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Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana

August 29, 2012 by legitgov

Hurricane Isaac makes landfall in Louisiana 28 Aug 2012 Hurricane Isaac made landfall in southern Louisiana on Tuesday, bringing high winds, soaking rains and storm surges that will pose the first major test for New Orleans' multibillion-dollar flood protections put in place after Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast seven years ago. Isaac's storm surge poses a major test of the so-called Crescent City's new flood-control systems and reinforced levees that failed in 2005, leaving parts of the city underwater. Forecasts from the U.S. National Hurricane Center showed the storm coming ashore in the Mississippi Delta late on Tuesday, possibly taking direct aim at New Orleans.

Ohio Democratic officials fired for attempt to extend early voting

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Ohio Democratic officials fired for attempt to extend early voting 28 Aug 2012 Two Democratic officials in Ohio, a key battleground state and huge electoral prize in the November 6 presidential election, were fired for trying to extend early voting to weekends in defiance of a state ban, officials said on Tuesday. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, a Republican, issued a directive earlier this month that the hours for early in-person voting should be consistent throughout the state, where voting rules are a hot-button issue. [Notice that Barack Obama is *silent* on this issue? He's fine with a RMoney victory, since their policies, with the exception of cultural issues such as abortion, are virtually the same -- slumming with Monsanto and Goldman Sachs; deploying killer drones; supporting the PATRIOT Act; implementing detention without trial; engaging in endless wars for ExxonMobil and Blackwater; slashing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to pay contractors to pretend to train police forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan -- etc. --LRP]

Texas Legislature found guilty of redistricting discrimination

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Texas Legislature found guilty of redistricting discrimination 28 Aug 2012 A three-judge federal court Tuesday found the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature guilty of discriminating against Latinos and blacks in the drawing of new election districts and threw out its redistricting plans for both the U.S. House of Representatives and the state Legislature. The ruling will not affect the November elections. Earlier this year, federal judges in Texas drew an interim districting plan to be used this year only.

Bradley Manning lawyers accuse government of withholding hundreds of emails

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Bradley Manning lawyers accuse government of withholding hundreds of emails 28 Aug 2012 Lawyers for an Army private accused of leaking classified information have accused the government of withholding hundreds of emails related to his pretrial detention. Pfc. Bradley Manning appeared in a military courtroom Tuesday at the start of a three-day pretrial hearing. Manning is accused of sending hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and war logs to the website WikiLeaks. One of his lawyers, David Coombs, argued that prosecutors have yet to turn over about 700 emails pertaining to his confinement at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. The judge directed prosecutors to provide the emails to her, saying she will decide which ones are relevant and can be disclosed.

Prosecutors: Ga. murder case reveals terror plot by US soldiers who formed militia inside Army

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Prosecutors: Ga. murder case reveals terror plot by US soldiers who formed militia inside Army 27 Aug 2012 Four Army soldiers based in southeast Georgia killed a former comrade and his girlfriend to protect an anarchist militia group they formed that stockpiled assault weapons and plotted a range of anti-government attacks, prosecutors told a judge Monday. Prosecutors in rural Long County, near the sprawling Army post Fort Stewart, said the militia group of active and former U.S. military members spent at least $87,000 buying guns and bomb components. They allege the group was serious enough to kill two people -- former soldier Michael Roark and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Tiffany York -- by shooting them in the woods last December in order to keep its plans secret.

Republicans nominate Romney at storm-hit convention

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Republicans nominate Romney at storm-hit convention 28 Aug 2012 Republicans formally nominated Mitt Romney on Tuesday to challenge President Barack Obama for the White House, kicking off their storm-delayed convention with a barrage of sharp attacks on Obama's economic leadership. The nomination sets up a two-month dash to the November 6 election, with polls showing Romney running even or slightly behind the Democratic president. Finally opening the festivities after a storm threat delayed the convention by a day, Republicans condemned Obama's economic record and reminded voters of the country's stubbornly high unemployment rate and ballooning budget deficit.

