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Black caucus to stage walkout during Holder contempt vote in House

June 28, 2012 by legitgov

Black caucus to stage walkout during Holder contempt vote in House 27 Jun 2012 Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) plan to stage a walkout during Thursday’s vote on whether to place Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The CBC is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. on Thursday to discuss the details of the walkout and is planning to circulate a letter to House Democrats requesting that they join them on the Capitol steps for a press conference during the contempt vote. The move comes less than 24 hours before the House plans to vote for the first time in history to hold a sitting attorney general in contempt of Congress for not complying with a congressional subpoena. Holder is the first black attorney general in U.S. history.

Judge denies Afghanistan man’s bid to challenge detention at US air base

June 28, 2012 by legitgov

Judge denies Afghanistan man’s bid to challenge detention at US air base 26 Jun 2012 A federal judge has turned down an Afghan man’s plea to challenge his confinement at a U.S. air base in Afghanistan. U.S. District Judge James S. Gwin ruled Tuesday he lacks jurisdiction to hear the case. Zia-ur-Rahman says in court papers he’s been detained at Bagram Airfield since 2008, when the U.S. military captured him during a raid on his home. Zia-ur-Rahman sought to challenge what he called his "illegal arrest and detention" in U.S. courts.

Egyptian court suspends military arrest powers

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Egyptian court suspends military arrest powers 26 Jun 2012 An Egyptian court has suspended a government decision allowing military police to arrest civilians, judicial sources say. The administrative court took the decision after reviewing an appeal filed by rights groups against the controversial decree passed on 13 June. The Cairo court has also delayed its rulings in two controversial cases, media reports say. One concerns the dissolution of parliament, held off till 7 July.

Fukushima No. 4 reactor is tilting and at least two walls of building are bulging outward

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Fukushima No. 4 reactor is tilting and at least two walls of building are bulging outward --The latest findings could add to concerns over the state of the No. 4 reactor building, which houses on its upper floors a cooling pool filled with more than 1,000 spent nuclear fuel rods. [Right, so let's keep talking about ex-car thief and arsonist Darrell Issa repackaging Bush's 'Fast and Furious' for the NRA.] 26 Jun 2012 A heavily damaged reactor building at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant has a slight [?!?] tilt, but the tilt does not pose a risk to the integrity of the building [!?!], according to the plant's operator. The Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, said in a report Monday to Japanese nuclear regulators that at least two of the walls of the No. 4 reactor building are bulging outward at various points and that the building is tilting. The biggest bulge measured about 1.8 inches about a third of the way up the building, the report said.

Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Small-Town Cops Pile Up on Useless Military Gear 26 Jun 2012 Small police departments across America are collecting battlefield-grade arsenals thanks to a program that allows them to get their hands on military surplus equipment, such as amphibious tanks and night-vision goggles at virtually no cost - except for shipment and maintenance. Over the last five years, the top 10 beneficiaries of this "Department of Defense Excess Property Program" included small agencies such as the Fairmount Police Department. It serves 7,000 people in northern Georgia and received 17,145 items from the military. The cops in Issaquah, Washington, a town of 30,000 people, acquired more than 37,000 pieces of gear.

Colorado Springs: Tuesday temperature hits all-time record of 101

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Colorado Springs: Tuesday temperature hits all-time record of 101 26 Jun 2012 After five days of record-smashing temperatures, Colorado Springs saw an all-time high Tuesday of 101 [globally-warmed] degrees. The previous all-time record of 100 degrees has been seen only six times: twice during 2012: June 23, 1954 and 2012; June 24, 1954 and 2012; July 13, 1954; and finally July 24, 2003. According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday's high was recorded at 3:09 p.m., and it's not going to cool off any time soon.

Afghans flee shelling from Pakistan

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Afghans flee shelling from Pakistan 26 Jun 2012 Thousands of Afghan villagers were forced out of their homes due to artillery and rocket attacks from Pakistan. A barrage of cross-border artillery and rocket attacks from Pakistan have forced thousands of Afghan villagers to flee their homes, witnesses and officials in Afghanistan said Tuesday. The shelling was reported in eastern Kunar province after Pakistan accused Afghanistan of giving safe haven to militants who infiltrated the border to kill 13 Pakistani soldiers.

