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Pakistan, Afghanistan moving ahead on peace plan that cuts U.S. peace role

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Pakistan, Afghanistan moving ahead on peace plan that cuts U.S. peace role 12 Dec 2012 Afghanistan and Pakistan are moving ahead quickly with a new Afghan government plan that envisions peace with the Taliban by 2015, holding a summit in Turkey and working with the United States and Britain on streamlining the U.N. terrorist blacklisting system so that Afghan insurgents can be given safe passage for direct negotiations with Kabul. Negotiations on the blacklisting procedures, which have been taking place in New York ahead of a vote to renew the U.N. system before it expires next week, could effectively give legal space and international legitimacy to the Taliban’s political wing.

Obama Accepts Rice's Withdrawal

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Obama Accepts Rice's Withdrawal 13 Dec 2012 President Barack Obama on Thursday said he accepted U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's withdrawal from consideration as secretary of state, following heavy criticism from some Republicans. "While I deeply regret the unfair and misleading attacks on Susan Rice in recent weeks, her decision demonstrates the strength of her character, and an admirable commitment to rise above the politics of the moment to put our national interests first," Mr. Obama said in a written statement released by the White House.

Liberals blast Susan Rice's 'outrageous' investments in Canadian pipeline firm

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Liberals blast Susan Rice's 'outrageous' investments in Canadian pipeline firm 30 Nov 2012 A liberal group launched an online petition Friday demanding that potential secretary of State nominee Susan Rice divest herself of "every dollar of stock" in the Canadian company seeking approval for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline to the Gulf Coast. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations owns between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada Corp. stock, according to her financial disclosure forms. The pipeline needs approval from the State Department before it can go forward.

Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez suffered complications from surgery, recovering

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Venezuelan government says Hugo Chavez suffered complications from surgery, recovering 13 Dec 2012 President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba but was recovering from the complications, Venezuela's government said Thursday. Chavez suffered "bleeding that required the use of corrective measures" during Tuesday's surgery, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said, reading a government statement. It said those measures allowed for the "opportune control" of the bleeding.

Susan Rice withdraws name from consideration for Secretary of State

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Rice withdraws as secretary of state candidate 13 Dec 2012 Susan Rice, the embattled U.N. ambassador, abruptly withdrew from consideration to be the next secretary of state on Thursday after an ugly standoff with Republican senators who declared they would vigorously oppose her nomination. The move elevates Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry as the likely choice to be the nation's next top diplomat when Hillary Rodham Clinton departs soon. President Barack Obama accepted Rice's decision with a shot at Republicans.

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, European court rules

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

CIA 'tortured and sodomised' terror suspect, European court rules --Landmark European court of human rights brands CIA treatment of wrongly detained Khaled el-Masri as torture 13 Dec 2012 CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday. In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations. Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan. It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

UK PM criticized for secret trial plan

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

UK PM criticized for secret trial plan 13 Dec 2012 Campaigners for civil liberties have criticized British Prime Minister David Cameron for defending the Tory-led government's controversial plans for secret trials. Legal action charity Reprieve condemned the scheme to extend the use of secret hearings in courts, saying it was aimed at covering up Britain's role in torture. Cameron claimed in the Commons on Tuesday that it "will always be a judge that decides" whether to make a trial secret. Lawyers and campaigners warn that such controversial proposals would put the British government above the law.

Federal Reserve Announces Additional Asset Purchases

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Federal Reserve Announces Additional Asset Purchases 12 Dec 2012 The Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) wrapped up a two-day policy meeting Wednesday, followed by a press briefing by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. According to The Associated Press, "the Federal Reserve will spend $45 billion a month to sustain an aggressive drive to keep long-term interest rates low. And it set a goal of keeping a key short-term rate near zero until unemployment drops below 6.5 percent." Bernanke told reporters at the briefing that the Federal Reserve intends to continue asset purchases until the employment situation improves.

