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Ohio governor, flanked by six men, signs stringent abortion restrictions into

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Ohio governor, flanked by six men, signs stringent abortion restrictions into law 01 Jul 2013 It is a striking image: Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, flanked by six men, signing stringent abortion restrictions into law as part of the state's new budget Sunday night. Karen Kasler, a local reporter for Ohio Public Radio and TV's Statehouse News Bureau, captured the image and shared it on Twitter, where it received a flurry of comments asking: "Where are the women?" While there were female reporters in the room, no female elected officials were present.

Snowden Seeks Russian Asylum as Putin Says Leaks Must End

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Snowden Seeks Russian Asylum as Putin Says Leaks Must End 01 Jul 2013 President Vladimir Putin said Edward Snowden must quit hurting American interests should he hope to remain in Russia, after an official said the fugitive U.S. leaker applied for asylum there. "If he wants to stay, there’s one condition: He must stop his activity aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as it sounds coming from my lips," Putin, a frequent critic of U.S. policy, told reporters in the Kremlin yesterday. Putin said Snowden is unlikely to accept that restriction.

Grimes will challenge McConnell for U.S. Senate seat in 2014

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Grimes will challenge McConnell for U.S. Senate seat in 2014 01 Jul 2013 Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday that she will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014. Grimes, a Lexington lawyer in her first term as secretary of state, has been conducting "due diligence" about entering the race since late April. "Kentucky is tired of 28 years of obstruction," Grimes said of McConnell during an afternoon news conference in Frankfort.

Obama Pledges $7 Billion to Upgrade Power in Africa

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Obama Pledges $7 Billion to Upgrade Power in Africa 30 Jun 2013 U.S. President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion Sunday to help combat frequent power blackouts in sub-Saharan Africa. Funds from the initiative, dubbed Power Africa, will be distributed over the next five years. Obama made the announcement during his trip to South Africa, the continent's biggest economy. The program includes $1.5 billion from the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation and $5 billion from the Export-Import Bank, the White House said. Sub-Saharan Africa will need more than $300 billion to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, it said. [Once again, US taxpayers are spending BILLIONS on another bl*job for US corpora-terrorists to PRETEND to build/upgrade power grids in another country! US taxpayers have spent BILLIONS to 'build' power grids in IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN -- seemingly, EVERY COUNTRY ON EARTH -- EXCEPT the US! US infrastructure is CRUMBLING, but Congress won't appropriate a nickel to fix any of the THOUSANDS of unsafe bridges across America or, God forbid, give a air traffic controller overtime. The reason why the hypocritical Republicans in Congress (except for Rand Paul and a few others) have no objection to pouring billions into 'upgrading' infrastructure in other nations is that they know such projects will NEVER be completed (Iraq, Afghanistan) and the only BENEFACTORS to these pseudo-humanitarian (and 'security') projects are US CORPORA-TERRORISTS, immune from oversight. That's why the GOP wants to spend $50 billion to 'secure the border' while simultaneously voting to cut food stamps and slash aid to the poor. --LRP]

GI's Trial in WikiLeaks Case Enters 5th Week

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

GI's Trial in WikiLeaks Case Enters 5th Week 01 Jul 2013 Prosecutors at the court-martial of an Army private at Fort Meade remain focused on the more than 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables he gave to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. The trial of Pfc. Bradley Manning enters its fifth week Monday at the Army installation near Baltimore. Manning is charged with aiding the enemy and 20 other offenses. He admits leaking the cables while working as an intelligence analyst in Iraq but denies stealing them.

Military faults guards in Guantanamo captive's suicide by overdose

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Military faults guards in Guantánamo captive's suicide by overdose 28 Jun 2013 A U.S. military investigation found Guantánamo troops didn't follow their own rules, allowing a captive to take a fatal overdose of an anti-psychotic drug a day after he was moved into a disciplinary cell from the detention center's psychiatric ward. A 79-page report, released Friday under the Freedom of Information Act, showed the "standard operating procedures," or SOP, governing the U.S. Army Military Police required soldiers to regularly check on captives kept in solitary cells at Camp 5, Guantánamo's maximum-security lockup. Troops didn't do it for at least two shift changes before Yemeni captive Adnan Latif was discovered dead on the floor of his Camp 5 cell at the U.S. Navy base in southeast Cuba on Sept. 8, 2012.

Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics over snooping

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Berlin accuses Washington of cold war tactics over snooping --Reports of NSA snooping on Europe go well beyond previous revelations of electronic spying 30 Jun 2013 Transatlantic relations plunged at the weekend as Berlin, Brussels and Paris all demanded that Washington account promptly and fully for new disclosures on the scale of the US National Security Agency's spying on its European allies. As further details emerged of the huge reach of US electronic snooping on Europe, Berlin accused Washington of treating it like the Soviet Union, "like a cold war enemy". The European commission called on the US to clarify allegations that the NSA, operating from Nato headquarters a few miles away in Brussels, had infiltrated secure telephone and computer networks at the venue for EU summits in the Belgian capital.

