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GOP drops 'civil rights and human rights' from subcommittee name

January 24, 2015 by legitgov

GOP drops 'civil rights and human rights' from subcommittee name | 24 Jan 2015 | The new GOP chairman of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee changed the name of the panel, dropping "civil rights" and "human rights" from its title. The subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights is now simply the subcommittee on the Constitution. The subcommittee names are chosen by its chair, so Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) is responsible for the switch...Civil rights leaders are displeased. Nancy Zirkin, executive vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, called it "a discouraging sign" in a news release Friday.

Palin says she's 'seriously interested' in 2016 campaign

January 24, 2015 by legitgov

Mega barf alert and gag me with a chainsaw: Palin says she's 'seriously interested' in 2016 campaign | 24 Jan 2015 | Former Alaska [half] governor Sarah Palin told The Washington Post in an interview Friday that she is "seriously interested" in running for the White House in 2016. "You can absolutely say that I am seriously interested," Palin said, when asked to clarify her thinking about a possible presidential bid. Palin, the GOP's 2008 vice-presidential nominee, said she stood by comments she made Thursday in Las Vegas to ABC News, where she first expressed enthusiasm about potentially competing for the Republican presidential nomination.

TEPCO reneges on deadline to process radioactive water at stricken Fukushima nuclear plant

January 24, 2015 by legitgov

TEPCO reneges on deadline to process radioactive water at stricken Fukushima nuclear plant | 23 Jan 2015 | Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), owner and operator of the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, said Friday it would be unable to keep its promise of processing all the highly radioactive water still stored at the plant before the end of March, due to ongoing problems with faulty and untested equipment. In a pledge to the nation and to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe when he visited the stricken plant in Fukushima Prefecture, 220 km northeast of Tokyo, in Sept. 2013, TEPCO President Naomi Hirose vowed that the embattled utility would complete the filtration process of all the dangerously toxic water being held in temporary storage tanks by March 2015. As it stands, at the stricken plant...280, 000 tons of highly-radioactive water is in need of treating and being stored in tanks, with around 350 tons of toxic water being added daily, to keep the reactors cool.

Three Tepco execs again dodge indictment over meltdown disaster

January 24, 2015 by legitgov

Three Tepco execs again dodge indictment over meltdown disaster | 23 Jan 2015 | The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor's Office dismissed a case Thursday against three former senior executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co. again over their alleged negligence for failing to prevent the March 2011 tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The prosecutor's office cited a lack of sufficient evidence following its six-month reinvestigation, which was conducted after a special prosecution inquest panel ruled last July that the three should be charged with professional negligence leading to death and injury...Despite the latest decision, however, the three could still be indicted forcibly by court-appointed lawyers acting as prosecutors if the inquest panel seeks indictments for a second time.

What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism

January 24, 2015 by walden9

What Is a Woman? The dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism | 04 Aug 2014 | On May 24th, a few dozen people gathered in a conference room at the Central Library, a century-old Georgian Revival building in downtown Portland, Oregon, for an event called Radfems Respond. The conference had been convened by a group that wanted to defend two positions that have made radical feminism anathema to much of the left. First, the organizers hoped to refute charges that the desire to ban prostitution implies hostility toward prostitutes. Then they were going to try to explain why, at a time when transgender rights are ascendant, radical feminists insist on regarding transgender women as men, who should not be allowed to use women's facilities, such as public rest rooms, or to participate in events organized exclusively for women.

Rejoinder to above the New Yorker article: Op-ed: An Open Letter to The New Yorker: When The New Yorker took a look at the tension between transgender women and radical feminists, one writer says the examination was unfair | 05 Aug 2014 | Dear New Yorker magazine, You probably don't remember me -- I was the transgender activist who briefly appeared toward the end of that Michelle Goldberg article you ran last week. You know, the one about the "dispute between radical feminism and transgenderism." I know, that topic sounds somewhat bizarre and potentially fascinating -- I'm sure you got lots of click-throughs on it! But the thing is, it was a rather awful experience on my end, and I want to share why with you.

Olympic documents show Boston city employees barred from speaking negatively about Olympics, IOC, USOC

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

No 'Charlie Hebdo' free speech for the people who don't want the Olympics, IOC, USOC leeches preying upon their city: Olympic documents show Boston city employees barred from speaking negatively about Olympics, IOC, USOC | 21 Jan 2015 | Documents obtained by MassLive show that Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an agreement with the United States Olympic Committee that blocks city employees from making negative comments about the Olympics, the International Olympic Committee, or the USOC. The documents obtained through a public records request indicate that city employees are barred from making comments that "reflect unfavorably upon, denigrate or disparage, or are detrimental to the reputation." The documents indicate that not only must all city employees not speak negatively about the games or the organizations connected to them but that they must actively promote the games. [See: Boston 2024 Joinder Signed by Mayor of Boston and Boston 2024 2015-17 Policy Summary - w Binders.]

