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Afghanistan: U.S. blocking deal on future security pact

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

Afghanistan: U.S. blocking deal on future security pact 03 Oct 2013 Afghan President Hamid Karzai has dug his heels in, making it clear he's in no rush to sign a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the U.S. to lay out what American troops who remain in the country after the majority of the forces leave next year can and cannot do. Negotiations over the BSA, which will outline the U.S. military role in the country for the coming decade, have reached the "final, sensitive stage," Karzai's spokesman Aimal Faizi told CBS News. Karzai has now taken a direct role in the negotiations but his national security advisor, Rangin Datfar Spanta, is leading the negotiations for the Afghan government, and the eventual deal will have to be approved by the Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly), Faizi told CBS News.

US indicts 13 suspected members of Anonymous hacking collective

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

US indicts 13 suspected members of Anonymous hacking collective 03 Oct 2013 The United States brought criminal charges against 13 suspected members of the hacking group Anonymous on Thursday for allegedly attacking government, credit card and lobbying websites in a campaign in support of internet file-sharing. A grand jury indictment of the 13 people was filed in US district court in Alexandria, Virginia, charging them with conspiracy to intentionally cause damage to protected computers as part of Anonymous' Operation Payback. The loose-knit international group known as Anonymous has been in frequent battle with US authorities, not only over file-sharing but also other ideological causes such as the willingness of financial institutions to process donations for the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

NRA to Tepco: Control massive amount of radioactive water gushing from Fukushima No. 1

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

NRA to Tepco: Control massive amount of radioactive water gushing from Fukushima No. 1 04 Oct 2013 The Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday ordered Tokyo Electric Power Co. to bring under control the massive amount of radioactive water gushing from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear complex, including by boosting worker numbers on-site. Summoning Tepco President Naomi Hirose after a series of recent spills at the crippled power plant, Katsuhiko Ikeda, head of the NRA secretariat, tore into the utility for "rudimentary mistakes" that caused the toxic water problem and said its management in the field was "significantly deteriorating." With concerns growing over the toxic water problem at Fukushima No. 1, Ikeda also urged Tepco to report whether it can ensure the safety of its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa atomic plant in Niigata Prefecture, two of whose seven reactors the utility seeks to restart.

Ex-NSA/CIA chief Hayden jokes of putting Snowden on kill list

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

Ex-NSA/CIA chief Hayden jokes of putting Snowden on kill list 04 Oct 2013 When it comes to Edward Snowden, it's reasonable to expect a little hard talk from former NSA and CIA chief Michael Hayden. But hinting that there are 'lists' on which Snowden should be is taking things to a new level. Speaking at a panel discussion on Thursday, the ex-NSA director made it clear that he's aware of Snowden's nomination for a European Human Rights Award. But Hayden revealed that he'd rather see the NSA whistleblower on a kill list than a short-list: "I must admit in my darker moments over the past several months, I'd also thought of nominating Mr. Snowden, but it was for a different list," Hayden said during a cybersecurity panel hosted by the Washington Post. As the audience laughed, US lawmaker Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Sociopath-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, offered Hayden his support: "I can help you with that," he said.

Capital Shield 2014: October 3 Drill for First Responders in Nation's Capital

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

Ah, then came the dawn. Capital Shield 2014: October 3 Drill for First Responders in Nation's Capital 30 Sep 2013 Emergency vehicles and first responders are once again in action in the National Capital Region and will be through Oct. 3. They are participating in "Capital Shield 2014." CS 14 is a joint training exercise in the NCR that is hosted by the Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region. It brings federal, state, local and municipal agencies together to realistically test interagency operability during a crisis impacting the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. It also trains and prepares the Department of Defense to provide defense support to civil authorities and employ appropriate force protection measures as requested.