U.S. justices block generic drug liability lawsuits

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. justices block generic drug liability lawsuits 24 Jun 2013 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that generic drugmakers cannot be sued under state law for adverse reactions to their products, a decision that consumer advocates called a blow to patient safety. In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled for Mutual Pharmaceutical Co, owned by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd, overturning a multimillion-dollar jury award to a badly injured patient in New Hampshire who alleged a generic drug she had taken was unsafe based on its chemical design. The majority opinion, written by Justice [sic] Samuel Alito, said the state's law could not run against federal laws on prescription medicines whose design has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Crew of 19 elite firefighters killed in Arizona wildfire

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Crew of 19 elite firefighters killed in Arizona wildfire --Only one survivor from hotshot unit trained to venture into remote areas, which was overtaken by rapidly moving blaze 01 Jul 2013 Nineteen firefighters have died in Arizona after being caught in one of the deadliest wildfires in the US for decades, which destroyed scores of homes and forced the evacuation of two small towns north-west of Phoenix. The specially trained "hotshot" firefighters were forced to deploy their fire shelters – tent-like structures meant to shield them from flames and heat – when they were caught near an Arizona town, state forestry spokesman Art Morrison told the Associated Press.

Snowden revelations will continue, says Assange

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Snowden revelations will continue, says Assange 30 Jun 2013 Julian Assange, the founder of the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks, said Sunday that even as Edward J. Snowden remained in diplomatic limbo at a Moscow airport, the disclosures from the classified documents he took as a National Security Agency contractor would continue. "Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage," Assange said on the ABC News program "This Week." Assange, speaking from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has been ensconced for more the a year after being granted asylum, praised Snowden's actions and compared his plight with his own. He said Snowden was likely to be indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., that Assange said was "made up of the CIA, Pentagon."

Former NSA, CIA director: 'The United States does conduct espionage'

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Former NSA, CIA director: 'The United States does conduct espionage' 30 Jun 2013 "The United States does conduct espionage," and the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protecting the privacy of American citizens "is not an international treaty," former CIA and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden said Sunday on "Face the Nation," after a German magazine cited secret intelligence documents to charge U.S. spies of bugging European Union offices. Earlier Sunday, top German official Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger accused the United States of using "Cold War" methods against its allies. Her statement came in response to a report in the German news weekly Der Spiegel, which, citing some of the top-secret documents leaked by former government contractor Edward Snowden, claimed the NSA had eavesdropped on EU offices in Washington, New York and Brussels.

Inner workings of a top-secret spy program

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

Inner workings of a top-secret spy program 29 Jun 2013 The National Security Agency’s PRISM program, which collects intelligence from Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Apple and other tech giants, is "targeted" at foreigners. But it also collects the e-mail, voice, text and video chats of an unknown number of Americans -- "inadvertently," "incidentally" or deliberately if an American is conversing with a foreign target overseas. Here are new details on how the program works, from top-secret documents and interviews.

E.U. fury on allegations of U.S. spying

July 1, 2013 by legitgov

E.U. fury on allegations of U.S. spying 30 Jun 2013 European leaders reacted with fury on Sunday to allegations in a German magazine that the United States had conducted a wide-ranging effort to monitor European Union diplomatic offices and computer networks, with some saying that they expected such surveillance from enemies, not their closest economic partner. It was the latest fallout from National Security Agency information apparently leaked by Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor whose detailing of classified information on the agency’s programs has shined a rare light on U.S. surveillance efforts that range far wider than previously understood.

NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama --Secret program launched by Bush continued 'until 2011' --Fisa court renewed collection order every 90 days --Current NSA programs still mine US internet metadata 27 Jun 2013 The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian. The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days". A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011. The collection of these records began under the Bush regime's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind. According to a top-secret draft report by the NSA's inspector general - published for the first time today by the Guardian - the agency began "collection of bulk internet metadata" involving "communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States".

Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of 'collaboration' with government

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of 'collaboration' with government 30 Jun 2013 Recent leaks of classified documents have pointed to the role of a special court in enabling the government's secret surveillance programs, but members of the court are chafing at the suggestion that they were collaborating with the executive branch. A classified 2009 draft report by the National Security Agency's inspector general relayed some details about the interaction between the court's judges and the NSA, which sought approval for the Bush regime's top-secret domestic surveillance programs. The report was described in The Washington Post on June 16 and released in full Thursday by The Post and The Guardian. U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, the former chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, took the highly unusual step Friday of voicing open frustration at the account in the report and court's inability to explain its decisions.

