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U.S. seeks $864 million from Bank of America after fraud verdict

November 10, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. seeks $864 million from Bank of America after fraud verdict 09 Nov 2013 The U.S. government urged that Bank of America Corp pay $863.6 million in damages after a federal jury found it liable for fraud over defective mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit. In a filing late Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the government also asked for penalties against Rebecca Mairone, a former midlevel executive at the bank's Countrywide unit who the jury also found liable, "commensurate with her ability to pay."

Newtown police officer first on Sandy Hook scene faces firing

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Newtown police officer first on Sandy Hook scene faces firing 07 Nov 2013 Newtown officials have notified a police officer who hasn't returned to work since responding to the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that he could be fired. Thomas Bean, a 12-year veteran, submitted a two-sentence letter from his doctor indicating that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder because of the horrific scene he encountered inside the school. Bean, who was off duty on Dec. 14, responded to the school and entered at least one of the classrooms where children were killed. In a June letter to Bean, Chief Michael Kehoe wrote that he received notice that Bean is "100 percent permanently disabled from performing the essential functions of your job as a police officer." [See also: Letter from Newtown's Police Chief to Officer Bean.]

Train carrying crude oil derails, cars ablaze in Alabama

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Train carrying crude oil derails, cars ablaze in Alabama 08 Nov 2013 A 90-car train carrying North Dakota crude derailed and exploded in a rural area of western Alabama early on Friday, leaving 11 cars burning and potentially bolstering the push for tougher regulation of a boom in moving oil by rail. Twenty of the train's cars derailed and a number were still on fire on Friday afternoon, local officials said. Those cars, which threw flames 300 feet into the night sky, are being left to burn out, which could take up to 24 hours, according to the train owner, Genesee & Wyoming.

Mandatory flu shots worry UNM Hospital employees

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Mandatory flu shots worry UNM Hospital employees 08 Nov 2013 University of New Mexico Hospital employees...object to being told the flu vaccination is now mandatory, and they want clarification about who pays if an employee has an adverse reaction. That was the message delivered Thursday from the workers' union, District 1199 NM of the National Union of Nurses and Hospital Employees. The union announced it has filed complaints with the UNM Labor Management Relations Board.

Super Typhoon Haiyan 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Super Typhoon Haiyan 3.5 times more forceful than Hurricane Katrina --Major coastal city of Tacloban took brunt of storm with water rising 40 to 50 feet 08 Nov 2013 As dawn broke Saturday in the Philippines, the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan was expected to become better known a day after the storm -- perhaps the strongest ever -- rampaged across the central isles of the archipelago. The destruction is expected to be catastrophic. Storm clouds covered the entire Philippines, stretching 1,120 miles -- equal to a distance between Florida and Canada. The deadly wind field, or tropical storm force winds, covered an area the size of Montana or Germany. The typhoon first roared onto the country's eastern island of Samar at 4:30 a.m. Friday, flooding streets and knocking out power and communications in many areas of the region of Eastern Visayas, and then continued its march, barreling into five other Philippine islands.

'We were wrong': CBS's Lara Logan apologizes for Benghazi report

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

'We were wrong': CBS's Lara Logan apologizes for Benghazi report --The CBS story lie was cited by congressional Republicans who have demanded to know why a military rescue was not attempted. 08 Nov 2013 CBS correspondent [bimbo] Lara Logan apologized Friday and said the network was "wrong" for a "60 Minutes" report that raised questions about the Obama administration's response to last year's attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. "In this case, we were wrong. We made a mistake," Logan said on "CBS This Morning." "That's disappointing for any journalist. It's very disappointing for me." ['Disappointing for any journalist.' LOL. How would Lara Logan know?]

Judge to Listen to Newtown 911 Tapes Before Decision

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Judge to Listen to Newtown 911 Tapes Before Decision 08 Nov 2013 New Britain Superior Court Judge Eliot Prescott said Friday he will listen to recordings of 911 calls made from Sandy Hook Elementary School -- "as little as I may want to do that" -- before deciding whether the calls should remain secret pending an appeal of an order to make the tapes public. The Freedom of Information Commission in September ordered Newtown police to release tapes of 911 calls made from inside the school during the Dec. 14, attack, ruling unanimously that the calls were not exempt from mandatory disclosure. That decision was made over the objections of Danbury State's Attorney Stephen J. Sedensky III, who has appealed the ruling in court and sought a stay of the order to release the tapes.