CIA expands training programme for US-backed militias in Syria

October 4, 2013 by legitgov

CIA expands training programme for US-backed militias in Syria 04 Oct 2013 The CIA is expanding a clandestine effort to train opposition fighters terrorists in Syria amid concern that moderate, US-backed militias are rapidly losing ground in the country's civil war, US officials said. But the CIA programme is so small that it is expected to produce only a few hundred trained fighters each month even after it is enlarged, a level that officials said would do little to bolster US-friendly rebel forces, who were being eclipsed by radical Islamists in the fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. [Oh. I thought the US government was shut down? Too bad the CIA wasn't.]

Woman Killed After Trying to Ram White House Barricade

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Woman Killed After Trying to Ram White House Barricade 03 Oct 2013 A Connecticut woman with a small child in her car tried to ram into a White House barricade Thursday, then led authorities on a chase to the U.S. Capitol, where she was fatally shot, police said. She has been identified as 34-year-old Miriam Carey of Stamford, Conn. The incident began at about 2:30 p.m. at the White House gates at 15th and E streets NW. Police say Carey had attempted to ram guarded gates outside the White House, then fled the scene.

Shutdown to enter fourth day as work in Congress slows

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Shutdown to enter fourth day as work in Congress slows 03 Oct 2013 The federal government shutdown will enter its fourth day on Friday after Congress moved no further toward resolving its fiscal showdown and President Barack Obama ratcheted up pressure on Republicans. A flurry of legislative activity at the beginning of this week tempered by the end of Thursday, slowed further by an incident on Capitol Hill in which a woman attempted to breach security there and at the White House. The dramatic encounter forced a temporary lockdown of the Capitol complex, and halted House and Senate proceedings for about an hour.

Police descend on Stamford, CT condo complex in Capitol shooting investigation

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Police descend on Stamford, CT condo complex in Capitol shooting investigation --'It is a very methodical process not unlike Newtown,' an agent on the scene said. 03 Oct 2013 A Stamford woman was shot and killed after trying to ram her car into a White House security barrier and leading police on a high-speed chase past the Capitol with her 18-month-old daughter in tow. Miriam Carey, 34, of 114 Woodside Green, drove her black Infiniti coupe onto a driveway leading to the White House and over a set of lowered barricades. Local police, along with federal law enforcement officials, descended on the Woodside Green condominium complex, bordered by Washington Boulevard and Bridge and Summer streets, just north of downtown. Several federal agents, including FBI and Secret Service, were seen entering the complex.

Home in Stamford, CT searched in White House gate breach

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Home in Stamford, CT searched in White House gate breach --The suspect, identified as Miriam Carey, 34, of Stamford, Conn., was killed at the scene--Capitol police: Woman was unarmed when police killed her -- all shots came from law enforcement 03 Oct 2013

30 Greenpeace activists charged with piracy in Russia

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

30 Greenpeace activists charged with piracy in Russia 03 Oct 2013 All 30 of those arrested during a Greenpeace protest against Arctic oil drilling have now been charged with piracy by Russian authorities, and face trials that could see them jailed for up to 15 years. There are nationals of 18 different countries among the group, including six Britons. The environmentalists were detained last month as Greenpeace's boat, the Arctic Sunrise, sailed towards the Prirazlomnaya oil rig in the Pechora Sea.

Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Iranian cyber warfare commander shot dead in suspected assassination --Five Iranian nuclear scientists and the head of the country's ballistic missile programme have been killed since 2007. 02 Oct 2013 The head of Iran's cyber warfare programme has been shot dead, triggering further accusations that outside powers [aka CIAcioapths, Mossad] are carrying out targeted assassinations of key figures in the country's security apparatus. Mojtaba Ahmadi, who served as commander of the Cyber War Headquarters, was found dead in a wooded area near the town of Karaj, north-west of the capital, Tehran. The government has accused Israel's external intelligence agency, the Mossad, of carrying out these assassinations.

