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Armed contractor with criminal record was on elevator with Obama in Atlanta

October 1, 2014 by legitgov

Armed contractor with criminal record was on elevator with Obama in Atlanta 30 Sept 2014 A security contractor with a gun and three prior convictions for assault and battery was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta, violating Secret Service protocols, according to three people familiar with the incident. Obama was not told about the lapse in his security, these people said...The private contractor first aroused the agents' concerns when he acted oddly and did not comply with their orders to stop using a cellphone camera to record the president in the elevator, according to the people familiar with the incident.

White House fence jumper indicted on 3 counts

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

White House fence jumper indicted on 3 counts 30 Sept 2014 The man who jumped the White House fence and made it across the front lawn, through the front door and into the East Room was indicted on federal and local charges Tuesday. CBS News reports that 42-year-old Omar J. Gonzalez, ran unobstructed for 70 yards across the front lawn of the White House before entering through the North Portico. He got by a Secret Service officer with a drawn gun, and then proceeded to run through the entrance hall to the cross hall of the White House, past the staircase that leads up to the first family's residence.

CDC confirms sick Dallas patient has first-ever US case of Ebola virus

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

CDC confirms sick Dallas patient has first-ever US case of Ebola virus --David Lakey, Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services, said Patient's PCR blood sample 'definitely positive' 30 Sept 2014 A male patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola, the first case of the disease to be diagnosed in the United States, federal health officials announced Tuesday. The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital patient traveled from Liberia to September 19 and arrived in the United States on the next day, and did not show any symptoms, CDC Director Tom Frieden told reporters in a press conference. The patient, Frieden said, started to show signs of the deadly virus September 24, 'sought care' on the 26th. He said two days later the patient was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and isolated.

Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack 30 Sept 2014 US air strikes are failing to drive back Isis [I-CIA-SIS] in Iraq where its forces are still within an hour's drive of Baghdad...An example of the continued inability of the Iraqi army to remedy the failings, which led to its loss of Mosul and Tikrit, came on 21 September when Isis overran a base at Saqlawiya, near Fallujah, west of Baghdad after besieging it for a week. A bomber driving a captured American Humvee packed with explosives was able to penetrate the base before blowing himself up. This was followed up by an Isis assault team dressed in Iraqi army uniforms. [Gee, looks like the *billions* US taxpayers spent training the Iraqi army was all for naught. The US solution? Spend additional billions to train Syrian 'rebels.' Insane in the membrane.]

Secret Service fumbled response after gunman hit White House residence in 2011

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Secret Service fumbled response after gunman hit White House residence in 2011 27 Sept 2014 The gunman parked his black Honda directly south of the White House, in the dark of a November night, in a closed lane of Constitution Avenue. He pointed his semiautomatic rifle out of the passenger window, aimed directly at the home of the president of the United States, and pulled the trigger. A bullet smashed a window on the second floor, just steps from the first family's formal living room. Another lodged in a window frame, and more pinged off the roof, sending bits of wood and concrete to the ground. At least seven bullets struck the upstairs residence of the White House, flying some 700 yards across the South Lawn...That command was the first of a string of security lapses, never previously reported, as the Secret Service failed to identify and properly investigate a serious attack on the White House.

New US Marine Corps Crisis Unit to Be Based in Kuwait

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

New US Marine Corps Crisis Unit to Be Based in Kuwait 29 Sept 2014 The US Marine Corps is preparing to deploy about 2,100 grunts to be based out of Kuwait in a new unit configuration designed to respond to crises in the region, according to Corps officials. Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) Central Command will be equipped to perform noncombat evacuation, humanitarian assistance, infrastructure support, tactical aircraft recovery, fixed-site security and theater sustainment missions, said Brig. Gen. John Love, assistant deputy commandant for plans, policies and operations.Plans to deploy the unit predate the conflict in Iraq and Syria with the Islamic State.

Afghanistan Signs Pact Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops to Remain

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Afghanistan Signs Pact Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops to Remain [to protect the CIA's opium production] 30 Sept 2014 Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn. The country's newly inaugurated president US-installed hairball, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces. "This agreement is only for Afghan security and stability," said Ghani, who was sworn in on Monday. "These agreements are in our national interest. The Bilateral Security Agreement will pave the ground for Afghanistan to take control," he added.

