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China approves anti-flu injection with H7N9 potential

April 7, 2013 by legitgov

China approves anti-flu injection with H7N9 potential 07 Apr 2013 China has licensed a new type of anti-flu injection for production that it believes may be effective in treating the H7N9 bird flu virus. According to a statement issued by the China Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, preliminary tests show the anti-flu injection is effective in curing the H7N9 flu. The drug has been researched and developed independently by the China Academy of Military Medical Science for 8 years. The total number of H7N9 infections has reached 18.

Starving Sea Lion Pups Still Washing Up by the Hundreds in California

April 7, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima fallout: Starving Sea Lion Pups Still Washing Up by the Hundreds in California 05 Apr 2013 There's no indication the ocean plans to stop littering Southern California's shores with the tiny bodies of starving sea lion pups any time soon. For three months, these frail animals have been found stranded along California's waterfront. As of Apr. 4, roughly 1,100 pups have entered marine mammal rehabilitation centers in the area. They likely represent a fraction of the animals in trouble offshore. Last week, NOAA declared the mass stranding an "Unusual Mortality Event." Now, teams of investigators are assembling, ready to tackle the mystery surrounding the event. So far, no one knows what's causing the sea lion pups to starve.

In Secret Deal, C.I.A. Killed Pakistani Militant in Exchange for Agency's Access to Airspace for Its Drones

April 7, 2013 by legitgov

In Secret Deal, C.I.A. Killed Pakistani Militant in Exchange for Agency's Access to Airspace for Its Drones 07 Apr 2013 Nek Muhammad knew he was being followed. On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman... asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him. Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, severing Mr. Muhammad's left leg and killing him and several others, including two boys, ages 10 and 16. A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack, saying that Pakistani forces had fired at the compound. That was a lie. Mr. Muhammad and his followers had been killed by the C.I.A., the first time it had deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a "targeted killing." The target was not a top operative of 'Al Qaeda,' but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.

6 US nationals killed in two Afghan attacks

April 7, 2013 by legitgov

6 US nationals killed in two Afghan attacks --At least victim was US State Department employee - US official 06 Apr 2013 Six US nationals, three army soldiers and three civilians, have been killed in two separate attacks in Afghanistan, US and Afghan officials say. The officials said the Americans were killed on Saturday, making it the deadliest day for the US-led war in eight months. The officials said that three US troops and two civilians were killed when a car bomber ambushed a convoy of US-led NATO forces in the south. One Afghan doctor was also killed in the attack.

Pastor Rick Warren's son commits suicide

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Pastor Rick Warren's son commits suicide 06 Apr 2013 The Southern California church headed by popular evangelical Pastor Rick Warren says his 27-year-old son has committed suicide. Warren's Saddleback Valley Community Church in Lake Forest, California, said in a statement Saturday that Matthew Warren had struggled with mental illness and deep depression. Rick Warren is the author of "The Purpose Driven Life."

CP oil spill in northern Ontario 100 times larger than first reported

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

CP oil spill in northern Ontario 100 times larger than first reported 05 Apr 2013 A northern Ontario spill of oil from a derailed train is 100 times larger than Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. initially reported. The company said Wednesday that only four barrels spilled. On Thursday, it said some oil had flowed beneath the snow and gone undetected. CP now estimates 400 barrels spilled, or 63,500 litres -- a slightly greater amount than the company's spill last week in Minnesota.

US pilot killed in F-16 fighter jet crash in Afghanistan

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

US pilot killed in F-16 fighter jet crash in Afghanistan 04 Apr 2013 A U.S. military pilot was killed when his F-16 fighter jet crashed while on a night flight over mountainous terrain in Afghanistan, officials said Thursday. There was no indication of enemy fire in the area at the time of the Wednesday's crash, in the east of the country. "While the cause of the crash is under investigation, initial reporting indicates there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time of the crash," an official with the U.S.-led international coalition, ISAF, said in a statement.

Photographer gets up close with orphan polar bear

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Photographer gets up close with orphan polar bear 05 Apr 2013 Crowds of visitors wait at the Alaska Zoo every day to see Kali, the orphaned [because a terrorist shot and killed his mother] polar bear, playing in the snow. He is certainly cute enough to make the wait worthwhile. But from the outside of the cage, none will get the up close and personal look that the zoo's resident photographer John Gomes gets. The photographer was there from the moment that the airplane carrying Kali landed near the zoo on March 13.

