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Nato fuel tankers destroyed in Balochistan: Officials

September 16, 2013 by legitgov

Nato fuel tankers destroyed in Balochistan: Officials 16 Sep 2013 At least nine tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan were destroyed after an explosion in one of the vehicles triggered a huge fire in Hub, Balochistan late Sunday, officials said. It is not clear what caused the blast, said authorities, as they investigate whether it was an act of terror rebels or an accident. The incident took place some 45 kilometres from Karachi where the tankers were loaded with oil before setting off for Afghanistan. [Oh. See, Syria has 'rebels' (GOOD al-Qaeda) and Pakistan has 'terrorists' (BAD al-Qaeda).]

Gunmen torch NATO tankers, kill driver in Kalat

September 16, 2013 by legitgov

Gunmen torch NATO tankers, kill driver in Kalat 13 Sep 2013 Gunmen attacked a convoy of NATO oil tankers in Kalat overnight, killing a driver and torching eight vehicles, local officials said Friday. The attackers fired rockets and bullets at the convoy of 15 oil tankers traveling from Karachi to landlocked Afghanistan. "The gunmen attacked the convoy at a rest stop in Soorab town of Kalat district. They fired rockets and bullets on the convoy from both sides of the road," police official Yousaf Reiki said. "One driver of a tanker died in the attack while eight tankers were burnt," he added.

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, can make 115 to 190 more, report says

September 16, 2013 by legitgov

Israel has 80 nuclear warheads, can make 115 to 190 more, report says 15 Sep 2013 Israel has 80 nuclear warheads and the potential to double that number, according to a new report by U.S. experts. In the Global Nuclear Weapons Inventories, recently published in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, proliferation experts Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris write that Israel stopped production of nuclear warheads in 2004. But the country has enough fissile material for an additional 115 to 190 warheads, according to the report, meaning it could as much as double its arsenal.

California school district hires firm to monitor students' social media

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

Enabling predators at taxpayer expense: California school district hires firm to monitor students' social media 15 Sep 2013 A suburban Los Angeles school district is now looking at the public postings on social media by middle and high school students, searching for possible violence, drug use, bullying, truancy and suicidal threats pictures of children. The district in Glendale, California, is paying $40,500 to a firm [Geo Listening] to monitor and report on 14,000 middle and high school students' posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for one year. Though critics liken the monitoring to government stalking, school officials and their contractor say the purpose is student safety.

Larry Summers withdraws name from Fed consideration

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

Larry Summers withdraws name from Fed consideration 15 Sep 2013 Former Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers has withdrawn his name as a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman, in a startling development that raises new questions about who will lead the central bank when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke steps down in four months. The other main candidates for the job have been Fed vice chairman Janet Yellen and former Fed vice chairman Don Kohn, though it is still possible that President Obama will seek another choice. When word of Summers’s candidacy first circulated, liberals erupted, furious at what they said was his record of supporting deregulation in the Clinton administration. [Great! Only Obusha and his GOP/Wall Street overlords wanted the misogynist sack of sh*t to run things, anyway.]

Attacks in Iraq kill 33, wound 45

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

Attacks in Iraq kill 33, wound 45 14 Sep 2013 A total of 33 people were killed and 45 others wounded in attacks on Saturday in Iraq, the police said. In the northern province of Nineveh, up to 27 people were killed and 36 wounded in a suicide bomb attack near Mosul, the capital of Nineveh, a provincial police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity. The attack occurred in the afternoon when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest at a funeral of the Iraqi minority of Shabak in the town of Baashiqa, 10 km northeast of Mosul.

Turkish prosecutors indict Syrian rebels for seeking chemical weapons

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

Turkish prosecutors indict Syrian rebels for seeking chemical weapons 14 Sep 2013 A court indictment by the Turkish prosecutors into the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian 'rebels' has once again highlighted fears this week that sarin toxic gas was used by the opposition and not the Assad government. The prosecutor in the Turkish city of Adana has issued a 132-page indictment, alleging that six men of the al-Qaeda[al-CIAduh]-linked al-Nusra Front and Ahrar ash-Sham tried to seek chemicals with the intent to produce the nerve agent, sarin gas, a number of Turkish publications reported. The main suspect in the case, 35-year-old Syrian-national Hytham Qassap has been charged with "being a member of a terrorist organization" and "attempting to acquire weapons for a terrorist organization."

