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Exxon Mobil, Big Contributor to Republican Governors Association When Christie Was Chairman, Settles $9B Environment Case in New Jersey for $250M

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

Exxon Mobil, Big Contributor to Republican Governors Association When Christie Was Chairman, Settles $9B Environment Case in New Jersey for $250M | 27 Feb 2015 | A long-fought legal battle to recover $8.9 billion in damages from Exxon Mobil Corporation for the contamination and loss of use of more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes, meadows and waters in northern New Jersey has been quietly settled by the state for around $250 million. The lawsuits, filed by the State Department of Environmental Protection in 2004, had been litigated by the administrations of four New Jersey governors, finally advancing last year to trial. A month ago, with a State Superior Court judge believed to be close to a decision on damages, the administration of Gov. Chris Christie (R) twice petitioned the court to hold off on a ruling because settlement talks were underway. Exxon contributed $500,000 to the Republican Governors Association in May 2014, when Mr. Christie was serving a one-year term as its chairman; the company has contributed annually to the group since at least 2008, records show.

Netanyahu's 'scaremongering' will not stop nuclear deal, says Iranian official

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

Netanyahu's 'scaremongering' will not stop nuclear deal, says Iranian official | 28 Feb 2015 | Iran's top nuclear negotiator said on Saturday that "scaremongering" by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu won't stop the Islamic Republic and world powers from reaching a final nuclear deal. Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the world should not allow the hard-line Israeli leader to undermine peace. He was referring to Netanyahu's planned speech to Congress next week on the emerging nuclear deal that he considers dangerous. "Through scaremongering, falsification, propaganda and creating a false atmosphere even inside other countries, [Israel] is attempting to prevent peace," Zarif told reporters during a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni.

Barack Obama would veto bill that forces him to submit text of any Iran nuclear agreement to Congress

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

Barack Obama would veto bill that forces him to submit text of any Iran nuclear agreement to Congress | 1 Mar 2015 | Barack Obama would veto a bill recently introduced in the US Senate allowing Congress to weigh in on any deal the US and other negotiating countries reach with Iran on its nuclear capabilities, the White House said on Saturday. "The president has been clear that now is not the time for Congress to pass additional legislation on Iran. If this bill is sent to the president, he will veto it," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the White House's National Security Council. The US and five other major powers are seeking to negotiate an agreement with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

Senator Rand Paul wins straw poll in boost to 2016 presidential prospects

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

Senator Rand Paul wins straw poll in boost to 2016 presidential prospects | 28 Feb 2015 | Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of conservative activists on Saturday, giving his potential bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 a boost...Whether the victory for Paul will have long-lasting benefit is unclear since his libertarian views may not have broad appeal in the Republican Party. Paul, a 52-year-old Kentucky Republican, outdistanced most other potential candidates by taking 25.7 percent of the vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of activists on Washington's outskirts of Washington.

MI5 Made Emwazi Feel Like 'A Dead Man Walking'

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

MI5 Made Emwazi Feel Like 'A Dead Man Walking' | 1 Mar 2015 | The Londoner identified as "Jihadi John" told a journalist in 2010 that harassment by British security services had made him fear he was a "dead man walking", it has been revealed. Years before his reign of terror in Islamic State videos began, Mohammed Emwazi emailed a reporter to claim that several run-ins with intelligence officials had left him contemplating suicide. The 26-year-old described coming face-to-face with someone who he suspected was a British spy - months after he graduated from the University of Westminster. Emwazi was attempting to sell a laptop when he became suspicious of the mystery buyer, according to messages he sent to a Mail on Sunday reporter.

