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Obama picks Goldman Sachs exec for ambassador to Canada

April 4, 2013 by legitgov

Obama picks Goldman Sachs exec for ambassador to Canada 03 Apr 2013 U.S. President Barack Obama has selected a partner at the investment firm of Goldman Sachs in Chicago to be the new U.S. ambassador to Canada, CBC News has learned. Sources tell CBC News Network's Power & Politics that Bruce Heyman has accepted the job but still has to pass a vetting process in order to be be formally nominated. His confirmation will be up to the U.S. Congress. Heyman runs the private wealth fund at Goldman Sachs and his areas of responsibility include parts of Canada.

Obama to attend George W. Bush presidential library opening

April 4, 2013 by legitgov

Obama to attend George W. Bush presidential library opening 03 Apr 2013 President Barack Obama will join all four living former U.S. presidents at ceremonies marking the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library later this month, the White House said on Wednesday. It will mark the first time since January 2009 that the so-called "presidents club" has gotten together. Obama and former presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton will gather in Dallas at Southern Methodist University for the younger Bush's event on April 25. [When it comes to war criminals, one hand (Democratic) washes the other (Republican) -- MDR.]

Ft. Knox on heightened security alert following fatal shooting

April 4, 2013 by legitgov

Ft. Knox on heightened security alert following fatal shooting --The post was placed on a full 100 percent lockdown at 5:50 p.m., but is currently under a heightened security alert. 03 Apr 2013 Fort Knox is on a heightened security alert following a fatal shooting on post. According to Fort Knox PAO Kyle Hodges, Fort Knox police were alerted to a shooting in the parking lot outside of the Human Resource Command headquarters at 5:40 p.m. Wednesday. A press release from Hodges confirmed the victim was an Army civilian employee of the United States Army Human Resources Command. "Special Agents from the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command are investigating a personal incident and not a random act of violence," said Chris Grey, spokesperson for the independent Army investigative agency.

Banks Look to Set Up Branches in Iraq

April 4, 2013 by legitgov

Banks Look to Set Up Branches in Iraq [Great. Now we'll be bailing out Bank of Amerika in Iraq.] 04 Apr 2013 According to the Web site of the Central Bank of Iraq, the country is served by 7 state-owned banks, 32 private banks and 15 foreign banks. But analysts say that a handful of state-owned banks -- and two in particular, Rafidain Bank and Rasheed Bank -- dominate 90 percent of the business. With access to public funds drawn from the oil industry, public banks are well capitalized. Private banks, on the other hand, must fight for deals in the hotly competitive infrastructure, construction and manufacturing sectors.

Conn. creates nation's first statewide 'Dangerous Person' registry, in wake of Sandy Hook

April 4, 2013 by legitgov

Conn. creates nation's first statewide 'Dangerous Person' registry, in wake of Sandy Hook --Conn. Senate passes toughest U.S. gun laws 03 Apr 2013 The Connecticut Senate on Wednesday evening approved far-reaching gun control legislation that would be the toughest in the United States. It passed on a 26-10 vote and now heads to the House, which is to begin deliberations. Final approval is expected Wednesday night. The bill strengthens an existing ban on semiautomatic assault rifles, limits the capacity of ammo magazines, and require background checks for all weapon sales, including at gun shows. It would also establish the nation's first statewide registry for people convicted of crimes involving dangerous weapons.

U.S. to deploy anti-missile system to Guam

April 3, 2013 by legitgov

Sequester this: U.S. to deploy anti-missile system to Guam 03 Apr 2012 The United States will deploy a sophisticated anti-missile defense system to Guam in response to North Korean threats to U.S. military bases in the Pacific, the Pentagon said Wednesday. The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) is a relatively new land-based system designed to destroy incoming short, medium and intermediate-range missiles by crashing into them in the air. Only two batteries of the system, produced by Lockheed Martin, are currently deployed, both at Fort Bliss, Tex.

