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Iraq attacks on Shia and police targets kill 50

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Iraq attacks on Shia and police targets kill 50 23 Feb 2012 At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq, police say. The violence targeted predominantly Shia areas, in particular police officers and checkpoints. In Baghdad, nine people died in two successive blasts in the central Karrada district. Outside the capital, at least two were killed in Baquba.

Guantanamo Bay prisoner, a former Baltimore resident, reaches plea deal

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Guantanamo Bay prisoner, a former Baltimore resident, reaches plea deal 22 Feb 2012 A former Baltimore area resident held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has reached a plea agreement with military prosecutors that calls for him to testify at the trials of other prisoners in exchange for a much-reduced sentence and eventual freedom, according to officials familiar with the case. The plea agreement with Majid Khan, 31, is the first with a high-value detainee who was previously held by the CIA at a secret prison overseas. Khan’s plea agreement could mark the beginning of an effort to accelerate the number of military tribunal cases by the new chief military prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, who assumed his position in October.

Fortress DC: New Capitol lockdown plan in works

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Fortress DC: New Capitol lockdown plan in works 22 Feb 2012 A new and sweeping security project to lock down gateways to the U.S. Capitol is being planned, aimed at targeting gang assaults and lone wolf attackers like the alleged 'al Qaeda' suicide bomber FBI agents seized earlier this month. Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers told Washington Secrets that the plan is to spend $7.8 million to secure House and Senate garages "very quickly" should an attacker try bust in. Ayers said the targets are "car bombs or groups of people or whatever the threat may be."

Suspicious Letters to Boehner, Coats, and Murray Prompt House-Senate Alert

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Suspicious Letters to Boehner, Coats, and Murray Prompt House-Senate Alert 22 Feb 2012 House and Senate members were alerted on Wednesday that a House member's district office and at least two senators' state offices have received threatening mail this week containing a suspicious powdery substance, all later determined to be harmless. Memos sent to members' offices from the sergeants-at-arms of both chambers notified the lawmakers and their staffs that two of the letters had been received on Tuesday, and that another similar letter was received by the second Senate state office on Wednesday. While the alert memos did not mention which lawmakers had received the packages, three of the incidents occurred in Ohio, Indiana, and Washington state involving offices of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Hearing Held on Program Monitoring Social Media

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Hearing Held on Program Monitoring Social Media --'The D.H.S. continues to monitor the Internet for criticism of the government.' [*Apparently.*] 23 Feb 2012 Analysts for a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been instructed to produce reports on policy debates related to the department, a newly disclosed manual shows. The manual, a 2011 reference guide for analysts working with the department's Media Monitoring Capability program, raises questions about recent claims by Homeland Security officials who portrayed the program as limited to gathering information that would help gain operational awareness about attacks, disasters or other emerging problems. Last month, a previous disclosure of documents related to the program showed that in 2009, when it was being designed, officials contemplated having reports produced about "public reaction to major governmental proposals with homeland security implications."

Congress members threatened with biological attack

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Congress members threatened with biological attack --NYPD made aware of letters received by some media outlets on Tuesday night and alerted FBI, U.S. Capitol Police --Letters were signed 'the MIB' 22 Feb 2012 Several members of the Congress received mail threatening a biological attack and containing a suspicious powder later found to be harmless as law enforcement officials warned on Wednesday that more letters could be on their way. In a notice to Senate staffers titled "Urgent: Suspicious Mail Alert," Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer warned that the sender of the letters had "indicated that additional letters containing a powdery substance will be arriving at more Senate offices and that some of these letters may contain actual harmful material."

John McCain renews call for arming Syrian opposition

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

John McCain renews call for arming Syrian opposition 23 Feb 2012 US Republican Senator (sociopath) John McCain has once again urged Washington to consider all options when it comes to helping the opposition in Syria. Speaking at a Wednesday press conference in Tripoli, Libya, McCain reiterated that the anti-Damascus forces in Syria should be given weapons to confront forces of President Bashar al-Assad's government. "We should consider every option ranging from sanctuaries to seeing that weapons are brought to the hands of those who are resisting Assad," he said, also calling for technical and medical help for the opposition.

UC Davis sued over pepper spray attack

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

UC Davis sued over pepper spray attack 23 Feb 2012 US current and former students have sued the University of California, Davis, over its campus police's use of pepper spray against peaceful student demonstrators. Seventeen UC Davis students and two alumni filed the lawsuit against university officials and police on Wednesday concerning the shocking pepper-spraying incident in November 2011 that sparked international condemnation. The incident saw campus police pepper-spraying a group of students, who were sitting in a peaceful protest as part of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.

