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Adam Lanza, mom had NRA certificates

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Adam Lanza, mom had NRA certificates 28 Mar 2013 Adam Lanza, the man [allegedly] behind the massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., possessed a National Rifle Association certificate in his name, new reports say. Reuters reported that according to documents released on Thursday, police discovered NRA certificates in the name of Lanza and his mother, Nancy Lanza — whom he killed before starting the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The two reportedly frequented gun ranges together as Adam Lanza was growing up. [The same people who found Mohammed Atta's passport have found Adam Lanza's NRA certificate! --LRP]

US deploys nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over South Korea

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

US deploys nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over South Korea 28 Mar 2013 The US military has deployed two nuclear-capable B2 stealth bombers over South Korea to conduct "deterrence" mission amid escalating tension in the Korean peninsula over North Korea’s threats of attacking its neighbor and the US. The two jets flew out of Whiteman Air Force base in Missouri and dropped dummy ordnance on targets in South Korea on Thursday and completed the 13000-mile round trip in a "single continuous mission," according to a press release by the US military. "The B-2 bomber is an important element of America's enduring and robust extended deterrence capability in the Asia-Pacific region," the US statement said.

North Korea orders rockets on standby to hit US bases - state media

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

North Korea orders rockets on standby to hit US bases - state media 28 Mar 2013 Pyongyang has ordered rocket units be put on standby to fire on US bases in the South Pacific. It follows a US B-2 flyover of South Korea that saw dummy ammunition dropped as part of a joint military drill Thursday. The North Korean leader and army marshal Kim Jong Un declared that "the revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK would react to the US nuclear blackmail with a merciless nuclear attack, and war of aggression with an all-out war of justice," according to KCNA. The decree placing the Strategic Rocket Force on standby was signed following an urgent meeting of the military command early Friday morning, according to North Korean media. The plan suggests that ballistic rockets would be permanently targeted at American military installations in the Pacific, including Hawaii and Guam, as well as those in South Korea.

Striking Guantanamo Prisoners Say Water Denied

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Striking Guantanamo Prisoners Say Water Denied 27 Mar 2013 Prisoners taking part in an expanding hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay leveled new complaints about their military jailers Wednesday as a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross made a fact-finding trip to the U.S. base in Cuba. In an emergency motion filed with a federal court in Washington, lawyers say guards have refused to provide drinking water to hunger strikers and kept camp temperature "extremely frigid," to thwart the protest. A spokesman for the detention center denied the allegations. Along with their motion, they submitted an affidavit from Dr. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist and retired general, who believes that the hunger strike and lack of adequate drinking water "sets them up for gastrointestinal infections and a quick demise."

Tell USFWS to Take Emergency Action to Rescue the Mexican Gray Wolf

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Tell USFWS to Take Emergency Action to Rescue the Mexican Gray Wolf 28 Mar 2013 The Mexican gray wolf, a distinct subspecies of the gray wolf, once roamed throughout Mexico and the Southwestern United States. Today the global population of these animals is tiny -- roughly 75 individuals in the wild, and another 300 in captivity. Unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) takes immediate and dramatic action, this magnificent animal could no longer exist in the wild. (Petition)

Wisconsin man indicted in Anonymous attack of Koch Industries

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Wisconsin man indicted in Anonymous attack of Koch Industries 28 Mar 2013 A Wisconsin man could face years in federal prison if he is convicted of helping hacker collective Anonymous take down Koch Industries' website during protests in the state's capital in 2011, according to an indictment revealed this week. The charges were announced Tuesday by the U.S. attorney's office in Wichita, Kan. -- the home of Koch Industries, a $115-billion-a-year oil and manufacturing conglomerate owned by libertarian iconoclasts terrorists Charles and David Koch. Officials said Eric J. Rosol, 37, of Black Creek, Wis., participated in an Anonymous-organized shutdown of two Koch websites on Feb. 27 and 28 in 2011.

Red Cross sends delegation to Guantanamo prison a week early

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Red Cross sends delegation to Guantanamo prison a week early 27 Mar 2013 International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has sent a delegation to the United States' infamous Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba a week earlier than planned as concerns over a hunger strike grows. According to a statement released by the ICRC spokesman, Simon Schorno, on Tuesday, about a dozen ICRC representatives, including a doctor were sent to the notorious US jail. According to reports, the hunger strike by prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility has entered its 50th day. The US military says 31 of the detainees at the prison are on hunger strike.