US-led jets bomb grain silos in Syria, 'civilians killed'

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

US-led jets bomb grain silos in Syria, 'civilians killed' 29 Sept 2014 US-led coalition [of war criminals] airstrikes destroyed grain silos and other targets in parts of northern and eastern Syria dominated by Islamic State, killing civilians while only wounding ISIS fighters, according to an organization monitoring war in Syria. The overnight bombings hit mills and grain storage facilities in Manbij, a militant-held town in northern Syria. Coalition forces possibly mistook the structures for Islamic State holdings, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Monday. [Yeah, those grain silos were getting ready to behead a bunch of people - better that they were destroyed. *Insert eye-roll here.*]

Lawmakers Rebuke Secret Service Chief Over White House Breach

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Lawmakers Rebuke Secret Service Chief Over White House Breach 30 Sept 2014 Lawmakers from both parties on Tuesday assailed Julia Pierson, the director of the Secret Service, about security breaches at the White House, including an intruder who earlier this month breached multiple security measures and evaded capture as he ran around the first floor of the mansion. Ms. Pierson said in opening statements before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that she took full responsibility for the breaches and she pledged that "what happened is unacceptable and it will never happen again." But her promise of a comprehensive review of the incidents appeared to do little to satisfy members of the committee.

CDC: Ebola confirmed in Dallas patient

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

CDC: Ebola confirmed in Dallas patient 30 Sept 2014 A patient in a Dallas hospital has been confirmed to have the deadly Ebola virus, News 8 has learned. That person has been held in "strict isolation" as he or she was evaluated for possible exposure to the virus. This is the first case of Ebola confirmed in the United States. In a statement issued Tuesday night, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said the patient was admitted based on symptoms and "recent travel history."

'Extremist Disruption Orders': Facebook and Twitter to be vetted by anti-terror police

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

'Extremist Disruption Orders': Facebook and Twitter to be vetted by anti-terror police 30 Sept 2014 Extremists will have to get posts on Facebook and Twitter approved in advance by the police under sweeping rules planned by the Conservatives. They will also be barred from speaking at public events if they represent a threat to "the functioning of democracy", under the new Extremist Disruption Orders. Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will lay out plans to allow judges to ban people from broadcasting or protesting in certain places, as well as associating with specific people. The plans -- to be brought in if the Conservatives win the election in May -- are part of a wide-ranging set of rules to strengthen the Government's counter-terrorism strategy. [It's coming time where 'V for Vendetta'-style 'activism' is needed.]

NYU Reacts: ISIS security threat

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

NYU Reacts: ISIS security threat 30 Sept 2014 Over the past weekend, New York City subway stations have been under increased security measures by the New York Police Department and National Guard because of multiple threats made by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria...NYPD officers are stationed on trains and around the stations, focusing greatly on the more populated sites, such as the subway station located in Times Square. There were counterterrorism cars deployed at transit hubs, accompanied by detection dogs capable of sniffing out explosives. Some commuters were asked to open their bags at temporary [we hope] security checkpoints and the police were present in major locations throughout the city.

Dallas hospital isolates possible Ebola patient

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Dallas hospital isolates possible Ebola patient 29 Sept 2014 A Dallas hospital is holding a patient in "strict isolation" as that person is evaluated for possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus. In a statement issued Tuesday night, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said the patient was admitted based on symptoms and "recent travel history." The hospital, located at Greenville Avenue and Walnut Hill Lane in Northeast Dallas, said it is complying with all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the Texas Department of Health to ensure the safety of other patients and medical staff.

Worker Groups 'Alarmed' White House May Delay New Minimum Wage, Overtime Rule

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Worker Groups 'Alarmed' White House May Delay New Minimum Wage, Overtime Rule 29 Sept 2014 It was once part of President Barack Obama's [phony] "We Can't Wait" economic agenda. But now the wait might be getting even longer. The Labor Department is considering delaying a long-awaited rule that would extend new workplace protections to home care workers -- a possibility that has advocates for low-wage workers steamed. In a letter addressed to Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Monday, more than 40 labor and advocacy groups said that they were "alarmed" by suggestions that officials might delay the new regulations and put a "historic workplace victory in jeopardy."

Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Global Warming

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Global Warming 29 Sept 2014 The savage heat waves that struck Australia last year were almost certainly a direct consequence of greenhouse gases released by human activity, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made tying a specific weather event to global warming. Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013 and continued into 2014, briefly shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament in January when the temperature climbed to 111 degrees Fahrenheit. All five research groups came to the conclusion that last year's heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human emissions.

