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Arrested Islamists may have been targeting Berlin: police

February 5, 2016 by legitgov

Arrested Islamists may have been targeting Berlin: police --Berlin daily Tagesspiegel says popular tourist spot Checkpoint Charlie - once the most famous crossing in the Berlin Wall - was to be hit, citing security sources. | 04 Feb 2016 | Prosecutors have said that Islamists arrested in Berlin and western Germany on Thursday may have been planning an attack on the capital. "It is about the possible planning of a terror attack in Germany, concretely in Berlin," state prosecution spokesperson Martin Steltner told news wire Dpa. There are conflicting reports in the media about what the exact target of the attack was, with tabloid Bild citing investigators who say it was Alexanderplatz, the iconic centre of the former east of the capital.

Microsoft's Iowa Vote 'Count' a Dry Run for Bigger Corporate Role in U.S. Election Process

February 5, 2016 by legitgov

Heads up! Microsoft's Iowa Vote 'Count' a Dry Run for Bigger Corporate Role in U.S. Election Process | 02 Feb 2016 | The use of Microsoft’s vote-counting rigging technology in Monday's Iowa Caucus may foreshadow a future in which corporate technology plays a central role in U.S. elections [sic], raising concerns about the possibility of private firms skewing the democratic process. In a disclosure largely unreported by the news media last year, President Obama's Special Commission on Election Reform recommended that commercial software and computers, such as iPads, be used to accurately record and count Americans' votes -- even though companies' financial interests can be helped or hurt by the outcome of those elections...Already, some political participants are raising the alarm about Microsoft leaders' ties to presidential candidates.

Julian Assange says he will 'accept arrest' on Friday if UN rules against him

February 4, 2016 by legitgov

Julian Assange says he will 'accept arrest' on Friday if UN rules against him | 04 Feb 2016 | The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he will agree to be arrested by British police on Friday if a UN investigation into his three-and-a-half years holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in central London does not rule that he is being illegally detained. Assange has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy since June 2012, after Swedish authorities sought his extradition. He has not been charged with any offence, but has been sought for questioning in Sweden in relation to sexual assault allegations made against by two women [CIA trolls] against him. The United Nations working group on arbitrary detention is set to hand down a determination on Assange's case on Friday morning.

TPP protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign controversial deal

February 4, 2016 by legitgov

TPP protesters shut down central Auckland as ministers sign controversial deal | 04 Feb 2016 | Earlier, central Auckland grounded to a halt as trade ministers signed the TPP. All streets around Sky City Convention Centre and motorway on and off ramps leading to the central business district were blocked by protesters. Former Green MP Sue Bradford was in a protest group that had partially blocked access to the Auckland Harbour Bridge from the city...By 10.20am, up to 1000 protesters were at the scene.

Zika-linked condition: WHO declares global emergency

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Zika-linked condition: WHO declares global emergency | 01 Feb 2016 | A disease linked to the Zika virus in Latin America poses a global public health emergency requiring a united response, says the World Health Organization. Experts are worried that the virus is spreading far and fast, with devastating consequences. The WHO alert puts Zika in the same category of concern as Ebola.

First U.S. Zika virus transmission reported, attributed to sex

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

First U.S. Zika virus transmission reported, attributed to sex | 03 Feb 2016 | The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency. Zika had been thought to be spread by the bite of mosquitoes of the Aedes genus, so sexual contact as a mode of transmission would be a potentially alarming development. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was the first U.S. Zika case in someone who had not traveled abroad in the current outbreak, said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden on Twitter.

Sanders campaign reviewing Iowa caucus totals, says actual result may never be known

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Sanders campaign reviewing Iowa caucus totals, says actual result may never be known | 02 Feb 2016 | The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has launched a review of the razor-thin margin of Monday night's Iowa caucuses, Sanders's campaign manager said Tuesday. "As an empirical matter, we're not likely to ever know what the actual result was," said Jeff Weaver, Sanders's campaign manager...With all precincts reporting, the Iowa Democratic Party said Tuesday morning that Hillary Clinton had edged Sanders on the number of delegates awarded, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent. Clinton's campaign declared victory even before the final tallies were released. Weaver said his campaign is reviewing tally sheets and "looking into a few other issues," which he declined to name.

Sanders camp questions Iowa caucus results

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Sanders camp questions Iowa caucus results | 02 Feb 2016 | Sen. Bernie Sanders Iowa campaign is questioning the results of Monday's caucuses. After all precincts were reported Tuesday morning, the Iowa Democratic Party reported Hillary Clinton won 49.8 percent of state delegate equivalents in the Democratic Iowa caucuses. Bernie Sanders took 49.6 percent of delegate equivalents. Sanders's campaign staff believes there may be discrepancies between the paper vote tallies at the precinct level and numbers that were reported to the state party.

