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Arctic ice shrinks 18% against record, sounding climate change alarm bells

September 23, 2012 by legitgov

Arctic ice shrinks 18% against record, sounding climate change alarm bells --Scientists and environment groups say the fall is unprecedented and the clearest signal yet of global warming 19 Sep 2012 Sea ice in the Arctic shrank a dramatic 18% this year on the previous record set in 2007 to a record low of 3.41m sq km, according to the official US monitoring organisation the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. Scientists and environment groups last night said the fall was unprecedented and the clearest signal yet of climate change... This year's sea ice extent was 700,000 sq km below the previous minimum of 4.17m sq km set in 2007.

New England janitors overwhelmingly authorize strike

September 23, 2012 by legitgov

New England janitors overwhelmingly authorize strike 22 Sep 2012 Janitors in Massachusetts and Rhode Island have voted overwhelmingly to authorize their leadership to call a strike against their employers over unfair labor practices committed by their employers... The janitors in SEIU Local 615 voted to authorize their leadership to call a strike, if necessary, to protest that they were met with threats and intimidation when the workers stood up for good jobs. Contract expiration takes place on September 30 and the janitors are mobilizing for better pay, more hours on the job and healthcare for workers. Show your support for the janitors.

Iran: Siemens placed explosives in equipment to sabotage

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

Iran: Siemens placed explosives in equipment to sabotage 23 Sep 2012 Iran has accused German industrial giant Siemens of placing small explosives in equipment that forms the backbone of the country's nuclear program. "The equipment was supposed to explode after being put to work, in order to dismantle all our systems," declared Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the security committee in Iran's parliament "But the wisdom of our experts thwarted the enemy conspiracy." He said the measures were intended to slow down the country's burgeoning nuclear program.

Swine flu vaccine linked to child narcolepsy: EU watchdog

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

Swine flu vaccine linked to child narcolepsy: EU watchdog 21 Sep 2012 A swine flu vaccine used in 2009-10 is linked to a higher risk of the sleeping disorder narcolepsy in children and teens in Sweden and Finland, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said Friday. The EU agency studied the effects of the Pandemrix vaccine on children in eight European countries after Sweden and Finland reported higher incidences of narcolepsy among children who were inoculated with the vaccine during the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and 2010.

Ecuador mulls Assange transfer to Sweden

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

Ecuador mulls Assange transfer to Sweden 22 Sep 2012 Ecuador is considering asking Britain to authorise the transfer of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to its embassy in Sweden so he can respond to sex crimes allegations there. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters on Friday there were several possibilities to resolve the stand-off with Britain over Assange, including "that his statement be taken in our embassy in London or that Ecuador get authorisation to transfer him, if necessary, to our embassy in Sweden so that the case can proceed there with the protection of Ecuador and meeting the needs of Swedish justice".

2 British soldiers die in Afghan war, MOD confirms

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

2 British soldiers die in Afghan war, MOD confirms 21 Sep 2012 The British Ministry of Defense (MOD) has confirmed that two British soldiers have died in separate incidents in southern Afghanistan. Friday's incidents bring the death toll for UK servicemen deployed in Afghanistan to 432, the BBC reported. The MOD said that neither of the deaths is thought to be the result of "hostile action" and investigations are underway.

5 killed, several injured in US terror drone strike in Pakistan

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

5 killed, several injured in US terror drone strike in Pakistan 22 Sep 2012 At least five people have been killed and several others wounded in a US assassination drone attack in Pakistan's tribal area of North Waziristan. The attack took place in the Datta Khel area on Saturday when American terror drones targeted a vehicle with two missiles. The strike comes as Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is in the United States for an official visit.