Lawyers: Boston 'has to be ready' for lawsuits over deal requiring employees to support Olympics bid

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

Lawyers: Boston 'has to be ready' for lawsuits over deal requiring employees to support Olympics bid | 23 Jan 2015 | Mayor Marty Walsh has said he will not enforce an agreement with the U.S. Olympic Committee that not only bans all city employees from criticizing the Boston bid, but also orders them to actively promote it. Despite his assurances, the ACLU of Massachusetts is concerned. Deputy legal director Sarah Wunsch said Walsh's promise might not be good enough and the agreement is "troubling" and "ridiculous."

US Trainers to Deploy to Ukraine

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

US Trainers to Deploy to Ukraine --Also Will Begin Shipment of US-funded Armored Vehicles --US has already earmarked $19 million to help build Ukrainian [Nazi] National Guard | 22 Jan 2015 | American soldiers will deploy to Ukraine this spring to begin training four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard, the head of US Army Europe Lt. Gen Ben Hodges said during his first visit to Kiev on Wednesday. The number of troops heading to the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L'viv -- which is about 40 miles from the Polish border -- is still being determined, however. Funding for the initiative is coming from the congressionally-authorized Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), which was requested by the Obama administration in the fiscal 2015 budget to help train and equip the armed forces of allies around the globe.

ISIS sets up English-speaking brigade to target Western countries

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

ISIS sets up English-speaking brigade to target Western countries | 23 Jan 2015 | The Islamic State has created an English language group of fighters, whose aim is to bring the terrorist organization's fight to the West. The first step is to send foreign fighters back home after they have completed their training. The brigade, which is known as the 'Anwar al-Awlaki Battalion,' [LOL! Who writes this stuff?] is made up solely of English speaking jihadists. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) now wants to use this group of Islamists to plan and carryout terrorist attacks in English speaking countries.

Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison, must pay $890K in restitution

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

Journalist Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months in federal prison, must pay $890K in restitution | 22 Jan 2015 |A court in Dallas has sentenced Barrett Brown to 63 months in federal prison, minus 28 months already served. For count one in the case, he receives 48 months. For count 2, he receives 12 months. And for count 3, he receives 3 months. He is also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. The government's charges against the intelligence and security reporter stemmed from his relationship with sources close to the hacker group Anonymous, and the fact that Brown published a link to publicly-available copies of leaked Stratfor documents. Brown read a statement to the court during the sentencing hearing, and you can read that statement in entirety here.

Avian flu outbreaks in Taiwan trigger human monitoring

January 23, 2015 by legitgov

Avian flu outbreaks in Taiwan trigger human monitoring | 22 Jan 2015 | In the wake of widespread poultry outbreaks caused by three different highly pathogenic avian flu strains, Taiwanese health officials are monitoring more than a thousand farm workers and public health workers, though so far there have been no signs of transmission to humans. Animal health officials in Taiwan are battling multiple outbreaks of H5N8 and H5N2 avian influenza, along with H5N3, which the region's veterinary experts have said is a novel strain. Yesterday regions reported several new outbreaks involving all three strains.

‘We didn’t even really know who we were firing at’ – former US drone operator

January 22, 2015 by walden9

'We didn't even really know who we were firing at' - former US drone operator | 22 Jan 2015 | Former US drone sensor operator Brandon Bryant admits he "couldn't stand" himself for his participation in the country's drone program for six years - firing on targets whose identities often went unconfirmed. Since 2001, and increasingly under the Obama administration, the US has been carrying out drone strikes against targets believed to be affiliated with terrorist organizations in countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia. The program, which has been shrouded in secrecy, has been routinely criticized for the high number of resultant civilian casualties.

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for 'merely linking to hacked material'

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for 'merely linking to hacked material' | 22 Jan 2015 | In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a "dangerous precedent", Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday. Brown's backers from across the web had hoped he would be able to walk free with his 31 months of time served for what they insist was "merely linking to hacked material". But the 33-year-old, who was once considered something of a spokesman for the Anonymous movement, will face more than twice that sentence. The judge also ordered him to pay more $890,000 in restitution and fines.

Donetsk trolleybus explosion blows Ukraine peace negotiations apart

January 22, 2015 by walden9

Donetsk trolleybus explosion blows Ukraine peace negotiations apart | 22 Jan 2015 | Barely had the ink dried on another diplomatic attempt to bring peace to eastern Ukraine than a bloody explosion ripped through a trolleybus in Donetsk, killing 13 people. Foreign ministers of Russia and Ukraine had signed a document in Berlin late on Wednesday night calling for Kiev's forces and Russian-backed rebels to pull back artillery from the front lines: but on the ground, instead of peace, came signs of intensified violence.

