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U.S. has 55 daily encounters with 'suspected terrorists'

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. has 55 daily encounters with 'suspected terrorists' --TSC operates a 24-hour command center, resembling something from a Hollywood thriller, complete with giant wall-screen projections and signs flashing 'SECRET.' 15 May 2012 Law enforcement and homeland security personnel face an average of 55 daily encounters with "known or suspected terrorists" named on government watchlists, officials told Reuters. U.S. officials said the encounters, which involve airport and border security personnel as well as federal and local law enforcement officers, are reported to the Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), an interagency unit led by an FBI official based in a tightly guarded building in northern Virginia. The watchlists include the best known "no fly list" as well as a "selectee list" of people who the government thinks should get extra screening or questioning before being allowed to board an airplane.

Nuclear power regulators call for fewer immediate evacuations in an accident

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Nuclear power regulators call for fewer immediate evacuations in an accident 17 May 2012 The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the nation's nuclear power regulators quietly overhauled community emergency planning for nuclear accidents for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away. The revamp is the first since the program began as a result of the Three Mile Island accident, the worst commercial nuclear accident in U.S. history. The revisions also eliminate a requirement that local responders always practice for a release of radiation. Eric Epstein, head of the watchdog group Three Mile Island Alert, called the new rules "insane."

AP: Evacuations and drills pared near nuclear plants

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

AP: Evacuations and drills pared near nuclear plants 16 May 2012 Without fanfare, the nation's nuclear power regulators have overhauled community emergency planning for the first time in more than three decades, requiring fewer exercises for major accidents and recommending that fewer people be evacuated right away. Nuclear watchdogs voiced surprise and dismay over the quietly adopted revamp — the first since the program began after Three Mile Island in 1979. A mandate that local responders always run practice exercises for a radiation release has been eliminated — a move viewed as downright bizarre by some emergency planners.

Authorities: Nuclear engineer sought 'thrill' in DuPage hijacking

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Authorities: Nuclear engineer sought 'thrill' in DuPage hijacking 11 May 2012 (IL) A man who operates reactors at a nuclear power plant was "thrill seeking" when he put on a mask and hijacked a woman's car at gunpoint, DuPage County authorities said Friday. Michael Buhrman, a senior reactor operator at Dresden Nuclear Power Plant in Morris, was charged with aggravated vehicular hijacking. Authorities said the 31-year-old Coal City man was armed with a loaded .45 caliber handgun and wearing a Halloween mask that resembled an elderly man when he approached a woman about 10 p.m. Wednesday in a Kohl's parking lot in Woodridge.

2 US Navy ships collide in Pacific

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

2 US Navy ships collide in Pacific 16 May 2012 An 844-foot-long U.S. Navy assault ship collided with a refueling tanker Wednesday in the Pacific Ocean, causing damage to both ships, but there were no injuries or fuel spills, military officials said. The midmorning accident between the amphibious assault vessel USS Essex and the oiler USNS Yukon occurred about 120 miles off the coast of Southern California as the Essex was approaching the Yukon to be refueled, said Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for the 3rd Fleet. Brown said the steering apparently stopped working on the Essex, which was carrying 982 crew members on its way to San Diego for scheduled maintenance.

Federal judge: Terror law violates 1st Amendment

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Federal judge: Terror law violates 1st Amendment 16 May 2012 A judge on Wednesday struck down a portion of a law giving the government wide powers to regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists, saying it left journalists, scholars and political activists facing the prospect of indefinite detention for exercising First Amendment rights. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said in a written ruling that a single page of the law has a "chilling impact on First Amendment rights."

Trayvon Martin killed by single gunshot fired from 'intermediate range,' autopsy shows

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Trayvon Martin killed by single gunshot fired from 'intermediate range,' autopsy shows 16 May 2012 Florida teenager Trayvon Martin died from a single gunshot wound to the chest fired from "intermediate range," according to an autopsy report reviewed Wednesday by NBC News. The official report, prepared by the medical examiner in Volusia County, Fla., also found that the 17-year-old Martin had one other fresh injury – a small abrasion, no more than a quarter-inch in size – on his left ring finger below the knuckle.

