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Barack Obama on extremism: 'terrorists are targeting young people through Twitter'

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Barack Obama on extremism: 'terrorists are targeting young people through Twitter' | 19 Feb 2015 | The US president called on Muslims around the world to fight the misconception that groups like the Islamic State speak for them. In his most direct remarks yet about any link between Islam and violent extremist attacks, Barack Obama said on Wednesday that "we will ultimately prevail" against militant threats.

Woman arrested at Heathrow on suspicion of terrorism offences

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Woman arrested at Heathrow on suspicion of terrorism offences | 18 Feb 2015 | A 25-year-old woman has been arrested at Heathrow on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offences. The woman, from Sparkbrook, Birmingham, was detained at the airport after arriving on a flight from Turkey at around 9pm, West Midlands police said. Her arrest by officers from West Midlands counter-terrorism unit was pre-planned and intelligence-led.

Poland to Pay $262,000 to Inmates Held, Tortured at Secret C.I.A. Prison

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Poland to Pay $262,000 to Inmates Held, Tortured at Secret C.I.A. Prison | 18 Feb 2015 | Poland will abide by a European court ruling that ordered it to pay a total of $262,000 in reparations to two former inmates of a "black site" prison run by the C.I.A., the minister of foreign affairs said on Wednesday. The European Court of Human Rights ruled in July that Poland had violated the rights of the two terrorism suspects by handing them over to the C.I.A. in 2002 at a secret facility, which is now closed, in northeast Poland. While there, the court said, the men suffered "torture and inhuman or degrading treatment."

Jeb Bush backs brother's NSA surveillance program 'to keep us safe'

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Mega barf alert! Jeb Bush backs brother's NSA surveillance program 'to keep us safe' | 18 Feb 2015 | Former Florida governor Jeb Bush delivered a full-throated defense of government surveillance programs on Wednesday, expressing a resounding faith in techniques pioneered by his brother, George W Bush, and staking out a position in sharp contrast with other prospective 2016 presidential candidates. Dragnet metadata collection by the NSA and similar programs were necessary to keeping US citizens safe from foreign terror threats, Bush said - unprompted - during remarks laying out his foreign policy vision as a prospective 2016 presidential candidate. Long before the Edward Snowden revelations, the administration of Jeb Bush's brother used warrantless wiretapping to sweep up communications by US citizens without legal cover. That program and others, including the NSA's phone metadata collection program, were made legal in retrospect by a series of Bush-era laws and legal opinions.

Superbug linked to 2 deaths at UCLA hospital; 179 potentially exposed

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Superbug linked to 2 deaths at UCLA hospital; 179 potentially exposed | 18 Feb 2015 | Nearly 180 patients at UCLA's Ronald Reagan [*puke*] Medical Center may have been exposed to potentially deadly bacteria from contaminated medical scopes, and two deaths have already been linked to the outbreak. The Times has learned that the two people who died are among seven patients that UCLA found were infected by the drug-resistant superbug known as CRE -- a number that may grow as more patients get tested. The outbreak is the latest in a string of similar incidents across the country that has top health officials scrambling for a solution.

UMass Amherst Reverses Controversial Ban on Iranian Students in Engineering, Sciences

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

UMass Amherst Reverses Controversial Ban on Iranian Students in Engineering, Sciences | 18 Feb 2015 | The University of Massachusetts Amherst has overturned a controversial ban that would have prohibited all incoming Iranian students from participating in certain graduate engineering and natural sciences programs. The reversal comes just days after the school announced the ban to comply with a 2012 federal law -- part of sanctions against Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons. The 2012 law denies visas for Iranian students in the U.S. if they want to work in the energy sector, nuclear science, nuclear engineering or related field in Iran.

Bear's Harrisville Twp. owners get a 30-day extension

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Bear's Harrisville Twp. owners get a 30-day extension | 13 Feb 2015 | Debbie and Jeff Gillium have been guaranteed 30 more days to keep Archie the bear on their property in Harrisville Township. Their attorney, John Oberholtzer, said he and the Ohio Department of Agriculture have agreed to postpone a hearing over the bear after the state issued a letter to the Gilliums granting them 30 more days to figure out what to do with Archie. The state [of sociopaths] has threatened to remove the bear.

Explosion at Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, California, injures four

February 19, 2015 by legitgov

Explosion at Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, California, injures four | 18 Feb 2015 | An explosion and fire ripped through a gasoline processing unit at an Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance, California, near Los Angeles on Wednesday, slightly injuring four workers and shattering windows of surrounding buildings, authorities said. Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the blast, which occurred shortly before 9 a.m. PST (12 p.m. ET), but there was no evidence of foul play, according to Torrance Fire Captain Steve Deuel. Deuel said a small ground fire following the explosion was quickly extinguished.

