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Israelis chop down olive trees in Palestinian village

December 6, 2014 by legitgov

Israelis chop down olive trees in Palestinian village 6 Dec 2014 Israeli settlers have invaded a Palestinian village in the northern part of the occupied West Bank and cut down dozens of olive trees. On Friday, Israelis living in the Elon Moreh settler unit raided Aqraba village in eastern Nablus and destroyed more than 50 olive trees from the Juhr al-Dik area of the village, according to Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian official in charge of monitoring unlawful activities by settlers in the region...Daghlas also noted that the Israeli settlers damaged several other olive trees during Friday's assault.

House of Representatives passes resolution against Russia

December 6, 2014 by legitgov

House of Representatives passes resolution against Russia 5 Dec 2014 The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved a document which strongly condemns Moscow's actions against its neighbors, calling them a policy of aggression. Passed with 411-10 votes, the resolution slams Russia's "continuing political, economic, and military aggression" against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the "continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity." The House calls on President Barack Obama to provide [Nazi regime in] Ukraine with defense equipment and training. [The ten heroes who voted 'No:' Amash (R-MI), Duncan (R-TN), Grayson (D-FL), Hastings (D-FL), Jones (R-NC), Massie (R-KY), McDermott (D-WA), George Miller (D-CA), O'Rourke (D-TX), Rohrabacher (R-CA).]

Homeland Security Secretary Says Boston at Risk of Lone Wolf Terrorist Attacks

December 6, 2014 by legitgov

Homeland Security Secretary Says Boston at Risk of Lone Wolf Terrorist Attacks 5 Dec 2014 Boston is one many major cities at heightened risk of a lone wolf terrorist attack, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said while visiting the city Friday. Johnson met with local community leaders to discuss ways they can work with police and law enforcement to curb the threat.

NORAD, Northern Command getting new leader

December 5, 2014 by legitgov

NORAD, Northern Command getting new leader 5 Dec 2014 The two military operations responsible for protecting North America are getting a new commander. Navy Adm. Bill Gortney will formally take charge of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command on Friday. He succeeds Army Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr.

Judge: Give NSA unlimited access to digital data

December 5, 2014 by legitgov

Judge: Give NSA unlimited access to digital data --'I think privacy is actually overvalued' 4 Dec 2014 The U.S. National Security Agency should have an unlimited ability to collect digital information in the name of protecting the country against terrorism and other threats, an influential federal judge said during a debate on privacy. "I think privacy is actually overvalued," Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, said during a conference about privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C., Thursday. "Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct," Posner added. "Privacy is mainly about trying to improve your social and business opportunities by concealing the sorts of bad activities that would cause other people not to want to deal with you."

Thousands across USA protest NYC chokehold death

December 5, 2014 by legitgov

Thousands across USA protest NYC chokehold death 5 Dec 2014 Protesters across the nation swarmed city streets on Thursday to voice outrage and their demands for police and judicial reform in the wake of Eric Garner's death and the refusal by a grand jury to indict the officer who put a chokehold on him. From One Police Plaza in New York City to Oakland, Calif., and from Chicago to Savannah, Ga., people unhappy with the lack of an indictment in the July death of Garner, 43, stopped traffic and staged "die ins" in which groups of people lay down on sidewalks or floors. The protests were mostly peaceful.

Justice Department wants sweeping changes in Cleveland Police Department; report finds 'systemic deficiencies'

December 5, 2014 by legitgov

Justice Department wants sweeping changes in Cleveland Police Department; report finds 'systemic deficiencies' 4 Dec 2014 U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department delivered a scathing review of the Cleveland Police Department's use-of-force policies and practices, and said sweeping reforms must be put in place. Holder joined U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach and Mayor Frank Jackson to present the findings of a civil rights investigation based on an examination of nearly 600 use-of-force incidents from 2010 to 2013, plus thousands of related documents and hundreds of interviews. The investigation by six Justice Department lawyers, plus several independent policing experts, found that systemic deficiencies and practices haunt the city's police department.

