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US ambassador in Germany summoned in Merkel mobile row

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

US ambassador in Germany summoned in Merkel mobile row 24 Oct 2013 Germany has summoned the US ambassador in Berlin over claims that the US monitored German Chancellor Angela Merkel's mobile phone. Foreign minister Guido Westerwelle will meet US envoy John Emerson later in what is seen as an unusual step between close allies. Mrs Merkel has demanded a "complete explanation" of the claims, which are threatening to overshadow an EU summit.

Germany summons U.S. ambassador over Merkel phone tapping

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Germany summons U.S. ambassador over Merkel phone tapping 24 Oct 2013 Germany's Foreign Minister has summoned the United States' ambassador to Germany, John B. Emerson, to discuss information obtained by Berlin that the U.S. may have monitored Angela Merkel's mobile phone, a government spokesman said on Thursday.

Big typhoons may collide off Honshu

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Big typhoons may collide off Honshu --As the two typhoons approached Honshu, concerns were mounting over the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. 23 Oct 2013 Less than a week after being hit by the largest typhoon in a decade, Tokyo is bracing for another strong storm that will likely reach the area Saturday, and it may get merged with an even stronger approaching tempest. Though less powerful than Typhoon Wipha, incoming tropical cyclone Francisco is rated as "strong," the Meteorological Agency said. But on a possible collision course is Typhoon Lekima, considered "more fierce."

Dutch scientists manipulating genes to strains of H7N9 virus to explore worst-case scenario

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Dutch scientists manipulating genes to strains of H7N9 virus to explore worst-case scenario --The studies aim to genetically modify the virus to see what it needs to give it more of a deadly pandemic kick. 23 Oct 2013 Dutch scientists hidden away in a top-security laboratory are seeking to create mutant flu viruses, dangerous work designed to prepare the world for a lethal pandemic by beating nature to it. The idea of engineering viral pathogens to be more deadly than they are already has generated huge controversy, amid fears that such viruses could leak out or fall into the wrong hands. Hidden away in an un-signposted corner of the campus of the Erasmus Medical Centre in the port city of Rotterdam, a handful of top security-cleared researchers are selecting, deleting and adding genes to strains of the H7N9 virus to check what it might be capable of in a worst-case scenario. The studies aim to genetically modify the virus to see what it needs to give it more of a deadly pandemic kick. That could mean making it more virulent, more pathogenic and, crucially, more transmissible - capable of passing easily in droplets through the air from one mammal to another. [Or, you can just watch 'V for Vendetta' to see how this all turns out...]

Typhoon to hit leaking Fukushima nuclear plant

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Typhoon to hit leaking Fukushima nuclear plant 22 Oct 2013 Heavy rain at the Fukushima nuclear plant caused a leak of radioactive water containing a cancer-causing isotope, possibly into the Pacific Ocean, its operator said yesterday, as a typhoon approaching Japan threatened further downpours. The leak is the latest in a long line of setbacks at the site, and further undermines agreements between its operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) and the government that limit the level of radioactive contamination in water that leaks from the plant. TEPCO said a barrier intended to contain radioactive overflow was breached in one spot by water contaminated with strontium-90 at 70 times the legal limit for safe disposal.

Texas voter ID law may disenfranchise a third of female voters

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Texas voter ID law may disenfranchise a third of female voters 22 Oct 2013 Texas's new voter ID law, set to go into effect on Nov. 5, requires individuals to provide a photo ID featuring their legally recognized name in order to vote. It's well-documented that such laws disproportionately disenfranchise low-income voters, people of color, students and the elderly, but married women and transgender people (some of whom are married women) are also among those likely to be impacted by the new law. According to recent data, 34 percent of voting-age women do not have a document that currently reflects their current legal name. Among transgender women and men, the number is 41 percent. That is a lot of people who no longer meet the current requirements, and who may be hard-pressed to get a valid ID in time for the November election.

EU to hold Brussels summit amid US spying row

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

EU to hold Brussels summit amid US spying row 24 Oct 2013 An EU summit is due to begin in Brussels with fresh allegations of US spying threatening to overshadow talks. It comes a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Barack Obama over claims that the US had monitored her mobile phone. France's President Francois Hollande is pressing for the issue to be put on the agenda following reports that millions of French calls had been monitored. BBC Europe Editor Gavin Hewitt says some leaders are likely to want to use the summit to demand further clarification from Washington over the activities of its National Security Agency (NSA) in Europe.

