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Syria strike could bring Raytheon payday

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Syria strike could bring Raytheon payday 29 Aug 2013 A U.S. attack on Syria could translate into big bucks for defense giant Raytheon, which makes the Tomahawk cruise missile that's said to be President Barack Obama's weapon of choice. Reports that the White House is planning an attack to punish Damascus for the [rebels'] use of chemical weapons sent Raytheon's stock price to a 52-week high this week -- and have reawakened grumblings in Congress that the military doesn't buy enough Tomahawks. On paper, the Pentagon buys 196 Tomahawk missiles a year, considered the" minimum sustaining rate," or just enough to maintain the supply chain. But the Navy, which did not respond to a request for comment, has had to ramp up production after firing hundreds of Tomahawks during Libya's US-instigated 2011 civil war in Libya.

David Cameron's plans for Syria shot down as Government loses vote for military intervention

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

David Cameron's plans for Syria shot down as Government loses vote for military intervention 29 Aug 2013 The prospects of British involvement in military action in Syria receded dramatically tonight when David Cameron suffered a humiliating Commons defeat on the issue. Even though the Prime Minister conceded a second final vote before British forces took part in military strikes, a rebellion by Conservatives and strong opposition by Labour saw a government motion defeated by 285 votes to 272. The defeat was a huge surprise and leaves Mr Cameron's strategy in disarray. He now looks unable to deliver British support to American-led strikes he wants to give.

George Zimmerman's wife pleads guilty to lesser perjury charge in probation plea deal

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

George Zimmerman's wife pleads guilty to lesser perjury charge in probation plea deal 28 Aug 2013 Shellie Zimmerman, the wife of acquitted murder suspect George Zimmerman, admitted Wednesday that she had committed perjury to help her husband get out of jail and agreed to a plea deal that requires her to serve a year of probation. Shellie Zimmerman had been charged with felony perjury, which carried a possible sentence of five years in prison. Instead, she negotiated a a deal to plead guilty to a less serious crime -- misdemeanor perjury.

Russia deploying warship, missile cruiser to Mediterranean

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Russia deploying warship, missile cruiser to Mediterranean 29 Aug 2013 Russia has announced plans for deploying an anti-submarine ship and a missile cruiser to the Mediterranean, amid the escalating Western war rhetoric against Syria. "The well-known situation shaping up in the eastern Mediterranean called for certain corrections to the make-up of the naval forces," an unnamed source in the Russian General Staff was quoted by Russian news agency Interfax as saying on Thursday. "A large anti-submarine ship of the Northern Fleet will join them (the existing Russian naval forces) over the next few days. Later it will be joined by the Moskva, a rocket cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet," the source added.

US Forces 'Used Chemical Weapons' During Assault on City of Fallujah

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

US Forces 'Used Chemical Weapons' During Assault on City of Fallujah 14 Jun 2013 Powerful new evidence emerged yesterday that the United States dropped massive quantities of white phosphorus on the Iraqi city of Fallujah during the attack on the city in November 2004, killing insurgents and civilians with the appalling burns that are the signature of this weapon. (Video)

US reportedly offers drones to German military

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

US reportedly offers drones to German military 28 Aug 2013 The US has offered to sell four unarmed drones to Germany's army, the Bundeswehr, according to a newspaper report. However, the aircraft could be easily converted for combat use. The US government could deliver to Germany four unarmed MQ-9A Predator B drones, including ground control stations, the Suddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reported in their Wednesday edition, citing a defense ministry answer to a request from the Left party's parliamentary faction. The US "Letter of Offer and Acceptance" was submitted June 13, the newspaper reported.

Syria asks UN to immediately investigate 3 new chemical attacks by 'rebels'

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Syria asks UN to immediately investigate 3 new chemical attacks by 'rebels' 29 Aug 2013 The Syrian government is demanding that the United Nations immediately investigate three alleged chemical attacks carried out by rebel groups on the outskirts of Damascus last week, Syria's envoy to the UN said. Ambassador Bashar Jaafari said he had requested of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the team of experts currently in Damascus investigating an alleged use of chemical weapons last week also investigate these other attacks. The attacks took place on August 22, 24 and 25 in Jobar, Sahnaya, and al-Bahariya, Jaafari told journalists Wednesday. The "militants" used toxic chemical gas against the Syrian army, the diplomat said.

