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New US drone strike kills five in northeast Afghanistan

May 24, 2015 by legitgov

New US drone strike kills five in northeast Afghanistan | 22 May 2015 | At least five people have been killed and several others injured in a fresh US drone strike in the troubled northeastern Afghanistan, security sources say. Local Afghan security officials said that the attack took place in Kunar province on Friday evening. Provincial officials say the victims were Taliban militants, including one of their commanders. However, local residents say the attack claimed civilian lives.

Obama Signs Congress Review of Iran Nuclear Deal Bill Into Law

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Obama Signs Congress Review of Iran Nuclear Deal Bill Into Law | 22 May 2015 | President Barack Obama signed into law on Friday legislation giving lawmakers a chance to review any nuclear deal the White House seeks to hammer out with Iran. The U.S. and five other world powers have crafted a delicate framework with Iran to keep it from developing nuclear weapons. The law gives Congress at least a month to review the details of an agreement. During the review, the president would be prevented from lifting congressionally imposed sanctions on Iran.

Ireland legalizes gay marriage in historic vote

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Ireland legalizes gay marriage in historic vote | 23 May 2015 | Ireland became the first country Saturday to legalize same-sex marriage by national referendum, a vote that has highlighted the dramatic pace at which this traditionally conservative Catholic nation has changed in recent times. Just 22 years after decriminalizing homosexuality, more than 60% of voters approved the measure, with just three of the 43 constituencies left to declare results Saturday afternoon, state broadcaster RTE said. Electoral officers reported an unusually high number of people showed up for Friday's vote.

First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA 'on way to battlefield'

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

I-CIA-SIS flashback: First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA 'on way to battlefield' --The first cell of Syrian 'rebels' trained and armed by the CIA is making its way to the battlefield, President Barack Obama has reportedly told senators. | 03 Sept 2013 | During a meeting at the White House, the president assured Senator John McCain that after months of delay the US was meeting its commitment to back moderate elements of the opposition. Mr Obama said that a 50-man cell [I-CIA-SIS], believed to have been trained by US special forces in Jordan, was making its way across the border into Syria, according to the New York Times. The deployment of the rebel unit seems to be the first tangible measure of support since Mr Obama announced in June that the US would begin providing the opposition with small arms.

Murray Abbott, Missing Morgan Stanley Trader, Found Dead in Toronto

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Murray Abbott, Missing Morgan Stanley Trader, Found Dead in Toronto | 11 May 2015 | Murray Abbott, an institutional sales trader at Morgan Stanley in Toronto who had been missing since April 25, was found Monday by the shore of Lake Ontario near the city's Beaches neighborhood where he lived. He was 36. His death wasn't suspicious [?], Mark Pugash, a Toronto Police Service spokesman, said Tuesday in a telephone interview. Abbott was a vice president and one of 16 people on the institutional equities desk at Morgan Stanley's Canadian wealth-management division. [This is the (approximately) 72nd -- mostly young -- banker to be found dead of 'suicide' or 'mysterious circumstances' in the past couple of years? Banking: What a dangerous profession!]

Cleveland officer not guilty over deaths of two people shot at 137 times by police

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Cleveland officer not guilty over deaths of two people shot at 137 times by police | 23 May 2015 | A Cleveland police officer who stood on the hood of a car and fired his gun 49 times through the windshield at two unarmed passengers has been found not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter. Michael Brelo was also found not guilty of felonious assault, and discharged. On Saturday morning, Cuyahoga County judge John P O'Donnell said prosecutors failed to prove without a reasonable doubt that bullets fired by officer Brelo were the cause of death of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, or that Brelo had no fear for his own life during the volley of gunfire that ended a high-speed car chase on 29 November 2012.