Typhoon Haiyan: Most powerful storm to ever hit land batters Philippines with 235mph winds

November 9, 2013 by legitgov

Typhoon Haiyan: Most powerful storm to ever hit land batters Philippines with 235mph winds 08 Nov 2013 One of the most powerful storms ever recorded battered the central Philippines today, bringing winds of up to 235mph and leaving a trail of devastation. At least four people were killed by the super-typhoon, which meteorologists said could be the most powerful storm ever to make landfall. The category-five storm forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee to safer ground as it swept through the islands bringing flooding, landslides, and 15 inches of rain. Gusts of 235mph and sustained winds of 199mph were recorded and the rain and cloud was so dense the day seemed as dark as night.

Connecticut prosecutor tells judge to block release of Sandy Hook 911 calls

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

Connecticut prosecutor tells judge to block release of Sandy Hook 911 calls 08 Nov 2013 A Connecticut prosecutor urged a judge Friday to block the release of the desperate 911 calls from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre DHS drill. A stay "will protect crime victims and witnesses as well as allow information relative to child abuse to remain protected," State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky argued in court papers. "At a certain point, people ask what is there to hide," said FOI attorney Victor Perpetua, who insisted the public has a right to know how police responded to the mayhem. "The longer it is delayed the more questions are raised."

Top investment banker at BofA nominated for Commerce Dept job

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert! Top investment banker at BofA nominated for Commerce Dept job 08 Nov 2013 The White House said on Thursday that it has nominated a senior investment banking executive at Bank of America Corp to a high-level position at the Commerce Department. President Barack Obama picked Stefan Selig, executive vice chairman of global corporate and investment banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, to be the next under secretary for international trade. Selig would replace Francisco Sanchez, a former official in the Clinton administration who left the Commerce Department earlier in November. [Thanks, Obusha!]

FBI offers $20K reward for stolen SWAT weapons

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

FBI offers $20K reward for stolen SWAT weapons 07 Nov 2013 The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information leading to the recovery of two weapons stolen overnight from an FBI SWAT team emergency response vehicle parked in Andover. The FBI said Thursday the stolen government weapons are a Colt M16-A1 rifle and an HS Precision Pro-Series 2000 sniper rifle. The FBI said items also were stolen from other vehicles parked at nearby homes in Andover during the same time period, Wednesday evening to early Thursday morning.

Senate committee approves new whistleblower protection measures

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

Senate committee approves new whistleblower protection measures 07 Nov 2013 A new Senate bill authorizing the next year's worth of intelligence operations would force the public disclosure of civilian deaths in drone strikes and add protections for spy-sector whistleblowers that are being hailed by advocates. The bill, which was approved in the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday by 13 votes to two, would require the president to provide greater visibility than ever before into the controversial drones programme. Each year, the president would have to "make public" a report listing "the total number of combatants killed or injured during the preceding year by the use of targeted lethal force outside the United States by remotely piloted aircraft". But, the drone casualties so listed would not include those from declared war zones...

Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords - sources

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

Snowden persuaded other NSA workers to give up passwords - sources 07 Nov 2013 Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden used login credentials and passwords provided unwittingly by colleagues at a spy base in Hawaii to access some of the classified material he leaked to the media, sources said. A handful of agency employees who gave their login details to Snowden were identified, questioned and removed from their assignments, said a source close to several U.S. government investigations into the damage caused by the leaks.

U.S. Senate passes bill to ban discrimination against gay workers

November 8, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Senate passes bill to ban discrimination against gay workers 07 Nov 2013 The Democratic-led U.S. Senate, reflecting a big shift in public opinion the past decade, passed a bill on Thursday to outlaw discrimination against gay workers. But the measure faces an uphill fight in the Republican-led House of Representatives. The bill cleared the Senate 64-32, with 10 Republicans joining 52 Democrats and two independents in voting "yes." The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 is the latest battleground in an ideological struggle within the Republican Party.

Philippines hit by 'worst typhoon on record'

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Philippines hit by 'worst typhoon on record' 07 Nov 2013 The Philippines are bracing themselves for what weather experts are predicting will be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. "There will be catastrophic damage," said Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private firm Weather Underground. As Typhoon Haiyan approached land, the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Hawaii said maximum sustained winds were 195 mph (314 kph), with gusts up of to 235 mph. "There aren't too many buildings constructed that can withstand 195-mile-an-hour winds," Masters said.

