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NBC News admits blaming pro-Assad group for capturing its journalists when US-backed Free Syrian Army did kidnapping

April 16, 2015 by legitgov

NBC News admits blaming pro-Assad group for capturing its journalists when US-backed Free Syrian Army did kidnapping | 16 April 2015 | An NBC News [sic] journalist [sic] who was kidnapped in Syria has uncovered new details that he was misled about the affiliations of the group who took him. NBC News chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel and three other crew members were detained in December 2012 while trying to move into Syria from Turkey. Five days after being caught, Engel said the crew managed to escape while being moved from one location to another. They claimed that the kidnappers were group supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but now the network admitted it rushed to conclusions due to "an elaborate ruse." ...The New York Times concluded that Engel's team “was almost certainly taken by a Sunni criminal element affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the loose alliance of rebels opposed to Mr. Assad.”

NSA and FBI fight to retain spy powers as surveillance law nears expiration

April 16, 2015 by legitgov

NSA and FBI fight to retain spy powers as surveillance law nears expiration | 15 April 2015 | With about 45 days remaining before a major post-9/11 surveillance authorization expires, representatives of the National Security Agency and the FBI are taking to Capitol Hill to convince legislators to preserve their sweeping spy powers. That effort effectively re-inaugurates a surveillance debate in Congress that has spent much of 2015 behind closed doors. Within days, congressional sources tell the Guardian, the premiere NSA reform bill of the last Congress, known as the USA Freedom Act, is set for reintroduction -- and this time, some former supporters fear the latest version of the bill will squander an opportunity for even broader surveillance reform.

Copter pilot says he emailed to White House before flying

April 16, 2015 by legitgov

Copter pilot says he emailed to White House before flying | 15 April 2105 | Doug Hughes, who flew his small helicopter over restricted airspace, over the US Capitol in Washington on Wednesday, was apparently expected to do so according to police in the area but they thought that he "would land on the east side of the capital," opposite to where he landed prior to being arrested. Right before flying his gyrocopter over Congress, Hughes announced on a website, "My flight is not a secret. Before I took off, I sent an Email to info@barackobama.com. The letter is intended to persuade the guardians of the Capitol that I am not a threat and that shooting me down will be a bigger headache than letting me deliver these letters to Congress."

20 killed in bomb attacks in, around Baghdad

April 16, 2015 by legitgov

20 killed in bomb attacks in, around Baghdad | 14 April 2105 | At least 20 Iraqi people have reportedly lost their lives in a wave of bomb attacks in and around the capital, Baghdad. According to Iraqi police sources, at least seven Iraqi individuals lost their lives in a car bomb attack in a commercial area in the town of Mahmoudiyah, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) south of Baghdad. As many as thirteen people, who were in line to buy bread in the area, sustained injuries as well. Another four civilians were killed and 10 others suffered injuries in a separate bomb attack in a parking lot outside Baghdad’s Yarmouk hospital, the police sources added.

Denver TSA agents targeted 'attractive' passengers for pat-downs -authorities

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

Well, knock me over with a medium-sized feather! Denver TSA agents targeted 'attractive' passengers for pat-downs -authorities | 14 April 2015 | The Transportation Security Administration has fired two screeners at Denver's international airport who schemed to conduct pat-down searches on attractive male passengers, officials said on Tuesday. The sackings follow a number of controversies over the screening of passengers at U.S. airports since 2010, when the agency adopted heightened security measures including full body imaging and pat downs. In November, a TSA employee tipped off the agency that a male screener at the airport told her he groped male passengers he found attractive, according to a Denver police report.

Helicopter lands on West Front lawn of US Capitol, building goes into lockdown

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

Helicopter lands on West Front lawn of US Capitol, building goes into lockdown | 15 April 2015 | A major security breach occurred on Wednesday afternoon when a small helicopter landed on the US Capitol West Front lawn. The Capitol building went into lockdown as the single-seat craft came to a halt and disbelieving members of the public watched as police rushed to arrest the occupant. Bomb disposal teams moved in quickly afterwards and used remote controlled robots to check the small craft embossed with the US Postal Service logo for any potential explosives. The air space over the US Capitol and the White House is a no-fly zone and questions have already been raised as to how a small piloted aircraft could get so close to the president and the seat of the US Government.

