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NY ramps up security for Times Square bash

January 1, 2012 by legitgov

NY ramps up security for Times Square bash 31 Dec 2011 New York New York City police are gearing up for a massive security operation as the Big Apple prepares to usher in the New Year with a party expected to attract over one million revellers to Times Square. Thousands of police officers, including 1,550 newly minted graduates of the police academy, will take part in an operation New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said is the "biggest" of the year for the force. "Our helicopters will be up in the air and checking the 200-block area around Times Square," Kelly told the CNN television network on Friday. "Everyone that enters the area will have to go through a magnetometry check." Horse-mounted police officers, bomb-sniffing dogs and police patrol boats are also part of the security deployment. "We have heavy weapons response teams that are in, you know, appropriate locations," Kelly said

Russia denies radiation leak in nuclear sub blaze

January 1, 2012 by legitgov

Russia denies radiation leak in nuclear sub blaze 01 Jan 2012 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered an investigation after a nuclear submarine caught fire during repairs in the Arctic, injuring at least nine people. The blaze, believed to have been started by a welding lamp igniting rubbish and wooden scaffolding next to the craft, raged for nine hours at a shipyard in the Murmansk region. Russian officials were quick to announce there had been no radiation leak from the nuclear sub, named Yekaterinburg, after the flames were extinguished.

Los Angeles rocked by three dozen arson car fires

January 1, 2012 by legitgov

Los Angeles rocked by three dozen arson car fires --Authorities: Spate of apparently related arson fires triggered broad local and federal response 31 Dec 2011 A rash of arson fires in Los Angeles that has seen more than 30 cars torched in recent days had authorities on the lookout for at least one suspect on Saturday, amid fears more blazes could result in serious injury. Los Angeles police stepped up patrols, and the city fire department planned to maintain a command post for the New Year's weekend in an area where many of the blazes have occurred.

Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill

January 1, 2012 by legitgov

It's the Obusha holiday weekend bad news dump: Obama Signs Defense Authorization Bill 31 Dec 2011 President Barack Obama on Saturday reluctantly signed a defense authorization bill, saying he was concerned about some in Congress who want to restrict options used by counterterrorism officials. The House approved the bill on December 14, and a 86-13 vote in the Senate the next day completed the necessary congressional action. At issue was the president's authority in deciding whether people detained in terrorism investigations would be held in military or civilian custody.

4.0 earthquake strikes in northeast Ohio

December 31, 2011 by legitgov

4.0 earthquake strikes in northeast Ohio --Area has experienced at least 10 minor quakes in 2011 31 Dec 2011 The latest in a series of minor earthquakes in northeast Ohio hit on Saturday. The 4.0 magnitude quake struck Saturday afternoon in McDonald, outside of Youngstown, the U.S. Geological Survey said. Many of the quakes have struck near an injection well used to dispose of brine water that's a byproduct of oil and gas drilling. Thousands of gallons of brine are injected into the well daily, and much of it is shipped in from out of state. Its owner, Northstar Disposal Services LLC, has agreed to stop injecting brine into the earth as a precaution while authorities assess any potential links to the quakes.

'Iran to expand presence in int'l waters'

December 31, 2011 by legitgov

'Iran to expand presence in int'l waters' 31 Dec 2011 Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says the country's naval forces plan to develop their presence in international waters, Press TV reports. "Under the international law and as maintained by our leader (Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei) we have no intention to march into any country, but we are determined to make our presence felt in international waters," said Sayyari. He also spoke of the Iranian Jamaran destroyer, which has recently finished its 70-day mission to the Mediterranean Sea, saying the military ship will have future missions to the Atlantic Ocean as well.

Daylong Fire on Russian Nuclear Submarine Took Hundreds of Workers to Extinguish

December 31, 2011 by legitgov

Daylong Fire on Russian Nuclear Submarine Took Hundreds of Workers to Extinguish 30 Dec 2011 The authorities in Russia marshaled more than 400 firefighters and 170 emergency workers to extinguish a fire on Friday that had raged for almost a day on the hull of a nuclear submarine in dry dock near the northern port of Murmansk. On Thursday, enormous plumes of smoke and flame lighted the sky above the submarine, the 550-foot Yekaterinburg, a Delta IV-class vessel commissioned in 1985. The Yekaterinburg is normally armed with 16 nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles, but they had been offloaded during the repairs, and its nuclear reactor was switched off, officials have said.