Protesters against fast-tracking Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to hold rallies outside US Rep. Richard Neal's offices

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Protesters against fast-tracking Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal to hold rallies outside US Rep. Richard Neal's Springfield and Pittsfield offices | 12 Feb 2015 | It's been almost 10 months since protesters opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, rallied outside Congressman Richard Neal's Springfield office to voice concerns about the free trade deal that's been under negotiation for about a decade. Demonstrators are again expected to descend on the Democratic congressman's office next week, when they'll ask him to publicly declare opposition to any fast-track legislation for TPP. Such legislation would implement the free trade [corpora-terrorists'] pact with minimal debate and no amendments, with the entire process taking no more than three months before the agreement is up and running.

Arizona State University police officer resigns after caught on video slamming professor to the ground for jaywalking

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Arizona State University police officer resigns after caught on video slamming professor to the ground for jaywalking | 17 Feb 2015 | An Arizona State University police officer quit after a video of him slamming a professor to the ground for jaywalking went viral and drew national attention. Officer Stewart Ferrin, 25, resigned Monday after an internal investigation found he was wrong to use so much force against ASU English professor Ersula Ore in May, according to the Arizona Republic. Although the university initially stood behind Ferrin, ASU notified him of its intent to fire him after the investigation concluded in January, records show.

Moderate Syrian rebels aka future ISIS fighters 'to be given power to call in US air strikes'

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Moderate Syrian rebels aka future ISIS fighters 'to be given power to call in US air strikes' | 17 Feb 2015 | The US and Turkey have reached a tentative deal to train and equip moderate Syrian 'rebels,' according to officials from both countries, amid reports that commanders will be given authority to call in air strikes. The Pentagon has previously said it was planning to send more than 400 troops, including special forces, to work with opposition forces at sites outside Syria. At the same time The Wall Street Journal reported that some rebels will be equipped with pick-up trucks modified with mounted machine guns as well as radios for calling in US airstrikes...

Obama Signs Executive Order Encouraging Companies to Share Cyber Security Information With U.S. Government

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Obama Signs Executive Order Encouraging Companies to Share Cyber Security Information With U.S. Government | 13 Feb 2015 | President Barack Obama asked for more collaboration and the open sharing of information between private-sector companies and the U.S. government at the White House Cybersecurity Summit at Stanford today. While pushing for that collaboration, he admitted it would be a challenge to both keep up with cyber threats and protect American's right to privacy at the same time. To encourage the sharing of information between the government and private industry in case of cybersecurity threats, Obama signed an Executive Order at the end of his speech. One of those provisions encourages information sharing and analysis organizations (ISAOs), which would serve as points of contact for information sharing between the government and the private sector.

Afghan civilian deaths hit record high

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Afghan civilian deaths hit record high | 18 Feb 2015 | Last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in Afghanistan, the UN said in a report on Wednesday, with more civilians killed in 2014 than since the agency began compiling figures in 2009. The report documented 3,699 civilian deaths in 2014, the highest death toll since the UN began keeping systematic record in 2009. Another 6,849 people were injured, bringing the number of civilian casualties to 10,548, a 22% jump from last year.

Radioactive water worse at Fukushima

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

Radioactive water worse at Fukushima | 17 Feb 2015 | A team of international experts expressed concern Tuesday about increasing amounts of radiation-contaminated water at a crippled Japanese nuclear plant. About 350 tons of toxic [radioactive] water are generated daily in the process of cooling three [nuclear] reactors at the Fukushima plant that suffered meltdowns during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. "The need to remove highly radioactive spent fuel, including damaged fuel and fuel debris, from the reactors that suffered meltdowns poses a huge long-term challenge," Juan Carlos Lentijo, head of the 15-member International Atomic Energy Agency team, said at the end of its 9-day mission.

U.S. delays Obama's immigration steps after judge's rebuke

February 18, 2015 by legitgov

U.S. delays Obama's immigration steps after judge's rebuke | 17 Feb 2015 | President Barack Obama's administration on Tuesday delayed implementing his unilateral steps to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation after a judge blocked the actions at the urging of 26 states accusing Obama of exceeding his powers. In a setback to the president, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, a city along the Texas border with Mexico, issued a temporary court order on Monday stopping Obama's executive actions that bypassed a gridlocked Congress.

