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Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water Into Pacific

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water Into Pacific 03 Oct 2013 A new leak of highly radioactive water is believed to be flowing into the Pacific Ocean from Japan's stricken nuclear plant after a storage tank overflowed. A Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) official said workers at Fukushima detected the toxic fluid dripping from the top of a tank when they were patrolling the site. Tepco estimates 430 litres of the water, which contains highly radioactive doses of strontium, has leaked outside a concrete barrier surrounding the tank.

New radioactive water leak at crippled Fukushima plant

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

New radioactive water leak at crippled Fukushima plant 03 Oct 2013 Another leak of radioactive water has been found at Fukushima, the plant's Japanese operator said Thursday, the latest setback for the troubled clean-up at the broken nuclear power station. Tokyo Electric Power said highly-polluted radioactive water, which spilled out of a storage tank as it was being filled, may have made its way out to the Pacific Ocean. The utility, whose 'efforts' to fix the mess at Fukushima have been derided as sloppy, said 430 litres (110 US gallons) with a radioactive load of up to 580,000 becquerels per litre, had leaked from one of the 450-tonne tanks because of recent typhoon-brought heavy rainfall.

Shell chief: Tapping Iran's oil and gas vital for demand

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Shell chief: Tapping Iran's oil and gas vital for demand 02 Oct 2013 Iran, which holds the world's fourth largest proven reserves of crude oil and the second biggest deposits of natural gas, has been off limits for a decade to international oil companies since the imposition of tough international sanctions and strict investment policies imposed by the Islamic Republic. "Longer term Iran's oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand," Voser said during a question and answer session at the Oil & Money energy conference in London. "Every two years we need to build a new Saudi Arabia" to meet global energy demand, he said.

BP wins reprieve over Gulf spill payouts: U.S. appeals court

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

BP wins reprieve over Gulf spill payouts: U.S. appeals court 02 Oct 2013 BP Plc won a legal reprieve in its effort to force the administrator of a settlement related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to tighten standards in assessing claims, potentially sparing the oil company billions of dollars of extra costs. A divided 5th U.S. Circuit [Kangaroo] Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday directed U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who in March had approved administrator Patrick Juneau's evaluation methods, to take a fresh look at which claims are legitimate. The 5th Circuit also directed Barbier to halt payments on those claims that don't meet stricter standards.

Federal court reviews legality of NYPD Muslim surveillance program

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Federal court reviews legality of NYPD Muslim surveillance program 01 Oct 2013 A federal judge on Tuesday revisited at a decades-old court settlement restricting how the New York Police Department conducts surveillance after civil rights lawyers accused the department of breaking those rules by monitoring Muslims. The dispute centers on the restrictions set by the Handschu decree, which was put in place in response to surveillance used against war protesters in the 1960s and 70s. The decree was relaxed following the September 11 terror attacks [inside job] to allow police to more freely monitor political activity in public places. "I've come to think of this case as a volcano that's asleep most of the time...but every now and then blows up," District Judge Charles Haight said at the start of a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.

Ex-PM Koizumi raps government push for nuclear power as 'irresponsible'

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Ex-PM Koizumi raps government push for nuclear power as 'irresponsible' 02 Oct 2013 Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi criticized the government’s push to restart nuclear power generation and urged it to reconsider. "It is irresponsible to pursue nuclear power when there is no permanent disposal site for radioactive waste," Koizumi said at a lecture in Nagoya. The government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has retracted its predecessor’s goal of phasing out nuclear power and opened the way for the restart of idled reactors.

F.B.I. Seizes Silk Road Website and Makes Arrest

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Shutdown government shuts down websites: F.B.I. Seizes Silk Road Website and Makes Arrest 03 Oct 2013 Federal authorities have charged a man with running Silk Road, [allegedly] a popular online black market for drugs. The Silk Road marketplace is available through Tor, a popular tool for maintaining anonymity online. The authorities identified the man as Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested by F.B.I. agents Tuesday afternoon at a library in San Francisco. Court papers filed in the case in Manhattan accuse him of engaging in a "massive money-laundering" operation and of trying to arrange a murder-for-hire.

Pentagon Spent $5 Billion on Weapons on Eve of Shutdown

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Pentagon Spent $5 Billion on Weapons on Eve of Shutdown 01 Oct 2013 The Pentagon pumped billions of dollars into contractors' bank accounts on the eve of the U.S. government's shutdown that saw 400,000 Defense Department employees furloughed. All told, the Pentagon awarded 94 contracts yesterday evening on its annual end-of-the-fiscal-year spending spree, spending more than five billion dollars on everything from robot submarines to Finnish hand grenades and a radar base mounted on an offshore oil platform. To put things in perspective, the Pentagon gave out only 14 contracts on September 3, the first workday of the month.

