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GCHQ-NSA intelligence sharing unlawful

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

GCHQ-NSA intelligence sharing unlawful | 6 Feb 2015 | Britain's electronic spy agency was acting unlawfully -- until December -- when it received intelligence provided by the U.S. National Security Agency, a British court ruled Friday. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a court that oversees the intelligence and security agencies, said that Britain's spy agency, GCHQ, was violating human rights when it received the intercepted communications from the NSA because it had not made details of the procedure and its safeguards on it public. In its ruling, the court said that "the regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK" by the NSA breached Articles 8 or 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, because GCHQ’s safeguards were kept secret. Article 8 refers to the right of privacy, while Article 10 covers freedom of expression.

Archie the bear's owners, of Lodi, heading to court to keep him

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Archie the bear's owners, of Lodi, heading to court to keep him | 6 Feb 2015 | Archie the bear won't have to  be removed from his home -- for now at least. His owners, Debbie and Jeff Gillium, of Lodi, have filed a temporary restraining order against the Ohio Department of Agriculture Agriterrorists in Medina County Common Pleas Court. "We have an understanding with the state of Ohio that everything is going to sit tight," attorney John Oberholtzer, who is representing the Gilliums, said. Oberholtzer said a hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday before Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier. The state had threatened to remove the bear by Monday. [Sign petition to let bear stay with his 'parents': Ohio couple seeks to keep elderly rescued bear on their property --'Let an old bear live his remaining years with the family. Shame on those trying to take him away.' 1 Feb 2015 ]

Federal authorities levy terrorism charges at 6 people in the U.S.

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Federal authorities levy terrorism charges at 6 people in the U.S. | 7 Feb 2015 | Federal authorities have charged six people with aiding terrorists overseas. The Department of Justice accuses them of conspiring to provide materials and money to terrorists in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Two of them are accused of conspiring to kill and harm people overseas. The materials include U.S. military uniforms, boots, tactical gear and optical devices such as scopes.

Kansas Game Wardens searching for bald eagle killer

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Kansas Game Wardens searching for bald eagle killer | 5 Feb 2015 | Someone shot and killed a bald eagle in central Kansas and game wardens are searching for the shooter. Kansas Game Wardens said the bald eagle was shot and killed sometime Wednesday morning below the Marion Reservoir's dam near Hillsboro, Kan., north of Wichita. "Anyone with information is asked to call Operation Game Thief at 877-426-3843," game wardens posted on the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Facebook page."

NBC anchor Williams taking himself off the air for several days

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

NBC anchor Williams taking himself off the air for several days | 7 Feb 2015 | NBC News anchor Brian Williams said on Saturday that he will take himself off the evening newscast for several days as the network probes misstatements related to his experience reporting on the Iraq war in 2003. "In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions," Williams said in a statement posted on the NBC News website. Lester Holt, who typically anchors NBC Evening News on weekends, will step in to handle the weekday evening broadcast in the interim, Williams said.

UK Tribunal Declares NSA's Data-Sharing with British Intel Illegal

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

UK Tribunal Declares NSA's Data-Sharing with British Intel Illegal | 6 Feb 2015 | A British tribunal has ruled that data sharing between the NSA and the UK spy group known as GCHQ was illegal for years--because it was done in secret. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal in the UK ruled today that British intelligence services acted unlawfully when they accessed the private communications of millions of people that had been collected by the NSA under its mass-surveillance programs known as PRISM and Upstream. The PRISM program, which began in 2007, allowed the NSA to collect data in bulk from U.S. companies like Yahoo and Google. The Upstream program involved the collection of data from taps placed on undersea cables outside the U.S.

NATO declares Russia its greatest threat, announces 'biggest reinforcement since end of the Cold War'

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

NATO declares Russia its greatest threat, announces 'biggest reinforcement since end of the Cold War' | 6 Feb 2015 | NATO has ranked Russia as its greatest threat, according to defence experts, as the alliance announced its plans to staff six new European bases in what its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is calling "the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War". The plan will see NATO's rapid reaction units grow to 30,000 soldiers from 13,000, and six stations will be set up in the alliance’s easternmost member states - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, all of whom either border Russia or share the Black Sea with annexed reunified Crimea.