Venezuela president says has captured U.S. pilot accused of 'recruiting citizens to stage a coup'

March 1, 2015 by legitgov

Venezuela president says has captured U.S. pilot accused of 'recruiting citizens to stage a coup' --5 other U.S. nationals and 4 missionaries [CIA trolls] have been detained recently | 28 Feb 2015 | An 'American airplane pilot' with 'Latino roots' has been detained by Venezuela's government, accusing of spying and recruiting citizens to stage a coup, President Nicolas Maduro declared. The President said the pilot, who has not been named, was part of a group of six U.S. nationals arrested in the state of Táchira, near the Colombian border, in the last few days. Addressing a rally on Saturday, Maduro said the man had 'documentation' that suggested he was involved in 'espionage' and 'recruitment'.

NSA Bulk Telephone Metadata Program Reauthorized Until Parts of PATRIOT Act Potentially Sunset

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

NSA Bulk Telephone Metadata Program Reauthorized Until Parts of PATRIOT Act Potentially Sunset | 28 Feb 2015 | In a post on its official Tumblr, the United States' Office of the Director of National Intelligence noted that it sought and received a reauthorization of its telephony metadata program, authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The program collects metadata on phone calls, including those of United States citizens. The reauthorization lasts until June 1, 2015. Why that date? The NSA has your answer, ready-made: The Government sought renewal of this authority to and including June 1, 2015 in order to align the expiration date of the requested order for this program with the June 1, 2015 sunset of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Police in German city warn of Islamist terrorism threat

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

Police in German city warn of Islamist terrorism threat -- The announcement is the latest in a recent series of such warnings in various cities. | 28 Feb 2015 | Police in the northwestern German city of Bremen said on Saturday that they had received information "from a federal authority" about "activities of potential Islamist offenders." They said that "coordinated and appropriate security measures" were being taken to combat the threat of a terrorist attack, including in public spaces. A police spokesman told the DPA news agency that all relevant buildings were being protected.

Boris Nemtsov killed in Moscow

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

Boris Nemtsov killed in Moscow | 28 Feb 2015 | Opposition politician Boris Nemtsov died in the center of Moscow after he was shot at four times. A number of leading figures from all sides of political spectrum called his murder a "provocation". Saturday, February 28: Irina Khakamada, a former party colleague of Boris Nemtsov through the 1990s and early 2000s has chipped in with her thoughts about his murder. "I have three potential theories for who was behind his death. The first is out-of-control extremists, who thought that they could do anything. The second, the more radical elements within the government structure, who are sending a message to Putin that they do not want the conflict with Ukraine to end, and the third is people who want destabilize Russia," she told Snob magazine.

Egyptian court declares Hamas terrorist organization

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

Egyptian court declares Hamas terrorist organization | 28 Feb 2015 | Egyptian court has declared the Palestinian movement Hamas, which is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization. Hamas called the decision "shocking and dangerous." The decision follows Egyptian court's ban on the Izza-Din al-Qassam Brigades, an armed wing of Hamas, in Egypt that was pronounced in January..."They are now saying that the [Palestinian] resistance and struggle against the occupation is a crime," Ghazi Hamad, a deputy foreign minister for Hamas in Gaza told Al Jazeera following the ruling.

SF bomb squad investigates suspicious package in Mission District

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

SF bomb squad investigates suspicious package in Mission District | 28 Feb 2015 | A building at 23rd and Bartlett streets in San Francisco's Mission District was evacuated due to a suspicious package containing pipes and wires. Police said they were called to the scene just before 8 p.m.

President Obama signs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security funded

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

President Obama signs 1-week bill to keep Homeland Security funded | 28 Feb 2015 | President Barack Obama has signed a one-week funding bill for the Homeland Security Department, keeping the agency open after a showdown that went right up to the brink. Obama signed the bill late Friday, just minutes before the midnight deadline.

Homeland Security shutdown averted as House backs one-week funding deal

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

Homeland Security shutdown averted as House backs one-week funding deal | 28 Feb 2015 | The House of Representatives finally agreed to pay for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Friday night, just two hours before a lapse in funding that would have forced thousands of key government workers to go without pay. But an increasingly bitter divide among Republicans forced congressional leaders to settle for just a one-week extension of the existing budget arrangement, buying them only a few short days next week to reach a longer term deal.

