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'Stasi spies' on the motorways: Big Brother fears as motorists are urged to inform on each other

'Stasi spies' on the motorways: Big Brother fears as motorists are urged to inform on each other 19 Sep 2010 (UK) Police are asking motorists to spy on each other for examples of poor driving in an alarming new extension of the 'Big Brother' state. Drivers are told to be on the look out for inconsiderate driving or anybody making 'excessive noise' with their car. Detailed reports - which critics warn could easily be malicious accusations against neighbours - are submitted to the police, who log extensive details on a huge computer database. The details are also checked against DVLA databases and the Police National Computer.

Three US-led troops killed in Afghan war

Three US-led troops killed in Afghan war 18 Sep 2010 Three more US-led troops have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan as Taliban step up their attacks against foreign forces in the country. The US-led alliance said in a statement on Saturday that the soldiers were killed in separate incidents in the country's volatile south over the past 24 hours.

3 US-led troops killed in Afghanistan

3 US-led troops killed in Afghanistan 19 Sep 2010 Three more US-led troops have been killed in separate bomb attacks in various parts of Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says. NATO said in a statement on Sunday that two of the troops were killed in the south and another soldier died in northern Afghanistan on Saturday.

Taliban Could Defeat NATO in 30 Days

Taliban Could Defeat NATO in 30 Days By Matthew Nasuti 12 Sep 2010 Taliban leader Mullah Omar's announcement on September 8, 2010, that the Taliban was close to victory against NATO should not be dismissed. The Taliban have the military capacity to shut down the NATO supply links to Pakistan and other adjoining countries. NATO and American forces have such exorbitant daily supply needs that the Taliban could force some or potentially most Western forces to retreat from Afghanistan within 30 days.

US official: Saudi arms deal warning to Iran

US official: Saudi arms deal warning to Iran 18 Sep 2010 US administration and Pentagon officials told the New York Times Friday President Barak Obama is preparing to seek Congressional approval for a huge arms sale to Saudi Arabia, "mainly intended as a building block for Middle East regional defenses to box in Iran." According to the NYT report, the key element of the sale would be scores of new F-15 combat aircraft, along with more than 175 attack and troop-transport helicopters and, if subsequent negotiations are successful, ships and antimissile defenses.

Obama administration appeals release order for Guantanamo prisoner

Obama administration appeals release order for Guantanamo prisoner 17 Sep 2010 Appeals court judges deciding whether to release a Guantanamo Bay detainee prisoner asked Friday: If once an al-Qaida member, always an al-Qaida member? The Obama administration has appealed an order for the release of Mohamedou Ould Salahi, who has been accused of helping recruit Sept. 11 hijackers. A lower court judge said Salahi should be freed because he was abused tortured by interrogators at the Naval-run prison in Cuba and later retracted his 'confession' to arranging travel for two hijackers.

US-led strike kills 70 in Afghanistan

US-led strike kills 70 in Afghanistan 18 Sep 2010 A US airstrike has reportedly left 70 people dead in southeastern Afghanistan as the war-ravaged country votes to elect a new parliament. According to Afghan officials, the incident took place in province of Paktia on Saturday when a Taliban convoy came under attack. Provincial officials say the victims were all militants, however, locals and eyewitnesses say the attack claimed civilian casualties.

Napolitano Calls Local Cultivation of Terror Recruits 'Growing Phenomenon'

Napolitano Calls Local Cultivation of Terror Recruits 'Growing Phenomenon' 17 Sep 2010 U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said "homegrown" terrorism is a "growing phenomenon" that can be more difficult to thwart than larger, more complex foreign operations. U.S.-based militants often are inspired by Internet postings or radical clerics and don’t have direct ties to known terrorist groups, she told reporters today. "Whereas maybe a few years ago we could have devised our thinking" to counter international threats, "we ought to also look at the interior," Napolitano said at a Washington lunch sponsored by The Christian Science Monitor.

Authorities: 2 tornadoes struck NYC during storm

Authorities: 2 tornadoes struck NYC during storm 18 Sep 2010 The storm that churned through New York City spawned two destructive tornadoes and a fierce macroburst with wind speeds up to 125 mph that barreled across a large swath of Brooklyn and Queens, authorities said Friday. The storm on Thursday evening toppled trees, peeled away roofs and killed a woman in a car. The fury of wind and rain that pummeled the area was New York City's ninth and 10th tornadoes since 1950, the National Weather Service said Friday night.

Regulators close five banks, bringing 2010 tally of such failures to 124

Regulators close five banks, bringing 2010 tally of such failures to 124 17 Sep 2010 Three bank failures in Georgia and one in Ohio has brought 2010's tally to 124, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday. The banks closed by regulators include Bramble Savings Bank in Milford, Ohio; the Bank of Ellijay in Ellijay, Ga.; First Commerce Community Bank in Douglasville, Ga.; and the Peoples Bank in Winder, Ga.

