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State Department Denies Cuban Diplomats' Visa Request to Attend Marxist Panel In New York

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

State Department Denies Cuban Diplomats' Visa Request to Attend Marxist Panel In New York 24 Mar 2012 The State Department says it has rejected applications from two senior Cuban diplomats to travel to New York to take part in a panel discussion sponsored by a Marxist group, but not for political reasons. [Yeah, right!] Rather, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says they were denied because American diplomats in Havana are routinely refused permission to travel outside the Cuban capital. The two diplomats from Cuba's interest section in Washington had asked to go to New York from March 16-18 to appear on a panel about Cuba sponsored by the magazine Marxism-Leninism Today.

Italian soldier killed in mortar attack in west Afghanistan

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

Italian soldier killed in mortar attack in west Afghanistan 24 Mar 2012 An Italian soldier with the NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been killed in a mortar attack in western Afghanistan's Farah Province. The attack which took place at around 6 pm (1300 GMT) Saturday at the Ice Forward Operative Base in the southeastern district of Gulistan also injured five soldiers, the Italian news agency ANSA said citing military officials. The wounded Italian soldiers were transferred by helicopter to a nearby military hospital.

Terrorists blow up gas pipeline in Syria: State media

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

CIAciopaths are busy little bees: Terrorists blow up gas pipeline in Syria: State media 24 Mar 2012 Syrian state media say terrorists have blown up a section of a pipeline carrying gas through the eastern province of Deir al-Zour. The attack was carried out on Saturday, state media said. This is not the first time a Syrian gas pipeline comes under attack by armed groups over the past year. The Saturday attack in the region was conducted on the same day when state media said Syrians held a demonstration in the provincial capital, Deir al-Zour, to express support for the government's reform programs and to reject foreign interference in the internal affairs of Syria.

Iraqi woman beaten in U.S.; threat note at scene

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

Iraqi woman beaten in U.S.; threat note at scene 24 Mar 2012 A 32-year-old woman from Iraq was critically injured after being severely beaten in her Southern California home, and police said a threatening note was discovered at the scene. The woman's 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the house in El Cajon, police Lt. Steve Shakowski said. Authorities identified the victim as Shaima Alawadi, a mother of five. The daughter told KUSI-TV that her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron.

Protest calls for Trayvon Martin case prosecution

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

Protest calls for Trayvon Martin case prosecution 24 Mar 2012 (IL) For a second straight day, hundreds of people gathered in the Loop this afternoon to show their support for the family of  Trayvon Martin and to demand that the man who shot and killed the teen in Florida last month be prosecuted. Various speakers took turns today addressing the crowd from the base of the Picasso statue in the plaza while others held signs with slogans such as: "Went out for candy and never came home" and "It is not a crime to be black."

Europol chief warns about 'lone wolf' jihadist threat

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

Europol chief warns about 'lone wolf' jihadist threat 24 Mar 2012 With France's deadly attacks, Islamic [sic] terror has apparently struck once more in the heart of Europe - and authorities say there's a dangerous twist: the emergence of homegrown extremists operating independent of any known networks, making them hard to track and stop. "We have a different kind of jihadist threat emerging and it's getting stronger," Europol chief Rob Wainwright told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from The Hague. "It is much more decentralized and harder to track." France's motorcycle gunman traumatized a nation heading into presidential elections and spread fear across the continent that the specter of al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] was once again threatening daily life.

French gunman once held in custody by US forces in Afghanistan

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

French gunman once held in custody by US forces in Afghanistan 22 Mar 2012 U.S. and French authorities said Mohammed Merah [the man suspected of murdering seven people who was killed in a shootout with police on Thursday] had traveled to Afghanistan around 2010 to obtain training from Islamic militants. He had spent time with militants along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border before being captured and returned to France. At some point after his capture, two other U.S. officials said, Merah was held in custody by U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The officials declined to give details of how and when this occurred and what happened to him next. French authorities said he traveled to Afghanistan again more recently, but returned to France on his own after contracting hepatitis.

Western countries scramble for Afghan exits

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

Western countries scramble for Afghan exits 23 Mar 2012 As international forces prepare for withdrawal from Afghanistan, Western countries are already in talks with Afghanistan's Central Asian neighbors to bring their troops and military equipment back home. The Pakistani route and the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) running through Central Asian countries are the two viable routes for international forces to withdraw from Afghanistan. The United States and Afghanistan are in the process of negotiating an accord for a long-term US presence in Afghanistan after 2014, when most foreign combat forces are due to withdraw. The US wants some advisers mercenaries and special forces to stay.