EPA sued over shrinking monarch butterfly population

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

EPA sued over shrinking monarch butterfly population | 28 Feb 2015 |A leading environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency, accusing regulators of dismissing dangers about a certain chemical used in herbicides, including Monsanto's widely used Roundup. The lawsuit, filed Friday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in federal district court in New York, argues that an ingredient in the herbicide -- glyphosate -- has had devastating effects on monarch butterflies, causing the population to halve in seven years. Glyphosate destroys milkweed, the only food consumed by monarch butterflies in their migration.

House Passes One-Week Funding Extension for Homeland Security

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

House Passes One-Week Funding Extension for Homeland Security -The speaker was rescued by [sycophantic, pea-brained] Democrats | 27 Feb 2015 | On Friday, House leaders only narrowly managed to avert a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security after an embarrassing defeat earlier in the day. The seven-day funding extension, approved by a vote of 357 to 60, came just hours before money for the department was to run out at midnight. The accord was reached after a stunning and humiliating setback for Speaker John A. Boehner and his leadership team earlier Friday, when the House voted against their original plan to extend funding for the department for three weeks -- a position that Mr. Boehner had considered a fail-safe. More than 50 House Republicans defected, voting against the bill.

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Can Stay in Boston, Court Rules

February 28, 2015 by legitgov

Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Can Stay in Boston, Court Rules | 27 Feb 2015 | The trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can stay in Massachusetts, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. A three-judge panel of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that any high-profile case would receive significant media attention, but that knowledge of such case "does not equate to disqualifying prejudice." Tsarnaev's lawyers argued that intense media coverage of the case and the large number of people personally affected by the deadly attack made it impossible for him to find a fair and impartial jury in Massachusetts.

Exelon-backed bill seeks $2 more a month for 'bailout' of nuclear plants

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

Exelon-backed bill seeks $2 more a month for 'bailout' of nuclear plants | 27 Feb 2015 | Electricity users would have to dip into their pockets a little more to help cover costs of Exelon's [deadly] nuclear power plants under legislation unveiled Thursday that the influential corporation maintained would [pretend to] save jobs and keep service steady and reliable. Exelon is backing the proposal because it could prop up what the company says are three money-losing nuclear plants that produce relatively clean energy compared with other sources of power. Opponents question whether Exelon would get an unnecessary bailout when a trio of its other nuclear plants are in the black, and supporters of a separate bill prefer a broader approach that would build up renewable resources.

In Honor of International Polar Bear Day, Spectacular Pictures of a Threatened Species

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

In Honor of International Polar Bear Day, Spectacular Pictures of a Threatened Species | 27 Feb 2015 | A polar bear watches her cubs on the Hudson Bay in Manitoba, Canada. The bay is famous for polar bears, but their population is in decline. According to Steven C. Amstrup, chief scientist for Polar Bears International (PBI), rising temperatures have extended the duration of summer, melting ice in the Hudson Bay and forcing polar bears to live on shore for longer stretches of time. "They live on the sea ice, and they catch their food from the surface of the sea ice," he said. "When they're on the shore, they lose about two pounds of body weight a day. They've adapted to being food-deprived for quite a while, but there are limits as to how far they can go."

California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

California Infant Dies after 8 Vaccines, Family Gets Him Back from Hospital Cremated | 26 Feb 2015 |Parents in California are distraught after losing their infant son after being vaccinated. He died in his sleep and was taken to the hospital already deceased...More than one year and four months have passed and the family has yet to receive his autopsy report. It turns out their son was given a vaccine not approved for his age and an extra dose of the hepatitis B vaccine that he shouldn't have received until later on. This harrowing story is a reminder that vaccines can be lethal...Crystal Downing shares with us what happened to her son Matthew, in hopes to remind parents to research vaccines before offering their child to be injected with whatever the doctor says.