Park Service kills hundreds of bison despite objections from Native Americans, activists

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

Park Service kills hundreds of bison despite objections from Native Americans, activists | 5 Feb 2015 | The Buffalo Field Campaign, which monitors the Yellowstone border and tracks the park's bison management activities, reports that 410 wild bison have been trapped and removed for slaughter in recent weeks. "We don't know exact numbers because the park service will not tell us," says Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) media coordinator. "This is a profoundly tragic event," Seay said in a press release. "These buffalo are a national treasure, a native keystone species beloved the world over, and are the most important bison population in the world. Yellowstone should be preventing harm to the buffalo, not bending over backwards for cattle interests by participating in their destruction."

The Sabu Files

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

The Sabu Files --Forty Documents 'The investigation of Hector 'Sabu' Monsegur's role as a cyber informant to the FBI (2011-2012).' Reports from Andrew Blake, Dell Cameron, and Daniel Stuckey | 2 Feb 2015 | Among the forty documents/topics: The secret chat logs of Barrett Brown; An unredacted version of Jeremy Hammond's sentencing memorandum, 1 Oct. 2014; FBI Informant Led Cyberattacks on Turkey's Government; US warrant for Facebook accounts, 29 July 2011; FBI surveillance on Jeremy Hammond and friends, 1 Mar. 2012.

Daesh claims US female hostage killed in coalition strike in Syria

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Daesh claims US female hostage killed in coalition strike in Syria | 6 Feb 2015 | The Daesh extremist group claimed on Friday that a female American hostage had been killed in an air strike in Syria by the US-led coalition. In a statement posted on jihadist websites, Daesh said the woman was buried beneath the rubble after a raid by a Jordanian warplane in Raqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the militant group. "The plane from the crusader coalition bombed a position outside the city of Raqa after Friday prayers," it said. "No fighter was wounded, but we can confirm that an American hostage was killed in the strikes."

Professor among two dead in University of South Carolina shooting

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Professor among two dead in University of South Carolina shooting | 6 Feb 2015 | A University of South Carolina professor died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body after being shot in an apparent murder-suicide in a campus building in downtown Columbia, a coroner said on Friday. Dr. Raja Fayad, 45, appeared to be the victim in Thursday's incident, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. The likely shooter, also dead, will be identified after that person's family is notified, Watts added. He was shot with a semi-automatic handgun, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told Reuters.

Jordanian airstrike kills U.S. hostage, purported militant statement says

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Jordanian airstrike kills U.S. hostage, purported militant statement says | 6 Feb 2015 | A purported statement from Islamic State militants said Friday that a Jordanian airstrike had killed an American aid worker who was being held hostage in the northeast Syrian city of Raqqa, an extremist stronghold. There was no immediate confirmation of the report from Washington or means of verifying whether the militant claim was true. In a message posted on social media, Islamic State purportedly declared that midday "crusader" airstrikes on Raqqa resulted in the death of the hostage.

Jordan warplanes strike Daesh; US aircraft escort fighter jets

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Jordan warplanes strike Daesh; US aircraft escort fighter jets --Jordan's military did not say where the targets were located | 6 Feb 2015 | Jordan said on Friday its warplanes launched dozens of new strikes Thursday against the Islamic State group, after vowing a harsh response to the [alleged] burning alive of a pilot captured in Syria. The news came as scores of people were killed when rebels unleashed rocket fire on Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad's forces retaliated. Jordan's military said "dozens of jet fighters" struck Daesh targets on Thursday morning, "hitting training camps of the terrorist groups as well as weapons and ammunition warehouses".

Man, 19, Accused of Lying to FBI Agents in Terrorism Probe

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Man, 19, Accused of Lying to FBI Agents in Terrorism Probe | 5 Feb 2015 | A 19-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of lying to the FBI after authorities say he and three other young men from Minnesota took a bus to New York City and tried to board flights overseas. Hamza Ahmed was arrested as federal authorities are investigating people who have gone to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group. He was charged with making a false statement in a terrorism investigation, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Administration Facing New Criminal Investigation

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Administration Facing New Criminal Investigation | 5 Feb 2015 | Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, as well as members of his administration, a man at the center of the investigation told ABC News. The U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey has interviewed former Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Bennett Barlyn, who claims he was fired because he objected to Christie officials dismissing indictments against political allies of the governor. Barlyn confirmed the investigation to ABC News.

US Embassy Bribing Venezuela Officials to Topple Government

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

US Embassy Bribing Venezuela Officials to Topple Government | 3 Feb 2015 | Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused officials at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas of conspiring to bribe people close to the Venezuelan government, including current and former ministers and military officials, in order for them to conspire against the Bolivarian government. The president made the accusation during a televised speech Tuesday. Maduro added that the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Secretary-General Ernesto Samper will be visiting Venezuela Wednesday to verify claims that a coup conspiracy is afoot in Venezuela, adding that he is calling on the the regional bloc to work with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) to mediate in the conflict between Venezuela and the United States.