As Santorum Fires Gun, Woman Shouts 'Pretend It's Obama'

March 24, 2012 by legitgov

As Santorum Fires Gun, Woman Shouts 'Pretend It's Obama' 23 Mar 2012 At a campaign stop at a firing range, while Rick Santorum was firing off some rounds, a woman shouted, "pretend it's Obama." Santorum, who was far from the woman, couldn't hear the comment as he proceeded with his target practice. Neither could his staffers. But the yell - the identity of the yeller is not clear, although the words were clearly audible - was in close proximity to journalists traveling with the candidate.

More Trayvon Martin Walkouts at Miami Schools

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

More Trayvon Martin Walkouts at Miami Schools --Students at several Miami high schools stage walkouts for slain teen 23 Mar 2012 Hundreds of students at several South Florida high schools staged walkouts Friday morning in a massive protest against the lack of an arrest in the Trayvon Martin shooting. Students from Miami Central, Miami Edison, Miami Norland, American Senior, William H. Turner High and Southridge High in Miami and Blanche Ely High School in Broward held walkouts. At Miami Central and Turner, students were seen pouring out of the school buildings and into the streets just after 9 a.m. [Click here for the list of schools that held walkouts.]

US: Journalist fired after calling Israeli occupation 'brutal'

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

US: Journalist fired after calling Israeli occupation 'brutal' 23 Mar 2012 A veteran American journalist has been fired after referring to Israel's occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land as "brutal." Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at WYPR-FM in Baltimore, was dropped by the public radio station on Thursday after more than nine years on the job. He had been on probation following criticism of comments he made on Facebook about Israel's continued illegal occupation of Palestine. "I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the Israeli regime," he wrote. "The war-mongering toward Iran has, once again, distracted the world from Israel's brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights."

Obama Signs 'Thank You' to Deaf Supporter

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Obama Signs 'Thank You' to Deaf Supporter 21 Mar 2012 President Obama didn't miss a beat last week when he encountered a group of deaf students along a rope line after his speech at Prince George’s Community College in Maryland. "I am proud of you," signed Stephon, a 26-year-old college student, who looked at Obama with amazement. Obama immediately paused and signed back "thank you." Another deaf woman signed, "I love you," drawing a big Obama smile.

'Etch A Sketch' stocks soar after Romney gaffe

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

'Etch A Sketch' stocks soar after Romney gaffe 22 Mar 2012 Shares in a company that makes Etch A Sketch nearly tripled in value on Thursday, a day after the humble toy was thrust into the center of US politics. The Ohio Art Company, which makes the children's iconic drawing device, saw its shares increase as much as 213 percent after a key aide to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney made an ill-thought reference to the toy. But the Ohio Art Company tried to make hay out of Romney's woes. In a statement the company said it was "happy to see Etch A Sketch, an American classic toy, is DRAWING attention with political candidates as a cultural icon and important piece of our society. A profound toy, highly recognized and loved by all, is now SHAKING up the national debate."

Outrage over Trayvon Martin shooting spreads

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Outrage over Trayvon Martin shooting spreads 22 Mar 2012 Fury over the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin is spreading. Marchers took to the streets in New York City and Miami Wednesday, demanding the arrest of the shooter, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. And he's not the only one under fire. In Manhattan, hundreds demonstrated, seeking justice, they said, for Martin. The "Million Hoodie March" got its name because Martin was wearing a hoodie on Feb. 28, the night Zimmerman shot him. [Is George Zimmerman a confidential informant for the Sanford Police Department? That would explain why Zimmerman appears to be a protected species. --LRP]

Thousands attend rally for slain Fla. teen

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Thousands attend rally for slain Fla. teen 22 Mar 2012 Thousands of Sanford residents and protesters from around the country attended a rally for a black teen fatally shot by a neighborhood watch captain in Florida. The rally was initially planned for a 400-seat church. But Thursday evening's two-hour rally for 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was moved to Fort Mellon Park in downtown Sanford to make room for all the people expected to attend. Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton told the crowd that he wants to see Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, in court with handcuffs behind his back. [Notice that Obusha is silent on the shooting of Trayvon Martin? Notice that Al Sharpton is silent on Obusha's silence? --LRP]