Pentagon Dispatches Counterinsurgency Military Experts to Ukraine

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Pentagon Dispatches Counterinsurgency Military Experts to Ukraine 28 Sept 2014 The Pentagon has sent eight counterinsurgency operatives to Kiev in order to share planning tactics and techniques with Ukrainian security forces. "Military staff will share with the Ukrainians some of the Pentagon's planning tactics, techniques and procedures while collecting data on the needs of its security forces, according to Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez. Staff arrived in Kiev, the country's capital, on Thursday and Friday and are beginning to assess the operations of the Ukraine Ministry of Defense," the Washington Times reports.

Children-paralyzing virus spreads across 40 U.S. states

September 30, 2014 by legitgov

Children-paralyzing virus spreads across 40 U.S. states 30 Sept 2014 Several hundred US kids are being treated for Enterovirus 68 – a respiratory illness that can cause children to become paralyzed. So far, the virus has infected 443 children in 40 states, and the District of Columbia, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The polio-like paralysis cases are not as frequent, but a California research team reported limb paralysis cases in five children as early as February. They did not regain the use of their limbs. Two of them were confirmed with EV-68 and respiratory illness before the symptoms began, and all of the children had been previously vaccinated against poliovirus.

Supreme Court blocks early voting in Ohio

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Supreme Court blocks early voting in Ohio 29 Sept 2014 The [Koch suckers on the] nation's highest court on Monday granted an emergency plea from state officials to block a lower court's order expanding statewide early voting days and times. The last-minute decision means early voting will not start Tuesday, but instead will be delayed one week...U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who oversees the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals where the case was appealed, referred the case to the full court, which voted 5-4 to grant the stay.

Armed White House intruder got further inside building than admitted

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Armed White House intruder got further inside building than admitted 29 Sept 2014 The intruder who scaled a fence outside the White House earlier this month made it much further into the building than previously reported, reaching an area of the building often used by the president for speeches and ceremonial occasions. It was previously admitted that Omar Gonzalez reached the North Portico of the White House, but the the Washington Post and CBS News disclosed on Monday that he sprinted much deeper into the building. Fence-jumpers have become more common in recent years but most are apprehended on the White House lawn.

New Reagan-era documents show legal basis for NSA surveillance programs

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Senile sack of Iran-Contra sh*t, Ronald Reagan, authorized NSA spying: New Reagan-era documents show legal basis for NSA surveillance programs 29 Sept 2014 Documents released by the U.S. government show it views an executive order issued in 1981 as the basis of most of the National Security Agency's surveillance activities, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Monday. The NSA relied on Executive Order 12333 more than it did on two other laws that have been the focus of public debate following the leaks exposing U.S. surveillance programs by former agency contractor Edward Snowden, according to the papers released by the ACLU. The order, signed in 1981 by President Ronald Reagan, was intended to give the government broad authority over surveillance of international targets.

Lavrov: Western bloc headed by Washington rejects UN principle that all states are equal

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Lavrov: Western bloc headed by Washington rejects UN principle that all states are equal 27 Sept 2014 The US-led Western block rejects the principle of the equality of sovereign states secured by the UN Charter while advocating democracy in the international arena, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov addressing the UNGA. "The US-led Western alliance, while acting as an advocate of democracy, rule of law and human rights in individual countries, is acting in the international arena from the opposite position, rejecting the democratic principle of the sovereign right of states enshrined in the UN Charter and trying to decide for others what is good and what is bad," Lavrov said at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Saturday.

US bid for secret Guantanamo force-feeding hearings prompts cover-up fears

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

US bid for secret Guantánamo force-feeding hearings prompts cover-up fears --The Guardian is among several news organisations planning to file a motion to challenge the administration's secrecy request 29 Sept 2014 The Obama administration has asked a federal judge to hold a highly anticipated court hearing on its painful force-feedings of Guantánamo Bay detainees almost entirely in secret, prompting suspicions of a cover-up. Justice Department attorneys argued to district judge Gladys Kessler that allowing the hearings to be open to the public would jeopardize national security through the disclosure of classified information. Should Kessler agree, the first major legal battle over forced feeding in a federal court would be less transparent than the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay.

Russia's Chamber of Commerce Member: United States Leading Force Behind Ukrainian Crisis

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Russia's Chamber of Commerce Member: United States Leading Force Behind Ukrainian Crisis 29 Sept 2014 The United States is the leading force that organized the crisis in Ukraine, member of Russia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry committee on energy strategy and development of the fuel-energy complex Rustam Tankaev said Monday. "The Ukrainian crisis is certainly a difficult and complex problem but the driving force that organized it was the United States," Tankaev said at a round table at Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency while discussing the results of the tripartite gas talks, which took place in Berlin on September 26. "The United States has had two main areas of work. The first was to deliver a blow to Russia's economy...it is a powerful and complex blow to the economy. The second task was a blow to the economy of the European Union," he added.

