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U.S. Congress ends default threat, Obama signs debt bill

U.S. Congress ends default threat, Obama signs debt bill 17 Oct 2013 The U.S. Congress on Wednesday approved an 11th-hour deal to end a partial government shutdown and pull the world's biggest economy back from the brink of a historic debt default that could have threatened financial calamity. Capping weeks of political brinkmanship that had unnerved global markets, President Barack Obama quickly signed the spending measure, which passed the Senate and House of Representatives after Republicans dropped efforts to use the legislation to force changes in his signature healthcare law. The White House budget office told hundreds of thousands of federal workers, the bulk of whom had been idle for the past 16 days, to be ready to return to work on Thursday.

Next round of Afghanistan deployments announced

Next round of Afghanistan deployments announced 24 Sep 2013 Almost 9,000 soldiers will deploy to Afghanistan this winter, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. The deploying soldiers represent six major Army units, including a corps headquarters, a division headquarters, three brigade combat teams and a combat aviation brigade. The BCTs will go as Security Force Assistance Brigades, which are smaller, tailored units designed to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Security Forces [to protect the CIA's opium routes].

Canadian pleads guilty to terrorism charges in U.S.

Canadian pleads guilty to terrorism charges in U.S. --Prosecutors alleged Nadarajah and co-conspirators negotiated with an undercover FBI agent to buy and export $1 million of high-powered weapons and military equipment 16 Oct 2013 A Canadian man has pleaded guilty in the United States to two terrorism offences in connection with the Tamil Tigers. Piratheepan Nadarajah, from Brampton, Ont., admitted to a conspiracy to acquire anti-aircraft missiles and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Online court records, updated Wednesday, show that Nadarajah pleaded guilty last week in New York to the two counts.

Snowden leaks: David Cameron urges committee to investigate Guardian

Snowden leaks: David Cameron urges committee to investigate Guardian 16 Oct 2013 David Cameron has encouraged a Commons select committee to investigate whether the Guardian has broken the law or damaged national security by publishing secrets leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. He made his proposal in response to a question from former defence secretary Liam Fox, saying the Guardian had been guilty of double standards for exposing the scandal of phone hacking by newspapers and yet had gone on to publish secrets from the NSA taken by Snowden.

Documents reveal NSA's extensive involvement in targeted killing program

Documents reveal NSA's extensive involvement in targeted killing program 16 Oct 2013 It was an innocuous e-mail, one of millions sent every day. But this one was of particular interest to the National Security Agency and contained clues that put the sender's husband in the crosshairs of a CIA drone. Days later, Hassan Ghul -- an associate of Osama bin Laden who provided a critical piece of intelligence that helped the CIA find the al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader -- was killed by a drone strike in Pakistan's tribal belt. The U.S. government has never publicly acknowledged killing Ghul. But documents provided to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden confirm his demise in October 2012 and reveal the agency's extensive involvement in the targeted killing program that has served as a centerpiece of President Obama's counterterrorism strategy.

Meet Fukuppy, the inadvertent Fukushima mascot

Meet Fukuppy, the inadvertent Fukushima mascot 15 Oct 2013 It wasn't a refrigeration company's decision to use a cartoon egg with wings, of indeterminate gender and with "a strong sense of justice" as its corporate mascot that got Japan-based internet users giggling. It was, simply, the character's name. Fukuppy has become an unlikely online star... This led to inaccurate reports that Fukuppy was being used to promote the regeneration of Fukushima Prefecture - given the long list of problems to have hit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant since 2011, some thought the name would have been inadvertently fitting. "I'm Fukuppy. Nice to meet you," the mascot says on the company's website.

African Americans in the U.S. Senate

African Americans in the U.S. Senate 16 Oct 2013 Newark Mayor Cory Booker won the special election Oct. 16 for the U.S. Senate. With the victory, the New Jersey Democrat becomes only the ninth African American appointed or elected to the U.S. Senate. Here is a list.

