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Superweeds linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops

October 4, 2012 by legitgov

Superweeds linked to rising herbicide use in GM crops 04 Oct 2012 A study published this week by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops - cotton, soybeans and corn - has actually increased. This counterintuitive finding is based on an exhaustive analysis of publicly available data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service. Benbrook's analysis is the first peer-reviewed, published estimate of the impacts of genetically engineered (GE) herbicide-resistant (HT) crops on pesticide use.

First presidential debate: Obama hit with left hook on TV, online

October 4, 2012 by legitgov

First presidential debate: Obama hit with left hook on TV, online 03 Oct 2012 Left-leaning commentators hit President Barack Obama hard on TV and the Internet after the first presidential debate in Denver on Wednesday night, saying GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney handily defeated his more experienced opponent. MSNBC hosts were "stunned" by Obama's performance, suggesting the president was rusty for not having debated in four years. "I don't think he explained himself very well on the economy. I think he was off his game. I was absolutely stunned tonight," Ed Schultz said. "Where was Obama tonight?" Chris Matthews asked. [Did Barack Obama cut a deal -- make history, serve one term, clear the plate and the 2008 ill-tasting GOP palette, pardon the Bush era war criminals, then turn the reigns of power back over to a (more obvious) Wall Street guy? Note that key elements of Obamacare don't take effect until 2014. Yes, 'health care reform' was born with a 'suicide gene' so that Obama's successor could overturn it 'on Day One.' And what about, in the words of Howard Fineman, the 'criminally negligent' moderator [sic], Jim Lehrer? Lehrer could not bring his useless self to utter a single question regarding Mitt Romney's '47 Percent' comments or that fact that GOP leaders met on Inauguration Day 2009 to 'submarine' Obama's presidency and plot a path to ensure that Barack Obama would be a 'one-term president.' --LRP]

Urgent: Stop the Polar Bear Rug Trade

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Urgent: Stop the Polar Bear Rug Trade 02 Oct 2012 Adding to polar bears' already bleak prospects from climate change, risky offshore drilling and toxic contamination, the international trade in endangered species parts is booming. The price for polar bear fur reached a record high last year as the bears' numbers shrink along with their sea-ice habitat. The Obama government is considering pushing for greater protections under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species... This year the Russian Federation has promised to support a trade ban on polar bear parts if the United States introduces the resolution. The deadline for introducing the resolution is this week. Please contact the White House now and ask President Barack Obama's government to take a stand for polar bears and champion these urgently needed trade restrictions.

Activists push for international ban on legal trade in polar bear items

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Activists push for international ban on legal trade in polar bear items --US and Russian groups unite to lobby governments after concerns over rise in poaching and melting Arctic ice 01 Oct 2012 Environmental activists in the United States and Russia have come together to push for unprecedented protection for the polar bear, hoping to stave off the decline of its already dwindling population. With Arctic Sea ice at record low because of climate change, polar bears have been deprived of a key habitat and feeding ground. Legal trade in polar bears, mainly in the form of trophy skins and furs, remains legal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites), leading to the death of hundreds more each year.

US says will stand by Turkey over border tensions with Syria

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

US says will stand by Turkey over border tensions with Syria 03 Oct 2012 Turkey Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says the US has assured him of full backing at NATO and the UN over a deadly Syrian mortar attack on Wednesday that killed five people in southeast Turkey. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave the assurances to Davutoglu in a phone call, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

Turkey continues to shell Syrian military positions: Media

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Turkey continues to shell Syrian military positions: Media 03 Oct 2012 Turkey reportedly continues to shell military positions on the Syrian soil despite the fact that Damascus said it respects the sovereignty of its neighbors and demanded its own sovereignty be respected in return.

Federal appeals court extends stay on order blocking indefinite detention law

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Federal appeals court extends stay on order blocking indefinite detention law 03 Oct 2012 The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Tuesday extended a stay on a lower court order that barred enforcement of a law allowing the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists. The Second Circuit's order allows certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), specifically Section 1021(b)(2), to remain in force pending appeal. This provision affirms the authority of the president under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to detain indefinitely any "person who was a part of or substantially supported al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."

