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Allen: Well to remain capped if ships evacuate

Allen: Well to remain capped if ships evacuate 22 Jul 2010 The busted well will remain capped if ships evacuate the Gulf of Mexico due to a tropical depression that could turn into a storm as it is moves toward the well site, National Incident Commander Thad Allen told reporters Thursday. "The decision has been made to leave the cap on even if the well is unattended," Allen said, adding another decision would be made as early as 8 p.m. ET about potentially evacuating ships from the site.

Family fury as CPS rules out prosecution over G20 death

Family fury as CPS rules out prosecution over G20 death --Cover-up claim as CPS rejects advice to bring manslaughter charge against police officer who struck newspaper seller 22 Jul 2010 An official decision to bring no charges against the policeman who struck Ian Tomlinson minutes before he died at the G20 protests came under intense scrutiny tonight as it emerged that the Independent Police Complaints Commission had backed a prosecution for manslaughter. Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, acknowledged there was evidence that the officer, named as PC Simon Harwood, assaulted Tomlinson minutes before he died. But he said there was no realistic prospect of conviction because of "sharp disagreements" between pathologists.

Tropical depression races toward oil spill, threatens deep-sea effort to plug ruptured well

Tropical depression races toward oil spill, threatens deep-sea effort to plug ruptured well 22 Jul 2010 A tropical depression racing toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday increased pressure on BP and the U.S. government to decide whether to evacuate dozens of ships at the site of the ruptured oil well. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm system, which has already caused flooding in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, could become Tropical Storm Bonnie later Thursday and reach the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.

Congress Approves Extending Jobless Benefits

Congress Approves Extending Jobless Benefits --2.5 Million People Have Lost Unemployment Checks; Obama to Sign the Measure Soon 22 Jul 2010 Congress has approved legislation to restore unemployment benefits to people who have been out of work for six months or more, ending a seven-week interruption that caused 2 1/2 million people to lose unemployment benefits averaging about $300 a week. The 272-152 House vote Thursday will send the measure to President Barack Obama, who has promised to quickly sign it.

Three killed in Iraq Green Zone attack

Three killed in Iraq Green Zone attack 22 Jul 2010 A rocket attack, targeting the heavily-fortified Green Zone in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad reportedly kills three foreigners employed by a US security contractor. The United States embassy said those killed in the Thursday incident were two Ugandans and one Peruvian, Reuters reported. The attack also wounded at least 15 members of the contractor's personnel, including two Americans.

Six US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Six US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan 22 Jul 2010 A chopper crash, clashes with militants and mine blasts have killed six US-led soldiers in Afghanistan, against a backdrop of increasing attacks on foreign troops in the war-ravaged country. NATO said in a statement that at least two of its troops were killed in the country's volatile south after a US Air Force chopper went down in Helmand province. The crash happened close to Lashkar Gah district, in Helmand province on Thursday.

RNC fails to report $7M in debt to FEC

RNC fails to report $7M in debt to FEC --Party treasurer faults Steele 20 Jul 2010 The Republican National Committee failed to report more than $7 million in debt to the Federal Election Commission in recent months - a move that made its bottom line appear healthier than it is heading into the midterm elections and that also raises the prospect of a hefty fine. In a memo to RNC budget committee members, RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen on Tuesday accused Chairman Michael S. Steele and his chief of staff, Michael Leavitt, of trying to conceal the information from him by ordering staff not to communicate with the treasurer - a charge RNC officials deny.

Report: DHS Filtered Hundreds of Public Records Requests Through Political Appointees

Report: DHS Filtered Hundreds of Public Records Requests Through Political Appointees By Kim Zetter  22 Jul 2010 Contrary to the Obama administration’s promised commitment to open government, the Department of Homeland Security, in a highly irregular move, filtered hundreds of public records requests through political appointees, allowing them to pass judgment on what was being released, according to internal e-mails obtained by the Associated Press. The political appointees were allowed to vet records requests that were deemed politically sensitive and require career employees to provide them with information about who requested records -- for example, where the requester lived and worked, whether the requester was a private citizen or journalist and, in the case of congressional representatives, whether they were Republican or Democrat.

