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WDBJ slayings: Killer fired 17 rounds, identified with 9/11 attackers, police say

August 29, 2015 by legitgov

WDBJ slayings: Killer fired 17 rounds, identified with 9/11 attackers, police say | 28 Aug 2015 | Vester Lee Flanagan fired 17 rounds from a Glock pistol in killing Parker, 24, and Ward, 27, and wounding the chamber of commerce official Parker was interviewing, the Franklin County Sheriff's Office said Friday in a press release. Flanagan, 41, a disgruntled former station employee, identified "with individuals who have committed domestic acts of violence and mass murder, as well as the September 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S.," investigators said, based on writings he sent to ABC News and a search of his apartment. Other details from the release: Investigators recovered two handguns, both Glocks, from the rental vehicle Flanagan crashed on I-66 in Fauquier County before killing himself. It appears he acted alone. [Of course he did. Where's Sandy Hook? Can we get that in there, too?]

Virginia police order BBC journalists to delete footage of suspected shooter's crash

August 29, 2015 by legitgov

Curiouser and curiouser: Virginia police order BBC journalists to delete footage of suspected shooter's crash | 28 Aug 2015 | BBC reporters Franz Strasser and Tara McKelvey encountered a big obstacle in their coverage of a double slaying of journalists at a Virginia mall. The two reporters were covering the manhunt of the suspected shooter when they were ordered to delete footage by police. On Wednesday night, Corinne Geller, the statewide public relations manager for the Virginia State Police, tweeted at Strasser: "VSP is aware of this incident and we are looking into it, as such actions violate VSP policy."

Federal Court Ruling Supports NSA's Phone Data Collection

August 28, 2015 by legitgov

Federal Court Ruling Supports NSA's Phone Data Collection | 28 Aug 2015 | A federal appeals court has ruled in favor of the Obama administration in a dispute over the bulk collection of phone data on millions of Americans. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday reversed a lower court ruling that said the program likely violates the U.S. Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. But the impact of the ruling is uncertain, now that Congress has passed legislation designed to replace the program over the next few months.

Savannah State University on Lockdown After Shooting, Officials Say

August 28, 2015 by legitgov

Savannah State University on Lockdown After Shooting, Officials Say | 27 Aug 2015 | Shots rang out on Savannah State University's campus Thursday, with one student killed and the university placed on lockdown. The shooting, which occurred at the SSU Student Union building, was sparked by an altercation, the university said in a statement. Christopher Starks, a junior from the metro Atlanta area, died in the shooting, the school said...The campus was put on lockdown following the shooting.

Border Force to check people's visas on Melbourne's streets this weekend

August 28, 2015 by legitgov

Border Force to check people's visas on Melbourne's streets this weekend | 28 Aug 2015 | Border Force officers will check people's visas on the streets of Melbourne this weekend, the Federal Government has revealed. Officers will be positioned at various locations around the city and will speak "with any individual we cross paths with", Australian Border Force regional commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Don Smith, said in a statement...The statement said officers would work with, "a diverse team of transport and enforcement agencies to target crime in the Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) as part of Operation Fortitude".

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

August 28, 2015 by legitgov

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence | 26 Aug 2015 | The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Wednesday. The investigation was first disclosed by The New York Times. The paper reported that the investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told authorities that he had evidence that officials at U.S. Central Command were improperly reworking conclusions of assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Barack Obama.

North Dakota to use police drones with Tasers, pepper spray, sound cannons, and rubber bullets - report

August 27, 2015 by legitgov

North Dakota to use police drones with Tasers, pepper spray, sound cannons, and rubber bullets - report | 27 Aug 2015 | North Dakota police have been authorized to equip drones with Tasers, tear gas, and other non-lethal weapons after interference from a police lobby group led to an amendment to a bill, which was initially intended to limit police powers to deploy drones. The adopted amendment to House Bill 1328 enables police drones to use "less than lethal" weapons, such as Tasers, bean bags, pepper spray, sound cannons and rubber bullets. The amendment was pushed through by Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officers' Association, a police lobby group, the Daily Beast reports. The bill was passed earlier this year and initially prohibited "any lethal or nonlethal weapons" on the drones, but that was eventually amended to permit the deployment of "less than lethal weapons"

Leaked report cites design flaws in Hanford plant built to treat nuclear waste

August 27, 2015 by legitgov

Leaked report cites design flaws in Hanford plant built to treat nuclear waste | 26 Aug 2015 | A nearly completed government facility intended to 'treat' the radioactive byproducts of nuclear weapons production is riddled with design flaws that could put the entire operation at risk of failure, according to a leaked internal report. A technical review of the treatment plant on the grounds of the former Hanford nuclear site identified hundreds of "design vulnerabilities" and other weaknesses, some serious enough to lead to spills of radioactive material. The draft report is the latest in a series of blows to the clean-up effort at Hanford, the once-secret government reservation in eastern Washington state where much of the nation's plutonium stockpile originated.