Presidential debate seen as potential turning point for Romney

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Presidential debate seen as potential turning point for Romney --Candidates spend day preparing, touring debate site 03 Oct 2012 U.S. Republican candidate Mitt Romney gets his first chance on Wednesday evening to go head-to-head in a debate against President Barack Obama, and potentially turn the tide of a campaign that has seen him trailing for weeks. The 90-minute encounter could reach 60 million people on television, a far bigger audience than watched either candidate speak at the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Detroit workers striking in defiance of federal court order: 'We're not going anywhere'

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Detroit workers striking in defiance of federal court order: 'We're not going anywhere' 01 Oct 2012 Striking water department workers continued to picket Monday afternoon despite being ordered back to work by a federal judge. "The strike will continue," said AFSCME Local 207 Secretary Treasurer Michael Mulholland in a statement. "We are fighting to stop the contracting out of over 80% of our jobs... The workers have been demanding better staffing, training and equipment to improve water quality for years, and management has always lent a deaf ear. Now, with the disingenuous claim of 'environmental protection' they are simply union busting and privatizing."

Court extends stop on order blocking indefinite detention law

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Court extends stop on order blocking indefinite detention law --All three judges on the motions panel were appointed to the appeals court by President Barack Obama. 02 Oct 2012 A federal appeals court has extended a temporary stay of a district court judge's order barring the government from using an indefinite detention provision in a defense bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama late last year. A three-judge [Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney] motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit issued the order Tuesday afternoon, indicating they saw flaws with the scope and rationale for U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest's original order blocking the disputed provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011.

Todd Akin In 2008: Doctors Give Abortions to Women Who Aren't Pregnant

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Todd Akin In 2008: Doctors Give Abortions to Women Who Aren't Pregnant 02 Oct 2012 Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin sparked national outrage in August when he justified his opposition to abortion by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." However, the Republican congressman's now-infamous remarks are not the first time he's made a scientifically questionable statement on abortion. As Slate reported Tuesday, Akin gave a speech on the House floor in 2008 denouncing abortion providers as "terrorists," claiming that they sometimes perform abortions on women who "are not actually pregnant." [Do they perform brain surgery on Representatives whose skulls are actually empty? --LRP]

DHS Counterterror Centers Produce 'a Bunch of Crap,' Senate Finds

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

DHS Counterterror Centers Produce 'a Bunch of Crap,' Senate Finds 02 Oct 2012 They're supposed to be "one of the centerpieces of our counterterrorism strategy," according to Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. In practice, not so much. The Senate's bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found no evidence that DHS's 70-plus fusion centers - places where state, local and federal law enforcement analyze and share information - uncovered a single terrorist threat between April 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010... Unnamed DHS officials told the panel the fusion centers produce "predominantly useless information" and "a bunch of crap." An internal 2010 assessment, which DHS did not share with Congress, found that a third of all fusion centers don't have defined procedures for sharing intelligence - "one of the prime reasons for their existence." At least four fusion centers identified by DHS "do not exist," the Senate found.

DHS Issued False 'Water Pump Hack' Report; Called It a 'Success'

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

DHS Issued False 'Water Pump Hack' Report; Called It a 'Success' 02 Oct 2012 When an Illinois fusion center distributed a report last year stating that hackers from Russia had broken into a water district's SCADA system and sabotaged a water pump, the Department of Homeland Security stepped in publicly to denounce the report as false, blaming the regional fusion center for spreading unsubstantiated claims and sowing panic in the industrial control system community. But while DHS was busy pointing a finger at the fusion center, its own Office of Intelligence and Analysis had been irresponsibly spreading the same false information privately in a report to Congress and the intelligence community, according to a Senate subcommittee investigation released late Tuesday. The DHS report was issued five days after the fusion center report was issued.

Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says 03 Oct 2012 Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas over the weekend appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says... Before a series of small quakes on Halloween 2008, the Dallas area had never recorded a magnitude-3 earthquake, said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics... Frohlich said he doesn't think it's a coincidence that an intensification in seismic activity in the Dallas area came the year after a pocket of ground just south of (and thousands of feet below) the DFW airport began to be inundated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

Dean of NCCU University College arrested in alleged assault

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Dean of NCCU University College arrested in alleged assault 03 Oct 2012 The dean of University College at North Carolina Central University is facing charges in connection with an alleged assault on a colleague. ABC11 has learned Ontario Wooden was arrested and charged with assault on a female last Friday. According to the arrest warrant, the alleged incident happened Sept. 24 on NCCU's campus, but it did not say specifically where on campus.

Attention small UAV designers: DHS wants you for a homeland security surveillance flyoff

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Attention small UAV designers: DHS wants you for a homeland security surveillance flyoff 26 Sep 2012 Officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in Washington are asking industry to participate in a fly-off evaluation of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and integrated UAV sensor payloads for potential use by local civil authorities maritime border and maritime security, law enforcement, search and rescue, fire, and hazardous material spill response. The DHS Science and Technology (S&T) directorate issued a request for information (DHS13-01) Monday for the Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety (RAPS) program, which seeks to conduct flight testing and evaluation of airborne sensors and small UAVs for potential transfer to its customers.