Holt: FBI anthrax investigation is itself subject of probe

Holt: FBI anthrax investigation is itself subject of probe 16 Sep 2010 After years of questioning the conclusion and methods of an FBI investigation into the 2001 [Cheney] anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened dozens of others, Rep. Rush Holt (D-Hopewell) announced yesterday that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is opening an inquiry into the matter. Holt, along with a handful of other legislators, had sent a letter to the GAO in May requesting an investigation into the FBI’s handling of the case.

Bomb-Plot Witness Says FBI Sent Him to Terrorist Camp

Bomb-Plot Witness Says FBI Sent Him to Terrorist Camp 16 Sep 2010 The confidential informant at the center of the case against four men accused of plotting to bomb New York City synagogues testified that the Federal Bureau of Investigation sent him to Pakistan in 2008 to attend a terrorist training camp. The informant, Shahed Hussain, told a jury in New York today he went to his native country in December of that year to meet someone at the camp. He didn't identify the organization running the camp or discuss the result of the investigation.

Former White House terrorism advisor warns of need to prepare for cyberattacks

Former White House terrorism advisor warns of need to prepare for cyberattacks 17 Sep 2010 Law enforcement in New Jersey and around the country needs to prepare for cyberattacks, former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke said today at a New Brunswick conference. Cybercrime is sometimes undetected, insufficiently reported and almost never successfully prosecuted, Clarke said. He warned about domestic terrorism at home, saying radicalization is no longer just "something that occurs in the Middle East," but over the Internet.

Airport security gets $98M in stimulus

Gag me with a chainsaw: Airport security gets $98M in stimulus 17 Sep 2010 About $98 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds were awarded for airport security technologies, the Department of Homeland Security said. The funding will be used for advanced technology X-ray units and in-line baggage screening systems, which will enhance the Transportation Security Administration's efforts to beef up airport security while helping the local economy, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday when announcing the award.

Police shoot armed man two blocks from US Capitol

Police shoot armed man two blocks from US Capitol 17 Sep 2010 Police shot and wounded a man as he waved a gun at them early Friday just two blocks from the US Capitol, an officer said. US Capitol Police responded to a 5:00 am (0900 GMT) report about an armed man at an intersection next to a Library of Congress building and one block from US congressional offices.

Reporter: Blackwater Spied for Disney, Monsanto, Royal Caribbean

Reporter: Blackwater Spied for Disney, Monsanto, Royal Caribbean 16 Sep 2010 Controversial private security firm Xe (nee Blackwater) has long had a checkered reputation. Now a new article in the leftist magazine The Nation says that in addition to its involvement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Blackwater operated through a related firm called Total Intelligence Solutions to perform work for a range of American corporations with international dealings, including Monsanto, Chevron, Royal Caribbean cruises and Walt Disney.

Pope's visit: Six held by counter-terror police hours before historic address

Pope's visit: Six held by counter-terror police hours before historic address --Arrests of London street cleaners under Terrorism Act 2000 made on basis of 'overheard conversation' 17 Sep 2010 Police arrested six men over an alleged terrorist plot against the pope hours before he delivered one of his trip's key addresses to four former prime ministers and hundreds of parliamentarians and religious leaders in Westminster Hall. Five street cleaners were arrested at gunpoint by counter-terrorist officers in a dawn raid at the depot where they worked in Westminster, London. The sixth man was arrested on Friday afternoon in north London.

About 44 million in U.S. lived below poverty line in 2009, census data show

About 44 million in U.S. lived below poverty line in 2009, census data show 16 Sep 2010 In the second year of a brutal recession, the ranks of the American poor soared to their highest level in half a century and millions more are barely avoiding falling below the poverty line, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. About 44 million Americans - one in seven - lived last year in homes in which the income was below the poverty level, which is about $22,000 for a family of four. That is the largest number of people since the census began tracking poverty 51 years ago.

U.S. Pilot Killed in Iraq Explosion

U.S. Pilot Killed in Iraq Explosion --Investigation into incident has been launched 16 Sep 2010 A U.S. pilot was killed while an U.S. soldier was wounded in an explosion at a military base in Iraq, the U.S. military said on Thursday. The incident took place on Wednesday morning at Joint Base Balad, some 80 km north of Baghdad, a military statement said.

NYC storm leaves 14-mile path of destruction

NYC storm leaves 14-mile path of destruction 17 Sep 2010 A brief but vicious storm that churned through New York City left a 14-mile path of destruction from Brooklyn to Queens, toppling trees, peeling away roofs and killing a woman in a car who had just swapped seats with her husband. The National Weather Service sought Friday to determine whether the fury of wind and rain that hit the previous evening was a tornado. City officials said the storm hopped across New York Harbor from Staten Island and barreled uninterrupted from Park Slope in Brooklyn all the way to the Bayside neighborhood in Queens.