Merkel calls Obama for answers over reports that the US spied on her phone

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Merkel calls Obama for answers over reports that the US spied on her phone --Recent revelations of alleged US espionage have angered some of Washington's closest allies. 23 Oct 2013 The German government had been given information that US intelligence was spying on the mobile phone communications of Chancellor Angela Merkel, her spokesman said on Wednesday. "The chancellor today telephoned President Obama" and "made clear that she unequivocally disapproves of such practices, should they be confirmed, and regards them as completely unacceptable," the chancellor's spokesman Steffen Seibert said. Seibert also said Merkel told Obama that, if such surveillance had taken place, it would represent a "grave breach of trust" between close allies.

Wave of violence kills 28 in Iraq

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Wave of violence kills 28 in Iraq 23 Oct 2013 A wave of terrorist activities has killed at least 28 people in Iraq's western province of al-Anbar, officials say. On Wednesday, officials and medics said that 25 police forces and three civilians were killed in a wave of coordinated attacks in the province. The officials said that 26 police officers were also wounded in the attacks.

16 Iraqi security forces killed in western province

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

16 Iraqi security forces killed in western province 22 Oct 2013 At least 16 security forces have been killed in attacks on police and military checkpoints in Iraq's western province of al-Anbar, police sources say. On Tuesday, five security officers were killed after a bomb exploded near a police checkpoint in the town of Rutba, 360 km (225 miles) west of Baghdad.

Bomb attacks kill 5 Iraqi policemen, wound 9

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Bomb attacks kill 5 Iraqi policemen, wound 9 21 Oct 2013 At least five Iraqi policemen have been killed and nine others wounded in coordinated bomb attacks, which involved two explosions and subsequent gunfire in the central Iraqi city of Fallujah. According to Iraqi officials, the attacks occurred on Monday, when a bomber detonated his explosives-laden belt at the main checkpoint outside police headquarters in Iraq's longtime militant stronghold of Fallujah.

New Flu Virus Found in Peruvian Bats - H18N11

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

New Flu Virus Found in Peruvian Bats - H18N11 23 Oct 2013 A new flu virus has been found in Peruvian bats, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus, called A/bat/Peru/10, belongs to a family of flu viruses known as influenza A, which mainly infect birds, but can also infect other animals, including people. Influenza A viruses are named for two proteins on the virus's surface, hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N), such as H1N1. Previously, there were 17 known types of H proteins and 10 known types of N proteins. But the proteins on the surface of A/bat/Peru/10 are distinct, so the researchers designated it a new virus: H18N11.

Black College Student Arrested for Buying a Designer Belt, Barneys and NYPD Slapped With Lawsuit

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Black College Student Arrested for Buying a Designer Belt, Barneys and NYPD Slapped With Lawsuit 23 Oct 2013 Barneys New York and the New York Police Department have been slapped with a lawsuit by Trayon Christian, a college student from Queens, who was arrested at the luxury department store in April. "His only crime was being a young black man," Michael Palillo, Christian's attorney, told The New York Post. The Post reports that the 19-year-old was at the store buying a $350 [designer] belt, but following the purchase, he was stopped by undercover officers that were allegedly called on by a Barneys sales clerk who believed the transaction was fraudulent. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court, states that the NYC College of Technology freshman was asked by the cops: "how a young black man such as himself could afford to purchase such an expensive belt?" He was then handcuffed taken to a local precinct.

Records: Guantanamo Inmate Injured in CIA Custody

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Records: Guantanamo Inmate Injured in CIA Custody 23 Oct 2013 Medical records show a terror suspect now held at Guantanamo Bay sustained a head injury while he was in CIA custody and has suffered lasting health problems as a result, his lawyer said Wednesday. Ammar al-Baluchi, one of five Guantanamo prisoners charged with aiding the Sept. 11 attack, told medical officials at the U.S. base in Cuba that he suffered auditory and visual hallucinations, headaches, memory loss and delusions as a result of the injury, attorney James Connell said at a pretrial hearing dealing with whether he had adequate avenues to report allegations of mistreatment. The injury occurred between 2003 and September 2006, when al-Baluchi was held in the CIA's network of overseas prisons and subjected to a special interrogation program for suspected terrorists that his lawyers say amounted to [and is] torture.

NSW bushfires: Army blamed for starting largest blaze

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

NSW bushfires: Army blamed for starting largest blaze 23 Oct 2013 Defence live ordnance activity is thought to be potentially behind three other fires in recent months, according to the ABC. Reporter Lucy Carter told AM World Today that, as well as the State Mine fire in Lithgow, there are links between Defence, explosives, and a fire at Port Augusta in South Australia over the weekend. Defence is also suspected in a fire at Townsville field training area in August, which destroyed the historic Dotswood Homestead, built in the 1860s.