Missouri Candidate for Governor Dies of 'Apparent Suicide'

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

Missouri Candidate for Governor Dies of 'Apparent Suicide' | 26 Feb 2015 | Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, who had recently launched a Republican campaign for governor, fatally shot himself Thursday in what police described as an "apparent suicide" -- just minutes after inviting reporters to his suburban St. Louis home for an interview. Just 13 minutes before police got an emergency call from his home, Schweich had a phone conversation with The Associated Press about his plans to go public that afternoon with allegations that the head of the Missouri Republican Party had made anti-Semitic comments about him.

Net neutrality: Barack Obama thanks Reddit in hand-written letter

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

Net neutrality: Barack Obama thanks Reddit in hand-written letter | 26 Feb 2015 | President Obama thanked technology enthusiasts on Reddit, the popular content-sharing site, for their activism on net neutrality the old-fashioned way -- with a hand-written note. On Thursday, Alexis Ohanian, one of the site's cofounders, revealed a letter he'd received from the president thanking all of the site's users for supporting his administration's push to regulate the Internet like a utility. "Thanks Redditers! Wish I could upvote every one of you for helping keep the internet open and free," Obama wrote, using a term specific to the site in which a user helps popularize a post.

International Polar Bear Day is observed today

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

International Polar Bear Day is observed today | 27 Feb 2015 | International Polar Bear Day is a holiday celebrated every February 27 to raise awareness about the conservation status of the polar bear. International Polar Bear Day is organized by Polar Bears International to raise awareness about the impact of global warming and reduced sea ice on polar bear populations. The holiday encourages people to find ways to reduce their carbon output, such as by turning down their thermostat or driving less.

House GOP to push short-term DHS funding to prevent partial shutdown

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

House GOP to push short-term DHS funding to prevent partial shutdown --Legislation to fund DHS for three weeks would be put to a vote in House on Friday - GOP | 26 Feb 2015 | Sounding retreat, House Republicans agreed Thursday to push short-term funding to prevent a partial shutdown at the Homeland Security Department while leaving in place Obama administration immigration policies they have vowed to repeal. "The speaker's pretty adamant that he's not going to shut down Homeland Security, especially in light of the Mall of America and in light of what's happened in New York," said Rep. Dennis Ross., R-Fla., emerging from a closed-door strategy session with the Republican rank-and-file. He referred to a suggestion made by one terrorist group that a sympathizer should attack the Mall of America, an enormous shopping facility in Minnesota, as well as the arrests Wednesday in Brooklyn of men charged with plotting to help Islamic State fighters.

Net Neutrality Prevails in Historic FCC Vote

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

Net Neutrality Prevails in Historic FCC Vote | 26 Feb 2015 | The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to approve strong net neutrality rules in a stunning decision, defying vocal, months-long opposition by telecom and cable companies and Republicans on Capitol Hill. Democratic Commissioners Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn joined Chairman Tom Wheeler to approve a rule that reclassifies consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. The FCC intends to use this new authority to ban "paid prioritization," a practice whereby Internet service providers can charge content producers a premium for giving users more reliable access to that content, as well as to ban blocking and throttling of lawful content and services. These rules also apply to mobile access.

TSA Issues Secret Warning on 'Catastrophic' Threat to Aviation

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

TSA Issues Secret Warning on 'Catastrophic' Threat to Aviation | 26 Feb 2015 | The Transportation Security Administration said it is unlikely to detect and unable to extinguish what an FBI report called "the greatest potential incendiary threat to aviation," according to a classified document obtained by The Intercept. Yet despite that warning, sources said TSA is not adequately preparing to respond to the threat. Thermite -- a mixture of rust and aluminum powder -- could be used against a commercial aircraft, TSA warned in a Dec. 2014 document, marked secret. "The ignition of a thermite-based incendiary device on an aircraft at altitude could result in catastrophic damage and the death of every person onboard," the advisory said.