Chemical unit back in South Korea; timing coincidental

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Chemical unit back in South Korea; timing coincidental 04 Apr 2013 The U.S. military on Thursday formally welcomed the return to South Korea of a battalion equipped to deal with nuclear, biological and chemical attacks, just hours after North Korea announced its military had the go-ahead to hit American interests with nuclear weapons. Unlike recent U.S. displays of military might on the Korean Peninsula, the timing of the uncasing and repatching ceremony marking the return of the 23rd Chemical Battalion had been in the works for weeks and was purely coincidental. ...The North, which is also upset about ongoing joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises on the peninsula, has threatened to turn Seoul and Washington, D.C., into a "sea of fire," and declared void the armistice that effectively ended the Korean War.

Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Rat Chase Again Bedevils Fukushima Nuclear Plant 06 Apr 2013 Workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant who were installing wire nets Friday to keep rats away from a vital cooling system instead tripped that system, causing it to fail for the second time in weeks. The spent-fuel pool at the site’s No. 3 reactor went without fresh cooling water for almost three hours on Friday afternoon, said the plant’s operator, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco. Cooling was restored by late evening on Friday, and there was no imminent danger to the 566 nuclear fuel rods stored in the pool, according to the company. It would have taken at least two weeks for the pool to have risen above the safe level of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, Tepco said.

New Bird Flu Seen Having Some Markers of Airborne Killer

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

New Bird Flu Seen Having Some Markers of Airborne Killer 05 Apr 2013 The new bird influenza that’s killed six people in eastern China has some of the genetic hallmarks of an easily transmissible virus, according to the scientist who showed how H5N1 avian flu could become airborne. The H7N9 strain, which is a new virus formed as a result of two others merging their genetic material [by its creators], has features of viruses that are known to jump easily from birds to mammals, and a mutation that may help it attach to cells in the respiratory tract, said Ron Fouchier, a professor of molecular virology at Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands, in a telephone interview yesterday. "That’s certainly not good news," said Fouchier, who reviewed a gene sequencing of H7N9 published by Chinese health authorities. "This virus really doesn’t look like a bird virus anymore; it looks like a mammalian virus."

U.S. issues advisory to doctors to help identify bird flu

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. issues advisory to doctors to help identify bird flu 05 Apr 2013 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it has issued an advisory to U.S. doctors that may help them identify any cases of the new bird flu virus known as H7N9, but stressed that no cases have been found in the United States. So far, the new strain of bird flu that has infected 16 people in China and killed six has not been shown to be capable of transmission from person to person, CDC's Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters on a teleconference.

China culls birds as flu death toll rises to six

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

China culls birds as flu death toll rises to six --Work on H7N9 bird flu vaccine begins [That's the reason H7N9 was created in the first place.] 05 Apr 2013 Chinese authorities slaughtered over 20,000 birds at a poultry market in Shanghai on Friday as the death toll from a new strain of bird flu mounted to six, spreading concern overseas and sparking a sell-off in airline shares in Europe and Hong Kong. The local government in Shanghai said the Huhuai market for live birds had been shut down and 20,536 birds had been culled after authorities detected the H7N9 virus from samples of pigeons in the market. China's eastern Jiangsu province said two new H7N9 bird flu cases have been confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of reported infections nationwide to 16.

Obama sorry for Kamala Harris 'good looking' comment

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Obama sorry for Kamala Harris 'good looking' comment 05 Apr 2013 President Obama in no way mean to "diminish" California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris' credentials when he described her as "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country" during a talk, his spokesman said Friday. The White House was responding to criticism over the remark, which some found to be sexist. On Friday, the president apologized for the remark. "He called her to apologize for the distraction created by his comments," spokesman Jay Carney told reporters. [Barack Obama made the Kamala Harris comment to provide the lamestream media with a distraction for his slashing Social Security and Medicare. Of course, MSNBC fell for it.]

