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Military struggles to regulate information on Afghanistan suspect

March 21, 2012 by legitgov

Military struggles to regulate information on Afghanistan suspect 19 Mar 2012 For nearly a week, the military kept a lid of secrecy over the Army soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord suspected of killing 16 Afghan villagers. At the base south of Tacoma, officials cautioned Army families in his unit to stay quiet and admonished the press to respect their privacy. At the Pentagon, senior officials leaked selected details of the soldier's background even as they removed links to public-affairs articles that detailed some of his experiences in Iraq and his involvement in a training exercise in Afghanistan. But as the week wore on, the Defense Department began to lose control of the flow of information about the suspect...

Army threatens to fire whistleblower for talking to McClatchy

March 21, 2012 by legitgov

Army threatens to fire whistleblower for talking to McClatchy 19 Mar 2012 The military's embattled crime lab is trying to fire an outspoken whistleblower who's spotlighted its problems. Earlier this month, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory warned its firearms branch chief, Donald Mikko, in a memo of its plans to fire him, in part for talking to a McClatchy reporter. As part of an internal investigation, Mikko was interrogated for about four hours and questioned about his contacts with McClatchy, according to his attorney Peter Lown. The Army Criminal Investigation Command, which oversees the lab, launched the inquiry after McClatchy published a story late last year about the lab losing evidence.

U.S. Exempts Japan, 10 EU Nations From Iran Oil Sanctions

March 21, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Exempts Japan, 10 EU Nations From Iran Oil Sanctions 20 Jan 2012 The Obama administration won't impose sanctions on Japan and 10 European Union nations that have "significantly" cut back their imports of Iranian oil this year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said. The U.S. didn't grant exemptions today to China, the top importer of Iranian crude in the first half of last year, or to India and South Korea, the No. 3 and No. 4 buyers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fla. grand jury to investigate shooting of unarmed teen

March 21, 2012 by legitgov

Fla. grand jury to investigate shooting of unarmed teen 20 Mar 2012 Florida State Attorney Norm Wolfinger said Tuesday his office will convene a grand jury in central Florida to investigate the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager who was killed Feb. 26 in a gated community by a neighborhood watch captain [sociopath]. Mr. Wolfinger, in a statement, said he shared the desire of the family of the slain youth, Trayvon Martin, and the community to accurately collect and evaluate all the facts surrounding what he described as "the tragic death" of the teenager. He said the Seminole County, Fla., grand jury will be called into session in the matter on April 10.

Heads Up: NORAD Conducting Calibration Flights Beginning Tuesday

March 21, 2012 by legitgov

Heads Up: NORAD Conducting Calibration Flights Beginning Tuesday [Let's hope they don't 'go live,' as they did on 9/11.] 20 Mar 2012 The North American Aerospace Defense Commend will conduct calibration flights beginning Tuesday, March 20, and ending Friday, March 23, in the D.C. area. The flights are said to enhance NORAD response capability, and will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the rest of the week. NORAD says four small radio controlled models and four Light Sport Air crafts between 150 and 3000 feet above ground level in patterns. The radio controlled models will only fly in restricted airspace near Quantico.

US Lawmakers Reject Pakistani Calls to End Drone Strikes

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

US Lawmakers Reject Pakistani Calls to End Drone Strikes 20 Mar 2012 American lawmakers are rejecting renewed calls by Pakistan for an end to U.S.-sponsored drone strikes in the country. Tuesday, a Pakistani government commission demanded an end to U.S. military strikes conducted by unmanned, remote-controlled aircraft known as drones. Pakistan has long complained that drone attacks are a violation of national sovereignty.

Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

Job seekers getting asked for Facebook passwords 20 Mar 2012 In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around. "It's akin to requiring someone's house keys," said Orin Kerr, a George Washington University law professor and former federal prosecutor who calls it "an egregious privacy violation." Questions have been raised about the legality of the practice, which is also the focus of proposed legislation in Illinois and Maryland that would forbid public agencies from asking for access to social networks.