Securing Syria's Weapons May Require US Troops

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

Securing Syria's Weapons May Require US Troops 14 Sep 2013 The White House and the Pentagon have repeatedly ruled out "boots on the ground" in Syria, but Defense Department officials were less certain Thursday on whether U.S. military personnel might be sent to help secure or destroy Syria's chemical weapons. Pentagon Press Secretary George Little gave a vague answer when asked if U.S. troops were prepared to assist should an international agreement allow Russia to take control of the tons of chemical weapons believed to be in the stockpiles of President Bashar al-Assad. "I'm not going to speculate on who may or may not be participating in a process that may or may not take place," Little said.

White House cockroach problem: 'It was the size of a small drone'

September 15, 2013 by legitgov

White House cockroach problem: 'It was the size of a small drone' 13 Sep 2013 It was just a cockroach, one of millions around the world. But this one had a White House address, making it pretty special. Well, special at least to the reporters with workspace in the often-troubled basement of the press offices. "It was the size of a small drone," said Martha Joynt Kumar, professor of political science at Towson University, who led the effort Wednesday to capture the bug. Kumar, who has worked out of the press offices studying the president-press relationship for almost four decades, wanted to turn it into the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for the building. "I wanted to bag it so that the GSA would know what kind of issue we had," she said. "I chased it. But it got away behind some wiring."

More than 56,000 detained under counter-terrorism powers in year

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

More than 56,000 detained under counter-terrorism powers in year 12 Sep 2013 More than 50,000 people were stopped and questioned at Britain's ports and airports as potential terrorists last year under the same counter-terrorism powers used to detain David Miranda in August. The Home Office's quarterly terror statistics show that 56,257 people were stopped and examined under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows for them to be questioned for up to nine hours without the need for a "reasonable suspicion" that they are involved in terrorism. The figures show that 2,265 of those stopped at airports in 2012/13 were questioned for more than an hour, and 667 were subsequently detained under other powers.

Mass. police group plans calendar of Boston bombing manhunt

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

Celebrating the police state: Mass. police group plans calendar of Boston bombing manhunt 14 Sep 2013 A Massachusetts police association is asking for photos of the search for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to be included in a calendar dedicated to the April 19 manhunt. The Watertown Police Foundation says it is looking for "positive" photos that "highlight the valor" of police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, which was locked down as authorities went door to door in search of Tsarnaev.

Syria crisis: US 'to drop military threat'

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

Syria crisis: US 'to drop military threat' 14 Sep 2013 The US will drop its insistence that a UN resolution on Syria must be backed by military force, officials say, after strong objections from Russia. US and Russian diplomats say the two sides are edging closer to a deal on Syria's chemical arsenal, as talks in Geneva enter a third day. They are thrashing out the technical details of the disarmament process.

U.S. oil group says FBI warns fuel storage operators to be on alert

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. oil group says FBI warns fuel storage operators to be on alert 13 Sep 2013 U.S. officials have warned energy companies to be on the alert for "potential terrorist activities" at fuel storage plants but there were no immediate threats, an oil industry group told members on Friday. The Petroleum Marketers Association of America told members the Federal Bureau of Investigation "is concerned about terrorists attempting to purchase or steal fuel from a bulk plant to use in a weapon of mass destruction." The PMAA said it sent members a message on Friday after the FBI handed out the warning at an energy conference last week ahead of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.

U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, attacked; 3 reported dead

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, attacked; 3 reported dead 13 Sep 2013 A huge explosion rocked the area near the U.S. consulate in Afghanistan's Herat province early Friday during a heavy gunfight between militants and security forces, officials said. The attack occurred just before 6 a.m. local time when attackers sped towards the front gate of the consulate, said Marie Harf, a deputy State Department spokeswoman. During the battle, a truck exploded, Harf said, causing major damage to the front gate of the consulate.

Friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect plead not guilty to hindering investigation

September 14, 2013 by legitgov

Friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect plead not guilty to hindering investigation 14 Sep 2013 Three friends of Boston Marathon bombing suspect [patsy] Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have pleaded not guilty to hindering the investigation into the deadly attack. Authorities allege that the friends went to Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth three days after the bombings, soon after the FBI posted photographs of the two bombing suspects, Tsarnaev and his older brother. The friends are accused in an indictment of removing several items from the room, including Tsarnaev's laptop computer and a backpack containing fireworks.