Pentagon should take over nuclear plant security: lawmaker

September 22, 2012 by legitgov

Facilitate the false flags: Pentagon should take over nuclear plant security: lawmaker 21 Sep 2012 The Defense Department should take over security for U.S. nuclear weapons sites after a nuclear complex was broken into with ease in July by an 82-year-old nun and two other peace activists, a top lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Friday. Mike Turner, the Republican chairman of the House Armed Services panel that oversees the Energy Department's nuclear weapons complex, has drafted legislation to put the U.S. military in charge of protecting facilities like the Y-12 complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. [Hey, Turner and all corporate welfare whores on Capitol Hill: Corpora-terrorists should fund their own 'security' at their deadly nuclear power plants - WHY should US taxpayers foot the bill?]

Ann Romney OK after plane makes emergency landing

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

Plane carrying Ann Romney makes emergency landing in Colorado 21 Sep 2012 The plane carrying the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is making an emergency landing. Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said Ann Romney's plane made an unexpected landing on Friday afternoon in Colorado after it filled with smoke. Saul says no one was injured in the incident.

Ex-Blackwater Firm Will Teach Military Spies Self-Defense

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

Ex-Blackwater Firm Will Teach Military Spies Self-Defense 21 Sep 2012 Now that the private security company formerly known as Blackwater is under new ownership, it's entering into a new partnership with the Defense Department. [That's change you can believe in!] The U.S. military's intelligence service is hiring the firm, along with five others, to train its operatives to defend themselves as they collect information in dangerous places. The Defense Intelligence Agency announced on Thursday evening it would award six private security companies a share of a $20 million contract to provide "individual protective measures training courses" for its operatives. Among them is Academi, the 3.0 version of Blackwater, now under new ownership and management. It appears to be the first Blackwater/Academi contract with the military since a Blackwater "shell company" called Paravant held one to train Afghan policemen -- and used it to steal their guns for personal use, while posing as South Park characters to disguise their tracks.

Mitt Romney releases 2011 tax returns, paid $1.9m in taxes on $13.7m in income

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

Mitt Romney releases 2011 tax returns, paid $1.9m in taxes on $13.7m in income --Romney's effective tax rate for 2011 was 14.1 percent, slightly higher than his rate in 2010 21 Sep 2012 Mitt Romney filed his 2011 tax returns today -- capping a difficult week by returning to the campaign a topic that has dogged the candidacy of the Republican presidential nominee - and is also releasing a 20-year snapshot of his tax returns. Romney's updated tax returns, which will be posted online in full at 3 p.m. EDT on Friday, show that he paid $1.9 million in taxes on $13.7 million in income, most of which came from his investments.

Mitt Romney to release 2011 tax return Friday at 3 p.m. EDT

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

Mitt Romney to release 2011 tax return Friday at 3 p.m. EDT [LOL!] 21 Sep 2012 Mitt Romney paid $1,935,708 in taxes on $13,696,951in income in 2011 for an effective tax rate of 14.1 percent, according to a return that will be released Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. EDT. Romney also plans to post a letter from his tax preparer, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, giving a summary of tax rates from the Romneys' tax returns for the 20-year period of 1990-2009. The details from the return were announced in a blog post on the Republican candidate’s campaign Web site, written by Brad Malt, the trustee of Mitt and Ann Romney's blind trust.

U.S. probes whether Benghazi attackers had inside help

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. probes whether Benghazi attackers had inside help 20 Sep 2012 U.S. authorities are investigating possible collusion between militants who launched a deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and locally hired Libyan personnel guarding the facility, three U.S. officials said... The State Department has said Blue Mountain Group, a private security company based in Carmarthen, Wales, had a contract related to vetting and hiring local residents to perform security tasks at the Benghazi consulate. A government contracting database shows the department signed a contract of this nature last May for $387,000, with options raising the value to $783,000.

U.S. will go to war with Iran in 2013, says ex-U.S. ambassador to Israel

September 21, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. will go to war with Iran in 2013, says ex-U.S. ambassador to Israel --Martin Indyk tells CBS there is not much time left until Iran has a nuclear weapon, but says Netanyahu's demands for 'red lines' on Iran are 'unreasonable.' 17 Sep 2012 Former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk forecasts that the United States will go to war with Iran next year over its nuclear program. Speaking during a panel discussion Sunday on the CBS program Face the Nation, Indyk said: "I'm afraid that 2013 is going to be a year in which we're going to have a military confrontation with Iran."

