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Democrats Protest $5 Billion Food Stamp Cut They Voted For

October 30, 2013 by legitgov

Democrats Protest $5 Billion Food Stamp Cut They Voted For 29 Oct 2013 A group of nine Democratic members of the House of Representatives held a press conference outside the Capitol on Tuesday to demand Congress avert an automatic food stamp cut scheduled to take effect on Friday. "The average family of four will see a $36 cut in their monthly benefits, bringing the average per-person benefit from $1.50 a meal to $1.40 a meal," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said. "Shame on this Congress for allowing this to happen." But the cut, which will reduce monthly benefits for all 47 million Americans enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by roughly 7 percent, is happening thanks mainly to Democratic votes that hastened the demise of a benefit increase from the 2009 stimulus bill. Each of the representatives at Tuesday's presser voted with their party for a pair of 2010 spending bills that set the cuts in motion.

For Some Miners, Black Lung Proof Comes Only in Death

October 30, 2013 by legitgov

For Some Miners, Black Lung Proof Comes Only in Death 29 Oct 2013 For an increasing number of America's coal miners, the sunset on a career spent underground is being consumed in unrelenting legal battles with coal companies over the cause of their bone-rattling coughs, shortness of breath and difficulty sleeping. While thousands of miners have been told by their own doctors they have a disabling form of black lung disease, coal companies are fighting that diagnosis and the roughly $1,000-a-month in disability payments they would owe to miners who are proven to be stricken. And the coal companies are winning... In all too many cases, it took the miner's death, and the autopsy that followed, to prove what the miner had argued all along -- that the cause of his deteriorating health was a disease brought on by the dust he breathed while working under ground.

No trace of Sandy Hook Elementary School will be left

October 30, 2013 by legitgov

No trace of Sandy Hook Elementary School will be left --The building's remains will be pulverized, 'to ensure no one ever has a souvenir of the building, not even a brick or a doorknob.' 29 Oct 2013 The public can't see the demolition of Sandy Hook Elementary School. The school is hidden behind a fence. But the sounds of dismantling go on all day. Everything that must be removed from the site, structural steel...will be catalogued and trucked away, Robert Mitchell, chairman of the Public Building and Site Commission, said Tuesday. All other materials, mortar, bricks, concrete, will be fed into a on-site crusher by Bestech Inc., the company doing the demolition. To make sure nothing finds its way into the hands of a 'collector,' the town is taking extra steps to track every piece of building material that leaves the site. It will have a manifest of every piece of steel and a guarantee that it will be taken to a foundry and smelted.

Navy's giant, stealthy new destroyer gets hull wet

October 30, 2013 by legitgov

Navy's giant, stealthy new destroyer gets hull wet 29 Oct 2013 There was no band. No streamers. No champagne. The Navy's stealthy Zumwalt destroyer floated out of dry dock without fanfare Monday night and into the waters of the Kennebec River, where the warship will remain dockside for final construction. The largest destroyer ever built for the Navy, the Zumwalt looks like no other U.S. warship, with an angular profile and clean carbon fiber superstructure that hides antennas and radar masts.

Spain opens inquiry into NSA spying operations

October 29, 2013 by legitgov

Spain opens inquiry into NSA spying operations 29 Oct 2013 Spain's public prosecutor has opened a preliminary inquiry into allegations that the US spy agency has conducted illegal surveillance operations on millions of Spanish citizens. Spain's Attorney General Eduardo Torres-Dulce called for an information gathering process to determine whether a crime was committed and if Spain should consider opening a formal investigation, his office said in a statement on Tuesday.

Royal Marines court martial hears Afghan was still alive when he was shot

October 29, 2013 by legitgov

Royal Marines court martial hears Afghan was still alive when he was shot 29 Oct 2013 An injured Afghan insurgent was still alive when he was allegedly shot by a Royal Marine, a pathologist has told the court martial of three marines accused of his murder. Dr Nicholas Hunt said that although the Afghan was seriously injured and covered in blood he was clearly alive when a British serviceman shot him in the chest at close range with a 9mm pistol. The pathologist was giving evidence in the court martial of three marines, known only as A, B and C, who are accused of murdering the unknown Afghan national on 15 September 15 2011 in Helmand province.