Tell the Obama Administration: No drilling in the Polar Bear Seas!

December 30, 2011 by legitgov

Tell the Obama Administration: No drilling in the Polar Bear Seas! --Protect the Polar Bear Seas [from Obusha and Big Oil] 28 Dec 2011 (Sierra Club) Big Oil wants to drill in the Polar Bear Seas of the Arctic. This would be disastrous. These seas are home to 20% of the world's polar bears, as well as wildlife... An oil spill in this area would be impossible to clean. The seas are dark two months out of the year, covered with deep sea ice and subject to hurricane-force winds. Even worse, the closest Coast Guard station is 1,000 miles away. The Obama administration is currently considering public input on this drilling proposal. Tell them that we can't take this risk!

Thousands of US soldiers to be deployed in Israel for drill

December 30, 2011 by legitgov

Thousands of US soldiers to be deployed in Israel for drill --The drill, unprecedented in size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany 20 Dec 2011 Israel is moving forward with plans to hold the largest-ever missile defense exercise in its history this spring amid [alleged] Iranian efforts to obtain nuclear weapons. Last week, Lt.-Gen. Frank Gorenc, commander of the US’s Third Air Force based in Germany, visited Israel to finalize plans for the upcoming drill, expected to see the deployment of several thousand American soldiers in Israel.

Court upholds spying law, revives suits over NSA 'dragnet'

December 30, 2011 by legitgov

Court upholds spying law, revives suits over NSA 'dragnet' 29 Dec 2011 The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today the federal government can be sued for the National Security Agency's warrantless "dragnet" of Americans' telephone conversations and e-mails. But in a separate opinion, another three-judge panel of the San Francisco-based court upheld the 2008 law that gave telecommunications companies immunity for aiding the NSA in its hunt for terrorists.

Appeals court OKs law giving telecom companies immunity for government's surveillance program

December 30, 2011 by legitgov

Appeals court OKs law giving telecom companies immunity for government's surveillance program 29 Dec 2011 A federal appeals court on Thursday said a 2008 law that granted telecommunications companies legal immunity for helping the National Security Agency with an email and telephone eavesdropping program is constitutional. A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court ruling. The appeal concerned a case that consolidated 33 different lawsuits filed against various telecom companies, including AT&T, Sprint Nextel, Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. on behalf of these companies' customers.

Strait of Hormuz standoff continues as Iran films US aircraft carrier

December 30, 2011 by legitgov

Strait of Hormuz standoff continues as Iran films US aircraft carrier --Video played on state television 29 Dec 2011 Iran claimed to have successfully taken surveillance footage of a US aircraft carrier near the Strait of Hormuz today as both countries raised the stakes in their standoff over the critical oil route. Admiral Habibollah Sayyari's statement came as Iranian ships, helicopters and submarines continued a 10-day war game exercise designed to give credibility to the country's threat to close the Strait if the West moves ahead with sanctions. The drill is underway in international waters near the Strait and only a few hundred miles from America's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet.

Gov't request for nuclear storage facility site sends shockwaves through Fukushima

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Gov't request for nuclear storage facility site sends shockwaves through Fukushima 29 Dec 2011 The government's request that an interim facility to store soil and other waste contaminated with radiation be built somewhere in Futaba county near the crippled nuclear power plant sent ripples of concern through local governments and residents in Fukushima Prefecture. On Dec. 28, Environment Minister Goshi Hosono met and asked local leaders in Fukushima Prefecture for permission to build an interim storage facility somewhere in Futaba county in which two municipalities host the troubled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant. [Store the nuclear waste at TEPCO executives' homes - problem solved!]

MoD forced to update combat war games to cope with expectations of PlayStation generation

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

MoD forced to update combat war games to cope with expectations of PlayStation generation 29 Dec 2011 The MoD has been forced to dramatically update simulated combat training to cope with the expectations of the PlayStation generation, it has been revealed. New recruits are so used to playing ultra-realistic combat games on consoles that they are losing concentration on 'dated' training simulations. Troops sent to Afghanistan have been trained on Virtual Battlespace2 - a spin-off from the commercially-available Operation Flashpoint - that can test reactions to coming under enemy fire.