U.S. Justice Department Gives State Police, Newtown $2.5M

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

The Sandy Hook security cash cow: U.S. Justice Department Gives State Police, Newtown $2.5M 28 Aug 2013 Attorney General Eric Holder announced Wednesday that the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance will give $2.5 million in funding to the Connecticut State Police and local law enforcement for their response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The Town of Newtown will receive $602,293 for police officers' time during the past school year (Dec. 14, 2012 through June 2013) to respond to the shooting, provide public protection services afterward, and to monitor local schools. The State of Connecticut will receive $663,444 for State Police troopers' overtime to assist Newtown police with tactical response and law enforcement activities... The Town of Monroe, which gave a vacant elementary school to the Newtown community to use as the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, will receive $882,812 for police officers' time to secure and monitor the new school.

NORAD to exercise over Northern Va. this week

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Heads up! NORAD to exercise over Northern Va. this week 28 Aug 2013 The North American Aerospace Defense Command will be training over the area twice this week, starting early Thursday morning. The exercises will be Thursday and Friday morning, beginning at midnight and lasting until 2 a.m., will include Civil Air Patrol aircraft and a U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter. NORAD has been conducting these training flights in the United States and Canada as part of Operation Noble Eagle since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Gus, the Depressed Central Park Polar Bear, Dead at 27

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Gus, the Depressed Central Park Polar Bear, Dead at 27 28 Aug 2013 (NY) One might say he died of a broken heart, because as humans, for whatever reason, it soothes our existential dread to anthropomorphize nature's simpler creatures. The Wildlife Conservation Society has the more scientific but still sad story: "Gus was euthanized yesterday while under anesthesia for a medical procedure conducted by WCS veterinarians..." He was 27, old for a zoo bear; still, Gus hasn't been the same since his companion of 24 years, Ida, died in 2011.

Syria resolution authorizing military force fails in U.N. Security Council

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Syria resolution authorizing military force fails in U.N. Security Council 28 Aug 2013 The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council failed to reach an agreement Wednesday on a British-proposed resolution that would authorize the use of military force against Syria, as the U.N. chief pleaded for more time for diplomacy. The draft resolution -- if it were to be put to a vote -- would almost certainly be vetoed by Russia and China, which have blocked past attempts to sanction President Bashar Assad's government. Britain put forth the proposal Wednesday as momentum seemed to be building among Western allies for a strike against Syria.

Fast-Food Protests Underway

August 29, 2013 by legitgov

Fast-Food Protests Underway 28 Aug 2013 Fast-food protests are underway in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, with organizers expecting the biggest national walkouts yet in a demand for higher wages. Similar protests organized by unions and community groups over the past several months have brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry -- the so-called "McJobs" that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. The movement comes amid calls from the White House, some members of Congress and economists to hike the federal minimum wage.

N.Y. nuclear plant won't close, owner says

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

N.Y. nuclear plant won't close, owner says 28 Aug 2013 Factors prompting Entergy Corp. to shut down its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant don't exist at its Indian Point plant here, company officials said. In a related development, a former second in command in security operations at the plant filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday alleging problems at the plant and retaliation when he reported the problems to superiors. "The place is not able to defend from a terrorist attack," said Jason Hettler, 38, of Port Jervis, N.Y... Hettler said he resigned earlier this month so he could receive unemployment benefits after being suspended June 7 for voicing his concerns. He also said others in security would falsify documents and internal reports to avoid problems with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

NYPD Secretly Designates Mosques as Terrorism Organizations

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

NYPD Secretly Designates Mosques as Terrorism Organizations 28 Aug 2013 The New York Police Department has secretly labeled entire mosques as terrorist organizations, a designation that allows police to use informants to record sermons and spy on imams, often without specific evidence of criminal wrongdoing. Designating an entire mosque as a terrorism enterprise means that anyone who attends prayer services there is a potential subject of an investigation and fair game for surveillance. Since the 9/11 attacks, the NYPD has opened at least a dozen "terrorism enterprise investigations" into mosques, according to interviews and confidential police documents. The TEI, as it is known, is a police tool intended to help investigate terrorist cells and the like.

