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Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant - Ukraine Interior Ministry

April 28, 2015 by legitgov

Forest fires heading for Chernobyl nuclear plant - Ukraine Interior Ministry | 28 April 2015 | The Ukrainian National Guard has been put on high alert due to worsening forest fires around the crippled Chernobyl nuclear power plant, according to Ukraine Interior Minister Arsen Avakov. "The forest fire situation around the Chernobyl power plant has worsened," a statement on Avakov's Facebook page says. "The forest fire is heading in the direction of Chernobyl's installations. Treetop flames and strong gusts of wind have created a real danger of the fire spreading to an area within 20 kilometers of the power plant. There are about 400 hectares [988 acres] of forests in the endangered area."

Occupied Baltimore: 500 National Guardsmen to patrol streets of city, force to build to 2,000 through day

April 28, 2015 by legitgov

Occupied Baltimore: 500 National Guardsmen to patrol streets of city, force to build to 2,000 through day [Martial law is and always has been the goal--long before the murder of Freddie Gray.] | 28 April 2015 | 10:20 a.m.: A spokesman says Monday's riot is the first time the Maryland National Guard has been called up for a civil disturbance in the state since 1968, when Baltimore erupted in violence after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Guard spokesman Lt. Charles Kohler says about 500 guardsmen are being deployed in Baltimore on Tuesday, and the force will build to about 2,000 though the day. He says that can build to 5,000, and officials also could call on Guard forces in neighboring states.

Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Rises Above 4,300

April 28, 2015 by legitgov

Nepal Earthquake Death Toll Rises Above 4,300 | 28 April 2015 | The death toll from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal topped 4,300 on Tuesday, disaster officials said. It was impossible to tabulate how many others remained missing amid the rubble, meaning the official number could rise well above the 4,349 announced by the country's National Emergency Operation Center on Twitter at 10:25 a.m. local time (12:40 a.m. ET). More than 8,500 people were injured, the emergency operation center said.

Lynch Sworn In as U.S. Attorney General, Succeeding Holder

April 28, 2015 by legitgov

Lynch Sworn In as U.S. Attorney General, Succeeding Holder | 27 April 2015 | [Rudy Giuliani-backed] Loretta Lynch was sworn in as U.S. attorney general on Monday, becoming the first black woman to serve as the nation's top law enforcement officer. Lynch, who was confirmed by the Senate on April 23, replaces Eric Holder as head of the Justice Department. Her confirmation on a 56-43 vote ended a five-month wait after her nomination...

Governor of Maryland declares state of emergency, activates National Guard

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

Governor of Maryland declares state of emergency, activates National Guard | 27 April 2015 | Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an executive order Monday declaring a state of emergency and activating the National Guard. Police officers were injured, stores were looted and fires were set Monday evening as vandals [sic] ran through Baltimore. Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County and Prince George's County police departments have sent dozens of officers to assist in Baltimore City. The Maryland Transit Administration said the Mondawmin, Upton, Lexington Market, State Center and Penn North Metro stations are closed until further notice.

SWAT teams respond to anti-police protests in Baltimore

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

SWAT teams respond to anti-police protests in Baltimore | 27 April 2015 | 4 p.m. - People are throwing rocks and bricks at police in riot gear near a Baltimore mall. Dozens of people were throwing objects at police, just hours after the funeral for Freddie Gray. 2 p.m. - The University of Maryland campus in downtown Baltimore shut down its campus at 2 p.m., saying it has been warned by the Baltimore Police Department that "activities" in the area may turn violent.

Baltimore police, protesters clash; college closed

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

Baltimore police, protesters clash; college closed --University of Maryland Baltimore shut down its campus | 27 April 2015 | Protesters hurled rocks at police in riot gear in Baltimore as demonstrations escalated Monday over the death of a black man in police custody...Numerous police officers in riot gear responded to the demonstrations near a mall in northwest Baltimore. Baltimore police said on Twitter that several officers have been injured. Officers used pepper-spray to keep the protesters back.

What Happened to $1.3 Billion of Taxpayer Money Sent Directly to U.S. Military Officers in Afghanistan? Pentagon won't Say.

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

What Happened to $1.3 Billion of Taxpayer Money Sent Directly to U.S. Military Officers in Afghanistan? Pentagon won't Say. | 27 April 2015 | The Department of Defense (DOD) refuses to detail what it did with $1.3 billion that was supposed to be used on urgent humanitarian and reconstruction projects. A report (pdf) from Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko pointed out that $2.26 billion had been put into the Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP)...The SIGAR report said "DOD could only provide financial information relating to the disbursement of funds for CERP projects totaling $890 million (40%) of the approximately $2.2 billion in obligated funds at that time." The other $1.3 billion of the CERP money that has been sent to Afghanistan has been spent on projects classified as "unknown" [aka protecting the CIA's opium pipeline].