Jeb Bush has spent more than $5,000 per vote so far

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Jeb Bush has spent more than $5,000 per vote so far | 02 Feb 2016 | In very early national polling in the Republican nomination race, Jeb Bush was the clear front-runner. But he never led in Iowa...Bush ended up in sixth place Monday night, pulling in less than 3 percent of the vote. Between April and the caucus, Bush's campaign spent $27.4 million dollars (according to FEC reports) and dropped 11 points in the polls. Not all of that spending was in Iowa, but Bush refused to give up on the state -- and it cost him.

Pentagon wants $582bn in 2017 budget, quadrupling of spending in Europe

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Pentagon wants $582bn in 2017 budget, quadrupling of spending in Europe | 02 Feb 2016 | President Obama will request $582.7 billion in funding for the Pentagon as part of the fiscal year 2017 budget, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said. It will be partly used to keep a competitive edge over Russia and China, and to quadruple spending in Europe. Carter said part of the $582.7 billion will include $71.4 for research and development funding, adding that much of the money will focus on maintaining an edge over the competition...The Pentagon's spending in Europe will increase from $789 million to $3.4 billion, to reassure allies fund corpora-terrorists and deter so-called Russian aggression.

Hillary Clinton 'wins' Iowa Caucus by 0.2% with all precincts reporting

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Hillary Clinton 'wins' Iowa Caucus by 0.2% with all precincts reporting | 02 Feb 2016 | Hillary Clinton appears to have beaten Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic Caucus by a razor-thin margin, 49.8 percent to 49.6 percent, with all precincts reporting, according to the state party. The Sanders campaign is mulling requesting a recount. The results are the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Andy McGuire said in a statement.

UN set to announce decision on Assange's release on Friday - WikiLeaks

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

UN set to announce decision on Assange's release on Friday - WikiLeaks | 02 Feb 2016 | The UN is set to announce whether it will order the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Friday, the whistleblower site has tweeted. Assange submitted a complaint against Sweden and the United Kingdom to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in September 2014. The WikiLeaks founder has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for over three years, after being granted asylum by the South American country.

Bernie Sanders Still Won't Concede Close Iowa Caucus

February 3, 2016 by legitgov

Bernie Sanders Still Won't Concede Close Iowa Caucus | 02 Feb 2016 | Despite the fact that The Associated Press declared Hillary Clinton the victor in Monday's Iowa caucuses by a razor thin margin, Bernie Sanders was still unwilling to concede Tuesday afternoon. Sanders also would not rule out the idea of contesting the election results. The Vermont senator, who has introduced legislation to make election day a federal holiday in order to expand voter participation, also began to question whether some of the tactics reportedly used during the caucuses were "democratic." Reports and videos emerged overnight showing some caucus rooms decided by coin tosses.

Hillary Clinton declared winner of Iowa caucuses by razor-thin margin

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Hillary Clinton declared winner of Iowa caucuses by razor-thin margin --Bernie Sanders wins 85% of voters under 30 and majority of those under 45 | 02 Feb 2016 | Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton has beaten Vermont senator Bernie Sanders in Monday's Democratic caucuses in Iowa, it was confirmed on Tuesday, taking her first step towards potentially making history as the first female president of the United States. Clinton's victory was not as triumphant as the once presumptive Democratic nominee might have hoped. Sanders, the self-described socialist senator from Vermont, robbed Clinton of a decisive win heading into next week's primary in New Hampshire, where he has a strong lead of 18 points. Clinton won 49.86% of the vote, according to the Associated Press, with Sanders on 49.57% – a margin of just 0.29 percentage points.

Missing precinct scrambles to report Sanders won

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Missing precinct scrambles to report Sanders won --Sanders backers called for Iowa Democratic Party officials to release the raw vote totals. | 02 Feb 2016 | Votes from one precinct in Iowa were still missing Tuesday morning, and Democrats from that neighborhood scrambled to find party officials so that they could report their tally: Bernie Sanders won by 2 delegates over Hillary Clinton. With Des Moines precinct No. 42's results, Clinton's excruciatingly close lead narrowed further, making the final tally for delegate equivalents in the Democratic Iowa caucuses: Clinton: 699.57; Sanders: 697.77. It quickly raised questions about whether Sanders had won the popular vote in Iowa.

Microsoft Lays Off Thousands While Demanding More H1-B Visas

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Microsoft Lays Off Thousands While Demanding More H1-B Visas | 08 July 2015 | Tech giant Microsoft announced Wednesday that it will be laying off approximately 7,800 employees worldwide, bringing a denunciation from a federal lawmaker who says the firings expose the company's calls for more immigration. Now, Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is slamming Microsoft, saying the layoffs show it is being dishonest when it lobbies for increased immigration into the United States...Microsoft has lobbied intensely for more immigration. The company has endorsed the I-Squared Act of 2015, which would triple the number of H-1B temporary work visas from 65,000 to over 195,000.

