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Egypt terminates 2005 gas deal with Israel

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Egypt terminates 2005 gas deal with Israel 22 Apr 2012 Egypt has repealed a 2005 gas export accord with Israel, which relied heavily on Egyptian natural gas to generate electricity. The deal was "annulled on Thursday with the East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG), which exports gas to Israel, because the company failed to respect conditions stipulated in the contract," Mohamed Shoeib, the chairman of the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, told AFP on Sunday. The deal would oblige Egypt to supply gas to Israel as one of the main economic conditions of a US-sponsored 1979 peace treaty between the two sides.

Data on downed US drone decrypted: IRGC Cmdr.

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Data on downed US drone decrypted: IRGC Cmdr. 22 Apr 2012 A senior Iranian commander says Iran has successfully decoded all the records on the downed US RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone. Iran has easily cracked the codes on the data of the drone's operations and tasks recorded on the aircraft's memory, said Navy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi. There were "numerous codes, but we obtained all the information on its memory, including protocols, repairs and flight sorties; for instance, the data of a flight after repairs in 2010 or the [drone's] deployment in the operation against [Osama] bin Laden in Pakistan," IRNA quoted the commander as saying on Sunday.

USAID training foreign workers for English-speaking jobs

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

USAID training foreign workers for English-speaking jobs 20 Apr 2012 While the president has been urging "insourcing," the government has been sending money to the Philippines to train foreign workers for jobs in English-speaking call centers. According to New York Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop and North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones, this is unacceptable and "shocking." The pair are calling on the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to immediately suspend what is known as the Job Enabling English Proficiency (JEEP) program.

Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Misinformation campaign targets USA TODAY reporter, editor --If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption. 19 Apr 2012 A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites. Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan -- campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored.

Afghan military recruits found dealing drugs to US soldiers, Army documents show

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan military recruits found dealing drugs to US soldiers, Army documents show 20 Apr 2012 Afghan forces are being trained by the U.S. military to take over the mission [of protecting gas and opium routes] by 2014, but new documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a request under the Freedom of Information Act show that some of the Afghan recruits stand accused of dealing drugs to U.S. soldiers. Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton and his investigators found that between January 2010 and December 2011, the Army investigated 56 soldiers in Afghanistan for the possession, use or distribution of opiates. Heroin was cited 26 times. A December 2011 report from Army Criminal Investigation Command shows that at one forward operation base the drugs hash, pot and heroin were purchased "from various Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police personnel."

Grassley wants to know if White House aides were connected to prostitution scandal

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Grassley wants to know if White House aides were connected to prostitution scandal 21 Apr 2012 GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is asking the Secret Service whether members of the White House advance team are connected to the Colombian prostitution scandal, considering their "close working relationship" with federal agents. Grassley, R-Nutjob-Iowa, sent the letter Friday to agency Director Mark Sullivan and acting Inspector General Charles Edwards. He also asked in the letter if the Secret Service is looking at whether the White House communications office also could be involved. Grassley is concerned about whether White House officials were in the same hotel and if the prostitutes could have had access to their rooms. [Right, he's annoyed that actual prostitutes may have impinged upon the blocks of time typically reserved for the whores from Monsanto, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs instead of those from Cartagena. --LRP]

Hackers Launch DDoS Attack on D.C. Government Websites

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Hackers Launch DDoS Attack on D.C. Government Websites 22 Apr 2012 Hackers launched a DoS denial of service attack on D.C. government websites today, clogging the system with a flurry of requests so that it operates extremely slow or is impossible to load. "The District government has detected an attempted intrusion into it's [sic] technology infrastructure system," the D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said in an email to specified recipients around noon. In January, the group launched a similar attack against the UFC for its support of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act that was debated by Congress earlier this year.

Wal-Mart silenced Mexico bribe inquiry: NY Times

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Wal-Mart silenced Mexico bribe inquiry: NY Times 21 Apr 2012 Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc squelched its own internal investigation of allegations made by a former executive of its subsidiary in Mexico that the Mexican division had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to grab market dominance, the New York Times reported on Saturday. The paper said in September 2005 a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an e-mail from Sergio Cicero Zapata, a former executive at the company's largest foreign unit, Wal-Mart de Mexico, describing how the subsidiary had paid bribes to obtain permits to build stores in the country. Wal-Mart sent investigators to Mexico City and found evidence of widespread bribery, but Wal-Mart's leaders then shut down the investigation and notified neither American nor Mexican law enforcement officials, the Times reported.

