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Canada floods: Troops deployed to help with evacuation of 100,000 people

June 24, 2013 by legitgov

Canada floods: Troops deployed to help with evacuation of 100,000 people 22 Jun 2013 Army troops have been deployed in Calgary and across Canada's Alberta province as the government declares a state of emergency ordering 100,000 residents to evacuate. Authorities say 3 bodies have been found. More people are presumed dead. Some 1200 troops were ordered to help with the emergency situation. Two civilian aircraft, a helicopter and a fixed wing airplane are being used for air support, according to local news stations.

Monsanto points to sabotage at GMO-contaminated wheat field

June 24, 2013 by legitgov

Monsanto points to sabotage at GMO-contaminated wheat field 22 Jun 2013 Biotech giant Monsanto says that its unapproved experimental wheat ended up growing at an Oregon field through what most likely was an isolated act of sabotage. "What happened in this field...is suspicious," said Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley on Friday, reporting on the ongoing investigation into the scandal. In late May, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the discovery of bioengineered wheat, which had been made resistant to Roundup, a Monsanto-sold pesticide. The plant was developed by Monsanto between 1998 and 2005, but was never approved and made into a commercial product.

Hastings sent email stating 'need to go off the radar' hours before death - Report

June 24, 2013 by legitgov

Hastings sent email stating 'need to go off the radar' hours before death - Report --Email was sent just before 1 p.m. on Monday, 15 hours before the deadly crash 21 Jun 2013 he crash that killed journalist Michael Hastings was ruled an accident by police, but conspiracy theories continued to circulate on Friday. Hastings, 33, was killed in a fiery solo-vehicle crash in Hancock Park early Tuesday morning. Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs told KTLA that he received an email from Hastings on Monday. Biggs had known Hastings since 2008, when the journalist was embedded in his unit in Afghanistan. "On Monday morning, I woke up and I got an email, and it's very panicked," Biggs said. He was blind-copied on the email, which was sent to Hastings's colleagues. In part, it said that the feds were interviewing his close friends and associates, and that he was onto a big story and needed to get off the radar.

Wikileaks: 'History will judge Snowden as a hero'

June 24, 2013 by legitgov

Wikileaks: 'History will judge Snowden as a hero' 23 Jun 2013 Edward Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor wanted by Washington on espionage charges, is spending the night at an airport in Moscow after arriving from Hong Kong. Ecuador's foreign minister has confirmed Mr Snowden's request for asylum. Wikileaks has made it clear that it has been helping Mr Snowden and its spokesman, Kristinn Hrafnsson, told the BBC he believed the fugitive would eventually be recognised as a hero.

Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda 14 Jun 2013 A Syrian rebel group's April pledge of allegiance to al-Qaeda's replacement for Osama bin Laden suggests that the terrorist group's influence is not waning and that it may take a greater role in the Western-backed fight to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad. The pledge of allegiance by Syrian Jabhat al Nusra Front chief Abou Mohamad al-Joulani to al-Qaeda leader Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri was coupled with an announcement by the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq, that it would work with al Nusra as well. Lebanese Sheik Omar Bakri, a Salafist who says states must be governed by Muslim religious law, says al-Qaeda has assisted al Nusra for some time.

Senators introduce bill to block US arming Syria militants

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Senators introduce bill to block US arming Syria militants 21 Jun 2013 Four bipartisan US senators have introduced a bill aimed at prohibiting the administration of President Barack Obama from providing military assistance to militants in Syria. The legislation was introduced on June 20 by Democrats Tom Udall and Chris Murphy and Republicans Mike Lee and Rand Paul in an effort to bar the US Department of Defense and spy agencies from feeding anti-Syria Takfiri militants. On June 14, Obama ordered his administration to provide the militants with weapons, which include assault rifles, shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.

WikiLeaks: Snowden going to Ecuador to seek asylum

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

WikiLeaks: Snowden going to Ecuador to seek asylum 23 Jun 2013 Admitted leaker Edward Snowden took flight Sunday in evasion of U.S. authorities, seeking asylum in Ecuador and leaving the Obama administration scrambling to determine its next step in what became a game of diplomatic cat-and-mouse. The former National Security Agency contractor and CIA technician fled Hong Kong and arrived at the Moscow airport, where he planned to spend the night before boarding an Aeroflot flight to Cuba. Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his government received an asylum request from Snowden, and the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said it would help him.