'Extremely Dangerous' Mile-Wide Tornado Spotted in North Texas

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

'Extremely Dangerous' Mile-Wide Tornado Spotted in North Texas | 27 April 2015 | A slow-moving and "extremely dangerous" tornado was confirmed Sunday night in north-central Texas, much of which was under tornado watches and flash flood warnings as a storm system swept through with large hail and damaging wind gusts, the National Weather Service said. After moving through the town of Rio Vista, the tornado moved east into rural parts of Johnson County, Emergency Management Director Jamie Moore told NBC News. The tornado was about a mile wide when it was first spotted, he said.

Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

Death toll in Nepal quake rises to more than 3,200 | 26 April 2015 | The death toll from Nepal's earthquake rose to 3,218 on Monday, two days after the massive quake ripped across this Himalayan nation, leaving tens of thousands shell-shocked and sleeping in streets. Aid groups received the first word from remote mountain villages — reports that suggested many communities perched on mountainsides were devastated or struggling to cope. Landslides hindered rescue teams that tried to use mountain trails to reach those in need, said Prakash Subedi, chief district official in the Gorkha region, where the quake was centered.

Cecily Strong Takes on Police Brutality at White House Correspondents' Dinner

April 27, 2015 by legitgov

Cecily Strong Takes on Police Brutality at White House Correspondents' Dinner | 26 April 2015 | Saturday Night Live cast member and Chicago native Cecily Strong told some pretty brutal jokes at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday night. One observation, however, about the extrajudicial killing of black men in the United States seemingly pushed the boundaries and buttons of many of those in attendance. Strong played off a string of Secret Service lapses. "Let's give it up for the Secret Service. I don't want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they're the only law enforcement agency in the country that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot." There was a smattering of awkward chuckles, loud groans and a few boos, to which Strong responded, "Are you saying 'boo' or are you saying 'true?'"

LePage's plan to negate rule on nuclear power plants could be radioactive

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

LePage's plan to negate rule on nuclear power plants could be radioactive --Observers wonder why his attention to the issue begins with an attempt to disempower Maine voters. | 26 April 2015 | Consider yourselves warned, fellow citizens. Gov. Paul LePage [R-Grade 'A' Sociopath] is fiddling around with Maine's nuclear hot button...L.D. 1313, a bill quietly submitted by the LePage administration that would eliminate a longstanding requirement that any and all proposed nuclear power projects in Maine be put to a statewide referendum. Under LePage's new plan, scheduled for a hearing Wednesday at 1 p.m. before the Legislature's Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, voters would no longer have a say on the creation of nuclear power plants with generating capacities of 500 megawatts or less. (Just so you know, the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant's Unit 1 reactor...had a generating capacity of 460 megawatts.)

Car bombs, suicide attack kill at least 22 in Iraq

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Car bombs, suicide attack kill at least 22 in Iraq | 26 April 2015 | At least 22 people were killed in explosions across Iraq on Sunday, including a suicide car bomb attack on a military post in western Anbar province, police and medical sources said. The deadliest attack came when a car packed with explosives was detonated at an army checkpoint near the town of al-Nukhaib, an outpost on the route to western neighbors Syria and Saudi Arabia, killing at least seven soldiers, the sources said. Another six people were killed and 17 others wounded when a car bomb went off near Khilani Square in central Baghdad, police and medical sources said.

More Than 2,500 Confirmed Dead in Nepal Earthquake

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

More Than 2,500 Confirmed Dead in Nepal Earthquake | 26 April 2015 | Sleeping in the streets and shell-shocked, Nepalese cremated the dead and dug through rubble for the missing Sunday, a day after a massive Himalayan earthquake killed more than 2,500 people...The cawing of crows mixed with terrified screams as the worst of the aftershocks -- magnitude 6.7 -- pummeled the capital city. Saturday's magnitude 7.8 earthquake spread horror from Kathmandu to small villages and to the slopes of Mount Everest, triggering an avalanche that buried part of the base camp packed with foreign climbers preparing to make their summit attempts. At least 18 people died there and 61 were injured, according to the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

New quake sends new avalanches crashing down Mount Everest

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

New quake sends new avalanches crashing down Mount Everest | 26 April 2015 | Hikers and their guides on Mount Everest had not fully recovered from the death, injuries and trauma of avalanches caused by Nepal's massive magnitude 7.8 earthquake, when another one earthquake struck on Sunday. It was not as powerful at magnitude 6.7, but the epicenter was closer to the mountain, where people are still missing, some believed to be buried in snow. The new quake sent down new avalanches of snow and rock.