Huge Electric Grid Failure Drill Scheduled for 13 -14 November 2013

October 29, 2013 by legitgov

Heads up! From the 'people' who brought you 9/11, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and miscellaneous minor false flags: Huge Electric Grid Failure Drill Scheduled for 13 -14 November 2013 --NERC will host GridEx 2013 on 13-14 November 2013 --North American wide distributed-play exercise --Executive 'policy trigger' table top exercise on 14 November 29 Oct 2013 Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow of Power Grid 17 Aug 2013 (The New York Times) ...Thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid. They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate. "This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days," said the official in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as NERC. "We really want to go beyond that." See also: GridEx II - GridSecCon Update -- Grid Security Exercise - Grid Security Conference 2013, published by NERC.

Obama 'knew and approved' NSA spying on Chancellor Merkel – report

October 29, 2013 by legitgov

Obama 'knew and approved' NSA spying on Chancellor Merkel - report 28 Oct 2013 President Obama was aware of NSA spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel since 2010, German media have revealed. An NSA spokeswoman later denied the allegations. According to German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which cited US intelligence sources, National Security Agency chief Keith Alexander briefed Obama on the bugging operation against Merkel in 2010. "Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue," an unnamed high-ranking NSA official told the newspaper.

U.K. may punish publication of NSA leaks

October 29, 2013 by legitgov

U.K. may punish publication of NSA leaks 28 Oct 2013 British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday his government was likely to act to stop newspapers publishing what he called damaging leaks from former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden unless they began to behave more responsibly pimp UK government propaganda. "If they (newspapers) don't demonstrate some social responsibility it will be very difficult for government to stand back and not to act," Cameron told parliament, saying Britain's Guardian newspaper had "gone on" to print damaging material after initially agreeing to destroy other sensitive data. Glenn Greenwald, the journalist responsible for the bulk of stories about the NSA leaks, called the move "repressive."

Judge rules controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Judge rules controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional 28 Oct 2013 New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics. Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas.

Police dog bites student during simulated drug raid

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Police dog bites student during simulated drug raid 21 Oct 2013 An 11-year-old male student has been treated for "minor injuries" sustained following a bite from a Brazil Police Department K-9 officer at the Red Ribbon Awareness week kick-off event at the Clay County Courthouse Thursday, officials said. According to a report submitted by the K-9 officer's handler, Ray Walters, the young man was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent Clay Hospital for treatment following the incident. According to the report, the officer and his K-9 partner, Max, as well as another K-9 team were requested by Clay County Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers to [insanely] carry out a simulated raid of a party with actors in place to help "educate [sic] the Clay County fifth-graders on drug awareness."

NSA oversight dismissed as 'illusory' as anger intensifies in Europe and beyond

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

NSA oversight dismissed as 'illusory' as anger intensifies in Europe and beyond 28 Oct 2013 The Obama administration's international surveillance crisis deepened on Monday as representatives from a Latin American human rights panel told US diplomats that oversight of the programs was "illusory". Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an arm of the Organization of American States, expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with the National Security Agency's mass surveillance of foreign nationals – something the agency argues is both central to its existence and necessary to prevent terrorism. "With a program of this scope, it's obvious that any form of control becomes illusory when there's hundreds of millions of communications that become monitored and surveilled," said Felipe Gonzales, a commissioner and Chilean national.

NSA surveillance: Spain demands US explain 'monitoring'

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

NSA surveillance: Spain demands US explain 'monitoring' 28 Oct 2013 Spain has urged the US to give details of any eavesdropping, amid reports it monitored 60 million Spanish telephone calls in a month. The US ambassador to Spain, who had been summoned by its EU minister, vowed to clear the "doubts" that had arisen about his country's alleged espionage. The minister, Inigo Mendez de Vigo, said such practices, if true, were "inappropriate and unacceptable".

Tepco must address its 'institutionalized lying' before restarting world's biggest nuclear station - Governor

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Tepco must address its 'institutionalized lying' before restarting world's biggest nuclear station - Governor 28 Oct 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Co must give a fuller account of the Fukushima disaster and address its "institutionalized lying" before it can expect to restart another nuclear station, the world's largest, said a local government official who holds an effective veto over the utility's revival plan. "If they don't do what needs to be done, if they keep skimping on costs and manipulating information, they can never be trusted," Niigata Prefecture Governor Hirohiko Izumida told Reuters in an interview on Monday. Izumida must approve the embattled utility's plans to restart the reactors at Kashiwazaki Kariwa, the world's biggest nuclear complex on the Japan Sea coast some 300 kms (180 miles) northwest of Tokyo.

