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Only 'diplomatic support': UK Foreign Secretary says Syria military action ruled out

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Only 'diplomatic support': UK Foreign Secretary says Syria military action ruled out 01 Sep 2013 William Hague, the UK's foreign secretary, has ruled out military intervention in Syria stating Britain will only be offering diplomatic support in the light of PM Cameron's defeat on the parliament vote. The UK Chancellor slammed Labour "opportunists." "Parliament has spoken. I don't think it is realistic to think that we can go back to parliament every week with the same question having received no for an answer," Hague said on the Murnaghan Show on Sky News on Sunday.

F.B.I. Increases Surveillance of Syrians in U.S.

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

F.B.I. Increases Surveillance of Syrians in U.S. --F.B.I. agents are expected to interview hundreds of Syrians in the coming days. 01 Sep 2013 The F.B.I. has increased its surveillance of Syrians inside the United States in response to concerns that a military strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad could lead to terrorist attacks here or against American allies and interests abroad, according to current and former senior United States officials. The government has also taken the unusual step of warning federal agencies and private companies that American military action in Syria could spur cyberattacks, the officials said. The Department of Homeland Security and the F.B.I. have also sent out a classified bulletin alerting federal, state and local law enforcement officials of potential threats created by the Syria conflict, the officials said.

Obama asks Congress to approve military strike against Syria

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Obama asks Congress to approve military strike against Syria 01 Sep 2013 President Barack Obama stepped back from the brink on Saturday and delayed an imminent military strike against Syria to seek approval from the U.S. Congress in a gamble that will test his ability to project American strength abroad and deploy his own power at home. Before Obama put on the brakes, the path had been cleared for a U.S. assault. But Obama decided to seek the backing of U.S. lawmakers before attacking, as polls showed strong opposition from Americans already weary of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Approval will take at least 10 days, if it comes at all.

Rim Fire: Smoke covers Yosemite Valley as fire becomes 4th-largest wildfire in California history

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Rim Fire: Smoke covers Yosemite Valley as fire becomes 4th-largest wildfire in California history 31 Aug 2013 The Rim Fire became the fourth-largest wildfire in the history of California as it continued its steady burn Saturday, as smoke from the blaze for the first time darkened the sky over the Yosemite Valley, forcing many holiday vacationers indoors. According to the statewide firefighting agency Cal Fire, 348 square miles have been scorched. By last measure, the fire that has burned an area the size of Dallas was 40 percent contained with the help of more than 5,000 firefighters from state, federal and local agencies.

Fukushima Radiation Readings 18 Times Higher

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima Radiation Readings 18 Times Higher --Highly radioactive water dripping from a pipe used to connect two coolant tanks patched using tape 01 Sep 2013 An operator at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan says radiation readings are 18 times higher than previously measured. The staff member said they had found highly radioactive water dripping from a pipe used to connect two coolant tanks and that it had been patched using tape. The discovery of the pipe came a day after Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it found new radiation hotspots at four sites around coolant tanks, with one reading at 1,800 millisieverts per hour -- a dose that would kill a human left exposed to it in four hours. Last week the plant operator admitted 300 tonnes of toxic radioactive water had seeped out of one of the vast containers - one of around 1,000 on the site - before anyone had noticed.

Former Bush administration official: Israel may be behind use of chemical arms in Syria

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Former Bush administration official: Israel may be behind use of chemical arms in Syria --Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, says Israel may have conducted 'false flag' operation. 04 May 2013 Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who once served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's Chief of Staff, believes that the chemical weapons used in Syria may have been an Israeli "false flag" operation aimed at implicating Bashar Assad's government. Wilkerson said that the evidence that it was Assad's government that had used the chemical weapons was "flaky" and that it could very well have been the 'rebels' or Israel who were the perpetrators. Asked why Israel would do such a thing, Wilkerson said: "I think we've got a basically geostrategically, geopolitical inept regime in Tel Aviv right now."

North Korea says called off envoy visit because of U.S. military drills

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

North Korea says called off envoy visit because of U.S. military drills 31 Aug 2013 North Korea said late on Saturday it withdrew an invitation for a U.S. envoy to visit the country to discuss the fate of a jailed American citizen because U.S. military drills on the peninsula made humanitarian dialogue impossible. Robert King, special envoy for North Korean human rights issues, was scheduled to go to Pyongyang last Friday on what the U.S. State Department called a "humanitarian mission" to secure the release of Kenneth Bae. The North's Foreign Ministry said military drills last week by the United States and South Korea involving a B-52 bomber flight over the peninsula was "the most striking manifestation of the offensive and aggressive nature" of the exercise.