G.O.P., Koch Brothers Aim to Remake Florida Supreme Court

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

G.O.P., Koch Brothers Aim to Remake Florida Supreme Court 03 Oct 2012 In a bid to remake Florida's judiciary, Republicans are asking voters to oust three state Supreme Court justices and give the Legislature greater power over Supreme Court appointments and judicial rules of procedure. The campaign against the justices by Republican state party officials, a conservative group founded by the Koch brothers, and a grass-roots group is similar to the successful push by conservative activists in Iowa during the 2010 election.

Obama orders CIA and Navy SEALS to hunt down terrorists who attacked US consulate in Libya

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Obama orders CIA and Navy SEALS to hunt down terrorists who attacked US consulate in Libya 02 Oct 2012 President Barack Obama has ordered the CIA and the Pentagon to hunt down the terrorists who attacked the US consulate in Libya. It's unclear what the president plans to do once the perpetrators of the September 11 assault in Benghazi are found, but he has mobilized the military's Joint Special Operations Command to help carry out the mission. Once the targets and their locations are confirmed, Obama could order any number of actions -- from drone strikes to commando raids to joint operations with the Libyans.

DHS 'fusion centers' portrayed as pools of ineptitude, civil liberties intrusions

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

DHS 'fusion centers' portrayed as pools of ineptitude, civil liberties intrusions 02 Oct 2012 An initiative aimed at improving intelligence sharing has done little to make the country more secure, despite as much as $1.4 billion in federal spending, according to a two-year examination by Senate investigators. The nationwide network of offices known as "fusion centers" was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But after nine years — and regular praise from officials at the Department of Homeland Security - the 77 fusion centers have become [cess]pools of ineptitude, waste and civil liberties intrusions, according to a scathing 141-page report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs permanent subcommittee on investigations.

Obama poised to betray electorate - Krugman

October 3, 2012 by legitgov

Obama poised to betray electorate - Krugman 02 Oct 2012 Bowlesing Toward Betrayal By Paul Krugman Right after I warn about the risk that Democrats, including the president, might betray the mandate they seem likely to get for preserving the safety net, we learn that Senate leaders are at work on a plan based around, well, you guessed it: If those efforts failed, another plan would take effect, probably a close derivative of the proposal by President Obama's fiscal [cat food] commission led by Erskine B. Bowles, the Clinton White House chief of staff, and former Senator Alan K. Simpson of Wyoming, a Republican. Those recommendations included changes to Social Security, broad cuts in federal programs and actions that would lower tax rates over all but eliminate or pare enough deductions and credits to yield as much as $2 trillion in additional revenue. Just to say, this would be politically stupid as well as a betrayal of the electorate.

Pirate Bay Founder Remains Locked Up Without Charges

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Pirate Bay Founder Remains Locked Up Without Charges 30 Sep 2012 Gottfrid Svartholm will be kept in detention for at least two more weeks on suspicion of hacking into a Swedish IT company, Logica, connected to the country's tax authorities. According to Prosecutor Henry Olin the extended detention is needed "to prevent him from having contact with other people." The Pirate Bay co-founder is not allowed to have visitors and is even being denied access to newspapers and television... After a request from Prosecutor Henry Olin this term was extended for another two weeks mid-September, and last Friday the District Court decided that Gottfrid could be detained for another two weeks.

Former Pirate Bay hoster raided, and shut down by DDoS attack

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Former Pirate Bay hoster raided, and shut down by DDoS attack 02 Oct 2012 Former Pirate Bay host PRQ.se went down in the middle of a police raid on Monday, affecting hundreds of hosted sites and thousands of users of PRQ's other services. But the raid and the outage are unlikely to be related, according to PRQ's owner. All PRQ's services went down on Monday during a police raid, Mikael Viborg, owner and director of the Swedish hosting service, said on Tuesday. The police raided the hosting service because they want to seize four servers that are linked to three or four sites, he said. "I can tell from the order that it is copyright-related," said Viborg.