USA Network postpones Mr Robot finale as it contains 'a graphic scene similar in nature' to the live on-air killings in Virginia

August 27, 2015 by legitgov

USA Network postpones Mr Robot finale as it contains 'a graphic scene similar in nature' to the live on-air killings in Virginia | 26 Aug 2015 | The season one finale of USA Network's Mr Robot will not be broadcast Wednesday night as scheduled because it contains a scene that has similarities to the on-air killings of a TV reporter and cameraman in Virginia. USA went to explain its decision, saying: 'The previously filmed season finale of Mr Robot contains a graphic scene similar in nature to today's tragic events in Virginia.' Instead, last week's episode will be repeated and the finale will air in the same time slot next Wednesday, September 2. According to Variety, the scene in question depicts an individual sustaining a fatal gunshot wound during a TV interview.

Two Roanoke journalists killed on live television by angry former colleague

August 27, 2015 by legitgov

Two Roanoke journalists killed on live television by angry former colleague | 26 Aug 2015 | The gunman turned on the video recorder just before 6:45 Wednesday morning and, whispering a single sexist slur, pointed his black Glock at the TV reporter standing in front of him. Alison Parker, 24, was interviewing the head of the local chamber of commerce live on Roanoke's "News 7 Mornin'" show when the shooting began. Vester L. Flanagan II -- an embittered former colleague -- would soon post the horror he recorded to Facebook and Twitter. The killings were part of what appears to have been an elaborate plot carried out by a troubled man who -- after years of professional turmoil and a growing rage he linked to the mass shooting at a Charleston, S.C., church -- was determined to wreak vengeance against co-workers he insisted had wronged him.

MSNBC ending Sharpton's daily show

August 27, 2015 by legitgov

MSNBC ending Sharpton's daily show | 26 Aug 2015 | [Obama apologist and corporate shill] Al Sharpton is losing his daily show on MSNBC, with the network saying he'll be downshifted to the weekend. Sharpton's "Politics Nation" has aired at 6 p.m. EDT on weeknights for the past four years at the ratings-challenged news network. MSNBC is in the midst of wholesale changes under NBC News boss Andrew Lack, deemphasizing its left-leaning programming during the daytime hours in favor of more straight news shows.

'Dust lady' of 9/11 attack dies of cancer

August 26, 2015 by legitgov

'Dust lady' of 9/11 attack dies of cancer | 26 Aug 2015 | Marcy Borders, a 9/11 attack survivor known as the "dust lady" whose photograph became one of the enduring images of the terrorist attacks, has died aged 42 after suffering from stomach cancer, media reported on Wednesday. Borders became known as the "dust lady" after a photo showed her covered in dust as she escaped the World Trade Center during the attacks, BBC reported. She blamed her cancer on inhaling dust during the attack and suffered from alcoholism and anxiety in later years.

Virginia News Reporter, Photographer Killed in Shooting on Live TV

August 26, 2015 by legitgov

Virginia News Reporter, Photographer Killed in Shooting on Live TV | 26 Aug 2015 | (Moneta, VA) Law enforcement officials are searching for a suspect believed to have shot and killed a Virginia news reporter and photographer on live television Wednesday morning. According to WDBJ, the shooting happened around 6:45 a.m. ET at Smith Mountain Lake. Reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were conducting a live interview at Bridgewater Plaza when about eight shots rang out.

Pols urge TSA to ramp up anti-terrorism technology at railroads - especially Penn Station

August 26, 2015 by legitgov

Pols urge TSA to ramp up anti-terrorism technology at railroads - especially Penn Station | 25 Aug 2015 | The foiled attack on a Paris-bound train last week has hit home, reminding New Yorkers that the region's heavily traveled railways could be a target for terrorists. Now, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut are urging the Transportation Security Administration to ramp up terrorism-busting technology for the nation’s railroads, especially in New York’s busy corridors...A TSA spokeswoman said its specialized teams help local authorities visibly patrol railways, spot suspicious behavior and detect explosives.

GOP loyalty oath proposal in Virginia may signal trouble for Donald Trump

August 26, 2015 by legitgov

GOP loyalty oath proposal in Virginia may signal trouble for Donald Trump | 25 Aug 2015 | The Virginia Republican Party is considering requiring a loyalty oath from presidential primary contenders -- a move widely considered an early sign of GOP skittishness about Donald Trump's campaign.  State party officials are debating whether to require candidates to pledge their support to the eventual nominee and promise not to run as a third-party candidate -- as Trump has hinted he might do. The development could be an early sign of trouble for Trump, particularly if other state parties consider similar ideas. But it also is being debated cautiously by Republicans who worry that it could backfire and breed resentment among activists who are suspicious of attempts by the GOP establishment to control the party.