Shutdown Deal Includes Over $2.8 Billion in Pork for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

Shutdown Deal Includes Over $2.8 Billion in Pork for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell 16 Oct 2013 A deal to reopen the government and avert a debt default also includes language authorizing more than $2.8 billion in funding for a locks and dam project championed in the past by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The provision would steer $2.918 billion in funding to the Army Corps of Engineers for the Olmsted dam and lock project on the Ohio River, and would benefit Kentucky, Tennessee, and Illinois. The language is only one of several provisions lawmakers have tucked into the must-pass spending and debt bill which would reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend the nation's credit line until the middle of February. Although the language was inserted by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), whose home state of Tennessee would also benefit from the project, McConnell has been its historical champion. In fact, the Kentucky lawmaker secured hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks for the Olmsted project before lawmakers ended the practice several years ago.

Former San Diego Mayor Filner pleads guilty to 3 charges

Former San Diego Mayor Filner pleads guilty to 3 charges --Former mayor will get three years probation, no prison time 15 Oct 2013 Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty this morning to three criminal counts related to the sexual harassment allegations that drove him from office after a summer of scandal. Specifically, Filner pleaded guilty before Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Trentacosta to one felony count of false imprisonment by violence, fraud, menace and deceit and two misdemeanor counts of battery. Sentencing was set for Dec. 9, and documents indicate he will get three years of probation. He will serve three months of home confinement but no prison or jail time.

Senate Paves Way to End Debt Impasse

Senate Paves Way to End Debt Impasse 16 Oct 2013 Senate Democratic and Republican leaders on Wednesday reached final agreement on a deal to reopen the government and extend its borrowing authority into February, with final passage looking increasingly possible by Wednesday evening. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced the completion of the agreement shortly after noon, and the Senate Republicans who had led the push to shut down the government unless President Obama's health care law was gutted conceded defeat and promised not to delay a final vote. Under the agreement, the government would be funded through Jan. 15, and the debt ceiling would be raised until Feb. 7.

L.A. County health workers required to get a flu shot or wear mask

Flu fascism: L.A. County health workers required to get a flu shot or wear mask 15 Oct 2013 Effective this influenza season, healthcare workers in Los Angeles County will be required to receive immunizations against influenza or wear a protective mask while in contact with patients. In an order issued by Public Health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county mandated that all workers in hospitals, nursing facilities and intermediate care facilities who work in patient areas or have direct contact with patients receive an annual flu vaccination. This is the first time Los Angeles has issued a flu vaccine mandate. The order will remain in effect until rescinded by the county health officer.

Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses Suspicious Smell at Miami International Airport

Update: Terminal reopens Bomb-Sniffing Dog Noses Suspicious Smell at Miami International Airport 16 Oct 2013 [9:12 am] A package identified as "suspicious" has been removed, but the terminal has been reopened. Police say a terminal at the Miami airport has been closed and evacuated after a bomb-sniffing dog detected something on a pallet there. Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard says Terminal J was evacuated at 7:00am and remains closed as of 8:25am. She says all planes are being diverted from the terminal and the department's bomb squad is on the scene.

Senate announces deal to end government shutdown, lift debt ceiling

Senate announces deal to end government shutdown, lift debt ceiling 16 Oct 2013 With hours left for Congress to finalize and pass legislation before the United States' borrowing authority expires, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., formally unveiled a plan Wednesday that will fund the government through Jan. 15 and lift the debt limit through Feb. 7. The pair started negotiating earlier this week after attempted talks between President Obama and House Republicans failed to come together. After coming close to a deal on Monday evening, they stepped aside Tuesday to allow the House to attempt to negotiate a solution. When the GOP leadership failed to craft a plan that could win sufficient Republican support, Reid and McConnell were back in the spotlight. The legislation will instruct instruct Congressional leaders to name negotiators to a group a new Super Dictatorship, led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Was., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that will craft a larger budget deal [to quietly slash Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid] due in December. [Right, and during a colossal White House Holiday Eve Bad News Dump, this new Super Dictatorship will announce Obama's deal to slash 'entitlements,' with nary a report or whimper from the lamestream media. --LRP]

Wipha lashed Japan with fear over further damage in crippled Fukushima nuclear plant