Pelosi booed for saying NSA leaker Snowden violated the law

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Pelosi booed for saying NSA leaker Snowden violated the law 22 Jun 2013 House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was booed onstage Saturday when she said former government contractor Edward Snowden broke the law by leaking classified documents on National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance programs. Speaking at the NetRoots Nation conference in San Jose, Calif., Pelosi told the audience to reject comparisons between President Barack Obama and his predecessor, President [sic] George W. Bush, on their oversight of surveillance programs... Pelosi received the loudest boos and heckles from the crowd when she said Snowden had run afoul of the law by leaking documents to the media on a pair of secret NSA surveillance programs.

Protester killed, dozens injured as Brazil police face off with a million in 100 cities

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Protester killed, dozens injured as Brazil police face off with a million in 100 cities 21 Jun 2013 An 18-year-old protester has been killed and dozens injured as massive protests continue in Brazil's cities. Over a million people have flooded the streets of the country on Thursday. Mass protests continued throughout Brazil Thursday as hundreds of thousands assembled in the main cities of Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro with no sign of subsiding even as governments reversed course on planned public transit fare hikes.

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, reportedly lands in Moscow

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, reportedly lands in Moscow 23 Jun 2013 An Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong carrying Edward Snowden, the former contractor who leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs, landed at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Russia on Sunday. Snowden left Hong Kong "on his own accord for a third country," the government in Hong Kong said Sunday afternoon. Snowden's final destination was unclear. Russian news agency Interfax and Radio Ekho Moskvy reported that Snowden was booked on a flight to Cuba and then from Havana to Caracas, Venezuela. The next Aeroflot flight to Havana leaves Monday afternoon. Ecuador and Iceland have also been mentioned as possibilities.

GCHQ Spies 'Tap Fibre Optic Cables For Data'

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

GCHQ Spies 'Tap Fibre Optic Cables For Data' 22 Jun 2013 British spies have secretly accessed fibre-optic cables carrying huge numbers of emails, Facebook messages and other communications, according to The Guardian. Documents given to the newspaper by US whistleblower Edward Snowden suggest eavesdropping agency GCHQ can analyse data from the network of cables that carry global phone calls and internet traffic under an operation codenamed Tempora. The newspaper said data had been shared with the organisation's US counterpart, the National Security Agency.

Suspicious Item Found at Walsall Mosque

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Suspicious Item Found at Walsall Mosque 23 Jun 2013 (UK) Homes near to a mosque in Walsall are being evacuated following the discovery of a suspicious item last night, police say. Army bomb disposal experts are currently at the scene and have this morning ordered the evacuation of around 39 homes in the immediate vicinity of the mosque. Police were called to the Rutter Street address at around 10.45pm last night following the discovery in the grounds of the building.

Australian Solider Killed in Afghanistan Gunfight

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

Australian Solider Killed in Afghanistan Gunfight 23 Jun 2013 An Australian special forces soldier has been killed and two of his fellow troops were wounded in a gun battle with insurgents in southern Afghanistan. The soldier, whose name had not been released at the request of his family, was killed on Saturday on his fifth tour of Afghanistan. He was decorated member of the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment who had also served in Iraq and East Timor, Australian Defense Force Chief Lt. Gen. David Hurley said on Sunday.

'London 11' vow to increase arms to Syrian 'rebels'

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

'London 11' vow to increase arms to Syrian 'rebels' 22 Jun 2013 Foreign ministers from 11 countries meeting here cited the presence of foreign fighters in the country and the alleged use of chemical weapons by Damascus in agreeing Saturday to increase arms shipments to the rebels [aka cannibals, terrorists, and rapists]. In a statement, the ministers representing the "London 11," an offshoot of the "Friends of Syria," said they would "provide urgently all the necessary materiel and equipment to the opposition on the ground..." The weapons are to be funneled through the opposition Free Syrian Army's Supreme Military Council (SMC).

US now has 900 troops in Jordan, PM says

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

US now has 900 troops in Jordan, PM says 22 Jun 2013 Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour says the United States now has about 900 troops in the country. On Friday, the United States said it had left about 700 troops in Jordan after the completion of a multinational military exercise. Addressing a press conference in Amman on Saturday, the Jordanian prime minister disclosed the numbers of US troops that arrived in the country in recent weeks for military exercises and other deployments. Ensour said 200 US servicepersons are experts training people to deal with a [CIA-launched] chemical attack, and 700 troops are manning Patriot missiles and F-16 fighter jets.