Microsoft app used to tally votes at Iowa caucus fails in some areas

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Microsoft app used to tally votes at Iowa caucus fails in some areas [but did its intended job of giving H1-B visa advocate Marco Rubio an undeserved boost] | 02 Feb 2016 | As Republican and Democratic caucus voters used new Microsoft tallying apps during the Iowa caucuses, some took to Twitter to say the sites were crashing, while others complimented them on how swiftly they worked. In an emailed statement, Microsoft [lied and] said that the mobile apps for both parties worked without issue.

Ted Cruz Wins Republican Caucuses in Iowa

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Ted Cruz Wins Republican Caucuses in Iowa | 02 Feb 2016 | Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, powered by a surge of support from evangelical Christians, dealt a humbling loss to Donald J. Trump in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, throwing into question the depth of support for Mr. Trump's unconventional candidacy. [Actually, what's 'thrown into question' is the role of Rubio top donor, Microsoft, in 'counting' the votes in Iowa.] In the first contest of what so far has been more a populist revolt against the political order than a traditional Republican primary, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida finished a strong third, bolstering his case to consolidate the support of Republicans uneasy about the two top finishers. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Cruz had nearly 28 percent of the vote, Mr. Trump 24 percent and Mr. Rubio 23 percent.

Pentagon to hike spending request by 35 percent to over $7 billion to fund 'fight against' Islamic State

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Pentagon to hike spending request by 35 percent to over $7 billion to fund 'fight against' Islamic State | 01 Feb 1016 | President Barack Obama's administration will seek a significant increase in funding for the 'fight against' Islamic State [I-CIA-SIS] as part of its 2017 defense budget request, U.S. officials say, in another possible sign of U.S. efforts to intensify the campaign. The fiscal year 2017 Pentagon budget will call for more than $7 billion for the fight against Islamic State, a roughly 35 percent increase compared with the previous year's request to Congress, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is due to disclose his spending priorities for the $583 billion 2017 defense budget on Tuesday in an address to the Economic Club of Washington.

Sometimes, Iowa Democrats award caucus delegates with a coin flip

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Sometimes, Iowa Democrats award caucus delegates with a coin flip | 02 Feb 2016 | In a couple Democratic caucus precincts Monday, a delegate was awarded with a coin toss. It happened in precinct 2-4 in Ames, where supporters of candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton disputed the results after 60 caucus participants apparently disappeared from the proceedings. As a result of the coin toss, Clinton was awarded an additional delegate, meaning she took five of the precinct's eight, while Sanders received three.

One of Marco Rubio's Biggest Financial Backers to Tally Iowa Caucuses

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

One of Marco Rubio's Biggest Financial Backers to Tally Iowa Caucuses | 31 Jan 2016 | Microsoft Corp. will be providing the technology to count the votes of Iowa caucus-goers, according to a new report. Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I-VT) campaign is raising concerns about the corporation's potential conflict of interest in tallying the votes. As The Hill reports: 'Microsoft volunteered to provide the technology to help tally up the results of Iowa's caucus, free of charge...Pete D'Alessandro, who runs the Sanders operation in Iowa, last week questioned the tech giant's motivations...Other aides to Sanders noted that Microsoft employees have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton campaign, according to MSNBC. "You'd have to ask yourself why they'd want to give something like that away for free," D'Alessandro said...As conservative columnist Michelle Malkin pointed out last month, "Microsoft, founded by leading H-1B/amnesty cheerleader Bill Gates, has been [Marco] Rubio's No. 2 corporate donor the past five years."

Both Iowa races too close to call; indications of Trump, Clinton leads - NBC

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Both Iowa races too close to call; indications of Trump, Clinton leads - NBC | 01 Feb 2016 | The results of the Iowa caucuses are too close to call, but early entrance poll data indicated leads for the GOP's Donald Trump and Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton, according to NBC News. The first wave of entrance polls are not necessarily a good indication of the final result, as caucus-goers may change their minds after going through the evening's process. Still, that early data indicated that Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were likely their party's top three candidates, according to NBC News. As of 9:10 p.m. ET, early results implied that Trump and Cruz were vying for first place, while Rubio sat in third place, NBC News reported.

Justice Department launches review of San Francisco police

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Justice Department launches review of San Francisco police | 01 Fewb 2016 | The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday it would launch a review of the San Francisco Police, in the wake of the fatal police shooting of a black man that spurred protests and demands that the city's police chief be fired. Although the American Civil Liberties Union had asked for a federal investigation into the San Francisco Police Department following the death of Mario Woods, 26, at the hands of police in December, the review will result only in recommendations, not court-enforceable reforms.

