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Prop. 8: Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Prop. 8: Supreme Court clears way for gay marriage in California 26 Jun 2013 The Supreme Court cleared the way Wednesday for same-sex marriages to resume in California as the justices, in a procedural ruling, turned away the defenders of Proposition 8. Chief Justice John Roberts, speaking for the 5-4 majority, said the private sponsors of Prop. 8 did not have legal standing to appeal after the ballot measure was struck down by a federal judge in San Francisco. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan joined to form the majority.

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Supreme Court strikes down Defense of Marriage Act 26 Jun 2013 The Supreme Court Wednesday struck down as unconstitutional the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act that denies federal benefits to same-sex couples who are legally married in the states where they reside. The court said it violated equal protection to provide benefits to heterosexual couples while denying them to gay couples in the 12 states plus the District of Columbia where same-sex couples may marry.

Snowden hid copies of secret NSA documents in case something happens to him

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Snowden hid copies of secret NSA documents in case something happens to him 25 Jun 2013 A trove of classified documents supplied to The Guardian newspaper by NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been copied and shared with several people around the globe, journalist Glenn Greenwald told The Daily Beast on Tuesday. Greenwald, the Guardian reporter who first began publishing National Security Agency documents earlier this month after meeting with the former intelligence contractor, told journalist Eli Lake that Snowden made arrangements to ensure others around the world have encrypted copies of that information should any circumstances allow the data or its source to be compromised. Snowden "has taken extreme precautions to make sure many different people around the world have these archives to insure [sic] the stories will inevitably be published," Greenwald said.

Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Assange, Back in News, Never Left U.S. Radar 25 Jun 2013 Until he re-emerged this week as an ally for Edward J. Snowden, the former computer contractor who leaked details of National Security Agency surveillance, [WikiLeaks founder] Julian Assange looked like a forgotten man. But the United States government had not forgotten about him. Interviews with government agents, prosecutors and others familiar with the WikiLeaks investigation, as well as an examination of court documents, suggest that Mr. Assange and WikiLeaks are being investigated by several government agencies, along with a grand jury that has subpoenaed witnesses. Tens of thousands of pages of evidence have been gathered. And at least four other former members of WikiLeaks have had contact with the United States authorities seeking information on Mr. Assange, the former members said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a matter they were informed was confidential.

Texas senator Wendy Davis filibusters against abortion bill

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Texas senator Wendy Davis filibusters against abortion bill 25 Jun 2013 Wearing pink tennis shoes to prepare for nearly 13 consecutive hours of standing, a Democratic Texas state senator on Tuesday began a one-woman filibuster to block a GOP-led effort that would impose stringent new abortion restrictions across the nation's second-most populous state. Sen. Wendy Davis, 50, of Fort Worth began the filibuster at 11:18 a.m. CDT Tuesday and passed the nine-hour mark in her countdown to midnight -- the deadline for the end of the 30-day special session. Before Davis began speaking, her chair was removed. CBSDFW.com reports that Davis must speak continuously -- and stay on topic -- the entire time.

Dem Rep. Markey wins US Senate election in Mass.

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Dem Rep. Markey wins US Senate election in Mass. 25 Jun 2013 Longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. Edward Markey defeated Republican political newcomer Gabriel Gomez in a special election on Tuesday for the state's U.S. Senate seat long held by John Kerry. Markey, 66, won the early backing of Kerry and much of the state's Democratic political establishment... Markey had an advantage of about 8 percentage points over Gomez with most precincts reporting late Tuesday, according to unofficial returns.

Nelson Mandela still critical in hospital, says Zuma

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Nelson Mandela still critical in hospital, says Zuma 24 Jun 2013 Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in a critical condition in hospital, President Jacob Zuma says. Mr Zuma said the doctors were doing everything they could to make the former leader comfortable, but he could not give any more medical details. South Africa's first black president, 94, was taken to hospital in Pretoria earlier this month for the third time this year, with a lung infection.

Collection raises $350 for information about turtle attack

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Collection raises $350 for information about turtle attack --Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources continues to investigate 22 Jun 2013 The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person who beat a snapping turtle to death has increased again. The additional $350 comes from a collection taken at Delavan taverns and establishments frequented by golfers. The turtle, a female searching for a safe spot to lay her eggs, appeared to have been beaten with a golf club between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 10, at the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan. The animal later died at the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center in Fredonia. Its eggs were not found. That amount raises the reward to $8,550.