Seismologists warn Japan against nuclear restart

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Seismologists warn Japan against nuclear restart 26 Jun 2012 Two prominent seismologists said on Tuesday that Japan is ignoring the safety lessons of last year's Fukushima crisis and warned against restarting two reactors next month. Japan has approved the restart of the two reactors at the Kansai Electric Power Ohi nuclear plant, northwest of Tokyo, despite mass public opposition. They will be the first to come back on line after all reactors were shut following meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power's Daiichi Fukushima plant. Seismic modeling by Japan's nuclear regulator did not properly take into account active fault lines near the Ohi plant, Katsuhiko Ishibashi, a seismologist at Kobe University, told reporters.

Wildfires worsen in Colorado, 32,000 flee homes

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Wildfires worsen in Colorado, 32,000 flee homes 27 Jun 2012 A wildfire raging near some of Colorado's most popular tourist sites grew suddenly more ferocious on Tuesday, forcing 32,000 people from their homes, prompting evacuations from the U.S. Air Force Academy and swallowing numerous houses at the edge of Colorado Springs. From the vantage point of a command post about 10 miles from the path of advancing flames, the entire community of Mountain Shadows, a northwest subdivision, appeared to be enveloped in an orange glow after dark. "This is a fire of epic proportions," Colorado Springs Fire Chief Rich Brown said as ash drifted down on the city, sirens wailed and the thick smell of smoke permeated the air.

U.S. expanding military aid, intelligence in Africa

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. expanding military aid, intelligence in Africa 25 Jun 2012 The U.S. is carefully expanding efforts to provide intelligence, training and at times small numbers of forces to African nations to help counter terrorist activities in the region, the top American military commander for Africa said Monday. Speaking to a conference that included representatives from African nations, Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, said coordinated moves by several AfricaCIA-based terrorist groups to share their training, funding and bomb-making materials are worrisome and pose a threat to the U.S. and the region. [The US *is* the threat to the region!]

Jan Brewer: Arizona to enforce 'show me your papers' policy ASAP

June 27, 2012 by legitgov

Jan Brewer: Arizona to enforce 'show me your papers' policy ASAP 26 Jun 2012 Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said that police agencies can immediately begin enforcing the controversial "show me your papers" provision of the state's landmark immigration law -- the section that was upheld by the U.S Supreme Court. "We will move forward instructing law enforcement to begin practicing what the United States Supreme Court has upheld," Brewer said at a news conference Monday.

Lesbian couple shot in Texas, one killed; police seek motive

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Lesbian couple shot in Texas, one killed; police seek motive 26 Jun 2012 An 18-year-old south Texas woman is in serious but stable condition Tuesday, and her 19-year-old girlfriend dead, after an unknown attacker shot them both at close range last weekend at a park in the Gulf Coast town of Portland. Investigators hope Mary Christine Chapa, 18, can help them find a suspect and explain the motive behind the Saturday shooting about eight miles north of Corpus Christi. Mollie Judith Olgin, 19, died from a gunshot wound to the neck, and her death has been ruled a homicide, San Patricio County Justice of the Peace Karen Diaz told the Los Angeles Times.

Biden, in leaked memo, told Obama war plan flawed

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Biden, in leaked memo, told Obama war plan flawed 25 Jun 2012 As President Barack Obama considered adding as many as 40,000 U.S. forces to a backsliding war in Afghanistan in 2009, Vice President Joe Biden warned him that the military rationale for doing so was flawed, a new book about Obama's expansion of the conflict says. The book, "Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan," also says that in planning the drawdown of troops two years later, the White House intentionally sidelined the CIA. Obama purposely did not read a grim CIA assessment of Afghanistan that found little measurable benefit from the 30,000 "surge" forces Obama eventually approved, the book quotes a U.S. official as saying.

CDC considers having U.S. Army scientists check on bioterror labs

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

CDC considers having U.S. Army scientists check on bioterror labs 26 Jun 2012 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering having U.S. Army scientists or another outside agency inspect its bioterror labs in the wake of a USA TODAY report this month. USA TODAY reported that the agency's $214 million Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory in Atlanta has had repeated problems with airflow systems designed to prevent the release of infectious agents. The lab, also called Building 18, has a secure, high-containment block where experiments can be done on anthrax, monkeypox, dangerous strains of flu and other agents that have the potential to be used as bioterror weapons [by USociopaths].

Two bombings kill 12 in Iraq

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Two bombings kill 12 in Iraq 25 Jun 2012 Two separate bombings in Iraq have killed twelve people and injured 39, reports say. A car bomb blew up in Hilla, 95 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, killing eight people and injuring 32 at about 7:45 pm (1645 GMT) on Monday. Also, a roadside bomb in Baquba, 60 kilometers (37.5 miles) north of Baghdad, killed four people and injured seven, security and medical sources told AFP. However, Reuters quoted Iraqi health officials as saying that nine young soccer players and fans were killed when a bomb exploded near a football pitch in Hilla.