U.S. Resurrects Shuttered Bush Administration 'Total Information Awareness' Data Mining Program

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Resurrects Shuttered Bush Administration 'Total Information Awareness' Data Mining Program --U.S. Relaxes Limits on Use of Data in Terror Analysis 23 Mar 2012 The Obama administration is moving to relax restrictions on how counterterrorism analysts may retrieve, store and search information about Americans gathered by government agencies for purposes other than national security threats. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Thursday signed new guidelines for the National Counterterrorism Center, which was created in 2004 to foster intelligence sharing and serve as a terrorism threat clearinghouse. The guidelines will lengthen to five years - from 180 days - the amount of time the center can retain private information about Americans when there is no suspicion that they are tied to terrorism, intelligence officials said. The guidelines are also expected to result in the center making more copies of entire databases and "data mining them" using complex algorithms to search for patterns that could indicate a threat.

Sarkozy: Jail those who browse terror websites

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Sarkozy: Jail those who browse terror websites --'Anyone' who regularly consults terror-advocating sites will be criminally punished 22 Mar 2012 France's president proposed a sweeping new law Thursday that would jail those who visit extremist web sites -- one of several tough new measures floated in the wake of a murderous shooting spree. Nicolas Sarkozy argued that it was time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography. "Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison," he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. "What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too."

U.S. Sergeant Faces 17 Counts of Murder in Afghan Killings

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Sergeant Faces 17 Counts of Murder in Afghan Killings 23 Mar 2012 Staff Sgt. Robert Bales will be charged on Friday with 17 counts of murder and various other charges, including attempted murder, in connection with the March 11 shooting deaths of Afghan civilians, a senior United States official said on Thursday. Sergeant Bales, who is 38 and had been serving his fourth combat tour overseas, is being held at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He is accused of walking away from his remote base in southern Afghanistan and killing 16 17 civilians in a nighttime ambush... Sergeant Bales's legal proceedings could last years.

Southern leg of Keystone pipeline a 'priority,' Obama says

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: Southern leg of Keystone pipeline a 'priority,' Obama says 22 Mar 2012 Amid criticism he isn't doing enough to beat back rising gas prices, President Obama Thursday said he is calling on his administration "to cut through red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles," and make the Southern leg of the controversial Keystone pipeline "a priority." Mr. Obama's stop in Cushing was part of a four-state, two-day tour in which the president touted his [corpora-terrorist overlords'] energy policies. Standing next to the giant TransCanada pipes that will make up the Southern leg of the Keystone pipeline, Mr. Obama sought to remind voters that he's not opposed to domestic oil drilling [so Exxon Mobil can sell the oil to China]. [Once again, Obusha surrenders to his GOP overlords and fails to address the cause of skyrocketing oil prices: Wall Street speculation and rampant profiteering by US oil companies.]

Paramilitary-Style Police Detain And Search Individuals From Occupy Miami

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Paramilitary-Style Police Detain And Search Individuals From Occupy Miami --Summary of post by James Cox 13 Mar 2012 Today, members of Occupy Miami were leaving to do a march and a rally, when multiple trucks and cars filled with paramilitary SWAT-looking officers, with military weaponry pulled. According to reports, these 'paramilitary-looking' police officers drew their weapons on the occupiers and rounded them up, along with tenants of the apartment complex, and put them on the ground... These officers were in full riot gear and had assault rifles, tactical gear and shotguns. They were also accompanied by FBI agents and the City of Miami police.

2 Fla. officials step aside in teen death probe

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

2 Fla. officials step aside in teen death probe 22 Mar 2012 The police chief and prosecutor who have been bitterly criticized for not arresting a neighborhood watch volunteer in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager both left the case Thursday, with the chief saying that he is temporarily leaving his job to let passions cool. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee's decision came less than a day after city commissioners gave him a "no confidence" vote, and after a couple of weeks of protests and uproar on social media websites. [Obusha still silent, of course...]

Dozens arrested in Vermont Yankee protest

March 23, 2012 by legitgov

Dozens arrested in Vermont Yankee protest 22 Mar 2012 Scores of protesters were arrested at the corporate headquarters of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant Thursday, the first day of the plant's operation after the expiration of its 40-year license. A heavy police presence and ropes blocked off access to the offices in Brattleboro. The arrests were made calmly and without any confrontation, with obvious signs that protesters and police had worked out the logistics beforehand. A crowd estimated at more than 1,000 gathered in a downtown Brattleboro park before they marched the 3 1/2 miles to the headquarters.