Judge finds Illinois terrorism statute constitutional

March 28, 2013 by legitgov

Judge finds Illinois terrorism statute constitutional --Lawyer: Statute allows police and prosecutors to 'arbitrarily pick and choose' whom to charge with terrorism offenses 27 Mar 2013 A Cook County judge presiding over a criminal case stemming from last year's NATO summit in Chicago ruled today that the state's terrorism law is constitutional. Judge Thaddeus Wilson said the legislature enacted the anti-terrorism statute in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks "due to the grave nature and global reach of terrorism." The law was on solid constitutional ground, he said. Until Cook County prosecutors indicted Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly with conspiracy to commit terrorism, the state terrorism statute had been used in only one previous prosecution in Illinois since being enacted a decade earlier.

Protesters march against Chicago school closures

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Protesters march against Chicago school closures 27 Mar 2013 Hundreds of teachers, parents and other opponents marched through downtown Wednesday, vowing to fight a plan to close 54 Chicago Public Schools, despite Mayor Rahm Emanuel's comments that he's done negotiating and the closings are essentially a done deal. Emanuel and schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett say the nation's third-largest district must close dozens of schools because CPS faces a $1 billion budget shortfall and has too many schools that are half-empty and failing academically. At a rally before the march, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis called the closings "injustices" and said lawsuits are planned. Other speakers called for state and federal lawmakers to intervene.

Wyoming Judge rules chemicals used in fracking can remain 'trade secrets'

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Wyoming Judge rules chemicals used in fracking can remain 'trade secrets' 25 Mar 2013 A judge [sic] in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to obtain lists of the ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids. Environmental groups had requested the ingredient lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground. They were denied on the grounds that the lists are trade secrets that may be withheld under Wyoming's open records law. Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking has upheld the denial, ruling that the state official who withheld the information acted reasonably.

Lawyers for accused Colorado theater gunman offer guilty plea

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Lawyers for accused Colorado theater gunman offer guilty plea 27 Mar 2013 Defense attorneys for the 25-year-old man accused of killing 12 people in a shooting rampage at a Denver-area movie theater have offered to have him plead guilty in exchange for a life prison term, according to court documents filed on Wednesday. Lawyers for James Holmes said in the court papers that prosecutors have not yet responded to their offer, which would spare their client the death penalty. Holmes is scheduled to be in court on Monday for a hearing in the high-profile case.

FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as 'Top Priority' for 2013

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

FBI Pursuing Real-Time Gmail Spying Powers as 'Top Priority' for 2013 26 Mar 2013 Despite the pervasiveness of law enforcement surveillance of digital communication, the FBI still has a difficult time monitoring Gmail, Google Voice, and Dropbox in real time. But that may change soon, because the bureau says it has made gaining more powers to wiretap all forms of Internet conversation and cloud storage a "top priority" this year. Last week, during a talk for the American Bar Association in Washington, D.C., FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann discussed some of the pressing surveillance and national security issues facing the bureau.

Protesters successfully shut down California Monsanto office

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Protesters successfully shut down California Monsanto office 21 Mar 2013 A recent two-day protest in Northern California against genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) led to the complete shutdown of a Monsanto corporate office for an entire day, according to reports. On Friday, March 16, 2012, activists affiliated with the 'Global Days of Action to Shut Down Monsanto' began rallying in front of the Davis, Calif., office of Monsanto, where they held up banners, gave speeches, and set up tents in front of the Monsanto building on Fifth Street, which caused the biotech giant to shutter its operations.

Supreme Court indicates it may strike down marriage law

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Supreme Court indicates it may strike down marriage law 27 Mar 2013 A majority of Supreme Court justices on Wednesday indicated they could be inclined to strike down a law that denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, a move that would reflect the evolving nationwide sea change in attitudes to gay marriage. As a packed courtroom listened attentively on a second day of arguments on gay marriage, Justice Anthony Kennedy, a potential swing vote, warned of a "real risk" that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) infringes on the traditional role of the states in defining marriage. A conservative, Kennedy is viewed as a key vote on this issue in part because he has twice authored decisions in the past that were viewed as favorable to gay rights.

FBI to monitor online chats in real-time by 2014

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

FBI to monitor online chats in real-time by 2014 27 Mar 2013 The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't have the ability to monitor everyone's one-on-one Internet chats in real-time just yet, but the agency's chief lawyer says all that should soon change. FBI general counsel Andrew Weissman discussed the Justice Department's power to put pressure on cyber-criminals during an address last week at the National Press Club in Washington, and during the engagement he opened up about what exactly the country’s top domestic police patrol wants in their bag of tricks: By the years' end, the attorney says the FBI hopes to be able to snoop on conversations that occur over the Web by gaining access to up-to-the-second feeds of seemingly secretive chats.