Obama Takes Unexpected Setback On Trade Agenda As Fast Track Passes Senate

May 23, 2015 by walden9

Obama Takes Unexpected Setback on Trade Agenda as Fast Track Passes Senate | 23 May 2015 | President Barack Obama's trade agenda suffered a setback Friday evening during a series of last-minute maneuvers in the Senate. While the upper chamber eventually passed a bill that would help Obama streamline a trade pact with 11 Pacific nations, the final product threw a wrench into the president's plans ... But a key crackdown on human trafficking survived the legislative jujitsu. The White House considers the provision a deal-breaker, as it would force one of the nations involved in the TPP talks -- Malaysia -- out of the agreement. An immigration-related amendment authored by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) never got a vote, making it far more difficult for Obama to win over skeptical tea party Republicans in the House. [Obama's agenda is disrupted because a nation that deals in slaves cannot be included given the last-minute insertion of a clause barring human trafficking. Let that irony sink in. Here it is again: Obama is disappointed because a slave-trading nation will be excluded from the TPP. Just call Obama the anti-Lincoln of U.S. Presidents.--MDR]

Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Kansas has found the ultimate way to punish the poor | 21 May 2015 | Legislators in Kansas, not trusting the poor to use their money wisely, have voted to limit how much cash that welfare beneficiaries can receive, effectively reducing their overall benefits, as well. The legislature placed a daily cap of $25 on cash withdrawals beginning July 1, which will force beneficiaries to make more frequent trips to the ATM to withdraw money from the debit cards used to pay public assistance benefits. Since there's a fee for every withdrawal, the limit means that some families will get substantially less money. It's hard to overstate the significance of this action.

Senate approves Obama's secret fast-track 'trade' bill, includes sharia law nation of Brunei

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Senate approves Obama's secret fast-track "trade" bill, includes "Sharia law" nation of Brunei | 22 May 2015 | President Obama's trade corporate welfare agenda received a critical boost from the U.S. Senate late Friday with a bipartisan vote in favor of a "fast track" trade bill. "It's important to President Obama, and it's important to a lot of us here in the chamber," said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a lead sponsor of the bill. The Senate voted, 62-37, to approve a six-year renewal of trade promotion authority (TPA), which provides an expedited process to submit trade pacts to Congress. The bill now heads to the U.S. House, which is expected to begin work on the bill in June. [Start reading.]

GOP-Led Senate Blocks Bill That Would Have 'Ended' NSA's Bulk Collection of Domestic Phone Records

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

GOP-Led Senate Blocks Bill That Would Have 'Ended' NSA's Bulk Collection of Domestic Phone Records | 23 May 2015 | The Republican-led Senate blocked a House bill that would have ended the National Security Agency's bulk collection of domestic phone records. The Senate, struggling to prevent an interruption in critical government surveillance programs early Saturday, also rejected a short-term extension of the USA Patriot Act. The back-to-back votes left lawmakers without a clear fallback, although current law doesn't expire until midnight May 31.

Suit: New York City allowed Rikers Island corrections officers to commit rapes, sexual abuse

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Suit: New York City allowed Rikers Island corrections officers to commit rapes, sexual abuse | 22 May 2015 | Two inmates from one of America's most [in]famous jails say New York City allowed Rikers Island corrections officers to commit widespread sexual assault. The women filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against one of the jail's corrections officers and the city saying the officer repeatedly raped them. The women say when they tried to report the assaults, they were told nothing could be done. Part of the suit reads the officer threatened to allow other inmates to beat the women if they reported assault.

Attorney for ISIL suspect: Feds waving 'bloody flag of terrorism'

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

Attorney for ISIL suspect: Feds waving 'bloody flag of terrorism' | 22 May 2015 | The attorney for one of seven men charged with supporting terrorism accused the government Friday of "waving the bloody flag of terrorism" during a hearing in federal court to determine whether his client could be released before trial. In the most contentious and politicized hearing since a group of Twin Cities men were charged with plotting to leave the country to fight alongside terrorists in Syria, both sides hashed out in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis whether Abdirahman Yasin Daud, 21, should be released before he stands trial on charges of supporting terrorists. "The government came out here waving the bloody flag of terrorism," Daud's attorney, Bruce Nestor, said, mentioning atrocities and beheadings by U.S. allies. "What about the 5,000 Americans who died in Iraq under false pretenses?"

ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan and smuggling it into US

May 23, 2015 by legitgov

ISIS close to buying nuclear weapon from Pakistan and smuggling it into US [Oh dear. Better renew the Patriot Act and ensure the NSA's bulk data collection continues.] | 22 May 2015 | Islamic State has claimed it is 'infinitely' closer to buying a nuclear bomb from Pakistan and smuggling it into the US. An article, apparently penned by British hostage John Cantlie for the terror group's magazine, Dabiq, says the scenario is 'more possible today than it was just one year ago'. In an article entitled 'The Perfect Storm', it is claimed ISIS has billions of dollars in the bank and describes a 'hypothetical operation' which involves it buying a nuclear bomb 'through weapons dealers with links to corrupt officials' in Pakistan. It describes how the device could be smuggled into North America overland and by boat.

Judge Won't Give Public Access to Senate Report on CIA Torture

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

Judge Won't Give Public Access to Senate Report on CIA Torture | 21 May 2015| Civil libertarians cannot force a full disclosure of the nearly 7,000-page Senate report on the CIA's use of torture in interrogations, a federal judge ruled Thursday. The 6,963-page "Final Full Report" by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has been in a quasi-limbo since Republicans took control of Congress at the beginning of this year...With only a 480-page executive summary and 20 conclusions on the report released publicly, the American Civil Liberties Union went to federal court to get the report fully released, along with an internal CIA study commissioned by former Director Leon Panetta, under the Freedom of Information Act.

2 Anaheim men arrested by Joint Terrorism Task Force for allegedly trying to join ISIS

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

2 Anaheim men arrested by Joint Terrorism Task Force for allegedly trying to join ISIS | 22 May 2015 | (CA) Two Anaheim men were arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task Force for allegedly planning to join ISIS [I-CIA-SIS]. Muhanad Badawi, 24, and Nader Elhuzayel, 24, both of Anaheim, were arrested late Thursday night on a charge of conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist group. According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint filed Friday in court, Badawi and Elhuzayel used social media to discuss ISIS and terrorist attacks, expressed a desire to die as martyrs and made arrangements for Elhuzayel to leave the U.S. to join ISIS.

Pentagon sending 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

Pentagon sending 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq | 21 May 2015 | The Pentagon announced on Thursday it is sending 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq, following the rout of U.S.-backed forces in Ramadi by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The weapons will arrive as early as next week, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren. He said the U.S. is also expediting the delivery of other equipment, including ammunition and other equipment to counter ISIS's increasing reliance on vehicle-borne bombs. Within the last 30 days, the U.S. also helped to deliver coalition [US taxpayer-funded] donations of 22 million rounds of small arms ammunition and 12,000 mortar rounds to the Iraqi army, Warren said.

Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster but fails to block Patriot Act

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster but fails to block Patriot Act | 21 May 2015 | Two years after rising to national prominence with a 13-hour talking filibuster against drones, Rand Paul has made another marathon speech on the floor of the US Senate -- only this time in a bid to halt the federal government's mass surveillance of Americans' phone records and to derail an extension of the Patriot Act. Paul spent a total of 10 hours and 30 minutes on Wednesday calling for an end to the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance tactics, eating up one of just three legislative days remaining before lawmakers go on recess till 1 June -- the same day that key provisions of the Patriot Act are due to expire.

US vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

US vows to continue patrols after China warns spy plane | 21 May 2015 | The United States vowed on Thursday to keep up air and sea patrols in international waters after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a U.S. surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Chinese navy issued eight warnings to the crew of a U.S. P8-A Poseidon, the U.S. military's most advanced surveillance aircraft, when it conducted the overflights on Wednesday, according to CNN, which was aboard the U.S. aircraft. When the American pilots responded by saying the plane was flying through international airspace, a Chinese radio operator said with exasperation: "This is the Chinese navy...You go!"

