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Malaysia Officials Open Criminal Inquiry Into Missing Jet

Malaysia Officials Open Criminal Inquiry Into Missing Jet 15 Mar 2014 The search for Flight 370 turned into a criminal investigation on Saturday, after Malaysia declared that the plane had been deliberately diverted and then flown for as long as seven hours toward an unknown point far from its scheduled route of Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia said Saturday afternoon that he would seek the help of governments across a large expanse of Asia in the search for the Boeing 777, which has been missing for a week and had 239 people on board. The Malaysian authorities released a map showing that the last satellite signal received from the plane had been sent from a point somewhere along one of two arcs spanning large distances across Asia.

Karzai: We Don't Need U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

Karzai: We Don't Need U.S. Troops in Afghanistan 15 Mar 2014 Afghanistan's outgoing president said the Afghani military is ready to handle security missions without the help of the United States and reiterated his opposition to a deal that would allow a 'residual' American force to remain in the country. Afghan President Hamid Karzai signaled his defiance of the United States in his final address before the country's parliament Saturday, claiming U.S. troops are not needed in Afghanistan as his military is ready to take over entirely. Karzai also reiterated that he would not sign a security agreement with the United States that would allow American soldiers to stay in Afghanistan to help train and mentor Afghan troops and hunt down al-Qaeda protect the CIA's opium production, the Associated Press reports.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Probe Sharpens Focus on Sabotage

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Probe Sharpens Focus on Sabotage 14 Mar 2014 The investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 sharpened its focus on sabotage, according to aviation and industry officials, amid strong indications that one or more people on the plane deliberately changed its course and tried to mask its location. Officials suspect two different systems were shut off after the plane took off last weekend, one shortly after the other, people familiar with the investigation said. About an hour into the flight, the plane's transponders stopped functioning, making it much more difficult for air-traffic control personnel to track or identify it via radar.

Russian diplomat stabbed in Canada

Russian diplomat stabbed in Canada 14 Mar 2014 A Russian diplomat was stabbed Friday in the Canadian capital following a drunken quarrel [?], officials and media reports said. Ottawa police said they responded to an emergency call at 8:43 am (1243 GMT) about a stabbing near the Russian Embassy and found a 44-year-old man suffering from "stab wounds." The victim was taken to hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, while a second man was taken into custody for questioning.

It's CONCLUSIVE jet carrying 239 was seized by individual or group 'with significant flying experience' - Malaysian official

It WAS hijacked: Malaysian official says it's CONCLUSIVE jet carrying 239 was seized by individual or group 'with significant flying experience' 15 Mar 2014 Investigators have concluded that one or more people with significant flying experience hijacked the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, switched off communication devices and steered it off-course, a Malaysian government official involved in the investigation said Saturday. No motive has been established and no demands have been made known, and it is not yet clear where the plane was taken, said the official. However, the representative who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that hijacking was no longer just a theory: 'It is conclusive', he told Associated Press.

80% of Crimeans back union with Russia: Crimea PM

80% of Crimeans back union with Russia: Crimea PM 14 Mar 2014 The prime minister of Ukraine's autonomous region of Crimea says more than 80 percent of Crimeans support seceding from Ukraine and becoming part of Russia. On Thursday, Sergei Aksyonov rejected opponents' accusations that he will fix the outcome of an upcoming referendum on Moscow's orders, Reuters reported.  He pointed out that Crimeans will deliver a "Yes" vote to accepting Russian sovereignty without recourse to fraud. "The process will be transparent and fair," he said, adding, "We guarantee that all aspects of European law will be followed, including security for voters."

Russia says intercepted US drone over Crimea: arms group

Russia says intercepted US drone over Crimea: arms group 14 Mar 2014 A United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above the Ukrainian region of Crimea, a Russian state arms and technology group said Friday. "The drone was flying at about 4,000 metres (12,000 feet) and was virtually invisible from the ground. It was possible to break the link with US operators with complex radio-electronic" technology, said Rostec in a statement. "Judging by its identification number, UAV MQ-5B belonged to the 66th American Reconnaissance Brigade, based in Bavaria," Rostec said on its website, which also carried a picture of what it said was the captured drone.