Wipha lashed Japan with fear over further damage in crippled Fukushima nuclear plant --Typhoon sparks emergency procedures at stricken nuclear power plant 16 Oct 2013 Japan was lashed by a powerful typhoon Wednesday which claimed the lives of at least 17 people and left many more unaccounted for in its wake, with gales and torrential rain wreaking havoc along the eastern seaboard and sparking emergency procedures at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant. In anticipation of huge volumes of rainwater being dumped on the leaking facility, TEPCO opted to release the buildup of water that had accumulated inside its barriers, which surround the tanks storing highly radioactive water, into the sea Wednesday. The utility said that water was released into the sea from nine separate locations in the Daiichi complex.

Experts question North Dakota oil spill estimates

Experts question North Dakota oil spill estimates 16 Oct 2013 Scientists who helped calculate oil spilled from a broken BP well into the Gulf of Mexico are questioning the methodology used to estimate the amount of crude that recently leaked from a ruptured pipeline into a wheat field in northwestern North Dakota. Tesoro Corp. said it came up with its more than 20,000-barrel spill estimate using ground analysis. Farmer Steve Jensen discovered the North Dakota oil spill the size of seven football fields while harvesting wheat Sept. 29.

LAX dry ice bottle bomb investigation leads to arrest of airport contractor

LAX dry ice bottle bomb investigation leads to arrest of airport contractor 16 Oct 2013 An airport employee was arrested Tuesday in connection with dry ice explosions at Los Angeles International Airport. Dicarlo Bennett, a 28-year-old employee for the ground handling company Servisair, was taken into custody and charged with possessing and exploding a "destructive device near an aircraft," according to a statement from police. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation who wasn't authorized to speak publicly told the AP Bennett took the dry ice from a plane and placed it in an employee restroom Sunday night and another device that was found on a tarmac outside the international terminal.

Once-in-a-decade typhoon heads for Japan nuclear plant

Once-in-a-decade typhoon heads for Japan nuclear plant 15 Oct 2013 A typhoon described as the "strongest in 10 years" closed in on Japan on Wednesday, on a path that will take it towards the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant. Tokyo and surrounding areas were hit by violent winds and heavy rains in the early hours of Wednesday morning as Typhoon Wipha moved northeast off the coast of central Japan. The typhoon was forecast to be off the coast of Fukushima later in the day, where the crippled nuclear power plant sits, with the area already experiencing heavy rainfall on Tuesday.

Google continues to relegate CLG Newsletters to spam bin

Google continues to relegate CLG Newsletters to spam bin By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 15 Oct 2013 If you are a CLG subscriber who uses Gmail, please check your spam bins for recent CLG Newsletters. I have amassed a number of emails from CLG readers -- including numerous enclosed webscreen images as proof - who have informed me that they found their CLG Newsletter in their Gmail spam bin. Most of these people have already added clg_news at legitgov.org to their contacts list, and marked the newsletters as email that is 'not spam.' However, NSAssociate Google has a different agenda. Please feel free to keep me informed of the problem. If you can help in this matter (legally?) please let me (lori at legitgov.org) know. Thank you!

Rep. Eric Cantor Will Profit in Stock Market if U.S. Goes into Default

Rep. Eric Cantor Will Profit in Stock Market if U.S. Goes into Default 02 Jan 2013 House Democrats have accused House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) of a conflict of interest in the debt ceiling debate. Rep. Cantor has an investment in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury ETF, a fund which has a short (a bet) against U.S. government bonds, reports Salon.com. If the U.S. debt ceiling is not raised and the United States defaults on its debts, then Rep. Cantor will profit from the ProShares trust fund. According to Rep. Cantor's latest financial disclosure statement, which covers the year 2010, he still has up to $15,000 in the ProShares fund.

Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner charged with false imprisonment, battery

Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner charged with false imprisonment, battery 15 Oct 2013 Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who left office in a scandal over allegations of sexual harassment, has been charged with one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery, San Diego Superior Court officials said Tuesday. The charges, filed by the state attorney general's office, relate to three alleged victims, identified as Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3. A hearing is set for 10 a.m. in Superior Court.