Obama Endorses Removing Cuba From Terrorism List

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

Obama Endorses Removing Cuba From Terrorism List | 14 April 2015 | The White House announced on Tuesday that President Obama intends to remove Cuba from the American government's list of nations that sponsor terrorism, eliminating a major obstacle to the restoration of diplomatic relations after decades of hostilities. The decision to remove Cuba from the list is a crucial step in Mr. Obama's effort to turn the page on a Cold War-era dispute...For more than 30 years, Cuba has been on the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation shared only by Iran, Sudan and Syria [when it should instead be shared by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia].

U.S. Congress approves means-testing of Medicare beneficiaries

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

U.S. Congress approves means-testing of Medicare beneficiaries | 14 April 2015 | Congress on Tuesday approved a bill to repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement [sic] just in time to head off a 21 percent cut in the doctors' pay. Final action came as the Senate voted 92-8 to approve the so-called "doc fix". The bill now goes to President Barack Obama, and he is expected to sign it into law. The measure was drafted last month by Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The bill would also require means-testing of Medicare beneficiaries so higher income people pay higher premiums.

Marco Rubio, calling on new conservative generation, launches presidential run

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

Marco Rubio, calling on new conservative generation, launches presidential run | 13 April 2015 | Marco Rubio stood Monday in the grand hall of Miami's Freedom Tower, the place where Cuban exiles were first welcomed into the United States, and declared himself the heir to their legacy as the newest candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Rubio, who rose from the obscure West Miami City Commission to the U.S. Senate in a mere dozen years, cast himself as a break from the past -- a message pointed directly at his onetime mentor and likely Republican rival Jeb Bush and Democrat Hillary Clinton, who unveiled her own presidential bid Sunday. He delivered a speech thin on policy details but aspirational in its message, repeating the personal narrative he has effectively deployed since becoming the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.

Chris Christie's big presidential idea: torch Social Security

April 15, 2015 by legitgov

Chris Christie's big presidential idea: torch Social Security | 14 April 2015 | Chris Christie, trying desperately to keep his presidential hopes alive, wants to look bold, and he's not above throwing millions of elderly Americans under his campaign bus to do so. That's the only conceivable explanation for the New Jersey Republican governor's misinformed and dangerous proposals to "fix" Social Security. In his big campaign speech delivered Tuesday in New Hampshire, Christie showed that he doesn't understand what Social Security is for, why it exists, how it's funded, or who gets benefits and why. [See: $45 Billion in U.S. Tax Dollars Goes Missing in Afghanistan - Audit 1 April 2015 then start reading.]

Japan Court Halts Restart of Two Nuclear Reactors

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

Japan Court Halts Restart of Two Nuclear Reactors | 14 April 2015 | A Japanese court cited safety concerns in ordering a halt to plans to restart two nuclear reactors Tuesday, slowing progress toward a return to nuclear-generated electricity in Japan. The Fukui district court's injunction--the first against any nuclear plant in Japan--came as the government was poised to officially restore nuclear power as an important energy source, despite the opposition of a majority of Japanese. The injunction against the return to operation of reactors No. 3 and No. 4 at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Takahama nuclear plant in western Fukui prefecture takes effect immediately.

US paratroops convoy to western Ukraine for 'training mission'

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

US paratroops convoy to western Ukraine for 'training mission' | 13 April 2015 U.S. paratroopers have arrived in Ukraine for Operation Fearless Guardian, a six-month effort to train Ukraine's newly established national guard force [of Nazis, war criminals, and terrorists]. The first troops from the 173rd Airborne Brigade arrived Friday in western Ukraine, delivering military cargo after completing a 1,100-mile convoy from their home station in Vicenza, Italy, the Army said. The convoy of 50 paratroops and 25 vehicles traveled through Austria, Germany and Poland before arriving in Yavoriv, Ukraine. About 300 U.S. soldiers will deploy for the effort, which centers on training three battalions of Ukrainian troops in a range of infantry tactics.