Supreme Court rules mandatory juvenile life without parole cruel and unusual

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court rules mandatory juvenile life without parole cruel and unusual 25 Jun 2012 The Supreme Court on Monday limited the use of life terms in prison for murderers under 18, ruling that judges must consider the defendant's youth and the nature of the crime before putting him behind bars with no hope for parole. In a 5-4 decision, the high court struck down as cruel and unusual punishment the laws in about 28 states that mandated a life term for murderers, including those under age 18. The court's opinion does not say whether its ruling applies only to future sentences, or whether it could give a new hearing to the more than 2,000 prisoners who are serving life terms for earlier murders.

FBI probe targets Islamic extremists in US Army

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

FBI probe targets Islamic extremists in US Army 26 Jun 2012 The FBI is investigating more than 100 suspected Islamic extremists in the US military, following the 2009 "lone wolf" attack by an alleged Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] sympathizer that killed 13 people at a Texas army base, a news report said. About a dozen of the cases are considered "serious" threats involving suspects believed to be actively planning attacks or in contact with dangerous extremists, National Public Radio reported. The potential internal threats come from active duty military as well as reserves and civilians with access to military installations, the radio broadcaster reported.

Fast-track justice planned for Olympics: report

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Fast-track justice planned for Olympics: report 26 Jun 2012 London courts will work extended sessions during this summer's Olympics to deal instantly with anyone committing offences linked to the Games, The Times reported Tuesday. Courts will sit from 8:00 am (0700 GMT) and will not wrap up until 7:30 pm to ensure they deal with defendants within 24 hours of arrest, the public prosecutor told the newspaper. "Many people who come to the Olympics won't live here, so it is important that if offences are committed, we act quickly," said Alison Saunders, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London.

MI5 fighting 'astonishing' level of cyber-attacks

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

MI5 fighting 'astonishing' level of cyber-attacks [Gee, what a shame!] 25 Jun 2012 MI5 is working to counter "astonishing" levels of cyber-attacks on UK industry, the organisation's chief has said. In his first public speech for two years, Jonathan Evans warned internet "vulnerabilities" were being exploited by criminals as well as states. The attacks were a threat to the integrity of information, he added. Mr Evans also warned the London 2012 Olympics was an "attractive target" for terrorist groups, but said security preparations were well under way.

Last-of-his-tortoise-species, Lonesome George, a Galapagos icon, dies at 100

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Last-of-his-tortoise-species, Lonesome George, a Galapagos icon, dies at 100 24 Jun 2012 Ecuadorean officials say that the famed Galapagos giant tortoise Lonesome George has died. The Galapagos National Park says in a statement that the tortoise estimated to be about 100 years old died Sunday. Lonesome George was first seen by a Hungarian scientist on the Galapagos island of Pinta in 1972, reports BBC.

WikiLeaks suspect wins battle over US documents

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

WikiLeaks suspect wins battle over US documents 26 Jun 2012 A US military judge ordered prosecutors Monday to share more documents with WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning after defense lawyers accused them of hiding information that could help their client's case. For months, Manning's defense team has demanded access to reports by government agencies, including the CIA, that assessed the effect of the leak of classified documents to the WikiLeaks website. Judge Denise Lind ruled that government prosecutors must provide "damage assessment" reports from the CIA, the State Department, the FBI, the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive (Oncix) and other documents that were relevant for the defense.

Supreme Court strengthens Citizens United decision with Montana ruling

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court strengthens Citizens United decision with Montana ruling 25 Jun 2012 The Supreme Court on Monday reaffirmed the right of corporations to make independent political expenditures, summarily overturning a 100-year-old Montana state law that barred corporations from such political activity. The justices ruled in an unsigned opinion that Montana's law was in conflict with the court's 2010 Citizens United decision, which shifted the campaign finance landscape, opening the door to the massive political expenditures that have been shaping this year's presidential race. The decision was 5-4, split along ideological lines. Despite the Citizens United decision, the Montana Supreme Court had refused to strike down the state's ban on election spending by corporations.