Non-disclosure required for Sandy Hook School crew

Non-disclosure required for Sandy Hook School crew 14 Oct 2013 Contractors involved in the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School are being required to sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from publicly discussing the site, taking photographs or disclosing information about the school. Town leaders and construction managers will be doing everything possible to ensure that anyone who might wish to gain publicity from work on the Dickinson Road site will be prevented from doing so. "It's a very sensitive topic," Selectman Will Rodgers said Monday.

Public access barred at Sandy Hook Elementary School demolition

Public access barred at Sandy Hook Elementary School demolition 15 Oct 2013 Contractors demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary School are being required to sign confidentiality agreements forbidding public discussion of the site, photographs or disclosure of any information about the building. Selectman Will Rodgers said officials want to protect the Newtown school [allegedly] where the 20 children and six educators were killed, The News-Times reported. Full-time security guards will ensure the site is not disturbed. Families of the victims and school staff visited the site, but public access is barred.

Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills influential governor

Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills influential governor 15 Oct 2013 A bomb attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said. Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, a strategically important province on the southern approaches to Kabul and home to one of Afghanistan's richest mines. Jamal was close to President Hamid Karzai and was a senior official in his successful campaign for re-election in 2009.

Strong typhoon heads for Japan and Fukushima nuclear plant

Strong typhoon heads for Japan and Fukushima nuclear plant 15 Oct 2013 A powerful typhoon was closing in on Japan on Tuesday, on a path that will take it toward the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant. Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of up to 144 kilometres per hour near its centre, was in the Pacific south of Japan early on Tuesday and moving north at 20 kilometres per hour. It was forecast to reach an area off the Tokyo metropolitan area by early on Wednesday and later in the day would be off the coast of Fukushima where the crippled nuclear power plant sits.

Tiny Social Security hike squeezes seniors, veterans

Tiny Social Security hike squeezes seniors, veterans 14 Oct 2013 Another year, another small raise for millions of people who rely on Social Security, veterans’ benefits and federal pensions. Preliminary figures suggest next year's benefit increase will be roughly 1.5 percent, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. For the second year in a row, it would be one of the lowest raises since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. The exact size of the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, won't be known until the Labor Department releases the inflation report for September.

Second dry ice bomb explodes at LAX; two others found, police say

Second dry ice bomb explodes at LAX; two others found, police say --Detectives from LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section responding to scene 14 Oct 2013 A dry ice bomb exploded at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday night, the second one to detonate there in little more than 24 hours, police said. The explosion was reported about 8:30 p.m. in the Bradley Terminal, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Two other similar devices that did not explode were found in the area, an LAPD source told The Times.

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally --NSA collects more than 250 million per year 14 Oct 2013 The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and "buddy lists" from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. During a single day last year, the NSA's Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation.

FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrest Suspect in Arkansas Power Grid Attacks

FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrest Suspect in Arkansas Power Grid Attacks 14 Oct 2013 The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested a 37-year-old Arkansas man yesterday in connection with a series of attacks on the local power grid. The suspect, Jason Woodring, is a resident of Jacksonville, AR. Woodring was charged with destruction of an energy facility. If convicted, he could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment.

Rutgers students face 'bias' probe for flyers criticizing Israeli home demolitions

Rutgers students face 'bias' probe for flyers criticizing Israeli home demolitions 14 Oct 2013 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is under investigation by campus administrators after complaints of "bias." One Zionist group has alleged that SJP specifically targeted the dorm rooms of Jewish students on the New Brunswick, New Jersey campus with mock "eviction notices" designed to draw attention to Israel's practice of demolishing Palestinian homes. But this claim has been contradicted by the university in a statement to The Electronic Intifada. "On the night of Sunday, October 6th, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) board members printed mock eviction notices and distributed them in dormitory buildings," Students for Justice in Palestine -- Rutgers New Brunswick explained in a statement emailed to The Electronic Intifada. "This action was intended to call attention to the systematic demolition of the homes of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Israel."

'Racist' LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans

'Racist' LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans 14 Oct 2013 Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too. A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff's Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004. And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.

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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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