Kittens Arthur and August rescued after shutting down subway service for nearly two hours

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

Kittens Arthur and August rescued after shutting down subway service for nearly two hours 30 Aug 2013 A major crisis was averted in the subway Thursday on the fe-line. Two skittish kittens, who have been named Arthur and August, were rescued by a pair of cops and an MTA worker in Brooklyn after their precarious presence near the third rail shut down service for about two hours and shook up the city's usually stoic straphangers. Transit workers spotted the furry duo along an open-air stretch of the B and Q lines near Church Ave. at 11 a.m., prompting officials to cut power to the tracks.

White House sends Congress resolution seeking backing for Syria strikes

September 1, 2013 by legitgov

White House sends Congress resolution seeking backing for Syria strikes 01 Sep 2013 The White House formally asked Congress Saturday for authorization to conduct military strikes in Syria in a draft resolution framing a narrow set of operations, in a bid to ease fears of another open-ended war. The document says support from Congress, requested by President Barack Obama in a stunning development on Saturday, would "send a clear signal of American resolve."

Protesters gather to oppose possible military strike on Syria

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Protesters gather to oppose possible military strike on Syria 31 Aug 2013 (CT) Because of President Barack Obama's call to take action against Syria, protesters took to the streets as many people don't want to go to war. Eyewitness News was on the New Haven Green as members of the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism, also known as the Answer Coalition, and others protested. Other protests have been taking place around the United States including outside the White House as well as in New York and in Boston.

Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Syrians in Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack 29 Aug 2013 As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last week's chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit. From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, 'rebel' fighters and their families, a different picture emerges. Many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the dealing gas attack. "My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry," said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta. Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels were killed inside of a tunnel used to store weapons provided by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, who was leading a fighting battalion. The father described the weapons as having a "tube-like structure" while others were like a "huge gas bottle."

Pentagon officials say strike won't be hurt by delay

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Pentagon officials say strike won't be hurt by delay --U.S. military will also likely target buildings. 31 Aug 1012 Pentagon officials said Saturday that U.S. intelligence capabilities allow the military to track any movement of Syrian targets, which means a missile attack against Syria will be effective despite President Obama's decision to delay a strike until Congress gives its approval. Obama said Saturday that waiting would not weaken the U.S. ability to strike Syria if he gives the order. He said Syria's [*alleged*] use of chemical weapons against its own people deserves a military response. If Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces try to hide its military assets, U.S. intelligence capabilities can find them, defense officials told USA TODAY.

Google sent CLG Newsletter with 'U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations' as lead to spam bins

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Looking for Saturday's CLG Newsletter? Google sent CLG Newsletter with 'U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations' as lead to spam bins By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 31 Aug 2013 CLG readers, if you want to read the HUGE three-day news compilation sent early Saturday morning, you'll have to reach into your spam bins and move the newsletters to your inboxes. NSAssociate Google has taken upon itself to continue to censor CLG Newsletters by relegating them to the spam bins, despite REPEATED REQUESTS by readers to mark them as NOT spam. (Also note that Google+ will not permit CLG to have a page.) If you did not receive this important compilation, please let me know at lori @ legitgov.org and I will forward it to you.

Obama seeks military action in Syria

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Obama seeks military action in Syria 31 Aug 2013 President Obama said on Saturday that he was ready to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad, but that he will seek the approval of Congress before carrying out a military strike. Obama says congressional leaders have agreed to schedule a debate and vote when they return to session. They are scheduled to return from their summer recess on Sept. 9. The president did not say if he'd forgo a strike if Congress rejects his call to action.

Syria: Putin rubbishes chemical attack claims

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Syria: Putin rubbishes chemical attack claims --Russian president goes on offensive against Obama --US weighs up next move as UN team go to Lebanon --Two-thirds of French people oppose intervention, says poll 31 Aug 2013 Vladimir Putin has rejected US intelligence claims that Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons in Syria, saying it would be "utter nonsense" for government troops to use such tactics in a war it was already winning. "That is why I am convinced that [the chemical attack] is nothing more than a provocation by those who want to drag other countries into the Syrian conflict, and who want to win the support of powerful members of the international arena, especially the United States," Putin told journalists in Vladivostok.