Arctic becoming a 'giant slushie,' says scientist

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Arctic becoming a 'giant slushie,' says scientist 28 Aug 2012 Long-term thinning of Arctic sea ice combined with an intense, windy storm over the Arctic in early August contributed to a new record low for sea-ice extent, scientists said Monday. "It used to be the Arctic ice cover was like a big block of ice," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) during a press conference held after the new record low was set on Sunday (Aug. 26). "Now it's become crushed ice and that is a lot easier to melt and melt more quickly. Parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushie. [That] makes them more vulnerable to these types of storms."

U.S. Army troops, brandishing automatic assault rifles, deployed to New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Army troops, brandishing automatic assault rifles, deployed to New Orleans 28 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened into a hurricane just off the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday, lashing the New Orleans area with strong winds and heavy rain seven years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina... Hundreds of U.S. Army National Guard troops took up strategic positions around New Orleans. Brandishing automatic assault rifles to ward off any 'threat of looting,' the troops in military vehicles took up positions on mostly deserted streets.

Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near Gulf Coast

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac becomes Cat 1 hurricane near Gulf Coast 28 Aug 2012 Finally reaching hurricane status, the unwieldy and wobbly Isaac bore down on this city Tuesday, offering one of the first tests for a stronger, more fortified levee system built after the catastrophic failures [exploded levees to flood the Ninth Ward] during Hurricane Katrina. Seven years after that storm transformed this city, the mood was calm as the first wave of rain bands and wind gusts rolled ashore... Isaac looked to make landfall as early as Tuesday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of at least 74 mph -- much lower than the 135 mph winds Katrina packed in 2005.

Isaac revs up to hurricane force near New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac revs up to hurricane force near New Orleans --Landfall expected on eve of Katrina anniversary --Gulf Coast residents brace for storm, many evacuate 28 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac strengthened into a hurricane just off the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday as it churned toward landfall in the New Orleans area seven years after the city was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Isaac's winds, rain and storm surge could pose a major test of New Orleans' new flood control systems and reinforced levees. Forecasts from the U.S. National Hurricane Center showed the storm coming ashore late on Tuesday.

'We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments'

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

'We believe that the USA is the major player against Syria and the rest are its instruments' --Assad's Foreign Minister gives his first interview to a Western journalist since the conflict began 28 Aug 2012 The battle for Damascus could be heard inside the Foreign Minister's office yesterday, a vibration of mortars and tank fire from the suburbs of the capital that penetrated Walid Muallem's inner sanctum, a dangerous heartbeat to match the man's words. America was behind Syria's violence, he said, which will not end even after the battle for Aleppo is over. "I tell the Europeans: 'I don't understand your slogan about the welfare of the Syrian people when you are supporting 17 resolutions against the welfare of the Syrian people'. And I tell the Americans: 'You must read well what you did in Afghanistan and Somalia. I don't understand your slogan of fighting international terrorism when you are supporting this terrorism in Syria'."

US troops plotted to kill Obama

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

US troops plotted to kill Obama 28 Aug 2012 Four US soldiers plotted to assassinate Barack Obama and overthrow the government, a court has heard. Prosecutors in Georgia said they formed an anarchist [?] militia within the military. Prosecutor Isabel Pauley said the group bought 87,000 dollars (£55,000) of guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president.

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Britain and US plan a Syrian revolution from an innocuous office block in Istanbul 26 Aug 2012 An underground network of Syrian opposition activists terrorists is receiving training and supplies of vital equipment from a combined American and British effort to forge an effective alternative to the Damascus government. Dozens of dissidents have been ferried out of Syria to be vetted for foreign backing. Recipients of the aid are given satellite communications and computers so that they can act as a local "hub" linking local activists and the outside world. The training takes place in an Istanbul district where handsome apartment blocks line the steep slopes and rooftop terraces boast views over the Golden Horn waterway. [US tax dollars at work!]

Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac moving straight toward New Orleans

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Soon-to-be Hurricane Isaac moving straight toward New Orleans 27 Aug 2012 With its massive size and ponderous movement, Isaac could become a punishing rain machine depending on its strength, speed and where it comes ashore along the Gulf Coast. The focus has been on New Orleans as Isaac takes dead aim at the city seven years after Hurricane Katrina, but the impact will be felt well beyond the city limits. The storm's winds could be felt more than 200 miles from the storm's center.