CDC Warns That New Swine Flu Strain Has 'Pandemic Potential'

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

CDC Warns That New Swine Flu Strain Has 'Pandemic Potential' [Yeah, especially when you make it so.] 22 Feb 2012 A paper published Tuesday by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control suggests a new swine flu virus has the potential to cause an outbreak. The A(H3N2)v swine flu strain that has infected at least 18 Americans since Sept. 2010 has shown the potential for human-to-human transmission. According to the paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the H3N2 strains "resemble viruses with pandemic potential." Terrence Tumpey, one of the authors of the study, says the current seasonal flu vaccine won't protect against this swine flu strain, although he says the CDC is working on creating a vaccine for swine flu variants such as the one he studied. [Isn't *that* convenient! First, you create the pandemic. Then, lo and behold, there's a vaccine available to 'stop' the pandemic that you created! Meanwhile, US pharma-terrorists (Baxter, etc.) make a killing on the killing! See 'V for Vendetta' (2005) sub-plot which details this sorry saga. And while you're at it, watch the last five or six minutes of the film... for sheer viewing pleasure. --LRP]

Afghanistan: New clashes over burning of Koran leave seven dead

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan: New clashes over burning of Koran leave seven dead 23 Feb 2012 Seven people were killed in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Korans by foreign soldiers at a Nato base near Kabul. The interior ministry said the clashes in the eastern province of Parwan left four dead. Other deaths were reported at a US base near Kabul, where guards killed one person, and in Logar and Jalalabad provinces.

NYPD found no trace of terrorism while spying on Muslims, says report

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

NYPD found no trace of terrorism while spying on Muslims, says report --The report, which was obtained by the AP, showed that the spying in Newark took place for months during 2007, and was so hush-hush that even Mayor Cory Booker was unaware of it. 22 Feb 2012 Abdul Kareem Abdullah of Newark was born in the United States and became a Muslim years ago... The New York City police department secretly spied on and compiled a report on him, his wife and customers at his restaurant. The NYPD's Demographics Unit conducted similar surveillance operations of other Muslims in Newark and on Long Island, filming and listening in on conversations where they worship, at stores and restaurants they frequent, and at places where they work. When the mission was concluded, the NYPD put together a 60-page report about their operations -- which uncovered no evidence of terrorism or criminal behavior.

Loan guarantees pave way for first new U.S. nuclear reactors in years

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Loan guarantees pave way for first new U.S. nuclear reactors in years 16 Feb 2012 President [and Wall Street troll] Barack Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees Tuesday for two nuclear reactors to be built in Burke County, Georgia. A new nuclear power plant has not been built in the United States in three decades. The new reactors are to be part of an expansion of an existing nuclear facility near Augusta, Georgia, operated by Atlanta-based Southern Co... Nuclear power critics slammed the administration's decision to back the construction of new reactors. "The last thing Americans want is another government bailout for a failing industry, but that's exactly what they're getting from the Obama administration," energy analyst Ben Schreiber said in a press release issued this past weekend.

Health workers linked to CIA's Osama bin Laden assassination plot are sacked

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Health workers linked to CIA's Osama bin Laden assassination plot are sacked --Punishments handed out to 17 low-ranking health department employees for unwittingly helping CIA 22 Feb 2012 Seventeen local health workers have been fired in Abbottabad for their part in a CIA scheme to try to confirm the presence of 'Osama bin Laden' in the northern Pakistani town. The low-ranking health department employees were punished for helping Dr Shakil Afridi, who was assigned by the CIA to set up a fake vaccination scheme in Abbottabad, ahead of the 3 May US military operation that found and killed the al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] leader there. In July last year, the Guardian revealed that Afridi was hired by the American spy agency, which was trying to establish whether Bin Laden was living inside a compound to which it had tracked an al-Qaida "courier".

SWAT, CT State Police Descend on New Britain Hospital

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

SWAT, CT State Police Descend on New Britain Hospital --Hospital is on lockdown 22 Feb 2012 State Police say they have responded to a shooting at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain. Witnesses told NBC Connecticut there is a large police presence at the hospital. The hospital is on lockdown, according to a spokesperson. Newington police said there SWAT team has been called to the scene.

New York judge upholds fracking ban in towns

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

New York judge upholds fracking ban in towns 21 Feb 2012 In a blow to the oil and gas industry, a judge has ruled small towns in New York have the authority to ban drilling - including the controversial method known as fracking - within their borders. In a ruling released late Tuesday, state Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey held that the Ithaca suburb of Dryden's recent ban on gas drilling falls within the authority of local governments to regulate local land use. The case is Anschutz Exploration Corp. v. Town of Dryden, New York State Supreme Court, Tompkins County No. 2011-0902.