Twelve arrested in Baltimore after march to protest black man's death

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Twelve arrested in Baltimore after march to protest black man's death | 26 April 2015 | Thousands of people marched peacefully through downtown Baltimore on Saturday to protest the unexplained death of a black man in police custody but pockets of violence erupted when a small group smashed windows and threw bottles at officers. At least 2,000 demonstrators attended the march to City Hall, the largest turnout since 25-year-old Freddie Gray died a week ago. Police arrested 12 people who ignored orders to disperse, Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said.

Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll Rises to 1,970 After 7.8-Magnitude Quake

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Nepal Earthquake: Death Toll Rises to 1,970 After 7.8-Magnitude Quake | 26 April 2015 | The death toll from a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal Saturday rose to nearly 1,900 people in four countries by Sunday, a number that is likely to rise in coming days, officials said. Authorities said Sunday that at least 1,970 people were killed, all but 60 of them in Nepal. At least 721 of them died in Kathmandu alone, The Associated Press reported. Seventeen bodies have been found at Mount Everest base camp in the aftermath of an avalanche triggered by the quake, the president of a mountaineering association told NBC News.

Google Executive Among Hundreds Dead From Nepal Quake

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Google Executive Among Hundreds Dead From Nepal Quake | 25 April 2015 | Dan Fredinburg, a Google executive who described himself as an adventurer, was among the hundreds who died in a massive earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday. Google confirmed his death. Lawrence You, the company's director of privacy, posted online that Fredinburg was in Nepal with three other Google employees climbing Mount Everest.

Baltimore Mayor Asks Fans to Stay Inside Camden Yards Amid Protests

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Baltimore Mayor Asks Fans to Stay Inside Camden Yards Amid Protests | 25 April 2015 | During a game between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Saturday, protests in the city of Baltimore caused Mayor [police troll] Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to urge fans at the stadium to remain there for the time being. The gates to leave the stadium appear to have been locked at some point, as Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun later confirmed that the gates were reopened.

University of Maryland, Baltimore issues 'shelter in place' order amid violent protests

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

University of Maryland, Baltimore issues 'shelter in place' order amid violent protests | 25 April 2015 | The University of Maryland Baltimore issued a "shelter in place" order for its campus, telling students and staff not to leave buildings as protests turned violent downtown Saturday. "UMB Police have issued a shelter in place order for the UMB campus," the alert said. "Do not leave buildings. Avoid campus until further notice."

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island Evacuated Over Bomb Threat

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

Statue of Liberty, Liberty Island Evacuated Over Bomb Threat --All Clear Given Nearly 4 Hours After Caller Threatened to Blow Up Statue | 24 April 2015 | The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island were evacuated Friday following a bomb threat. Sources tell CBS2 this was the second threat made in two days with some kind of computer enhanced or pre-recorded message, CBS2 reported. U.S. Parks Police received a 911 at around 11:21 a.m., with a caller stating they were going to blow up the Statue of Liberty, a National Park Service Statue spokesperson said.

NSA spied on EU politicians and companies with help from German intelligence

April 26, 2015 by legitgov

NSA spied on EU politicians and companies with help from German intelligence | 24 April 2015 |Germany's intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has been helping the NSA spy on European politicians and companies for years, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The NSA has been sending lists of "selectors"--identifying telephone numbers, e-mail and IP addresses--to the BND, which then provides related information that it holds in its surveillance databases. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, the NSA sent selector lists several times a day, and altogether 800,000 selectors have been requested.

FBI agent's sniper rifle stolen at Salt Lake City hotel...just days before President Obama's Utah visit

April 25, 2015 by legitgov

FBI agent's sniper rifle stolen out of car's safe through the window at Salt Lake City hotel...just days before President Obama's Utah visit --Agent's stolen backpack and gear bags were recovered at a nearby hotel, but the gun has not been found | 25 April 2015 | An FBI agent's sniper rifle was ripped out of his car's window and stolen from a Salt Lake City hotel parking lot just days before President Obama visited Utah earlier this month. The gun was inside a hard rifle case and was 'secured properly' to a truck safe with padlocks and chains while the car was parked at the Marriott Springhill Suites, according to police. Marriott Springhill Suites, the agent's hotel, is next to the city's airport and just down the street from the state's FBI office. The hotel does not have surveillance cameras, according to the police report. [And, obviously, someone was cognizant of that fact and passed it along.] The Secret Service told Fox 13 Salt Lake City the agency was notified about the stolen rifle before President Obama's visit, but could not comment if the theft prompted an increase of security.