NATO ships arrive in Scotland for massive joint exercises

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

NATO ships arrive in Scotland for massive joint exercises | 11 April 2015 | NATO's Standing Naval Forces have arrived in Scotland for the largest-ever Joint Warrior Drill, which will include 50 ships, 70 aircraft and 13,000 personnel from 14 countries. The biannual military drills will be conducted between the 11 and 24 April, according to a statement released by the alliance. The aim of the exercises is to provide complex and coordinated training between military forces from various countries and to integrate land and maritime forces. They will also have an anti-terrorist dimension.

US, UK thank Russia for evacuation of their citizens from Yemen

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

US, UK thank Russia for evacuation of their citizens from Yemen | 13 April 2015 | The British Foreign Office, as well as the US Secretary of State, have thanked Moscow for the evacuation of their citizens from war-torn Yemen, as Russian planes and ships take hundreds of Russian and foreign nationals from the conflict zone. In a phone conversation with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry "expressed gratitude for assistance in evacuation of American citizens" from Yemen, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in statement on Monday.

Railways Police Commissioner warns of 26/11-like attack in Mumbai; IB issues alert

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

Railways Police Commissioner warns of 26/11-like attack in Mumbai; IB issues alert | 14 April 2015 | There is a possibility of another 26/11 like attack in Mumbai in the next 2-3 months according to the Intelligence Bureau which issued an alert for the city after the Railways Police Commissioner wrote to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) warning of a terror strike. The Railways Police Commissioner letter claims that 8-10 Pakistani terrorists will enter Mumbai through the sea route and target railway stations and hotels. The IB alert said that terrorists will be from Lashkar-e-Toiba and are expected to be suicide bombers. All states and airports have now been put on high alert following the alert.

US strategic military transport aircraft lands west of Ukraine

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

US strategic military transport aircraft lands west of Ukraine | 11 April 2015 | Today, 11 April, a US strategic Lockheed C-5 military transport aircraft landed in the airport of Lviv, west of Ukraine. The pictures were published on the city's Fb page.

Oklahoma deputy charged with manslaughter in fatal Tulsa shooting

April 14, 2015 by legitgov

Oklahoma deputy charged with manslaughter in fatal Tulsa shooting | 13 April 2015 | Oklahoma prosecutors charged a sheriff's reserve deputy with second-degree manslaughter on Monday in the fatal shooting of a black man this month in Tulsa, the most recent in a series of U.S. cases that have raised questions about race relations and policing. Reserve deputy Robert Bates, 73 and white, fatally shot Eric Harris, 44, an African-American, on April 2. Bates thought he was using a Taser instead of his gun, the Tulsa Sheriff's office said of the incident seen in a video released over the weekend.

US Forest Service investigates expired Nestle water permit

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

US Forest Service investigates expired Nestle water permit | 11 April 2015 | The U.S. Forest Service is investigating an expired permit that Nestle [corpora-terrorists] has been using to draw water out of a national forest in Southern California for its bottled water business. An investigation by the Desert Sun found that Nestle Waters North America's permit to transport water across the San Bernardino National Forest expired in 1988. The water is piped across the national forest and loaded on trucks to a plant where it is bottled as Arrowhead 100 percent Mountain Spring Water. Environmentalists have raised concerns about the expired permit and the lack of government oversight in tracking the water being tapped amid the state's ongoing [fracking-, Nestle-, agribusiness-, and HAARP-induced] drought.

