to the explosion.

US drone attack kills 11 in NW Pakistan

US drone attack kills 11 in NW Pakistan 19 Jun 2010 A new US drone attack in a tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, near the country's border with Afghanistan, has killed 11 people, intelligence officials say. A US drone aircraft fired two missiles targeting a house in Sokhel village in the North Waziristan region on Saturday. People are afraid to approach the attack site because at least three more drones are still flying over the area, residents say.

Afghanistan: 3 More Americans Killed

Afghanistan: 3 More Americans Killed 18 Jun 2010 Three more United States service members have died in southern Afghanistan, where militants have stepped up their attacks in response to greater security by NATO and Afghan forces in Taliban strongholds. NATO said Friday that two of the Americans died in an insurgent attack and the third was killed by a roadside bomb.

Obama administration still approving flawed Gulf drilling plans

Obama administration still approving flawed Gulf drilling plans --MMS signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since 2 June. 18 Jun 2010 Despite President Barack Obama's promises of better safeguards for offshore drilling, federal regulators continue to approve plans for oil companies to drill in the Gulf of Mexico with minimal or no environmental analysis. The Department of Interior's Minerals Management Service has signed off on at least five new offshore drilling projects since June 2, when the agency's acting director announced tougher safety regulations for drilling in the Gulf, a McClatchy review of public records has discovered.

Iraqi army confronted UK deportation officials on Baghdad plane

Iraqi army confronted UK deportation officials on Baghdad plane --Army officer reportedly warned UK officials not to return Iraqis by force again, as UNHCR condemns removals to Baghdad 16 Jun 2010 An Iraqi army officer boarded a flight full of deported asylum seekers at Baghdad airport and ordered British immigration officials not to send anyone back by force again, according to a refugee organisation that monitors expulsions. The confrontation occurred yesterday when the first British deportation flight to Baghdad touched down carrying almost 40 Iraqis.

Obama to challenge Ariz. immigration law

Obama to challenge Ariz. immigration law 18 Jun 2010 Obama administration officials have decided to file a suit to block a much-disputed Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration, according to several news reports. The decision to intervene was confirmed by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in an interview last week with an Ecuadorian journalist. "President Obama has spoken out against the law because he thinks that the federal government should be determining immigration policy," Clinton said in the interview. "And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act."

Gulf whale found dead by scientists south of rig

Gulf whale found dead by scientists south of rig 18 Jun 2010 In a troubling sign for the Gulf of Mexico's marine mammals, researchers this week found a dead sperm whale floating 77 miles south of the Deepwater Horizon rig site, where some 2.5 million gallons of oil are erupting daily from a mile deep. While scientists avoided speculating about how the whale died, they say the unabated oil is likely to kill whales.

BP Workers Burning Turtles Caught in Oil Booms

BP Workers Burning Turtles Caught in Oil Booms --BP Blocks Attempt to Save Endangered Sea Turtles from Oil Spill (Sea Turtle Restoration Project) 16 Jun 2010 A shrimp boat captain in Louisiana hired by BP was blocked from rescuing juvenile Kemp's ridleys that were covered in oil in the Gulf waters. He was captured on video saying that the turtles are being collected in the clean-up efforts and burned up like so much ocean debris with other marine life gathering along tide lines where oil also congregates. He witnessed BP workers burning turtles caught in the oil booms. Rescue efforts are being ended tomorrow. STRP's Gulf Director Carole Allen responded to the news by saying "The burning of boom and oil when even one sea turtle was seen in the water is a despicable crime."

Days before rig explosion, Halliburton bought oil spill prevention firm

How Halliburton is profiting from the Gulf oil spill --Shortly before the Deepwater Horizon blowout, Halliburton bought an oil spill prevention firm. 18 Jun 2010 Eleven days prior to the April 20 Deepwater Horizon blowout, Halliburton Co., the contractor in charge of cementing the rig's well, agreed to purchase a little-known company. The firm, Boots and Coots, focuses on oil spill prevention and blowout response. Now, it is assisting with the relief well work -- under contract to BP -- to help stop the Gulf oil spill. What appears to conspiracy theorists [!?!] as more than a coincidence is nothing out of the ordinary, say oil-industry experts.

BP Boss Tony Hayward Gets Sidelined

BP Boss Tony Hayward Gets Sidelined 18 Jun 2010 BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has told Sky News that embattled chief executive Tony Hayward is to have a changed role in dealing with the oil spill.  Asked by Randall about Mr Hayward's ongoing role, Mr Svanberg said: "He is now handing over the operation to Bob Dudley." Robert Dudley has been the managing director of the oil giant since 2009. Mr Svanberg also told Randall that comments by Mr Hayward have had detrimental effects as the company seeks to control the fallout from the disaster. [Not sidelined enough.]

HK researchers detect reassortment of A/H1N1 flu virus

HK researchers detect reassortment of A/H1N1 flu virus 18 Jun 2010 Hong Kong researchers identified that A/H1N1 influenza virus has undergone genetic reassortment to give rise to a novel A/H1N1 virus on pigs, according to a study done by the University of Hong Kong which made the result public here Friday. The new virus has genes from the A/H1N1 influenza virus and other pig influenza viruses, told the research findings, which demonstrated that A/H1N1 flu virus may change in unpredictable ways in pigs and such viruses may have relevance to global public health.

Two US-led troops killed in Afghanistan

Two US-led troops killed in Afghanistan 18 Jun 2010 Militants have killed two more NATO troops in Afghanistan amid a surge in Taliban attacks against the US-led forces in the war-ravaged country. NATO said in a statement on Friday that the troops were killed by small arms fire in the country's volatile south, where US-led forces have lost several grounds to Taliban.

Judge: Guantanamo detainee will be strip searched

Judge: Guantanamo detainee will be strip searched --Psychologist testified that searches triggered Ghailani's post-traumatic stress disorder, which resulted from enhanced interrogation techniques torture he experienced while in CIA custody at a secret CIA-run camp overseas after his 2004 arrest 17 Jun 2010 A Guantanamo Bay detainee prisoner awaiting trial in a federal civilian court cannot evade strip searches that require him to expose his private areas because security would be compromised, a judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan made the written ruling Monday and it was released publicly Thursday in the terrorism case brought against Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to be brought to a U.S. civilian court for trial.

BP-owned Alaska oil pipeline shut after spill

BP-owned Alaska oil pipeline shut after spill --800-mile pipeline from Alaska's oilfields closed 25 May 2010 The Trans-Alaska Pipeline, partly owned by BP, shut down on Tuesday after spilling several thousand barrels of crude oil into backup containers, drastically cutting supply down the main artery between refineries and Alaska's oilfields. The accident comes at a difficult time for BP -- the largest single owner of the pipeline operator, holding 47 percent -- as it struggles to plug a gushing Gulf of Mexico oil well.

Baby musk ox taken to Wildlife Center

Baby musk ox taken to Wildlife Center 16 Jun 2010 The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center has a new resident all the way for the North Slope. A baby musk ox arrived in Anchorage last night after BP staff noticed it wandering around its Deadhorse facility earlier in the day. The calf appeared to have lost its mother. The workers contacted the Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.

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*****

'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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