Jay Leno defends women alleging sexual assault by Bill Cosby – video

January 22, 2015 by walden9

Jay Leno defends women alleging sexual assault by Bill Cosby – video | 22 Jan 2015 | "In Saudi Arabia you need two women to testify against a man. Here you need twenty-five."

Yemen president resigns under pressure from rebels

January 22, 2015 by walden9

Yemen president resigns under pressure from rebels | 22 Jan 22 2015 | Yemen's president resigned Thursday, saying he had reached a "deadlock" in talks with Shiite rebels who rule the capital and had confined him to his home. His resignation raised fears the Arab world's poorest country could again split apart, severely complicating U.S. efforts to 'combat' al-Qaida's powerful local franchise.

Obama will not meet with Netanyahu during trip to Washington

January 22, 2015 by walden9

Obama will not meet with Netanyahu during trip to Washington | 22 Jan 2015 | President Barack Obama will not meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he travels to Washington in March, the White House said Thursday, one day after being caught off-guard by Republicans' invitation for the Israeli leader to address a joint session of Congress.

At least 9 killed, dozen injured after shell hit stop - eastern Ukraine

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

At least 9 killed, dozen injured after shell hit stop - eastern Ukraine | 22 Jan 2015 | A stop was shelled during rush hour on Thursday morning in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. Nine people were killed and up to twenty were injured, local authorities report. Residents of Donetsk's Leninsky district heard shelling at about 07:40 local time...On January 13, twelve people died and 13 more were injured as a bus was shelled in the eastern Donetsk region, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said. Denis Pushilin, Donetsk People's Republic representative at Minsk talks, said the attack may have been staged by Kiev.

Six-year wait for 9m-pound 'whitewash': Families of soldiers killed in Iraq condemn 'disgraceful' decision to further delay Chilcot report

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Six-year wait for £9m 'whitewash': 179 British men and women sacrificed their lives in the Iraq war. Yesterday their loved ones branded Chilcot delays an insult to their memories | 22 Jan 2015 | Families of soldiers killed in Iraq last night condemned the 'disgraceful' decision to further delay the Chilcot report. Six years after the £9million inquiry started - and 12 years on from the 2003 war - bereaved parents said they were expecting a whitewash. John Miller, whose son Simon was among six military policemen killed by an Iraqi mob, said: 'It is absolutely disgraceful, although I could use stronger words. It is becoming the biggest cover-up of our generation...'

Romney and Jeb Bush to Meet in Utah

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Romney and Jeb Bush to Meet in Utah | 21 Jan 2015 | Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are scheduled to meet privately this week in Utah, raising the possibility that the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns that would split the Republican establishment next year, two prominent party members said Wednesday night. The meeting was planned before Mr. Romney's surprise announcement two weeks ago to donors in New York that he was considering a third run for the White House. Mr. Bush proposed the meeting, according to one of the party members familiar with the planning, who did not want to be quoted by name in discussing a secret meeting.

Outage of CLG Site for Comcast Customers

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Outage of CLG Site for Comcast Customers | 18 - 21 Jan 2015 | Due to a technical malfunction and the service provider's apparent unwillingness or lack of urgency to address it, the CLG site has been unavailable to Comcast Internet customers from Florida through Pennsylvania. Our upstream service provider (Highwinds) is working to prompt Comcast to resolve the situation. We apologize for any inconvenience that this outage has caused our readers, and hope for restoration of the site to all of our readers, soon. [Update: This problem has (mostly) been rectified, as of late Wednesday evening.]

Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Journalists reporting on asylum seekers referred to Australian police | 21 Jan 2015 |Journalists reporting on the federal government's asylum-seeker policies have been repeatedly referred to the police in attempts to uncover confidential sources and whistleblowers, a Guardian Australia investigation can reveal. Over the past 12 months federal government agencies have referred stories by journalists from Guardian Australia, news.com.au and the West Australian to the Australian federal police (AFP) for their reporting on the government's asylum seeker operations during the time Scott Morrison was immigration minister. Almost every referral made to the AFP by federal government agencies "for unauthorised disclosure of commonwealth information" since the Coalition took office in September 2013 has been directly related to immigration reporting by journalists.

Journalism is not a crime. So why are reporters being referred to police?

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Journalism is not a crime. So why are reporters being referred to police? | 21 Jan 2015 | Journalism in Australia is not a crime. Despite this, journalists who have reported on immigration and asylum seeker issues have been referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation in a series of attempts to prosecute confidential sources and whistleblowers. This is a move that should alarm all citizens...Journalists from Guardian Australia, News.com.au and the West Australian have all had their stories sent to the AFP by customs, the immigration department and the defence department to ask the AFP to track down their sources. There may be journalists from other news outlets involved.