Charges Sought in Bomb Plot Leak

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Charges Sought in Bomb Plot Leak 13 May 2012 Top U.S. lawmakers called for criminal charges against the person who leaked classified information about a recent foiled Yemeni [CIA] bomb plot, warning that the intelligence breach posed a danger to national security and ratcheting up scrutiny of its source. Rep. Mike Rogers, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said his staff was conducting a "preliminary review" of the leak and could open "either a full-blown committee investigation or we will refer to criminal charges to the FBI."

FBI's Mueller confirms JPMorgan preliminary probe

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

FBI's Mueller confirms JPMorgan preliminary probe 16 May 2012 FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday confirmed that the agency has opened a "preliminary investigation" into JPMorgan Chase & Co, the nation's largest bank. JPMorgan disclosed last week that it had suffered a multibillion-dollar trading loss due to a failed hedging strategy. A person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday that the FBI's New York office has opened a preliminary probe into the loss, which has been estimated at more than $2 billion.

San Onofre's future hinges on finding cause of abnormal tube wear

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

San Onofre's future hinges on finding cause of abnormal tube wear 17 May 2012 On Jan. 31, alarms alerted the control room at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station that a radiation leak was occurring in one of the nearly 39,000 tubes that carry radioactive water in the steam generators. That failure led to an unparalleled shutdown of one of California's two nuclear power plants and triggered more than three months of detective work by Southern California Edison officials and federal nuclear regulators that has yet to determine the problem's root cause or when San Onofre will reopen. Since then, the outlook for the plant has gotten worse. Now, about 1,300 tubes — more than 3% of all the plant's tubes — have been taken out of service because of unexpected wear.

Guantanamo lawyers want ex-CIA official to testify

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Guantanamo lawyers want ex-CIA official to testify 16 May 2012 Defense lawyers want to force a former CIA official who supervised what they called torture of 'al Qaeda' captives to testify in the war crimes tribunal for five Guantanamo prisoners accused of plotting the September 11 attacks. They argue that Jose Rodriguez, former director of the CIA's National Clandestine Service, has information pertinent to the defense allegation that the government is using security classifications to hide evidence their clients were tortured. The lawyers want Rodriguez to testify during a hearing set for June 12-15 for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the confessed architect of the hijacked plane attacks, and four other captives accused of funding and training the hijackers.

Wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. found dead at NY home

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. found dead at NY home 16 May 2012 Mary Kennedy, the estranged wife of Robert F. Kennedy Jr, was found dead on Wednesday at her home in a New York City suburb, an officer at the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office said. She was 52. Mary Kennedy had four children with Kennedy, the son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy. He is a prominent New York environmentalist.

National Guard Probes Another Extremist Allegation

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

National Guard Probes Another Extremist Allegation 15 May 2012 The Missouri National Guard is investigating whether it may have another extremist in its ranks. Earlier this month, authorities in Florida arrested several members of a white supremacist group who were alleged to be training for a race war in America. Those arrested on conspiracy and hate crime charges were members of the American Front, a militia-style neo-Nazi group with a long history of violence against black, gay and Jewish people. According to an arrest affidavit filed in the case, a member of American Front's Missouri chapter, who also is a National Guard member, was at the group's compound in north Florida in July 2011 to conduct training in hand-to-hand combat and weapons.

Judge Napolitano: Shoot down a drone, become an American hero

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Judge Napolitano: Shoot down a drone, become an American hero --FAA: 30,000 small, remote-controlled drones could be above the homes of every American. 17 May 2012 Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano has found a novel approach to handling the whole drone surveillance dilemma that has Americans worried that the government will soon watch their every move from the sky. Speaking out against the future of aerial eavesdropping in America, Judge Napolitano said on Fox on Tuesday, "The first American patriot that shoots down one of these drones that comes too close to his children in his backyard will be an American hero." [Or, even if you don't have children! They're predator drones run amok by predators.] Congress is currently working alongside defense contractors mercenaries, the Federal Aviation Administration and local law enforcement agencies across the country, among others, to draft plans to put unmanned aerial aircraft into US sky in the near future.

Federal Judge Blocks Controversial NDAA

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Federal Judge Blocks Controversial NDAA --Judge agreed statute failed to 'pass constitutional muster' 16 May 2012 A federal judge [Katherine Forrest] granted a preliminary injunction late Wednesday to block provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the military to indefinitely detain anyone it accuses of knowingly or unknowingly supporting terrorism. Signed by President Barack Obama on New Year's Eve, the 565-page NDAA contains a short paragraph, in statute 1021, letting the military detain anyone it suspects "substantially supported" al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], the Taliban or "associated forces." The indefinite detention would supposedly last until "the end of hostilities."