Senate approves anti-abortion bills in Michigan

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Senate approves anti-abortion bills in Michigan 12 Dec 2012 The Republican-controlled Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to restrict and regulate abortion practices, including requiring a health professional to screen patients to ensure they aren't being forced to end pregnancies. The measures previously approved by the GOP-led House were approved by a 27-10 vote, mostly along party lines. The legislation returns to the House for its final review of changes before going to Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

Clackamas Town Center shooting: Police, mall workers trained earlier this year for shooting scenario

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Holy coincidence, Batman! Clackamas Town Center shooting: Police, mall workers trained earlier this year for shooting scenario --In late spring, several teams of sheriff's deputies worked with the Clackamas Town Center's unarmed security staff to put on a one-day training seminar during which they staged several 'active shooter' scenarios. --Following their agreed-upon plans, mall security officers placed the 1.4 million square-foot facility on lock-down, blocking the entrances. 12 Dec 2012 Six months before a lone gunman burst into Clackamas Town Center Tuesday, firing dozens of rounds into the crowds of shoppers, police and mall employees trained together for just such an emergency. Because of their similar training and shared goal of advancing toward and neutralizing the threat, officers from different agencies arrived "on the same page," though they came from the FBI, federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, Oregon State Police and police departments in Portland, Milwaukie, Gladstone, Oregon City, Canby, West Linn, Lake Oswego, Molalla, Sandy and Woodburn.

Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Iraq abuse inquiry was a 'cover-up', whistleblower tells court 11 Dec 2012 A former investigator into allegations that British troops abused Iraqi prisoners resigned because she did not want to be implicated in "a cover-up", the high court has heard. Louise Thomas, 45, left the Iraq Historic Allegations Team (IHAT) in July because she thought it was not a genuine investigation but a "face-saving inquiry", she told the court on Tuesday. Her evidence came at a preliminary hearing in advance of a judicial review, expected next month, into the government's refusal to hold a public inquiry into allegations of mistreatment of Iraqis between 2003 and 2008.

U.S. to sell Israel munitions to renew stock after Operation Pillar of Defense

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. to sell Israel munitions to renew stock after Operation Pillar of Defense 11 Dec 2012 The United States will sell Israel munitions worth $647 million, in order to renew the inventory of the Israel Defense Forces following the massive bombings in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense. The deal will include the supply of 6,900 precision bomb kits to the Israel Air Force. The U.S. Department of Defense notified Congress of the sale on Monday. The deal states that the U.S. will supply Israel with some 6,900 Joint Attack Munitions tail kits, which convert regular bombs into "smart" munitions, which are guided by satellite and allow precise hits on targets.

Israel raids Palestinian NGO offices amid heightened tension

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Israel raids Palestinian NGO offices amid heightened tension 11 Dec 2012 Israeli soldiers raided the offices of three civil society organizations on Tuesday in the heart of Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Entering before dawn [as all fascists do], troops wrenched open the doors of the Women's Union, the Palestinian NGO Network and Addameer, an advocate for Palestinians in Israeli jails, confiscating five computers from the latter group.

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones to Record Passenger Conversations 10 Dec 2012 Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet. The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to The Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents. The use of the equipment raises serious questions about eavesdropping without a warrant, particularly since recordings of passengers could be obtained and used by law enforcement agencies. It also raises questions about security, since the IP audio-video systems can be accessed remotely via a built-in web server, and can be combined with GPS data to track the movement of buses and passengers throughout the city.

Navy submariner jailed for Official Secrets Act breach

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Navy submariner jailed for Official Secrets Act breach 12 Dec 2012 A Royal Navy petty officer who offered nuclear submarine secrets to MI5 agents posing as Russian spies has been jailed for eight years. Edward Devenney, 30, originally from County Tyrone, gathered classified coding material after being passed over for promotion, the court was told. He had been "prepared to betray his country and his colleagues", said Mr Justice Saunders at the Old Bailey. Devenney admitted breaching the Official Secrets Act. He also admitted a charge of misconduct in a public office.

Police: Ore. mall shooter used stolen semiautomatic rifle

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Police: Ore. mall shooter used stolen semiautomatic rifle 12 Dec 2012 Police say the gunman who killed two people and himself in a shooting rampage at an Oregon mall was 22 years old and used a stolen rifle from someone he knew. Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts says that Jacob Tyler Roberts had armed himself with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and had several fully loaded magazines. Roberts says the rifle jammed during the attack, but he managed to get it working again.

Governor Jerry Brown being treated for cancer

December 13, 2012 by legitgov

Governor Jerry Brown being treated for cancer 12 Dec 2012 Governor Jerry Brown's office today announced that the governor is undergoing radiation treatment for prostate cancer. The cancer is in its early stages, University of California San Francisco oncologist Eric Small said in a statement released by the office. He said it is being treated with a short course of conventional radiotherapy. He called the governor's prognosis excellent.