U.S. readies strikes, Syrians prepare for attack

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. readies strikes, Syrians prepare for attack 28 Aug 2013 People in Damascus stocked up on supplies on Wednesday and some left homes close to potential targets as U.S. officials sketched out plans for multi-national air strikes on Syria that could last for days. United Nations chemical weapons experts completed a second field trip to rebel-held suburbs, looking for evidence of what - and who [the 'rebels'] - caused an apparent poison gas attack that residents say killed hundreds of people a week ago. But as U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon appealed for unity among world powers and sought more time for the inspectors to complete their work, Washington and its European and Middle East allies said their minds were made up and that President Bashar al-Assad must face retribution for using banned weapons against his people.

Guardians of King's Dream Regroup in Washington

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Guardians of King's Dream Regroup in Washington 29 Aug 2013 "The dream is not dead," said Dr. Alveda King, a minister and niece of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as she walked into the Shiloh Baptist Church here Wednesday morning. "People are proving the dream is not dead. The biggest thing is love."  Fifty years to the day after her uncle roused the nation with his "I Have a Dream" speech, Dr. King's descendants gathered for a morning interfaith service to begin a day that will culminate with a speech by the nation's first black president in the very spot -- the steps of the Lincoln Memorial -- where Dr. King delivered his call to civil justice.

Nidal Hasan sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting rampage

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Nidal Hasan sentenced to death for Fort Hood shooting rampage 28 Aug 2013 Nidal Malik Hasan was sentenced to death Wednesday for killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in a 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood, Tex., the worst mass murder at a military installation in U.S. history. Dressed in army fatigues, Hasan, who turns 43 next month, listened as the death penalty was handed down by a panel of 13 senior military officers in a unanimous decision. If even a single panel member had objected, Hasan would instead have been sentenced to life in prison.

Tepco Must Plan for 132 Olympic-size Pools of Fukushima Radioactive Water - Engineer

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Tepco Must Plan for 132 Olympic-size Pools of Fukushima Radioactive Water - Engineer 28 Aug 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Co. has accumulated the largest pool of radioactive water in the history of nuclear accidents. The utility must now decide what to do with it: dump in the ocean, evaporate into the air, or both. The more than 330,000 metric tons of water with varying levels of toxicity is stored in pits, basements and hundreds of tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant. The government said this week it will take a bigger role in staunching the toxic outflow that's grown to 40 times the volume accumulated in the atomic disaster at Three Mile Island in the U.S. Processing and disposing of the water, enough to fill a very large crude oil tanker or 132 Olympic-size swimming pools, will be one of the most challenging engineering tasks of our generation, former nuclear engineer Michael Friedlander said.

Baghdad Bombings 'At Least 51 People Dead'

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Baghdad Bombings 'At Least 51 People Dead' 28 Aug 2013 Iraqi officials say a coordinated wave of bombings that mainly struck Shiite neighborhoods in and around Baghdad have killed at least 51 people. Police say insurgents set off bombs in at least 10 different neighborhoods in the capital early on Wednesday. Another 150 are reported wounded.

Fukushima Leaks Prompt Government to 'Emergency Measures'

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima Leaks Prompt Government to 'Emergency Measures' --Radioactive water is building up in tanks at Fukushima at a rate of 400 tons a day, and leaking from underground tunnels into the ocean. 28 Aug 2013 Japan's government will lead "emergency measures" to tackle radioactive water spills at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, wresting control of the disaster recovery from the plant's heavily criticized operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. "We've allowed Tokyo Electric to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they've essentially turned it into a game of 'Whack-a-Mole,'" Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters today at Fukushima. "From now on, the government will move to the forefront."

Man in uniform opens fire, wounds 15 in Kandahar

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Man in uniform opens fire, wounds 15 in Kandahar 28 Aug 2013 A man in uniform opened fire on the Public Protection Police Force of Afghanistan and injured 15 personnel of the unit on Wednesday, a local official said. "A man dressed in the uniform of the Public Protection Police Force (PPPF) entered the compound of the body in Daman district at around 09:00 a.m. local time today and opened indiscriminate fire injuring 15 people," the official Atash told Xinhua. The Public Protection Police Force is a body escorting the logistic convoys of military on the highways including the Kabul-Kandahar highway to reach their destinations in safety.