Shots fired at U.S. Capitol, female suspect killed

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Shots fired at U.S. Capitol, female suspect in custody killed 03 Oct 2013 The United States Capitol was placed on lockdown Thursday afternoon after a woman tried to ram a car into the White House gate, was chased by Secret Service and exchanged shots with police, sources said. The suspect -- who sources said had a child in the car -- was in custody shot and killed, and a shelter-in-place order was lifted at about 3 p.m. At least one Capitol Police officer was injured during the pursuit. "This appears to be an isolated incident," said Capitol Police Chief Kim Dine. "Both scenes are under control." It started at 2:18 p.m. when the woman in a black car tried to breach White House security at 15th St. and E, law-enforcement sources said.

Gunshots fired at U.S. Capitol after car rammed barrier near White House

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Gunshots fired at U.S. Capitol after car rammed barrier near White House 03 Oct 2013 A car chase that began with a vehicle crashing into a security barrier near the White House ended with gunshots fired near the U.S. Capitol earlier this afternoon. CBS News reports that a vehicle struck a barrier at 15th St. and Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., in front of the Treasury Building, one block from the White House. The driver, a woman, began driving erratically toward the Capitol with Secret Service officers in pursuit. A federal official tells CBS News that the pursuit was high-speed on Pennsylvania Ave. NW, a busy city street, and that the woman was weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights.

Attempted Breach at White House; Capitol Was in Lockdown After Shots Fired

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Attempted Breach at White House; Capitol Was in Lockdown After Shots Fired --Police Shoot Suspect Identified as 34-year-old Miriam Carey --'Witness saw increased police presence, heard sirens before shots were heard' --Kasie Hunt, MSNBC 3:40PM EDT live --'Tourists instructed to get down on the ground, on their stomachs.. and then were evacuated.' --Luke Russert --Confident 'this was not an accident' --Media conference spokesperson --Shots fired at two different locations --Pennsylvania Avenue Closed --Secret Service engaged in car chase after incident began at White House; shots then fired --Several police officers injured --'There were already police cars going by before we heard the shots.' --Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) --Congress ordered to 'shelter in place' --House and Senate in recess --FBI, SWAT teams on premises; law enforcement descended on scene --Helicopter landed in front of Reflecting Pool near Capitol --'15 shots heard in rapid succession' 03 Oct 2013

Radioactive Wastewater From Fracking is Found In Pennsylvania Stream

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Radioactive Wastewater From Fracking is Found In Pennsylvania Stream 02 Oct 2013 In the state of Pennsylvania, home to the lucrative Marcellus Shale formation, 74 facilities treat wastewater from the process of hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") for natural gas and release it into streams. There's no national set of standards that guides this treatment process -- the EPA notes that the Clean Water Act's guidelines were developed before fracking even existed...and scientists have conducted relatively little assessment of the wastewater to ensure it's safe after being treated. Recently, a group of Duke University scientists decided to do some testing... As published today in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, they found high concentrations of the element radium, a highly radioactive substance. The concentrations were roughly 200 times higher than background levels. In addition, amounts of chloride and bromide in the water were two to ten times greater than normal.

This Quote Says Everything About the GOP's Shutdown Stand

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

This Quote Says Everything About the GOP's Shutdown Stand 03 Oct 2013 House Republicans are continuing to play hardball in negotiations over the spending bill that precipitated the government shutdown on Oct. 1, apparently out of fear that compromise would weaken their power. "We're not going to be disrespected," Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.) told The Washington Examiner. "We have to get something out of this. And I don't know what that even is." The GOP spent much of Wednesday blaming President Barack Obama and the Democrats for the effects of the shutdown, which led to the furlough of 800,000 workers and the closure of numerous government services. They failed to mention that the spending bill didn't pass because they loaded the bill with restrictions on the Affordable Care Act, a law that passed in 2010 and was found constitutional by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Healthcare.gov plagued by crashes due to heavy traffic on 1st day

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Healthcare.gov plagued by crashes due to heavy traffic on 1st day 01 Oct 2013 The long-awaited opening of Obamacare was accompanied today by the long-threatened closing of the federal government. Americans began shopping online Tuesday for health insurance on the new state exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. There were major problems all over the country. Websites were slow or crashed altogether, leaving a lot of folks angry and frustrated. The president noted that by 7 a.m., more than a million people had visited the main website: www.healthcare.gov.