Judge approves redaction of details in Lanza search warrants

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Judge approves redaction of details in Lanza search warrants 27 Mar 2013 A Superior Court judge approved a prosecutor's request Wednesday to redact details from search warrant applications related to the investigation of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. In several motions made public Wednesday, Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky had asked Superior Court Judge John Blawie to consider redacting the name of a "citizen witness" who is referred to in various parts of the search warrant applications for Nancy Lanza's house and a car. It's unclear whether Sedensky is referring to more than one witness. The state's attorney also requested the omission of serial numbers for several items that were seized by investigators from the Lanza home at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, as well as phone numbers and credit card numbers that were related to the case. [See also: Sandy Hook Shooting 'Oddities'.]

US troops will stay in Afghanistan to support local forces, Allen insists

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

US troops will stay in Afghanistan to support local forces, Allen insists --Recently retired general says reports of 'zero option' are untrue and expects US and allies to stick in Afghanistan for long haul [to secure the CIA's opium and gas routes] 26 Mar 2013 The US and its allies will retain a presence in Afghanistan big enough to bolster Afghan forces after the withdrawal of international combat troops at the end of 2014, the recently retired commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, said on Monday. Speaking in Washington, Allen said he had never been asked to produce a report on the so-called "zero option" - the suggestion that no American troops would remain after the 2014 deadline, floated by one White House adviser in January. Instead, Allen said that he expected that Obama would approve a force that would be commensurate with ensuring that the Afghan security forces Blackwater terrorists could be properly supported.

Guantanamo hunger strike grows; 3 captives hospitalized

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Guantanamo hunger strike grows; 3 captives hospitalized 25 Mar 2013 Navy medical staff at Guantanamo counted 28 of the 166 war-on-terror captives as Pentagon-defined "hunger strikers," the prison said Monday, reporting an increase over the weekend that included three men being treated at the prison hospital. A total of 10 of the hunger strikers were getting liquid nutrition, which under prison camp protocol is fed to a captive who's been shackled into a restraint chair and had a feeding tube snaked up his nose into his stomach. The three at the hospital were receiving tube feedings and intravenous drips, said Navy Capt. Robert Durand, the detention center spokesman who on Friday reported 26 hunger strikers, eight on tube feedings and two hospitalized.

Taliban suicide bombers kill five Afghan police as Kerry visits Kabul

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Taliban suicide bombers kill five Afghan police as Kerry visits Kabul 26 Mar 2013 Taliban suicide bombers killed at least five policemen in Afghanistan's east on Tuesday, officials said, in a three-hour attack that coincided with a visit to the country by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. The pre-dawn attack took place on a police compound in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan's largest city. One attacker detonated an explosive-laden car at the entrance of the Afghan National Police compound in a bid to let other attackers inside, provincial police chief Amin Sharif said. "Three suicide bombers triggered their explosive vests and five were shot dead," he told Reuters, adding that five policemen were killed and four wounded.

North Korea orders artillery to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

North Korea orders artillery to be combat ready, targeting U.S. bases 26 Mar 2013 North Korea said on Tuesday its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units have been ordered to be combat ready, targeting U.S. military bases on Guam, Hawaii and mainland America after U.S. bombers flew sorties threatening the North. The order, issued in a statement from the North's military "supreme command", marks the latest fiery rhetoric from Pyongyang since the start of joint military drills by U.S. and South Korean forces early this month. South Korea's defense ministry said it saw no sign of imminent military action by North Korea.

Sandy Hook details to be released

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Sandy Hook details to be released 26 Mar 2013 More details about the Sandy Hook investigation are scheduled to be released by the Chief's State's Attorney Thursday. Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane will release parts of the Sandy Hook investigation on Thursday morning, but his office says neither he, nor the Danbury State's Attorney in charge of the case will do any interviews. Whether or not there will be any information beyond that released to out-of-state law enforcement by Connecticut State Police Col. Danny Stebbins is unknown at this point.

5 Police Officers Killed in Bomb Attack in Afghanistan

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

5 Police Officers Killed in Bomb Attack in Afghanistan 27 Mar 2013 Eight suicide bombers stormed the headquarters of a special unit of the Afghan police in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Tuesday morning, killing five officers and wounding four. The assault began around 5 a.m. when a car bomb exploded near the entry gate of the compound, said Maj. Gen. Mohammed Sharif Khan, the police chief of Nangarhar Province. The blast was followed by another car bomb just inside the gate, which cleared the way for the insurgents to enter with suicide vests and weapons. Five civilians were also wounded in the assault, which ended shortly after 7 a.m.