Sweeping anti-abortion bill goes to Kansas governor

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Sweeping anti-abortion bill goes to Kansas governor 05 Apr 2013 Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping anti-abortion measure Friday night, sending Gov. Sam Brownback a bill that declares life begins "at fertilization" while blocking tax breaks for abortion providers and banning abortions performed solely because of the baby's sex. The House voted 90-30 for a compromise version of the bill reconciling differences between the two chambers, only hours after the Senate approved it, 28-10. The Republican governor is a strong abortion opponent, and supporters of the measure expect him to sign it into law so that the new restrictions take effect July 1.

120 tonnes of radioactive water 'may have leaked' from Fukushima reservoir - TEPCO

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

120 tonnes of radioactive water 'may have leaked' from Fukushima reservoir - TEPCO 06 Apr 2013 Radioactive water may have leaked into the ground from a tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the operator said on Saturday, the latest in a series of troubles at the crippled facility. Up to 120 tonnes of contaminated water may have escaped from one of the seven underground reservoir tanks at the tsunami-damaged plant, according to a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman. The tank stores water used to cool down the reactors after radioactive caesium is removed but other radioactive substances remain.

Indonesia hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Indonesia hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake 06 Apr 2013 A major 7.2 earthquake struck the eastern Indonesian province of Papua, the US Geological Survey said, sending panicked crowds running into the streets. There were no immediate reports of damage and no tsunami warning was issued after the quake struck on land at 1.42pm local time today at a depth of 75km, 272km west-southwest of provincial capital Jayapura, the USGS said. Local seismologists had measured the quake at 7.2.

FBI interviews ex-CIA chief Petraeus

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

FBI interviews ex-CIA chief Petraeus [about his lame affair - not his war crimes] 06 Apr 2013 FBI agents interviewed ex-CIA chief David Petraeus to probe whether secret files had been passed to the woman at the center of the scandal that brought him down, USA Today reported. Petraeus, America's most celebrated military leader in a generation, stepped down in November as head of the spy agency after admitting to an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire told AFP that agents conducted "law enforcement activity" in northern Virginia.

17 year-old alleged Anonymous member arrested in Australia

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

17 year-old alleged Anonymous member arrested in Australia 05 Apr 2013 A teenager who is suspected to be part of hacking collective Anonymous has been apprehended in Australia. The unnamed 17 year-old has been charged with "unauthorised access to computer data," and has appeared in Parramatta Children's Court today over allegations that they have committed "serious offences" on the behalf of hacktivist collective Anonymous. The Australia's Federal Police (AFP) issued a statement over the matter, saying that a search warrant was issued at the youth's home in Glenmore Park, New South Wales, in November last year.

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Grows as Military Locks Out Press

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Grows as Military Locks Out Press 05 Apr 2013 In the midst of an ongoing hunger strike, the military is denying reporters access to the prison camps at Guantanamo Bay. The military is telling reporters it will be over a month before there's even a possibility of a tour of the detention facilities that house most of Guantanamo's 166 prisoners. A military spokeswoman based in Guantanamo told HuffPost on Friday that there would be no opportunity for press to access any of the prison facilities until May 6 at the earliest. New York Times reporter Charlie Savage had been trying to fly down for a visit next week, but told HuffPost that he was informed Friday afternoon the trip wasn't happening.

Italy pardons US officer in CIA rendition case

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Italy pardons US officer in CIA rendition case 06 Apr 2013 Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Friday pardoned a US air force officer who had been convicted for his role in the CIA's kidnapping of an Egyptian imam in Milan in 2003. "The president... has granted a pardon to Colonel Joseph L. Romano III", who was sentenced to five years in prison in a conviction that became final last September, the presidency said in a statement. It added that Napolitano granted the pardon "in the first place" because of policy changes by US President Barack Obama, allowing him to "resolve a delicate situation" with a friendly country.

Obama formally proposes cuts to Social Security, Medicare

April 6, 2013 by legitgov

Obama formally proposes cuts to Social Security, Medicare 05 Apr 2013 President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans [because he is one] and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say.  Besides the tax increases that most Republicans continue to oppose, Mr. Obama's budget will propose a new inflation formula that would have the effect of reducing cost-of-living payments for Social Security benefits, though with financial protections for low-income and very old beneficiaries, administration officials said. The idea, known as chained C.P.I., has infuriated some Democrats and advocacy groups to Mr. Obama's left, and they have already mobilized in opposition. [Yes, and it can't be the usual petition-writing 'opposition.' We need a full-blown insurgency.]