Obama Immigration Policy Halted by Federal Judge in Texas

February 17, 2015 by legitgov

Obama Immigration Policy Halted by Federal Judge in Texas | 17 Feb 2015 | A federal judge in Texas has ordered a halt, at least temporarily, to President Obama's executive actions on immigration, siding with Texas and 25 other states that filed a lawsuit opposing the initiatives. In an order filed on Monday, the judge, Andrew S. Hanen of Federal District Court in Brownsville, prohibited the Obama administration from carrying out programs the president announced in November that would offer protection from deportation and work permits to as many as five million undocumented immigrants. The first of those programs was scheduled to start receiving applications on Wednesday.

'Absolute Mess': Quarter-Million Lose Power as Ice Coats Southeast

February 17, 2015 by legitgov

'Absolute Mess': Quarter-Million Lose Power as Ice Coats Southeast | 17 Feb 2015 | A band of snow and ice sliced across the South on Monday from Oklahoma to the Carolinas, cutting off power for almost a quarter of a million customers and threatening to paralyze major cities on its way to the Northeast. For once, Boston wasn't the center of the winter weather. Instead, New England-like snow fell on parts of Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia: 17 inches near Coleman, Kentucky; 15 inches in Logan, West Virginia; 14½ inches near Oceana, West Virginia; and 12 inches in Dickenson County, Virginia.

CSX train hauling North Dakota oil derails, cars ablaze in West Virginia

February 17, 2015 by legitgov

CSX train hauling North Dakota oil derails, cars ablaze in West Virginia | 16 Feb 2015 | A CSX Corp train hauling North Dakota crude derailed in West Virginia on Monday, setting a number of cars ablaze, destroying a house and forcing the evacuation of two towns in the second significant oil-train incident in three days. One or two of the cars plunged into the Kanawha River, said Robert Jelacic of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. CSX said the train was hauling 109 cars from North Dakota to the coastal town of Yorktown, Virginia, where midstream firm Plains All American Pipelines runs an oil depot. [STILL no oil-train safety regulations. Thanks, Obusha!]

Magnitude 6.9 earthquake recorded off Honshu in northern Japan; minor tsunamis hit coast

February 17, 2015 by legitgov

Magnitude 6.9 earthquake recorded off Honshu in northern Japan; minor tsunamis hit coast | 17 Feb 2015 | Minor tsunamis have hit the coast of northern Japan after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake struck off the coast, the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) say. A wave of 10 centimetres was monitored on the shore of Miyako, eastern Iwate, at 8:47am (local time) after the agency warned a tsunami of up to one metre was forecast to hit the region. Minutes later a 20-centimetre tsunami hit Kuji town, north of 90 kilometres north of Miyako.

Rand Paul Pushes Kentucky Rule Change to Pursue Presidency and Senate

February 17, 2015 by legitgov

Rand Paul Pushes Kentucky Rule Change to Pursue Presidency and Senate | 16 Feb 2015 | Rand Paul is actively looking for ways to run for both president and re-election to the U.S. Senate, something standard in many states, but not legal in his home state of Kentucky. However, the state GOP has some serious concerns about his desired scenario. Paul wrote a letter last week to the state party hoping to convince its members to create a presidential caucus, over a primary in 2016, the Lexington Herald-Leader first reported and the Kentucky GOP state party chairman confirmed to ABC News. Paul's letter argued it would make Kentucky more relevant in the primary process, but it also deals with the prohibition on candidates appearing on the same ballot twice.

Islamic School in West Warwick defaced with racial insults

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Islamic School in West Warwick defaced with racial insults | 15 Feb 2015 | A day after holding a vigil for three Muslim students killed in North Carolina, the Islamic School of Rhode Island was vandalized. Some time Saturday night racial slurs were spray-painted over the entrance of the school that serves students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, school officials said. Orange paint covered the school's doors with the words, "Now this is a hate crime" and "pigs," among other expletives referencing the prophet Muhammad.

Find Out If U.K. Spied On You Illegally Via NSA's Prism, Upstream

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Find Out If U.K. Spied On You Illegally Via NSA's Prism, Upstream | 16 Feb 2015 | Following a landmark legal ruling earlier this month that, prior to December 2014, the U.K.'s spy agency GCHQ acted illegally by receiving data from the NSA's surveillance dragnets, privacy advocacy organization Privacy International has set up an online form where people can submit a request to be informed whether they were spied on in the past. This only applies to retrospective snooping by the British -- which is what the court in question, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), deemed GCHQ to have improperly engaged in. And it also only applies specifically to the NSA's Prism surveillance program, where it collects data direct from U.S. Internet companies, and to Upstream, where it taps directly into Internet cables to gather data -- and where the data from those programs was passed on to the British.