Isaac menaces U.S. Gulf Coast 7 years after Katrina

August 28, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac menaces U.S. Gulf Coast 7 years after Katrina 27 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Isaac closed in on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast on Monday, triggering some mandatory evacuation orders and disrupting U.S. offshore oil production as it threatened to make landfall between Florida and Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane. The wide, slow-moving storm swiped south Florida on Sunday and strengthened over the warm Gulf waters. It was expected to reach land Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the anniversary of devastating Hurricane Katrina seven years ago.

Israeli warplanes attack north of Gaza Strip

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Israeli warplanes attack north of Gaza Strip 27 Aug 2012 Israeli warplanes have launched at least three airstrikes on several targets in the northern Gaza Strip, according to security sources. Israeli F-16 warplanes attacked the blockaded coastal enclave on Monday night. Several powerful explosions were also heard in the area.

Up to 100 Korans burned in Afghanistan: U.S. military investigation

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Up to 100 Korans burned in Afghanistan: U.S. military investigation 27 Aug 2012 A U.S. military investigation released on Monday determined that American troops burned up to 100 Korans and other religious materials in Afghanistan during a February incident that led to deadly riots and strained relations between the two countries. Six soldiers received administrative punishments over the incident, which the investigation concluded was due to factors that included a lack of trust between Americans and Afghans.

U.S. troops punished over Koran burning, urination video

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. troops punished over Koran burning, urination video --Military did not disclose precise punishments for troops 27 Aug 2012 The U.S. military said on Monday it was disciplining U.S. troops over two incidents that provoked outrage in Afghanistan early this year, one involving a video depicting Marines urinating on corpses and another over burned copies of the Koran. But the administrative punishments fell short of criminal prosecution and it was unclear whether they would satisfy Afghan demands for justice. Afghan President Hamid Karzai branded the Marine's actions in the video as "inhuman," and he initially called for a public trial for the soldiers over the Koran incident.

Taliban responsible for 25 percent of attacks on NATO troops: ISAF

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Taliban responsible for 25% of attacks on NATO troops: ISAF 27 Aug 2012 About 25 percent of the green-on-blue attacks by Afghan security forces against US-led troops in Afghanistan come from Taliban infiltrators, a top NATO commander says. US General John Allen, the chief commander of the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, said by his estimation a quarter of the "insider" attacks were insurgency-based. The figure is much higher than the 10 percent estimated by the United States Department of Defense, the Pentagon.

Afghan soldier kills two US-led troopers

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan soldier kills two US-led troopers 27 Aug 2012 An Afghan soldier has killed two US-led forces in Laghman Province in eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports. A member of the Afghan National Army on Monday turned his weapon on the US-led soldiers with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), in the latest instance of what is commonly referred to as 'green-on-blue' or 'insider' attacks.

US arms sales hit record high of $66.3bn in 2011

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

US arms sales hit record high of $66.3bn in 2011 --Report: Figure was largest single-year sales total in history of US arms sales 27 Aug 2012 The United States' weapons sales tripled in 2011, reaching to a record high of USD 66.3 billion, with Persian Gulf Arab countries as the main customers, a new Congressional report said. A new report from the Congressional Research Service said that the country's weapons sales in 2011 was an "extraordinary increase" over the USD 21.4 billion in deals in 2010.

New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

New state laws make undercover probes of farm operations risky --Prompted by agriculture industry agri-terrorists, states are debating, and in some cases adopting, 'ag-gag' laws 24 Aug 2012 The undercover investigator who secretly videotaped alleged animal abuses at a meat processing plant in California's San Joaquin Valley would have been a criminal for doing the same thing in Utah, potentially subject to a year in jail. Since March, it's been a misdemeanor in Utah to videotape an agricultural operation without the owner's approval. Nor is Utah alone in trying to shield farms from private investigators and prying media. Kansas, Iowa and North Dakota have all tightened access.