Pentagon says US anti-armor weapons due in Iraq next week

May 22, 2015 by legitgov

Pentagon says US anti-armor weapons due in Iraq next week | 21 May 2015 | An expedited shipment of 2,000 lightweight shoulder-fired weapons intended to help the Iraqi army stop the Islamic State group's increasingly effective use of car bombs [as their handlers in Langley taught them] should arrive in Iraq as soon as next week, the Pentagon said Thursday. The shipment is among a variety of weaponry and equipment the U.S. agreed to send to Iraq on an expedited basis after Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Washington in April to plead for more help in fighting the extremists. In an update to the overall cost of U.S. military involvement in Iraq and Syria, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that as of April 9 the U.S. had spent $2.1 billion since it began bombing in Iraq in August.

Gov. Christie loses his marbles on national TV

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

Gov. Christie loses his marbles on national TV (Star-Ledger Editorial Board) | 19 May 2015 | For months, we have wondered how Gov. Chris Christie thinks he can win the presidency when New Jersey is in such rotten shape after his six years in office.Now we may have our answer: The man has lost touch with reality. In a national TV interview Monday, Christie was asked to explain why 65 percent of New Jersey voters think he'd make a bad president. His answer: We love him so much that we want him to remain our governor. "They want me to stay," he told Megyn Kelly of Fox News."

105,000 gallons of oil may have spilled in Santa Barbara County

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

105,000 gallons of oil may have spilled in Santa Barbara County --The 24-inch wide pipeline was installed in 1987 [because there are few regulations in the corporate-owned cesspool aka the United States]. | 20 May 21015 | (CA) The operator of an underground pipeline that ruptured and released up to 105,000 gallons of crude oil in Santa Barbara County -- and tens of thousands of gallons into the ocean -- said Wednesday that the spill happened after a series of mechanical problems caused the line to be shut down. The problems began about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday at two pump stations that move oil through the 11-mile pipeline along the Gaviota Coast, Rick McMichael, director of pipeline operations for Plains All American Pipeline, said at a news conference.

Six Baltimore police officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

Six Baltimore police officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray | 21 May 2015 | Six Baltimore police officers were indicted Thursday in connection with the April death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old who suffered a fatal spine injury while in police custody, touching off a wave of protests and riots across parts of the city. The expected grand jury action leaves the most significant charges in the case unchanged, and moves the case from the lower District Court and into Circuit Court. The officers, each of whom faces multiple counts, now also face a charge of reckless endangerment, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said at a press conference Thursday.

Obama's Secret 'Trade' Bill, Subjugating U.S. to Corporate Control, Clears Senate Hurdle

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

Obama's Secret 'Trade' Bill, Subjugating U.S. to Corporate Control, Clears Senate Hurdle | 21 May 2015 | President Obama's bid to secure a broad trade corporate welfare deal with Pacific Rim nations cleared a major hurdle Thursday as the Senate voted to advance legislation that would give him expanded authority to complete the accord. On a vote of 62 to 38, the measure for fast-track authority received just enough Democratic support to keep it moving, following a last-ditch lobbying effort by Obama and his top advisers. The fate of the legislation, known as the Trade Promotion Authority, hung in the balance for more than 30 minutes during the vote.

State Police Must Turn Over Adam Lanza's Papers - FOI Commission

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

State Police Must Turn Over Adam Lanza's Papers - FOI Commission --State has 30 days to appeal | 13 May 2015 | State police must make available to the public personal documents seized from Adam Lanza's house during the course of the investigation into the 2012 killings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the state's Freedom of Information Commission unanimously ruled Wednesday. The ruling came as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request from The Courant seeking copies of documents mentioned in the state police's report into the massacre but never made available to the public. The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees the state's police force, has blocked The Courant's efforts to obtain those documents since January 2014. As of late Wednesday afternoon, The Courant had not received the requested documents.

I've Read Obama's Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned.