Radiation levels watched at Halifax ship terminal after uranium hexafluoride scare

Radiation levels watched at Halifax ship terminal after uranium hexafluoride scare --Incident 'absolute worst thing that could have happened' 14 Mar 2014 Radiation levels are still being watched at a Halifax shipping terminal this afternoon after canisters carrying hazardous material fell while being moved off a cargo ship on Thursday night. Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency said a large container was being moved just before 10 p.m. AT at the north-end dock when the bottom released, dropping up to four canisters filled with uranium hexafluoride six metres to the ground. Uranium hexaflouride, considered a "class seven" dangerous material, is a chemical compound used in the gas centrifuge process to enrich uranium, that is then used as reactor fuel or to arm nuclear missiles.

NYC building explosion: Death toll climbs to 8

NYC building explosion: Death toll climbs to 8 13 Mar 2014 Rescue workers using dogs and thermal-detection gear to search the rubble Thursday for more victims of a gas explosion found an eighth body, while investigators tried to pinpoint the leak and determine whether it had anything to do with New York's aging gas and water mains, some from the 1800s. At least five people were unaccounted for after the deafening blast Wednesday morning destroyed two five-story apartment buildings in East Harlem that were served by an 1887 cast-iron gas main. More than 60 people were injured.

Con Ed Hunting for Possible Gas Leak in 127-Year-Old Pipe

Con Ed Hunting for Possible Gas Leak in 127-Year-Old Pipe 12 Mar 2014 Less than two weeks before two East Harlem buildings exploded, leaving at least eight dead, Consolidated Edison workers checked the 127-year-old gas main in front of the site and found no apparent leaks, according to a ConEd spokesman. While the utility has no evidence that a leak was to blame for Wednesday's blast, the company is treating the fiery disaster as the probable result of a gas leak, said Edward Foppiano, the utility's senior vice president of gas operations. "Right now, we don't know if our gas pipes are leaking," Foppiano said, adding that an investigation in underway.

U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil

U.S. Agrees to Allow BP Back Into Gulf Waters to Seek Oil 14 Mar 2014 Four years after the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, [eco-terrorists] BP is being welcomed back to seek new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico. An agreement on Thursday with the Environmental Protection Agency lifts a 2012 ban that was imposed after the agency concluded that BP had not fully corrected problems that led to the well blowout in 2010 that killed 11 rig workers, spilled millions of gallons of oil and contaminated hundreds of miles of beaches...That prospect elicited sharp criticism from environmental groups. "It's kind of outrageous to allow BP to expand their drilling presence here in the gulf," said Raleigh Hoke, a spokesman for the Gulf Restoration Network, based in New Orleans.

Protect Yellowstone's wild bison - Petition

Quick action: Protect Yellowstone's wild bison - Petition 13 Mar 2014 In harsh winters like this one, Yellowstone's bison -- the last genetically pure wild bison in the country -- naturally migrate outside the park in a desperate search for food, where the National Park Service rounds them up and ships them off to slaughter. More than 250 wild bison, symbols of the American West, have already been killed this year. Any day now, Montana's Governor Steve Bullock (D) will decide whether to protect wild bison by granting them year-round access to public lands outside the park. It's critical that we put pressure on the governor and send him 50,000 messages by Monday. Sign the petition to Governor Bullock: Protect Yellowstone's historic wild bison -- let them roam!