Obama to seek approval from Congress for Syria strike

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Obama to seek approval from Congress for Syria strike 31 Aug 2013 President Barack Obama says he has decided the US should take military action against Syria in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack that reportedly took over 1,400 lives. However, he will first seek authorization from Congress. The Congress plans to hold a debate and a vote as soon as they come back in September, he added.

Fukushima's Radioactive Ocean Plume to Reach US Waters by 2014

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima's Radioactive Ocean Plume to Reach US Waters by 2014 30 Aug 2013 A radioactive plume of water in the Pacific Ocean from Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant will likely reach U.S. coastal waters starting in 2014, according to a new study. Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 [and 2012, 2013] could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.

Obama: US should take military action against syria

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Obama: US should take military action against syria --'I'm confident without waiting for results of UN inspectors, or waiting for UN vote outcome  --'We are prepared to strike whenever we choose.' --Will seek authorization to use military force from Congress 31 Aug 2013

Car bomb in Iraqi city of Ramadi kills 12

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Car bomb in Iraqi city of Ramadi kills 12 31 Aug 2013 A car bomb killed 12 people and wounded at least 20 other in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Saturday, police and medical sources said. The attack took place near a checkpoint on a busy street in the center of Ramadi, 100 km (60 miles) west of Baghdad. Police were among the killed. "The explosion was so huge. I saw pieces of cars and bodies," witness Qasim Mohammed said.

Obama set to speak on Syria

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Obama set to speak on Syria 31 Aug 2013 The White House says President Barack Obama is getting ready to speak about Syria from the White House. A White House official says Obama's remarks will not be about an imminent military operation in Syria, but will be an update to the public about his decisions on how to proceed. Obama has been considering a limited military strike against Syria.

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. spy agencies mounted 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, documents show 30 Aug 2013 U.S. intelligence services carried out 231 offensive cyber-operations in 2011, the leading edge of a clandestine campaign that embraces the Internet as a theater of spying, sabotage and war, according to top-secret documents obtained by The Washington Post. That disclosure, in a classified intelligence budget provided by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, provides new evidence that the Obama administration's growing ranks of cyberwarriors infiltrate and disrupt foreign computer networks. Additionally, under an extensive effort code-named GENIE, U.S. computer specialists break into foreign networks so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. Budget documents say the $652 million project has placed "covert implants," sophisticated malware transmitted from far away, in computers, routers and firewalls on tens of thousands of machines every year, with plans to expand those numbers into the millions.

Syria military action should go to vote in Congress, lawmakers say

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Syria military action should go to vote in Congress, lawmakers say 30 Aug 2013 The White House has provided a series of briefings for key lawmakers over the past 24 hours, trying to combat complaints that Congress is not being consulted on a potential U.S. strike in Syria. Still, many members want more: They want any military action to be put to a vote first. But, Congress has been gone for a month and doesn't return to Washington for a week and a half. That didn't stop more than 160 House members - Democrats and Republicans - from signing letters this week urging the president to "receive authorization from Congress" before striking Syria.

NY Judge Won't Dismiss Preacher's Terrorism Case

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

NY Judge Won't Dismiss Preacher's Terrorism Case 30 Aug 2013 A federal judge on Friday refused to toss out terrorism charges facing an Egyptian Islamic preacher extradited from Great Britain and said she'll decide during a trial next year whether government references to 'al-Qaida' being led by Osama bin Laden more than a decade ago and other statements are inflammatory. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest left intact the 11-count indictment brought against Mustafa Kamel Mustafa as she ruled on pretrial motions. Mustafa faces trial in March on charges filed in Manhattan after his arrest in England in 2004.

