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Reports: Egypt refused U.S. request to fire on Iran ship

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Reports: Egypt refused U.S. request to fire on Iran ship 27 Aug 2012 Egypt's Navy refused a U.S. request to fire on an Iranian weapons ship heading for Syria through the Suez Canal, al-Arabiya reported. "The Suez Canal is a narrow waterway and it is impossible for military action to take place there," Mohab Mamish, recently appointed chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and former Egyptian Navy commander, told al-Arabiya. The U.S. request was made recently, the report said. The Egypt Independent had a similar report, saying it was told by Mamish the Navy refused a United States request to "strike" the Iranian ship.

Low-flying helicopters over Berkeley are measuring radiation levels

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Low-flying helicopters over Berkeley are measuring radiation levels 29 Aug 2012 Many Berkeley residents have been today asking about the helicopters that have been flying overhead, across the city and also into Oakland. A call to Berkeley Police Department confirms that the choppers are measuring baseline radiation levels. The flyovers are part of research by two federal security agencies - the Department of Homeland Security and the National Nuclear Security Administration - to compare aerial and ground based mapping of radioactivity, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.

Three Australian soldiers killed by rogue Afghan soldier

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Three Australian soldiers killed by rogue Afghan soldier --Deaths bring to 15 the number of foreign soldiers killed this month in insider attacks 29 Aug 2012 Three Australian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday by a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in an alarming series of "rogue" shootings that have damaged trust between Kabul and its allies. The Australian Defence Force on Thursday confirmed the nationality of the soldiers who were serving in southern Uruzgan province, where around 1,500 Australian troops are based. It said families in Australia were being informed of the deaths.

NATO may need more troops to ship home Afghan gear

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

NATO may need more troops to ship home Afghan gear --Estimates: More than $60 billion worth of equipment needs to be pulled out 28 Aug 2012 NATO countries may temporarily send more troops to Afghanistan to pack up and ship out huge quantities of weapons and equipment as they wind down operations after more than a decade of war, a military planner said on Tuesday. Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Richardson also said coalition members could use other routes to ship home their equipment even if the troubled crossings through Pakistan were closed to them.

Montreal police arrest 10 people for assault at university protest

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Montreal police arrest 10 people for assault at university protest 29 Aug 2012 Police were laying numerous criminal charges in a second day of confrontation with student protesters following the reopening of Quebec's universities. Striking students at the Universite de Montreal have been attempting to force the cancellation of certain classes to protest back-to-school legislation passed this spring. As they did on Monday, students clashed with the university's security guards and Montreal police as they reportedly sought to disrupt a film class.

Court rejects Texas redistricting maps

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Court rejects Texas redistricting maps 28 Aug 2012 A U.S. federal court ruled on Tuesday that controversial Texas redistricting maps discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, effectively killing the new districts before they could take effect for the November 6 presidential election. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the ruling. The state maps, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, redrew districts in a way that reduced the influence of minority voters, the court ruled. November's election will likely use interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio instead.

Judge to lift restrictions on Florida voter registration

August 30, 2012 by legitgov

Judge to lift restrictions on Florida voter registration 29 Aug 2012 A U.S. judge said on Wednesday he would issue a permanent injunction against controversial restrictions on voter registration drives in Florida put in place under a new state election law backed by the state's governor. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle temporarily prohibited Florida in May from enforcing parts of the law that tightened deadlines for groups conducting voter registration drives to submit registration forms. In a ruling on Wednesday, Hinkle said he would grant a permanent injunction against the law's provisions when a federal appellate court dismisses an appeal by Florida or sends the case back to him.

Condi Rice Can't Name a Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure

August 29, 2012 by walden9

Condi Rice Can't Name a Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure 29 Aug 2012 Today on CBS’s morning show, former Bush administration Secretary of State and top Mitt Romney surrogate Condoleezza Rice could not offer any specific foreign policy failures made by President Obama. Romney's allies, led by Rice and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), are expected to attack Obama on national security grounds tonight in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. [No wonder: Obama has continued and expanded every one of Bush's foreign policies. She can't find anything wrong with them because she helped design them!]

Yahoo! fires bureau chief over 'inappropriate' Romney joke

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Yahoo! fires bureau chief over 'inappropriate' Romney joke 29 Aug 2012 Media giant Yahoo! has fired its Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian after microphones caught him making a barb aimed at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The purportedly offensive [albeit accurate] comment was recorded by a microphone that had been left on during a break in the online coverage of the GOP convention on Tuesday night. It referred to Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, and concerned the fact that the Republican National Convention was being held as Hurricane Isaac was battering the Louisiana coast. "They're not concerned at all. They're happy to have a party with black people drowning," said Chalian, to brief laughter from an unidentified audience.

Romney Party Yacht Flies Cayman Islands Flag

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Romney Party Yacht Flies Cayman Islands Flag 29 Aug 2012 Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands. The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid... Romney to date has declined to identify the names of his top "bundlers" -- those who gather checks from scores of donors on the candidate's behalf.