Fukushima readies for dangerous operation to remove 400 tons of spent fuel

October 24, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima readies for dangerous operation to remove 400 tons of spent fuel 23 Oct 2013 Fukushima operator TEPCO is getting ready for its toughest and the most dangerous clean-up operation. In November, it will try to remove 400 tons of spent fuel from plant's Reactor No. 4. But even a little mistake may result in a new nuclear disaster. Under normal circumstances, the operation to remove all the fuel would take about 100 days. TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Co) initially planned to take two years, but reduced the schedule to one year in recognition of the urgency, as even a minor [and/or HAARP-generated] earthquake could trigger an uncontrolled fuel leak.

Guantanamo detainees 'can't mention torture'

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Guantanamo detainees 'can't mention torture' [Right, neither can The New York Times and The Washington Post, which refers to it as 'enhanced interrogation techniques.'] 23 Oct 2013 Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of the 9/11 attacks say their defendants' rights were violated because they are prevented from open discussion of alleged mistreatment in secret prisons. Speaking at a hearing in Guantanamo as the five detainees listened, lawyers for the men asked for the death penalty to be eliminated as a possible sentence in light of alleged torture the inmates had undergone while being held by the US, before their 2006 transfer to Guantanamo. Detainees could not file complaints under the UN Convention against Torture, their lawyers said, because their treatment in US detention was a classified matter.

Scientists' Ties to Food Industry Raise Questions in Europe

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Scientists' Ties to Food Industry Raise Questions in Europe 23 Oct 2013 One scientist who advised Europe's food safety regulators about animal feed additives sits on the board of a foundation backed by the dairy industry. Another who gave advice on food contaminants received research support from lobbyists for the American and European chemical industries. A third scientist who headed an advisory panel on nutrition and dietetic products presided for years over the management board of an industry-backed research group. Nearly 60 percent of the scientists used as consultants by the European Food Safety Authority, or E.F.S.A., have direct or indirect ties to industries regulated by the agency, according to a report from the Corporate Europe Observatory, an advocacy group that criticizes corporate influence on public policy.

Air Force nuclear missile officers left blast door open

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Air Force nuclear missile officers left blast door open 22 Oct 2013 Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials have told the Associated Press. The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep -- as was the case in both these instances -- out of concern for the damage an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes... The AP has discovered a series of problems within the ICBM force, including a failed safety inspection, the temporary sidelining of launch officers deemed unfit for duty and the abrupt firing last week of the two-star general in charge.

Four Air Force officers punished for leaving nuclear blast doors open

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Four Air Force officers punished for leaving nuclear blast doors open 22 Oct 2013 The careers of four Air Force officers who held the keys and codes to launching nuclear missiles are likely over after they were severely reprimanded for leaving blast doors open on their underground launch capsules, Air Force officials told NBC News on Tuesday. The two incidents occurred earlier this year at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and Malmstrom Air Force Base near Great Falls, Mont., the officials said. The officers involved weren't identified in the incidents, which were first reported Tuesday by The Associated Press. But while the violations weren't criminal, the reprimands are considered "career-ending," Air Force officials told NBC News.

Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect linked to triple killings

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

As the Boston bombings false flag completely unravels: Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect linked to triple killings [How convenient!] 23 Oct 2013 Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev took part in a 2011 triple homicide in a nearby town, according to a Chechen immigrant who was himself killed when approached by investigators for questioning, federal prosecutors said on Monday in newly filed court papers. Ibragim Todashev, 27, who has been identified as an [alleged] acquaintance of Tsarnaev, told investigators Tsarnaev participated in the murders of three men found stabbed to death in September 2011 in an apartment in Waltham, Massachusetts, according to the filing. The FBI has said Todashev was shot and killed by a federal agent about a month after the marathon bombings when he suddenly turned violent while being questioned about possible links to Tsarnaev.

Guantanamo attorneys accuse US of torture

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Guantanamo attorneys accuse US of torture 22 Oct 2013 Defense attorneys for five Guantanamo Bay detainees say their clients are prevented from open discussion of their maltreatment in the secret CIA prison. The attorneys asked the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal on Tuesday to lift restrictions that bar their clients from publicly discussing the maltreatment at an upcoming trial. They say a court ruling on protecting the secrecy of detention time violates the UN Convention Against Torture.

American airstrikes in Yemen kill more civilians than terrorists - HRW report

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

American airstrikes in Yemen kill more civilians than terrorists - HRW report 22 Oct 2013 A new report by Human Rights Watch again confirms that Hellfire rockets lack selectivity and exterminate women and children more often than they hit Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] associates. Last month, the UN urged the US to reveal data on civilian drone casualties. The prominent human rights organization has released a detailed 102-page report on the US drone attacks and airstrikes in Yemen against militants of the Al-Qaeda wing in the country simultaneously with another human rights organization Amnesty International issuing a report on US drone strikes in Pakistan.

