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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.

Ex-JPMorgan banker to fight extradition to U.S.

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Ex-JPMorgan banker to fight extradition to U.S. 27 Aug 2013 A former JPMorgan banker arrested Tuesday in Spain on charges of hiding massive losses related to the bank's 'London Whale' trade plans to resist extradition to the United States, court officials said. Javier Martin-Artajo, former head of credit and equity trading at JPMorgan's chief investment office, turned himself in to Spanish police Tuesday. He was released following a preliminary hearing at the National Court on condition that he remain in Spain and attend court twice a month. U.S. prosecutors charged Artajo and his colleague Julien Grout earlier this month with conspiring to conceal more than $500 million in losses related to the bank's complex derivatives bet that turned sour.

New York Times website down after suspected hacking

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

New York Times website down after suspected hacking 27 Aug 2013 The New York Times website has gone offline for the second time this month after what the company described as a "malicious external attack". A technical problem knocked NYTimes.com offline on 14 August. Analysts said evidence showed a group supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was behind Tuesday's attack. Mark Frons, the company's chief information officer, warned New York Times employees the attack was perpetrated by the Syrian Electronic Army, which backs Mr Assad, "or someone trying very hard to be them".

Edward Snowden's digital maneuvers still stumping U.S. government

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Edward Snowden's digital maneuvers still stumping U.S. government 25 Aug 2013 The U.S. government's efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden's sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail by deleting or bypassing electronic logs, government officials told The Associated Press. The government's forensic investigation is wrestling with Snowden's apparent ability to defeat safeguards established to monitor and deter people looking at information without proper permission, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the sensitive developments publicly. The disclosure undermines the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the NSA surveillance programs can't be abused because its spying systems are so aggressively monitored and audited for oversight purposes...

Hezbollah will attack Israel if strike aims to topple Assad

August 28, 2013 by legitgov

Hezbollah will attack Israel if strike aims to topple Assad 28 Aug 2013 A massive military strike by the United States and its Western allies on Syria aimed at changing the balance of power in the country will likely trigger a swift intervention by Hezbollah, political analysts and sources close to the group said Tuesday. Hezbollah's response will likely involve the firing of rockets into Israel, igniting the dormant front in south Lebanon, they added. However, analysts and experts predicted a limited U.S.-led military operation against sites in Syria suspected of stockpiling chemical arms or materials.

Facebook Gave 38K Users' Data to Governments in 6 Months

August 27, 2013 by legitgov

Facebook Gave 38K Users' Data to Governments in 6 Months 27 Aug 2013 Facebook divulged to governments data on about 38,000 users worldwide in the first six months of 2013, the social-networking site announced today. The figures, released in its first report detailing such affairs globally, highlights that the United States led the way in demands for Facebook user data. The data, the social-networking giant said, concern basic subscriber information, such as name and length of service. "Other requests may also seek IP address logs or actual account content," Facebook said. The United States sought data from between 20,000 to 21,000 accounts. Facebook said it was prohibited from detailing exact numbers or types of national security-related requests, which would include National Security Letters and FISA court orders.

We Oppose the War on Syria

August 27, 2013 by legitgov

We Oppose the War on Syria 27 Aug 2013 A new CLG Facebook page has been created -- We Oppose the War on Syria -- join us here. [The main CLG Fb page is here.]

US ready to launch Syria strike, says Chuck Hagel

August 27, 2013 by legitgov

US ready to launch Syria strike, says Chuck Hagel 27 Aug 2013 American forces are "ready" to launch strikes on Syria if President Barack Obama chooses to order an attack, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel says. "We have moved assets in place to be able to fulfil and comply with whatever option the president wishes to take," Mr Hagel told the BBC. US Secretary of State John Kerry has said there is "undeniable" proof that Syria used chemical weapons.

74 Fukushima evacuees to file charges against TEPCO and government

August 27, 2013 by legitgov

74 Fukushima evacuees to file charges against TEPCO and government 28 Aug 2013 Lawyers of 74 Fukushima evacuees revealed on Monday that the residents affected by the Fukushima disaster are set to file lawsuit against utility Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) and the Japanese government. The lawsuit will be collectively filed to Osaka District Court on September 17, being the first in the Kansai Region. The evacuees are seeking about 15 billion yen (approx. $153.9 million) in compensation. The evacuees were once residents of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures.

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