Taliban destroy nine NATO fuel tankers in western Afghanistan

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

Taliban destroy nine NATO fuel tankers in western Afghanistan 20 Mar 2012 Taliban militants in Afghanistan's western Farah province have destroyed nine NATO tankers carrying fuel for US-led troops in the war-torn country, Press TV reports. According to local officials, two vehicles escorting the convoy were also destroyed in the ambush on Tuesday. One person was killed in the attack and two others were injured, the officials said. A spokesperson for the Taliban, however, claimed that at least six people had lost their lives.

White House: Mother duck moves in her adorable ducklings... with help from the Secret Service

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

There's a new family in the White House: Mother duck moves in her adorable ducklings... with a little help from the Secret Service 22 Mar 2012 There was no need for the President to duck and cover when a family of uninvited visitors waddled past tight security and into the White House yesterday. A mother duck and her brood of eight adorable ducklings tried to sneak past guards and occupy the presidential front lawn. ...Two guards on duty took the matter into their own hands and gently picked each one up, passing them through the gate so they could be reunited with their mother. 

As Occupy Arrestees Arraigned, Iris Scans Affect Bail

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

As Occupy Arrestees Arraigned, Iris Scans Affect Bail 19 Mar 2012 The first of the more than 70 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested Saturday afternoon and evening were arraigned yesterday in Manhattan Criminal Court. Unlike many of the other defendants with whom they shared cells, the protesters could feel confident that they would soon be released -- Occupy posts bail for those arrested during movement actions. But protesters and their legal advisers were surprised yesterday to learn that the size of their bail was being affected by whether defendants were willing to have the distinctive patterns of their irises photographed and logged into a database.

Mayor's office buys 8,513 more face shields for NATO summit

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

Mayor's office buys 8,513 more face shields for NATO summit 21 Mar 2012 Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration is buying 8,513 more face shields for Chicago Police officers at a cost of $757,657 - and demanding delivery in time for the May 20-21 NATO summit - to give every officer on the street a shield that fits over a gas mask and prevents them from being blinded by liquids thrown by protesters. The supplemental purchase from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. brings to $954,118 the amount of money spent to purchase 11,570 face shields twice as thick as the old ones with a larger surface and air-tight seal to keep liquids out. The new contract was piggybacked onto an existing Fairfax County, Va. award with a third-distributor to expedite delivery.

Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Steps Down Temporarily

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

Sanford, Fla., Police Chief Steps Down Temporarily 22 Mar 2012 The embattled police chief at the center of a fatal neighborhood watch shooting temporarily stepped down Thursday, saying he had become a distraction to the investigation. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee has been heavily criticized after his officers decided not to arrest George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer who shot an unarmed black teen to death on Feb. 26. The shooting has sparked several protests, and city commissioners gave the chief a "no confidence" vote on Wednesday night. [Is George Zimmerman a confidential informant? Maybe that's why the Sanford Police is treating him like one of their own. --LRP]

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

The NSA Is Building the Country's Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) By James Bamford 15 Mar 2012 Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world's communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013... It is, in some measure, the realization of the "total information awareness" program created during the first term of the Bush administration-an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans' privacy.

Bomb explosion kills 2, wounds 8 in south Afghanistan

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

Bomb explosion kills 2, wounds 8 in south Afghanistan 22 Mar 2012 At least two people have been killed and eight others wounded after an explosion ripped through Afghanistan's troubled southern province of Kandahar. A security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the blast took place in the 10th precinct of Kandahar city, situated approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles) southwest of Kabul, at around 04:00 p.m. local time (1130 GMT) on Thursday. He added that two civilians were killed and eight others, including two policemen, sustained injures.

Taliban claim nine US soldiers killed in Kandahar blast

March 22, 2012 by legitgov

Taliban claim nine US soldiers killed in Kandahar blast 22 Mar 2012 [This story will be updated.]

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John McCain and ISIS buds
Sen. John McCain and ISIS buds

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Bush and Obusha

Arming the Left: Is the time now? By Charles Southwell 21 Oct 2003 As long as we pose no REAL threat to the powers-that-be, to what is shaping up into [is] a dictatorship, we will continue to be ignored. Right now, we are ignored because we present no organized power to fight this onslaught of anti-democratic, totalitarian government that we are up against...

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