GOP asked tech founder, murder suspect McAfee to diagnose Obamacare

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

GOP asked tech founder, murder suspect McAfee to diagnose Obamacare 21 Oct 2013 The House committee responsible for Obamacare oversight asked for expert guidance last week about the troubled launch of the federal Healthcare.gov site from John McAfee, the tech legend once suspected in the murder of his neighbor in Central America, CNBC has learned. That Republican-controlled committee wanted the McAfee Associates founder to "guide our oversight and review of" the implementation of the federal marketplace selling Obamacare insurance, according to an email obtained by CNBC.com. The committee suggested that McAfee might discuss the technologically botched rollout with members of Congress. [LOL! Psychopaths asking murderers to fix over-funded contractors' failed projects -- all at US taxpayer expense!]

White House Official Fired for Tweeting Under Fake Name

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

White House Official Fired for Tweeting Under Fake Name 22 Oct 2013 A White House national security official was fired last week after being caught as the mystery Tweeter who has been tormenting the foreign policy community with insulting comments and revealing internal Obama administration information for over two years. Jofi Joseph, a director in the non-proliferation section of the National Security Staff at the White House, has been surreptitiously tweeting under the moniker @natsecwonk, a Twitter feed famous inside Washington policy circles since it began in February, 2011 until it was shut down last week. Until recently, he was part of the administration's team working on negotiations with Iran.

Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare

October 23, 2013 by legitgov

Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare 18 Oct 2013 I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. "Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck," Hannity announced, "and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories." As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their "Obamacare" horror stories... But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and helped him deal with the new federal rules. I decided to hit the pavement. I tracked down Hannity's guests, one by one, and did my own telephone interviews with them.

TX court-at-law judge switches to Democratic Party

October 22, 2013 by legitgov

TX court-at-law judge switches to Democratic Party 22 Oct 2013 A Bexar County court-at-law judge elected during the "red tide" of 2010 is switching parties. Standing at the foot of the Bexar County Courthouse steps, County Court-at-Law No. 11 Judge Carlo Key said Monday that he is joining the Democratic Party and will seek re-election as a Democrat in November 2014. "Make no mistake, I did not leave the Republican Party, it left me," said Key, flanked by high-ranking Democrats. "My principles have led me to the Democratic Party, and my only hope is that more people of principle will follow me."

Dem congressman compares tea party to Ku Klux Klan

October 22, 2013 by legitgov

Dem congressman compares tea party to Ku Klux Klan 22 Oct 2013 Democrat Alan Grayson has set off a flurry of criticism from conservatives after the Florida congressman sent out a fundraising email to supporters in which he compared the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan. Grayson's original comments came during a recent appearance on an MSNBC program. Grayson was discussing the tea party's influence on the Republican Party when he said, "At this point, the tea party is no more popular than the Klan." Grayson included the comment in bold letters on his website with the quote taking readers directly to a fundraising page for Grayson's re-election campaign. Grayson's page includes the image of a burning cross; it uses the cross as the letter "T" and spells out "tea party" in flaming letters.

T.S.A. Security Check Starts Long Before You Fly

October 22, 2013 by legitgov

T.S.A. Security Check Starts Long Before You Fly --Details of program have not been publicly announced 22 Nov 2013 The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases that can include records like car registrations and employment information... It is unclear precisely what information the agency is relying upon to make these risk assessments, given the extensive range of records it can access, including tax identification number, past travel itineraries, property records, physical characteristics, and law enforcement or intelligence information. The measures go beyond the background check the government has conducted for years, called Secure Flight, in which a passenger's name, gender and date of birth are compared with terrorist watch lists. Now, the search includes using a traveler's passport number, which is already used to screen people at the border, and other identifiers to access a system of databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security.

 

New ultimatum for Central NY health care workers this flu season: get a shot or wear a mask

October 22, 2013 by legitgov

Flu fascism: New ultimatum for Central NY health care workers this flu season: get a shot or wear a mask --Many hospitals and nursing homes are putting stickers on employees' ID badges to show they have been been vaccinated. 22 Oct 2013 The [NY] state Health Department ...came up with a new idea: Make nurses and other health care workers who refuse to get vaccinated wear masks over their noses and mouths, an uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing alternative... Unvaccinated workers will have to don masks when the state Health Department determines flu is widespread. Unvaccinated home care workers also must wear masks in patients' homes this flu season to comply with the new state regulation. Home care agencies for the first time must report their employee vaccination rates to the state. VNA Homecare will issue pins to employees that read: "I'm not wearing a mask because I received my flu vaccine."

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