Anthem Blue Cross is sued over policy cancellations

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Anthem Blue Cross is sued over policy cancellations --Two California residents are suing insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross, alleging they were misled into giving up previous coverage that had been grandfathered in with respect to Obamacare. 04 Oct 2013 Two California residents are suing insurance giant [terrorist group] Anthem Blue Cross, alleging they were misled into giving up their previous coverage. About 900,000 Californians and many more nationwide have received cancellation notices on their individual health insurance policies, triggering a public uproar against the rollout of President Obama's healthcare law [when it should be directed at the most disgusting predators on God's green earth, save Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil, and Monsanto: WellPoint Inc.]. In separate lawsuits filed Monday, Paul Simon, 39, of Sherman Oaks and Catherine Coker, 63, of Glendale sought to pin some of the blame on Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of WellPoint Inc.

NSAssociate Google Relegated Thursday's CLG Newsletter to Spam Bin

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Looking for today's CLG Newsletter? NSAssociate Google Relegated Thursday's CLG Newsletter to Spam Bin Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 07 Nov 2013 CLG subscribers: If you use Gmail as your email provider, please go to your spam bin to retrieve today's CLG Newsletter. Perhaps Google did not like the subject line: 'C.I.A. Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data.' So sick of the censorship...

Fukushima nuclear plant set for risky operation

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima nuclear plant set for risky operation 07 Nov 2013 A task of extraordinary delicacy and danger is about to begin at Japan's Fukushima nuclear power station. Engineers are preparing to extract the first of thousands of nuclear fuel rods from one of the wrecked reactor buildings. The fuel rods are currently in a precarious state in a storage pool in Unit 4.

Spy Chiefs: Terrorists 'rubbing hands with glee'

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Spy Chiefs: Terrorists 'rubbing hands with glee' 07 Nov 2013 Terrorists will be "rubbing their hands with glee" at the leaks by the US National Security Agency whistleblower about the way intelligence agencies gather information. Britain's intelligence chiefs said that the information disclosed in the Guardian newspaper by Edward Snowden had already put operations at risk and that al Qaeda would be "lapping it up". Giving evidence for the first time at a televised parliamentary committee hearing, the heads of MI6, MI5 and GCHQ said that the revelations had been very damaging. Sir John Sawers, the chief of the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), said that the terrorists would be "rubbing their hands with glee" at the level of information put in the public domain.

Friends of accused Boston bomber challenge keeping evidence secret

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Friends of accused Boston bomber challenge keeping evidence secret 29 Oct 2013 A lawyer for one of three college friends who allegedly helped to cover the tracks of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev argued on Tuesday that a judge's order keeping most evidence in the case out of public view was unfair to his client. An attorney for Azamat Tazhayakov, who is charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy, said prosecutors had failed to give a specific reason for sealing evidence, other than concerns about pretrial publicity and protecting the litigants. "The defendants have basically been muzzled," said defense attorney Nicholas Woolridge, while the government has been allowed to "cherry pick" details about evidence discovered in the case. [Yeah, everything's a big fat secret - just like every aspect of the Sandy Hook DHS drill, right down to the demolition of the school. --LRP]

Pakistan army shows its might by bringing down drone during military exercise

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Pakistan army shows its might by bringing down drone during military exercise [Sweet!] 05 Nov 2013 Amid continued tensions with the US over drone strikes, Pakistan army has successfully shot down a "drone" during a military exercise that was watched by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. During the "Azm-e-Nau 4 Exercise" at Bahawalpur in Punjab province yesterday, the army air defence demonstrated its anti-drone technology by successfully bringing down a drone by targeting it with the 35mm Oerlikon guns, The News daily said.

C.I.A. Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

C.I.A. Is Said to Pay AT&T for Call Data --The C.I.A. program appears to duplicate work performed by the N.S.A. 07 Nov 2013 The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company's vast database of phone records, which includes Americans' international calls, according to government officials. The cooperation is conducted under a voluntary contract, not under subpoenas or court orders compelling the company to participate, according to the officials. The C.I.A. supplies phone numbers of overseas terrorism suspects, and AT&T searches its database and provides records of calls that may help identify foreign associates, the officials said.