Tritium levels reach new high at Fukushima nuclear plant

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Tritium levels reach new high at Fukushima nuclear plant 12 Sep 2013 The operator of the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant said on Friday it found elevated readings of tritium in groundwater near tanks that are holding hundreds of metric tons of contaminated radioactive water at the site. Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) said tritium levels in water taken from a well close to a number of storage tanks holding irradiated water rose to 97,000 becquerels per liter on Wednesday from 64,000 becquerels/liter measured at the same location a day earlier. Tepco said last month that 300 metric tons of highly radioactive water leaked from one of the hastily built steel tanks at the plant.

Damage from mountaintop removal mining 'staggering' compared to energy benefits - study

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Damage from mountaintop removal mining 'staggering' compared to energy benefits - study 11 Sep 2013 A new study released today presents the first real effort to compare the environmental damage from mountaintop removal mining to the energy benefits from the coal that's produced... Here's the abstract of the study, which appears online today in the peer-reviewed journal, PLOS ONE.

National Guard evacuating Colorado towns hit hard by flood

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

National Guard evacuating Colorado towns hit hard by flood 13 Sep 2013 Widespread flooding that's already killed three Coloradans forced fresh evacuations of thousands of residents Friday, as additional rainfall threatened already swollen rivers and creeks along a 150-mile stretch of the state's Front Range. About 15 miles north of Boulder, the Colorado National Guard began evacuating up to 2,500 residents of Lyons -- isolated, without power and running water because of flooded roads Thursday -- at daybreak, according to the Boulder County sheriff's office. In South Boulder County, 500 residents in Eldorado Springs were also under evacuation orders.

Assad: Israel should be first to disarm

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Assad: Israel should be first to disarm 13 Sep 2013 Syria President Bashar Assad says Israel should be the first to disarm from weapons of mass destructions, since it has nuclear, biological and chemical arms. He added on Thursday that that all countries in the Mideast should be held to international protocol in order to achieve stability in the region. Syria decided to cede control of its chemical weapons because of a Russian proposal and not the threat of US military intervention, Interfax news agency quoted President Bashar Assad as saying in an interview with Russia's state-run Rossiya-24 channel. "Syria is placing its chemical weapons under international control because of Russia. The US threats did not influence the decision," he said.

Colorado flooding: Thousands await help; town of Lyons evacuated

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Colorado flooding: Thousands await help; town of Lyons evacuated 13 Sep 2013 As record-breaking rainfall continued to pound parts of Colorado, officials stepped up evacuations for thousands living in areas endangered by flash flooding as emergency workers moved to aid residents trapped in isolated towns by raging waters. The National Guard on Friday moved to evacuate people the entire town of Lyons, one of several cut off and without electrical power since flash floods ripped through the state Wednesday night. As much as 9 inches of rain fell within hours in parts of the state, flooding streams, causing mudslides and spilling over earthen dams.

Steam seen at Fukushima reactors: TEPCO

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Steam seen at Fukushima reactors: TEPCO 13 Sep 2013 Vapour has begun rising again from a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, more than two-and-a-half years after its core melted down, the site's Japanese operator said Friday. Tokyo Electric Power said it believed the steam was coming from a puddle sitting atop the reactor, but has not been able to clarify why vapour started appearing occasionally from July this year. The steam appeared as TEPCO found more evidence that radioactive waste water at the plant was contaminating groundwater that is on its way to the sea.

Israel not to ratify chemical arms treaty before Arab neighbors

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Israel not to ratify chemical arms treaty before Arab neighbors 12 Sep 2013 Israel will not ratify the Chemical Weapons Convention as long as its Arab neighbors hold chemical weapons, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman told Xinhua on Thursday. As Russia and the United States push forward a diplomatic move to disarm Syria of its chemical weapons, Israel is aware of the possibility that international organizations would turn a similar request to it, too. Israel has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, but not ratified it. The Foreign Ministry says recently that Israel would not bring the treaty for a final vote in the Knesset, a necessary procedure for its ratification.

