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BP to Admit Crimes and Pay $4.5 Billion in Gulf Settlement

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

BP to Admit Crimes and Pay $4.5 Billion in Gulf Settlement 16 Nov 2012 BP, the British oil company, said Thursday it would pay $4.5 billion in fines and other payments to the United States government and plead guilty to 14 criminal charges in connection with the giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico two years ago. The payments include a $4 billion fine to be paid over five years, with much of it to go to government environmental agencies, BP said in a statement. As part of the settlement, BP pleaded guilty to 11 felony misconduct or neglect charges related to the deaths of 11 people in the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010, which unleashed millions of barrels of oil into the gulf. A law enforcement official familiar with the case also said that two BP employees would be charged with manslaughter in the case.

'Fix the Debt': A Trojan Horse for Corporate Tax Cuts

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

'Fix the Debt': A Trojan Horse for Corporate Tax Cuts 14 Nov 2012 With a $60 million war chest and the blessing of more than 80 CEOs of America's biggest corporations, "Fix the Debt" is passing itself off as a reasoned call for compromise to save the nation from economic disaster. But as this new infographic and a recent study show, the companies behind Fix the Debt stand to gain $134 billion from one of the tax breaks they are promoting. Not just any tax break, mind you, but a new tax incentive for corporations to send U.S. jobs overseas. A new report from the Institute for Policy Studies (ISP) warns that: [Fix the Debt] is a Trojan horse concealing massive corporate tax breaks that would make our debt situation much worse. [It's] a powerful corporate lobby using the deficit as an excuse to sneak through costly corporate tax breaks, while at the same time cutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Officer killed by Afghan 'ally' as he played football at own base

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Officer killed by Afghan 'ally' as he played football at own base 13 Nov 2012 A Scottish soldier was shot dead by a rogue member of the Afghan army as he played in a football match on Remembrance Day, it emerged last night. Captain Walter Barrie was playing in a match on Sunday between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army (ANA) at his base in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand province when he was shot at close range, the Ministry of Defence said.

Cracks found at nuclear power plant north of Columbia

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Cracks found at nuclear power plant north of Columbia --SCE&G has begun repairs to reactor head; watchdogs worry about long-term safety 15 Nov 2012 (SC) Utility engineers are working to seal cracks at a Fairfield County atomic power plant before the fractures widen and make the plant more vulnerable to a nuclear accident. The SCE&G plant doesn't present any current threat to the public [?], but cracks in the reactor head at the nuclear plant are a concern that must be addressed, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Without repairs, the small cracks could widen and allow water that keeps the reactor cool to escape.

Secession petitions filed for all 50 states

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Secession petitions filed for all 50 states 14 Nov 2012 Petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of Americans seeking permission for their states to peacefully secede from the union have now been filed for all 50 states on the White House website. The secession petition push began last week on the site's We The People section after a Slidell, La., man filed a petition on Nov. 7 to allow Louisiana to secede. Residents from other states followed suit. Texas is in the lead with more than 99,000, but Gov. Rick Perry said on Tuesday that he does not support secession. Meanwhile, residents of Austin, Texas's stubbornly liberal stronghold, have petitioned the White House to allow the city to "withdraw from the state of Texas [and] remain part of the United States."

KBR provides fuel-gear to British military

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

KBR provides fuel-gear to British military 14 Nov 2012 Britain's Ministry of Defense has given [terrorists] KBR of the United States a $35 million contract for fuel-handling equipment to support its worldwide military exercises. The Joint Operational Fuel System contract has an initial period of performance of two years, KBR reported. KBR, which has headquarters in Houston, said that under the contract it would provide fuel-handling equipment and services but didn't provide specifics on the equipment it will supply to the Ministry of Defense or the services it will render.

NORAD to conduct exercise flights in US, Canada

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

NORAD to conduct exercise flights in US, Canada 14 Nov 2012 Officials with the North American Aerospace Defense Command say exercise flights are will be conducted in the U. S and Canada. Flights to practice intercept and identification procedures are scheduled to take place Thursday off the coast of Seattle and British Columbia's Vancouver Island. Flights for the same exercises also scheduled to take place between Anchorage, Alaska, and the Kobuk Valley in Alaska, and between Aberdeen, S.D., and Minneapolis.

Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Veteran F.B.I. Agent Helped Start Petraeus E-Mail Inquiry 15 Nov 2012 The F.B.I. agent who helped start the investigation that led to the resignation of David H. Petraeus as C.I.A. director is a "hard-charging" veteran counterterrorism investigator who played a major role the foiled millennium terrorist plot in 1999, colleagues said on Wednesday. The agent, Frederick W. Humphries II, 47, is also described by former colleagues as relentless in his pursuit of what he sees as wrongdoing, which appears to describe his role in the F.B.I. investigation involving Mr. Petraeus. Suspecting that the case involved serious security issues and was being stalled, possibly for political reasons, a suspicion his superiors say was unjustified -- he took his concerns to Congressional Republicans.

Republican senators set up showdown over possible Rice nomination

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Republican senators set up showdown over possible Rice nomination 14 Nov 2012 Barack Obama has accused prominent Republican senators of an "outrageous" attack on the character of Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN and potential nominee as secretary of state, in alleging a cover up over the Benghazi attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens. The president denounced senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for saying they would attempt to block Rice from leading the state department if Obama nominated her because she either lied or was incompetent in saying that the attack in Libya on September 11 was spontaneous and that there was no evidence of a link to al-Qaida [al-CIAduh]. Obama said he was not prepared to comment on nominations to the State Department or other posts, but that he would not be deterred by threats from choosing Rice.

Experts: Analysis of Indiana blast could take time

November 15, 2012 by legitgov

Experts: Analysis of Indiana blast could take time 14 Nov 2012 Investigators looking for the cause of a deadly Indianapolis house explosion got more support for their theory that natural gas was a factor Wednesday when an attorney for the owner of a home at the core of the blast said his client's 12-year-old daughter had smelled a strange odor off and on for weeks. Still, finding the actual cause could take time as investigators search through homes that have been battered or obliterated for any clues about faulty appliances and gas leaks. It's possible they may never be able to pinpoint the cause.

Pharmacy head pleads Fifth at meningitis outbreak hearing

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Pharmacy head pleads Fifth at meningitis outbreak hearing 14 Nov 2012 Barry Cadden, the owner and director of the specialty pharmacy tied to a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak, declined to testify Wednesday morning before a congressional committee investigating the matter. Cadden, co-founder of the New England Compound Center, told lawmakers he would use his Fifth Amendment right to not answer questions in order to avoid self-incrimination. After repeated questioning by House lawmakers, Cadden told the House Energy and Commerce Committee: "Under advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer under basis of my constitutional rights and privileges, including the Fifth Amendment."

Sources: Paula Broadwell warned Gen. Allen against 'seductress' Jill Kelley

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Sources: Paula Broadwell warned Gen. Allen against 'seductress' Jill Kelley 14 Nov 2012 As Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta offered guarded support Wednesday for Gen. John Allen, new details emerged about correspondence the general had with a Florida woman intertwined in the David Petraeus sex scandal. "No one should leap to any conclusions here," Panetta said at a news conference in Australia. He added that Gen. Allen, who is still in command of some 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, "certainly has my continued confidence to lead our forces and to continue the fight." Allen had been tapped to be next commander of U.S. European Command and the top NATO general, but his confirmation has been placed on hold due to the investigation.

'I want to go down in history as the guy who killed Obama': Man busted in plot to 'murder president and children'

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

'I want to go down in history as the guy who killed Obama': Man busted in plot to 'murder president and children' --Mitchell Kenneth Kusick, 20, was arrested yesterday and held on a charge of threats against a president 14 Nov 2012 A Colorado nursing student was arrested yesterday after telling his therapist of his desire to shoot children, kill people on Halloween and assassinate President Obama, court records show. Mitchell Kenneth Kusick, 20, of Westminster, was being held on suspicion of a federal charge of threats against a president. He identified himself as a student at Colorado Mesa University in western Colorado, investigators said.