Edward Snowden's E-Mail Provider Defied FBI Demands to Turn Over Crypto Keys, Documents Show

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Edward Snowden's E-Mail Provider Defied FBI Demands to Turn Over Crypto Keys, Documents Show 02 Oct 2013 The U.S. government in July obtained a search warrant demanding that Edward Snowden's e-mail provider, Lavabit, turn over the private SSL keys that protected all web traffic to the site, according to to newly unsealed documents. The July 16 order came after Texas-based Lavabit refused to circumvent its own security systems to comply with earlier orders intended to monitor a particular Lavabit user's metadata, defined as "information about each communication sent or received by the account, including the date and time of the communication, the method of communication, and the source and destination of the communication." The name of the target is redacted from the unsealed records, but the offenses under investigation are listed as violations of the Espionage Act and theft of government property - the exact charges that have been filed against NSA whistleblower Snowden in the same Virginia court.

NSA Tracked Cellphone Locations In Test Project

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

NSA Tracked Cellphone Locations In Test Project 03 Oct 2013 The National Security Agency conducted a secret pilot project in 2010 and 2011 to test the collection of bulk data about the location of Americans' cellphones, but the agency never moved ahead with such a program, according to intelligence officials. The existence of the pilot project was reported on Wednesday morning by The New York Times and later confirmed by James R. Clapper, the director of national intelligence, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The project used data from cellphone towers to locate people's cellphones.

Lawyers of Boston bombing suspect: Lift his harsh prison restrictions

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Lawyers of Boston bombing suspect: Lift his harsh prison restrictions 03 Oct 2013 Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev accused the government of imposing unduly harsh restrictions on their client in a motion filed Wednesday. Tsarnaev is "in near total isolation," is banned from praying with other inmates and is allowed out of his cell only to meet with lawyers or spend short periods in an outdoor enclosure, court documents said. In their motion, his lawyers Miriam Conrad and Judy Clarke argue the measures "violate the First, Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The court therefore should declare that the SAMs [special administrative measures] are unlawful and order that they be vacated."

Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water Into Pacific

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima Leaks Radioactive Water Into Pacific 03 Oct 2013 A new leak of highly radioactive water is believed to be flowing into the Pacific Ocean from Japan's stricken nuclear plant after a storage tank overflowed. A Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) official said workers at Fukushima detected the toxic fluid dripping from the top of a tank when they were patrolling the site. Tepco estimates 430 litres of the water, which contains highly radioactive doses of strontium, has leaked outside a concrete barrier surrounding the tank.

New radioactive water leak at crippled Fukushima plant

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

New radioactive water leak at crippled Fukushima plant 03 Oct 2013 Another leak of radioactive water has been found at Fukushima, the plant's Japanese operator said Thursday, the latest setback for the troubled clean-up at the broken nuclear power station. Tokyo Electric Power said highly-polluted radioactive water, which spilled out of a storage tank as it was being filled, may have made its way out to the Pacific Ocean. The utility, whose 'efforts' to fix the mess at Fukushima have been derided as sloppy, said 430 litres (110 US gallons) with a radioactive load of up to 580,000 becquerels per litre, had leaked from one of the 450-tonne tanks because of recent typhoon-brought heavy rainfall.

Shell chief: Tapping Iran's oil and gas vital for demand

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

Shell chief: Tapping Iran's oil and gas vital for demand 02 Oct 2013 Iran, which holds the world's fourth largest proven reserves of crude oil and the second biggest deposits of natural gas, has been off limits for a decade to international oil companies since the imposition of tough international sanctions and strict investment policies imposed by the Islamic Republic. "Longer term Iran's oil and gas resources will have to be developed to meet demand," Voser said during a question and answer session at the Oil & Money energy conference in London. "Every two years we need to build a new Saudi Arabia" to meet global energy demand, he said.