FDA Food Safety Inspections Suspended During Government Shutdown

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: FDA Food Safety Inspections Suspended During Government Shutdown 01 Oct 2013 One troubling casualty of the federal government shutdown is the suspension of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety inspection program. The FDA actually oversees the safety of the vast majority of the country's food industry. And according to a memo released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the bulk of FDA food inspectors have been deemed non-essential, so will inspect few if any food facilities until Congress and the president agree on a bill to fund the federal government... The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act requires U.S. inspectors to check almost 35,000 facilities a year, but funding has not been provided to meet that mandate. [But there's plenty of money to protect the CIA's opium routes in Afghanistan and to arm the al-Qaeda 'rebels' in Syria, though, right?]

Obama spotlights healthcare launch as Republicans try to block it

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Obama spotlights healthcare launch as Republicans try to block it 01 Oct 2013 President Barack Obama spotlighted the opening day of sign-up for his landmark healthcare program on Tuesday, noting that it is taking place although Republicans in the U.S. Congress have shut down the government because they oppose the law. "Even though the government is closed, a big part of the Affordable Care Act is now open for business," Obama said in the White House Rose Garden, surrounded by people who would benefit from the provisions of the healthcare law. Unexpectedly high internet traffic volumes generated delays in the operation of the online marketplaces for health insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement saying more than 1 million people had visited the website, HealthCare.gov, in the past day, leading to a five-fold increase in Tuesday's volume.

UN: Nearly 1,000 Iraqis killed in September

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

UN: Nearly 1,000 Iraqis killed in September 01 Oct 2013 The U.N. mission in Iraq said Tuesday that 979 people died in September, most civilians caught up in the violence by insurgents led by al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] in Iraq who appear determined to rekindle the tensions between Sunnis and Shiites that nearly pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. September's toll pushed the total number of people killed since April to more than 5,000. Among the dead last month were 887 civilians while the rest were security forces.

Four tonnes of radioactive water spilled in Fukushima

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Four tonnes of radioactive water spilled in Fukushima --Some tanks have leaked highly radioactive waste water, which might [?!] have washed to sea. 01 Oct 2013 The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant said Tuesday workers had spilled four tonnes of radioactive water, likely contaminating the soil and possibly groundwater. Workers were pumping rain water that was trapped in a concrete gutter into an empty 12-tonne tank that sat on open soil, said a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO). "Work crew started operating the pump around 10:38 am. At 11:50 am, they found water was spilling from the manhole on top of the tank," the spokesman said.

Google doodle celebrates Yosemite as park closes thanks to government shutdown

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Google doodle celebrates Yosemite as park closes thanks to government shutdown 01 Oct 2013 The Google doodle is celebrating the 123rd birthday of Yosemite National Park, but in a sad turn of events, the tribute comes the very day visitors to the California nature reserve will be turned away due to the government shutdown. Though its website boasts that Yosemite is open 24 hours, 365 days a year, the Department of Interior alerted visitors that as of midnight Tuesday, all 401 parks run by the U.S. National Park Service would be closed given the Congressional showdown in Washington. Park police will continue to secure the facilities, but visitor centers will be closed, campers will be escorted out and education programs cancelled.

A CEO who resisted NSA spying is out of prison. And he feels 'vindicated' by Snowden leaks.

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

A CEO who resisted NSA spying is out of prison. And he feels 'vindicated' by Snowden leaks. 30 Sep 2013 Just one major telecommunications company refused to participate in a legally dubious NSA surveillance program in 2001. A few years later, its CEO was indicted by federal prosecutors. He was convicted, served four and a half years of his sentence and was released this month. Prosecutors claim Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio was guilty of insider trading, and that his prosecution had nothing to do with his refusal to allow spying on his customers without the permission of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But to this day, Nacchio insists that his prosecution was retaliation for refusing to break the law on the NSA's behalf.

Berkeley Campus Evacuated After Explosion Linked to Copper Theft

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Berkeley Campus Evacuated After Explosion Linked to Copper Theft 01 Oct 2013 The campus of the University of California, Berkeley, was evacuated after a power failure and explosion linked to the theft of copper wire, a university spokesman said. Four to six people received minor burns in the explosion late today and one was treated at a hospital, said Dan Mogulof, the spokesman. The campus-wide blackout began about 4:30 p.m. local time. It was followed about two hours later by the explosion in an underground electrical vault outside California Hall, which houses the university chancellor's office near the center of campus, as engineers were restoring power, Mogulof said.