This Australian Clinic for Orphaned Bats is Adorable

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

This Australian Clinic for Orphaned Bats is Adorable | 05 April 2015 | The Australian Bat Clinic & Wildlife Trauma Centre, founded by American-born Terry Wimberle, aims to help these flying mammals, which can sometimes end up orphaned or in need of immediate care after being plagued with mites, suffering in extreme heat, or having run-ins with barbed wire, among other terrible things. Baby bats love to be held; they cling to their mothers, who then wrap their wings around them. Orphans lack the security of a winged embrace, so the clinic swaddles the babies.

Four Blackwater guards sentenced in Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

Four Blackwater guards sentenced in Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians | 13 April 2015 | A federal judge in Washington handed down prison terms of 30 years to life behind bars to four Blackwater Worldwide guards convicted in a deadly 2007 shooting that killed 14 unarmed Iraqis and injured others in a Baghdad traffic circle. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth sentenced Nicholas A. Slatten of Sparta, Tenn., to life in prison. Slatten is the only of the four guards convicted of murder in the incident, in which American security contractors [mercenaries] fired assault rifles and grenades into halted noonday traffic, a low point of the U.S. war in Iraq that sent relations between the two countries into a crisis.

New York's Hamilton College on Lockdown After Bomb, Shooter Threat

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

New York's Hamilton College on Lockdown After Bomb, Shooter Threat | 13 April 2015 | A New York college was on lockdown Monday after threats of a bomb and shooter on campus, according to school officials. Hamilton College, in the town of Clinton in upstate New York, was first locked down at 11:21 a.m. ET and about two hours later, the South Campus was evacuated after a suspicious package was found. The package was investigated and wasn't found to be a threat, according to the school. But students and staff at the school were told to continue to shelter in place at 3:15 p.m. as police swept the Kirner-Johnson building, a large building on the northern part of the campus where the threats were first reported, according to the school.

538's Nate Silver to Vox: Quit Stealing Our Charts

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

538's Nate Silver to Vox: Quit Stealing Our Charts [LOL!] | 13 April 2014 | Numbers guru Nate Silver accused news [sic] site Vox dot com of repurposing its maps without attribution on Twitter Monday, saying only "about 20%" of the maps the outlet tweets out are original. Silver similarly accused Vox of lifting charts without crediting the authors.

Fukushima robot stranded after stalling inside reactor

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

Fukushima robot stranded after stalling inside reactor | 13 April 2015 | Decommissioning work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has suffered a setback after a robot sent in to a damaged reactor to locate melted fuel stalled hours into its mission and had to be abandoned. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), said the robot stopped moving on Friday during its first inspection of the containment vessel inside reactor No 1, one of the three reactors that suffered meltdown[s] after the plant was wrecked in March 2011. Tepco, which recently conceded that the technology for robots to retrieve the nuclear fuel had yet to be developed [Ergo, nuclear power plants should NEVER have been constructed], said on Monday it would cut the cables to the stranded robot and postpone a similar inspection using a separate device.

N.C. College on Lockdown After 1 Shot Dead in Library; Gunman at Large

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

N.C. College on Lockdown After 1 Shot Dead in Library; Gunman at Large | 13 April 2015 | Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina, is on lockdown after one person was shot in the library, said Daniel Wiggins, assistant operations manager for Wayne County. The victim died, City Manager Scott Stevens said, adding that he does not think there are additional victims. The shooter is at large, Wiggins said.

The NSA wants tech companies to give it 'front door' access to encrypted data

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

The NSA wants tech companies to give it 'front door' access to encrypted data --NSA director suggested tech companies could provide an encryption key in pieces | 12 April 2015 | The National Security Agency is embroiled in a battle with tech companies over access to encrypted data that would allow it to spy (more easily) on millions of Americans and international citizens. The NSA continues to parade the idea that the government needs access to encrypted data on smartphones and other devices to track and prevent criminal activity...NSA director Michael S. Rogers says he might have a solution. During a recent speech at Princeton University, Rogers suggested tech companies could create a master multi-part encryption key capable of unlocking any device, The Washington Post reports. That way, if the key were broken into pieces, no single person would have the ability to use it.