Federal agents report finding 8 pipe bombs in man's home

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Federal agents report finding 8 pipe bombs in man's home | 01 Feb 2016 | Federal authorities say they've taken a Tampa man into custody after finding eight pipe bombs and bomb-making materials in his home. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports in a news release that ATF agents, along with FBI bomb technicians and Tampa police, executed a search warrant Monday at the home of 24-year-old Michael Ramos. Tampa police had passed along a tip about the explosives to ATF. The news release says Ramos had previously expressed anti-government sentiment and acknowledged being in possession of explosives. Besides the bombs, agents reported finding an AK-47 semi-automatic rifle, a .45 caliber pistol and large amounts of ammunition.

Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Brazil says Zika virus outbreak worse than believed | 01 Feb 2016 | Brazil's top health official said on Monday that the [genetically modified mosquito-created] Zika virus outbreak is proving to be worse than believed because most cases show no symptoms, but improved testing should allow the country to get a better grip on the burgeoning public health crisis. Health Minister Marcelo Castro told Reuters that Brazil will start mandatory reporting of cases by local governments next week when most states will have labs equipped to test for Zika, the mosquito-borne virus that has quickly spread through Latin America. On Monday, the World Health Organization declared the Zika outbreak to be a global emergency, a decision that should help fast-track international action and research priorities.

Iowa caucuses: Eyes on Donald Trump

February 2, 2016 by legitgov

Iowa caucuses: Eyes on Donald Trump | 01 Feb 2016 | Donald Trump's moment of truth is at hand as the Iowa caucuses are underway. Everyone who was in line by 8 p.m. ET will be allowed to take part in the caucuses -- the first votes in the 2016 White House race, which also mark the first test of the billionaire real estate mogul's ability to transform his media celebrity into votes...Polls suggest that Trump, who has never run for any political office before, stands on the verge of a potentially stunning victory that would shake the Republican Party establishment.

Bush's final rally interrupted by 'seat fillers' demanding to be paid

February 1, 2016 by legitgov

Bush's final rally interrupted by 'seat fillers' demanding to be paid | 01 Feb 2016 | A little flier showed up early Monday morning on social media. A handful of Twitter users supporting various Republican presidential candidates tweeted a photo of slip of paper with a headline reading "$$$ Earn fast cash today! $$$" and an offer for $25 an hour to attend Jeb Bush's final campaign event at the Embassy Suites in downtown Des Moines. The implication: Bush was so desperate he was paying for faux supporters seven hours before the caucuses.

Radioactive waste dogs Germany despite abandoning nuclear power

February 1, 2016 by legitgov

Radioactive waste dogs Germany despite abandoning nuclear power --Major problems at salt mine where 126,000 drums of radioactive debris are stored, fuelling public distrust of long-term waste disposal plans | 29 Jan 2016 | Half a kilometre beneath the forests of northern Germany, in an old salt mine, a nightmare is playing out. A scheme to dig up previously buried nuclear waste is threatening to wreck public support for Germany's efforts to make a safe transition to a non-nuclear future. Enough plutonium-bearing radioactive waste is stored here to fill 20 Olympic swimming pools...The race is on to dig it all up before radioactive residues are flushed to the surface.

University: Obama's TPP 'trade' deal will whack 448,000 jobs, not save them as promised

February 1, 2016 by legitgov

University: Obama's TPP 'trade' deal will whack 448,000 jobs, not save them as promised | 28 Jan 2016 | A new university analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal corporate takeover finds that President Barack Obama's promises of sweeping economic benefits are not only wrong, but that the treaty will actually hurt America, cut jobs, and further whack GDP. The analysis from the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University near Boston found that some 448,000 jobs will be eliminated in the trade deal and that Gross Domestic Product, promised to nudge up, will go down. It said that U.S. jobs would be "hardest hit" of all the 12 nations in the deal, a huge part of Obama's legacy agenda...A copy on the university's website details the potential disaster the trade [sic] deal with Asia could be for the United States, despite Obama's promises.

Iowa Official Criticizes Cruz Campaign Over 'Voting Violation' Mailer

February 1, 2016 by legitgov

Iowa Official Criticizes Cruz Campaign Over 'Voting Violation' Mailer | 30 Jan 2016 | Iowa's secretary of state chastised the presidential campaign of Senator Ted Cruz on Saturday for sending a mailer that he said violated "the spirit of the Iowa caucuses" and misrepresented state election law. The mailer, flagged by a handful of Twitter users and confirmed as authentic by the Cruz campaign, included a warning of a "voting violation" in capital letters at the top of the page...The secretary of state, Paul D. Pate, called the effort "misleading."

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