Pakistan seeks unconditional apology on Nato attack, end to drone attacks

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

Pakistan seeks unconditional apology on Nato attack, end to drone attacks 20 Mar 2012 Pakistani lawmakers have opened a debate on the terms of the nation's re-engagement with the United States after ties were all but severed following deadly American air-strikes on Pakistani troops in November. The Joint Session of the Parliament began in Islamabad Tuesday with Chairman Senate Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari in the chair... The panel recommended that "Pakistan should seek an unconditional apology from the US for the unprovoked incident" and said "taxes and other charges must be levied on all goods importing in or transiting through Pakistan". The committee also called for cessation of drone attacks inside the territorial borders of Pakistan and reiterated the country's commitment to the elimination of terrorism and combating extremism.

Polish police confiscate $100 million in fake US treasury bonds

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

Polish police confiscate $100 million in fake US treasury bonds 20 Mar 2012 The Polish police say they have confiscated counterfeit US treasury bonds worth 100 million dollars. "Yesterday afternoon agents of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau apprehended an international group consisting of eight people... This group attempted to put counterfeit US treasury bonds worth 100 million US dollars on the market here in Poland," Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) said in a statement issued on Monday. "This is the largest operation ever of its kind in Poland and involves the largest amount of US treasury bonds," the CBA added.

U.S. Department of Justice, FBI and FDLE to probe Trayvon Martin killing

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Department of Justice, FBI and FDLE to probe Trayvon Martin killing --Mounting pressure in Trayvon Martin case succeeds in prompting a federal probe 19 Mar 2012 The U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division and the FBI will investigate the killing of Miami Gardens teenager Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer, the department announced late Monday. The federal and state agencies are intervening in what attorneys call a botched investigation into the killing of the Michael Krop Senior High School student, who was killed Feb. 26 in Sanford, a town of 55,000 just north of Orlando.

FBI eyes case where unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin killed in gated community

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

FBI eyes case where unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin killed in gated community 19 Mar 2012 The FBI said on Sunday they were in contact with local police investigating the killing of a black teenager last month by a neighborhood watch volunteer in a gated Florida community, an incident that has raised alarm among civil rights leaders. On Feb. 26, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed as he walked through a gated neighborhood, where he was visiting family. George Zimmerman, 28, who is white, has said he shot Martin in self-defense. Police in Sanford, Florida, about 32 km north of Orlando, have not charged Zimmerman.

Dutch Authorities Detect Bird Flu at Turkey Farm in Limburg

March 20, 2012 by legitgov

Dutch Authorities Detect Bird Flu at Turkey Farm in Limburg 18 Mar 2012 Dutch authorities will cull 42,7000 fowl today after a variant of the H5 avian influenza was found at a turkey farm in Kelpen-Oler in Limburg, the Netherlands. Authorities are investigating whether the strain is low or highly pathogenic, the government said in a statement last night.

Missouri National Guard sergeant tied to Nazism is fired

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

Missouri National Guard sergeant tied to Nazism is fired --'Although he lost his state position, Wooten is still a National Guard member.' 18 Mar 2012 Former co-workers say Nathan Wooten is a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who had a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his living room, tried to recruit others to the cause and named his son after a notorious leader of the German SS. Until last week, Wooten also was a Missouri National Guard sergeant whose full-time state job was serving as part of a state military honor guard that pays last respects at the funerals of Missouri veterans, many of whom fought against Hitler in World War II. On Friday, as the Post-Dispatch was about to publish a story about the state's lack of action on co-workers' complaints filed against Wooten nearly a year ago, a Missouri National Guard spokeswoman notified the newspaper that Wooten had been fired from his state job.

Israel Ministry Of Defence in CLG website logs

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

Israel Ministry Of Defence in CLG website logs --CLG Sunshine Project update 19 Mar 2012 The Israel Ministry Of Defence accessed the CLG website on 19 March. From the CLG website logs: 195.160.240.11 -- [19/Mar/2012:03:11:17 -0400] "GET /More-half-RAF-drone-strikes-Afghanistan-not-reported-publicly HTTP/1.1" 11.mod.gov.il ptr. (etc.) 195.160.240.11 - 195.160.240.0/22 - Israel Ministry Of Defence - MOD-AS Israel Ministry Of Defence. [On the upside, that means less time the IDF can spend killing Palestinians and sending the Stuxnet virus to countries Israel doesn't like! See also: CLG Sunshine Project.]