Nuclear agency keeping close eye on Isaac

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Nuclear agency keeping close eye on Isaac 28 Aug 2012 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it is monitoring Hurricane Isaac as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Nuclear power plants in the Southeast have taken precautions such as tying down loose equipment, removing debris that could become airborne in winds of 75 mph or more and topping off water and fuel tanks. A spokeswoman said the agency has sent in additional staff to assist resident inspectors at two nuclear plants in Louisiana and one in Mississippi.

Second accused LulzSec hacker arrested in Sony breach

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Second accused LulzSec hacker arrested in Sony breach 28 Aug 2012 A second suspected member of the LulzSec hacker group has been arrested for his alleged role in a 2011 network security breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Ariz., surrendered to authorities today in Phoenix, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. An indictment unsealed today charged Rivera with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. He faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana 28 Aug 2012 Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southern Louisiana on Tuesday, bringing high winds, soaking rains and storm surges that will pose the first major test for New Orleans' multibillion-dollar flood protections put in place after Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast seven years ago. Isaac's storm surge poses a major test of the so-called Crescent City's new flood-control systems and reinforced levees that failed in 2005, leaving parts of the city underwater. Forecasts from the U.S. National Hurricane Center showed the storm coming ashore in the Mississippi Delta late on Tuesday, possibly taking direct aim at New Orleans.

Ohio Democratic officials fired for attempt to extend early voting

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Ohio Democratic officials fired for attempt to extend early voting 28 Aug 2012 Two Democratic officials in Ohio, a key battleground state and huge electoral prize in the November 6 presidential election, were fired for trying to extend early voting to weekends in defiance of a state ban, officials said on Tuesday. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, issued a directive earlier this month that the hours for early in-person voting should be consistent throughout the state, where voting rules are a hot-button issue. [Notice that Barack Obama is *silent* on this issue? He's fine with a RMoney victory, since their policies, with the exception of cultural issues such as abortion, are virtually the same -- slumming with Monsanto and Goldman Sachs; deploying killer drones; supporting the PATRIOT Act; implementing detention without trial; engaging in endless wars for ExxonMobil and Blackwater; slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay contractors to pretend to train police forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- etc. --LRP]

Texas Legislature found guilty of redistricting discrimination

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Texas Legislature found guilty of redistricting discrimination 28 Aug 2012 A three-judge federal court Tuesday found the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature guilty of discriminating against Latinos and blacks in the drawing of new election districts and threw out its redistricting plans for both the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Legislature. The ruling will not affect the November elections. Earlier this year, federal judges in Texas drew an interim districting plan to be used this year only.

Bradley Manning lawyers accuse government of withholding hundreds of emails

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Bradley Manning lawyers accuse government of withholding hundreds of emails 28 Aug 2012 Lawyers for an Army private accused of leaking classified information have accused the government of withholding hundreds of emails related to his pretrial detention. Pfc. Bradley Manning appeared in a military courtroom Tuesday at the start of a three-day pretrial hearing. Manning is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and war logs to the website WikiLeaks. One of his lawyers, David Coombs, argued that prosecutors have yet to turn over about 700 emails pertaining to his confinement at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. The judge directed prosecutors to provide the emails to her, saying she will decide which ones are relevant and can be disclosed.

Prosecutors: Ga. murder case reveals terror plot by US soldiers who formed militia inside Army

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Prosecutors: Ga. murder case reveals terror plot by US soldiers who formed militia inside Army 27 Aug 2012 Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday. Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group of active and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components. They allege the group was serious enough to kill two people -- former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York -- by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.

Republicans nominate Romney at storm-hit convention

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Republicans nominate Romney at storm-hit convention 28 Aug 2012 Republicans formally nominated Mitt Romney on Tuesday to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House, kicking off their storm-delayed convention with a barrage of sharp attacks on Obama's economic leadership. The nomination sets up a two-month dash to the November 6 election, with polls showing Romney running even or slightly behind the Democratic president. Finally opening the festivities after a storm threat delayed the convention by a day, Republicans condemned Obama's economic record and reminded voters of the country's stubbornly high unemployment rate and ballooning budget deficit.

Arctic becoming a 'giant slushie,' says scientist

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Arctic becoming a 'giant slushie,' says scientist 28 Aug 2012 Long-term thinning of Arctic sea ice combined with an intense, windy storm over the Arctic in early August contributed to a new record low for sea-ice extent, scientists said Monday. "It used to be the Arctic ice cover was like a big block of ice," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) during a press conference held after the new record low was set on Sunday (Aug. 26). "Now it's become crushed ice and that is a lot easier to melt and melt more quickly. Parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushie. [That] makes them more vulnerable to these types of storms."