Sources close to investigation describe correspondence between Kelley and General Allen like 'phone sex'

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Sources close to investigation describe correspondence between Kelley and General Allen like 'phone sex' --Broadwell had substantial military documents stored in her home 14 No 2012 Harassing emails sent by Paula Broadwell, the biographer-turned-mistress of David Petraeus, to her perceived love rival, Florida socialite Jill Kelley, contained confidential information about the CIA boss's movements, a law enforcement source has revealed. After Kelley contacted the FBI, agents launched a massive in-depth investigation into who was sending the emails because they shared this detailed information that was not publicly available. The catty emails, which told Kelley to 'back off' from Petraeus, were sent to Kelley from several fake email addresses. In order to find who had confidential information about Petraeus's whereabouts, the FBI obtained an administrative subpoena, and traced them back to Broadwell. In the course of the investigation, they also unearthed emails indicating the affair between Broadwell and Petraeus, leading to his resignation on Friday. The new details of what uncovered Petraeus's months-long relationship with his biographer come as the FBI continue to search military documents Broadwell admitted to stashing in her home. Security officials have revealed she had 'substantial' classified information on her computer which should have been stored more securely.

David Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley 'tried to halt investigation'

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

David Petraeus scandal: Jill Kelley 'tried to halt investigation' 14 Nov 2012 Jill Kelley, the Florida socialite who sparked the FBI inquiry that cost David Petraeus his job and threatens the career of Gen John Allen, tried to halt the investigation after realising what it might disclose. Mrs Kelley, who prompted the investigation after complaining of harassing emails that turned out to be from Mr Petraeus's mistress, Paula Broadwell, is understood to have asked the FBI to drop it in the summer. News of her change of heart came as it emerged that Mrs Kelley, a "social liaison" for the US military, made repeated calls to the police this week asking them to remove journalists from outside her house. Wielding a title given to her by the South Korean government, she told dispatchers: "I'm an honorary consul general, so I have involability [sic]," adding: I don't know if you want to get diplomatic protection involved as well".

Senate readies bill allowing hunters to import stored polar bear pelts

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Heads up! Obusha, Senate sociopaths to allow dirt-bags to import polar bear pelts: Senate readies bill allowing hunters to import stored polar bear pelts 14 Nov 2012 Legislation poised to pass the Senate would allow a small group of hunters terrorists who've been storing polar bear pelts in Canada to import them to the United States. The bill, which is described as one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation for sportsmen in a generation, will be among the first to be passed by the Senate in the days following the election. The Senate voted 92-5 Tuesday to move the bill forward to a full vote later this week. The legislation was also the first bill from Congress to get a post-election nod from President Barack Obama. Among the bill's more obscure provisions: Allowing 41 hunters who killed polar bears in Canada before 2008 to import their pelts to this country.

The Second Election of Barack Obama: A Balance Sheet for the Laboring Class and their Allies

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

The Second Election of Barack Obama: A Balance Sheet for the Laboring Class and their Allies by Michael Rectenwald, www.legitgov.org and Jonathan Munis 14 Nov 2012 Barack Obama, who was heralded as the champion of "hope and change" in 2008, and subsequently and without much fanfare continued and extended the legacy of the maligned George W. Bush in nearly every respect, presented himself, along with a vast array of media outlets and celebrities from ABC to Jay-Z, as the candidate for "forward" progress in 2012.

Anti-austerity anger stirs strikes in Europe

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Anti-austerity anger stirs strikes in Europe 14 Nov 2012 Protesters bristling over austerity cuts launch a Europe-wide string of rallies and strikes Wednesday, pouring into streets, refusing to work and grounding more than 700 flights. General strikes in Spain and Portugal will spearhead the day of action called by European unions and joined by activists as anger over governments' tight-fisted policies boils over. For Spain, the eurozone's fourth-largest economy where one in four workers is unemployed in a deep recession, it is the second general strike in eight months in protest against draconian budget cuts.