Congress gives Native American lands to foreign mining company with new NDAA

December 5, 2014 by legitgov

Congress gives Native American lands to foreign mining company with new NDAA 4 Dec 2014 Congress [and Obama] is [are] poised to give a foreign mining company 2,400 acres of national forest in Arizona that is cherished ancestral homeland to Apache natives. Controversially, the measure is attached to annual legislation that funds the US Defense Department. This week, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees quietly attached a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would mandate the handover of a large tract of Tonto National Forest to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining company Rio Tinto, which co-owns with Iran a uranium mine in Africa and which is 10-percent-owned by China. The 2015 NDAA contains other land deals, including one that would subject 70,000 acres of Tongass National Forest in Alaska to logging and another provision that would give 1,600 acres from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington State for purposes of industrial development, a plan that has spurred tribal protest.

What WAS Nasa's experimental research plane doing at a US military base in Africa?

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

What WAS Nasa's experimental research plane doing at a US military base in Africa? --Government officials refuse to say what plane was being used for 4 Dec 2014 One of Nasa's experimental research craft has been spotted on an African runway amid claims it is being used to create high resolution 3D maps to fight terrorism. Satellite images confirm the WB-57 aircraft was on an American military airstrip in eastern Africa a few weeks ago. However, officials have refused to reveal what it was doing there.

St Louis police rebuked for Facebook warning after Tamir Rice shooting

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

St Louis police rebuked for Facebook warning after Tamir Rice shooting 4 Dec 2014 The police department that oversaw protests in Ferguson over the death of Michael Brown attracted new criticism on Thursday after weighing in clumsily on the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old boy in Ohio who was playing with a replica gun. In a Facebook post headed "Kids will be Kids?", St Louis County police told parents to warn their children that if they prompted an emergency call by playing with toy guns in public, "police will respond as though it is a real gun". The post was linked to from the department's Twitter account.

Purple Hearts might be awarded in domestic terrorism cases

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Purple Hearts might be awarded in domestic terrorism cases 3 Dec 2014 Victims of the 2009 Fort Hood shootings will be eligible to receive Purple Hearts and combat injury benefits under a provision included in the latest defense authorization deal. The measure is expected to be approved by Congress next week...It could also be a financial windfall for the families of the 13 people killed and 32 wounded in the attack. The latest authorization draft stipulates that Purple Heart medals will be awarded to "members of the armed forces killed or wounded in domestic attacks inspired by foreign terrorist organizations."

Bomb explodes near Baghdad's Green Zone, two dead

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Bomb explodes near Baghdad's Green Zone, two dead 4 Dec 2014 A bomb killed two people on Thursday near Baghdad's Green Zone, the central district which houses most government buildings, security and medical sources said. The bomb struck 200 meters from the edge of the zone, they said. In response, security forces closed two nearby bridges that span the Tigris river, linking eastern and western Baghdad.

DOJ to open criminal civil rights investigation into Eric Garner's death

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

DOJ to open criminal civil rights investigation into Eric Garner's death 3 Dec 2014 The Justice Department will open a criminal civil rights investigation into the death of Eric Garner, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday evening. The announcement follows the news that a grand jury in New York declined to return any charges against the New York City police officer who used a chokehold on Garner, who died after the confrontation. Holder promised "an independent, thorough, fair and expeditious" investigation. Additionally, he said, the Justice Department will conduct a complete review of the material gathered during the local investigation into Garner's death.

Federal Appeals Court Postpones Execution of Texas Man

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Federal Appeals Court Postpones Execution of Texas Man 3 Dec 2014 A federal appeals court postponed the execution of a convicted Texas murderer set for Wednesday evening to consider arguments that he is too mentally ill to be put to death. Scott Panetti, who was first diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1978, was due to die by lethal injection for murdering his in-laws in 1992 in front of his wife and 3-year-old daughter. But his lawyers mounted a series of last-minute appeals, asking the U.S. Supreme Court, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to prevent the execution. Wednesday morning, the Circuit Court stayed the execution in a terse ruling, saying it needed more time to weigh the "complex legal questions" raised by lawyers.

Newtown Acquires Home of Sandy Hook Shooter

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Newtown Acquires Home of Sandy Hook Shooter 3 Dec 2014 The Colonial-style home where Newtown school [alleged] shooter Adam Lanza lived with his mother now belongs to the town. Mary Ann Jacob, head of the Newtown Legislative Council, says the council voted Wednesday to accept ownership of the house. It was deeded to the town by a bank that owned it.