Russia transfers nine warplanes to Belarus to 'counter massing of forces on the border'

Russia transfers nine warplanes to Belarus to 'counter massing of forces on the border' 13 Mar 2014 Six Russian Sukhoi-27 fighter jets and three transport planes have been deployed at Bobruisk airfield in Belarus. Earlier this week Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko invited Russian forces to fend off potential NATO threat. "In case of continuing build-up of military forces in countries bordering Belarus, the country will take adequate response measures," says a statement from the country’s Defense Ministry in Minsk. NATO is sending 12 F-16 craft in Poland, in the wake of the Crimea crisis, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski has asked for an even greater US presence. Baltic states have also requested military assistance from NATO.

Republican lobbyist David Jolly wins Florida special election

Another election bought by the Koch brothers: Republican lobbyist David Jolly wins Florida special election 11 Mar 2014 Republican lobbyist [Koch troll] David Jolly has won the special election in Florida's 13th Congressional District, defeating Democratic candidate Alex Sink and Libertarian Lucas Overby. Sink held an advantage among early voters and a slim lead in pre-election polls. But when the polls closed, Jolly's advantage with election-day voters quickly sealed Sink's fate.

Malaysia Airliner Communications Shut Down Separately With 'Manual Intervention' - US Officials

Malaysia Airliner Communications Shut Down Separately With 'Manual Intervention' - US Officials 13 Mar 2014 Two U.S. officials tell ABC News the U.S. believes that the shutdown of two communication systems happened separately on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. One source said this indicates the plane did not come out of the sky because of a catastrophic failure. The data reporting system, they believe, was shut down at 1:07 a.m. The transponder -- which transmits location and altitude -- shut down at 1:21 a.m. This indicates it may well have been a deliberate act, ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said. U.S. investigators told ABC News that the two modes of communication were "systematically shut down." That means the U.S. team "is convinced that there was manual intervention," a source said, which means it was likely not an accident or catastrophic malfunction that took the plane out of the sky.

Troubled waters: Fukushima nuclear radiation found in B.C. raises the alarm

Troubled waters: Fukushima nuclear radiation found in B.C. raises the alarm 12 Mar 2014 A radioactive metal from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster in Japan has been discovered in the Fraser Valley, causing researchers to raise the alarm about the long-term impact of radiation on B.C.'s west coast. Examination of a soil sample from Kilby Provincial Park, near Agassiz, has for the first time in this province found Cesium 134, further evidence of Fukushima radioactivity being transported to Canada by air and water. Cesium 134 has a half-life of two years, meaning its radioactivity is reduced by half during that time. Its presence in the environment is an indication of continuing contamination from Fukushima. A more persistent danger to people and marine life is radioactive Cesium 137, which has a half-life of 30 years, and bioaccumulates in the food chain.

White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe, despite vows of help

White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe, despite vows of help 13 Mar 2014 The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn't exercised a claim of executive privilege. In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee's work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found. The administration's refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA's use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques tortures on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons. [Yeah, there's no way on *God's green earth* Barack Obama is going to turn on his former employer, the CIA. Notice that one of President Obama's *first priorities* was to pardon the war criminals in the previous regime -- an unelected junta installed by the Supreme Court? --LRP]

PBA head accuses Christie of using pension as a 'slush fund'

PBA head accuses Christie of using pension as a 'slush fund' 12 Mar 2014 The head of the state's police unions today slammed Gov. Chris Christie over some $50 million in what he called "pension giveaways" to local municipalities. The giveaways, state Policemen's Benevolent Association head Anthony Wieners said in a scathing release, were gained on the backs of the state's public sector unions. "While the governor continues to campaign that the state pension system is 'unsustainable' and in need of reform, he himself is intentionally weakening the (Police and Firemen's Retirement System) by waiving an additional $50 million in local government's pension obligations," Wieners said following the release of the PFRS actuary report. "In doing so, he is continuing the same fiscal mismanagement and sleazy games that underfunded the pension fund for over a decade and that led to the situation we are in today."