U.S. Army troops, brandishing automatic assault rifles, deployed to New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Army troops, brandishing automatic assault rifles, deployed to New Orleans 28 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened into a hurricane just off the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday, lashing the New Orleans area with strong winds and heavy rain seven years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina... Hundreds of U.S. Army National Guard troops took up strategic positions around New Orleans. Brandishing automatic assault rifles to ward off any 'threat of looting,' the troops in military vehicles took up positions on mostly deserted streets.

Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near Gulf Coast

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near Gulf Coast 28 Aug 2012 Finally reaching hurricane status, the unwieldy and wobbly Isaac bore down on this city Tuesday, offering one of the first tests for a stronger, more fortified levee system built after the catastrophic failures [exploded levees to flood the Ninth Ward] during Hurricane Katrina. Seven years after that storm transformed this city, the mood was calm as the first wave of rain bands and wind gusts rolled ashore... Isaac looked to make landfall as early as Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of at least 74 mph -- much lower than the 135 mph winds Katrina packed in 2005.

Isaac revs up to hurricane force near New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac revs up to hurricane force near New Orleans --Landfall expected on eve of Katrina anniversary --Gulf Coast residents brace for storm, many evacuate 28 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened into a hurricane just off the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as it churned toward landfall in the New Orleans area seven years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Isaac's winds, rain and storm surge could pose a major test of New Orleans' new flood control systems and reinforced levees. Forecasts from the U.S. National Hurricane Center showed the storm coming ashore late on Tuesday.

'We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments'

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

'We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments' --Assad's Foreign Minister gives his first interview to a Western journalist since the conflict began 28 Aug 2012 The battle for Damascus could be heard inside the Foreign Minister's office yesterday, a vibration of mortars and tank fire from the suburbs of the capital that penetrated Walid Muallem's inner sanctum, a dangerous heartbeat to match the man's words. America was behind Syria's violence, he said, which will not end even after the battle for Aleppo is over. "I tell the Europeans: 'I don't understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people'. And I tell the Americans: 'You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don't understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria'."

US troops plotted to kill Obama

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

US troops plotted to kill Obama 28 Aug 2012 Four US soldiers plotted to assassinate Barack Obama and overthrow the government, a court has heard. Prosecutors in Georgia said they formed an anarchist [?] militia within the military. Prosecutor Isabel Pauley said the group bought 87,000 dollars (£55,000) of guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president.

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul 26 Aug 2012 An underground network of Syrian opposition activists terrorists is receiving training and supplies of vital equipment from a combined American and British effort to forge an effective alternative to the Damascus government. Dozens of dissidents have been ferried out of Syria to be vetted for foreign backing. Recipients of the aid are given satellite communications and computers so that they can act as a local "hub" linking local activists and the outside world. The training takes place in an Istanbul district where handsome apartment blocks line the steep slopes and rooftop terraces boast views over the Golden Horn waterway. [US tax dollars at work!]

Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac moving straight toward New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac moving straight toward New Orleans 27 Aug 2012 With its massive size and ponderous movement, Isaac could become a punishing rain machine depending on its strength, speed and where it comes ashore along the Gulf Coast. The focus has been on New Orleans as Isaac takes dead aim at the city seven years after Hurricane Katrina, but the impact will be felt well beyond the city limits. The storm's winds could be felt more than 200 miles from the storm's center.

Isaac menaces U.S. Gulf Coast 7 years after Katrina

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac menaces U.S. Gulf Coast 7 years after Katrina 27 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac closed in on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast on Monday, triggering some mandatory evacuation orders and disrupting U.S. offshore oil production as it threatened to make landfall between Florida and Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane. The wide, slow-moving storm swiped south Florida on Sunday and strengthened over the warm Gulf waters. It was expected to reach land Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

Israeli warplanes attack north of Gaza Strip

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Israeli warplanes attack north of Gaza Strip 27 Aug 2012 Israeli warplanes have launched at least three airstrikes on several targets in the northern Gaza Strip, according to security sources. Israeli F-16 warplanes attacked the blockaded coastal enclave on Monday night. Several powerful explosions were also heard in the area.

Up to 100 Korans burned in Afghanistan: U.S. military investigation

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Up to 100 Korans burned in Afghanistan: U.S. military investigation 27 Aug 2012 A U.S. military investigation released on Monday determined that American troops burned up to 100 Korans and other religious materials in Afghanistan during a February incident that led to deadly riots and strained relations between the two countries. Six soldiers received administrative punishments over the incident, which the investigation concluded was due to factors that included a lack of trust between Americans and Afghans.

U.S. troops punished over Koran burning, urination video

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. troops punished over Koran burning, urination video --Military did not disclose precise punishments for troops 27 Aug 2012 The U.S. military said on Monday it was disciplining U.S. troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the Koran. But the administrative punishments fell short of criminal prosecution and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice. Afghan President Hamid Karzai branded the Marine's actions in the video as "inhuman," and he initially called for a public trial for the soldiers over the Koran incident.

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