TEPCO believes Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will restart next year

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

TEPCO believes Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will restart next year 07 Nov 2013 Beleaguered utility operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) believes that their Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant will be given the approval to restart its nuclear operations by July of next year. TEPCO is also in charge of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl. They applied to have the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa's Number 6 and 7 reactors inspected and was hoping for an April restart, but the safety inspections by the NRA haven't yet gone into full swing.

Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium, tests show

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Yasser Arafat may have been poisoned with polonium, tests show --Swiss scientists find levels of polonium 18 times higher than normal in first forensic tests on former Palestinian leader's body 06 Nov 2013 The first forensic tests on samples taken from Yasser Arafat's corpse have shown unexpectedly high levels of radioactive polonium-210, suggesting the Palestinian leader could have been poisoned with the rare and lethal substance. The Swiss scientists who tested Arafat's remains after the exhumation of his body in November 2012 discovered levels of polonium at least 18 times higher than usual in Arafat's ribs, pelvis and in soil that absorbed his bodily fluids.

UK spy chiefs to be quizzed in public for first time, on Snowden

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

UK spy chiefs to be quizzed in public for first time, on Snowden 06 Nov 2013 Britain's intelligence chiefs will give their first ever public testimony on Thursday when they are cross-examined together in parliament about the case of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden. The evidence-gathering session comes amid calls for the government to step up oversight of its three main intelligence agencies after documents that Snowden leaked to the press exposed Britain's role in secret mass surveillance programs. Those disclosures detailed Britain's close cooperation with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), embarrassing Prime Minister David Cameron and angering lawmakers in his ruling Conservative party who said they harmed national security.

N.J. voters approve constitutional amendment raising minimum wage

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

N.J. voters approve constitutional amendment raising minimum wage 06 Nov 2013 New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question today that will raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.25 an hour in January and amends the state Constitution to tie future increases to inflation. In the end, the amendment passed with nearly 61 percent supporting it.

Al Gore: Snowden 'revealed evidence' of crimes against US constitution

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Al Gore: Snowden 'revealed evidence' of crimes against US constitution 06 Nov 2013 Former US vice-president [and president] Al Gore has described the activities of the National Security Agency as "outrageous" and "completely unacceptable" and said whistleblower Edward Snowden has "revealed evidence" of crimes against the US constitution. Gore, speaking Tuesday night at McGill University in Montreal, said he was in favour of using surveillance to ensure national security, but Snowden's revelations showed that those measures had gone too far. "I say that as someone who was a member of the National Security Council working in the White House and getting daily briefings from the CIA," Gore said, in comments reported by the Canadian Press.

New $50M Sandy Hook school will have input from DHS on security issues

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

New $50M Sandy Hook school will have input from DHS on security issues 06 Nov 2013 (WTNH) No link yet.

Though Defiant, Senator Accused of Plagiarism Admits Errors

November 7, 2013 by legitgov

Though Defiant, Senator Accused of Plagiarism Admits Errors 06 Nov 2013 Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky acknowledged Tuesday that "mistakes" in his office had caused unattributed writing by others to appear in his own work and announced that he was instituting safeguards to prevent such breaches from happening again...Facing a cascading series of accusations that he used plagiarized material in speeches, an opinion article and a book, he said the lapses were the result of his newfound status as a freshman senator in high demand, and the overwhelming workload that has brought with it for him and his staff. Mr. Paul's handling of the disclosures was being watched by his Senate colleagues and by strategists and potential donors to a 2016 national run.

NC governor's mansion gets ballistic windows, gas logs

November 6, 2013 by legitgov

NC governor's mansion gets ballistic windows, gas logs 04 Nov 2013 The administration of Gov. Pat McCrory has spent $167,000 on renovations and 'repairs' at the North Carolina Executive Mansion, including the additions of bullet-resistant windows, gas fireplace logs and outdoor fire pits. The Associated Press reviewed public records of 2013 spending at the historic Raleigh manor after the Republican governor was forced to scuttle plans last month for $230,000 in bathroom remodeling following public outcry. ...In addition to the windows, public records show about $43,000 in taxpayer money was spent this year to convert the mansion's fireplaces to use gas logs and add an outdoor fire pit.

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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.

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