Leveson inquiry: NotW hired special forces to track police

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

Leveson inquiry: NotW hired special forces to track police 19 Mar 2012 The News of the World hired former special forces soldiers to follow a police surveillance team tracking a suspect in the 2006 Ipswich prostitute murders, the Leveson Inquiry heard today. Dave Harrison, a retired officer with the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), said the newspaper jeopardised the official investigation into the killings. He told the inquiry: "If our surveillance had been weakened by having to try and avoid other surveillance teams looking for us, if we had lost the subject, he may have gone and committed further murders because we were dealing with something else." In December 2006, Suffolk Police asked Soca to provide surveillance officers to follow suspects in the then-unsolved murders of five women working as prostitutes in Ipswich, the hearing was told.

'Three dead' in shooting at Jewish school in France

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

'Three dead' in shooting at Jewish school in France --The city is said to be in lockdown as police hunt the gunman. 19 Mar 2012 A man on a motorbike has opened fire outside a Jewish school in France, killing one adult and two children, a police source has said. At least five more people were injured in the attack, which occurred as students were arriving for morning classes at the Ozar Hatorah school, a city official told Reuters. Toulouse prosecutor Michel Valet told the Associated Press there were "several dead" in the shooting.

Chevron executives barred from leaving Brazil over spill

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

Chevron executives barred from leaving Brazil over spill 17 Mar 2012 A Brazilian court on Saturday barred 17 executives from Chevron and Transocean from leaving Brazil, pending criminal charges related to a high-profile oil spill last November. A federal judge in Rio de Janeiro state granted a request from prosecutors who are pressing for charges against both firms, a spokesman for prosecutor Eduardo Oliveira said in a phone interview. George Buck, who heads Chevron's Brazil unit, and the other 16 executives must turn in their passports to the police within 24 hours, the spokesman said. [Awesome!]

Fukushima Face Decades of Tainted Crops

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

Fukushima Face Decades of Tainted Crops 18 Mar 2012 Farmers in Japan's Fukushima face years of additional losses as consumers continue to doubt the safety of produce from the region devastated a year ago by nuclear fallout, which may taint crops for decades. Almost 100,000 farmers lost about 58 billion yen ($694 million) by March 1, or 25 percent of production, according to JA, the country's biggest agricultural group. Inadequate testing by the government of rice, milk and fish from the region has prompted consumers to leave them on supermarket shelves and instead select produce from other regions or from overseas.

McCain suggests US not to quit Afghan war

March 19, 2012 by legitgov

McCain suggests US not to quit Afghan war 19 Mar 2012 Republican Senator John McCain has suggested that Washington has no intention of leaving Afghanistan -- where it has been waging a so-called war on terror for more than a decade. McCain, a vociferous supporter of a large and long-drawn-out US military presence in Afghanistan, told NBC television's Meet the Press program on Sunday that the occupation of Afghanistan was "succeeding" and Washington should not leave the country. He criticized US President Barack Obama for setting 2014 as the deadline for the American withdrawal.

Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness (whitehouse.gov) 16 Mar 2012 Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads: (1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer; (2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy; (3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources; (4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation; (5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and (6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials. [Start reading.]

Afghan government questions one-soldier role in massacre

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan government questions one-soldier role in massacre 17 Mar 2012 The US soldier who allegedly shot dead 16 Afghan civilians in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar, have been repatriated to a US military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Sergeant Robert Bales has been accused of opening fire on Afghan civilians on March 11th in Kandahar's Panjwaii district. It has been alleged he entered homes to shoot dead at least 17 people, mostly women and children. Several others were injured in the incident which has recently been under scrutiny by the Afghan parliament. A fact-finding mission in that country has been trying to determine whether other US soldiers were involved.

Scores Arrested as the Police Clear Zuccotti Park

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Scores Arrested as the Police Clear Zuccotti Park 17 Mar 2012 Scores of Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested on Saturday night as police officers swept Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan and closed it. Dozens of demonstrators sat down and locked arms as officers moved in about 11:30 p.m. The operation occurred after hundreds of people had gathered in the financial district to observe the founding of Occupy Wall Street six months ago... At one point, a woman who appeared to be suffering from seizures flopped on the ground in handcuffs as bystanders shouted for the police to remove the cuffs and provide medical attention.