Ukrainian parliament passes law allowing army deserters to be shot

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Because *so many soldiers* are fleeing the US-funded war criminals and sociopaths run by Monsanto's Kiev: Ukrainian parliament passes law allowing army deserters to be shot | 5 Feb 2015 | Ukraine's parliament has passed a law which authorizes commanding officers to use physical force against army defectors. It comes as the latest military draft has seen a lack of enthusiasm on the part of potential soldiers. Ukraine's parliament voted on Thursday with 260 MPs in favor - only 226 votes were needed to pass the law. The new article 22(1) added to the charter regulating service in the armed forces of Ukraine states that commanders "have the right to personally use physical force, special means, and weapons when in combat" against soldiers who commit "criminal acts."

Christie vetoes 'buy American' legislation

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Christie vetoes 'buy American' legislation --Democrats, unions advocated for law | 5 Feb 2015 | Governor Chris Christie (R-Koch) vetoed a package of bills Thursday that would require New Jersey state and local government agencies and bistate authorities to buy more American-made products. The proposal would have applied to bistate authorities such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and Delaware River Port Authority, which buy large amounts of steel for construction projects, as well as state colleges, counties, municipalities and school districts. The main bill in the package was passed 27-4 by the state Senate and 43-24, with seven voting to abstain, in the Assembly.

Flu Vaccine Doesn't Work in Europe, Either

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

Flu Vaccine Doesn't Work in Europe, Either | 5 Feb 2015 | The [mercury-laden, dangerous] flu vaccine, which hasn't worked well to protect Americans against influenza, isn't helping in Europe, either. The same mutated version of flu is circulating in Britain and other European countries this winter, and it's only protected about 3 percent of those vaccinated, British health officials estimate. That's even worse than in the U.S., where federal health officials say the vaccine reduced disease risk by 23 percent.

Paris bans filming of action movies following recent terror attacks

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

Paris bans filming of action movies following recent terror attacks --Scenes featuring religious sites or schools are also banned under the emergency security plans. | 5 Feb 2015 | Restrictions have been placed on filming action movies in Paris following the recent terrorist attacks. Police officials have revealed fears that "actors in uniform could be targets for terrorists" in the wake of the attack on a 'satirical' magazine which left 20 dead including three gunmen. "There's a problem with these action-type scenes, as the actors in uniform could be targets for terrorists," Sylvie Barnaud, the police official who grants outside filming permission in Paris, told The Associated Press. "Also, the actors could pose confusion for the general public - during this highly sensitive period.' [Yeah, gotta keep the crisis actors separated from the actual actors. --LRP]

30,000 troops, 6 Rapid Deployment Force units: NATO increases military power in Eastern Europe

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

30,000 troops, 6 Rapid Deployment Force units: NATO increases military power in Eastern Europe | 5 Feb 2015 | The NATO Response Force in Europe might increase to 30,000 troops, more than double the current 13,000, said the alliance's secretary general after a defense ministers' meeting in Brussels. Most of the troops are set to be stationed near Russia's borders. NATO's rapid deployment forces will consist of a 5,000-strong brigade, sea and air-based elements and special task troops, said NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after meeting with the alliance's 28 defense ministers in Brussels on Thursday. The UK has already announced plans to deploy 1,000 troops and four multirole Typhoon fighter jets to join the Response Force in Eastern Europe.

Ministry of Defence releases heavily redacted report identifying weaponised Ebola scenarios

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

Ministry of Defence releases heavily redacted report identifying weaponised Ebola scenarios | 2 Feb 2015 | British military experts were asked to draw up guidance at the height of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa late last year on the feasibility and potential impact of terrorists "weaponising" the virus. The Ministry of Defence has released a heavily redacted report, prepared in October, that identified three scenarios involving the exploitation of Ebola for bioterrorism. Details of the first scenario are entirely blacked out, as are most of those of the second, which is described as "logistically and technically challenging for a non-state group to undertake". The third scenario -- details of which were also heavily redacted -- was described as the "most technically challenging".

4,000 errors in inspection records at Japan's Onagawa nuclear plant

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

4,000 errors in inspection records at Japan's Onagawa nuclear plant | 4 Feb 2015 | Tohoku Electric Power Company says it has found more than 4,000 improper entries in its inspection records about one of the reactors at its Onagawa nuclear power plant. The initial inspection was held to check a wide range of facilities at the plant's No. 2 reactor after the great earthquake that hit northeastern Japan. The operator is hoping to restart the reactor about 100 kilometers north of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant. But Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority pointed out last year that Tohoku Electric's inspection was lax and the firm was re-examining the inspection records on the No. 2 reactor.