'Jihadi John' From ISIS Execution Videos Was Under Watch by British Intelligence That Tried to Recruit Him

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

'Jihadi John' From ISIS Execution Videos Was Under Watch by British Intelligence That Tried to Recruit Him [Looks like they did!] | 26 Feb 2015 | Mohammed Emwazi was 6 when his parents moved to West London from his birthplace in Kuwait, and he seems to have lived a normal life, studying hard and graduating in computer sciences from the University of Westminster in 2009. But he came to the attention of the British intelligence services in May that same year, detained as he landed in Tanzania with two friends on what he described as a celebratory safari. British officials thought he and his friends were headed to Somalia, to fight with the terrorist group Al Shabab, and allegedly tried to recruit him as an informant before shipping him back home...Mr. Emwazi appears in 2011 court documents, obtained by the BBC, as a member of a network of extremists who funneled funds, equipment and recruits "from the United Kingdom to Somalia to undertake terrorism-related activity."

Slurpee waves! The moment semi-frozen breakers rolled ashore in New England amid record cold

February 27, 2015 by legitgov

Slurpee waves! The moment semi-frozen breakers rolled ashore in New England amid record cold | 26 Feb 2015 | Plummeting temperatures have broken hundreds of winter records across the country - making February one of the coldest months in history. But in New England, it has gotten so cold even the waves are starting to freeze. These incredible photos of so-called 'slurpee waves' were taken by surfer Jonathan Nimerfroh in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He took his camera out when he noticed the horizon looked strange - and then spotted the surf had turn slushy.

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet

February 26, 2015 by legitgov

Net neutrality activists score landmark victory in fight to govern the internet | 26 Feb 2015 | Internet activists scored a landmark victory on Thursday as the top US telecommunications regulator approved a plan to govern broadband internet like a public utility. Following one of the most intense -- and bizarre -- lobbying battles in the history of modern Washington politics, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed strict new rules that give the body its greatest power over the cable industry since the internet went mainstream. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler -- a former telecom lobbyist turned surprise hero of net neutrality supporters -- thanked the 4 million people who submitted comments on the new rules. "Your participation has made this the most open process in FCC history," he said. "We listened and we learned."

Mother Cow Hides Newborn Baby to Protect Her From Farmer

February 26, 2015 by legitgov

Mother Cow Hides Newborn Baby to Protect Her From Farmer | 25 Feb 2015 | A former dairy cow was so saddened by memories of her previous babies being taken away by a farmer [terrorist] that she hid her newborn calf to keep her from being taken, too. Clarabelle was rescued from a dairy farm in late November by the Australian farm sanctuary Edgar's Mission. She was hours away from slaughter at the farm, where her milk production was too low to bother keeping her alive. When Clarabelle arrived at the rescue, volunteers discovered she was pregnant...After a bit of a search, they discovered that she had secretly given birth and hidden the baby in a nearby patch of tall grass.

ISIS thugs [aka US mercenaries] take a hammer to civilisation: 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in Mosul museum

February 26, 2015 by legitgov

ISIS thugs [US mercenaries?] take a hammer to civilisation: Priceless 3,000-year-old artworks smashed to pieces in minutes as militants destroy Mosul museum | 26 Feb 2015 | Islamic State thugs have destroyed a collection of priceless statues and sculptures in Iraq dating back thousands of years. Extremists used sledgehammers and power drills to smash ancient artwork as they rampaged through a museum in the northern city of Mosul. Video footage shows a group of bearded men in the Nineveh Museum using tools to wreck 3,000-year-old statues after pushing them over. Yesterday it was revealed how terrorists had blown up the Mosul Public Library, sending 10,000 books and more than 700 rare manuscripts up in flames. [Book-burning: that's straight out of the US playbook. Also, am I the only one who has noticed that ISIS never destroys anything near Iraq's Oil Ministry and never threatens Israel?]

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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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