Oil chiefs to give evidence in UK after BP spill fears

Oil chiefs to give evidence in UK after BP spill fears 22 Jul 2010 Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, and other oil bosses will be expected to give evidence to a new UK political inquiry into offshore deep-water drilling. Tim Yeo, the Conservative MP chairing the Energy and Climate Change Committee, will lead MPs investigating North Sea offshore drilling, asking "serious questions" about the oil companies' plans for dealing with spills, including key safety devices such as blowout preventers. It would be "more than a disappointment" if BP were to fail to put its executives up for questioning, Mr Yeo said.

N. Korea calls on U.S. to halt military exercises with South

N. Korea calls on U.S. to halt military exercises with South 22 Jul 2010 A North Korean spokesman says the U.S. should halt sanctions and military exercises with South Korea if it wants a nuclear-free peninsula. "If the U.S. is really interested in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, it should halt the military exercises and sanctions that destroy the mood for dialogue," North Korean spokesman Ri Tong Il told reporters in Hanoi on Thursday.

H1N1 Flu Expo Group Hosts Unmanned Aircraft Defense Summit

H1N1 Flu Expo Group Hosts Unmanned Aircraft Defense Summit By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 22 Jul 2010 Citizens For Legitimate Government has learned that New-Fields Exhibitions, the previous sponsor of the 5th Iraq Aviation & Defense Summit ('Develop a business plan for the Iraqi military market') and International Swine Flu Conferences ('Mass Fatality Management Planning'), is sponsoring an Unmanned Aircraft Systems Defense and Tactics Conference in Washington, D.C. New-Fields offers the following description of the summit, to be held 29-30 July, 2010. 'This cutting-edge conference brings together military, federal and local governments, academia and industry to discuss their plans to expand their UAS use and to address the challenges facing potential expanded use of UAS.' [Full article here.]

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan rescuing injured colleague

Two British soldiers killed in Afghanistan rescuing injured colleague 21 Jul 2010 Two British soldiers were shot dead in Afghanistan on Wednesday while trying to rescue an injured colleague. They were killed by small arms fire in Helmand province in the south of Afghanistan. One soldier was from The Royal Dragoon Guards and the other from 1st Battalion Scots Guards, the Ministry of Defence said.

US spy chief nominee warns of N Korea 'direct attacks'

US spy chief nominee warns of N Korea 'direct attacks' 20 July 2010 North Korea's sinking of a South Korean warship may herald a "dangerous new period", the nominee to be US director of national intelligence has warned. James Clapper told a Senate hearing that Pyongyang might seek "to advance its internal and external political goals through direct attacks". President Barack Obama chose the retired general and under-secretary of defence [and nutjob] to be the new DNI in June.

Why Republicans are taking 30 more hours

Why Republicans are taking 30 more hours By Ezra Klein 21 Jul 2010 When you take a vote on cloture -- a vote on whether the Senate can then move to a vote on passage -- there are a few odd rules you have to follow. The first is you have to wait two days between when you file for a cloture vote and take a cloture vote. The second is that the minority can take 30 hours of post-cloture debate. Usually, they don't... Today, Republicans are. The practical effect of this on the unemployed is that people whose unemployment benefits expired weeks ago will have to wait slightly longer before their benefits resume... Given that Republicans say they support unemployment benefits and just oppose increases in the deficit for things that aren't the Bush tax cuts, it's quite a cruel way for them to press their point.

WH apologizes to fired Ag worker; she mulls return

WH apologizes to fired Ag worker; she mulls return 22 Jul 2010 The White House did a sudden about-face Wednesday and begged for forgiveness from the black Agriculture Department employee whose ouster ignited an embarrassing political firestorm over race. She was offered a "unique opportunity" for a new job and said she was thinking it over. The [Reichwing-fabricated] controversy moved from Monday's forced resignation of a minor U.S. Ag official in Georgia to Tuesday's urgent discussions at the White House amid a rising public outcry and then to Wednesday's repeated apologies and pleas for Shirley Sherrod to come back.