Mystery surrounds Kennedy wife's death

May 17, 2012 by legitgov

Mystery surrounds Kennedy wife's death 17 May 2012 Robert F Kennedy Jr's estranged wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy has been found dead in her home. Attorney Kerry Lawrence, who had previously represented her, said he didn't know the cause of her death at age 52. An autopsy was scheduled for tomorrow (NZ time). Police confirmed a body was found on Robert F Kennedy Jr's property in Bedford, north of New York City, but wouldn't release the dead person's name. The former Mary Richardson, a longtime connection of the Kennedy clan, married Robert Kennedy Jr, a prominent environmental lawyer and the son of Senator Robert F Kennedy and nephew of President John F Kennedy, in 1994.

Student protesters disrupt UC regents meeting

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

Student protesters disrupt UC regents meeting 16 May 2012 Student protesters angry about another possible tuition hike disrupted the meeting of the University of California regents Wednesday in Sacramento, with some demonstrators dressed in orange prisoner uniforms and singing about "working on the chain gang." The regents were about to discuss a recent report about the treatment of protesters on campuses and then analyze the impact of the governor's May revision of the state budget on tuition. After 15 or so protesters began chanting and marching around the meeting, they ignored orders to clear the hall.

Mysterious illness strikes hundreds of flight attendants - are 'toxic uniforms' to blame or is it Fukushima?

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

Mysterious illness strikes hundreds of flight attendants - are 'toxic uniforms' to blame or is it Fukushima? Are Alaska Airlines flight attendants suffering the effects of nuclear radiation fallout? 16 May 2012 Hundreds of Alaska Airlines flight attendants have filed a formal complaint about uniforms they suspect might be causing their skin to rash and develop lesions, and their hair to fall out. But based on the timing of the symptoms and their relation to similar symptoms in local marine life and polar bear populations, it appears as though radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster may also be a potential culprit.

House Panel Adds $849 Million for Israel's Missile Defense

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

House Panel Adds $849 Million for Israel's Missile Defense 15 May 2012 The House panel that controls military expenditures proposed a net increase of $874 million for weapons over the Pentagon's budget plans for the year starting Oct. 1. The largest amounts that the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee added in producing a $102.4 billion procurement request were $562.4 million to buy 11 additional Boeing Co. F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets and $447 million to buy seven more Lockheed Martin Corp. C-130J transport planes, according to the defense panel's report obtained today... The panel recommended adding $848.9 million for Israel's missile defense, including $680 million for the Iron Dome system and $111.4 million for a system called David's Sling.

Drones Up to 25 Pounds Allowed for U.S. Safety Agencies

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

Drones Up to 25 Pounds Allowed for U.S. Safety Agencies 15 May 2012 Public safety agencies will be able to operate unmanned aircraft with fewer restrictions, in the first changes in U.S. regulations that Congress ordered to broaden domestic use of non-military drones. Police, fire and similar departments will be able to fly drones weighing as much as 25 pounds (11.3 kilos) without applying for special approvals needed under previous regulations, the Federal Aviation Administration said today in a statement on its website. Congress is encouraging more U.S. drone flights under a law that became final on Feb. 14, with the goal of adapting technology used by the military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

D.C. gay rights groups evacuated after bomb threats

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

D.C. gay rights groups evacuated after bomb threats --Police: One of the threats came through the Los Angeles Police Department 15 May 2012 Just days after President Barack Obama came out in support of same sex marriage, several gay rights organizations in the nation's capital were evacuated after a bomb threat. Four locations were threatened, the Metropolitan Police Department Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit headquarters, the Human Rights Campaign headquarters, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Police evacuated and searched the buildings before the all-clear was given.

Prairie Island nuclear security supervisor fired after faked drug test

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

Prairie Island nuclear security supervisor fired after faked drug test 15 May 2012 (MN) A security supervisor at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant was fired after he was caught faking a drug test urine sample, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. The incident occurred on July 23, 2010, during part of a fitness-for-duty random drug test. The supervisor was fired after failing to report for a second sample, the NRC said.