Swarms of protesters bring New York City highway to a standstill after jury clears cop in Eric Garner death

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Swarms of protesters bring New York City highway to a standstill after jury clears cop in Eric Garner death 3 Dec 2014 Protesters enraged by a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner took the the New York City streets Wednesday night, bringing traffic to a standstill. Hundreds of people chanting 'I can't breathe' or holding signs reading 'black lives matter' poured onto the city's West Side Highway and through Midtown Manhattan where they snarled traffic Wednesday night. Others across town had planned to disrupt the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting ceremony--where protesters and revelers alike thronged the busy Midtown streets--but police ensured the Garner supporters got nowhere near the world famous tree. A total of around 100 protesters easily shut down the West Side Highway as baton-wielding police pushed they northward around 9:30pm, NBC News reports.

Venezuela charges ex-lawmaker in alleged coup plot

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Venezuela charges ex-lawmaker in alleged coup plot 3 Dec 2014 A leading opposition figure [CIA troll] learned Wednesday she is being charged with involvement in an alleged plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro...Maria Corina Machado, a former member of the National Assembly, left a private meeting with prosecutors at the Prosecutor General's Office after authorities informed her that she would be charged with conspiracy. Since narrowly winning election last year to succeed his mentor, the late President Hugo Chavez, Maduro has claimed five assassination attempts against him and more than a dozen acts of sabotage and conspiracy.

Mystery Surrounds NASA's Secret Mission in Africa

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Mystery Surrounds NASA's Secret Mission in Africa 3 Dec 2014 A NASA official recently confirmed that one of the agency's aircraft had been spotted on an American military airstrip in eastern Africa a few weeks ago, but like a series of U.S. military officials, declined to say what the space agency's high-tech bird was doing there. A NASA website that tracks the agency's three WB-57s shows that one of its planes, number 926, was on a "foreign deployment" from July to November this year. A NASA handbook for the WB-57 posted online lists 14 international deployment sites for the aircraft around the world, but the American base near Djibouti isn't one of them. The Pentagon declined to answer any questions about "a NASA aircraft in Djibouti" and a spokesperson for the Air Force Space Command, which has a closer relationship with NASA, said they wouldn't have operational knowledge of a mission on the continent.

Ukrainian PM reports accident at nuclear power plant

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Ukrainian PM reports accident at nuclear power plant 3 Dec 2014 Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Wednesday an accident had occurred at the Zaporizhye nuclear power plant (NPP) in south-east Ukraine and called on the energy minister to hold a news conference. News agency Interfax Ukraine said the problem had occurred at bloc No 3 - a 1,000-megawatt reactor - and the resulting lack of output had worsened the power crisis in the country.

Eric Garner grand jury: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will call for Department of Justice investigation

December 4, 2014 by legitgov

Eric Garner grand jury: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand will call for Department of Justice investigation --The death was ruled a homicide. 3 Dec 2014 Immediately following the Eric Garner grand jury's decision not to indict Police Officer Daniel Panteleo, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged protestors to be mindful of the law, and said she will call for a Department of Justice investigation. A special grand jury declined to charge Pantaleo, who placed Garner in an apparent chokehold during an arrest in Tompkinsville over the summer.

17 states sue Obama administration on immigration - Texas attorney general

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

17 states sue Obama administration on immigration - Texas attorney general 3 Dec 2014 A coalition of 17 U.S. states sued the Obama administration on Wednesday saying it acted illegally by issuing an executive order to ease the threat of deportation for millions of immigrants who are in the country without the proper documents. The case being led by Texas and filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas said the executive order announced by Obama last month violated constitutional limits on presidential powers. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican and the Texas governor-elect, said the lawsuit is not asking for monetary damages but is seeking to have the order declared illegal.

In US-Supported Egypt, 188 Protesters Are Sentenced to Die Days After Mubarak is Effectively Freed

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

In US-Supported Egypt, 188 Protesters Are Sentenced to Die Days After Mubarak is Effectively Freed 3 Dec 2014 Ever since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a coup against the country's elected president, Mohamed Morsi, the coup regime has become increasingly repressive, brutal and lawless. Despite that, or perhaps because of it, [exactly] the Obama administration has become increasingly supportive of the despot in Cairo, plying his regime with massive amounts of money and weapons and praising him (in the words of John Kerry) for “restoring democracy.” ...Condemnation of Egyptian tyranny has always been an uncomfortable matter for U.S. officials given how they long used Mubarak’s favorite torturers to extract information from detainees in their custody. Indeed, once Mubarak’s downfall became inevitable, the Obama administration worked to ensure that his replacement would be the CIA’s long-time torturing and rendition partner, close Mubarak ally Omar Suleiman.

