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FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel

August 20, 2012 by legitgov

FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel 19 Aug 2012 The FBI probed a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee that involved drinking, numerous GOP freshmen lawmakers, top leadership staff - and one nude member of Congress, according to more than a dozen sources, including eyewitnesses. During a fact-finding congressional trip to the Holy Land last summer, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) took off his clothes and jumped into the sea, joining a number of members, their families and GOP staff during a night out in Israel, the sources told POLITICO. The Sea of Galilee, a Christian holy site, is where Jesus is said in the Bible to have walked on water.

Assange urges US to end 'war on whistleblowers'

August 20, 2012 by legitgov

Assange urges US to end 'war on whistleblowers' 20 Aug 2012 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has urged the US to end its "witch-hunt" as he used an appearance at the Ecuadorean embassy to thank supporters. Assange thanked the nation of Ecuador for taking a "stand for justice" in giving him political asylum, while warning that the US risked shunting the world into an era of journalistic oppression. He appeared on the balcony of the South American country's embassy in London, where he has been taking refuge for two months as he seeks to avoid extradition to Sweden to face questioning on sexual assault allegations.

Nurse Who 'Saw Everything' at Hospital After 'Batman' Shootings Found Dead at 46

August 20, 2012 by legitgov

Nurse Who 'Saw Everything' at Hospital After 'Batman' Shootings Found Dead at 46 18 Aug 2012 Jenny Gallagher, a nurse who treated victims of the highly suspicious 'Batman' shooting in Aurora, Colorado last month, is dead at age 46. The reported cause of death: drowning. "She worked the morning after the Batman massacre in a very busy unit of the hospital - so she saw everything really, some really bad injuries," her husband Greg reportedly told Ireland's Herald earlier today... Gallagher was actually found dead ten days ago, on August 7th. Despite recent conflicting and incorrect reports about the location (multiple reports say it was in Colorado, while another says Ohio), The End Run has determined that she was actually found dead in Okoboji Lake, which is in Dickson County, Iowa, about 700 miles from her home town of Denver by car. [See also: Aurora, Colorado Shooting 'Oddities' By Lori Price.]

U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions

August 19, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Says Iraqis Are Helping Iran to Skirt Sanctions 19 Aug 2012 When President Obama announced last month that he was barring a Baghdad bank from any dealings with the American banking system, it was a rare acknowledgment of a delicate problem facing the administration in a country that American troops just left: for months, Iraq has been helping Iran skirt economic sanctions imposed on Tehran because of its nuclear program. The little-known bank singled out by the United States, the Elaf Islamic Bank, is only part of a network of financial institutions and oil-smuggling operations that, according to current and former American and Iraqi government officials and experts on the Iraqi banking sector, has provided Iran with a crucial flow of dollars at a time when sanctions are squeezing its economy.

'You don't know who you're dealing with': Ecuador President warns Britain off 'grotesque' threat to storm embassy

August 19, 2012 by legitgov

'You don't know who you're dealing with': Ecuador President warns Britain off 'grotesque' threat to storm embassy over Julian Assange 18 Aug 2012 The diplomatic row over Julian Assange escalated last night when the President of Ecuador warned Britain that any attempt to storm its embassy in London would destroy relations between the two countries. Rafael Correa used his weekly address to the nation to deliver his strongest warning to Britain yet, describing the UK's stance as 'grotesque' and 'intolerant'. He said if British police 'violated Ecuador's diplomatic mission' in London it would destroy ties between the two countries.

Assange to Speak Amid Extradition Stand-Off

August 19, 2012 by legitgov

Assange to Speak Amid Extradition Stand-Off 19 Aug 2012 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to face the world's media as the diplomatic stand-off between Britain and Ecuador over his fate continues. Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in central London for two months to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over alleged sexual misconduct - claims he denies. He is due to make his first public statement since Ecuador announced it had granted him asylum last week, but the Foreign Office has refused to grant him safe passage out of the UK and he will be arrested if he sets foot outside the embassy.

Syria Rebels 'Aided By British Intelligence'

August 19, 2012 by legitgov

Syria Rebels 'Aided By British Intelligence' 19 Aug 2012 Forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad have reportedly used helicopter gunfire and mortars in the battle for Aleppo, amid fresh claims British intelligence is helping rebel fighters to oust the Syrian leader. According to an opposition official, information on Syrian troop movements is helping rebels [aka foreign terrorists] launch successful attacks on government forces in the second city, where both sides have been locked in fierce fighting for weeks. "British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus," the official told The Sunday Times.