Chemical Complex is on fire with nuclear fuel in Yamaguchi

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Chemical Complex is on fire with nuclear fuel in Yamaguchi 21 Apr 2012 At 2:20 of 4/22/2012, Iwakuni Otake Petrochemical Complex of Mitsui chemicals got lightning strike to explode. The complex is still on fire, and 3379 units of radioactive waste (200L in each unit) and Uranium for nuclear fuel are preserved in the site. The state of the uranium and radioactive waste is not reported yet. Windows were broken and several people got injured.

Florida didn't save money by drug testing welfare recipients, data show

April 22, 2012 by legitgov

Florida didn't save money by drug testing welfare recipients, data show 19 Apr 2012 Required drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits ended up costing taxpayers more than it saved and failed to curb the number of prospective applicants, data used against the state in an ongoing legal battle show. The findings - that only 108 of the 4,086 people who took a drug test failed - are additional ammunition for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, which sued the state and won a temporary ban on the drug-testing program in October, said ACLU spokesman Derek Newton. Attorneys for the state immediately appealed the ban, and will face off against the ACLU again at the 11th Circuit Court in Atlanta and the U.S. District Court in Orlando in coming months.

Meridor: Iran never called to wipe out Israel

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

Meridor: Iran never called to wipe out Israel --Deputy PM admits Ahmadinejad was misquoted, never said Israel must be wiped off the map 17 Apr 2012 Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor told Al Jazeera that Iran never vowed to "wipe Israel off the map," as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly claimed. Speaking to the Arab network, Meridor, who also serves as deputy PM, said Iran's leaders "all come basically ideologically, religiously with the statement that Israel is an unnatural creature, it will not survive." In 2005 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying that Israel should be "wiped off the map," but it was later revealed that the translation of his remarks, published by media outlets around the world, was incorrect. Ahmadinejad was actually quoting the leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time."

US Muslim: I Was Tortured at FBI's Behest in UAE

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

US Muslim: I Was Tortured at FBI's Behest in UAE 18 Apr 2012 A Muslim American seeking asylum in Sweden claimed Wednesday he was detained at the U.S. government's request while in the United Arab Emirates last summer, tortured in custody, and interrogated about the activities of a Portland, Oregon, mosque. Yonas Fikre told a news conference Wednesday that he was held for 106 days and was beaten, threatened with death and kept in solitary confinement in a frigid cell. Fikre, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Eritrea, says he had attended the same mosque in Portland as a man who has been charged in a plot to detonate a bomb in the northwestern U.S. city.

3 Arrested at Heathrow on Suspicions of Terrorism

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

3 Arrested at Heathrow on Suspicions of Terrorism --Police: The three were detained by officers from West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit as part of 'preplanned and intelligence-led' operation. [i.e., entrapment for future false flag] 21 Apr 2012 Three men have been arrested at Heathrow Airport and held on suspicion of "possessing articles and documents with intent to use them for terrorist purposes overseas," the police said on Friday. The suspects, residents of Britain's second-largest city, Birmingham, were arrested Thursday night as they arrived from Oman. They were held under Section 57 of the British Terrorism Act. That law makes it a criminal offense to possess materials that create a "reasonable suspicion" that they are "for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism."

Judge rules against CIA whistle-blower

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

Judge rules against CIA whistle-blower 20 Apr 2012 A federal judge has ruled a CIA whistle-blower will have to forfeit any future money he earns from a scathing book he wrote about the spy agency after he failed to get approval from his former employer prior to publication. The CIA accused the officer of breaking his secrecy agreement with the U.S. The former officer, who worked deep undercover, published the book in July 2008 using the pseudonym "Ishmael Jones." The CIA says his book, "The Human Factor: Inside the CIA's Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture," was submitted to the agency's publications review board under a secrecy agreement that covers books written by former employees.

U.S. government recommends publication of bird flu papers

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. government recommends publication of bird flu papers 20 Apr 2012 The U.S. government will support publication of two controversial research papers, officials said Thursday. The studies report details of experiments in which the deadly H5N1 influenza virus was engineered to pass between mammals, officials said Thursday. The decision, released via a statement by Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, lands three weeks after a U.S. government advisory board that had initially recommended against publication of the two studies changed its position after further consideration.

Three to Quit Secret Service as Inquiries Widen Scope

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

Three to Quit Secret Service as Inquiries Widen Scope 21 Apr 2012 The Secret Service announced Friday that three employees under investigation in connection with misconduct with prostitutes last week in Colombia have decided to resign, bringing to six the number of people forced out of the agency. Another person has been cleared of misconduct but still faces "appropriate administrative action," the agency said, adding that the investigation had expanded to include an employee who was not initially under scrutiny. "At this point, five employees continue to be on administrative leave, and their security clearances remain suspended pending the outcome of this investigation," the agency said in a written statement.