US seeks extradition of NSA leaker Snowden: official

June 23, 2013 by legitgov

US seeks extradition of NSA leaker Snowden: official 22 Jun 2013 The United States has contacted authorities in Hong Kong to seek the extradition of alleged National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden in accordance with the U.S.-Hong Kong Agreement for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders, an administration official said on Saturday. A senior State Department official confirmed statements that NSA director Tom Donilon made Saturday to CBS News that the request was made to Hong Kong authorities based on the criminal complaint filed against Snowden. Charges against Snowden were filed June 14 under seal in federal court in Alexandria, Va. -- and only disclosed Friday.

US steps up efforts to break Guantanamo hunger strike

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

US steps up efforts to break Guantánamo hunger strike 22 Jun 2013 Increasingly brutal tactics are being used in an attempt to break the hunger strike by detainees at Guantánamo Bay, according to fresh testimony from the last British resident still held in the camp. Shaker Aamer claims that the US authorities are systematically making the regime more hardline to try to defuse the strike, which now involves almost two-thirds of the detainees. Techniques include making cells "freezing cold" to accentuate the discomfort of those on hunger strike and the introduction of "metal-tipped" feeding tubes, which Aamer said were forced into inmates' stomachs twice a day and caused detainees to vomit over themselves. The 46-year-old from London tells of one detainee who was admitted to hospital 10 days ago after a nurse had pushed the tube into his lungs rather than his stomach, causing him later to cough up blood.

CIA training Syria militants in Jordan, Turkey: Report

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

CIA training Syria militants in Jordan, Turkey: Report 21 Jun 2013 CIA operatives have been secretly providing Syrian militants with training on the use of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons for months, a report says. Since the opening of a new US base in the desert southwest of Jordan in November 2012, CIA operatives and US special operations troops have covertly trained the militants in groups of 20 to 45 at a time in two-week courses, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. The militants receive training with Russian-designed 14.5-millimeter anti-tank rifles, anti-tank missiles, and 23-millimeter anti-aircraft weapons, according to a militant commander in the Syrian province of Dara'a.

Edward Snowden extradition attempts 'could take years'

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Edward Snowden extradition attempts 'could take years' --Hong Kong legal experts say US could face lengthy diplomatic and legal process to try NSA whistleblower in American court 22 Jun 2013 Any attempt by the US to extradite the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden from Hong Kong for espionage could take years and be blocked by China, legal experts have said. The warning comes after it emerged on Friday that the US has charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorised person. The latter two charges are part of the US Espionage Act. Legislators in Hong Kong responded by calling for mainland China to intervene in the case.

Edward Snowden charged with 3 felonies

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Edward Snowden charged with 3 felonies 21 Jun 2013 Federal prosecutors secretly charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden last week with three felonies in connection with recent leaks of classified information about secret U.S. surveillance programs, according to a court complaint unsealed Friday. Snowden was charged with conveying classified information to an unauthorized party, disclosing communications intelligence information, and theft of government property. The charges, which can carry a penalty of up to ten years in prison on each count, were filed in federal court in Alexandria, Va., last Friday.

Anti-government protests in 80 cities across Brazil

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Anti-government protests in 80 cities across Brazil 22 Jun 2013 More than a million Brazilians poured into the streets of at least 80 cities in the largest anti-government demonstrations yet. Violent clashes broke out in several cities as people demanding improved public services and an end to corruption faced tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. At least one protester was killed in Sao Paulo state after a car rammed into a crowd of demonstrators, the driver apparently angered about being unable to drive along a street.

Offer to fly Edward Snowden to Iceland denied by company's owner

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Offer to fly Edward Snowden to Iceland denied by company's owner 22 Jun 2013 Doubts have been cast on plans by an Icelandic businessman to charter a Chinese-owned private jet that could take Edward Snowden to Iceland where the whistle-blower could seek asylum. Olafur Sigurvinsson said on Thursday that a jet had been leased for more than US$240,000 funded by donations to DataCell, which processes payments for WikiLeaks. "Everything is ready on our side and the plane could take off tomorrow," Sigurvinsson told an Icelandic news channel, where he was quoted as being head of Reykjavik-based DataCell. But Andreas Fink, chief executive and sole owner of DataCell, told the Post yesterday that he knew nothing about the plan and denied his firm was involved.

