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New Jersey Air Force veteran accused of trying to join ISIS, feds say

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

New Jersey Air Force veteran accused of trying to join ISIS, feds say | 17 March 2015 | An Air Force veteran who ranted "the U.S. doesn't like black Muslims" [?] has been charged with attempting to join ISIS, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn disclosed Tuesday. Tairod Pugh, 47, of Neptune, N.J., was arrested Jan. 16 after he was kicked out of Turkey and Egypt where authorities suspected he was trying to travel to become a jihadist fighter. Pugh served in the United States Air Force from 1986 to 1990 working as an avionics instrument system specialist and the maintenance of aircraft engine, navigation and weapons systems, according to a complaint unsealed Tuesday in Brooklyn Federal Court. After leaving the military and converting to Islam, Pugh worked for American Airlines as a mechanic and for the Army contractor terrorist group DynCorp in Iraq, the complaint states. [Me thinks he's *still* working for DynCorp.]

Plane drops of ammunition helping to reinforce ISIS - reports; earlier munitions had English-language markings

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Plane drops of ammunition helping to reinforce ISIS - reports; earlier munitions had English-language markings | 17 March 2015 | The Islamic State is getting outside help [and I think we all know who that is], with plane drops providing ammunition for the terrorist organization, according to an RT Arabic report. Iraqi government soldiers also say this is a recurring theme and the group is as strong as ever...This begs the question: Who is supplying the Islamic State with arms? [US allies] Saudi Arabia and Qatar have both been rumored to be helping to arm the Islamic State - claims which have been repeatedly denied by Riyadh and Doha...There have been unconfirmed reports from the Iranian news agency FARS that Britain and the US could be behind the ammunition drops.

GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Announces Resignation Amid Scandals

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Announces Resignation Amid Scandals | 17 March 2015 | Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock resigned Tuesday, less than 12 hours after POLITICO raised questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements he received for his personal vehicle...The discrepancy added to a growing wave of ethical and legal problems the 33-year-old politician faces. During the past month, Schock repaid the government $40,000 after spending money from his official office budget to redecorate his office in the theme of PBS's "Downton Abbey," an English historical drama. He also reimbursed taxpayers more than $1,200 after using his office account to pay to fly on a private plane to a Chicago Bears football game.

House Republican Budget Privatizes-Voucherizes Medicare, Slashes Medicaid, and Repeals the Health Law

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

House Republican Budget Privatizes-Voucherizes Medicare, Slashes Medicaid, and Repeals the Health Law | 17 March 2015 | House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled a proposed budget for 2016 that partly privatizes Medicare, turns Medicaid into block grants to the states, repeals the Affordable Care Act and reaches balance in 10 years. The House proposal leans heavily on the policy prescriptions that Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin (R-Sociopath) outlined when he was budget chairman. Future recipients of Medicare would be offered voucherlike "premium support" to pay for private insurance [?!? What insurance company is going to offer health insurance to a 90-year-old?! If so, how much will that person have to pay for it???] rather than government-provided health care. Spending on Medicaid would be cut substantially over 10 years, with the money turned into block grants to state governments, which in turn would have much more flexibility in deciding how it is allocated. The House budget includes $94 billion to fight the "global war on [US-fomented] terrorism" in 2016, $43 billion more than Mr. Obama has requested. [Start reading.]

Man, 20, Is Arrested in the Shooting of 2 Officers in Ferguson

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Man, 20, Is Arrested in the Shooting of 2 Officers in Ferguson --Protesters had criticized police officials for suggesting that the shooting was linked to them. | 15 March 2015 | A 20-year-old suspect was charged Sunday with shooting two police officers during a protest outside Police Headquarters here Thursday. Law enforcement officials said the man, Jeffrey L. Williams, claimed to have been targeting someone other than the officers and shot them by accident from inside a car. Mr. Williams was arrested late Saturday and charged with first-degree assault in connection with the shooting, which had ratcheted up tensions between the police and protesters here.

Cyclone Olwyn: Aboriginal people denied access to cyclone shelter

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Cyclone Olwyn: Aboriginal people denied access to cyclone shelter | 17 March 2015 | Five elderly Aboriginal people with medical conditions were declined access for up to seven hours from the Carnarvon cyclone shelter and hospital, ahead of the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Olwyn, the CEO of the Aboriginal medical service says. "They were told to go to the hospital, the hospital declined. And then they were told to go to the evac (evacuation) centre where they were also declined," said Shane Van Styn, the CEO of the Carnarvon Aboriginal Medical Service (CAMS).

Ebola patient in critical condition at NIH in Bethesda

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Ebola patient in critical condition at NIH in Bethesda | 17 March 2015 | An American health worker who contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone is in critical condition at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, officials said Monday. The person had arrived at the hospital Friday in serious condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Saturday at least 10 health workers from a Boston nonprofit were being evacuated from Sierra Leone for potential Ebola exposure.