Christie Presented 9/11 Wreckage to Mayors Whose Endorsements He Sought

Christie Presented 9/11 Wreckage to Mayors Whose Endorsements He Sought 11 Mar 2014 For a state that lost hundreds of lives on Sept. 11, the gifts were emotionally resonant: pieces of steel from the ruins of the World Trade Center. They were presented by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to 20 carefully chosen New Jersey mayors who sat atop a list of 100 whose endorsements Gov. Chris Christie hoped to win. At photo opportunities around the mangled pieces of steel, Bill Baroni, Mr. Christie's top staff appointee at the Port Authority, told audiences how many people wanted a similar remnant of the destroyed buildings, and how special these mayors were. Mayors lower on the list of 100 -- such as Mark Sokolich, of Fort Lee, at No. 45 -- received other Port Authority perquisites: an intimate tour of the National September 11 Memorial, or the new World Trade Center construction site, or Port Authority money for jobs programs or new firefighting equipment, even in towns far from the port.

2 Dead, 5 Critical After Vehicle Plows Into Crowd Near South by Southwest

2 Dead, 5 Critical After Vehicle Plows Into Crowd Near South by Southwest 13 Mar 2014 Two people have died and five others are in critical condition after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of people near a venue for the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, early this morning, police said. Austin Police confirmed the accident, stating that 21 people were transported to area hospitals. Austin Police Lt. Brian Moon said the driver -- who has since been taken into custody -- crashed through temporary barricades.

Missing Flight MH370: Plane 'may have flown for four hours after last-known contact'

Missing Flight MH370: Plane 'may have flown for four hours after last-known contact' 13 Mar 2014 US investigators are examining whether missing Flight MH370 was "intentionally diverted" from its planned route after new data revealed the plane may have flown for a further four hours from the point of its last confirmed location. A report in the Wall Street Journal said US counter-terrorism officials are examining the possibility the plane's course was changed "with the intention of using it later for another purpose" and that its transponders were intentionally turned off to avoid radar detection. The report said data downloaded automatically from the plane's engines, suggests the plane flew for a total of five hours.

Hijacked and hidden? US counter-terror officials fear plane could have been captured

Hijacked and hidden? US counter-terror officials fear plane could have been captured after new data reveals it was airborne FOUR hours after vanishing --US investigators now examining the startling possibility that Flight 370 was captured and transported to another location 13 Mar 2014 US investigators officials think that Malaysian Airlines flight 370 remained airborne for four more hours after vanishing from its last recorded position - raising the startling prospect the plane was hijacked. Officials suspect that the plane flew for a total of five hours based on data automatically downloaded and sent back to Rolls Royce - the manufacturers of the Boeing 777's engines. US counter-terrorism teams are now pursuing the astonishing possibility that the plane and its 239 passengers was diverted to an undisclosed location 'with the intention of using it later for another purpose'. Government terrorism experts are now examining the possibility that the pilot or somebody else turned the plane's transponders off to avoid detection and flew it to another country.

Israel launches airstrike on Gaza Strip - witnesses

Israel launches airstrike on Gaza Strip - witnesses 12 Mar 2014 The Israeli government has launched an airstrike against the besieged Gaza Strip following a retaliatory attack by the Palestinian militant group, Islamic Jihad, eyewitnesses say. According to witnesses, Israeli warplanes hit several locations in the coastal enclave on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties. On Tuesday, three Palestinians lost their lives after an Israeli drone carried out an airstrike on the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.

Two Dead, at Least 64 Injured, Several Missing in NYC Building Explosion

Two Dead, at Least 64 Injured, Several Missing in NYC Building Explosion 12 Mar 2014 Two people were killed and at least 64 were injured today when a suspected gas explosion tore through a building in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood, collapsing at least part of the structure, authorities said. "This is a tragedy of the worse kind because there was no indication in time to save people," New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Among the casualties, two FBI agents in the area on unrelated business sustained non-life-threatening injuries in the blast and are expected to make a full recovery, authorities said.

