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BP wins delay of Gulf spill trial until 2013

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

BP wins delay of Gulf spill trial until 2013 --US, Gulf Coast states sought summer 2012 trial 03 May 2012 A trial to assign blame and damages that could total tens of billions of dollars for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been put off until January, in a setback for the U.S. government, which wanted to try its case this summer. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans on Thursday scheduled a trial for Jan. 14, 2013, more than 10 months after it had originally been scheduled. The decision means the federal government and Gulf Coast states, which also wanted a summer trial, may have to wait longer to recover money from BP Plc and its drilling partners.

Russia's military threatens preemptive strike if NATO goes ahead with missile plan

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Russia's military threatens preemptive strike if NATO goes ahead with missile plan 03 May 2012 Russia's top military officer has threatened to carry out a pre-emptive strike on U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if Washington goes ahead with its controversial plan to build a missile shield. President Dmitry Medvedev said last year that Russia will retaliate militarily if it does not reach an agreement with the United States and NATO on the missile defense system. Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov went even further Thursday. "A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens," he said at an international conference attended by senior U.S. and NATO officials.

Two British soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Two British soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan 04 May 2012 Two British soldiers, from the Royal Logistic Corps, have died in southern Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed. The soldiers, who were attached to 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Battlegroup, were killed in an enemy mortar rocket attack on their base in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province.

Security Plan Shuts Down Roads, South Loop For NATO Summit Weekend

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Security Plan Shuts Down Roads, South Loop For NATO Summit Weekend 04 May 2012 A large security zone around McCormick Place will be off limits to Chicagoans, and the Museum Campus, Lake Shore Drive and several major expressways and streets will be shut down before or during the NATO Summit, under a plan revealed on Friday. All of this comes on top of a large restricted air space zone above the city. Anybody violating that airspace could be shot down. Metra and South Shore commuters will be able to ride the trains that run under McCormick Place. They may be subject to TSA-style pat downs and screenings and they can expect delays for security sweeps.

Summit Could Mean Airport-Style Security on Metra Electric, South Shore Trains

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Summit Could Mean Airport-Style Security on Metra Electric, South Shore Trains --Commuters would face patdowns, X-ray screenings, and long security lines at their stations before boarding trains. 03 May 2012 Some stations on the Metra Electric Line and South Shore Line could be shut down during the upcoming NATO summit, and passengers at other stations could face airport-style security screenings, due to the Secret Service security plan that could be released as soon as Friday afternoon. The Secret Service has been battling with Metra and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District over the security measures that will be needed on the Electric and South Shore lines, which both run directly under McCormick Place. The commuter rail agencies are still in talks with the Secret Service over major security measures for passengers, including airport-style screening of all riders during the summit.

Shoot-to-Kill Order to Enforce No-Fly Zone During NATO Summit

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Shoot-to-Kill Order to Enforce No-Fly Zone During NATO Summit 03 May 2012 Plans to keep residents and dignitaries 'safe' during the NATO Summit include a no-fly zone, with a shoot-to-kill warning for those who break the ban. As CBS 2 reports, the US government is informing small plane pilots that if they enter the no-fly zone during the summit, they might be shot down. This is no joke. It will be enforced for May 19 to May 21. The flight advisory was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. The advisory bans non-commercial aircraft from flying within 10 nautical miles of downtown Chicago at altitudes below 18,000 feet.

Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood

May 5, 2012 by legitgov

Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood 04 May 2012 A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments. A three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed Friday with a lower court that there's sufficient evidence the state's law preventing Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women's Health Program is unconstitutional. The program provides basic health care and contraception to 130,000 poor women.

FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites -- now

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites -- now [Great! It'll be much easier for Anonymous to get in there and *take the ____ers down!*] 04 May 2012 The FBI is asking Internet companies not to oppose a controversial proposal that would require firms, including Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, and Google, to build in backdoors for government surveillance. In meetings with industry representatives, the White House, and U.S. senators, senior FBI officials argue the dramatic shift in communication from the telephone system to the Internet has made it far more difficult for agents to wiretap Americans suspected of illegal activities, CNET has learned. The FBI general counsel's office has drafted a proposed law that the bureau claims is the best solution: requiring that social-networking Web sites and providers of VoIP, instant messaging, and Web e-mail alter their code to ensure their products are wiretap-friendly. [How's that hopey and changey workin' for 'ya?]