U.S. total of Syrian gas deaths could include bomb casualties - sources

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. total of Syrian gas deaths could include bomb casualties - sources 12 Sep 2013 One of the most precise and dramatic details cited by the Obama administration as proof that Syrian forces used chemical weapons in an August 21 attack was the death toll, which an official U.S. government assessment put at 1,429 people, including 426 children. Some U.S. congressional sources are now casting doubt on those figures. Three congressional sources told Reuters that administration officials had indicated in private that some deaths might have been caused by the conventional bombing that followed the release of sarin gas in suburban Damascus neighborhoods.

Man gets 3 years for hacking police websites

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Man gets 3 years for hacking police websites 12 Sep 2013 A 22-year-old Ohio man linked to the hacker collective Anonymous was sentenced Thursday to three years in federal prison for breaking into police-agency websites across the country. Court records say John Anthony Borell III used Twitter to advertise his exploits to other members of the group. He was arrested after taking down police-agency websites in Utah, California, New York and Missouri in January and February of 2012.

Colorado Deluge 'Could be Classified as 1,000-Year Event'

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Colorado Deluge 'Could be Classified as 1,000-Year Event' 12 Sep 2013 The Satellite Blog of the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies has just posted some dramatic remote sensing imagery of the continuing deluge here in Colorado. And in the explanation of what's been happening, the author of the post, Scott Lindstrom, concluded that the extraordinary amount of rainfall we've experienced here in the Boulder area "could be classified as a 1,000-year event." Make no mistake about it: The rainfall has simply been astonishing -- upwards of 12 inches in less than 24 hours in some locations near Boulder.

Russia sends missile cruiser to Mediterranean as Syria tension mounts

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Russia sends missile cruiser to Mediterranean as Syria tension mounts --Country's biggest naval deployment since USSR days sent to sea's east as US also beefs up maritime presence in region 12 Sep 2013 Russia has dispatched a "carrier killer" missile cruiser and other ships to the eastern Mediterranean in its largest naval deployment since Soviet times. Both Russia and the US have been beefing up their naval presence in the Med over the past several weeks. The destroyer Smetlivy left a naval base in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Tuesday on a mission to the Syrian coast, a military source told the state news agency Interfax on Thursday.

Huge car bomb explodes outside US consulate in western Afghanistan

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Huge car bomb explodes outside US consulate in western Afghanistan 12 Sep 2013 There has been a huge car bomb explosion outside the US consulate in Herat in western Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents say a suicide bomber detonated explosives, and other fighters tried to attack the complex. There are reports of ongoing fighting near the building.

Egypt extends state of emergency by two months

September 13, 2013 by legitgov

Egypt extends state of emergency by two months --Egyptian security forces have been cracking down on the Muslim Brotherhood, smashing its protests in Cairo, killing hundreds of members and jailing the movement's top leaders. Sep 2013 Egypt extended a state of emergency by two months on Thursday because of the security situation, the presidency US-installed puppet dictatorship said in a statement. The most populous Arab state has been gripped by political turmoil since the army overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood on July 3. A week ago the interior minister survived an assassination attempt in Cairo. The government originally announced a one-month state of emergency on August 14 and Thursday's announcement extended the order, which covers the whole country, to mid November.

Syrian rebel groups sought to buy materials for chemical weapons, prosecutors say

September 12, 2013 by legitgov

Syrian rebel groups sought to buy materials for chemical weapons, prosecutors say 12 Sep 2013 A public prosecutor completed his indictment as part of the probe into the chemicals seized in the southern province of Hatay on Sept. 12, claiming that jihadist Syrian rebel groups were seeking to buy materials that could be used to produce highly toxic sarin gas. The indictment, which included transcripts of several phone conversations between the suspects involved, said that a 35-year-old Syrian citizen, identified as Hytham Qassap, established a connection with a network in Turkey in order to procure chemical materials for the al-Nusra Front and jihadist Ahrar al-Sham Brigades. The indictment rejected the legitimacy of the suspects' claim that they were unaware the chemicals they tried to obtain could be used to produce sarin gas.

A Plea for Caution From Russia

September 12, 2013 by legitgov

A Plea for Caution From Russia By Vladimir V. Putin 11 Sep 2013 Recent events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies... Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression. No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack -- this time against Israel -- cannot be ignored.

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