Liberty Issues Claim Against British Intelligence Services Over PRISM and Tempora Scandal

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Liberty Issues Claim Against British Intelligence Services Over PRISM and Tempora Scandal 25 Jun 2013 Today Liberty announced it has issued a claim against the British Intelligence Services over their suspected involvement in the PRISM and Project Tempora privacy scandal. Earlier this month it emerged that the US Government has been routinely intercepting the electronic communications of non-Americans outside of the US via the PRISM programme, covertly run by the National Security Agency (NSA). It now emerges that GCHQ, the UK’s eavesdropping agency, may have subjected people in the UK to blanket internet surveillance in any event. Liberty believes that its electronic communications – and those of its staff – may have been unlawfully accessed by the likes of the Security Services and GCHQ.

Apartheid at NYU? Prof. Michael Rectenwald Is Afraid So

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Apartheid at NYU? Prof. Michael Rectenwald Is Afraid So (Part II) 23 Jun 2013 Joan Brunwasser (OpEdNews) interviewed Dr. Michael Rectenwald, who is on the faculty of New York University in the Global Studies Program as well as being the founder and chair of CLG (Citizens for Legitimate Government)... JB: We've been talking about your June 18th article, 'Apartheid at NYU' [published by CLG]... MR: I see a lot of colleagues struggling daily to make ends meet. I even know of a colleague who had to live in his office because he couldn't find an affordable apartment. I have colleagues who endure significant financial duress and insecurity and have been unable to make it through the third week of the month, let alone the end of it. And then these reports come out about lavish lifestyles and vacation homes and everything starts to click. (Part I of the interview is here.)

Obama Outlines Ambitious Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases

June 26, 2013 by legitgov

Obama Outlines Ambitious Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gases 26 Jun 2013 President Obama, declaring that "Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction" on climate change, on Tuesday announced sweeping measures to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prepare the nation for a future of damaging weather aggravated by rising temperatures. Embracing an issue that could define his legacy but also ignite new battles with Republicans, Mr. Obama said he would use his executive powers to require reductions in the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants. That was the centerpiece of a three-part plan that includes new federal spending to advance renewable energy technology [Yeah, right!], as well as spending to protect cities and states from the ravages of storms and droughts that are exacerbated by a changing climate global warming.

Trial focuses on Zimmerman's neighborhood watch role

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Trial focuses on Zimmerman's neighborhood watch role 25 Jun 2013 After a fiery and at times odd first day, the trial of George Zimmerman will focus Tuesday on whether the neighborhood watch volunteer targeted others for alleged suspicious activities. Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, in a February 2012 confrontation. Prosecutors say Zimmerman profiled Trayvon, a black teenager; defense attorneys say Trayvon attacked Zimmerman in a gated community. Prosecutors hope to allow jurors to listen to a phone call by Zimmerman to police where he describes seeing another suspicious black male in his neighborhood.

Prosecutors push to admit non-emergency calls on second day of Zimmerman murder trial

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Prosecutors push to admit non-emergency calls on second day of Zimmerman murder trial 25 Jun 2013 Prosecutors pushed Tuesday to introduce nearly 50 calls George Zimmerman made to police over an eight-year period prior to his fatal confrontation with Florida teen Trayvon Martin, as the neighborhood watch volunteer's murder trial entered a second day of testimony. Zimmerman, 29, called police frequently to report such things as slow vehicles, loitering strangers in the neighborhood and open garages. Prosecutors want to introduce recordings of some of those calls, saying they are indicative of Zimmerman's overzealousness in pursuing people he considered to be suspicious - and of his state of mind on the night he shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.

6 police killed in attack in Afghanistan

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

6 police killed in attack in Afghanistan 25 Jun 2013 At least six Afghan policemen have lost their lives in a roadside bomb attack in southern province of Uruzgan, Press TV reports. The incident took place overnight in Deh Rawud District of the province. The police men were coming back from a mission when their vehicle ran over the bomb, said district governor Aminullah Khaleqi on Tuesday. The Taliban have claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Four Polish soldiers killed, two injured in Afghanistan's Ghazni Province

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Four Polish soldiers killed, two injured in Afghanistan's Ghazni Province 25 Jun 2013 Four US-led Polish soldiers have been killed and two others wounded in an attack in Afghanistan's central-eastern province of Ghazni, security sources say. Local Afghan officials say the four were killed after a roadside bomb blast targeted their vehicle in the country's volatile east on Tuesday. Two more soldiers were also wounded seriously in the fatal explosion. Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

Bomb blast rocks police compound in eastern Afghanistan

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Bomb blast rocks police compound in eastern Afghanistan 25 Jun 2013 A powerful explosion has rocked a police compound in Afghanistan's central-eastern province of Logar, injuring several security personnel and damaging parts of the building, security sources say.