Muslims challenging U.S. 'no fly' list win partial court victory

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Muslims challenging U.S. 'no fly' list win partial court victory --The 13 plaintiffs, all U.S. citizens who deny any links to terrorism, say they were placed on the government's no-fly list without notice or any realistic avenue of appeal. 29 Aug 2013 Thirteen Muslim Americans challenging the U.S. governments' secretive "no-fly" list won a partial victory in federal court when a judge found they "have a constitutionally protected liberty interest" in traveling internationally by air. But U.S. District Judge Anna Brown has yet to decide whether the government violated their constitutional rights to due process under a policy that excludes individuals from commercial air travel if they are suspected of having ties to terrorism. In her ruling late on Wednesday in Portland, the judge also asked both the plaintiffs and the Department of Justice for more information before deciding key parts of the case.

Shots fired during North Carolina high school fire drill

August 31, 2013 by legitgov

Shots fired during North Carolina high school fire drill 30 Aug 2013 A North Carolina student was injured and another taken into police custody after shots were fired in an altercation during a fire drill at a high school in Winston-Salem on Friday, authorities said. Gunfire was reported at 2:30 p.m. EDT at Carver High School as students began to walk back inside the school buildings at the end of a planned fire drill, Winston-Salem Police Chief Barry Rountree said at a press conference.

Washington's threats to attack Syria unacceptable - Russian Foreign Ministry

August 30, 2013 by legitgov

Washington's threats to attack Syria unacceptable - Russian Foreign Ministry 30 Aug 2013 Washington's statements threatening to use military force against Syria unilaterally are unacceptable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement. Given the lack of evidence, any unilateral military action bypassing the UN Security Council - "no matter how limited it is" - would be a direct violation of international law and would undermine the prospects for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria and will lead to a new round of confrontation and victims, Lukashevich concludes. "Instead of executing the decisions of G8’s summit in Lough Erne and subsequent agreements to submit comprehensive report from experts investigating possible cases of use of chemical weapons in Syria to the UN Security Council, in the absence of any evidence, we hear threats of a strike on Syria," the statement reads.

IRS, Treasury will recognize same-sex marriage across state lines

August 30, 2013 by legitgov

IRS, Treasury will recognize same-sex marriage across state lines 29 Aug 2013 All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes no matter what state they live in, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced Thursday in a change that will affect numerous couples in states that have not permitted gay marriage. The change in policy follows the Supreme Court's decision in June overturning a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages for purposes such as insurance benefits, immigration and tax filings. The new approach "provides access to benefits, responsibilities and protections under federal tax law that all Americans deserve," Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement.

Feds won't sue to stop marijuana use in 2 states

August 30, 2013 by legitgov

Feds won't sue to stop marijuana use in 2 states 29 Aug 2013 The Justice Department said Thursday that states can let people use marijuana, license people to grow it and even allow adults to stroll into stores and buy it -- as long as the weed is kept away from kids, the black market and federal property. In a sweeping new policy statement prompted by pot legalization votes in Washington and Colorado last fall, the department gave the green light to states to adopt tight regulatory schemes to oversee the medical and recreational marijuana industries burgeoning across the country. The action, welcomed by supporters of legalization, could set the stage for more states to legalize marijuana. Alaska could vote on the question next year, and a few other states plan similar votes in 2016.

Israel Grants First Golan Heights Oil Drilling License to Dick Cheney-Linked Company

August 30, 2013 by legitgov

Ah, then came the dawn. Israel Grants First Golan Heights Oil Drilling License to Dick Cheney-Linked Company 22 Feb 2013 Israel has granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights, John Reed of the Financial Times reports. A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy -- which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch -- will have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights. That geographic location will likely prove controversial. Israel seized the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. Its administration of the area -- which is not recognized by international law -- has been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago. "This action is mostly political – it’s an attempt to deepen Israeli commitment to the occupied Golan Heights," Israeli political analyst Yaron Ezrahi told FT. "The timing is directly related to the fact that the Syrian government is dealing with violence and chaos and is not free to deal with this problem."

UK asked N.Y. Times to destroy Snowden material

August 30, 2013 by legitgov

UK asked N.Y. Times to destroy Snowden material 30 Aug 2013 The British government has asked the New York Times to destroy copies of documents leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden related to the operations of the U.S. spy agency and its British partner, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), people familiar with the matter said. The British request, made to Times executive editor Jill Abramson by a senior official at the British Embassy in Washington D.C., was greeted by Abramson with silence, according to the sources. British officials indicated they intended to follow up on their request later with the Times, but never did, one of the sources said.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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