2nd Topeka man arrested in connection with bomb plot at Fort Riley

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

2nd Topeka man arrested in connection with bomb plot at Fort Riley | 11 April 2015 | A second Topeka man is now charged in connection with an alleged plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at the Fort Riley. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom says 28-year-old Alexander E. Blair is charged with one count of failing to report a felony. A criminal complaint filed Friday alleges Blair knew of a plot by John T. Booker. The complaint alleges that in March 2014, the FBI began an investigation into Booker, who also called himself Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, concerning statements he made online indicating he wanted to wage jihad and to die in the process.

How the FBI is whitewashing the Saudi connection to 9/11

April 13, 2015 by legitgov

How the FBI is whitewashing the Saudi connection to 9/11 | 12 April 2015 | Just 15 days before the 9/11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family suddenly abandoned their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind jewelry, clothes, opulent furniture, a driveway full of cars -- including a brand new Chrysler PT Cruiser -- and even a refrigerator full of food. About the only thing not left behind was a forwarding address...Former Democratic Sen. Bob Graham, who in 2002 chaired the congressional Joint Inquiry into 9/11, maintains the FBI is covering up a Saudi support cell in Sarasota for the hijackers. He says the al-Hijjis "urgent" pre-9/11 exit suggests "someone may have tipped them off" about the coming attacks. Graham has been working with a 14-member group in Congress to urge President Obama to declassify 28 pages of the final report of his inquiry which were originally redacted, wholesale, by President [sic] George W. Bush.

FBI accused of whitewashing Saudi Arabian involvement in 9/11 after quashing report about Florida family who mysteriously fled US two weeks before attack

April 12, 2015 by legitgov

FBI accused of whitewashing Saudi Arabian involvement in 9/11 after quashing report about Florida family who mysteriously fled US two weeks before attack --Al-Hijji family left cars and food behind when they fled in August 2001 --FBI agent's report said family of Saudi advisor had 'many connections' to hijackers, some of whom were said to have visited the house | 12 April 2015 | The Federal Bureau of Investigation is facing accusations that it is 'whitewashing' possible Saudi Arabian involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Relatives of homeowner Esam Ghazzawi lived in the plush Sarasota dwelling until they fled and left cars, furniture and food in their refrigerator behind right before the 9/11, prompting some to say they knew about the attacks. The daughter and son-in-law of Ghazzawi, who worked as an adviser to a member of the Saudi royal family, had stayed at the 3,300 square foot house for six years but left in late August 2001, not even leaving a forwarding address. At least one 'family member' had attended the same Venice, Florida, flight school as some of the hijackers, according to a piece in the New York Post. Mohamed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, and two other terrorists on the flights, Marwan Al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah, were also reported to have visited the Sarasota house, according to Florida Bulldog.

Nuclear weapons courier threatens his colleagues

April 12, 2015 by legitgov

Nuclear weapons courier threatens his colleagues | 10 April 2015 | A key job requirement for federal agents ferrying nuclear weapons around the United States -- no surprise here -- is that they shouldn't have "anger management" issues. Incidents of "hostility or aggression toward fellow workers or authority [or] uncontrolled anger" represent rules infractions that must be reported to top officials overseeing the nuclear couriers, according to the government's personnel manual for them. But the commander of a nuclear courier squad based in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – where the uranium portions of H-bombs are fabricated, stored, and periodically moved to other federal sites – allegedly threatened to kill one of his colleagues two years ago, and senior officials did not learn about it for five months, according to a recent inspection report by the Department of Energy's top auditor.

Hillary Clinton announces 2016 White House bid

April 12, 2015 by legitgov

Hillary Clinton announces 2016 White House bid | 12 April 2015 | Hillary Clinton confirmed on Sunday what much of the political world has taken as a foregone conclusion for months, if not years: she's running for president in 2016. The former secretary of state, senator, and first lady formally announced her candidacy in a video Sunday afternoon. The video features a group of Americans talking about preparing for different life events. Clinton also tweeted the announcement, sharing her campaign website with followers and unveiling the campaign's new logo.

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Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against...

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