Google: Surveillance 'is on the rise'

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Google: Surveillance 'is on the rise' --More than 16,000 Google accounts specified in U.S. government's user data requests - report 13 Nov 2012 Google received more requests from the U.S. government to hand over user data during the first half of this year than from any other country, according to the search company's biannual "Transparency Report" released on Tuesday. From January to June, Google received nearly 8,000 requests for user data from the U.S. government. The search company said it "fully or partially" compiled with roughly 90 percent of them. That's up from the 5,950 requests for user data that Google received from the U.S. government during the same period a year ago.

Pro-secession requests grow to 40 states

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Pro-secession requests grow to 40 states 13 Nov 2012 The pro-secession requests flooding the White House website grew Tuesday as petitions on behalf of a dozen more states were added to the list. The administration's "We the People" website showed at press time Tuesday evening petitions filed by individuals seeking permission for 40 states to secede from the union, up from 23 the day before. Petitions filed on behalf of four states -- Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas -- had reached the 25,000-signature benchmark. According to the website, any petition that receives at least 25,000 online signatures within 30 days of posting will be reviewed by the appropriate executive department and receive a reply from a White House staffer.

Secession petitions flood White House website

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Secession petitions flood White House website 12 Nov 2012 President Obama's reelection last week has prompted a slew of requests to secede from the United States. Using the Obama administration's own We the People website, nearly two dozen petitions have sprung up asking the Obama administration for permission to withdraw from the Union. The two most popular petitions, Texas and Louisiana, have both drawn more than 10,000 signatures each as of Monday morning. None of the petitions explicitly cite Obama's reelection as a reason for independence, but all were created after last week's elections.

Gen. John Allen also helped Jill Kelley's sister during custody battle

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Gen. John Allen also helped Jill Kelley's sister during custody battle 13 Nov 2012 Both Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. John Allen intervened in the same nasty child custody battle involving Natalie Khawam, the “psychologically unstable” twin sister of Jill Kelley, whose bombshell claims of being threatened by Petraeus' lover led to the top spy’s resignation last week, the Post has learned. Allen, the four-star general top commander in Afghanistan, was revealed last night to have exchanged thousands of pages of of emails with Kelley, who went to the feds after receiving threatening e-mails from Paula Broadwell, the married mistress of Petraeus. A judge noted in the file that Khawam "has attached letters from Gen. David H. Petraeus averring to her ability to appropriately parent the child, and is prepared to present corroborating testimony at trial."

Afghanistan halts Helmand police fuel supplies after major theft

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan halts Helmand police fuel supplies after major theft 13 Nov 2012 Senior Afghan officials are said to have discovered large-scale theft of fuel in Helmand and halted all deliveries to police in the province, compromising the ability of the force to operate in one of the Taliban's major strongholds. The cost of stolen or "misallocated" fuel in the province is thought to run into hundreds of millions of dollars. One official estimated its worth at $600m (£380m), though a spokesman for the Nato-led coalition said that would be equivalent to the total annual fuel budget for all Afghan security forces. The apparent severity of the authorities' response, halting supplies since the start of November, indicates they considered the theft exceptional even in a country where fraud is rampant.

'Dream Team' of Behavioral Scientists Advised Obama Campaign

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

'Dream Team' of Behavioral Scientists Advised Obama Campaign 13 Nov 2012 Less well known is that the Obama campaign also had a panel of unpaid academic advisers. The group -- which calls itself the "consortium of behavioral scientists," or COBS -- provided ideas on how to counter false rumors, like one that President Obama is a Muslim. It suggested how to characterize the Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in advertisements. It also delivered research-based advice on how to mobilize voters. "In the way it used research, this was a campaign like no other," said Todd Rogers, a psychologist at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and a former director of the Analyst Institute. When asked about the outside psychologists, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny a relationship with them. ['Criminal Minds.']

