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Islamic State seizes capital of Iraq's largest province

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Islamic State seizes capital of Iraq's largest province | 15 May 2015 | Islamic State fighters took control of key sites Friday in the heart of Ramadi, capital of Iraq's largest province, in what appeared to mark a significant blow to a U.S.-backed military campaign to retake territory from the militants...A senior police official, Maj. Omar Khamis al-Dahl, said the death toll includes more than 60 police. It [Ramadi's fight] also could restore a major foothold for the Islamic State less than 70 miles west of Baghdad in the crucial Anbar Province, which has been the scene of bloodshed and seesaw battles since the U.S.-led invasion more than 12 years ago.

Verdict reached in Tsarnaev penalty phase in Boston bombing 'trial'

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Breaking: Verdict reached in Tsarnaev penalty phase in Boston bombing 'trial' | 15 May 2015 | Jurors have reached a decision in penalty phase of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's 'trial.' [Tsarnaev's backpack didn't match the image of the bomb backpack released by the FBI, but I guess Tsarnaev's 'lawyer' didn't bother to inquire about that fact.]

Senate Advances Bill to Give Obama 'Trade' Negotiating Power

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Senate Advances Bill to Give Obama 'Trade' Negotiating Power --"I'd like to thank the president," Mitch McConnell said. | 14 May 2015 | The U.S. Senate advanced [65-33 vote] a measure allowing President Barack Obama to expedite approval of trade corporate takeover agreements, a bill with bipartisan support in that chamber that may run into strong opposition from House Democrats. A rebellion Tuesday among Senate Democrats seeking the currency provision previews what may be fiercer battle ahead between Democrats and House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican...Thirteen DemocRATs joined with Republicans to advance Thursday's measure.

Sellafield nuclear waste storage safety limit relaxed following accident

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Sellafield nuclear waste storage safety limit relaxed following accident --Critics accused ONR of breaking their promises and putting Sellafield's profits before safety. | 14 May 2015 |Safety limits on the storage of some of the world's most dangerous nuclear wastes at Sellafield in Cumbria have been relaxed after an accident knocked out a treatment plant. The government's safety watchdog, the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), has permitted the private company that runs Sellafield to breach legal restrictions on the amount of hot, high-level radioactive waste that can be kept in tanks. The limits are likely to be exceeded by up to 350 tonnes between April 2014 and July 2016.

Former Los Angeles sheriff's officials charged in jail probe

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Former Los Angeles sheriff's officials charged in jail probe | 15 May 2015 | The case of the vanishing inmate at the Los Angeles County jail nearly went all the way to the top. The former second-in-command of the nation's largest sheriff's department and a high-ranking official who was supposed to investigate crimes by deputies surrendered Thursday on charges they hid an FBI jailhouse informant to hinder a federal investigation into abuse by guards. "The scheme to obstruct justice rose to the executive level of the Sheriff's Department," Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie Yonekura said. "Both men were aware that there was rampant abuse at the jail, and both men were aware that the internal investigations of that abuse were insufficient."

Stuxnet-induced crash? Amtrak train accelerated over 30 mph in 65 seconds, brakes only slowed it 4 mph

May 15, 2015 by legitgov

Stuxnet-induced crash? Amtrak train accelerated over 30 mph in 65 seconds, brakes only slowed it 4 mph [No proof--but someone has to ask. Any engineers 'on board?' --Lori Price, www.legitgov.org | 14 May 2015 | Today, we read: NTSB: Amtrak Train Accelerated 30 MPH Within About 1 Minute Before Wreck --In a period of just over a minute, an Amtrak train accelerated from 70 mph to more than 100 mph before it skipped the tracks and crashed in Philadelphia this week, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB has also reviewed video from a forward-facing video recorder, which showed that 65 seconds before the recording cut off at the time of the crash, the speed was above 70 mph. The speed accelerated above 80 mph within 22 seconds, 90 mph within another 12 seconds, and 100 mph within another 15 seconds. The speed topped out at 106 mph as it entered the curve - where the speed limit drops to 50 mph, NTSB member Robert Sumwalt said earlier. He could not say whether the engineer manually accelerated the train or whether it was automated. Sumwalt said the engineer applied the emergency brakes moments before the crash but slowed the train to only 102 mph by the time the locomotive's black box stopped recording data.