Oregon is First State to Adopt Automatic Voter Registration

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Oregon is First State to Adopt Automatic Voter Registration --Measure expected to add about 300,000 new voters to rolls | 17 March 2015 | Seventeen years after Oregon decided to become the first state to hold all elections with mail-in ballots, it took another pioneering step on Monday to broaden participation by automatically registering people to vote. Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill that puts the burden of registration on the state instead of voters. Under the legislation, every adult citizen in Oregon who has interacted with the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division since 2013 but hasn't registered to vote will receive a ballot in the mail at least 20 days before the next statewide election.

Flight Returns to DC 'as Passenger Yells Jihad'

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Flight Returns to DC 'as Passenger Yells Jihad' | 17 March 2015 | A United Airlines flight from Washington DC to Denver has returned to Dulles International Airport after a passenger started yelling "Jihad! Jihad!", according to news reports. n airline spokesman said Flight 1074 returned after take-off on Monday evening as a passenger failed to comply with crew instructions. According to the New York Daily News, the man was subdued by fellow passengers. The newspaper cited witnesses saying the man had yelled "jihad" during the disturbance.

Vanuatu's Cyclone Pam death toll rises to 24

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Vanuatu's Cyclone Pam death toll rises to 24 | 16 March 2015 | The United Nations reported Monday that 24 people are confirmed dead and 3,300 have been displaced by Cyclone Pam in the South Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu. Radio and telephone communications with outer islands have not yet been established two days after what the country's president called a "monster" storm, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said. It said 3,300 people are sheltering in 37 evacuation centres on the main island of Efate and in the provinces of Torba and Penama.

France blocks five websites accused of condoning terrorism

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

France blocks five websites accused of condoning terrorism | 16 March 2015 | France has blocked five websites accused of condoning terrorism, in the first use of new government powers that came into force in February, the interior ministry said on Monday. One of the sites -- al-Hayat Media Center -- is accused of links to the Islamic State group, the ministry said. The site "islamic-news.info" has also been blocked [!?!] since the end of last week. The ban order was given to Internet service providers, who had 24 hours to take "all necessary measures to block the listing of these addresses" under the new rules. 

Walgreens allowed to fire pharmacist for refusing to administer flu vaccines

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Walgreens allowed to fire pharmacist for refusing to administer flu vaccines | 25 Feb 2015 | Walgreens' firing of a pharmacist who refused to administer flu vaccines on moral grounds was within the pharmacy giant's rights, according to a federal judge. Rodney Prewitt, 66, claimed he could not provide flu shots after a close friend developed Guillain-Barré syndrome following a flu vaccination, according to The Legal Intelligencer. Prewitt's friend allegedly became paralyzed and died of complications from the disease.

Florida conservationists report record numbers of manatees

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Florida conservationists report record numbers of manatees | 16 March 2015 | Conservationists making an annual count of Florida's manatees said Monday they have tallied a record 6,000 -- a number that reflects years of effort to protect the marine mammals. "The high count this year shows that our long-term conservation efforts are working," said Richard Corbett, chairman of the state's Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). The director of the FWC's research arm, Gil McRae, said that Florida's environmentalists are particularly heartened by latest evidence that the manatee population is flourishing, despite "large-scale mortality events that resulted in over 800 deaths in 2013."

Vigil for Julian Assange to mark 1,000 days in embassy for Wikileaks founder

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

Vigil for Julian Assange to mark 1,000 days in embassy for Wikileaks founder | 16 March 2015 | Supporters of the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange will hold a vigil today to mark the 1,000th day of his stay inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. His sympathisers will display posters and banners opposite the Knightsbridge building where the Australian has been holed up since June 2012. The 43-year-old has been living in the embassy to avoid travelling to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over claims of sex assaults against two women [in a CIA 'honeypot' trap], which he denies. Assange fears being extradited to the United States if he goes to Sweden, and face interrogation over publication of secret documents by WikiLeaks.

ACLU files new lawsuit over Obama administration drone 'kill list'

March 17, 2015 by legitgov

ACLU files new lawsuit over Obama administration drone 'kill list' | 16 March 2015 | On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will file a disclosure lawsuit for secret Obama administration documents specifying, among other things, the criteria for placement on the so-called "kill list" for drone strikes and other deadly force. Information sought by the ACLU includes long-secret analyses establishing the legal basis for what the administration terms its "targeted killing program" and the process by which the administration determines that civilians are unlikely to be killed before launching a strike, as well as verification mechanisms afterward to establish if the strike in fact has caused civilian deaths.