Iran's parliament to sue U.S. over 1953 coup: TV

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Iran's parliament to sue U.S. over 1953 coup: TV 27 Aug 2013 Iranian parliamentarians approved Tuesday a bill that seeks to sue the United States for its involvement in the 1953 coup which overthrew the democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohamed Mosaddeq, Press TV reported. During an open session of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) on Tuesday, the parliamentarians voted in favor of the urgent need to take a legal action against the United States. In case of a final approval, an ad hoc committee will be set up to debate ways of filing a formal complaint against the U.S. government in the international courts for its interference in Iran's internal affairs and causing damages, according to the report.

US, UK, France push for response to Syrian 'gas attack' as UN chemical probe gets delayed

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

US, UK, France push for response to Syrian 'gas attack' as UN chemical probe gets delayed 28 Aug 2013 Even as the UN team investigating the alleged chemical attack in Syria had to postpone their investigation and yielded no results, Western states continued pushing for a "firm response" amid growing speculation a strike could take place within days. A UN spokesperson on Tuesday announced that the planned visit to the site of last week's alleged chemical weapons attack outside Damascus has been postponed "in order to improve preparedness and safety for the team." Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem also dismissed the claims that the Syrian government was delaying the probe's start, saying that the "UN team did not ask to go to the site until Saturday."

US begins war on Syria as early as Thursday, officials say

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

US begins war on Syria as early as Thursday, officials say 27 Aug 2013 Senior American officials say the United States has planned to launch missile strikes against Syria "as early as Thursday" in order to punish Damascus over the alleged use of chemical weapons. The unnamed officials told NBC News on Tuesday that the "three days" of strikes would be limited in scope, and aimed at "sending a message to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad rather than degrading his military capabilities." On Monday night, four US warships were deployed in the Mediterranean within cruise missile range of Syria.

Car bomb attacks kill 29 people in Iraqi capital

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Car bomb attacks kill 29 people in Iraqi capital 28 Aug 2013 At least 29 people have been killed in a series of car bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, officials say.

'No doubt' Syria used chemical arms, says US Vice-President Joe Biden

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

'No doubt' Syria used chemical arms, says US Vice-President Joe Biden 28 Aug 2013 US Vice-President Joe Biden has said there is "no doubt" that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and that it must be held accountable. The US has said its military is ready to launch strikes should President Barack Obama order an attack, and allies say they too are ready to act. The Syrian government has strongly denied claims it used chemical weapons.

Defense attorney to seek up to $300,000 from Fla. to pay Zimmerman's non-lawyer defense costs

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Defense attorney to seek up to $300,000 from Fla. to pay Zimmerman's non-lawyer defense costs 28 Aug 2013 George Zimmerman's attorney said Tuesday that he is going to ask the state of Florida to pay for some of his client's non-lawyer legal bills, including for experts, printing and court reporters, and that the price tag could reach $300,000. Zimmerman was acquitted last month of all charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of Miami teenager Trayvon Martin. The decision in the nationally televised trial touched off protests across the country.

Rim Fire reaches Hetch Hetchy reservoir

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Rim Fire reaches Hetch Hetchy reservoir 27 Aug 2013 The massive Rim Fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park Tuesday reached the area surrounding the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which provides water to San Francisco residents, city utility officials said. The blaze, which has blackened nearly 180,000 acres, was not expected to affect the quality of the Hetch Hetchy water because of the rocky terrain and limited brush along the reservoir, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Entergy to Close Vermont's Only Nuclear Power Plant

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Entergy to Close Vermont's Only Nuclear Power Plant 27 Aug 2013 Entergy Corp. will permanently shut its Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant in 2014 after battling for years with state officials to keep the 41-year-old reactor in service. Vermont Yankee is the fifth U.S. nuclear reactor this year to announce plans to permanently close, the highest-ever annual total, as power prices have slumped amid booming gas production. Reactors also face higher maintenance costs from stricter regulations following Japan's 2011 [2012, and 2013] Fukushima nuclear disaster.

As Syria war escalates, 60 percent of Americans against U.S. intervention: Reuters-Ipsos poll

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

As Syria war escalates, 60 percent of Americans against U.S. intervention: Reuters/Ipsos poll 24 Aug 2013 Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria's civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria's government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says. About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria's civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.

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