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

I've Read Obama's Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned. | 19 May 2015 | "You need to tell me what's wrong with this trade agreement, not one that was passed 25 years ago," a frustrated President Barack Obama recently complained about criticisms of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). He's right. The public criticisms of the TPP have been vague. That's by design--anyone who has read the text of the agreement could be jailed for disclosing its contents...So-called "cleared advisors" like me are prohibited from sharing publicly the criticisms we've lodged about specific proposals and approaches. The government has created a perfect Catch 22: The law prohibits us from talking about the specifics of what we've seen, allowing the president to criticize us for not being specific.

Tough anti-terrorism measures could strip suspects of welfare, vote

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

Abbott using 'terrorism' as a cover for implementing more austerity measures: Tough anti-terrorism measures could strip suspects of welfare, vote | 21 May 2015 | Terrorists would lose their welfare payments and the right to vote, and the citizenship oath would be toughened up, under a raft of anti-terrorism measures being considered by the Abbott Government. The Herald Sun understands the Government will soon introduce laws to strip Australian citizenship from dual nationals who are committing terrorism offences. And further measures are being considered to combat Australians who fight alongside terror groups such as Islamic State, or support them by fundraising or recruiting. They include restricting their rights to an Australian passport, banning them from voting, and refusing them access to Medicare, the dole and any other welfare.

Wave of medical police state refugees to flee California if SB 277 signed into law

May 21, 2015 by legitgov

Wave of medical police state refugees to flee California if SB 277 signed into law | 20 May 2015 | California will be the origin of America's first wave of medical police state refugees fleeing medical tyranny if Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB 277 into law. SB 277 is California's pharma-funded vaccine assault on all parents and children. It would eliminate all personal belief exemptions and force nearly all children in California to be forcibly injected with vaccines that are knowingly manufactured with neurotoxic substances such as mercury, aluminum, formaldehyde and MSG. If he signs the law, Gov. Brown will be declaring medical genocide against children whose genetic makeup causes them to have extremely heightened risks to vaccine injury. No child will be safe in California, and the state will cement its position as the first real-life medical police state in America, where risks of a medical civil war skyrocket.

Jeb Bush blames unrest in Iraq on Obama

May 20, 2015 by legitgov

Jeb Bush blames unrest in Iraq on Obama | 20 May 2015 | Jeb Bush sharply criticized President Barack Obama on Tuesday for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but he declined to say whether he would order additional ground forces into the country to repel Islamic State militants. Speaking to about 60 business and Republican leaders in New Hampshire, the former Florida governor and likely presidential candidate blamed the Democratic president for allowing the rise of the violent extremist group that has captured vast parts of Iraq and Syria. But when asked after his campaign event how he would act to contain the Islamic State group in Iraq if elected president, Bush declined to offer any specifics, saying he would rely on the advice of America's military leaders.

Israeli settlers reportedly chop down 800 Palestinian olive trees

May 20, 2015 by legitgov

Israeli settlers reportedly chop down 800 Palestinian olive trees | 17 May 2015 | The official Palestinian news agency is reporting that Israeli settlers have chopped down and seized about 800 Palestinian-owned olive trees near the town of Shuyukh, east of Hebron. The report, by WAFA, the Palestine News & Information Agency, cited "a local source," whom it did not identify. The source, described by WAFA as "a local activist," told the agency that residents of the Israeli settlements of Bani Kadim and Asfar broke into an olive orchard near the town and chopped down the trees, which belonged to people who lived in the area.

Pataki: Send combat troops to fight ISIS

May 20, 2015 by legitgov

Pataki: Send combat troops to fight ISIS | 20 May 2015 | Former Gov. George Pataki, who is expected to launch a presidential bid next week, said Wednesday the U.S. should deploy troops to Iraq to fight ISIS [I-CIA-SIS]. Pataki, a New York Republican, insisted that a deployment of U.S. combat troops would be a limited mission unlike the 2003 American invasion of Iraq -- a war then-President [sic] George W. Bush had insisted would be short-lived...Pataki added that while Americans may be wary of sending troops back into combat the fight against ISIS "is our war." Other likely Republican presidential candidates, like Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Rick Santorum, have also said they would deploy ground combat troops to fight ISIS -- pledging to send 10,000 American troops.

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