Venezuelans March against Obama Threats

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Venezuelans March against Obama Threats --The march coincided with a vote in the Venezuelan Parliament on dealing with Obama's claims that the South American nation posed a security threat. | 15 March 2015 | Venezuelans took the streets of Caracas Sunday to reject U.S. threats and to support a new law passed to enable President Nicolas Maduro to respond to the latest aggression. Thousands attended the march, which was addressed by President Maduro, who described it as highlighting the unity of the Venezuelan people in the face of such external threats.

Venezuela Sounds Alarm after Obama Invokes International Emergency Act

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Venezuela Sounds Alarm after Obama Invokes International Emergency Act | 10 March 2015 | Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez sent an alert to international solidarity groups this afternoon, indicating that recent actions taken by the US government are meant to justify "intervention," and do not correspond with international law. The warning came within 24 hours of an address made by US president Barack Obama, in which Venezuela was labeled an "unusual and extraordinary threat to [US] national security". While slapping a new set of sanctions on the South American nation, Obama declared a national emergency, invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) against Venezuela.

Maduro wins decree powers to fight 'U.S. imperialism'

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Maduro wins decree powers to fight 'U.S. imperialism' [It's about time!] | 15 March 2015 | Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Sunday was given the right to rule by decree for nine months, as he continued to capitalize on the backlash created by recent U.S. sanctions. In a raucous session full of chanting and blistering speeches, the National Assembly, which is controlled by the ruling party, passed the "Anti-Imperialist Enabling Law for Peace." The law, which gives Maduro the ability to bypass congress in issuing security and defense legislation through December, is expected to go into effect Monday when it's published in the official gazette.

Israel election: Binyamin Netanyahu rules out Palestinian state as voting begins

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Israel election: Binyamin Netanyahu rules out Palestinian state as voting begins | 16 March 2015 | Israel's prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has unequivocally ruled out the establishment of a Palestinian state as he vowed to strengthen construction of settlements in occupied east Jerusalem should he be re-elected on Tuesday. Netanyahu's comments reinforced his hardening message of recent days and confirmed his final abandonment of his at best tepid commitment to a two-state solution designed to see the creation of an independent Palestinian state. While his remarks will be seen in large part as election rhetoric designed to cement his standing with his country's hard right at a time when Netanyahu has been struggling in his campaign, they will further strain relations with the US and other key allies should he win a third consecutive term.

Chemicals from stain repellent disrupt brain signal in polar bears

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Chemicals from stain repellent disrupt brain signal in polar bears --Scientists have warned that a quarter of Canadian polar bears could be wiped out by the end of the century because of shrinking ice caps. Warming temperatures could destroy one tenth of the bear's habitat, affecting their ability to roam across huge expanses of ice to hunt for food and mate. | 16 March 2015 | Polar bears are suffering potentially harmful changes to their brains due to the accumulation of pollution in the arctic, according to a new study. Scientists have found that key processes in the brains of polar bears are being disrupted by man-made chemicals such as stain repellents and water-proofing treatments. They claim this could result in changes to polar bear behaviour and hormone balance that may ultimately affect their ability to survive.

Dems will try to override Christie veto today on Port Authority reform bill

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Dems will try to override Christie veto today on Port Authority reform bill | 16 March 2015 | The state Senate is schedule for a veto override vote this afternoon on a Port Authority reform bill vetoed by the governor in December. While Democrats control the Senate and Assembly, they lack the two-thirds majority needed in either chamber for an override, and have never succeeded in pulling the GOP votes necessary to push through bills vetoed by the Republican governor. The senate's Democratic sponsors of the reform bill, S-2181, had been optimistic about the chances for an override, after Republicans had joined in approving it last fall without a single no-vote in the Senate or Assembly.

Ebola Is a Man-Made Virus From America; Why Go to Liberia for Vaccine Trials, Asks Monrovia Local

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Ebola Is a Man-Made Virus From America; Why Go to Liberia for Vaccine Trials, Asks Monrovia Local --Reporter asked whether signing Ebola vaccine consent form was tantamount to a 'death warrant' for volunteers. [It is.] | 13 Mar 2015 | The United States is helping to lead a large study of two vaccines against Ebola..."When we look at Ebola, it came from America," [Most likely, Fort Detrick] said Sylvester George, a pastor's assistant, expressing doubts about the clinical trials at an information session. "It's a man-made virus. So why didn't they do this trial in America, but they decide to come to Liberia?" The phrase "Ebola prevention vaccine" is used rather than "Ebola vaccine," to help avoid the impression that the vaccine might cause Ebola. [It does.] ..."They said they want more Ebola patients because government is using them to make money," Samuel Weah said. "The more dead and infections, the more money."