Government Shutdown Begins

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Government Shutdown Begins 01 Oct 2013 The government shutdown officially began Tuesday morning as Congress has missed the 12:01 a.m. deadline to pass a government spending bill. This is the first shutdown in 17 years. "This is a sad day for America," said Democratic Senate Majority Harry Reid on the Senate floor. About a half hour before the shutdown, federal government officials told agencies to begin executing plans for a partial government shutdown as Congress failed to reach an agreement.

BP accused of lying to govt during Gulf oil spill

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

BP accused of lying to govt during Gulf oil spill 30 Sep 2013 BP lied to the U.S. government and withheld information about the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico after its well blew out in 2010, attorneys told a judge Monday. Brian Barr, an attorney for residents and businesses who claim they were hurt by the spill, said BP failed to prepare for a blowout and compounded the problem by misleading federal officials. BP had a 600-page oil spill response plan that only included one page on "source control." It simply called for assembling a team of experts to devise a way to stop a blowout, Barr said.

OMB memo directing federal agencies to shut down

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

OMB memo directing federal agencies to shut down 01 Oct 2013 Office of Management and Budget memorandum directs federal agencies to begin an orderly shutdown after Congress failed to reach an agreement to fund the government after Sept. 30.

US Shutdown: Deadline Passes Without Approval

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

US Shutdown: Deadline Passes Without Approval --Federal Government Shuts Down --After a long night of talks, politicians fail to approve a federal budget, meaning some government services will now be shut down. 01 Oct 2013 US lawmakers have failed to avert a partial shutdown of government services after a deadline to agree how federal money should be spent passed without agreement. The Democrat-dominated Senate and Republican-controlled House of Representatives refused to back down in a clash over President Barack Obama's controversial healthcare law, known as Obamacare. The deadlock means non-essential services, including some of America's most famous tourist attractions, will be forced to close, while hundreds of thousands of workers face the prospect of being sent home without pay. It is the first US shutdown in 17 years.

Poison ivy-eating goats removed ahead of shutdown

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Poison ivy-eating goats removed ahead of shutdown 30 Sep 2013 For months now they've bleated at each other, locked horns and whiled away their days on the hill. But enough about Congress. The budget impasse in Washington, D.C., has chased a herd of ivy-eating goats from the Gateway National Recreation Area at Sandy Hook, N.J., ending their summerlong smorgasbord.

Two Marine generals fired for security lapses in Afghanistan

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Two Marine generals fired for security lapses in Afghanistan 30 Sep 2013 The commandant of the Marine Corps on Monday took the extraordinary step of firing two generals for not adequately protecting a giant base in southern Afghanistan that Taliban fighters stormed last year, resulting in the deaths of two Marines and the destruction of half a dozen U.S. fighter jets. Fifteen insurgents entered a NATO airfield and destroyed almost an entire squadron of Marine AV-8B Harrier jets, the largest single loss of allied materiel in the almost 12-year Afghan war. The two, Maj. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the top Marine commander in southern Afghanistan at the time, and Maj. Gen. Gregg A. Sturdevant, the senior Marine aviation officer in the area, "failed to exercise the level of judgment expected of commanders of their rank," the commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, said.

President signs bill ensuring military personnel will be paid during shutdown

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

President signs bill ensuring military personnel will be paid during shutdown 30 Sep 2013 A sharply divided Congress has found common ground on one thing: military personnel should be paid on time even if a shutdown occurs at midnight tonight. On Monday, the Senate approved the House's plan to make sure military personnel - as well as the contractors and civilian personnel that directly support them - will be paid in the event of a shutdown. President Barack Obama signed the measure late Monday night.

Furloughed Feds May Have to Turn in Cellphones, Other Mobile Devices

October 1, 2013 by legitgov

Furloughed Feds May Have to Turn in Cellphones, Other Mobile Devices 30 Sep 2013 Federal employees forced off the job during a government shutdown may have to turn in their government-issued BlackBerrys, iPhones and other mobile devices Tuesday morning, according to White House guidance on technology matters.  "Prohibitions of the Antideficiency Act extend to work performed from outside of the office, including via mobile devices or remote computer connections," according to a Sept. 17 memo issued by the Office of Management and Budget. The Antideficiency Act makes it illegal for the federal government to engage in activities for which it is not funded.