FBI agent friend of Florida housewife at center of Petraeus scandal who sent topless pictures to her 'went rogue'

November 14, 2012 by legitgov

Revealed: FBI agent friend of Florida housewife at center of Petraeus scandal who sent topless pictures to her 'went rogue' after being told to 'stay the hell away' 13 Nov 2012 A federal agent who sent topless pictures of himself to the woman at the center of the Petraeus and General Allen scandals was told to 'stay the hell away' from the investigation but took it upon himself to 'nose around', it was revealed today. After receiving a half dozen harassing emails from an anonymous account - but later linked to Petraeus's mistress Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley, the Florida woman who served as a volunteer social liaison officer at the Tampa military base, contacted a male FBI agent that she knew and had previously worked with. During a prior exchange, when the agent was trying to establish a friendly relationship with the married mother-of-three, he sent her shirtless photos of himself adding to questions over his true intention behind going above-and-beyond his work duties to help her with the threats.

Democrats Like a Romney Idea on Income Tax

November 13, 2012 by legitgov

Democrats Like a Romney Idea on Income Tax [LOL! Of course they do. Democrats are tripping over themselves to serve their Wall Street overlords, along with the GOP, as always. Only to the corporate-run media and Democrats do elections *not have consequences.* Win or lose, they burn the working class.] 13 Nov 2012 Democrats are latching on to an idea floated by Mitt Romney to raise taxes on the rich through a hard cap on income tax deductions. The proposal by Mr. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, was envisioned to help pay for an across-the-board income tax cut, a move ridiculed by President Obama as window dressing to a "sketchy deal." But many Democrats now see it as an important element of a potential deficit reduction agreement — and one they can claim to be bipartisan.

Whistleblower to testify to commission regulators on alleged gas-price fixing

November 13, 2012 by legitgov

Whistleblower to testify to commission regulators on alleged gas-price fixing 13 Nov 2012 The whistleblower who first raised the alarm about what he believed to be attempts to manipulate gas prices has been summoned to Brussels to explain to European Union regulators how the market might have been distorted. Seth Freedman will meet Maria-Teresa Fabregas-Fernandez, deputy head of securities markets at the European commission. The unit is considering new regulations for benchmarks and indices, such as the gas price that Freedman claims may have been distorted by traders... UK gas prices set the benchmark for gas trading across Europe.

Gas prices: FSA examines whistleblower's claims of 'Libor-like' manipulation

November 13, 2012 by legitgov

Gas prices: FSA examines whistleblower's claims of 'Libor-like' manipulation --Whistleblower claims £300bn wholesale gas market has been manipulated by big power companies 12 Nov 2012 The City watchdog, the Financial Services Authority, is investigating claims by a whistleblower that Britain's £300bn wholesale gas market has been "regularly" manipulated by some of the big power companies, exploiting weaknesses that echo the recent Libor scandal. Separately, the energy regulator Ofgem has been warned by a company responsible for setting so-called benchmark prices, ICIS Heren, that it had seen evidence of suspect trading on 28 September, a key date as it marks the end of the gas financial year and can have an important influence on future prices.

Anti-terrorism expert advises against $3.1 billion BioWatch upgrade

November 13, 2012 by legitgov

Anti-terrorism expert advises against $3.1 billion BioWatch upgrade --Cost of 'upgrade' is $3.1 billion for initial five years 13 Nov 2012 Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano's top expert on anti-terrorism technology has privately advised her to spike a long-planned, multibillion-dollar upgrade of BioWatch, the nation's troubled system for detecting a biological attack. Dr. Tara O'Toole, the department's undersecretary for science and technology, doubts that the so-called Generation 3 version of BioWatch could be relied on to detect anthrax, smallpox, plague or other deadly germs in the event of a [US lab-generated] biological attack, scientists familiar with the matter said.

Fifty Shades of CIA

November 13, 2012 by legitgov

Fifty Shades of CIA --The Petraeus Sex Scandal Widens By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 13 Nov 2012 Here is a compilation of recent news items in the exploding Petraeus-CIA-FBI sex scandal. [Updated 16 Nov 2012.]

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