5 Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, but Punishments May Be Tempered

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

5 Big Banks Expected to Plead Guilty to Felony Charges, but Punishments May Be Tempered | 13 May 2015 |For most people, pleading guilty to a felony means they will very likely land in prison, lose their job and forfeit their right to vote. But when five of the world's biggest banks plead guilty to an array of antitrust and fraud charges as soon as next week, life will go on, probably without much of a hiccup. The Justice [sic] Department is preparing to announce that Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and the Royal Bank of Scotland will collectively pay several billion dollars and plead guilty to criminal antitrust violations for rigging the price of foreign currencies, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

House GOP Approves Cuts to Amtrak Budget Despite Crash

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

House GOP Approves Cuts to Amtrak Budget Despite Crash --GOP bill would cut Amtrak's budget by $251 million | 13 May 2015 | A Republican-controlled House panel on Wednesday approved deep spending cuts to Amtrak's budget just hours after a deadly crash in Philadelphia. The Appropriations Committee backed a $55 billion transportation and housing measure after rejecting Democratic attempts to boost spending on Amtrak by more than $1 billion, including $556 million targeted for the railroad's Northeast corridor, site of the derailment. The vote was 30-21 along party lines.

Court won't reveal money details of CIA torture program

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Court won't reveal money details of CIA torture program | 14 May 2015 | A federal judge has rejected a reporter's lawsuit seeking to reveal more financial details about the CIA's detention and interrogation program for terror suspects. U.S. District Court James Boasberg ruled Thursday that the spy agency had the right to keep the information classified as intelligence "sources and methods," even though many other details of the controversial program were made public in December in the executive summary of a Senate Intelligence Committee report. Boasberg said disparate treatment of the details was evidence of the rigor of the decision-making on what to make public and what needed to be withheld.

California State Senate approves anti-democratic school vaccine bill

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Pharma-fascism on steroids: California State Senate approves anti-democratic school vaccine bill | 14 May 2015 | State senators [25-10 vote] have passed a controversial bill aimed at increasing California's school immunization rates. The bill approved Thursday would prohibit parents from seeking vaccine exemptions for their children because of religious or personal beliefs. SB277 by Democratic senators Ben Allen of Santa Monica and Richard Pan of Sacramento would make medical waivers available only for children who have health problems, forcing unvaccinated children to be homeschooled.

Donations, food pour in for starving veteran in Fayetteville

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Donations, food pour in for starving veteran in Fayetteville | 14 May 2015 | (NC) ABC11 Together and people across the country are helping a starving veteran in Fayetteville who was in need of food. ABC11 first told 81-year-old Clarence Blackmon's story Tuesday night. Blackmon has cancer and can't leave his house. He called 911 Tuesday because he needed food...A 911 operator and Fayetteville police delivered some groceries in person, and many of you poured out your hearts with overwhelming offers to help. It went from an empty refrigerator to shelves and countertops overflowing with food.

Elderly cancer patient calls 911 because he has no food

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Elderly cancer patient calls 911 because he has no food | 14 May 2015 | (Fayetteville, NC) When 81-year-old Clarence Blackmon returned home Tuesday after spending months in the hospital for cancer treatments and rehab, his refrigerator was empty. He had nothing to eat and no way to get to the store. Hungry and desperate, he called 911. He asked the operator if someone could go to the store for him and buy some groceries. With her supervisor's permission, 911 operator Marilyn Hinson went to the grocery store and bought groceries. [See follow-up: Donations, food pour in for starving veteran in Fayetteville 14 May 2015.]

White House reportedly on lockdown after drone incident

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Breaking: White House reportedly on lockdown after drone incident --White House, traffic outside it on Pennsylvania Avenue briefly shut down  | 14 May 2015 | 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was put on lockdown Thursday afternoon when a man reportedly attempted to fly a remote controlled drone over the White House fence from neighboring Lafayette Park, a senior official told ABC News. Secret Service agents detained the man for questioning, but his identity has not yet been revealed.

Death Toll in Philadelphia Amtrak Crash Reaches 8

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Death Toll in Philadelphia Amtrak Crash Reaches 8 | 14 May 2015 | The death toll from the Amtrak wreck rose to eight with the discovery of another body in a mangled railcar Thursday...A cadaver dog found the eighth body in the wreckage of the first passenger car Thursday morning, nearly 36 hours after the crash, Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said. Officials believe they have accounted for all 243 passengers and crew members who were thought to have been aboard the train, Mayor Michael Nutter said.

Many of the NSA's Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors

May 14, 2015 by legitgov

Many of the NSA's Loudest Defenders Have Financial Ties to NSA Contractors | 12 May 2015 | The debate over the NSA's bulk collection of phone records has reached a critical point after a federal appeals court last week ruled the practice illegal, dramatically raising the stakes for pending Congressional legislation that would fully or partially reinstate the program. An army of pundits promptly took to television screens, with many of them brushing off concerns about the surveillance. The talking heads have been backstopping the NSA's mass surveillance more or less continuously since it was revealed...But it's often unclear just how financially cozy these pundits are with the surveillance state they defend, since they’re typically identified with titles that give no clues about their conflicts of interest.