NSA 'spied on millions' of Spanish phone calls

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

NSA 'spied on millions' of Spanish phone calls 28 Oct 2013 U.S. security services tracked 60.5 million telephone calls in Spain in a single month, according to a leaked document published in a Spanish newspaper Monday as European outrage deepened over U.S. snooping. The National Security Agency tracked the origin and destination of the calls and their duration, U.S. blogger Glenn Greenwald said in a story in El Mundo, which published a classified graph of 30 days of telephone call tracing. Greenwald, who jointly authored the article, said he had access to the previously secret documents obtained by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Embassy Espionage: The NSA's Secret Spy Hub in Berlin --'It is a nest of espionage.' 27 Oct 2013 Research by SPIEGEL reporters in Berlin and Washington, talks with intelligence officials and the evaluation of internal documents of the US' National Security Agency and other information, most of which comes from the archive of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, lead to the conclusion that the US diplomatic mission in the German capital has not merely been promoting German-American friendship. On the contrary, it is a nest of espionage. From the roof of the embassy, a special unit of the CIA and NSA can apparently monitor a large part of cellphone communication in the government quarter. And there is evidence that agents based at Pariser Platz recently targeted the cellphone that Merkel uses the most.

NSA, CIA spy on German officials from US embassy - report

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

NSA, CIA spy on German officials from US embassy - report --Spiegel: US embassy is 'nest of espionage' 28 Oct 2013 The National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency have teamed up to spy on German government officials' phone calls, a new report out of Germany claims. Spiegel, a German news outlet, reported on Sunday that the US is using its embassy in Berlin as a "nest of espionage," where the country's two biggest spy agencies listen in on cell phone communications around government buildings in Germany, including those made by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Fukushima horse breeder braves high radiation levels to care for animals

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima horse breeder braves high radiation levels to care for animals 27 Oct 2013 Until March 2011, Tokue Hosokawa had only to peer through the window of his home in Iitate village to confirm that all was well with his 100-year-old family business. For decades, the 62-year-old horse breeder barely registered that his farm was just 25 miles north-west of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. But two and half years after the accident, Iitate has become a nuclear ghost town. ...In January this year, he noticed that several among the 30 horses that remained, mainly foals, had become unsteady on their feet. Within weeks, 16 had died in mysterious circumstances.

Spate of car bombings kills 42 in Iraq

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Spate of car bombings kills 42 in Iraq 27 Oct 2013 Nine car bombs killed at least 30 people Sunday in Shiite-majority areas of Baghdad province, while another targeting soldiers queuing at a bank in Mosul left a further 12 dead, officials said. The wave of attacks pushed the October death toll from violence across Iraq past 630. The Baghdad blasts, which hit eight different areas in and around the Iraqi capital, also wounded more than 90 people, the security and medical officials said.

Germany warns Israel to face U.N. rights panel: report

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Germany warns Israel to face U.N. rights panel: report 27 Oct 2013 Germany has warned Israel to attend a periodic U.N. human rights review on Tuesday or face "severe diplomatic damage," Haaretz newspaper reported on Sunday. Israel cut all ties with the Geneva-based U.N. Human Rights Council in March 2012, after it announced it would probe how Israeli settlements may be infringing on the rights of Palestinians. "On Friday, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, warning that Israel's failure to attend the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review would cause the country severe diplomatic damage and Israel's allies around the world would be hard-pressed to help it," Haaretz wrote.

Terrorist trial to use NSA data

October 28, 2013 by legitgov

Terrorist trial to use NSA data --Alleged terrorist Jamshid Muhtorov resettled in the United States in 2007 with the help of the United Nations and the U.S. government. [LOL!] 27 Oct 2013 The U.S. Justice Department says for the first time it plans to use information gained from one of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance programs against an accused terrorist, setting the stage for a likely Supreme Court test of the Obama administration’s approach to national security. The top court so far has turned aside challenges to the law on government surveillance, saying people who bring such lawsuits have no evidence they are being targeted. Warrantless programs mean they need no court authorization in advance.

United States tracked Merkel's phone since 2002: report

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

United States tracked Merkel's phone since 2002: report 26 Oct 2013 The United States may have bugged Angela Merkel's phone for more than 10 years, according to a news report on Saturday that also said President Barack Obama told the German leader he would have stopped it happening had he known about it. Germany's outrage over reports of bugging of Merkel's phone by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) prompted it to summon the U.S. ambassador this week for the first time in living memory, an unprecedented post-war diplomatic rift. Der Spiegel said Merkel's mobile telephone had been listed by the NSA's Special Collection Service (SCS) since 2002 - marked as "GE Chancellor Merkel" - and was still on the list weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: source

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Secret Service agent found dead, apparent suicide: source 02 Nov 2012 A U.S. Secret Service agent assigned to President Barack Obama's protective detail was found dead on Saturday in an apparent suicide, a law enforcement source said on Thursday. Special agent Rafael Prieto was under investigation for having an unreported romantic relationship with a foreign national, the source said. The agent's death is being investigated by the District of Columbia police, said Max Milien, a spokesman for the Secret Service.