Justice Dept. to Recommend No Civil Rights Charges in Ferguson Shooting

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Justice Dept. to Recommend No Civil Rights Charges in Ferguson Shooting | 21 Jan 2015 | Justice Department lawyers will recommend that no civil rights charges be brought against the police officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Mo., after an F.B.I. investigation found no evidence to support charges, law enforcement officials said Wednesday. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his civil rights chief, Vanita Gupta, will have the final say on whether the Justice Department will close the case against the officer, Darren Wilson. But it would be unusual for them to overrule the prosecutors on the case, who are still working on a legal memo explaining their recommendation.

Polar bears migrate north as rising temperatures hasten Arctic ice melt

January 22, 2015 by legitgov

Polar bears migrate north as rising temperatures hasten Arctic ice melt | 17 Jan 2015 | It was just a theory, but for years scientists believed what years of observation were telling them. As Arctic sea ice melted because of climate change global warming, polar bears appeared to be creeping their way toward a final refuge in the icy Canadian archipelago. Now a study of polar bear DNA backs that up. Scientists who research the animals across the Arctic teamed up to produce a paper showing that the "directional gene flow" of recent polar bear generations is "moving towards areas with more persistent year-round sea ice".

C.I.A. Report Found Value of Torture Was Inflated

January 21, 2015 by legitgov

C.I.A. Report Found Value of Torture Was Inflated | 20 Jan 2015 | Years before the release in December of a Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the C.I.A.'s use of torture and deceit in its detention program, an internal review by the agency found that the C.I.A. had repeatedly overstated the value of intelligence gained during the brutal interrogations of some of its detainees prisoners. The internal report, more than 1,000 pages in length, came to be known as the Panetta Review after Leon E. Panetta, who, as the C.I.A.'s director, ordered that it be done in 2009. The contents of the Panetta Review, which remain classified, are now central to simmering battles over the Intelligence Committee's conclusions about the efficacy of torture and the C.I.A.'s allegations that committee staffers improperly took the review from an agency facility.

State of the Union 2015: Full transcript

January 21, 2015 by legitgov

State of the Union 2015: Full transcript --As Prepared for Delivery | 20 Jan 2015 | There is a ritual on State of the Union night in Washington. A little before the address, the White House sends out an embargoed copy of the President's speech to the press (embargoed means that the press can see the speech, but they can't report on it until a designated time). The reporters then start sending it around town to folks on Capitol Hill to get their reaction, then those people send it to all their friends, and eventually everyone in Washington can read along, but the public remains in the dark. This year we change that. For the first time, the White House is making the full text of the speech available to citizens around the country online...

In State of the Union Speech, Obama Defiantly Sets an Ambitious Agenda

January 21, 2015 by legitgov

In State of the Union Speech, Obama Defiantly Sets an Ambitious Agenda | 20 Jan 2015 | President Obama claimed credit on Tuesday for an improving economy and defiantly told his Republican adversaries in Congress to "turn the page" by supporting an expensive domestic agenda aimed at improving the fortunes of the middle class. Released from the political constraints of a sagging economy, overseas wars and elections, Mr. Obama declared in his sixth State of the Union address that "the shadow of crisis has passed," and he vowed to use his final two years in office fighting for programs that had taken a back seat. He called on Congress to make community college free for most students, enhance tax credits for education and child care, and impose new taxes and fees on high-income earners and large financial institutions.

DeflateGate: NFL finds 11 of 12 Patriots' footballs were underinflated, say reports

January 21, 2015 by legitgov

DeflateGate: NFL finds 11 of 12 Patriots' footballs were underinflated, say reports | 21 Jan 2015 | Eleven of the dozen footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game were not inflated to NFL specifications, league sources have told ESPN, miring the team in controversy as they prepare for the Super Bowl. ESPN first reported that the league had found 11 footballs were underinflated by 2lb of air per square inch. League regulations state that each game ball be inflated between 12.5-13.5lb PSI. Underinflated footballs can be easier for quarterbacks, running-backs and receivers to handle, especially in poor weather conditions like the downpour of rain and sleet that fell during the Patriots' 45-7 drubbing of the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

Iraq war report 'delayed until after UK election'

January 21, 2015 by legitgov

Iraq war report 'delayed until after UK election' | 20 Jan 2015 | The official inquiry into the 2003 Iraq War will not publish its long-awaited report before the general election, the BBC understands. The BBC's political editor Nick Robinson said inquiry chairman Sir John Chilcot is expected to confirm in a letter to David Cameron that it will be delayed until after May's poll. The inquiry began its work in 2009 and held its last public hearing in 2011. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the delay was "incomprehensible".

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