Beijing Prepares for Avian Flu

April 3, 2013 by legitgov

Beijing Prepares for Avian Flu 02 Apr 2013 A decade after the deadly SARS virus wrought havoc in Beijing and other Chinese cities, hospitals in China's capital are gearing up in the event that another pandemic begins to spread. Following news that at least two men in Shanghai have died from the H7N9 avian flu virus--the first known human deaths from the virus--the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Public Health released a statement that medical facilities in China's capital are now taking extra precautions to screen for the virus, as Xinhua News reported on Tuesday. Beijing hospitals are already stocking up on relevant medical equipment, stepping up screenings, and preparing for the possibility of avian flu-related emergencies.

Defense Secretary Hagel to take voluntary sequester pay cut

April 3, 2013 by legitgov

Defense Secretary Hagel to take voluntary sequester pay cut 02 Apr 2013 Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will take a voluntary pay cut as a show of solidarity with Pentagon employees who will have to take unpaid time off over the coming months, a Defense Department spokesman said on Tuesday. Hagel will give back the equivalent of 14 days' pay to the government, Pentagon spokesman George Little said. That would come to about $10,750, based on Hagel's salary of $199,700. "My understanding is that there is a legal way to actually write a check, if you will, back to the U.S. Treasury," Little told reporters.

Mark Sanford wins GOP nomination in South Carolina

April 3, 2013 by legitgov

Mark Sanford wins GOP nomination in South Carolina 02 Apr 2013 The former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford has cleared another hurdle in his bid for a political comeback, winning the Republican nomination for a vacant seat in the House of Representatives. Sanford's political career was derailed four years ago when he disappeared from the state and later admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman – they are now engaged. With 96% of precincts reporting, Sanford had about 57% of the primary vote to 43% for Curtis Bostic, a former Charleston county council member. Sanford will face the Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, in a May special election.

US deploys second destroyer closer to North Korea coast

April 3, 2013 by legitgov

US deploys second destroyer closer to North Korea coast 02 Apr 2013 The United States says it has deployed a second guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean Peninsula as tensions mount with North Korea. On Monday, US defense officials said that the USS John McCain was being positioned to operate off the Korean Peninsula. On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman George Little said the McCain had arrived at a "pre-determined location" in the western Pacific. Little also said that the USS Decatur, another destroyer, had also been deployed in the western Pacific "to perform a missile defense mission as assigned by our combatant commander."

China: Four More Cases of New Bird Flu Strain

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

China: Four More Cases of New Bird Flu Strain 02 Apr 2013 China has confirmed that four more people in one province are seriously ill with a bird flu virus new to humans that has already killed two people. The health bureau of eastern Jiangsu province said on its website that three women, aged 45, 48 and 32, and an 83-year-old man, from different cities in the province, were all critically ill with the H7N9 virus. The four cases did not appear to be connected, and people who have had close contact with the patients have not reported any symptoms, it said.

Top scientists to Obama: Ban mutation experiments that will make avian flu more infectious

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

Top scientists to Obama: Ban mutation experiments that will make avian flu more infectious 01 Apr 2013 A group of leading scientists -- including a Noble Prize winner -- has proclaimed that it is "ethically and morally" wrong to alter the deadly H5N1 virus to make it more contagious for research purposes, and have asked President Obama to ban it. "The accidental [not to mention, purposeful] release of an artificial, laboratory-generated, human-transmissible H5N1 virus into the community has the potential to cause a global pandemic of epic proportions that would dwarf the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic that killed over 50 million people," read a letter to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The petition was drafted by the Foundation for Vaccine Research (FVR), a scientific advocacy group, and numbered world-leading biologists among the 17 signatories, including Lord May, the former chief science advisor to the UK government, and Sir Richard Roberts, the recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine, for genetics research.