Putin: Snowden still in Moscow airport, won't be extradited, free to go anywhere

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Putin: Snowden still in Moscow airport, won't be extradited, free to go anywhere 26 Jun 2013 Former NSA contractor Snowden remains in the transit zone of a Moscow airport. President Putin said that Snowden never crossed the Russian border and doesn't fall under any extradition treaty. He called accusations against Russia "nonsense and rubbish." "It is true that Snowden has arrived to Moscow, and it really came as a surprise for us. He arrived as a transit passenger, and didn't need a [Russian] visa, or any other documents. As a transit passenger he is entitled to buy a ticket and fly to wherever he wants," Vladimir Putin said as he spoke to journalists in Finland. Edward Snowden is still at the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, Putin stressed.

Russia: Snowden didn't cross border, US accusations groundless

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Russia: Snowden didn't cross border, US accusations groundless [They usually are.] 25 Jun 2013 Washington's allegations over US fugitive Edward Snowden are 'unacceptable' as he never crossed the Russian border, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said. As a consequence, any attempt to accuse or threaten Moscow by the US is unfounded. "Russia has nothing to do with Snowden's movements, he chose his route himself and didn't cross the Russian border," said Lavrov, responding to a question by RT's correspondent at a press conference with the Algerian foreign minister... Snowden is reportedly not able to cross the Russian border because he is not in possession of a valid visa. Moreover, the whistleblower's passport is thought to have been revoked a day after he fly out of Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday.

2 LA police officers shot and wounded in ambush

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

2 LA police officers shot and wounded in ambush 25 Jun 2013 Los Angeles police say two officers have been shot and wounded in an ambush attack outside the Wilshire Division station. Officer Tenesha Dobine says they were shot at around 4 a.m. Tuesday. Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the officers were returning to the station when somebody standing nearby opened fire, hitting both.

Pirate Party Norway Clarifies Snowden Claims

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Pirate Party Norway Clarifies Snowden Claims 25 Jun 2013 After the Norwegian media reported about Snowden's probable landing in Norway on his route to Iceland, the Norwegian Pirate Party clarified the claims. Co-Chairman of the Norwegian Pirate Party, Øystein Middelthun, told The Nordic Page that they never claimed Edward Snowden landed in Norway, but were informed that he had booked tickets from Moscow to Iceland via Norway. "We did not know whether he would use these tickets or not, but were present at the airport should he choose to do so. As events played out nothing indicates that he did come through Norway, and we are as much in the dark about his whereabouts as the rest of the world," he added.

IRS workers were told to flag 'progressive' groups, memos show

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

IRS workers were told to flag 'progressive' groups, memos show 24 Jun 2013 Internal Revenue Service employees used other politically-loaded terms besides "tea party" when they culled applications for tax-exempt status and then subjected them to extra scrutiny -- including the words "progressive" and "blue," according to agency memos. The lists with key words to watch for, released Monday by congressional Democrats, are the first documents showing that IRS employees were instructed to flag other types of nonprofit groups engaged in politics, not just conservative ones. "Common thread is the word 'progressive,'" said "Be on the Lookout" memos sent to workers in the tax-exempt division of the IRS. "Activities appear to lean toward a new political party. Activities are partisan and appear as anti-Republican." One memo, heavily redacted by the IRS, also tells employees to watch for groups engaged in advocacy on disputed territories in the Middle East, saying the applications "may be inflammatory" and "signify propaganda."

Supreme Court halts use of key provision in landmark Voting Rights Act

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Supreme Court halts use of key provision in landmark Voting Rights Act 25 Jun 2013 A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday invalidated a crucial component of the landmark Voting Rights Act of 1965, ruling that Congress has not taken into account the nation's racial progress when singling out certain states for federal oversight. The vote was 5 to 4, with Chief Justice [sic] John G. Roberts Jr. and the other conservative members of the court in the majority. The court...said Congress must come up with a new formula based on current data to determine which states should be subject to the requirements. Proponents of the law, which protects minority voting rights, called the ruling a death knell. It will be almost impossible for a Congress bitterly divided along partisan lines to come up with such an agreement, they said.