Alleged Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza was a vegan and 'talented student' who earned mostly As

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

Alleged Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza was a vegan and 'talented student' who earned mostly As 30 Jun 2013 In September of his eighth-grade year, Adam Lanza was wracked by anxiety, his mother told doctors. So intense were the feelings that Nancy Lanza drove him to the emergency room at Danbury Hospital for an evaluation... But the trouble was not with his performance in the classroom, according to his seventh-grade report cards from Newtown Middle School and St. Rose of Lima. The first three marking periods of his seventh-grade year were spent at Newtown Middle School where he earned mostly A's. Teachers described him as having a "positive attitude," being "fully engaged, respectful" and "eager to succeed." And he was praised not just for academics -- he earned an A in gym class, and his band teacher called him a "talented student." Medical records state that Lanza was vegan, meaning he did not consume any animal products, by the time he was 13. [Exactly. Sandy Hook was a false flag, six ways to Sunday. --LRP]

U.S. bugged EU offices, computer networks: Der Spiegel

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. bugged EU offices, computer networks: Der Spiegel 29 Jun 2013 The United States has bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy programs. Der Spiegel quoted from a September 2010 "top secret" U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) document that it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him, and the weekly's journalists had seen in part. The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails. The document explicitly called the EU a "target".

Meat from cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis is being sold to consumers

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

Meat from cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis is being sold to consumers --Meat from cattle infected with TB is being sold in the UK 30 Jun 2013 The Government has sold more than £35 million worth of meat from cattle infected with bovine TB in the last six years, it can be revealed. Once the meat makes its way into the shops it is undistinguishable from beef from healthy animals. It means that beef available on the high street may have come from cows slaughtered because they were infected with bovine TB.

TB cattle entering human food chain: report

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: TB cattle entering human food chain: report 29 Jun 2013 (UK) Tens of thousands of diseased cattle slaughtered because they have bovine tuberculosis are being sold for human consumption, a report said. The Sunday Times reported that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was selling the carcasses although some experts consider this may be a risk to human health. Raw meat from about 28,000 cows a year with bovine tuberculosis (bTB) is being sold to caterers and food processors, where it may be served in schools, hospitals and the military, the report said.

South Africans burn Obama's poster

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

South Africans burn Obama's poster 29 Jun 2013 Anti-U.S. protesters burned posters of U.S. President Barack Obama in the South African city of Johannesburg, ahead of his visit to the city on Saturday. Protesters also burned miniature U.S. flags outside the University of Johannesburg Soweto campus, expressing their anger at the U.S. government's foreign policy. Demonstrators expressed their opposition to Washington's support for the Israeli government, the killing of innocent civilians in U.S. drone strikes, and the continuing operation of the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay prison. Some protesters compared the Obama administration's support for the Israeli government to apartheid in South Africa.

Supreme Court petitioned to reimpose California gay marriage ban

June 30, 2013 by legitgov

Supreme Court petitioned to reimpose California gay marriage ban 29 Jun 2013 Opponents of gay marriage filed a long-shot petition on Saturday with the Supreme Court asking the justices to immediately halt same-sex weddings taking place in California since Friday, when an appeals court lifted a 5-year-old ban on gay matrimony. Marriage ceremonies of gay and lesbian couples went ahead after a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco removed its stay of a trial judge's order striking the gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, as unconstitutional. The stay had been in force while supporters of Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment passed by the voters in 2008, appealed their case to the Supreme Court.

Weekend calling for near 130 degree temperatures: Phoenix, Las Vegas bake in scorching heat

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Weekend calling for near 130 degree temperatures: Phoenix, Las Vegas bake in scorching heat 29 Jun 2013 The forecast called for Death Valley to reach 128 degrees Saturday as part of a heat wave that has caused large parts of the western U.S. to suffer. Death Valley's record high of 134 degrees, set a century ago, stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Phoenix reached 116 on Friday -- 2 degrees short of the expected high -- in part because a light layer of smoke from wildfires in neighboring New Mexico shielded the blazing sun, the National Weather Service said. Phoenix was forecast to hit nearly 120. The record in Phoenix is 122.

Temps could reach 130 degrees in western US; would be 2nd hottest day on Eart

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Temps could reach 130 degrees in western US; would be 2nd hottest day on Earth 28 Jun 2013 Today could be one of the hottest days ever recorded on Earth, as the western U.S. falls into the grips of a dangerous heat wave. A strong high-pressure system settling over the region on Friday and through the weekend will bring extreme temperatures. The mercury may hit 130 degrees F. in Death Valley, Calif. (The all-time high is 134 degrees.) Airlines are monitoring the soaring temperatures to make sure it's safe to fly.