KBR Must Face Guardsmen's Toxic-Chromium Suit, Judge Says

August 19, 2012 by legitgov

KBR Must Face Guardsmen's Toxic-Chromium Suit, Judge Says 17 Aug 2012 KBR Inc. must face a trial on claims that it knowingly exposed U.S. troops to toxic chromium dust in 2003 while they were guarding a company work site in Iraq, a Houston judge ruled. Dozens of U.S. national guardsmen from Indiana and West Virginia have sued the Houston-based military contractor over health problems they blame on exposure to hexavalent chromium dust, a carcinogenic orange-yellow powder used to 'fight corrosion' in water pipes.

Poland Shedding Light on Secret CIA Prison

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Poland Shedding Light on Secret CIA Prison 14 Aug 2012 On an idyllic lake surrounded by woods and a double row of mesh-and-razor-wire fences about 100 miles north of Warsaw, there stands a secluded villa that the CIA once used to interrogate - and allegedly torture - top al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] suspects. On the grounds of the Polish intelligence-training academy and nicknamed "Markus Wolf" for the former East German spy chief, it's the focal point for a top-secret probe that Polish prosecutors have launched into how their government tolerated rampant violations of international and Polish law. If former officials are brought to trial, or if the stacks of classified files in the prosecutors' offices are made public, the result will be revelations about an American anti-terrorism operation whose details U.S. officials are fighting to keep secret.

Attacks on US mosques prompt Muslim security concerns

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Attacks on US mosques prompt Muslim security concerns 17 Aug 2012 On Sunday and Monday, when Muslims will celebrate the end of Ramadan, even many who are less observant the rest of the year will be at mosques to pray. But many worshippers will celebrate amid heightened security after a recent spike in attacks on mosques and other places of worship... This is not the first time that Muslims have been advised to exercise caution.

Security guard shot at conservative group's DC office

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Security guard shot at conservative group's DC office 15 Aug 2012 A gunman who shot a security guard Wednesday at the Family Research Council office in Washington, D.C., was carrying a handgun and several additional rounds of ammunition, federal investigators told NBC News. Washington, D.C., police say the man walked into the headquarters of the conservative Christian lobbying group around 10:45 a.m. When challenged by the security guard, the gunman shot the guard in the arm with a Sig Sauer 9 mm handgun he pulled from a backpack.

Federal Court Rules that Florida Voting Changes Are Discriminatory

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Federal Court Rules that Florida Voting Changes Are Discriminatory 17 Aug 2012 In a vindication for those who are fighting the changes in voting rules across the country, a U.S. federal court has ruled that Florida's decision to reduce the number of early voting days is a violation of 1965′s Voting Rights Act because it discriminates against minorities. The court stopped the changes from going into effect in five of the state's 67 counties. Lawyers who fought the voting changes likely will file suit now to stop the changes in the 62 other counties in the state by claiming that state law must be uniform.

Drought sends Mississippi into 'uncharted territory'

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Drought sends Mississippi into 'uncharted territory' 15 Aug 2012 The drought of 2012 has humbled the mighty Mississippi River. A year after near-historic flooding, the river's water levels are at near-historic lows from Cairo, Ill., where the Ohio River empties into it, to New Orleans, just north of its endpoint at the Gulf of Mexico. In July, water levels in Cairo, Memphis, Tenn., and Vicksburg, Miss., dipped below those of the historic drought of 1988.

Soldier's Family Dog Stricken While In United Airlines' Care

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Soldier's Family Dog Stricken While In United Airlines' Care 17 Aug 2012 A dog returning to the United States with a soldier's family was euthanized after suffering heat stroke in Houston while in the care of [corpora-terrorists] United Airlines. Rachel Estes tells the Houston Chronicle that she and her 5-year-old daughter were returning to North Carolina from South Korea, where her husband was completing a tour of duty. She says the family's two cats arrived in Charlotte, N.C., a day after the family's arrival, but their 14-pound terrier had to be euthanized at a veterinary clinic near Bush Intercontinental Airport.