Derailed Amtrak train lacked latest U.S. safety controls

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Derailed Amtrak train lacked latest U.S. safety controls | 13 May 2015 | The commuter rail route where an Amtrak train left the track on Tuesday was not governed by an advanced safety technology meant to prevent high-speed derailments, investigators said on Wednesday. A system called "positive train control" (PTC) automatically slows or even halts trains that are moving too fast or heading into a danger zone. Under current law, the rail industry must adopt the technology by the end of this year. The investigation into the cause of Tuesday's crash, in which seven people were killed, has only just begun but initial examination of the train's data recorders determined the train was traveling 106 miles per hour (171 km per hour) in a 50-mph (80-kph) zone.

Drilling begins 3 miles from epicenter of BP oil spill

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Drilling begins 3 miles from epicenter of BP oil spill | 13 May 2015 | Just 3 miles from the catastrophic BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a Louisiana company is seeking to unlock the same oil and natural gas that turned into a deadly disaster. Drilling has begun in the closest work yet to the Macondo well, which blew wild on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people and fouling the Gulf with as much as 172 million gallons of crude in the nation's worst oil spill. Federal regulators gave their blessing last month to LLOG Exploration Offshore LLC. to drill the first new well in the same footprint where BP was digging before.

Patient Admitted to UConn Health Center With Possible Ebola Virus

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Patient Admitted to UConn Health Center With Possible Ebola Virus | 13 May 2015 | A patient admitted to John Dempsey Hospital at the UConn [University of Connecticut] Health Center in Farmington with a fever on Tuesday night is in isolation to be monitored for the possibility that he was infected with Ebola Virus. Officials from UConn said other diagnoses are more likely, but the possibility of Ebola virus infection could not be completely ruled out because of the symptoms and because of the fact he was in Liberia from November 2014 until April 30, 2015. UConn Health has activated the Ebola virus protocol to care for the patient, the public and the staff, they said in a statement, and the patient is in isolation and is in good condition.

7 Dead in Derailment of Amtrak Train From D.C. to NYC

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

7 Dead in Derailment of Amtrak Train From D.C. to NYC | 13 May 2015 | Seven people are dead in an Amtrak train derailment that injured dozens and plunged screaming passengers into darkness and chaos Tuesday night. Preliminary data shows that Amtrak Train 188 was traveling more than 100 mph before it derailed Tuesday night, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has confirmed. The train, a Northeast Regional, was en route from Washington to New York with 238 passengers and five crew members aboard when it derailed as it was rounding a sharp curve in the city's Port Richmond section shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.

House committee passes bill that cuts Amtrak funding after crash

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

House committee passes bill that cuts Amtrak funding after crash | 13 May 2015 | A House panel approved a measure Wednesday that cuts funding for Amtrak, less than a day after a train derailment left at least six people dead and many more injured. The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee voted 30-21 on party lines to advance the bill after rejecting a Democratic amendment that would have increased funding for the passenger railroad by $1 billion to $2.4 billion. The derailment late Tuesday in Philadelphia is renewing focus on how the U.S. funds and maintains infrastructure. [Right, there's no funding for infrastructure, but there's billions for the US to fund endless terrorism in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Israel. --LRP]

'Absolute disastrous mess': 5 dead, at least 50 injured after Amtrak train derails

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

'Absolute disastrous mess': 5 dead, at least 50 injured after Amtrak train derails | 13 May 2015 | Armed with flashlights, firefighters went from car to car early Wednesday morning, looking for passengers inside an Amtrak train that derailed and tipped over in Philadelphia -- killing at least five. Another 50 were hospitalized, including six in critical condition, authorities said. The train was carrying 238 passengers and 5 crew members. "It is an absolute, disastrous mess," Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter of the crash site.

George Zimmerman shooting: 911 call released, guns recovered

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

George Zimmerman shooting: 911 call released, guns recovered | 12 May 2015 | Police recovered three guns, including one possibly used to shoot at George Zimmerman, as attorneys on Tuesday gave conflicting reports about what happened this week in the latest confrontation between Zimmerman and a Winter Springs man. Monday's shooting, which left Zimmerman with minor facial wounds, marks the third encounter between Zimmerman -- the former Neighborhood Watch volunteer best known for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin in 2012 -- and Matthew Apperson in less than a year. The first known confrontation between the two in Lake Mary happened during a road-rage incident on Lake Mary Boulevard in September.