Supreme Court guts key part of landmark Voting Rights Act

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Supreme Court guts key part of landmark Voting Rights Act 25 Jun 2013 The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday gutted a core part of the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Act and challenged Congress to come up with a replacement plan to protect blacks and other minorities in places where discrimination still persists rather than target former slaveholding states in the South. In a 5-4 ruling with the court's conservatives in the majority, the justices [sic] ruled that Congress had used outdated facts in continuing to force nine states, mainly in the South, to get federal approval for voting rule changes affecting blacks and other minorities. The court ruled in favor of officials from Shelby County, Alabama, by declaring unconstitutional a section of the law - most recently updated by Congress in 2006 - that set the formula that decides which states and locales with a history of racial discrimination need federal approval to change voting laws.

Deadly piglet virus spreads to nearly 200 U.S. farm sites

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Deadly piglet virus spreads to nearly 200 U.S. farm sites 24 Jun 2013 A swine virus deadly to young pigs, and never before seen in North America, has spiked to 199 sites in 13 states - nearly double the number of farms and other locations from earlier this month. Iowa, the largest U.S. hog producer, has the most sites testing positive for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus: 102 sites, as of June 10. The total number of pig deaths from the outbreak since the first cases were confirmed May 17 is not known.

Afghanistan presidential palace attacked in Kabul

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Afghanistan presidential palace attacked in Kabul 25 Jun 2013 Militants have attacked the presidential palace and government buildings in the Afghan capital, Kabul. More than half a dozen explosions were heard as they clashed with security personnel at the palace's eastern gate, the defence ministry and a CIA station. The police said all of the attackers were killed. The Taliban said they carried out the assault.

Senate $38 Billion 'Border Plan' Boosts Immigration Law Prospects

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Senate $38 Billion 'Border Plan' Boosts Immigration Law Prospects 24 Jun 2013 The Senate advanced the costliest plan ever to bolster security corpora-terrorists' coffers at the U.S.-Mexico border, drawing enough Republican support to indicate that a broad revision of immigration law will pass by week's end. The 67-27 vote allows the measure to move forward. It would double the size of the U.S. Border Patrol and require another 350 miles of fencing at the boundary with Mexico -- at a[n INSANE] price tag its authors say will reach $38 billion. "Some people have described this as a border surge," said Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican who proposed the measure...

Leahy: Border security measure reads 'like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton'

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Leahy: Border security measure reads 'like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton' 22 Jun 2013 Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has panned a proposal to fast-track billions of dollars in spending on 'border security' as a boondoggle for government contractors. Leahy said a proposal drafted by Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) "reads like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton." The amendment requires implementation and activation of $4.5 billion in technology and equipment to achieve full surveillance of the U.S.-Mexico border. Leahy criticized the GOP-sponsored language for waiving standard federal contracting rules.

Justices Step Up Scrutiny of Race in College Entry

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Justices Step Up Scrutiny of Race in College Entry 25 Jun 2013 Courts must take a skeptical look at affirmative-action programs at public colleges and universities, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, in a decision that is likely to set off a wave of challenges to race-conscious admissions policies nationwide. The 7-to-1 decision avoided giving a direct answer about the constitutionality of the program, used by the University of Texas at Austin, that was before the court. The program will continue for now, but the justices ordered an appeals court to reconsider the case under a demanding standard that appears to jeopardize the program.

Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

Snowden sought Booz Allen job to gather evidence on NSA surveillance --Fugitive whistle-blower reveals for first time he took job at US government contractor with the sole aim of collecting proof of spying activities 25 Jun 2013 Edward Snowden secured a job with a US government contractor for one reason alone - to obtain evidence of Washington's cyberspying networks, the South China Morning Post can reveal. For the first time, Snowden has admitted he sought a position at Booz Allen Hamilton so he could collect proof about the US National Security Agency's secret surveillance programmes ahead of planned leaks to the media. "My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked," he told the Post on June 12. "That is why I accepted that position about three months ago."

NORAD plans Wednesday training flights east of Denver

June 25, 2013 by legitgov

NORAD plans Wednesday training flights east of Denver --NORAD has been monitoring domestic air traffic since the 9/11 attacks [and, on that day, too, until Dick Cheney gave the order for NORAD to stand down and to allow the attacks to proceed]. 24 Jun 2013 If you live east of Denver, you may get a free air show Wednesday as aircraft from the North American Aerospace Defense Command fly overhead during a training exercise. The training flights are planned to test NORAD's ability to deal with aerial threats. NORAD is headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base. The flights will involve F-15 interceptors and C-21 transport planes, NORAD said in a news release.

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

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

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