British threats in WikiLeaks case 'stupid' - expert

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

British threats in WikiLeaks case 'stupid' - expert 18 Aug 2012 Britain is considering using an obscure law to extract Julian Assange from Ecuador's embassy in London, but experts say the possibility is slim -- and one says London's actions are "stupid". Before it granted asylum to the WikiLeaks founder on Thursday, Ecuador made an angry rebuttal of what it saw as Britain's threats to invade its embassy in London to arrest the Australian and extradite him to Sweden. In a meeting in Quito on Wednesday, Britain's charge d'affaires reminded Ecuadoran ministers of a British law which can ultimately allow the government to withdraw diplomatic status from any embassy on its territory.

Four civilians killed in US-led airstrike in Afghanistan

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Four civilians killed in US-led airstrike in Afghanistan 18 Aug 2012 At least four Afghan civilians have been killed in an airstrike carried out by the US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports. The casualties came after US forces dropped bombs in Kunar Province on Saturday, according to Afghan officials. Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in the US-led operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of the deadly assaults.

Federal court rules cops can warrantlessly track suspects via cellphone

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Federal court rules cops can warrantlessly track suspects via cellphone --Geo-data received based on 'reasonable grounds' phone was connected to a crime 14 Aug 2012 In a 2-1 ruling, the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has ruled that law enforcement has the right to obtain location data from a cellphone in order to track a suspect without a warrant. The case involves a man named Melvin Skinner, a newly convicted drug trafficker, who was part of a cross-country, large-scale drug operation organized by another man, James Michael West. His attorneys argued that the government's use of his GPS location information from his phone, which led to his arrest, constituted a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment.

U.S. plans to beef up rural police forces in Afghanistan

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

There's no money for Medicare, but: U.S. plans to beef up rural police forces in Afghanistan [so they can kill more US soldiers to 'justify' the need to give billions to US mercenary firms who train Afghan police to kill US soldiers. We can't get a road built or a bridge fixed on US soil because of the 'deficit.' Get it? Start reading.] 17 Aug 2012 The Obama administration plans to double the size of a rural police force in Afghanistan and arm it with heavier weapons to fight insurgents as U.S. troops withdraw, despite Pentagon and Afghan government concern about the village self-defense units becoming predatory criminal gangs or defecting to the Taliban. The danger was highlighted Friday when a new member of the Afghan Local Police shot and killed two U.S. special operations troops and wounded a third moments after they gave him his service weapon during a ceremony for new recruits in the western province of Farah.

Correa Says Assange May Stay in Ecuador Embassy Indefinitely

August 18, 2012 by legitgov

Correa Says Assange May Stay in Ecuador Embassy Indefinitely 17 Aug 2012 Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said he doesn't expect the U.K. to allow WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange to leave Ecuador's embassy in London after the South American nation granted him asylum yesterday. "The problem is that they aren't going to give safe passage," Correa said today in an interview on local radio channel, Radio Loja. "Julian Assange could stay indefinitely in our embassy."

Afghan soldier opens fire on US troopers injures 2

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan soldier opens fire on US troopers injures 2 17 Aug 2012 Two American troopers have been wounded by an Afghan soldier in a new 'green-on-blue' attack in Afghanistan's troubled southern province of Kandahar. The 'green-on-blue' shootings have been on the rise in the war-torn country where 39 US-led troopers have been so far killed by their Afghan counterparts in 2012.

US-led trooper killed in S Afghanistan IED blast

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

US-led trooper killed in S Afghanistan IED blast 16 Aug 2012 An improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the restive southern Afghanistan has killed one US-led trooper, enlisted by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Press TV reports. Earlier in the day, seven American forces were killed in a helicopter crash in the Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan.

Russia issues warning to Britain over Assange

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

Russia issues warning to Britain over Assange 17 Aug 2012 Russia on Friday warned Britain against violating fundamental diplomatic principles after London suggested it could arrest WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange inside Ecuador's embassy. "What is happening gives grounds to contemplate the observance of the spirit and the letter of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and in particular the Article 22 spelling out the inviolability of diplomatic premises," the Russian foreign ministry said. Ecuador on Thursday granted asylum to Assange -- whose website enraged the United States by publishing a vast cache of confidential government files -- but Britain has vowed not to grant him safe passage out of the country.