Justice Department sought 1,745 secret warrants in 2011

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

Justice Department sought 1,745 secret warrants in 2011 03 May 2012 The Justice Department made 1,745 requests to a secret court for authority to wiretap or search for evidence in terrorism and espionage investigations last year. That's according to an April 30 letter from the department to the Senate that was first reported Thursday by the Federation of American Scientists. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which meets in secret to hear classified evidence from government attorneys, did not reject any of the requests, though judges did require modifications to 30 requests. It was an increase over 2010, when the department made 1,579 requests.

Anonymous Hackers Target Activision CEO After 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' Trailer Insult

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous Hackers Target Activision CEO After 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' Trailer Insult 04 May 2012 Members of the online hacktivist collective known as "Anonymous," are targeting Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg after the trailer for upcoming videogame "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" implied that Anonymous hackers would be the game's enemy. Members of Anonymous have already found Hirshberg's personal information and published it online on text-sharing website AnonPaste. The message begins by accusing Activision of opening itself up to attack from Anonymous: "So Activision Why you done goofed? We are not the enemy but, well you want it you got it. Eric Hirshberg DOX. #OpPirateAllActivision."

Rare and virulent bacteria strain kills San Francisco VA lab worker

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

Rare and virulent bacteria strain kills San Francisco VA lab worker --Man was working with fellow researchers to develop vaccine for bacterial strain that causes septicemia and meningitis 03 May 2012 State and federal health officials are investigating how a rare and virulent bacteria strain appears to have killed a young researcher at a VA hospital's infectious diseases lab in San Francisco, setting off alarms that the man's friends and fellow researchers may have also been exposed. The 25-year-old laboratory researcher at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center died Saturday morning shortly after asking friends to take him to the hospital. For the week and months before his death, he had been handling bacteria linked to deadly bloodstream infections at the VA hospital's Northern California Institute for Research and Education, said Peter Melton, a spokesman for the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Military commanders warned to get troops in line

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

Military commanders warned to get troops in line 03 My 2012 Military leaders are telling commanders to get their troops in line and refrain from misconduct such as urinating on enemy corpses, in a sharp response to the tasteless photos and other disturbing examples of bad behavior war crimes that have enraged Afghans and complicated war-fighting. The broader message to shore up discipline in the ranks was expected to be underscored by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in remarks Friday at Fort Benning, Ga. The Army and Marine Corps chiefs have focused on discipline in recent talks to midlevel commanders around the country.

MI6 Codebreaker Attended U.S. Security Conference Before His Death

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

MI6 Codebreaker Attended U.S. Security Conference Before His Death 03 May 2012 A top British codebreaker who died a mysterious death in his flat two years ago had just returned from a computer security conference in the United States before his death, according to information disclosed during an inquest this week. The body of Gareth Williams, a codebreaker with Britain’s MI6 spy agency, was discovered stuffed into a sports bag in his bathtub on Aug. 23, 2010, though he's believed to have been killed Aug. 15. Williams had just returned to London on Aug. 11 after spending six weeks in the United States, where he attended the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas as part of a contingent of British spies, according to witnesses who spoke at the inquest.

Parliament gives up on hunt for Toews's 'Anonymous' tormentor

May 4, 2012 by legitgov

Parliament gives up on hunt for Toews's 'Anonymous' tormentor [<g>] 02 May 2012 Public Safety Minister Vic Toews's right as a parliamentarian to do his job free from intimidation and threats was violated by a series of online videos, a Commons committee has concluded, but it won't be Parliament that seeks the identity of the minister's antagonist. Instead, the RCMP will continue to digitally track the person or people behind the videos, posted by the online hacker community known as Anonymous in the wake of the government's tabling of its controversial online surveillance bill. But the committee included a warning to parliamentarians in its report released Wednesday: don't think this won't happen again. [Bet on it.]

Anonymous, LulzSec Case In U.S. Expanded By Feds

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous, LulzSec Case In U.S. Expanded By Feds --Expanded indictment against Anonymous, LulzSec leaders now includes [hero] Jeremy Hammond, accused of masterminding hacktivist attacks against Arizona police and Stratfor websites 03 May 2012 A federal grand jury has handed down a superseding indictment in the case against alleged LulzSec and Anonymous leaders that adds a sixth person to the list of people charged. The revised indictment now lists Jeremy Hammond (a.k.a. Anarchaos, burn, POW, ghost, and anarchaker, amongst other aliases) as a defendant, and accuses him of participating in LulzSec and Anonymous hacks involving the websites of the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), as well as Stratfor (a.k.a. Strategic Forecasting). An arraignment date for Hammond has yet to be scheduled. [Free Jeremy Hammond!]