Senate rejects House amendments to spending bill as shutdown looms

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

Senate rejects House amendments to spending bill as shutdown looms 30 Sep 2013 The Senate rejected House amendments to a short-term spending bill Monday, killing a provision that would delay President Obama's health-care law and moving the U.S. government closer to its first shutdown in nearly two decades. The Senate vote came shortly after Obama said he was not resigned to a shutdown and plans to continue talking to congressional leaders. The 54 to 46 party-line vote made good on a vow by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) to reject a funding bill approved by the House early Sunday.

Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years in Jail

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

Barrett Brown Faces 105 Years in Jail --But no one can figure out what law he broke. 05 Sep 2013 The mid-June sun is setting on the Mansfield jail near Dallas when Barrett Brown, the former public face of Anonymous, shuffles into the visitors hall wearing a jumpsuit of blazing orange... Brown's case is a bellwether for press freedoms in the new century, where hacks and leaks provide some of our only glimpses into the technologies and policies of an increasingly privatized national security-and-surveillance state. What Brown did through his organization Project PM was attempt to expand these peepholes. He did this by leading group investigations into the world of private intelligence and cybersecurity contracting, a $56 billion industry that consumes 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget.

Man questions Murfreesboro's new mine-resistant vehicle

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

Man questions Murfreesboro's new mine-resistant vehicle 23 Aug 2013 The Murfreesboro Police Department announced Aug. 21, 2013, that it has obtained a mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle from the U.S. Department of Defense. Officials said they will use it for special operations in Murfreesboro, Tennessee... Thursday's meeting of the Murfreesboro City Council included lengthy public hearings concerning more annexations and rezonings in the Blackman area, with a sudden reference to the newly acquired mine-resistant ambush protected vehicle. "I am going to say the most important thing I have ever said to the City Council," Jeff Rainwater said. "Give the MRAP back."

US police obtaining MRAPs from Department of Defense

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

US police obtaining MRAPs from Department of Defense 30 Sep 2013 The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office traveled to Fort Hood this month to acquire its own bona fide military vehicle -- the International MaxxPro MRAP tactical vehicle -- courtesy of a Department of Defense surplus program. According to The Dallas Observer, the sheriff's office obtained the 19-ton, diesel-operated behemoth with bullet-proof doors and tires, designed by Navistar Defense. "The MaxxPro MRAP is built to withstand ballistic arms fire, mine blasts, IEDs, and other emerging threats," according to the Navistar website.

Dick Cheney: 'Reagan proved deficits don't matter'

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

Dick Cheney: 'Reagan proved deficits don't matter' --Economy fears 'dismissed by Cheney' claim 12 Jan 2004 Further damaging revelations about the internal workings of the Bush administration have been made by the former US treasury secretary, Paul O'Neill - this time about the economy. Mr O'Neill claims that when he raised concerns of a looming fiscal crisis he was told "deficits don't matter". Mr O'Neill, who was fired in a shake-up of Bush’s economic team in December 2002, said in an interview with Time magazine that he tried to warn the vice-president [sic], Dick Cheney, that growing budget deficits - expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone - posed a threat to the US economy. Mr Cheney cut him off, according to the interview posted on the Time website yesterday. "Reagan proved deficits don’t matter," he said. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Mr Cheney told the treasury secretary he was fired.

Fukushima owner to receive $6.1b

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

OMG. Fukushima owner to receive $6.1b 30 Sep 2013 Creditors are set to provide $6.1 billion in financing to Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), a person involved in the talks has revealed, offering a lifeline to the owner of the crippled [radiation-leaking] Fukushima nuclear plant. Tepco's major banks are prepared to provide 500 billion yen ($6.1billion NZD) in financing in December - 200 billion yen in loan rollovers and 300 billion yen in new financing - said the person, who has been involved in financing talks as a representative of one of the utility's major creditors... Tepco on Friday applied to restart its Kashiwazaki Kariwa facility, the world's largest nuclear plant in northwestern Japan, although approval is uncertain and any restart is many months away.

Justice Department to sue North Carolina, alleging voting rights discrimination

September 30, 2013 by legitgov

Justice Department to sue North Carolina, alleging voting rights discrimination 29 Sep 2013 The Justice Department will sue the state of North Carolina for alleged racial discrimination over tough new voting rules, the latest effort by the Obama administration to fight back against a Supreme Court decision that struck down the most powerful part of the landmark Voting Rights Act and freed southern states from strict federal oversight of their elections. North Carolina has a new law scaling back the period for early voting and imposing stringent voter identification requirements. It is among at least five Southern states adopting stricter voter ID and other election laws.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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