Pennsylvania voter ID law enforcement halted by judge

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Pennsylvania voter ID law enforcement halted by judge 02 Oct 2012 A Pennsylvania judge Tuesday ordered state officials not to enforce the commonwealth's tough new voter ID law in the coming election, saying there was not enough time to ensure that some voters would not be disenfranchised. Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said elections officials could still ask voters for a photo ID, but could not turn away otherwise qualified voters who had not been able to obtain one. An appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is possible. That court ordered Simpson, who had earlier declared the law constitutional and said it could go into effect this fall, to again review the state's revamped procedures for providing photo IDs to those who lack them.

Nikkei: Clinton personally pressured Japan leader to keep nuclear power as 'President Obama wishes it'

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Nikkei: Clinton personally pressured Japan leader to keep nuclear power as 'President Obama wishes it' --September 25, 2012, Nikkei report translated by EXSKF 02 Oct 2012 It has been revealed that the United States government was strongly urging [the Japanese government] to reconsider its policy of "zero nukes in 2030s" which was part of the energy and environmental strategy of the Noda administration, as "President Obama wishes it". According to the multiple government sources, as the Noda administration was moving in August toward explicitly putting down "zero nuke" in the official document, the US strongly requested that Japan reconsider the "zero nuke" policy, saying the request was "the result of discussion at the highest level of the government", indicating it was the Obama administration's consensus, from the president on down.

Saudi 'take steps to thwart epidemic' at hajj

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Saudi 'take steps to thwart epidemic' at hajj 01 Oct 2012 Saudi Arabia has taken measures to deal with any epidemic that may break out during the annual hajj pilgrimage, a minister said in remarks published Monday, stressing that the spread of a mystery illness from the same family as the deadly SARS virus was "limited." The kingdom has taken "preventive measures towards pilgrims... and has made practical and scientific arrangements to deal with any epidemic that might be discovered," Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabeeah was quoted as saying in Al-Hayat daily.

Police stakeout bill for Assange at Ecuadorian Embassy tops £1m as it costs £11,000 a DAY

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Police stakeout bill for Assange tops £1m as it costs £11,000 a DAY to ensure he doesn't flee Ecuadorian Embassy --At least four Met officers stand guard around the clock 01 Oct 2012 The police bill for staking out the embassy where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is evading justice has already reached more than £1million. Scotland Yard confirmed it is costing £11,000 every day to ensure the Australian does not flee his bolthole at the Ecuadorean Embassy. The final bill could be much more as Assange continues to defy extradition to Sweden where he is suspected of sexually assaulting two women.

US terror drone kills 13 al-Shabab fighters in Somalia

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

US terror drone kills 13 al-Shabab fighters in Somalia 01 Oct 2012 At least 13 people have been killed in an attack by a US assassination drone in southern Somalia, Press TV reports. The incident happened in Kismayo, a strategically important port city on Somalia's Indian Ocean coast on Monday. According to Press TV correspondents, shortly after the strike, al-Shabab fighters carried out a surprise attack on Somali forces in the outskirts of Kismayo. A number of high-ranking military officers were killed and dozens wounded in the attack.

Nuclear plant repairs could hit $3.4 billion

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Nuclear plant repairs could hit $3.4 billion 01 Oct 2012 Repairs to a crippled nuclear plant that was a key factor in the Duke Energy-Progress Energy merger tempest could cost up to $3.4 billion, more than double previous estimates, Duke said Monday. The July 2 merger brought Progress's Crystal River plant in Florida into Duke's nuclear fleet. The plant has been shuttered since 2009, when a project to replace parts inside its thick reactor containment structure led to separating concrete.

Time for a ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Time for a ban on the commercial trade in polar bear parts --A breakthrough for polar bears if we can mobilize today 01 Oct 2012 Last Friday the Russian Federation sent a letter to the Obama Administration promising that Russia would support a resolution to ban the international polar bear fur trade if the U.S. government introduces it. Now we must prevail on the Administration to seize this extraordinary opportunity -- and we must do it quickly. The deadline for our government to submit a resolution is this Thursday, October 4. The White House needs to hear from you immediately. [Click here to sign, and please forward this link to your friends and lists.]

Drones Will Soon Be Able to Kill During War Without Human Assistance - Professor

October 2, 2012 by legitgov

Drones Will Soon Be Able to Kill During War Without Human Assistance - Professor 01 Oct 2012 Drones could soon operate without the help of humans. Agence France-Presse is reporting that the Pentagon wants its drones to be more autonomous, so that they can run with little to no assistance from people. "Before they were blind, deaf and dumb," Mark Maybury, chief scientist for the U.S. Air Force, told AFP. "Now we're beginning to make them to see, hear and sense." Ronald Arkin, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, believes that drones will soon be able to kill enemies on their own independently.

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