U.S. judge orders terror suspects' experiences in clandestine CIA prisons kept secret

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

First rule of CIA torture: You don't talk about CIA torture. U.S. judge orders terror suspects' experiences in clandestine CIA prisons kept secret 12 Dec 2012 The U.S. military judge overseeing the Guantanamo prosecution of five alleged conspirators in the September 11 attacks has issued an order maintaining secrecy over the defendants' experiences in clandestine CIA prisons. The protective order safeguarding classified information in the case was signed on December 6 by the judge, Army Colonel James Pohl, and unsealed on Wednesday. It is not limited to documents formally labeled "Top Secret" by the CIA or produced by the government, but also prohibits disclosure of the defendants own "observations and experiences" in the secret CIA detention, rendition and interrogation program.

'He looked like he was on a mission' - Witness describing Oregon mall shooter

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

'He looked like he was on a mission' - Witness describing Oregon mall shooter --Oregon Mall Gunman Identified as Jacob Tyler Roberts 12 Dec 2012 The masked gunman who killed two people in the crowded Clackamas Town Center mall in suburban Portland, Ore., was identified today as Jacob Tyler Roberts. Roberts, 22, was armed with a stolen AR-15 semi-automatic weapon, Sheriff Craig Roberts told a news conference today. He was not wearing a bullet-proof vest as previously reported. [?] 'He looked like he, uh, he was on a mission,' said mall shooting witness, Vicki Napoli (ABC News video). [I'm sure he was.]

Panetta says Obama weighing US presence in Afghanistan after 2014

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

Panetta says Obama weighing US presence in Afghanistan after 2014 12 Dec 2012 U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that President Obama will decide in the next few weeks how many U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan after the combat mission ends in December 2014. Panetta did not reveal what options Obama is considering, but officials have said he may settle on a figure between 6,000 and 10,000. There currently are about 66,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The post-2014 mission is expected to focus on counterterrorism and advising Afghan security forces protecting the CIA's opium routes and overfunding Blackwater/Academi terrorists. [See: U.S. Commandos' New Landlord in Afghanistan: Blackwater --Academi's $22 million no-bid contract runs through May 2015 05 Dec 2012.]

Steven Crowder, Fox News Contributor, Punched During Right-To-Work Protests

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

Steven Crowder, Fox News Contributor, Punched During Right-To-Work Protests 11 Dec 2012 Writer and Fox News contributor Steven Crowder aired video of his violent physical confrontation with opponents of Michigan's right-to-work legislation, who gathered in Lansing to protest the bills' passage through the House. Crowder argued with protesters who began to tear down a tent pitched on the Capitol lawn by the pro-right-to-work [terrorist] group Americans for Prosperity. According to MLive, Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said they were contacted because several people, including two in wheelchairs, were trapped under the tent. He was then punched repeatedly in the face by a protester, while another man speaking off-camera threatened to kill Crowder with a gun.

Fox News contributor punched in face at pro-union protests in Michigan

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

Fox News contributor punched in face at pro-union protests in Michigan 11 Dec 2012 A Fox News contributor was punched in the face during a pro-union protest Tuesday in Michigan, one of a series of confrontations between union demonstrators and opponents on the day the state Legislature approved so-called "right to work" legislation that unions oppose. Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian and Fox News contributor, had spent the day questioning harassing demonstrators, and video he posted on YouTube showed some of them becoming verbally aggressive, with one telling him, "get the f--- out of my face!" Another protester can be seen later in the video punching Crowder in the face before being restrained by another man.

Oregon mall witness saw 'masked gunman, dressed in all black'

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

Oregon mall witness saw 'masked gunman, dressed in all black' 12 Dec 2012  A masked gunman who opened fire in the crowded Clackamas Town Center mall in suburban Portland, Ore., killing two individuals before killing himself, has been "tentatively" identified by police, though they have not yet released his name. The shooter, wearing a white hockey mask, black clothing, and a bullet proof vest, tore through the mall around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, entering through a Macy's store and proceeding to the food court and public areas spraying bullets, according to witness reports. Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said that officers responded to the scene of the shooting within minutes, and four SWAT teams swept the 1.4 million-square-foot building searching for the shooter. He was eventually found dead, an apparent suicide.

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning's lawyer says client was treated like a 'zoo animal'

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning's lawyer says client was treated like a 'zoo animal' 11 Dec 2012 Army Pfc. Bradley Manning's defense attorney argued Tuesday that the soldier's former jailers at the Marine Corps brig at Quantico mistreated him to protect themselves from recriminations over their high-profile prisoner. David E. Coombs said Quantico officials ignored the opinions of multiple health professionals that Manning was not a risk to himself or others and kept him isolated in a tiny cell 23 hours a day... Manning was kept on either suicide watch or injury-prevention status for months.