Irishman who burned down the White House finally being remembered

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Irishman who burned down the White House finally being remembered --Robert Ross led the British attack and captured Washington as well 27 Oct 2013 Robert Ross was a British general born in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, who burned down the White House and captured Washington in August 1814. Last weekend, Ross's descendents held a conference in the general's hometown to resurrect his memory. The capture of Washington is "one of the most extraordinary stories in British or American history," British journalist Peter Snow told attendees of the conference. Over the next 24 hours, every trace of American power, including the White House and the Capitol was burned, although most private property was spared. On September 27, 1814, news of the Washington's capture had reached London and Ross became a national hero. [Still is.]

Series of car bomb blasts across Baghdad kill 21: sources

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Series of car bomb blasts across Baghdad kill 21: sources 27 Oct 2013 Six car bombs exploded across Baghdad early on Sunday, killing at least 21 people, police and medics said.

Polar bear Yupi stranded 4,000 miles from home in a sweltering Mexican zoo

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Polar bear Yupi stranded 4,000 miles from home in a sweltering Mexican zoo --For 17 hours a day she's locked in a circular holding pen, which consists solely of a damp concrete floor and walls and is just 15ft wide 26 Oct 2013 Yupi the polar bear could not be any further from home. She's locked in a bare concrete enclosure for 17 hours a day in temperatures that can reach 35C. It's no life for any creature, but certainly not one that's suited to the sub-zero Arctic Circle. Even her tiny pool is too warm, and filled with chlorine. Yupi was captured as a baby when it is thought hunters shot her mother in her native Alaska. It's empty of anything for her to do, so Yupi spends all day, every day, sitting in a small patch of shade, repetitively pacing, or trying to cool off in her pool. Her small patch of concrete is about a millionth of the size her natural range would be. The floor and walls are hot to touch, because they absorb heat during the day, and the pool is not refrigerated... Now there's a campaign to rehome Yupi a little closer to her natural territory, where the weather is colder and she'll get to play in the snow with other bears as she should. Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster is building a state-of-the-art polar bear reserve in 15 acres. The first part of the reserve will be finished by March and a formal request has been made to the Morelia zoo to let their polar bear go. The park has launched an appeal and has asked Sunday Mirror readers to help bring Yupi to Yorkshire.

Special Agent With Homeland Security Shot in Roseville, CA

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Special Agent With Homeland Security Shot in Roseville, CA 25 Oct 2013 A special agent with Homeland Security Investigations has been shot in Roseville, according to the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. According to law enforcement sources the shooting happened near Darling Way and Riverside Avenue at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Numerous law enforcement personnel have converged on the area, and SWAT officers reportedly have the suspect cornered in a home.

Halloween special: Largest pumpkins of all time

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Halloween special: Largest pumpkins of all time 26 Oct 2013 These pumpkins weigh a ton! Well, almost. Every fall, gardeners around the world competitively grow giant pumpkins. (Photos)

Naval bases could become nuclear dumps

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

Naval bases could become nuclear dumps --Fears grow in dockyard cities over removal of radioactive material from decommissioned subs 27 Oct 2013 Fears that two major naval bases sited near large British cities could become nuclear waste storage facilities "by default" have grown after it was revealed the Ministry of Defence proposes to remove low-level radioactive waste from the UK's nuclear submarine fleet. According to minutes of a submarine dismantling meeting, the "early removal of low-level waste" has been proposed at two major dockyards: Rosyth, in the Forth estuary, Fife, and Devonport, in Plymouth. Experts warned that removing radioactive waste would need to be explained "carefully" to ensure dismantling sites on bases near major population centres did not become waste storage areas "by default".

'Israel intercepted millions of French calls'

October 27, 2013 by legitgov

'Israel intercepted millions of French calls' 26 Oct 2013 A leaked US intelligence document has revealed that Israel is behind the hacking of millions of phone calls and messages in France. According to a report by Le Monde on Friday, Israeli agents are behind a cyber attack against the communications networks of the Elysee Palace, intercepting more than 70 million calls and text messages per month. France had initially accused the US of hacking into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's communications network during the 2012 presidential election.

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