Supreme Court doubles down on 'Citizens United'

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court doubles down on 'Citizens United' 25 Jun 2012 The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision Monday to strike down a Montana law that limits corporate spending on elections made clear that the outrage generated by the 2010 "Citizens United" decision has done nothing to change the minds of the justices. Today's decision boils down to a declaration that the "Citizens United" decision, which allowed for unlimited spending by corporations and special interest groups to influence elections, also applies to state and local elections. Montana - backed by Sen. John McCain (R) and 22 states - had argued that its 1912 law limiting corporate influence in elections needed to remain in place, in part because of the state's history of election interference by its mining industry "copper kings." [Start reading. Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003.]

Drones vulnerable to terrorist hijacking, researchers say

June 26, 2012 by legitgov

Drones vulnerable to terrorist hijacking, researchers say 25 Jun 2012 A small surveillance drone flies over an Austin stadium, diligently following a series of GPS waypoints that have been programmed into its flight computer. Then, as if some phantom has given the drone a self-destruct order, it hurtles toward the ground... Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin's Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government's plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones. They could be turned into weapons. "Spoofing a GPS receiver on a UAV is just another way of hijacking a plane," Humphreys told Fox News. In other words, with the right equipment, anyone can take control of a GPS-guided drone and make it do anything they want it to.

Paraguay's ousted president, Fernando Lugo, denounces 'parliamentary coup'

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

Paraguay's ousted president, Fernando Lugo, denounces 'parliamentary coup' 24 Jun 2012 The ousted president of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo, has denounced his removal from office as a "parliamentary coup" that was not based on proper evidence. Lugo, who was impeached on Friday by a Congress which accused him of failing to maintain social harmony, said his opponents had sidelined him because of his efforts to help the poor. Asked whether he had any hope of retaking office, Lugo exhorted his followers to remain peaceful but suggested that popular national and international clamour could lead Paraguayan politicians to reverse his impeachment.

Paraguay's ousted president forms shadow government

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

Paraguay's ousted president forms shadow government 25 Jun 2012 Paraguay's ousted president Fernando Lugo says he is planning to form a shadow cabinet, aiming to return to power and to attack the legitimacy of the government that replaced him. "I call on people from the countryside, the youth and all citizens to resist until we are back in the office we unfairly had to leave," Lugo told reporters on Monday. He further added that he intends to take his case on the international stage at this week's regional summit of MERCOSUR in Argentina. "I want to resist until we regain power because here there was a parliamentary coup," he said. Lugo, took power on pledges to champion the poor in 2008, accused his rivals of planning to "rob the people of their supreme decision" when they elected him to put an end to six decades of ruling by the right-wing Colorado Party.

Iraqi Police Given Orders to Shut Down 44 Local and Foreign Media Agencies

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

Iraqi Police Given Orders to Shut Down 44 Local and Foreign Media Agencies 23 Jun 2012 An official document has been obtained by the JFO, revealing that security forces in Iraq have received orders from the authorities to shut down the offices of 44 media agencies. Included are prominent local TV channels and radio stations such as Sharqiya and Baghdadia satellite television stations and foreign-owned media such as BBC, Radio Sawa and Voice of America. On June 20, followers of cleric Muqtada al Sadr held a demonstration in Baghdad's Firdos Square, in which they protested restrictions on Iraqi media, as well as calling for a vote of no confidence in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to be held at the Iraqi parliament. [Saddam Hussein: *Clearly* the better deal.]

4 NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

4 NATO Service Members Killed in Afghanistan 24 Jun 2012 NATO says four service members have died in southern Afghanistan in the past two days. The alliance says one service member died in an insurgent attack and another in a bomb blast on Saturday. The two other service members died Sunday in a traffic accident in the south.

New Egyptian President Worked for NASA

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

New Egyptian President Worked for NASA By Lori Price, http://www.legitgov.org/ 26 Jun 2012 Egypt's president-elect, Mohammed Mursi, received his Ph.D. in engineering from the University of Southern California in 1982. He was an Assistant Professor at California State University, Northridge, from 1982 to 1985. An expert on precision metal surfaces, he worked at NASA on the development of space shuttle engines in the early 1980s.

Supreme Court to rule Thursday on 'health care'

June 25, 2012 by legitgov

Supreme Court to rule Thursday on 'health care' 25 Jun 2012 The U.S. Supreme Court will rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the sweeping health care law insurance cartel giveaway championed by President Barack Obama. The stakes cannot be overstated -- what the justices decide will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans, both in how they get medicine and health care, and also in vast, yet unknown areas of "commerce." The challenge focused primarily on the law's requirement [drafted and championed by the GOP until Obama decided to embrace the Republican idea] that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine.

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