DeMatha High School preps for gunman scenario

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

DeMatha High School preps for gunman scenario --Many schools nationwide have started to train for situations in which gunmen enter a campus. 10 Dec 2012 (MD) Cpl. James Denault of the Hyattsville Police Department spent Friday training for an emergency: A gunman in the classroom. During a simulation Friday at DeMatha Catholic High School, a private school in Hyattsville, Denault stood outside a classroom with his gun drawn, waiting for backup, as a gunman -- played by Justin Cunningham, assistant dean of students at the school -- had several students and a teacher held hostage. Thinking he could wait no longer, he launched into the classroom, pretended to shoot the gunman, handcuffed him and dragged him outside.

North Korea says it successfully launched satellite into orbit

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

North Korea says it successfully launched satellite into orbit 11 Dec 2012 North Korea fired a long-range rocket Wednesday morning in its second launch under its new leader, defying warnings [!?!] from the U.N. and Washington only days before South Korean presidential elections. North Korea declared the launch of a rocket and satellite a success, and state television broadcasted a brief report declaring as much on Wednesday. South Korean and Japanese officials confirmed that liftoff took place Wednesday morning, while the United States did not immediately comment on it. [Gee, who died and made the US boss of the universe? The US launches missiles, satellites, weapons (and drones) 24/7, so who is the US to comment? For example, see: U.S. military top secret spaceplane blasts off for mystery mission 11 Dec 2012. And, speaking of 'warnings:' Israel has been 'warned' by the U.N. not to expand settlements in the West Bank, but they build 24/7, so someone should tell the US (and Israel) to shut their hypocritical pie holes. --LRP]

Clackamas Town Center shooting: 3 dead, including shooter; 1 seriously injured

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

Clackamas Town Center shooting: 3 dead, including shooter; 1 seriously injured 11 Dec 2012 A gunman who terrorized the Clackamas Town Center Tuesday afternoon, firing dozens of shots from an automatic weapon and killing two people, has been confirmed dead. A third victim was seriously injured. Lt. James Rhodes, a sheriff's office spokesman, said he believed the gunman acted alone. [?] 6:34 p.m.: Officials said the armed man who was the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said that no law enforcement officers discharged their weapons.

SKorea says NKorea has fired long-range rocket

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

SKorea says NKorea has fired long-range rocket 11 Dec 2012 North Korea fired a long-range rocket Wednesday in its second launch under its new leader, South Korean officials said, defying warnings from the U.N. and [the hypocrites in] Washington only days before South Korean presidential elections. South Korean defense officials said the rocket was fired from a west coast launch pad but there was no immediate word if the rocket was successful. North Korea had indicated technical problems with the rocket and extended its launch window.

US, Britain to assist militants in Syria: Report

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

US, Britain to assist militants in Syria: Report 11 Dec 2012 The United States and Britain have decided to provide military assistance to the militants fighting the Syrian government, a report says. A Monday report by the Independent said the head of the British Armed Forces, General Sir David Richards, held a secret meeting in London a few weeks ago with military officials from France, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates as well as an American general. Officials from several other British government departments also hosted similar meetings and discussions with their counterparts in 'allied states' to review strategies and ways to 'help' the foreign-sponsored militants in crisis-stricken Syria.

'More than one shooter' on scene at Oregon mall - Reports

December 12, 2012 by legitgov

'More than one shooter' on scene at Oregon mall - Reports --'He looked like he was on a mission' - Witness describing Oregon mall shooter --Oregon Mall Gunman Identified as Jacob Tyler Roberts --'Erie similarities' to Colorado theater shooting [Yeah, that's because they were likely given the same drug - scopolamine.] --Officials would not confirm whether or not there was a second shooter. --100 police on site--Three dead, including gunman --FBI on scene --One person hospitalized with 'traumatic inujury' --Gunman opens fire at Oregon mall, several people shot: officials --More than sixty bullets fired --Gunman had assault rifle and wore camouflage, body armor, and white mask --Mall is in lockdown --Multiple law enforcement agencies, SWAT on scene --Witness: Shooter yelled, 'I am the shooter! I am the shooter!' as he ran into the mall, BEFORE the shooting started. 11 Dec 2012 A gunman opened fire at an Oregon shopping mall outside of Portland on Tuesday and multiple people were believed to have been shot and wounded, authorities said. The gunman remained at large at the Clackamas Town Center near the Portland suburb of Happy Valley, said Steve Campbell, spokesman for the city. "There is an active shooter at the Clackamas Town Center," Campbell said.

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