Two US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

Two US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan 03 May 2012 Two US-led soldiers with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) have been killed in Afghanistan. A statement from the Western military alliance published on Wednesday said that one of the soldiers was killed in an IED blast in the eastern part of the war torn country. Most foreign troops in the region are American.

U.S.-Afghan pact 'does not rule out drone strikes'

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

U.S.-Afghan pact 'does not rule out drone strikes' 02 May 2012 The pact between the United States and Afghanistan could leave the door open for continued drone strikes against insurgent targets [AND civilians, US citizens] in Pakistan after 2014, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker indicated Wednesday. "There is nothing in this agreement that precludes the right of self-defense for either party and if there are attacks from the territory of any state aimed at us we have the inherent right of self defense and will employ it," he said. Crocker was responding to a question about controversial drone strikes on Taliban and 'Al-Qaeda' targets in Pakistan at a briefing on the deal signed in Kabul overnight by U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai.

Afghanistan security deal Obama signed has holes

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan security deal Obama signed has holes 03 May 2012 The 10-year security compact that President Barack Obama signed with Afghan President Hamid Karzai contains promises the United States and Afghanistan cannot guarantee they will keep, and loopholes for both nations. The deal signed Tuesday also allows either nation to walk away on a year's notice... The agreement does not preclude U.S. military and intelligence units from sharing space at Afghan bases, but if honored would prevent the United States from launching any future strike on Iran from inside Afghanistan.

Unmasked: Meet The FBI's Bridge Bomb Plot Snitch

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

Unmasked: Meet The FBI's Bridge Bomb Plot Snitch 02 May 2012 The paid informant who helped orchestrate the FBI sting that resulted in the arrest of five anarchists for allegedly plotting to blow up an Ohio bridge is a convicted felon who was arrested on bad check and theft charges in the midst of his cooperation with federal investigators, The Smoking Gun has learned. Shaquille Azir, 39, was named in a pair of felony indictments filed in January in Cuyahoga County, according to court records. Azir "has been working as a source for the FBI since July 20, 2011," according to the U.S. District Court complaint filed yesterday against the alleged bomb plotters. Wearing a body recorder, Azir captured the five self-styled anarchists plotting to use C-4 explosive to take down a Cleveland-area bridge.

'Garbage' chemical TCP threatens Valley water

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

'Garbage' chemical TCP threatens Valley water --Memo shows Dow knew TCP was useless, but used it anyway 21 Apr 2012 A 1974 memo from Dow Chemical describes several chemicals in a widely used farm fumigant as "garbage." Today, one of those useless chemicals threatens drinking water for more than 1 million people across the San Joaquin Valley. Now linked to cancer, the toxin was waste from a plastic-making process. The fumigant manufacturers, Dow and Shell Oil Co., discovered decades ago that 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, was not effective against worms called nematodes, according to documents in lawsuits filed by a dozen Valley cities against the companies. But they apparently left it in a fumigant anyway.

Six army battalions called up under Israeli emergency orders

May 3, 2012 by legitgov

Six army battalions called up under Israeli emergency orders --Knesset approves IDF request to call up a further 16 battalions if needed 02 May 2012 The IDF has issued emergency call up orders to six reserve battalions in light of 'new dangers' on the Egyptian and Syrian borders. And the Knesset has given the IDF permission to summon a further 16 reserve battalions if necessary, Israeli media reported on Wednesday. The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee approved the request recently, enabling the IDF to summon up to 22 battalions for active duty for the second time in three years.

AP: US not reporting all Afghan attacks

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

AP: US not reporting all Afghan attacks 30 Apr 2012 The military is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops. The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or other foreign soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform. But The Associated Press has learned it does not report insider attacks in which the Afghan wounds - or misses - his U.S. or allied target.

New York subway bomb plot man found guilty after terrorism trial

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

New York subway bomb plot man found guilty after terrorism trial 01 May 2012 A New York man has been convicted of plotting an aborted suicide mission against New York City subways in a case that featured the first-time testimony from admitted homegrown terrorists about 'al-Qaida's' fixation with pulling off another attack on American soil. A jury found Adis Medunjanin guilty of all counts on Tuesday for his role in a 2009 terror plot that federal authorities say was one of the closest calls since September 11, 2001. Medunjanin could be ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced on 7 September.

Occupy movement returns for May Day protests in D.C., New York and around U.S.