Critics Worry Obama's Arctic Drilling Plan Could Spell Disaster

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Critics Worry Obama's Arctic Drilling Plan Could Spell Disaster | 12 May 2015 | The Obama administration’s conditional approval for Shell to resume drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean is a major victory for the Anglo-Dutch oil giant and a crushing defeat for environmentalists. For years, Shell has eyed the icy waters of the Chukchi Sea, a remote area off the coast of Alaska considered by both environmental groups and industry officials to be one of the most dangerous places in the world to drill for oil. The closest Coast Guard station with equipment for responding to an oil spill is over 1,000 miles away, making it difficult for rescue and cleanup crews to reach the area in the event of an accident. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that approved Shell's plan for drilling in the Chukchi Sea, admitted in a February report that there was a "75% chance of one or more large spills" occurring in the area over the next 77 years.

Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town dead or hospitalized

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town dead or hospitalized | 11 May 2015 | Despite the insidious attempts of the corporate-controlled U.S. media to censor the stories about the deadly side effects of vaccines, the truth keeps surfacing. The latest vaccine tragedy to strike has killed two babies in La Pimienta, Mexico and sent 37 more to the hospital with serious reactions to toxic vaccine additives. "...14 children are in serious condition, 22 are stable and one is in critical condition," the Chiapas Health Secretariat said in a statement via Latino.FoxNews.com. What's especially alarming is that only 52 children were vaccinated in all, meaning that 75% of those receiving the vaccines are now either dead or hospitalized.

Judge to consider whether to dismiss case over Ohio couple's elderly rescued black bear

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Judge to consider whether to dismiss case over Ohio couple's elderly rescued black bear | 05 May 2015 | A judge will hear arguments about whether to dismiss a civil case filed by a northeast Ohio couple who want to keep their toothless, [rescued] 41-year-old black bear despite not getting a required permit from the state. Jeffrey and Debra Gillium of Lodi have argued their caged male bear, named Archie, is old and unlikely to escape. They say they weren't adequately notified about the permit law and that moving or tranquilizing him would threaten his life. [Be sure to sign petition to help save Archie!]

Obama administration approves Shell drilling in the Polar Bear Seas

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Obama administration approves Shell drilling in the Polar Bear Seas | 11 May 2015 | The Obama administration gave conditional approval on Monday to allow [eco-terrorists] Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean this summer. The approval is a major victory for Shell and the rest of the petroleum industry, which has sought for years to drill in the remote waters of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas [aka the Polar Bear Seas], which are believed to hold vast reserves of oil and gas. The Interior Department decision is a devastating blow to environmentalists, who have pressed the Obama administration to reject proposals for offshore Arctic drilling. Environmentalists say that a drilling accident in the icy and treacherous Arctic waters could have far more devastating consequences than the deadly Gulf of Mexico oil spill of 2010, when an oil rig explosion killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the water.

Shell: Company will bring drill rigs to Seattle terminal

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Shell: Company will bring drill rigs to Seattle terminal | 12 May 2015 | Despite a port commission request that Royal Dutch Shell delay any moorage of oil exploration vessels in Seattle pending further legal review, a Shell spokesman says his company will bring its rigs to a terminal as planned to prepare for anticipated exploratory drilling in Arctic waters. On Tuesday evening, a small group of activists in kayaks met one of two drill rigs Shell is planning to use as it arrived in Everett on its way to Seattle.

California City Will Vote on Requiring Radiation Warnings on Cell Phones

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

California City Will Vote on Requiring Radiation Warnings on Cell Phones | 12 May 2015 | The city council in Berkeley, California, will vote Tuesday on whether cell phones should come with a warning notice explaining the dangers of high radio frequency (RF) exposure. If the law is passed, retailers in the city would have to warn customers that carrying a phone in a pocket or bra while it is on and connected to a wireless network could expose the user to excessive RF radiation. In Berkeley, 82% of adults would like to know the recommended distance a phone should be kept from their bodies, according to a survey funded by the California Brain Tumor Association.

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off Japan's coast, centered about 200 miles northwest of Fukushima nuclear plant

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Magnitude 6.8 earthquake strikes off Japan's coast, centered about 200 miles northwest of Fukushima nuclear plant | 12 May 2015 | An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck off the coast of Japan, not far from where a 2011 earthquake and tsunami claimed the lives of more than 15,000 people. The quake was reported at 1:12 p.m. Pacific time, 6:12 a.m. at the epicenter. The earthquake was centered about 200 miles northwest of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station that was hit by a 8.9 magnitude quake which [suffered meltdowns].

Amtrak train from Washington crashes in Philadelphia

May 13, 2015 by legitgov

Amtrak train from Washington crashes in Philadelphia | 12 May 2015 | An Amtrak train has crashed in Philadelphia, and several people appear to be injured. Train 188 was traveling from Washington, D.C., to New York City on Tuesday night when it crashed. The front of the train was going into a turn when it shook. An Associated Press employee on the train says it appears the train went off the tracks.

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Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against...

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