U.S. Lawmakers: CIA Should Keep Armed UAVs

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Lawmakers: CIA Should Keep Armed UAVs 01 Apr 2013 Pro-military lawmakers and U.S. analysts want the White House to resist shifting the CIA's armed unmanned aircraft program to the Pentagon, citing operational and legal reasons to keep the spy agency in the targeted-killing business. The Obama administration is mulling whether placing the U.S. military in charge of all aerial drone strikes -- largely run by the CIA in the post-9/11 era -- would allay intensifying legal concerns while increasing congressional and public scrutiny of the program. On Capitol Hill, lawmakers with national security credentials say they have major concerns about placing what has become America's top covert tool in the fight against 'al-Qaida' in the hands of the military.

Greenpeace protest 'polar bear' floats past Kremlin

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

Greenpeace protest 'polar bear' floats past Kremlin 01 Apr 2013 A Greenpeace activist in a polar bear suit has floated along the Moscow River past the Kremlin before being briefly detained in a stunt by the environmental group to protest against energy exploration in Russia's Arctic waters. The activist in a furry white suit stood on a white air cushion designed to look like an ice floe with signs reading "Help!" and "Arctic not for Sale" before a river patrol came out in a motorboat and bundled the activist inside. The activist was later released from a police station with no charge, Greenpeace said on Twitter, adding that "the crimes are being committed in the Arctic."

US officials confirm Afghan teenager stabbed American soldier

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

US officials confirm Afghan teenager stabbed American soldier 02 Apr 2013 US officials have confirmed that an Afghan teenager stabbed a 26-year-old American soldier to death in eastern Afghanistan. The officials said on Monday that the assailant stabbed Sgt. Michael Cable in the neck on Wednesday in the province of Nangarhar. The officials, who requested not to be named as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said the attacker was thought to be about 16 years old.

Bird flu: Deaths cause scramble to probe virus's source

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

Bird flu: Deaths cause scramble to probe virus's source [If they start with the labs at Fort Detrick, it'll be a big time-saver.] 01 Apr 2013 Health officials are scrambling to investigate a deadly new bird flu strain in China [H7N9] that has left two men dead and a woman fighting for her life, but so far, more questions than answers have emerged. Is this the front edge of a major pandemic or just another blip on the world's increasingly powerful radar for newly emerging viruses? One worry is that H7N9 could become like H5N1, the most famous of the avian flu strains that first emerged in Hong Kong in 1997.

US Navy shifts destroyer to waters off Korean peninsula

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

US Navy shifts destroyer to waters off Korean peninsula 01 Apr 2013 The U.S. Navy is shifting a guided-missile destroyer in the Pacific to waters off the Korean peninsula in the wake of ongoing rhetoric from North Korea, U.S. defense officials said. The USS McCain is capable of intercepting and destroying a missile, should North Korea decide to fire one off, the officials said. Still, U.S. defense officials insist that there is nothing to indicate that North Korea is on the verge of another launch.

Conn. legislature proposes toughest gun laws in the nation

April 2, 2013 by legitgov

Conn. legislature proposes toughest gun laws in the nation 01 Apr 2013 Connecticut will have the toughest gun-control laws in the nation, leaders of the House and Senate proclaimed Monday night, culminating weeks of secret bipartisan negotiations after the worst school shooting in the nation's history. The proposed law would require criminal background checks for every gun sale and expand the state's 1993 ban on assault weapons to include about 100 new models. It would also immediately ban the sale or purchase of magazines that could take more than 10 rounds of ammunition, and establish guidelines for storage and increased penalties for firearms trafficking. The sale or purchase of magazines that could take more than 10 rounds of ammunition would be immediately banned if the bill passes in a vote on Wednesday and is signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

4 arrested as Dutch search for alleged sarin nerve agent after tip

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

4 arrested as Dutch search for alleged sarin nerve agent after tip 01 Apr 2013 Dutch police spent three days digging up a field after receiving a tip that sarin may have been buried there, but they found no trace of the deadly nerve agent, a prosecutor's office spokeswoman said Monday. Two men and two women have been arrested in the case in the southern city of Maastricht on suspicion of owning and concealing a deadly gas, spokeswoman Cindy Reijnders said in a telephone interview. She said police started monitoring a man's movements last week after a tip and arrested him Friday as he was about to start digging in a field just outside Maastricht, a city close to the Dutch border with Belgium.