Crocker: Taliban Infiltration Worse Than Estimated

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Crocker: Taliban Infiltration Worse Than Estimated 18 Sep 2012 Taliban infiltration of the Afghan army and police is much worse than the U.S. military and NATO have admitted and was the main factor in the surprise move to limit contacts with Afghan security forces to curb insider attacks, former ranking  U.S. officials in Afghanistan said. "I would put the percentage rather higher" than the 25% figure for enemy infiltrators and sympathizers  that U.S. commanders have estimated, said Ryan Crocker, who stepped down as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan in July.

Prosecutors drop fight for notebook from accused Colorado shooter

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Prosecutors drop fight for notebook from accused Colorado shooter 20 Sep 2012 Prosecutors dropped their legal fight on Thursday for access to a notebook that accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes sent to a university psychiatrist before the shooting, saying legal wrangling over it would delay the case for months. Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student, is accused of opening fire on July 20 at a midnight screening of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, a Denver suburb. Twelve people were killed and 58 wounded in the attack. [See: Aurora, Colorado Shooting 'Oddities' By Lori Price.]

Prosecutors decide against charges for police officers who pepper-sprayed UC Davis protesters

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Prosecutors decide against charges for police officers who pepper-sprayed UC Davis protesters 19 Sep 2012 The University of California, Davis police officers who doused students and alumni with pepper spray during a campus protest last November won't face criminal charges, prosecutors said Wednesday. The chemical crackdown prompted widespread condemnation, campus protests and calls for the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after videos shot by witnesses were widely played online. The Yolo County District Attorney's office said in a statement that there was insufficient evidence [?] to prove the use of force was illegal.

Libya Envoy's Killing Was a Terrorist Attack, the White House Says

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Libya Envoy's Killing Was a Terrorist Attack, the White House Says 21 Sep 2012 The White House, after more than a week in which it has come under fire from Republicans, is now calling last week's assault on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, a "terrorist attack." "It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters traveling on Air Force One on Thursday. White House officials, until now, have avoided calling the attack a terrorist attack, but in Congressional testimony Wednesday, Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, described it that way.

Appeals court judges seem skeptical of CIA secrecy on drone program

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Appeals court judges seem skeptical of CIA secrecy on drone program 20 Sep 2012 Federal appeals court judges Thursday questioned the CIA's efforts to block information on the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists. A lower court federal judge sided with the CIA last year and dismissed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking records about the use of drones. In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA had refused to confirm or deny the existence of responsive records. At a hearing on its appeal of the lower court ruling, the ACLU told the three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia that several high-ranking officials, from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta to President Barack Obama, have publicly acknowledged the use of drones.

Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State 20 Sep 2012 In a provocative move within a religious organization that has sought to display strict political neutrality, an official of the Mormon church has disseminated a presentation across the key swing state of Nevada that urges members to vote and speak "with one voice" in the coming Presidential election that pits Mormon Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama. "Any Mormon would understand exactly what's being said there," said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth religion professor who has studied the church's handling of Romney's presidential bids. "This is very thinly coded language."

State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID 20 Sep 2012 Pennsylvania House Representative Daryl Metcalfe's "lazy" comments on a Pittsburgh radio station may have stirred the voter ID pot once again. On KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Sociopath-Butler County) discussed a new Pa. law that requires all voters to show a valid photo ID at the polls. When asked about the 750,000 possible disenfranchised voters without proper photo identification, Metcalfe responded: "As Mitt Romney said, 40-some percent of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors' hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the id they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can't fix that."