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer says will not seek another term

Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer says will not seek another term 12 Mar 2014 Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican who has clashed with the Obama administration over immigration, said on Wednesday she would not run for re-election for a third term, ending speculation about her plans. Arizona governors are limited to serving two terms at the state's helm. But because Brewer took over mid-term from Janet Napolitano when she left to head the Department of Homeland Security there had been speculation Brewer could seek another four years in office on the grounds she had not served two complete terms.

US to give Israel $429 million for its Iron Dome missile system

US to give Israel $429 million for its Iron Dome missile system 11 Mar 2014 The United States and Israel have signed an agreement under which $429 million of American taxpayers' money "will be transferred immediately to Israel" to fund its Iron Dome missile system. The Pentagon says the agreement was signed last week in a bid to "continue support of the production of the Iron Dome weapon system" and provide opportunities for US industry to "receive meaningful co-production opportunities for Iron Dome components." On March 4, the US House of Representatives also passed a bill which named Israel a "major strategic partner" of the US and called for the expansion of Washington's military ties with Tel Aviv. [OMG. See also: Con Ed Hunting for Possible Gas Leak in 127-Year-Old Pipe. Too bad the Koch brothers' trolls in Congress just voted to allocate $429 million of US taxpayer dollars for *Israel's Iron Dome* instead of spending that money on US infrastructure.]

UN report calls for independent investigations of drone attacks

UN report calls for independent investigations of drone attacks 10 Mar 2014 A report by the United Nations Human Rights Council has called for independent investigations to be carried out into drone attacks after a series of strikes that result in unexpected civilian deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Most of the attacks involved US drones. The UN special rapporteur on human rights, Ben Emmerson, records a dramatic reduction in drone strikes in 2013 in Pakistan but increases in Afghanistan and, towards the end of the year, in Yemen. But Emmerson noted a threefold increase in recorded civilian casualties from drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2013.

Police sound all-clear after Facebook evacuation Tuesday night

Police sound all-clear after Facebook evacuation Tuesday night 11 Mar 2014 (NJ) The headquarters of social media giant Facebook was temporarily flooded with officers and cordoned off Tuesday evening after a threat against the company was called in to authorities, Menlo Park police said, but the threat was quickly cleared. The threat was originally called into the San Francisco Police Department around 7 p.m., said Menlo Park police Cmdr. Dave Bertini. The department transferred the call to Menlo Park officers, who went to the campus and closed off the entrance with tape.

CIA hacked into Senate computers to conceal 'brutal details of torture'

CIA hacked into Senate computers to conceal 'brutal details of torture' 12 Mar 2014 The CIA illegally searched US Senate computers as part of a shadowy campaign to conceal details of its "brutal and un-American" torture programme, a senior senator has claimed. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate's intelligence committee, made the accusations in a dramatic speech that shed light on the behind-the-scenes power struggle between the US Congress and the spy agency. Mrs Feinstein said she had "grave concerns" CIA agents had violated the US constitution and were trying to "intimidate" the Senate committee meant to ensure their operations remained within the law.

DOE plan to wait two years to pump radioactive waste 'unacceptable' - state of Washington

DOE plan to wait two years to pump radioactive waste 'unacceptable' - state of Washington 10 Mar 2014 The Department of Energy's plan to wait at least two years to pump radioactive waste from a damaged double-shell tank at Hanford is unacceptable, the state of Washington says. DOE's plan "demonstrates the federal government's lack of commitment to set a firm, near-term schedule for the removal of [radioactive] waste from leaking double-shell Tank AY-102," the state Department of Ecology said in a statement Monday. DOE confirmed in October 2012 that Tank AY-102, the oldest of Hanford's 28 double-shell tanks, had leaked [radioactive] waste from its inner shell. The [radioactive] waste then was in two places in the space between the inner and outer shells, and DOE says no waste has breached the outer shell to reach the soil beneath the underground tank.

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

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

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