Fox News reporter ordered to return to court over refusal to reveal sources in Colo. shooting case

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

Fox News reporter ordered to return to court over refusal to reveal sources in Colo. shooting case 01 Apr 2013 The FoxNews.com reporter who broke the exclusive story about a notebook that Colorado shooter James Holmes sent to his psychiatrist, then refused to reveal her sources under threat of jail, was ordered to return to the Aurora courtroom April 10,  in a case experts say has chilling ramifications for the First Amendment. Arapahoe County District Judge Carlos Samour intends to question a detective for a second time about who leaked the notebook, and then could still put veteran reporter Jana Winter on the stand and try to compel her to reveal the sources of her story. Winter and attorneys for Fox News have resisted efforts by Holmes's defense team to make Winter reveal who may have violated a gag order issued by Judge William Sylvester, who reassigned the case to Samour.

U.S. Navy moving radar platform closer to North Korea's coast, Pentagon says

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. Navy moving radar platform closer to North Korea's coast, Pentagon says 01 Apr 2013 The U.S. Navy is moving a warship and a sea-based radar platform closer to the North Korean coast in order to monitor that country's military moves, including possible new missile launches, a Defense Department official said Monday. The decision to move at least one ship and the oil rig-like SBX-1 are the first of what may be other naval deployments, CNN has learned. The United States has bolstered the exercises with shows of force that included overflights by nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers, massive Cold War-era B-52s and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.

Prosecution pushes death penalty for Colorado theater shooting suspect

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

Prosecution pushes death penalty for Colorado theater shooting suspect --Attorneys on both sides under gag order 01 Apr 2013 Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty for Colorado movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes despite his offer last week to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding a death sentence. The trial was originally scheduled for August, but a judge Monday pushed back the start date to February 3, and said it could be delayed further. Holmes faces 166 counts of murder and attempted murder for last year's shooting [false flag] at an Aurora movie theater that left 12 people dead and 58 wounded.

'US Army veteran fighting Syrian government worked for CIA'

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

'US Army veteran fighting Syrian government worked for CIA' 31 Mar 2013 The father of a US Army veteran recently arrested by the FBI for joining foreign-backed militants in Syria says his son was serving the CIA and reporting back to the Agency from the country. Darryl Harroun says his son Eric, who was arrested and charged with conspiracy on Wednesday for fighting with 'al-Qaeda'-linked militants, is extremely patriotic and would not join militants. "I know he was doing some work for the CIA over there," Darryl said. "I know for a fact that he was passing information onto the CIA."

One dead, three injured in Arkansas nuclear plant accident

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

One dead, three injured in Arkansas nuclear plant accident --KTHV: Residents heard 'large boom' at the time of incident 31 Mar 2013 An accident at an Arkansas nuclear power plant at 7:45 a.m. local time resulted in the death of one worker and left three injured, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The accident took place in Russellville, a city with 28,000 residents, about 81 miles from Little Rock. "There is no danger to the public," said Entergy Operations, Inc, owner of the plant, Arkansas Nuclear One, in a statement.

1st known deaths from H7N9 bird flu strain

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

1st known deaths from H7N9 bird flu strain 31 Mar 2013 Two Shanghai men have died from a lesser-known type of bird flu in the first known human deaths from the strain, and Chinese authorities said Sunday that it wasn't clear how they were infected, but that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. A third person, a woman in the nearby province of Anhui, also contracted the H7N9 strain of bird flu and was in critical condition, China's National Health and Family Planning Commission said in a report on its website.