US in pursuit of Assange, cables reveal

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

US in pursuit of Assange, cables reveal 18 Aug 2012 Australian diplomats have no doubt the United States is still gunning for Julian Assange, according to Foreign Affairs Department documents obtained by The Saturday Age. The Australian embassy in Washington has been tracking a US espionage investigation targeting the WikiLeaks publisher for more than 18 months. The declassified diplomatic cables, released under freedom of information laws, show Australia's diplomatic service takes seriously the likelihood that Assange will eventually be extradited to the US on charges arising from WikiLeaks obtaining leaked US military and diplomatic documents.

Army suicides doubled last month from June's total

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

Army suicides doubled last month from June's total 16 Aug 2012 The Army says suicides among active-duty soldiers more than doubled in July from the month before. That marks an acceleration of a military-wide trend this year that has caused Pentagon leaders to step up their search for solutions to a problem that has worsened in 2012 as the pace of combat has eased. The Army had 26 suicides in July among active-duty soldiers, compared to 12 in June.

Six arrested after holding sit-in inside Obama campaign headquarters

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

Six arrested after holding sit-in inside Obama campaign headquarters 16 Aug 2012 Six out of seven protesters were arrested Thursday night after holding a sit-in inside President Obama's campaign headquarters and refusing to leave. The protesters marched to the headquarters after a 5 p.m. rally in Frank Ogawa Plaza in support of Bradley Manning, a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking classified information to WikiLeaks. The march of several dozen protesters arrived at the campaign headquarters on Telegraph Avenue about an hour later, and seven protesters entered the building.

Romney says his tax rate was at least 13 percent in last 10 years

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

Romney says his tax rate was at least 13% in last 10 years --'Prove it' by releasing more returns, the Obama campaign responds. 16 Aug 2012 Trying to defuse Democratic criticism of his refusal to release more tax returns, Mitt Romney said Thursday that he paid a federal tax rate of at least 13% in each of the last 10 years, and his wife, Ann, said there would be no further tax disclosures lest the couple become a bigger target for critics. [I wouldn't believe anything Mitt RMoney said if his tongue came notarized. --LRP]

NRO Officials Accused of Contracting Crimes

August 17, 2012 by legitgov

NRO Officials Accused of Contracting Crimes 14 Aug 2012 A senior officer with the nation's spy satellite agency is being investigated over criminal allegations related to contracting even as the agency's No. 2 official is accused of trying to illegally shield the subordinate from scrutiny, McClatchy Newspapers has learned. The inspector general of the National Reconnaissance Office opened the criminal inquiry after meeting secretly in May with four top officers of the agency, who told her about "a series of allegations of malfeasant actions" by a colleague, according to agency documents obtained by McClatchy Newspapers. The agency's deputy director, Air Force Maj. Gen. Susan Mashiko, then heard about the investigation and made what the inspector general described as an illegal threat of retaliation against the whistleblowers.

Charlotte Police Department: We're ready for DNC protesters

August 16, 2012 by legitgov

Charlotte Police Department: We're ready for DNC protesters --Charlotte will add thousands of police from outside departments and spend millions on training, equipment, and temporary barriers 04 Aug 2012 For this summer's Democratic National Convention, Charlotte will add thousands of police from outside departments and spend millions on training, equipment and temporary barriers. But their biggest aid in crowd control will be one they didn't have to purchase, build or teach: The layout of the city itself. The city of 760,000 is spending $50 million in federal funds to buy new equipment, train officers and make other security adjustments for the convention being held from Sept. 4-6.

Ecuador grants political asylum to Julian Assange, angering Britain

August 16, 2012 by walden9

Ecuador grants political asylum to Julian Assange, angering Britain 16 Aug 2012 Ecuador granted political asylum to Julian Assange on Thursday, ratcheting up tension in a standoff with Britain which has warned it could revoke the diplomatic status of Quito's embassy in London to allow the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder. Britain has said it is determined to extradite him to Sweden, where he is accused of rape and sexual assault.

Michigan gets 1st case of swine flu related to fairs

August 16, 2012 by legitgov

Michigan gets 1st case of swine flu related to fairs 16 Aug 2012 The first case of the flu virus H3N2, also known as H3N2v, has been detected in Michigan, adding to the national spike in cases. The Michigan case is believed to have been transmitted by an Ingham County fair pig to a Washtenaw County child. The case was mild, and the child didn't require hospitalization, said Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health. State lab tests will be sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for final confirmation.

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