No indictment in NYPD chokehold death

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

NYPD Officer Not Indicted in Eric Garner Chokehold Homicide 3 Dec 2014 A grand jury in Staten Island has decided not indict New York City Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo in relation to the death of Eric Garner, a man that Pantaleo was seen on video putting in an apparent chokehold in July, according to city officials and lawyers for Garner's family. The grand jury's decision means that there will not be criminal charges in the case, but NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said earlier today that there may be up to three other investigations into the incident that could lead to a civil case or federal charges. #HandsUpDontChoke

Nuclear missile launch officer to be court-martialed on drug and obstruction of justice charges

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

Nuclear missile launch officer to be court-martialed on drug and obstruction of justice charges 3 Dec 2014 The Air Force is court-martialing a nuclear missile launch officer on drug and obstruction of justice charges stemming from a criminal investigation that led to the disclosure last winter of a separate exam-cheating scandal that implicated nearly 100 nuclear officers. 2nd Lt. Nicole Dalmazzi of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, is the first missileer, as launch officers are known, known to have been charged since the drug investigation was made public in January on the same day Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel visited the headquarters of the Air Force's land-based nuclear missile force.

About 250 Fort Bragg soldiers will deploy to Iraq

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

About 250 Fort Bragg soldiers will deploy to Iraq 1 Dec 2014 About 250 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division will deploy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, officials announced Monday. The soldiers from 1st Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, will begin deploying in late December. They will deploy for nine months to the Central Command area of responsibility to conduct security operations. The soldiers are not part of the 1,500-troop increase authorized Nov. 7 by President Obama.

Edward Snowden wins Swedish human rights award for NSA revelations

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

Edward Snowden wins Swedish human rights award for NSA revelations 2 Dec 2014 Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance. Snowden, who is in exile in Russia, addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture, his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.

US to appeal judge's ruling on Guantanamo Bay force-feeding videos

December 3, 2014 by legitgov

US to appeal judge's ruling on Guantánamo Bay force-feeding videos 2 Dec 2014 The Obama administration will ask a federal appeals court to overturn a judge's ruling that it must disclose videos depicting its controversial tube feedings of hunger strikers at Guantánamo Bay. The long-expected decision from the Justice Department, filed in court on Tuesday, comes two months after Judge Gladys Kessler of the Washington DC federal district court ruled that the government did possess a compelling rationale for preventing the public from viewing the forcible feedings and detention cell removals of a Syrian detainee prisoner. The department's appeal comes alongside a request to Kessler to stay her disclosure ruling indefinitely.

Ashton Carter to be nominated as next defense secretary

December 2, 2014 by legitgov

Ashton Carter to be nominated as next defense secretary 2 Dec 2014 President Obama will nominate Ashton B. Carter, a physicist with long experience in national security circles and at the Pentagon, as his new secretary of defense, according to a person familiar with the decision. If confirmed by the Senate, Carter would succeed Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska senator who is being pushed aside by the White House after less than two years in the job. Hagel, a Republican, fell out of favor with Obama's inner circle as the U.S. military became embroiled in a new war[s] in the Middle East, a challenge that is expected to preoccupy the Obama administration for its remaining two years in office.

UN Asks Texas to Halt Inmate's Execution

December 2, 2014 by legitgov

UN Asks Texas to Halt Inmate's Execution 2 Dec 2014 UN human rights investigators have called on the state of Texas and the US government to halt the execution of an inmate with a history of mental illness. Scott Panetti, 56, is scheduled for lethal injection on Wednesday for the 1992 shooting deaths of his in-laws at their Fredericksburg home. The UN experts contend that Panetti had "proven psychosocial disabilities" and killing him would breach international norms on the death penalty.

Parts of Detroit go dark in big power outage

December 2, 2014 by legitgov

Corporatists trolling to privatize government-supplied services: Parts of Detroit go dark in big power outage 2 Dec 2014 A power outage has been affecting several government buildings in Detroit and left some areas without working traffic lights. Detroit Public Schools says it's dismissing students at mid-day Tuesday because of the outage, which happened around 10:30 a.m. Detroit's public lighting department, which serves areas affected by the outage, says "a major cable failure" [?!?] caused the city's aging grid to lose power.

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