Univision reporter escorted out of Donald Trump news conference

August 26, 2015 by legitgov

Univision reporter escorted out of Donald Trump news conference | 25 Aug 2015 | "Go back to Univision," Donald Trump said when Univision anchor Jorge Ramos [interrupted another reporter when he] tried to ask a question at a Tuesday night press conference. Security guards escorted Ramos out of the room, much to the surprise of the other reporters in attendance. Ramos was allowed back inside about 10 minutes later. Ramos and Trump had a long, sometimes tense back-and-forth, and it ended with Trump saying, "You and I, we'll talk."

Obama gives Joe Biden 'blessing' for 2016 bid

August 25, 2015 by legitgov

Obama gives Joe Biden 'blessing' for 2016 bid | 25 Aug 2015 | Vice President Joe Biden received President Barack Obama's "blessing" to make a 2016 bid for the White House, according to a senior Democrat. But that's if Biden chooses to run -- the decision is his. While he doesn't need the President's permission, of course, a potential presidential candidacy was among the topics of their lunch Monday at the White House. The President made clear he would not stand in his way or counsel him against a run, the senior Democrat said.

Stock bloodbath continues: Dow drops as much as 1,089 points

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Stock bloodbath continues: Dow drops as much as 1,089 points | 24 Aug 2015 | Stocks plunged at the open as the market bloodbath showed no signs of letting up with the Dow tumbling as much as 1,089 points in the opening minutes of trading. The Standard & Poor's 500 index plunged 4.4% as the broad-based index joined the Dow in correction territory, a drop of 10% or more from its recent high. The Nasdaq composite index dropped 5% and also fell into a correction...The global stock rout then moved to Europe where major indexes there are off roughly 5%.

China stocks suffer sharpest one-day fall since 2007

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

China stocks suffer sharpest one-day fall since 2007 | 24 Aug 2015 | China shares dived Monday as the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was down 8.49 per cent at closing amid fears of economic slowdown. It was the sharpest daily decline since February 27, 2007, and followed last week's losses of 11 per cent for the week. The smaller Shenzhen Component Index closed down 7.83 per cent and the ChiNext Index, tracking the country's NASDAQ-style board of growth enterprises, closed down 8.08 per cent.

Dow Jones Industrial Average Plummets More Than 1,000 Points at Open

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Dow Jones Industrial Average Plummets More Than 1,000 Points at Open | 24 Aug 2015 | The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,000 points at the open Monday, a dramatic dive on a day when intensifying growth fears sparked steep stock-market losses world-wide.The blue-chip benchmark dropped as much as 1089 points before paring some of its losses. It was recently down 603 points, or 3.7%, to 15858. The S&P 500 dropped 99 points, or 5%, to 1872, entering correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite fell 371 points, or 7.9%, to 4335.

Men who tackled French train gunman are awarded the Legion d'Honneur

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Men who tackled French train gunman are awarded the Legion d'Honneur | 24 Aug 2015 | Three Americans and a British grandfather who prevented 'carnage' by tackling the French train terrorist have been awarded France's highest honour for bravery. U.S. Airman Spencer Stone, National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, their friend Anthony Sadler and Briton Chris Norman were presented with the Legion d'Honneur at the Elysee Palace in Paris. French President Francois Hollande, who pinned on their medals, praised the men for taking action in the face of terrorism. The ceremony was held as the first heroic passenger who wrestled a machine gun from the terrorist was today revealed to be an American professor.

French Investigators Seek Motive as Gunman Denies Terrorism

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

French Investigators Seek Motive as Gunman Denies Terrorism | 23 Aug 2015 | French investigators are trying to figure out why gunman Ayoub El-Khazzani attacked a train headed to Paris as he denies links to terrorism despite police across Europe flagging him as a radical Islamist. There's no hint of religious motive or affiliation to a radical organization in the 25-year-old Moroccan's statements, according to to a French official with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because of government policy. He's being questioned near Paris after his attack on a train from Amsterdam was foiled Friday by passengers including U.S. soldiers on vacation.

Dog found buried alive in France triggers online fury, petition for owner's 'maximum sentence'

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Dog found buried alive in France triggers online fury, petition for owner's 'maximum sentence' | 07 Aug 2015 | Photos of dog buried alive in the vicinity of Paris have sparked anger and outrage on social media, with the owner having been detained. He may be forced to pay up to a 30,000 euros fine for animal cruelty, and could spend up to two years behind bars. The French mastiff was found and rescued on Saturday by a man walking his dog in Carrieres-sur-Seine, west of Paris. The dog was surrounded by stones, and its lead had reportedly been attached to a sack of gravel to stop it from escaping...The owner claimed that the dog had run away, but security forces described his version as "not very plausible." "The dog is more than 10 years old and suffers from arthritis. It's difficult to imagine her running away," a source close to the probe told AFP.