Washington Post Agreed to Withhold Acting Clandestine Service Chief's Name at CIA's Request

April 1, 2013 by legitgov

Obama picks oh-but-another Bush-era war criminal to hold high office while the compliant Penta-Post keeps secrets for its CIA overlords: Washington Post Agreed to Withhold Acting Clandestine Service Chief's Name at CIA's Request 27 Mar 2013 The Washington Post revealed Wednesday in a front-page story that a woman currently running the clandestine service had signed off on a controversial 2005 decision to "destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment critics have called torture." The woman, the first to hold the position in the agency's history, replaced John Bennett last month on an acting basis. Bennett's name wasn't kept secret when he was promoted to chief in July 2010. But the Washington Post didn't identify the woman, noting that the high-ranking official "remains undercover and cannot be named." While the acting clandestine service chief has not been named, her chances of being appointed on a permanent basis under new CIA director John Brennan could be in jeopardy, given the Washington Post report of her role in the tapes' destruction.

Crude oil leaks in Arkansas suburb after ExxonMobil pipeline ruptures

March 31, 2013 by legitgov

Crude oil leaks in Arkansas suburb after ExxonMobil pipeline ruptures 31 Mar 2013 An ExxonMobil pipeline rupture near Little Rock, Ark., Friday evening has resulted in a "major oil spill," according to the Environmental Protection Agency -- and ignited further debate over the [insane] transportation of crude oil in the U.S. Up to 10,000 barrels sprang from the pipeline, according to an incident report filed to the National Response Center by ExxonMobil early Saturday morning. Twenty-two residents were evacuated from their homes, according to a statement on the ExxonMobil website. Mayflower, Ark., Chief of Police Bob Satkowski told Channel 7 News in Little Rock that those residents had to leave their homes because of health risks from the crude oil fumes and possible fires. KARK, an NBC affiliate station in Little Rock, reported that part of the pipeline runs through a water sourcethat provides drinking water to nearly 400,000 residents in central Arkansas.

Texas district attorney, wife found dead after prosecutor killed

March 31, 2013 by legitgov

Texas district attorney, wife found dead after prosecutor killed 31 Mar 2013 A Texas district attorney and his wife were shot dead in the same county where an assistant prosecutor was gunned down outside a courthouse in January, the sheriff of Kaufman County, said on Sunday. Security has been tightened for other officials after the shooting deaths of Kaufman County Criminal District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, Sheriff David Byrnes said. Byrnes said it was not clear if there was a link between the shootings and the January slaying of Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse. Hasse was shot and killed as he walked from his car to the county courthouse.

Family Whose Children Survived Sandy Hook Lose Home to Fire

March 31, 2013 by legitgov

Family Whose Children Survived Sandy Hook Lose Home to Fire 30 Mar 2013 A fire on Wednesday destroyed the home of a family whose children lived through the shootings on Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The fire at 254 Berkshire Road began in the basement and burned into the first floor, heavily damaging the home of Hans and Audra Barth and their three children, said Bill Halstead, Newtown's fire marshal and the chief of the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire and Rescue Co. Two of the children, Shanice, 8, and Peter, 6, attended Sandy Hook Elementary, the chief said Friday.

Officer who oversaw destruction of CIA torture evidence might get major promotion

March 31, 2013 by legitgov

Officer who oversaw destruction of CIA torture evidence might get major promotion 27 Mar 2013 The woman who signed off on the destruction of evidence proving the CIA's implementation of torture has been promoted within the agency. The undercover officer is now in charge of the CIA's clandestine service -- at least, temporarily. After former National Clandestine Service Director John Bennett retired on Feb. 28, the new official took over as the acting director and is widely viewed as a frontrunner for the position. The officer's past makes her a controversial choice. In 2005, she oversaw the destruction of more than 90 videotapes showing the harsh interrogation methods the CIA used against suspected terrorists.

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