El Salvador says nearly 30,000 infected with mosquito-borne chikungunya

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Another gift from Fort Detrick? El Salvador says nearly 30,000 infected with mosquito-borne chikungunya 25 Sept 2014 El Salvador has detected nearly 30,000 cases of the painful mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya, and has undertaken measures to prevent the disease-carrying mosquitoes breeding, the head of the country's emergency services said on Wednesday. Since June, when the first case was reported, there have been 29,704 people infected by the virus, with 204 of them hospitalized, Jorge Melendez told Reuters. "Having never been in contact with this strain, the Salvadoran population has no defense," Melendez said, adding that nobody has died from the outbreak.

Airstrikes Hit Grain Silo, Gas Plant in Syria, Activists Say

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Airstrikes Hit Grain Silo, Gas Plant in Syria, Activists Say 29 Sept 2014 U.S.-led coalition warplanes bombed ISIS [I-CIA-SIS] positions overnight across four provinces in northern and eastern Syria, hitting a grain silo as well as the country's largest gas plant, activists said Monday. Washington and its Arab allies opened their air assault against the extremist group last week, going after its military facilities, training camps, heavy weapons and oil installations. The campaign expands upon the airstrikes the United States has been conducting against the militants in Iraq since early August.

Sen. Durbin calls for inquiry into fire at Aurora air-traffic center

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Sen. Durbin calls for inquiry into fire at Aurora air-traffic center 28 Sept 2014 As federal officials declared it will be at least two more weeks until the Chicago Center air-traffic facility in Aurora is back at full capacity, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D) said Sunday he wants the Federal Aviation Administration's inspector general to scrutinize the circumstances surrounding the sabotage that grounded and delayed hundreds of flights since Friday. Authorities say a contract employee, 36-year-old Naperville resident Brian Howard, set a fire in the basement of the facility as part of a suicide attempt.

US-led coalition hits Islamic State group in 4 provinces across northern and eastern Syria

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

US-led coalition hits Islamic State group in 4 provinces across northern and eastern Syria 29 Sept 2014 Activists say the U.S.-led coalition has carried out several airstrikes targeting Islamic State group positions in northern and eastern Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the air raids overnight took place in four provinces: Aleppo, Raqqa, Hassakeh and Deir el-Zour. The entrance to Syria's largest gas plant, Conoco in Deir el-Zour, was among the targets. The Observatory says there were casualties in the airstrikes, but that it has no concrete figures.

James A. Traficant Jr., colorful Ohio congressman expelled by House, dies at 73

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

James A. Traficant Jr., colorful Ohio congressman expelled by House, dies at 73 27 Sept 2014 James A. Traficant Jr., an iconoclastic nine-term Ohio populist in the House of Representatives who was convicted on corruption charges in 2002, becoming the second member of Congress to be expelled since the Civil War, died Sept. 27 at a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 73. The former congressman was injured in a tractor accident on his farm near Greenford, Ohio, on Tuesday...A fiery advocate for the disenfranchised, Mr. Traficant (D) became a local folk hero when he went to jail for three days rather than obey a court order to foreclose on the homes of unemployed mill workers.

Australian forces prepare for military action in Iraq

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

Australian forces prepare for military action in Iraq 29 Sept 2014 Australia's mission in Iraq is ramping up with cabinet expected to sign off on deploying troops and give the go-ahead for air strikes within days. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says mentoring Iraqi and Kurdish forces remains the focus, but she hasn't ruled out Australian military or humanitarian involvement in Syria. The federal government national security committee and cabinet will meet early this week to discuss Australia's role in the conflict in Iraq, with the timing of a decision to go forward just a 'question of days', Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

California governor vetoes drone warrant bill

September 29, 2014 by legitgov

California governor vetoes drone warrant bill 29 Sept 2014 The measure, which passed the state's Senate and Assembly with broad support, would have required law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using an unmanned aircraft, or drone, except in emergencies such as a fire or a hostage-taking. California Governor Jerry Brown [another useless DemocRAT] vetoed a bill that would have placed strict regulations on how law enforcement and other government agencies can use drones, his office said on Sunday.

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