Man in Afghan army uniform kills 2 NATO troops

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Man in Afghan army uniform kills 2 NATO troops 29 Dec 2011 NATO says a man wearing an Afghan army uniform has killed two service members in eastern Afghanistan. The alliance says the two NATO troops were killed on Thursday when the man turned his weapon against them. The shooting appeared to be the latest in a series of attacks by members of the Afghan security forces against their coalition 'partners.'

Russia scolds United States for human rights abuse

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Russia scolds United States for human rights abuse 28 Dec 2011 Russia sought to undermine the authority of the United States as a global judge of human rights [Wow, what a horrendous choice!] on Wednesday with Moscow's first report to detail allegations of torture, phone tapping and abuse by the U.S. government. Criticizing the United States for double standards, Russia said President Barack Obama had failed to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay and accused the White House of sheltering officials and CIA operatives from prosecution. "The situation in the United States is far from the ideals proclaimed by Washington," Russia's foreign ministry said in a 63-page report - "On the situation with human rights in a host of world states" - posted on its www.mid.ru Web site. "The main unresolved problem is the odious prison in Guantanamo Bay." [Bagram, too.]

Venezuela's Chavez: did U.S. give Latin American leaders cancer?

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Venezuela's Chavez: did U.S. give Latin American leaders cancer? Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Argentina's Christina Fernandez, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have all been diagnosed recently with cancer. All of them are leftists. 28 Dec 2011 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speculated on Wednesday that the United States might have developed a way to give Latin American leaders cancer, after Argentina's Cristina Fernandez joined the list of presidents diagnosed with the disease. Venezuela's socialist leader underwent surgery in June to remove a tumor from his pelvis. "It would not be strange if they had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now... I don't know. I'm just reflecting," he said in a televised speech to troops at a military base. "But this is very, very, very strange... it's a bit difficult to explain this, to reason it, including using the law of probabilities." [*Exactly.*]

6 years later, Katrina victims fight FEMA debts

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

6 years later, Katrina victims fight FEMA debts 28 Dec 2011 When the Federal Emergency Management Agency mailed out 83,000 debt notices this year to victims of Hurricane Katrina and other 2005 storms, one of the letters showed up in David Bellinger's mailbox. 63-year-old Bellinger, who is blind, needed a friend to read it and break the news that FEMA wants him to pay back more than $3,200 in federal aid he received after Katrina. FEMA is seeking to recover more than $385 million it says was improperly paid to victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma... At least some of the overpayments were due to FEMA employees' own mistakes, ranging from clerical errors to failing to interview applicants, according to congressional testimony.

Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman quits, endorses Ron Paul

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman quits, endorses Ron Paul 29 Dec 2011 US Republican candidate Michele Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman resigned on Wednesday and endorsed rival Ron Paul, six days before Iowa voters begin the nomination process to select the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Kent Sorenson, an Iowa state senator who had served as Bachmann's state campaign chairman for nearly a year, said he had decided to switch his support to Paul because the campaign had reached "a turning point." "When the Republican establishment is going to be coming after Ron Paul, I thought it is my duty to come to his aid," Sorenson said, announcing his endorsement for the Texas congressman during a rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

Guantanamo commander signs order opposed by lawyers to review legal mail in Sept. 11 case

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Guantanamo commander signs order opposed by lawyers to review legal mail in Sept. 11 case 28 Dec 2011 The commander of the Guantanamo Bay prison has signed an order that would require a security review of legal mail to prisoners facing war crimes charges, a spokeswoman said Wednesday, rejecting arguments the new rule would violate attorney-client privilege and undermine long-delayed tribunals for five men charged in the Sept. 11 attacks. Rear Adm. David Woods considered the arguments of defence lawyers and made some modifications, said Navy Cmdr. Tamsen Reese, a spokeswoman for the detention centre on the U.S. base in Cuba. Critics said the changes were minor and did not address the central complaints.

Afghanistan signs '$7 bn' oil deal with China

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Afghanistan signs '$7 bn' oil deal with China 28 Dec 2011 Afghanistan on Wednesday signed an oil deal with China which could earn the war-torn country $7 billion over 25 years. Afghanistan's first major oil exploration contract will see state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation develop three oil fields in the relatively peaceful north of the country along the Amu Darya river. Under the deal, signed in Kabul by Afghan mining minister Waheedullah Shahrani and CNPC president Lu Gong Xun, Afghanistan will take 70 percent of the net profits, and the Chinese oil giant will pay 15 percent corporation tax.