Abramoff: Lobbyist Money 'Well Spent' at Republican National Convention

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Abramoff: Lobbyist Money 'Well Spent' at Republican National Convention 27 Aug 2012 Former super lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who served 43 months on fraud, bribery and tax evasion charges, has come to the Republican National Convention in Tampa seeking redemption through honesty... "Virtually every interaction that a lobbyist has with a Congressman is money well spent, from the lobbyist's point of view," Abramoff told ABC News. In Tampa, that lavish spending is well underway -- largely undeterred by stormy weather.

Romney's storm-delayed convention limps into motion

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Romney's storm-delayed convention limps into motion 27 Aug 2012 Forget the loud music, cheering crowds and funny hats. Instead of opening with a bang as originally planned, Mitt Romney's Republican convention started with a whimper on Monday as party leaders staged a low-key session while Tropical Storm Isaac churned through the Gulf of Mexico. The tone was deliberately subdued after Isaac led Republicans to scrap most of their first day's schedule in Tampa, complicating plans to showcase Romney to voters as the presidential candidate heads into a 10-week sprint to his November 6 election battle against Democratic President Barack Obama.

Isaac seen strengthening to Category 2 hurricane

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Isaac seen strengthening to Category 2 hurricane 27 Aug 2012 Tropical Storm Issac is forecast to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane before it makes landfall somewhere between Florida and Louisiana, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said on Monday. Isaac was expected to have sustained winds of 100 miles per hour on Wednesday and could reach land Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Military says 'trial' of accused Fort Hood shooter can go ahead

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Military says 'trial' of accused Fort Hood shooter can go ahead 27 Aug 2012 Proceedings may resume in the court martial of alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan, a military court ruled on Monday, less than a week after it stopped the trial to consider whether Hasan's beard could be forcibly shaved. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces did not say whether Colonel Gregory Gross, the military trial judge, could order Hasan shaved. Gross has threatened to have Hasan shaved if he does not get rid of the beard himself before his next court appearance, saying the beard breaks Army regulations.

GOP fears ghost of Katrina at RNC 2012

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

GOP fears ghost of Katrina at RNC 2012 27 Aug 2012 The official message couldn't be clearer: the Republican National Convention will proceed Tuesday morning. But quietly, Republicans have begun to whisper a grim word that sums up all their fears about the 2012 party gathering: Katrina. Some Republicans in Tampa worry the juxtaposition of events could revive memories of the disastrous 2005 storms, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and the government's terrible handling of them. Public outrage over the George W. Bush administration's response to those catastrophes -- Katrina especially -- shadowed the president [sic] and the GOP for years.

NYC Police Commissioner: Deadly force warranted outside Empire State Building

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

NYC Police Commissioner: Deadly force warranted outside Empire State Building --Nine civilians suffered injuries caused by police bullets. 27 Aug 2012 New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is defending two officers' decision to kill an armed gunman outside the Empire State Building, which led to nine bystanders being wounded. Kelly on Monday called the shooting appropriate since the officers had just been told Jeffrey Johnson had killed a co-worker around the corner and Johnson was pointing his weapon at them. That assessment is supported by experts on police tactics and firepower.

Ron Paul delegates get nosebleed seats

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

Ron Paul delegates get nosebleed seats 26 Aug 2012 The GOP is shoving the Ron Paul Revolution to the margins -- of the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The Republican National Convention seating chart, obtained by POLITICO Sunday, shows the delegations from Nevada, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma all located on the outer fringe of the convention floor. Each are states with significant Paul followings. Groups with pretty good seats include those from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. None has electoral votes that can impact the outcome of the election.

GOP Convention: Chris Matthews tees off on Reince Priebus

August 27, 2012 by legitgov

GOP Convention: Chris Matthews tees off on Reince Priebus 27 Aug 2012 MSNBC host Chris Matthews angrily called Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus's ideas "insane" Monday after the chairman said President Barack Obama was "looking to Europe for guidance" on his policies. Referring to Mitt Romney's reference last week to his own birth certificate, Matthews said, "That cheap shot about 'I don't have a problem with my birth certificate' was awful. You are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is your side is playing that card."

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