Net neutrality: FCC chairman proposes strong new rules

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

Net neutrality: FCC chairman proposes strong new rules | 4 Feb 2015 | The federal government's top communications regulator on Wednesday called for strong new rules to bar Internet and wireless providers from blocking, slowing or discriminating against consumers' access to particular websites and services, setting up a long-anticipated showdown over how -- and how much -- government ought to manage Internet access. Wheeler said the new rules are intended to "preserve the Internet as an open platform for innovation and free expression."

Scientists find 10 million-gallon 'bath mat' of oil on floor of Gulf of Mexico

February 5, 2015 by legitgov

Scientists find 10 million-gallon 'bath mat' of oil on floor of Gulf of Mexico | 4 Feb 2015 | Scientists have already reported finding what they called a 1,235-square-mile "bathtub ring" of oil on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico left over from the huge 2010 BP oil spill. Now it appears this ring is part of a washroom set: A different team of scientists has found that up 10 million gallons of oil have created what can be called only a "bath mat" beneath the sediment of the gulf's floor.

Big money helped Minnesota GOP flip House

February 4, 2015 by legitgov

Big money helped Minnesota GOP flip House | 4 Feb 2015 | Republicans and their campaign allies, often financially outmatched in recent years by a cash-rich DFL machine, focused their resources on a relatively small number of key and expensive state House races and the gamble paid off, according to campaign finance reports made public Tuesday. The reports show that of the 10 most expensive statehouse races in 2014, Republicans won seven -- the exact number they needed to take the majority, plus four others for good measure. The price tag on a couple of those races topped $750,000 in independent expenditures alone, not counting what the candidates themselves spent.

OSCE confirms Luhansk was shelled with cluster munitions

February 4, 2015 by legitgov

OSCE confirms Luhansk was shelled with cluster munitions | 4 Feb 2015 | OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, after visiting Luhansk areas where civilians were killed by shelling, confirmed that the city was shelled with cluster munitions from the north-west. "The SMM saw considerable damage caused by the impacts of rocket shelling, such as broken windows, fences, gates and walls...According to the SMM's assessment, a hole in a roof of a house was caused by the impact of what appears to be a bomblet, with small calibre."

Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's death

February 4, 2015 by legitgov

Jordan hangs two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's death | 4 Feb 2015 | Jordan hanged two Iraqi jihadists on Wednesday including a female militant in response to an Islamic State video appearing to show a captured Jordanian pilot being burnt alive by the hardline group. Islamic State had demanded the release of the woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, in exchange for a Japanese hostage who was later killed. Sentenced to death in 2005 for her a role in a suicide bomb attack in Amman, Rishawi was executed at dawn, a security source and state television said. Authorities also executed a senior al Qaeda prisoner, an Iraqi man who was sentenced to death in 2008.

Islamic State purportedly shows burning of hostage, Jordan vows 'earth-shaking' response

February 4, 2015 by legitgov

Islamic State purportedly shows burning of hostage, Jordan vows 'earth-shaking' response | 3 Feb 2015 | Islamic State militants released a video on Tuesday appearing to show a captured Jordanian pilot being burnt alive in a cage, a killing that shocked the world and prompted Jordan to promise an "earth-shaking" response. A Jordanian official said the authorities would swiftly execute several militants in retaliation, including an Iraqi woman whom Amman had sought to swap for the pilot taken captive after his plane crashed in Syria in December.  Reuters could not immediately confirm the content of the video, which showed a man resembling airman Mouath al-Kasaesbeh standing in a small black cage before being set ablaze.

More Britons dislike Israel than Iran, survey finds

February 4, 2015 by legitgov

More Britons dislike Israel than Iran, survey finds | 2 Feb 2015 | Thirty-five percent of British respondents to a recent survey said they feel "especially unfavorable" towards Israel. The only non-European country Britons appeared to dislike more -- at 40 percent -- was North Korea. Iran, Israel's current geopolitical nemesis, was deemed "especially unfavorable" by 33 percent of the respondents. The poll was part a joint YouGov-Chatham House project that surveyed more than 2,000 Britons on their attitudes regarding their country's foreign policy...In October, the British House of Commons voted to recognize Palestine as an independent state, a symbolic act that doesn't affect the policies of Britain's leadership.

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