White House sorry for Shirley Sherrod 'racism' firing

White House sorry for Shirley Sherrod 'racism' firing 21 Jul 2010 The White House has apologised to a black US official fired after a video appeared to show her making racially charged remarks about a white farmer. Agriculture department official Shirley Sherrod was exonerated in the full video, which surfaced soon after she was sacked. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the apology reflected "the feelings" of President Barack Obama.

US soldier killed by IED in Iraq

US soldier killed by IED in Iraq 21 Jul 2010 An improvised explosive device (IED) has killed a US soldier in Diyala province, north of Baghdad. "A United States Division North soldier died today [Wednesday] in Diyala province when the soldier's vehicle was attacked with an improvised explosive device," a US military statement said.

AP sources: No charges for '06 US attorney firings

AP sources: No charges for '06 US attorney firings 21 Jul 2010 The Justice Department has concluded its two-year investigation into the Bush administration's firing of U.S. attorneys and will file no charges, people close to the case said Wednesday. The investigation looked into whether the Bush administration dismissed the nine U.S. attorneys as a way to influence investigations. The scandal contributed to mounting criticism that the administration had politicized the Justice Department, a charge that contributed to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. [Of course not! Barack Obama doesn't want to offend his Faux News/GOP overlords.  --LRP]

Car bomb explosion kills 30 in Iraq

Blackwater is a busy little bee! Car bomb explosion kills 30 in Iraq 21 Jul 2010 At least 30 people have been killed and 46 others have been wounded in a car bomb explosion in the central Iraqi city of Baqouba. The explosion occurred near a mosque in the predominantly Shia neighborhood of Abu Sayeeda on Wednesday. The strong blast also caused a building to collapse. Some reports, however, say that the explosion occurred near a crowded market.

'Blind terrorism begotten by US, UK'

'Blind terrorism begotten by US, UK' 21 Jul 2010 Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the intelligence services of the US, Israel and Britain were the main supporters of the recent terrorist attacks in Iran. "One of the main objectives the enemy pursued through the terrorist attack in Iran's southeastern city of Zahedan was to create division and religious dissension," Ayatollah Khamenei said on Wednesday. At least 27 people lost their lives and more than 100 others were injured after two bombs went off in quick succession outside the Zahedan Grand Mosque in Sistan-Baluchestan Province on July 15. The attack has widely been blamed on extremist Wahabis and Salafis trained by US intelligence in Pakistan.

Bell city manager is paid nearly $800,000 annually

Bell city manager is paid nearly $800,000 annually 20 Jul 2010 (CA) One of the poorest cities in Los Angeles County has come under public scrutiny for paying its top officials some of the highest salaries in the nation, including almost $800,000 annually for its city manager. The city of Bell pays Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo $787,637 annually, and also pays police Chief Randy Adams $457,000 a year, about 50 percent more than Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck or Sheriff Lee Baca make, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Gov't watchdogs: mortgage program is not working

Gov't watchdogs: mortgage program is not working 21 Jul 2010 Government watchdogs told a Senate panel Wednesday that the Obama administration's effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure isn't working and that the Treasury Department has failed to fix the program. Special inspector general for the financial bailouts Neil Barofsky said the program has not "put an appreciable dent in foreclosure filings," during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the $700 billion bank bailout. He also said the Treasury Department has ignored earlier demands that it set clearer goals for the program.

IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it military zone

IDF destroys West Bank village after declaring it military zone --Civil Administration said declared area live fire zone and posted eviction orders for 10 families in tents on June 27 21 Jul 2010 The IDF's Civil Administration destroyed a Palestinian village Monday morning that had earlier been cleared out when its water supply was cut off. The IDF demolished about 55 structures in the West Bank village of Farasiya, including tents, tin shacks, plastic and straw huts, clay ovens, sheep pens and bathrooms. These structures served the 120 farmers, hired workers and their families who lived in the Jordan Valley village.