Dept. of Defense takes preventative 'network hygiene' measures, blocks access to The Guardian

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Dept. of Defense takes preventative 'network hygiene' measures, blocks access to The Guardian --Security concerns cited in blocking Guardian news 28 Jun 2013 The Army admitted Thursday to not only restricting access to The Guardian news website at the Presidio of Monterey, as reported in Thursday's Herald, but Armywide. Presidio employees said the site had been blocked since The Guardian broke stories on data collection by the National Security Agency. Gordon Van Vleet, an Arizona-based spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email the Army is filtering "some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks." He wrote it is routine for the Department of Defense to take preventative "network hygiene" measures to mitigate unauthorized disclosures of classified information. 

WikiLeaks Volunteer Was a Paid Informant for the FBI

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

WikiLeaks Volunteer Was a Paid Informant for the FBI 27 Jun 2013 On an August workday in 2011, an 18-year-old Icelandic man named Sigurdur "Siggi" Thordarson walked through the stately doors of the U.S. embassy in Reykjavík, his jacket pocket concealing his calling card: a crumpled photocopy of an Australian passport. The passport photo showed a man with a unruly shock of platinum blonde hair and the name Julian Paul Assange. Thordarson was long time volunteer for WikiLeaks with direct access to Assange and a key position as an organizer in the group. With his cold war-style embassy walk-in, he became something else: the first known FBI informant inside WikiLeaks. For the next three months, Thordarson served two masters, working for the secret-spilling website and simultaneously spilling its secrets to the U.S. government in exchange, he says, for a total of about $5,000.

Inside Guantanamo Bay: Horrifying pictures show the restraint chairs, feeding tubes and operating theatre used on inmates in terror prison

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Inside Guantanamo Bay: Horrifying pictures show the restraint chairs, feeding tubes and operating theatre used on inmates in terror prison --Dubbed the most expensive prison on Earth [which is why the GOP won't close it], the facility has 166 inmates currently in custody --Around 104 prisoners have been on hunger strike since February - they are being force-fed --Force-feeding is a term that is banned - it is called 'enteral feeding' at the facility in Cuba --Many of the inmates have been there more than a decade, most without charge 28 Jun 2013 It might not look out of place in a private gym – but for the various straps to keep the occupant in place and the hospital drip stand looming ominously behind. Pictured is the notorious restraint chair at Guantanamo Bay, where former inmates claim they were subjected to long hours of agonising forced feeding. The US military is still using the chair to cope with a hunger strike by 104 of the 166 prisoners which has lasted more than three months.

Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Mich. ban on domestic partner benefits blocked 28 Jun 2013 U.S. District Judge David Lawson said plaintiffs who have lost benefits or were forced to buy expensive private health insurance have made a "plausible claim" that the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The decision came nearly a year after he heard arguments in the lawsuit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. A federal judge on Friday blocked Michigan's ban on domestic partner benefits for employees who work for public schools or local governments, saying state lawmakers simply wanted to punish gays and lesbians.

Missing nuclear material may pose attack threat: IAEA

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Missing nuclear material may pose attack threat: IAEA 28 Jun 2013 Nuclear and radioactive materials are still going missing and the information the United Nations atomic agency receives about such incidents may be the tip of the iceberg, said a senior U.N. official. Any loss or theft of highly enriched uranium, plutonium or different types of radioactive sources is potentially serious as al Qaeda[al-CIAduh]-style militants could try to use them to make a crude nuclear device or a so-called dirty bomb, experts say.

U.S. approves a horse slaughterhouse, sees two more plants

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Gag me with a chainsaw: U.S. approves a horse slaughterhouse, sees two more plants 28 Jun 2013 A New Mexico meat plant received federal approval on Friday to slaughter horses for meat, a move that drew immediate opposition from animal rights group and will likely be opposed by the White House. The U.S. Agricultureterrorism Department said it was required by law to issue a "grant of inspection" to Valley Meat Co, Roswell, New Mexico, because it had met all federal requirements. Now, the USDA is obliged to assign meat inspectors to the plant. The USDA also said it may soon issue similar grants for plants in Missouri and Iowa.

Minot Air Force Base Hijacking Exercise

June 29, 2013 by legitgov

Heads up! Minot Air Force Base Hijacking Exercise 27 Jun 2013 Airmen at Minot Air Force Base got some real-world training for a worst-case scenario. The airmen simulated a hijacking scenario. "The potential for disasters tragedies to happen is always there, so we have to be as best prepared as we can be," explains MAFB Tech Sergeant Mark Bell. To better prepare for incidents, Minot Air Force Base held a hijacking exercise to review and practice emergency procedures. "We're conducting an exercise with a high jacked passenger plane with a potential unspecified chemical agent released," says Bell.

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