Chinese shares fall more than 5 percent

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Chinese shares fall more than 5 percent | 24 Aug 2015 | Chinese shares were down more than five percent in the first minutes of trade on Monday, despite Beijing authorising the state pension fund to invest in stocks, the authorities' latest attempt to shore up the markets. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slumped 5.14 percent, or 180.44 points, to 3,327.30.

Multiple explosions spark huge blaze at American military facility in Japan

August 24, 2015 by legitgov

Multiple explosions spark huge blaze at American military facility in Japan --Residents said explosions began before 1am and lasted for ten minutes | 23 Aug 2015 | Multiple explosions have been heard at a US Army facility in Japan, according to reports. The explosions occurred at the Sagami General Depot in Sagamihara City, Japan, according to Shingetsu News Agency. Those in Sagamihara City, where the depot for the US military houses ammunition, heard loud blasts before 1am local time on Monday morning.

Donald Trump: 'The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder'

August 23, 2015 by legitgov

Donald Trump: 'The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder' --'They're paying nothing and it's ridiculous. I want to save the middle class.' | 23 Aug 2015 | Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would change the tax laws to force people who work at hedge funds to pay more in taxes, because "the hedge fund guys are getting away with murder." In an interview with Time Magazine published last week, Trump said he might want to "switch taxes around" because "I have hedge fund guys that are making a lot of money that aren't paying anything." He confirmed on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday that he would change the tax system to force those who work for hedge funds to pay more. [Gee, Scott Walker and the other Koch suckers are not going to like this...Contrast Donald Trump's position with corporatist fraud Obama, who is completely in the service of Wall Street. Obusha has classified TPP corporate takeover documents as 'state secrets,' punishable by imprisonment. --LRP]

White House in Chilcot 'cover-up': America bans crucial files that could reveal secret of why Blair invaded Iraq

August 23, 2015 by legitgov

White House in Chilcot 'cover-up': America bans crucial files that could reveal secret of why Blair invaded Iraq | 22 Aug 2015 | Dozens of documents which could finally reveal the truth about Tony Blair's reasons for invading Iraq have been suppressed by the White House after a year-long fight for their release by The Mail on Sunday. A cache of more than 80 files detailing discussions between Mr Blair and George W Bush in the run-up to the 2003 war have been found by the US Government -- but classified on the grounds of 'national security'. The move has infuriated relatives of British servicemen killed in the conflict.

Three US contractors killed in Afghanistan after suicide car bomber attacked NATO convoy

August 23, 2015 by legitgov

Three US contractors killed in Afghanistan after suicide car bomber attacked NATO convoy --9 Afghans, three US contractors were killed, 60 were wounded | 22 Aug 2015 | A suicide car bomber attacked a NATO convoy traveling through a crowded neighborhood in Afghanistan's capital Saturday, killing at least 10 people, including three US contractors, authorities said. The attack struck near the private Shinozada hospital in the capital's Macrorayan neighborhood, the sound of the powerful blast roaring throughout the capital. The bombing killed at least nine Afghan civilians and one foreigner and wounded 60, said Wahidullah Mayar, a Health Ministry spokesman.

S. Korea, US fly 8 fighter jets 'to show off force' amid escalating crisis with Pyongyang

August 22, 2015 by legitgov

S. Korea, US fly 8 fighter jets 'to show off force' amid escalating crisis with Pyongyang | 22 Aug 2015 | South Korea and US forces stationed on the Korean peninsula have flown eight combat jets simulating the striking of enemy targets in a show of force against North Korea's war threats amid the ongoing crisis. Four F-16 fighter jets from US forces Korea and four South Korean F-15k fighters joined together on Saturday "to show off the military might of South Korea and the US combined air force power," an official from South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. According to the South Korean official, the air warfare group has deliberately taken the flight route that would "alarm North Korea" and show the "allies' resolute determination" to retaliate any kind of provocation from the North as such actions would not be tolerated on the peninsula, reported Yonhap News.

North, South Korea top brass to hold talks on border crisis

August 22, 2015 by legitgov

North, South Korea top brass to hold talks on border crisis | 22 Aug 2015 | Senior officials from North and South Korea will discuss the current situation on the peninsula. The meeting will take place at the border village of Panmunjom, said South Korea's presidential office, as cited by the Yonhap news agency. "The South and the North agreed to hold talks related to the ongoing situation in South-North relations at 6pm our time at Panmunjom," said Kim Kyou-hyun, deputy national security adviser at the Blue House (Cheong Wa Dae), the executive office of the South Korean president in Seoul. Seoul said the initial proposal for negotiations came from Pyongyang on Friday.

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