Agriculture Resignation to be Reconsidered

Agriculture Resignation to be Reconsidered 21 Jul 2010 Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday he will reconsider the department's decision to oust a black employee over racially tinged remarks after learning more about what she said. Mr. Vilsack issued a short statement early Wednesday morning after Shirley Sherrod, who until Tuesday was the Agriculture Department's director of rural development in Georgia, said she was pressured to resign because of her comments that she didn't give a white farmer as much help as she could have 24 years ago.

Bradley Airport Getting High-Tech Scanners

Bradley Airport Getting High-Tech Scanners --Federal Stimulus Funds [!?!] Going to 28 Airports to Enhance Security 20 Jul 2010 (CT) Bradley International Airport is one of 28 airports that will receive advanced imaging technology scanners, funded with federal stimulus money, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday. The shipment in the next few months is part of a major deployment of the advanced screening machines across the country between now and the end of 2011.

BP sells $7 billion in oil and gas assets to Apache Corp.

BP sells $7 billion in oil and gas assets to Apache Corp. 21 Jul 2010 BP has sold oil and gas properties in the United States, Egypt and Canada to Houston-based Apache Corp. for $7 billion as part of the oil giant's effort to raise cash to cover oil spill expenses and bolster its financial position, the two companies announced Tuesday. The sale takes BP most of the way toward its goal of raising $10 billion over the next year by selling exploration and production assets.

Report: Tab for 'War on terrorism' tops $1 trillion

Report: Tab for 'War on terrorism' tops $1 trillion 20 Jul 2010 The United States has spent more than $1 trillion on wars since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, a recently released Congressional report says. Adjusting for inflation, the outlays for conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world make the "war on terrorism" second only to World War II. The report "Cost of Major U.S. Wars" by the Congressional Research Service attempts to compare war costs over a more than 230-year period... Since the 9/11 terror attacks [an inside job], the United States has spent an estimated $1.15 trillion.

Iran to West: Stop backing terrorism

Iran to West: Stop backing terrorism 20 Jul 2010 Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast has called on the US and certain European countries to stop supporting terrorism... On Thursday, two bombs were detonated in quick succession in front of the Zahedan Grand Mosque in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. At least 27 people lost their lives and more than 100 others were injured in the incident. Mehmanparast called on Western countries to provide an explanation as to why they back terrorist groups, for instance Jundallah, if they are really opposed to terrorism.

BP Kept Drilling After Report of Leak, Worker Says

BP Kept Drilling After Report of Leak, Worker Says 21 Jul 2010 Government investigators looking into the causes of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion are colliding with a frequent obstacle: witnesses canceling their scheduled testimonies. So far, nine witnesses have rejected or delayed testimony here before a panel of federal government officials. Many were top-ranking officials aboard the rig, with critical roles in decisions that may have contributed to the disaster... In Tuesday’s hearings, investigators focused on equipment failures leading up to the explosion. A BP official, Ronald Sepulvado, a well site leader, testified that BP continued drilling for oil in the days before the disaster despite internal reports of a leak on a safety device on the rig.

Congress Will Grill Gold Dealer, Glenn Beck Sponsor

Congress Will Grill Gold Dealer, Glenn Beck Sponsor --Goldline, Frequent Advertiser on Conservative Talk Shows, Faces Hearing, Lawsuit 20 Jul 2010 Congress will ask top executives from Goldline, the precious metals dealer that is a major sponsor of Glenn Beck's television and radio programs, to testify about the company's aggressive sales tactics. "My view is that these commentators are doing a disservice to their viewers," said Rep. Anthony Weiner, a New York Democrat, in an interview with ABC News. Weiner and Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) announced the hearing Tuesday after an ABC News report in which some customers of Goldline described how they felt cheated by the company.

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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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