WikiLeaks plane 'ready' to bring Snowden to Iceland

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

WikiLeaks plane 'ready' to bring Snowden to Iceland 21 Jun 2013 A chartered private jet is ready to bring US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden to Iceland from Hong Kong, a businessman connected to whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said late on Thursday. "Everything is ready on our side and the plane could take off tomorrow," Icelandic businessman Olafur Sigurvinsson, head of WikiLeaks partner firm DataCell, told Channel2 television. "We have really done all we can do. We have a plane and all the logistics in place. Now we are only awaiting a response from the [Icelandic] government," added the boss of Datacell, which handles donations to WikiLeaks.

Reward for information on turtle attack increases to $8,200

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Reward for information on turtle attack increases to $8,200 19 Jun 2013 The reward for information leading to arrest of the individual [terrorist] responsible for the beating death of a snapping turtle has been increased to $8,200. The turtle, a female searching for a safe spot to lay her eggs, appeared to have been beaten with a golf club between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 10, at the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan. Jen Niemeyer, Wisconsin DNR conservation warden supervisor, said investigators have interviewed about 36 people who were on the grounds at the time of the offense. That number includes 18 golfers who were on their own at the time.

Reward in case of turtle beaten to death tops $8,000

June 22, 2013 by legitgov

Reward in case of turtle beaten to death tops $8,000 19 Jun 2013 The reward for information leading to the arrest of the person [sic] accused of beating a mother snapping turtle to death has ballooned to more than $8,000, the Janesville Gazette reported on Wednesday. The paper said that PETA put up $5,000, the Global Conservation Group $3,000 and the Rock County Humane Society $200. The turtle was beaten, most likely with a golf club, at the Delbrook Golf Course in Delavan on June 10, while she was looking for a spot to lay her eggs in a sand trap.

Obama nominates former Bush official Comey to head FBI

June 21, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: Obama nominates former Bush official Comey to head FBI 21 Jun 2013 President Barack Obama on Friday nominated James Comey, a former Justice Department official who helped oversee national surveillance programs under President [sic] George W. Bush, as the director of the FBI. If the Senate confirms his nomination, Comey would replace Robert Mueller who has held the FBI director's post since the week before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Obama said that, as a former federal prosecutor and top Justice Department official in the Bush administration, Comey is "exceptionally qualified to handle the full range of challenges faced by today’s FBI, from traditional threats like violence and organized crime, to protecting civil rights and protecting children from exploitation to meeting transnational challenges."

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications

June 21, 2013 by legitgov

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications --British spy agency collects and stores vast quantities of global email messages, Facebook posts, internet histories and calls, and shares them with NSA, latest documents from Edward Snowden reveal 21 Jun 2013 Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA). The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate. One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months. GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects.

U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage

June 21, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. charges Edward Snowden with espionage 21 Jun 2013 Federal prosecutors have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked a trove of documents about top-secret surveillance programs, and the United States has asked Hong Kong to detain him on a provisional arrest warrant, according to U.S. officials. Snowden was charged with espionage, theft and conversion of government property, the officials said. The complaint was filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, a jurisdiction where Snowden’s former employer, Booz Allen Hamilton, is headquartered and a district with a long track record of prosecuting cases with national security implications.

Prison sentence for Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling slashed by 10 years

June 21, 2013 by legitgov

Prison sentence for Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling slashed by 10 years 21 Jun 2013 One of the country's most notorious financial scandals came to a protracted legal conclusion Friday as ex-Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling -- already in prison for his role in the once-mighty energy giant's collapse -- was resentenced to 14 years as part of a court-ordered reduction and a separate agreement with prosecutors. Skilling has been in prison since 2006, when he was sentenced to more than 24 years by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake. But an appeals court vacated his prison term in 2009, ruling that a sentencing guideline was improperly applied...The Justice Department said that in an effort to resolve a case that's gone on for more than 10 years, it agreed to an additional reduction of about 20 months as part of a deal to stop Skilling from filing any more appeals.

Mystery Bee Kill: Causes Being Sought

June 21, 2013 by legitgov

Mystery Bee Kill: Causes Being Sought 18 Jun 2013 Tens of thousands of bumble bees and other pollinators were found dead under trees at the Target store in Wilsonville, Oregon, on Monday, June 17th. The massive bee kill was first documented on Monday by Rich Hatfield, a conservation biologist with the Portland-based Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Several shoppers at the store called him to report that there were dead and dying bees all over the parking lot. Specifically, the bees were clustered under dozens of European linden trees. The Xerces Society is internationally known for their work on bee conservation.

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

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

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