AT&T named vendor for Homeland Security

May 16, 2012 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: AT&T named vendor for Homeland Security 15 May 2012 AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that it was named a prime vendor for a $3 billion contract with the Department of Homeland Security, giving AT&T the ability to compete for work under the contract. The so-called Tactical Communications Equipment and Services contract is a base contact for two years and three one-year extension options. Homeland Security uses the contract to buy communications devices, infrastructure and services used by first responders. AT&T will compete for DHS business through its Government Solutions unit, which is housed in AT&T's affiliate AT&T Corp.

Computer hacker not guilty of G20 summit bomb plot: court

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

Computer hacker not guilty of G20 summit bomb plot: court  15 May 2012 A protester arrested as leaders of the world's top economies gathered in Toronto in June 2010 was cleared by a Canadian court Tuesday in an alleged G20 summit bomb plot. Justice Nancy Spies ruled that there was not enough evidence to convict Byron Sonne, 39, of possessing explosive materials, nor of counseling others to commit mischief. Sonne was originally accused of assembling explosives in the basement of his million-dollar home in midtown Toronto, several kilometers (miles) from the G20 summit site. But by the time the case got to trial the charge was reduced to possessing explosive materials, which he claimed were chemicals for his rocketry hobby.

Greece could exit eurozone, IMF chief tells FRANCE 24

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

Greece could exit eurozone, IMF chief tells FRANCE 24 15 May 2012 The head of the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised the possibility that Greece could leave the eurozone in an orderly fashion. "If the country's budgetary commitments are not honoured, there are appropriate revisions to do, which means either supplementary financing and additional time or mechanisms for an exit, which in this case must be an orderly exit," Christine Lagarde said in an interview with France 24.

French President Hollande's plane 'hit by lightning'

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

French President Hollande's plane 'hit by lightning' 15 May 2012 Newly sworn in French President Francois Hollande has been delayed in his journey to Berlin for key talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after his plane was hit by lightning. The plane was forced to turn back to Paris. "The plane could have been hit by lightning," a presidential spokesman told the AFP news agency. "For security reasons, it turned back. At this moment, the president is again en route."

Iran executes Mossad assassin of top nuclear scientist

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

Iran executes Mossad assassin of top nuclear scientist 15 May 2012 The man convicted of espionage for the Israeli spy agency, Mossad, and assassinating a top Iranian nuclear physicist has been executed in Tehran's Evin Prison. Majid Jamali Fashi, who assassinated Massoud Ali-Mohammadi in January 2011, was executed under the Iranian judicial system on Tuesday. Jamali Fashi was also found guilty of receiving training from Mossad inside Israel as well as $120,000 to assassinate the Iranian scientist.

New Movie Boosts Campaign to Save Polar Bears

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

New Movie Boosts Campaign to Save Polar Bears 14 May 2012 A new 3D IMAX movie about the Arctic is opening in the U.S. and, soon, around the world. The movie, directed by Greg MacGillivray, is part of an international campaign to save the polar bears and their home. Polar bears are in trouble. Scientists say only 20,000 remain, and their long term survival could be at risk. The new IMAX movie, To the Arctic, tells the story of the Arctic's endangered ecosystem - through a polar bear mother and her twin cubs.

Ron Paul ends campaign, vows to push agenda

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

Ron Paul ends campaign, vows to push agenda 14 May 2012 Ron Paul, whose antigovernment, prorights creed attracted enthusiastic supporters and hefty donations but few delegates, will not campaign in the 11 remaining Republican primary states, he announced Monday. In effectively conceding the presidential nomination to Mitt Romney, the Texas representative turns his focus toward influencing the Republican Party platform for the fall election. Paul said this year's run for the presidency - his third - is part of a 40-year endeavor that will continue no matter who wins the White House.

Anonymous: 'We have access to every classified database in the US'

May 15, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous: 'We have access to every classified database in the US' 14 May 2012 Businesses have suggested it. The government has all but confirmed it. And according to one alleged member, they both might very well be right. A hacker tied to Anonymous says the loose-knit collective may be the most powerful organization on Earth. "The entire world right now is run by information," Chris Doyon tells Postmedia News from an undisclosed location in Canada... In a world where the most critical of information isn't locked up in vaults but instead encoded in easily obtainable binary, Doyon says that crackers like those in Anonymous are in possession of some of the most powerful knowledge known to man.

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