Russia: Israeli strike on Iran would be 'catastrophic'

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Russia: Israeli strike on Iran would be 'catastrophic' 22 Feb 2012 Russian warned Israel not to attack Iran over its nuclear program, saying on Wednesday that military action would have catastrophic consequences. "Of course any possible military scenario against Iran will be catastrophic for the region and for the whole system of international relations," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said. "Therefore I hope Israel understands all these consequences... and they should also consider the consequences of such action for themselves," Gatilov said at a news conference.

Anonymous: Power grid concerns are US Govt spin

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous: Power grid concerns are US Govt spin 22 Feb 2012 Anonymous has branded comments by a director of the US National Security Agency that the hacktivist group is a year or two away from having the capability to launch attacks that disrupt the power grid as "baseless" and "ridiculous". Unnamed federal officials, citing comments from NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander during a series of White House meetings, told the Wall Street Journal that Anonymous has never named the electric grid as a target, but said the group is "headed in a more disruptive direction." A number of flagship Anonymous Twitter accounts spent Monday refuting the report, calling Alexander's comments "baseless," "fear mongering" and "ridiculous."

Northampton 'opts out' of federal law

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Northampton 'opts out' of federal law --National Defense Authorization Act 'unconstitutional' 17 Feb 2012 (MA)  The city of Northampton became the first city in New England to pass a resolution rejecting the National Defense Authorization Act Thursday night. Two particular sections of the Act, signed by President Obama in December, ignited a firestorm of controversy. Sections 1021 and 1022 allow the indefinite military detention of any person, including a U.S. citizen, without a trial. At a city council meeting Thursday night, city leaders and advocacy groups came together to demand a "restoration of due process and the right to trial."

Syria: US says it will 'consider other measures' to end bloodshed

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Syria: US says it will 'consider other measures' to end bloodshed 22 Feb 2012 The United States appeared to open the door to eventually arming the Syrian opposition, saying if a political solution to the [CIA-spawned] crisis were impossible it might have to consider other options. The comments, made by officials at both the White House and the State Department, marked a shift in emphasis by Washington, which thus far has stressed its policy of not arming the opposition and has said little about alternatives.

Three US-led soldiers killed in roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Three US-led soldiers killed in roadside bomb attack in Afghanistan 22 Feb 2012 At least three US-led soldiers serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan, Press TV reports. In a statement released on Wednesday, the NATO-led ISAF said that the soldiers were killed after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb in the south of the country on Tuesday.

Second day of protests in Afghanistan over burning of Koran

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Second day of protests in Afghanistan over burning of Koran --AFP photographer: At least one protester shot 22 Feb 2012 Hundreds of Afghans threw stones, shouted "death to America" and torched tyres, pouring onto streets Wednesday for a second day of angry protests against Nato troops for burning copies of the Koran. About 500 protesters threw stones at a US military base in Kabul, while in the eastern city of Jalalabad more than 1,000 demonstrators blocked the highway shouting "Death to Americans, Death to Obama", AFP journalists said. In Kabul, the crowd attacked anti-riot police, forcing them to retreat, an AFP photographer said.

US presses Pakistan to allow intelligence bases near Iran

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

US presses Pakistan to allow intelligence bases near Iran 21 Feb 2012 An Indian newspaper says the United States is putting pressure on Pakistan to allow Washington to establish espionage bases in the country’s Balochistan province to gather intelligence on Iran. According to a report published by The Times of India on Monday, the US Congress has been discussing a resolution to recognize the right of Baloch people to self-determination as a means of putting pressure on Islamabad to give in to the US demands. The move elicited angry reactions from Pakistan’s top leaders including Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who described it as an attack on the country's sovereignty.

U.S. hints at possibility of arming Syrian opposition

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. hints at possibility of arming Syrian opposition 21 Feb 2012 The United States on Tuesday appeared to open the door to eventually arming the Syrian opposition, saying if a political solution to the crisis were impossible it might have to consider other options. The comments, made by officials at both the White House and the State Department, marked a shift in emphasis by Washington, which so far has stressed its policy of not arming the opposition and has said little about alternatives. The United States and its allies hope this week's Tunis conference will allow them to begin drawing up a plan for Syria after Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed Arab League peace plan at the U.N. Security Council. [WHY is it no one ever 'draws up a plan' for the United States? Some conference needs to do that and see how the sociopaths in DC like it.]