Taliban claim responsibility for SW Afghanistan copter crash

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

Taliban claim responsibility for SW Afghanistan copter crash 21 Apr 2012 The Taliban have claimed responsibility for downing a Black Hawk helicopter in southwestern Afghanistan on Thursday. A Taliban spokesman announced on Thursday evening that "Taliban fighters shot down a helicopter and killed all its passengers in Khanashen Dewalak area near Garmsir in the southern Helmand province," CNN reported on Friday. The US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Afghan officials confirmed on Friday that the helicopter's four crew members, all of them American, are dead. On Thursday, an ISAF official had said that the crash had occurred due to "bad weather."

Trayvon Martin's accused killer gets bail

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

Trayvon Martin's accused killer gets bail 20 Apr 2012 Speaking publicly for the first time, George Zimmerman, the man accused of second-degree murder in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, briefly took the witness stand at his bail hearing Friday and apologized to Martin's parents. "I wanted to say I am sorry for the loss of your son," Zimmerman, 28, said in a soft voice with shackles at his feet and waist... Martin's parents, Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, showed little emotion during Zimmerman's remarks. Their lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said Trayvon Martin's family was "completely devastated" by the judge's decision to allow Zimmerman to be released from jail on $150,000 bail, which was considerably lower than the $1 million requested by prosecutors.

FAA Coughs Up Info On Where Drones Are Being Flown And Who's Flying Them

April 21, 2012 by legitgov

FAA Coughs Up Info On Where Drones Are Being Flown And Who's Flying Them 20 Apr 2012 If you don't like drones, it's time to move to Hawaii. It’s one of the few places in the U.S. where no licenses have been issued for unmanned air flights. If you prefer the mainland, North Carolina, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa are a few of your options. Consult this interactive map via EFF for relocation planning purposes. After suing the Federal Aviation Administration for its failure to respond to a FOIA, civil liberties group EFF finally got a response to its inquiry about who in the U.S. has authorization to fly drones.

Gov. Perdue's plane makes emergency landing

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Gov. Perdue's plane makes emergency landing 20 Apr 2012 A state plane with Gov. Beverly Perdue (D) on board made an emergency landing Friday afternoon at Raleigh Durham International Airport. Perdue's press secretary Chris Mackey said Perdue was on her way to make a jobs announcement in Davie County when the plane experienced unusual vibrations after takeoff. According to radio traffic to the control tower, there was a problem with the aircraft's landing gear. A warning light also came on.

Taliban trophy photographs 'disgusting' says Hamid Karzai

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Taliban trophy photographs 'disgusting' says Hamid Karzai 19 Apr 2012 Trophy photographs of American paratroopers posing with the body parts of insurgent suicide bombers were condemned as "disgusting" by Hamid Karzai. The president immediately used the pictures to press for greater Afghan sovereignty, saying the only way to stop a repeat of such "painful experiences" was for his forces to take control of their own country. American officials have ordered a full investigation after the release of graphic pictures showing men from the 82nd Airborne Division, together with members of the Afghan police, smiling for the camera while posing with corpses. The incident is the latest in a string of embarrassments [war crimes] to befall American forces in the country.

Lawsuit filed over living conditions for Ben the bear at Jambbas Ranch

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Lawsuit filed over living conditions for Ben the bear at Jambbas Ranch 20 Apr 2012 Advocates for a caged bear at a roadside zoo in Cedar Creek have filed another lawsuit over his living conditions. Two Cumberland County residents, along with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, are suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The suit challenges the USDA's decision to renew a federal Animal Welfare Act license for Jambbas Ranch Tours on Tabor Church Road. Jambbas is home to dozens of animals including Ben the bear, who lives in a 12-by-22-foot cage with a concrete floor. Activists locally and nationally have complained about his conditions, offered him a spot at a bear sanctuary in California and challenged the right of Jambbas owner James Bass to keep him there. The latest suit alleges Jambbas should not have had its license to keep animals renewed because of an open USDA investigation into repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act there.

Lawsuit filed over bear's living conditions in NC

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Lawsuit filed over bear's living conditions in NC 20 Apr 2012 Animal rights activists have sued the federal government because of the living conditions for a bear at a Cumberland County roadside zoo. The Fayetteville Observer reported two local residents, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, are suing the U.S. Agriculture Department. The lawsuit challenges the renewal an animal welfare act license for Jambbas Ranch Tours in Cedar Creek. Jambbas houses dozens of animals, including Ben the bear, who lives in a 12-by-22-foot cage with a concrete floor.