Nepal earthquake toll rises to 1,341; Kathmandu Valley 630 - Nepal police

April 25, 2015 by legitgov

Nepal earthquake toll rises to 1,341; Kathmandu Valley 630 - Nepal police | 25 April 2015 | A powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing more than 1,300 people, touching off a deadly avalanche on Mount Everest and toppling a 19th-century tower in the capital Kathmandu. There were reports of devastation in outlying, isolated mountainous areas after the midday quake of magnitude 7.9, Nepal's worst in 81 years, centred 50 miles (80 km) east of the second city, Pokhara. As fears grew of a humanitarian disaster in the impoverished Himalayan nation of 28 million, an overwhelmed government appealed for foreign help.

Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.'s Warrantless Spying

April 25, 2015 by legitgov

Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.'s Warrantless Spying | 24 April 2015 | The secrecy surrounding the National Security Agency's post-9/11 warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program hampered its effectiveness, and many members of the intelligence community later struggled to identify any specific terrorist attacks it thwarted, a newly declassified document shows. The document is a lengthy report on a once secret N.S.A. program code-named Stellarwind. The report was a joint project in 2009 by inspectors general for five intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and it was withheld from the public at the time, although a short, unclassified version was made public. The government released a redacted version of the full report to The New York Times on Friday evening in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

More fighting, air strikes in Yemen, civilian death toll exceeds 550

April 25, 2015 by legitgov

More fighting, air strikes in Yemen, civilian death toll exceeds 550 | 24 April 2015 | Fighting between Yemen's warring factions raged in southern and central parts of the country and air strikes hit Houthi militia forces in Aden on Friday, but there were no fresh moves toward dialogue. Riyadh pounded targets with at least 20 airstrikes across Yemen on Thursday and 10 more on Friday. The civilian death toll from the fighting and airstrikes since the bombing started on March 26 has reached an estimated 551 people, the United Nations said on Friday. Its children's agency UNICEF said at least 115 children were among the dead.

3rd bird flu outbreak hits 34,000 Iowa turkeys

April 25, 2015 by legitgov

3rd bird flu outbreak hits 34,000 Iowa turkeys | 24 April 2015 | A third case of avian influenza has been identified in Iowa, this time infecting a commercial facility with 34,000 turkeys in Sac County. The operation is within the 10-kilometer monitoring zone of the state's first case, a commercial turkey facility with 27,000 birds in Buena Vista County. That case was reported last week.

Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu; Gov. Dayton authorizes National Guard call-up, if needed

April 24, 2015 by legitgov

Minnesota declares state of emergency over bird flu; Gov. Dayton authorizes National Guard call-up, if needed | 24 April 2015 | Minnesota declared a state of emergency on Thursday over a fast-spreading strain of avian flu that has led to the extermination of more than 7.3 million birds in the country. The highly pathogenic H5N2 strain of bird flu has been identified on 46 Minnesota farms in 16 counties and affected more than 2.6 million birds in the state. State health officials said they were expediting prescriptions for the antiviral drug Tamiflu for farm workers and others who have been in direct contact with infected flocks...Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) said he had authorized the National Guard to be called up for duty if needed.

Several U.S. probes likely of drone strikes that killed hostages

April 24, 2015 by legitgov

Several U.S. probes likely of drone strikes that killed hostages | 24 April 2015 | The Central Intelligence Agency's Inspector General will conduct what could be the first of several investigations into the CIA drone strikes that killed American and Italian hostages and two U.S.-born al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] militants, U.S. government sources said on Friday. The Senate Intelligence Committee also is reviewing the attacks, a Congressional source said. Depending upon the results of the CIA watchdog's investigation, U.S. President Barack Obama could establish an outside investigative panel to examine the drone attacks, and broader U.S. drone policy, said a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Republicans won't challenge Cuba's removal from terrorism list

April 24, 2015 by legitgov

Republicans won't challenge Cuba's removal from terrorism list | 23 April 2105 | Republicans say they will not mount a challenge to President Barack Obama's plan to remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. South Florida Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen met with congressional colleagues last week to map strategy to prevent the de-listing and had planned to introduce a bill this week. On Thursday, she changed course.

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