US-led soldier killed in militant attack in southern Afghanistan

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

US-led soldier killed in militant attack in southern Afghanistan 26 Mar 2013 A US-led soldier serving with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has died from wounds he suffered during a Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan. The British Ministry of Defense announced on Tuesday that British soldier from 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment was injured in the Nad-e Ali area of Helmand province on Monday. It said the soldier was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday.

Bomb threat empties the University of Texas at El Paso campus

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Bomb threat empties the University of Texas at El Paso campus 26 Mar 2013 More than 15,000 students and faculty members were evacuated today from the University of Texas at El Paso as a result of an anonymous bomb threat. At 1:58 p.m. the UTEP Police Department issued a text message and an e-mail alerting everyone enrolled in the Miner Alert System to evacuate the campus. UTEP Police Chief Cliff Walsh would not disclose any details about the ongoing investigation, except that it was initiated by a phone call and the proper precautionary steps were taken as a response to the threat.

President Obama names Julia Pierson to head Secret Service

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

President Obama names Julia Pierson to head Secret Service 26 Mar 2013 A year after the U.S. Secret Service was embroiled in a prostitution scandal, President Obama on Tuesday named a high-ranking career employee to become its first female director. Julia A. Pierson, a veteran of the agency's Miami and Orlando, Fla., field offices, currently serves as chief of staff of the law enforcement agency best known for protecting the U.S. president. She will replace Mark Sullivan, who last month announced his retirement.

Bomb-making materials found in Colo. suspect's car

March 27, 2013 by legitgov

Bomb-making materials found in Colo. suspect's car --Texas investigators also found bloody clothes, surveillance cameras and prison documents in car of a man tied to slaying of prisons chief. 26 Mar 2013 Bombmaking materials, bloody clothes, surveillance equipment and Colorado prison documents were found in the 1991 Cadillac driven by the paroled convict suspected of having slain the state's corrections chief at his home a week ago, according to evidence made public Tuesday. The suspect, Evan Ebel, died Thursday after a harrowing chase and gunfight with Texas authorities. Colorado authorities announced Monday that ballistics tests confirmed that the 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol Ebel fired in North Texas was also used in the March 19 killing of Tom Clements, who headed Colorado prisons.

'Monsanto Protection Act' slips silently through US Congress

March 26, 2013 by legitgov

'Monsanto Protection Act' slips silently through US Congress 26 Mar 2013 The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week - including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks. The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the "Monsanto Protection Act," as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns. The provision, also decried as a "biotech rider," should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown [that Obama signed]. [Hungary got rid of Monsanto by 'burning and booting.' First, farmers burned Monsanto's poisonous crops to the ground. Then, the people kicked Monsanto out of the country. 'Burn and boot.' That's how they roll in Hungary. --LRP]

Duke tells NRC risk of Jocassee Dam failure isn't credible

March 26, 2013 by legitgov

Duke tells NRC risk of Jocassee Dam failure isn't credible --Company discusses its post-Fukushima study with nuclear agency 26 Mar 2013 Duke Energy's newest Jocassee Dam flooding hazard study, ordered by regulators after Japan's nuclear disaster two years ago, shows that the company doesn't consider a failure of the massive structure upstream from the Oconee Nuclear Station a credible risk. Duke discussed details of its post-Fukushima study submitted to the NRC earlier this month on Monday, in a public meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in Maryland -- though the study itself is not public. While not impossible, Duke officials said, neither earthquake nor lake levels overtopping the massive, 385-foot structure threaten public safety.

Expert says 10,000 'extremist' websites on the web

March 26, 2013 by legitgov

Expert says 10,000 'extremist' websites on the web 26 Mar 2013 There are more than 10,000 extremist websites on the Internet compared to fewer than 100 countering them, an analyst Tuesday told a conference which stressed the need to rebut militant propaganda. "In many ways, the terrorists are very successful in cyberspace," said counter-terrorism analyst Rohan Gunaratna, who heads the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media are increasingly being exploited to spread extremist views, and moderate religious leaders and governments must keep pace to counter their arguments, they said.

In Miami case, U.S. Supreme Court limits use drug-sniffing police dogs outside homes

March 26, 2013 by legitgov

In Miami case, U.S. Supreme Court limits use drug-sniffing police dogs outside homes 26 Mar 2013 The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a Florida high court ruling limiting the use of drug-sniffing police dogs outside homes. The Florida Supreme Court in April 2011 had ruled that Miami-Dade police violated a man's right to privacy when they used a police dog outside the front door without a search warrant... U.S. Justice Antonin Scalia, writing the majority opinion, said that the use of police dogs outside a person's home indeed constitutes "a search" under the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures.

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