Four U.S. soldiers believed dead after Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Afghanistan

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Four U.S. soldiers believed dead after Black Hawk helicopter crashes in Afghanistan 20 Apr 2012 Four U.S. soldiers are believed to be dead following a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Thursday night. Defence officials said that an Army Black Hawk helicopter had crashed in the south-west of the country. It is not known whether or not the crash was the result of enemy action. Officials suggested that unspecified weather difficulties [!?!] were the cause of the accident.

Obama Administration Again Proposes Polar Bear Extinction Plan

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Obama Administration Again Proposes Polar Bear Extinction Plan --New Rule Echoes Bush Plan Ignoring Polar Bears' Plight (Center for Biological Diversity) 17 Apr 2012 The Obama administration announced today that it is reissuing a Bush-era regulation that sharply limits protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act. Both the current proposal and the previous Bush rule exclude activities occurring outside the range of polar bears - such as the greenhouse gas emissions of industrial polluters like coal plants - from regulations that could help stop the bear's extinction. Today's announcement comes as a result of a court order that struck down the Bush rule in October 2011.

Assange lawyer questioned at Heathrow

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

Assange lawyer questioned at Heathrow 20 Apr 2012 An Australian lawyer acting on behalf of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to arrive in Sydney this morning amid claims she was initially barred from boarding the flight. Jennifer Robinson, who has represented Mr Assange in his British legal challenge against extradition to Sweden, says she was stopped at London's Heathrow airport on Thursday and told she could not board a plane to Australia until she was cleared by the Australian High Commission there. 

FBI Seizes a Server Used by CLG's Webhoster in Bomb Threat Investigation

April 20, 2012 by legitgov

CLG: FBI Seizes a Server Used by CLG's Webhoster in Bomb Threat Investigation --MayFirst: FBI seizes server providing anonymous remailer and many other services from colocation facility --Server seizure 'plainly extra-judicial punishment and an attack on free speech and anonymity on the Internet' Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 20 Apr 2012 On Wednesday, April 18, at approximately 4:00 pm Eastern time, U.S. Federal authorities removed a server from a colocation facility shared by Riseup Networks and [CLG webhoster] May First/People Link in New York City. The seized server was operated by the European Counter Network ("ECN"), the oldest independent internet service provider in Europe, who, among many other things, provided an anonymous remailer service, Mixmaster, that was the target of an FBI investigation into the bomb threats against the University of Pittsburgh. [See also: FBI Agents Approach CLG's Webhoster in Bomb Threat Investigation --'Even if we could cooperate, we wouldn't.' 12 Apr 2012.]

Julian Assange's lawyer 'prevented from boarding flight at Heathrow'

April 19, 2012 by legitgov

Julian Assange's lawyer 'prevented from boarding flight at Heathrow' 19 Apr 2012 A lawyer for the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, has said she was stopped at Heathrow airport and told she was on a watch list requiring official approval before she could return to her native Australia. Jennifer Robinson said a member of airport security told her she "must have done something controversial" and that they would have to contact the Australian high commission in London before letting her on her flight. The Australian human rights lawyer was later allowed on to a plane bound for Sydney, where she is due to speak at the Commonwealth Law Conference on Friday.

CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign

April 19, 2012 by legitgov

CIA seeks new authority to expand Yemen drone campaign --'How discriminating can they be?' asked a senior U.S. official familiar with the proposal. 18 Apr 2012 The CIA is seeking authority to expand its covert drone campaign in Yemen by launching strikes against terrorism suspects even when it does not know the identities of those who could be killed, U.S. officials said. Securing permission to use these "signature strikes" would allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior. The practice has been a core element of the CIA's drone program in Pakistan for several years. CIA Director David H. Petraeus has requested permission to use the tactic against the al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] affiliate in Yemen.

Ted Nugent says Secret Service to quiz him about Obama remarks

April 19, 2012 by legitgov

Ted Nugent says Secret Service to quiz him about Obama remarks 18 Apr 2012 Ted Nugent said on Wednesday that the U.S. Secret Service has arranged to meet with him after the rock musician [sociopath] severely criticized President Barack Obama during the National Rifle Association convention last week. Nugent, who told the gun rights group last week that he would be "dead or in jail" next year if Obama is re-elected in November, appeared on conservative radio host Glenn Beck's show on Wednesday. He was asked if he had heard from the Secret Service. "We actually have heard from the Secret Service, and they have a duty, and I salute them. I support them and I'm looking forward to our meeting tomorrow," Nugent said on Beck's show.

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