Power restored to Japan nuclear plant cooling system

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Power restored to Japan nuclear plant cooling system  --Details were not clear, and the outage was still under investigation. 05 Apr 2013 Power was restored Friday to a cooling system at a damaged nuclear plant in Japan that failed for the second time in a month after an outage caused by construction work to keep out rats suspected of setting off the earlier blackout. Power for the cooling system for a storage pool for fuel was restored after a two-hour break at reactor No. 3, according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that operates Fukushima Dai-ichi in northeastern Japan. Work to put up nets to keep out rats and other animals at Fukushima Dai-ichi plant in northeastern Japan inadvertently caused the power outage, TEPCO spokesman Akitsuka Kobayashi said.

Fukushima Plant’s Cooling System for Spent Nuclear Fuel Stops

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima Plant’s Cooling System for Spent Nuclear Fuel Stops 05 Apr 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant, said a cooling system for one of its spent fuel pools at the crippled nuclear station stopped today. Tepco, as the company is known, expects the cooling system to resume operating by the end of today, it said in an e-mailed statement. It would take about two weeks for the pool to reach 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit), the regulatory safety limit, from the 15.1 degrees Celsius recorded at 2 p.m., it said

North Korea hides two missiles on east coast: report

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

North Korea hides two missiles on east coast: report 05 Apr 2013 North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing intelligence sources in South Korea. The report could not be confirmed... The North has threatened to attack bases on Guam if the United States launches a strike on it. "Early this week, the North has moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers," Yonhap cited a senior military official familiar with the matter as saying.

DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Sequester this: DOD Inspector General finds $900 million stockpile of Stryker parts 31 Mar 2013 The Army program charged with keeping thousands of eight-wheeled Strykers running over the past decade had its eye so much on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that it neglected to keep its books. It accumulated nearly $900 million worth of Stryker replacement parts - most of them in an Auburn warehouse - with much of the gear becoming outdated even as the military continued to order more equipment, according to a Defense Department Inspector General report released late last year.

Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester.

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Cancer clinics are turning away thousands of Medicare patients. Blame the sequester. 03 Apr 2013 Cancer clinics across the country have begun turning away thousands of Medicare patients, blaming the sequester budget cuts. Oncologists say the reduced funding, which took effect for Medicare on April 1, makes it impossible to administer expensive chemotherapy drugs while staying afloat financially. Patients at these clinics would need to seek treatment elsewhere, such as at hospitals that might not have the capacity to accommodate them.

Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly for Writing Huffington Post Blog

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly for Writing Huffington Post Blog 04 Apr 2013 The federal government on Thursday jailed Earth Liberation Front activist Daniel McGowan in response to an article he wrote for The Huffington Post, his wife Jenny Synan said. The HuffPost story, which was published April 1, charged the Federal Bureau of Prisons, citing documents McGowan had obtained, with transferring him to a high security prison unit in order to restrict his political speech during his incarceration.  Synan told HuffPost that she asked a BOP official why her husband had been re-imprisoned after his release to a halfway house in December. She said the official told her that the HuffPost article violated a term of his release that restricted him from interacting with the media.

Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore --Offshore financial industry leak exposes identities of 1,000s of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world 03 Apr 2013 Millions of internal records have leaked from Britain's offshore financial industry, exposing for the first time the identities of thousands of holders of anonymous wealth from around the world, from presidents to plutocrats, the daughter of a notorious dictator and a British millionaire accused of concealing assets from his ex-wife. The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as $32tn (£21tn) stashed in overseas havens.

Nato air strike in Ghazni 'kills Afghanistan police'

April 5, 2013 by legitgov

Nato air strike in Ghazni 'kills Afghanistan police' 04 Apr 2013 A Nato air strike in Afghanistan has killed four policemen and a civilian, officials say. The air strike took place in the eastern Ghazni province, where Nato planes had been called in for support. A spokesman for the provincial governor told the BBC the policemen were in civilian clothes and may have been mistaken for Taliban fighters.

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