Radiation detected 400 miles off Japanese coast

February 22, 2012 by legitgov

Radiation detected 400 miles off Japanese coast --Concentrations of cesium-137 throughout range were 10 to 1,000 times normal 21 Feb 2012 Radioactive contamination from the Fukushima power plant disaster has been detected as far as almost 400 miles off Japan in the Pacific Ocean, with water showing readings of up to 1,000 times more than prior levels, scientists reported Tuesday. The ship sampled water from about 20 miles to about 400 miles off the coast east of the Fukushima plant. Cesium-137 wasn't the only radioactive substance released from the plant, but it's of particular concern because of its long persistence in the environment. Its half-life is 30 years. [WHY has Obusha given *billions* to the nuclear industry?]

Dow hits 13,000 for first time since 2008 crisis

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Dow hits 13,000 for first time since 2008 crisis 21 Feb 2012 Wall Street's bulls have reason to celebrate: The Dow Jones industrial average has crossed the 13,000 mark for the first time since the financial crisis after European leaders reached a new deal to prop up the Greek economy. The Dow first crossed 13,000 in May 2008, but was battered down soon after when the mortgage bubble burst. The blue chip index's latest surge has been driven by a stream of evidence signaling that the U.S. economy is on the mend. The Dow has risen 20% since hitting a recent low of 10,655.30 on Oct. 3.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Affirmative Action Case

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Affirmative Action Case 21 Feb 2012 The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear a major case on affirmative action in higher education, adding another potential blockbuster to a docket already studded with them. The court's decision in the new case holds the potential to undo an accommodation reached in the Supreme Court's 5-to-4 decision in 2003 in Grutter v. Bollinger: that public colleges and universities could not use a point system to boost minority enrollment but could take race into account in vaguer way to ensure academic diversity. The new case, Fisher v. Texas, No. 11-345, was brought by Abigail Fisher, a white student who said she was denied admission to the University of Texas because of her race.

Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court agrees to reconsider use of race in college admission decisions 21 Feb 2012 The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will reconsider whether affirmative action may be considered when public universities choose which students to admit, revisiting a 2003 decision that allows race as a factor in admission decisions. The court will hear a white student's claims that the University of Texas's race-conscious admission policy cost her a spot in the freshman class. The 'justices' will hear the case in the term that begins in October, making it likely that affirmative action will be an issue in the fall elections.

Polls open in Yemen with sole US-backed pres. candidate

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Polls open in Yemen with sole US-backed pres. candidate [LOL!] 21 Feb 2012 'Voting' has begun in Yemen's presidential election with only one candidate on the ballot amid the opposition's call for the downfall of the entire regime. The polls opened Tuesday, with 12 million eligible voters, and the sole candidate Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The election is to put an end to Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule and formally transfer power to his assistant, Hadi. However, the country's major opposition groups, including the Southern Movement and the Southern Shia group have boycotted the election, demanding the removal of the regime that abounds with Saleh-era officials.

Iran intends to boost presence in int'l waters: Defense Minister Vahidi

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Iran intends to boost presence in int'l waters: Defense Minister Vahidi 21 Feb 2012 Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi says Iran will continue boosting its presence in the international waters, dismissing remarks by the officials of the Israeli government on the arrival of two Iranian naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Ignoring certain remarks made by others, the Islamic Republic will strongly beef up its naval clout and multiply its presence in the international waters, said Vahidi, reiterating that this trend is "unstoppable," IRNA reported Tuesday. On February 18, Commander of Iran's Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said that the country's 18th fleet had sailed through Egypt's Suez Canal into the Mediterranean and added that this was the second time that an Iranian naval fleet had passed through the waterway since 1979.

Voting Rights Act under siege

February 21, 2012 by legitgov

Voting Rights Act under siege 19 Feb 2012 An intensifying conservative legal assault on the Voting Rights Act could precipitate what many civil rights advocates regard as the nuclear option: a court ruling striking down one of the core elements of the landmark 1965 law guaranteeing African Americans and other minorities access to the ballot box. At the same time, the view that states should have free rein to change their election laws even in places with a history of Jim Crow seems to be gaining traction within the Republican Party. "There certainly has been a major change," said Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California at Irvine. "Now, you have a whole bunch of credible mainstream state attorneys general and governors taking this view. ...That would have been unheard of even five years ago. You would have been accused of being a racist."

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John McCain and ISIS buds
Sen. John McCain and ISIS buds

Drone Hunting Permit

'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!"

Bush and Obusha

Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against...

F*ck TrapWire

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