Sydney siege gunman's lawyer Adam Houda takes on terrorism suspects' case

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Sydney siege gunman's lawyer Adam Houda takes on terrorism suspects' case | 16 March 2015 | A lawyer who accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of prejudicing the trial of two terrorism suspects by "milking" it for political gain [So true!] has taken on their case, indicating they will plead not guilty. Adam Houda, the former lawyer of Sydney siege gunman Man Haron Monis, appeared in Central Local Court on Monday on behalf of two Fairfield men accused of plotting a terrorist attack in Sydney..."From what I've seen, the essential feature of this case is the video and I've seen the video and it's not convincing," Mr Houda said outside court. In February, Mr Houda said Mr Abbott had prejudiced the trial of the Fairfield pair by reading out details of that video in Parliament.

Ex-Mossad chief Dagan: I would have resigned if Netanyahu ordered Iran strike

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Ex-Mossad chief Dagan: I would have resigned if Netanyahu ordered Iran strike | 15 March 2015 | Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan said Saturday night that he would have resigned if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. In his interview with Channel 10, Dagan said, "it was his fully within his authority to make such a decision, but I decided that I would resign at that moment." In the interview, Dagan also showed the letter in which he requested to leave his post - responding to claims made by Netanyahu's associates that his criticism of the premier was due to personal reasons, after Netanyahu decided not to renew his tenure.

Families of nine Sandy Hook victims sue estate of Adam Lanza's mother

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Families of nine Sandy Hook victims sue estate of Adam Lanza's mother | 16 March 2015 | The families of nine people killed in the Newtown elementary school shooting have filed lawsuits against the estate of the [alleged] gunman's mother. The lawsuits allege that Nancy Lanza incorrectly secured her legally owned Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which her troubled adult son, Adam Lanza, used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, the Connecticut Post reported Friday. The lawsuits seek to collect on Nancy Lanza's homeowner's insurance, the Connecticut Post reported.

Police watchdog to investigate claims Met covered up child sex abuse

March 16, 2015 by legitgov

Police watchdog to investigate claims Met covered up child sex abuse | 16 March 2015 | The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an investigation into allegations of police corruption in London relating to child sex offences dating back to the 1970s, including that officers colluded in the coverup of a high-level paedophile ring. The allegations, referred by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), include suppressing evidence, hindering or halting investigations and covering up offences because of the involvement of MPs and police officers. "These allegations are of historic, high-level corruption of the most serious nature," said Sarah Green, the IPCC deputy chair.

Putin in film on Crimea: US masterminds behind Ukraine coup, helped train radicals

March 15, 2015 by legitgov

Putin in film on Crimea: US masterminds behind Ukraine coup, helped train radicals --'They facilitated the armed coup.' | 15 March 2015 | The Ukrainian armed coup was organized from Washington, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in an interview for a new documentary aired Sunday. The Americans tried to hide behind the Europeans, but Moscow saw through the trick, he added. "The trick of the situation was that outwardly the [Ukrainian] opposition was supported mostly by the Europeans. But we knew for sure that the real masterminds were our American friends," Putin said in a documentary, 'Crimea - The Way Home,' aired by Rossiya 1 news channel. "They helped training the nationalists, their armed groups, in Western Ukraine, in Poland and to some extent in Lithuania," he added.

Police condemned for using stop and search powers on 300 children aged under five

March 15, 2015 by legitgov

Met Police pedophiles get a pass: Police condemned for using stop and search powers on 300 children aged under five --Metropolitan Police stopped and frisked 184 under-fives in last five years | 15 March 2015 | Nearly 300 children under the age of five have been stopped and searched by police over the last five years, it has emerged. Officers across the UK have been condemned for using their powers to stop and search toddlers on suspicion of a host of offences including drug or knife crime, possession of weapons and terrorism. Police said that in nearly all cases, officers had carried out the searches after believing the child had been an innocent party who had been used by adults to conceal drugs, weapons or stolen goods.

U.S. appeals ruling on size of BP oil spill

March 14, 2015 by legitgov

U.S. appeals ruling on size of BP oil spill | 14 March 2015 | The U.S. government is appealing a federal court ruling that reduced the potential penalty BP Plc must pay for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill by almost $4 billion. The appeal, which was filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, challenges a January decision by U.S. District Court Judge Carl Barbier that set the size of the spill at 3.19 million barrels. The government had estimated the size of the spill at 4.09 million barrels and BP at 3.26 million.

Americans Evacuated After at Least 10 Aid Workers Had Possible Ebola Contact

March 14, 2015 by legitgov

Americans Evacuated After at Least 10 Aid Workers Had Possible Ebola Contact | 14 March 2015 | Several American aid workers, among at least 10 who might have come into contact with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, were evacuated on Saturday, according to a United States Embassy spokeswoman in the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown. They will be the most Americans who have returned home over fears of exposure to the virus since an outbreak in three West African countries was declared last year. Another American aid worker, who was showing signs of illness, arrived in the United States on Friday evening, hours after a colleague with Ebola was flown from Sierra Leone to the clinical center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. That patient, a clinician who was not identified, tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, and investigators feared that he had exposed others to it.

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