Report: Baghdad Embassy misspent millions on phantom meals

Report: Baghdad Embassy misspent millions on phantom meals 13 Sep 2010 The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad paid millions to a government contractor for meals and snacks that nobody ate, according to a new internal State Department report. The State Department's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found that the embassy overpaid by over $2 million, including over $1 million in snacks alone. The funds went to contractor KBR, the former subsidiary of Halliburton that runs food service for the over 1,500 employees of the world's largest embassy complex. [See also: Contractor served troops dirty food in dirty kitchens 14 Dec 2003 The Pentagon repeatedly warned contractor Halliburton-KBR that the food it served to US troops in Iraq was "dirty," as were as the kitchens it was served in, NBC News reported on Friday... The Pentagon reported finding "blood all over the floor," "dirty pans," "dirty grills," "dirty salad bars" and "rotting meats ... and vegetables" in four of the military messes the company operates in Iraq, NBC said, citing Pentagon documents.]

Oakland gas leak forces evacuations

Oakland gas leak forces evacuations 16 Sep 2010 (CA) The Oakland Fire Department has evacuated several apartments and retail businesses in the area of East 18th Street and Athol Avenue due to a natural gas leak. Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Emon Usher told ABC7 that an a contractor working for AT&T in front of the Lakeview Court Apartments struck a four-inch gas line about 1:45 p.m.

Calif. man pleads guilty to threatening Pelosi

Calif. man pleads guilty to threatening Pelosi --Under deal with prosecutors, Giusti will be sentenced Dec. 2 to 21 months in prison 16 Sep 2010 A San Francisco man upset with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's support of health care reform pleaded guilty Thursday to threatening the Democratic congresswoman and her family. Gregory Lee Giusti, 49, admitted making more than 30 abusive and harassing phone calls to the homes and offices of Pelosi. He spoke to Pelosi directly on March 25 and threatened to destroy her Northern California home if she voted for the health care legislation.

Poverty rate highest since 1994: Census

Poverty rate highest since 1994: Census 16 Sep 2010 The poverty rate rose to 14.3% in 2009, the highest since 1994, up from 13.2% in 2008, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. Last year there were a record 43.6 million people in poverty. Meanwhile, real median household income in 2009 was $49,777, not statistically different from the prior year.

Pentagon to investigate hundreds of suspected child pornography fans in its ranks

Pentagon to investigate hundreds of suspected child pornography fans in its ranks By John Cook 15 Sep 2010 In a reversal, the Pentagon says it will reopen hundreds of cases of alleged purchases of child pornography by Department of Defense employees that Pentagon officials previously declined to investigate, The Upshot has learned. Earlier this month, The Upshot reported exclusively that in 2007, investigators for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service obtained a list of 264 military service members, civilian employees and contractors for the Department of Defense who had used credit cards or PayPal to purchase access to a child pornography website.

Police: Man upset over mother's care at Hopkins kills her, himself

Police: Man upset over mother's care at Hopkins kills her, himself 17 Sep 2010 Paul Warren Pardus spent restless nights with his ailing mother at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and when he believed doctors had failed her, the 50-year-old shot her physician before killing his mother and himself. Several Hopkins personnel, some who worked on the eighth floor of the Nelson building, said that Pardus blamed Cohen for paralyzing his mother during surgery. "I guess he just couldn't bear to see her the way she was," said Pardus' brother, Alvin Gibson of Remington, Va.

Civilians killed in joint U.S.-Iraqi raid

Civilians killed in joint U.S.-Iraqi raid 16 Sep 2010 At least six Iraqis were killed during a joint Iraqi-American counterterrorism operation on the outskirts of Fallujah on Wednesday, in the deadliest incident involving U.S. troops since the United States declared an end to its combat operations in Iraq on Aug. 31. Iraqi officials said eight civilians were killed, while the U.S. military said four suspected members of 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq and two civilians died in a firefight that erupted as forces tried to capture a presumed member of the militant group who allegedly was responsible for attacks in the region.

Air defence exercises to be held in Washington

Air defence exercises to be held in Washington 13 Sep 2010 The US military will hold air defence exercises over the nation's capital beginning Monday to test its rapid response capability in case of an intrusion of an unauthorized aircraft into the area, a military command announced. The exercises, code-named Falcon Virgo, are designed to hone the military's "intercept and identification operations" as well as test its visual warning system, according to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). [Let's hope they don't 'go live,' as they did on 9/11.]

Aging gas pipe at risk of explosion nationwide

Aging gas pipe at risk of explosion nationwide 14 Sep 2010 The tragic explosion of a gas pipeline in a San Francisco suburb has shed light on a problem usually kept underground: Communities have expanded over pipes built decades earlier when no one lived there. Utilities have been under pressure for years to better inspect and replace aging gas pipes... that now are at risk of leaking or erupting. But the effort has fallen short. Critics say the regulatory system is ripe for problems because the government largely leaves it up to the companies to do inspections, and utilities are reluctant to spend the money necessary to properly fix and replace decrepit pipelines.

Republican Leaders Pledge Support for O'Donnell After Infighting

Republican Leaders Pledge Support for O'Donnell After Infighting 15 Sep 2010 Influential Republicans pledged Wednesday to support Christine O'Donnell's general election campaign after party leaders initially turned their backs on the Tea Party candidate following her upset win in the Delaware Senate primary. Aides for the top fundraising arm for Senate Republicans said Tuesday she would not be getting help from them -- a reaction that raised concern the party would torpedo its chances at a congressional takeover out of spite.

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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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