BP wins reprieve over Gulf spill payouts: U.S. appeals court

October 3, 2013 by legitgov

BP wins reprieve over Gulf spill payouts: U.S. appeals court 02 Oct 2013 BP Plc won a legal reprieve in its effort to force the administrator of a settlement related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to tighten standards in assessing claims, potentially sparing the oil company billions of dollars of extra costs. A divided 5th U.S. Circuit [Kangaroo] Court of Appeals in New Orleans on Wednesday directed U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier, who in March had approved administrator Patrick Juneau's evaluation methods, to take a fresh look at which claims are legitimate. The 5th Circuit also directed Barbier to halt payments on those claims that don't meet stricter standards.

Federal court reviews legality of NYPD Muslim surveillance program

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Federal court reviews legality of NYPD Muslim surveillance program 01 Oct 2013 A federal judge on Tuesday revisited at a decades-old court settlement restricting how the New York Police Department conducts surveillance after civil rights lawyers accused the department of breaking those rules by monitoring Muslims. The dispute centers on the restrictions set by the Handschu decree, which was put in place in response to surveillance used against war protesters in the 1960s and 70s. The decree was relaxed following the September 11 terror attacks [inside job] to allow police to more freely monitor political activity in public places. "I've come to think of this case as a volcano that's asleep most of the time...but every now and then blows up," District Judge Charles Haight said at the start of a hearing in federal court in Manhattan.

Ex-PM Koizumi raps government push for nuclear power as 'irresponsible'

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Ex-PM Koizumi raps government push for nuclear power as 'irresponsible' 02 Oct 2013 Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi criticized the government’s push to restart nuclear power generation and urged it to reconsider. "It is irresponsible to pursue nuclear power when there is no permanent disposal site for radioactive waste," Koizumi said at a lecture in Nagoya. The government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has retracted its predecessor’s goal of phasing out nuclear power and opened the way for the restart of idled reactors.

F.B.I. Seizes Silk Road Website and Makes Arrest

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Shutdown government shuts down websites: F.B.I. Seizes Silk Road Website and Makes Arrest 03 Oct 2013 Federal authorities have charged a man with running Silk Road, [allegedly] a popular online black market for drugs. The Silk Road marketplace is available through Tor, a popular tool for maintaining anonymity online. The authorities identified the man as Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested by F.B.I. agents Tuesday afternoon at a library in San Francisco. Court papers filed in the case in Manhattan accuse him of engaging in a "massive money-laundering" operation and of trying to arrange a murder-for-hire.

Pentagon Spent $5 Billion on Weapons on Eve of Shutdown

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Pentagon Spent $5 Billion on Weapons on Eve of Shutdown 01 Oct 2013 The Pentagon pumped billions of dollars into contractors' bank accounts on the eve of the U.S. government's shutdown that saw 400,000 Defense Department employees furloughed. All told, the Pentagon awarded 94 contracts yesterday evening on its annual end-of-the-fiscal-year spending spree, spending more than five billion dollars on everything from robot submarines to Finnish hand grenades and a radar base mounted on an offshore oil platform. To put things in perspective, the Pentagon gave out only 14 contracts on September 3, the first workday of the month.

FDA Food Safety Inspections Suspended During Government Shutdown

October 2, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert: FDA Food Safety Inspections Suspended During Government Shutdown 01 Oct 2013 One troubling casualty of the federal government shutdown is the suspension of the Food and Drug Administration's food safety inspection program. The FDA actually oversees the safety of the vast majority of the country's food industry. And according to a memo released by the Department of Health and Human Services, the bulk of FDA food inspectors have been deemed non-essential, so will inspect few if any food facilities until Congress and the president agree on a bill to fund the federal government... The 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act requires U.S. inspectors to check almost 35,000 facilities a year, but funding has not been provided to meet that mandate. [But there's plenty of money to protect the CIA's opium routes in Afghanistan and to arm the al-Qaeda 'rebels' in Syria, though, right?]

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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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