Tea party group sends voter ID warning to justices

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Tea party group sends voter ID warning to justices 20 Sep 2012 A Philadelphia-area tea party group says it will work to defeat two state Supreme Court justices next year if the state's new voter identification law isn't in effect for the Nov. 6 election. The Independence Hall Tea Party on Thursday also criticized the court's decision to send a legal challenge to the law back for a lower court review. It called the decision "a cowardly move" to "punt the ball."

Exelon investigating shutdown at TMI

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Exelon investigating shutdown at TMI 20 Sep 2012 A Three Mile Island spokesman says steam was released this afternoon when the nuclear power plant unexpectedly shut down, creating a loud noise heard by nearby residents. Exelon spokesman Ralph DeSantis said the reason for the shutdown, which occurred at 2:20 p.m., was not immediately known. He told abc27 News that "something unexpected happened" and the shutdown was automatic. "We have a command center set up and we are going through our procedures to determine exactly what happened," DeSantis said.

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly, releasing radioactive steam

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly, releasing radioactive steam --The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon, releasing steam containing radiation. 20 Sep 2012 A reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon because of a cooling problem, a month after it went offline because of a leak in the cooling system, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. The NRC says a cooling pump for Unit One stopped working at 2:16 p.m. ET, triggering the automatic shutdown, as the system is designed to do. Residents near the plant, outside Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, reported hearing a loud bang, WHTM-TV says.

State Department was discussing putting Marines in Libya 'sometime in the next five years'

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

State Department was discussing putting Marines in Libya 'sometime in the next five years' 20 Sep 2012 Prior to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the State Department and the Marines Corps had been discussing deploying Marines to guard the U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli "sometime in the next five years," according to the Marine Corps. The issue of security at U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya has been front and center as Congress and others begin to investigate whether or not those facilities were sufficiently protected before the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. [See? UK mercenary firm Blue Mountain likely Ok'd or actually assassinated Stevens. Now, Americans will accept the US Octopus extending its tentacles to another region in the world. See: Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate 17 Sep 2012. --LRP]

$50,000 in checks sent from Obama campaign stolen

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

$50,000 in checks sent from Obama campaign stolen 20 Sep 2012 Three checks sent out from President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago have been stolen -- a total of $50,000, according to a TV news report -- and police are investigating. "Three checks we sent to vendors made it into the wrong hands, and after learning of this, we notified the police," said Obama's Midwest press secretary, Ben Finkenbinder, in a written statement. "We're pleased that they're dealing with the issue swiftly, and don't expect this to have any impact upon the campaign."

American Airlines sends layoff notices to 11,000 employees

September 20, 2012 by walden9

American Airlines sends layoff notices to 11,000 employees 20 Sep 2012 American Airlines, the third-largest US airline, announced Tuesday that it plans to send layoff notices to over 11,000 mechanics, ground workers and other support personnel as part of its bankruptcy court-mediated restructuring. Thousands of notices have already been sent to employees.

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate 17 Sep 2012 The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm [Blue Mountain] to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside. Contrary to Friday's claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that "at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya," the department inked a contract for "security guards and patrol services" on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only "foreign security awardees" as its recipient.

Rich getting richer: Richest 400 Americans' net worth jumps 13%

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Rich getting richer: Richest 400 Americans' net worth jumps 13% 19 Sep 2012 The net worth of the richest Americans grew by 13 per cent in the past year to $1.7-trillion (U.S.), Forbes magazine said on Wednesday, and a familiar cast of characters once again populated the top of the magazine's annual list of the U.S. uber-elite, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and the Koch brothers. The average net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans rose to a record $4.2-billion, the magazine said. Collectively, this group's net worth is the equivalent of one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy, which stood at $13.56-trillion in real terms according to the latest government data.

Italy upholds rendition convictions for 23 Americans, including 21 CIA agents

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Italy upholds rendition convictions for 23 Americans, including 21 CIA agents 19 Sep 2012 Italy's highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation's ruling is the final appeal in the world's first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition. The 23 Americans were all convicted in absentia following a trial that lasted over three years.

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