Occupy protest anniversary ends with police sweep

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Occupy protest anniversary ends with police sweep 18 Mar 2012 Protesters chanted and cheered down Wall Street to mark six months of the Occupy movement, ending the day with a police confrontation and numerous arrests at the park where the demonstrations against economic inequality began. Police declared Zuccotti Park closed Saturday night, and more than 100 officers swept through the excited crowd. At least one person was injured during the sweep, police said.

Honeybee die-offs linked to insecticide, study says

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Honeybee die-offs linked to insecticide, study says 17 Mar 2012 A newly published study draws a stronger link between mass die-offs of honeybees and an insecticide widely used on corn. The study sheds more light on the worrisome phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees play a critical role in the pollination of crops, and thus a threat to bee colonies can potentially affect entire ecosystems. The latest study, conducted by Italian researchers at the University of Padova and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, focuses on a class of pesticides known as neonicotinoids.

Report: US sent detainees to Afghan prisons known for torture despite moratorium

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

Report: US sent detainees to Afghan prisons known for torture despite moratorium 17 Mar 2012 A report released Saturday by two rights groups says the U.S. sent some detainees to Afghan prisons where torture was found despite an announced moratorium on such moves. The report by the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the New York-based Open Society Institute suggests that Afghanistan's international allies are still failing to ensure that people captured on the battlefield are treated humanely despite a massive reform program in recent months.

UK teenager arrested for anti-war Facebook post

March 18, 2012 by legitgov

UK teenager arrested for anti-war Facebook post 17 Mar 2012 A British teenager has been arrested and is expected to appear in a UK court after he posted about the injustice of the occupation of Afghanistan on his Facebook page. Following the deaths of six UK soldiers in Afghanistan earlier this month, Azhar Ahmed from Ravensthrope left his comment on the social networking site in order to indicate the hypocrisy of praising the UK soldiers, while thousands of Afghan civilians killed at the hand of Western troops who have occupied the country for over ten years claiming to protect the civilians.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to run for Australian Senate

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to run for Australian Senate 17 Mar 2012 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is planning to run for election to the Australian Senate. Mr Assange, an Australian citizen, is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations. He strongly denies the claims, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of confidential documents on the internet. The whistle-blowing website said it appeared that Mr Assange's current legal situation did not rule him out of running for Australia's upper house.

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan 17 Mar 2012 The military on Friday identified the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers earlier this week as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a 38-year-old father of two who had been injured twice in combat over the course of four deployments and had, his lawyer said, an exemplary military record. The release of Sergeant Bales's name, first reported by Fox News, ended an extraordinary six-day blackout of public information about him from the Pentagon, which said it had withheld his identity so long because of concerns about his and his family's security. An official said on Friday that Sergeant Bales was being transferred from Kuwait to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home of the Army's maximum security prison.

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Identifies Army Sergeant in Killing of 16 in Afghanistan 17 Mar 2012 The military on Friday identified the soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers earlier this week as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a 38-year-old father of two who had been injured twice in combat over the course of four deployments and had, his lawyer said, an exemplary military record. The release of Sergeant Bales's name, first reported by Fox News, ended an extraordinary six-day blackout of public information about him from the Pentagon, which said it had withheld his identity so long because of concerns about his and his family's security. An official said on Friday that Sergeant Bales was being transferred from Kuwait to Fort Leavenworth, Kan., home of the Army's maximum security prison.

Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe

March 17, 2012 by legitgov

Up to 20 US troops executed Panjwai massacre: probe --Lawmaker: Attack lasted one hour involving two groups of American soldiers in the middle of the night on Sunday 15 Mar 2012 A parliamentary probe team on Thursday said up to 20 American troops were involved in Sunday's killing of 16 civilians in southern Kandahar province. The team spent two days in the province, interviewing the bereaved families, tribal elders, survivors and collecting evidence at the site in Panjwai district. Hamidzai Lali, a probe delegation lawmaker, told Pajhwok Afghan News that their investigation showed there were 15 to 20 American soldiers who executed the brutal killings.

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