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

Occupy movement returns for May Day protests in D.C., New York and around U.S. 01 May 2012 Tuesday marked a noisy return to the national stage for the Occupy movement, which had been dormant for much of the winter. Activists called it "A Day Without the 99 Percent." Marches and rallies in several cities drew thousands, and there were reports of violent clashes on the West Coast, where police arrested more than a dozen people in Seattle, Portland and Oakland. More than 35 people were arrested on a day of wide-ranging demonstrations throughout New York.

'Occupy' anarchists arrested for 'plotting to blow up Ohio bridge' after months of FBI surveillance

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

'Occupy' anarchists arrested for 'plotting to blow up Ohio bridge' after months of FBI surveillance --Some of the five men arrested have attended Occupy Cleveland events --Group also plotted setting off a car bomb outside the Federal Reserve bank --Three men charged with trying to use explosives to damage property affecting interstate commerce, while charges are still pending for other two 01 May 2012 Five men, at lease three of them self-described anarchists, have been arrested in an alleged plot to blow up a bridge near Cleveland, the FBI said today. A member of Occupy Cleveland revealed that at least some of the suspects had attended the group's events, sparking concerns that some supporters of the anti-capitalist movement could turn to [the State using] violence. But there was no danger to the public in the bridge-bombing plot because the explosive devices were inoperable and were controlled by an undercover FBI employee, the agency said. [LOL! In other words, the FBI provided the explosives -- as usual.]

FBI watched as 5 men planned Ohio bridge bomb plot

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

FBI watched as 5 men planned Ohio bridge bomb plot 02 May 2012 After unknowingly working with an FBI informant for months, five men have been charged with plotting to bomb an Ohio bridge linking two wealthy Cleveland suburbs. Federal authorities described the men as anarchists who are angry with corporate America and the government. The five appeared Tuesday in U.S. District Court following a Monday night arrest. Magistrate Judge Greg White ordered them jailed without bond pending a hearing May 7. [See: Terrorist Plots, Hatched by the F.B.I. 29 Apr 2012.]

Seven arrested in dawn raids on suspicion of funding terrorism

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

Seven arrested in dawn raids on suspicion of funding terrorism 01 May 2012 Seven people have been arrested in dawn raids across Britain on suspicion of funding terrorism through a network smuggling the drug khat. Officers from the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism command arrested six men and a woman at four addresses in London, Coventry and Cardiff at 6am today. They are all being held at a central London police station on suspicion of being concerned in the funding of a terrorist organisation and laundering the proceeds of crime for that purpose. All seven were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 as part of a pre-planned, intelligence-led operation, into suspected fundraising for terrorism overseas, Scotland Yard said.

Explosions and gunfire in Kabul hours after Obama departs Afghanistan

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

Explosions and gunfire in Kabul hours after Obama departs Afghanistan 02 May 2012 Violence erupted in a diplomatic area of Kabul on Tuesday, just hours after the departure of President Barack Obama from Afghanistan. There were three explosions, followed by sporadic shooting, in the eastern part of the Afghan capital, Afghan officials told the Associated Press. A Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility for the attack. Referring to the main road out of Kabul, the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued an "emergency message" on Twitter just before midnight Eastern time: "There is an ongoing attack on Jalalabad Road in Kabul today, May 2, 2012. The situation is uncertain."

New York police report more suspicious powder incidents

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

New York police report more suspicious powder incidents 01 May 2012 Three new envelopes containing suspicious white powder were sent to New York City banks and news organizations on Tuesday, along with notes suggesting the sender sympathizes with is trying to discredit the Occupy Wall Street's Day of May 1 protests, police said. A total of ten letter-sized envelopes were sent over the last two days, and at least some contained an identical note saying "This is a reminder that you are not in control" and "Happy May Day," police spokesman Paul Browne said. In all ten cases, the substance turned out to be non toxic and in several cases the powder was identified as corn starch, Browne said.

Oakland police may face sanctions over handling of Occupy protests

May 2, 2012 by legitgov

Oakland police may face sanctions over handling of Occupy protests 02 May 2012 A federal judge on Tuesday ordered the city of Oakland and its police department to submit a plan within a week to address a backlog of complaints stemming from their handling of Occupy protests, threatening sanctions if they fail to do so. The mandate by District Judge Thelton Henderson follows the release of a report by an outside monitor that said Oakland police used "an overwhelming military-type response" to the demonstrations. The report also confirmed, for the first time from an official source, that an Oakland police SWAT team member fired a beanbag round at an Iraq war veteran during clashes in October.

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