News outlet to release more secrets of US National Security Agency obtained from cybersecurity firm in Mexico

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

News outlet to release more secrets of US National Security Agency obtained from cybersecurity firm in Mexico --Latest NSA were discovered by non-US cybersecurity firm operating in Mexico - sources | 16 Feb 2015 | A yet-to-be identified news outlet is preparing to release top secrets of the US National Security Agency (NSA), adding to the woes of the intelligence wing which is still suffering from the massive leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The Washington Free Beacon citing intelligence officials has reported that the NSA is preparing for further massive data leaks, which are expected to be published by a news outlet in the near future. The agency is taking steps to minimise the possible damage the leaks will cause, the report on 13 February said.

Copenhagen Shooting Suspect ID'd as 22-Year-Old Man, Was 'Well Known' to Police

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Copenhagen Shooting Suspect ID'd as 22-Year-Old Man, Was 'Well Known' to Police | 15 Feb 2015 | A wary Denmark kept a high alert Sunday after a gunman attacked a 'free speech' forum featuring a controversial cartoonist racist nutjob, then fired shots near a synagogue before police tracked him down and killed him when he opened fire again. As of Sunday night, police still hadn't released the name of the gunman, who they said was wearing clothes similar to the synagogue shooter and had two guns when officers shot him to death early Sunday. Police did say in a statement that the suspected shooter was a 22-year-old man born in Denmark. He was "well-known by the police for several criminal incidents," according to police.

Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Egypt bombs Islamic State targets in Libya | 16 Feb 2015 | Egypt's air force bombed Islamic State targets inside Libya on Monday, a day after the group released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptians there. It was the first time Egypt confirmed launching air strikes against the group in neighboring Libya, suggesting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is ready to escalate his battle against militants seeking to topple his government. The military said the dawn strike, in which Libya's air force also participated, hit Islamic State camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in Libya, where a [US-engendered] civil conflict has plunged the country into near anarchy.

Egypt and Libya launch air strikes against Isis after militants reportedly post beheadings video

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Egypt and Libya launch air strikes against Isis after militants reportedly post beheadings video | 16 Feb 2015 | Egypt reported that its war planes had struck Isis targets in Libya, shortly after President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi vowed revenge for the release by Isis-affiliated militants of a video of a mass killing of Christians. A spokesman for the Armed Forces General Command announced the strikes on state radio Monday, marking the first time Cairo had publicly acknowledged taking military action in neighbouring Libya. Libya's air force meanwhile announced it had launched strikes in the eastern city of Darna, which was taken over by an Isis affiliate last year.

Copenhagen attacks: Danish police charge two men

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Copenhagen attacks: Danish police charge two men | 16 Feb 2015 | Danish police say two people detained on Sunday have been charged with aiding the man suspected of the Copenhagen terror attacks. "The two men are charged with helping through advice and deeds the perpetrator in relation to the shootings at Krudttönden and in Krystalgade," the police said in a statement, referring to the location of the two attacks.

Ebola cases prompt mini-quarantine in Sierra Leone capital

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Ebola cases prompt mini-quarantine in Sierra Leone capital | 14 Feb 2015 | Sierra Leone imposed a quarantine in a fishing district of the capital city, Freetown, after at least five new Ebola cases were confirmed there, an official said Saturday. The measure, imposed Friday, affects the coastal district of Aberdeen...said OB Sisay, director of the Situation Room at the National Ebola Response Center. A control center has been established in the area, and contact tracing and surveillance officers have been deployed, Sisay said.

Egypt says it bombed Islamic State targets in Libya - state television

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Egypt says it bombed Islamic State targets in Libya - state television | 16 Feb 2015 | Egypt's military said in a statement on state television it had carried out an air strike against Islamic State targets in Libya at dawn on Monday, a day after the group released a video appearing to show the beheading of 21 Egyptians there. The attack focused on Islamic State camps, training sites and weapons storage areas in Libya, where Islamist militants have thrived amid chaos. President Dictator and war criminal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has repeatedly said militants based in Libya pose a serious security threat to Egypt, a strategic U.S. ally that is fighting insurgents in the Sinai who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

Boehner ready to let funding lapse for U.S. Homeland Security agency

February 16, 2015 by legitgov

Boehner ready to let funding lapse for U.S. Homeland Security agency | 15 Feb 2015 | John Boehner, the Republican U.S. House of Representatives speaker, said he is willing to let funding for the Department of Homeland Security lapse as part of a Republican push to roll back President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration. With a Feb. 27 deadline looming for funding the department, Senate Democrats three times this month blocked consideration of the Homeland Security appropriations bill, which has already been approved by the House. "Senate Democrats are the ones standing in the way. They’re the ones jeopardizing funding," Boehner told Fox News on Sunday. Asked if he was prepared to let financing for the department lapse, he said: "Certainly. The House has acted. We've done our job."

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