Federal judge rejects government's argument that BP violated probation after oil spill

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Federal judge rejects government's argument that BP violated probation after oil spill 27 Dec 2011 A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed prosecutors' argument that a BP subsidiary violated its probation after an oil spill because of another spill on Alaska's North Slope. 'Judge' Ralph Beistline also lifted BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.'s probation altogether. BP had been convicted of negligent discharge of oil in 2007 for a 200,000-gallon (757,000-litre) spill on the North Slope a year earlier. There was another spill of 13,500 gallons (51,100 litres) in 2009.

Occupy Iowa protesters set to occupy campaign headquarters

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Iowa protesters set to occupy campaign headquarters 28 Dec 2011 One hundred people signed up to occupy presidential campaign headquarters at the first-in-the-nation People's Caucus in Des Moines on Tuesday, Dec. 27. The People's Caucus was a gathering of Occupy Iowa protesters, and protesters from Occupy Oakland, St. Louis, Wall Street and various places, trying to get organized so they could occupy effectively during the Iowa Caucuses. Of the 100 people, 30 signed up to occupy Barack Obama's headquarters, 20 for Mitt Romney's headquarters, 18 for Ron Paul, 10 for Newt Gingrich, 10 for Rick Perry, seven for Michele Bachmann and one for Rick Santorum.

US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf spill: WSJ

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf spill: WSJ 29 Dec 2011 US prosecutors are readying criminal charges against British oil giant BP employees over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident that led to the catastrophic Gulf oil spill, The Wall Street Journal reported online. The charges if brought and prosecuted by the US Justice Department would be the first criminal charges over the disaster. Citing sources close to the matter, the Journal said the prosecutors are focusing on US-based BP engineers and at least one supervisor who they say may have provided false information to regulators on the risks of deep water drilling in the Gulf. [No worries! Obusha will give BP a pass, as he did with the CIA torturers and all the other war criminals and terrorists recycled from the Bush regime.]

Iran Reports US Aircraft Carrier Near the Strait of Hormuz

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Iran Reports US Aircraft Carrier Near the Strait of Hormuz 29 Dec 2011 A US aircraft carrier has entered the 'hot' zone close to the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran. The Iranian fleet has been conducting naval exercises in the transit zone for over a third of the world's oil supplies since 24 December. Iranian sources reported the ship's arrival at a time of rising tension due to Tehran's threat to close the strait.

Iran Navy pinpoints US carrier in drills

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Iran Navy pinpoints US carrier in drills 29 Dec 2011 A senior Iranian commander says Iran's naval forces have identified a US aircraft carrier in an area of the navy's ongoing military exercises. Iranian Navy's Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi said on Thursday that an Iranian Navy aircraft has shot footage and images of the US carrier spotted in an area where Iran's naval units were stationed for the Velayat 90 war games. He noted that the detection of the US aircraft carrier demonstrated that Iran's naval forces are precisely monitoring all moves by extra-regional powers in the region.

Tweeting the word 'virus' could mean your Twitter account is read by U.S. government spies

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

Tweeting the word 'virus' could mean your Twitter account is read by U.S. government spies --Fake profiles used by Department of Homeland Security, says privacy group --List of keywords flags 'danger' signal --DHS may attempt to identify users from their accounts --Keywords include 'virus' and 'drill' 28 Dec 2011 The Department of Homeland Security makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles for the specific purpose of scanning the networks for 'sensitive' words - and tracking people who use them. Simply using a word or phrase from the DHS's 'watch' list could mean that spies from the government read your posts, investigate your account, and attempt to identify you from it, acccording to an online privacy group. The words which attract attention range from ones seemingly related to diseases or bioweapons such as 'human to animal' and 'outbreak' to other, more obscure words such as 'drill' and 'strain'. [USociopaths don't want us talking about their lab-generated pandemics.]

US spies could be tracking you on Twitter

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

US spies could be tracking you on Twitter 28 Dec 2011 The US department of homeland security reportedly makes fake Twitter and Facebook profiles in a bid to track down people who use "sensitive" words. If anyone uses a word or phrase from the department's list, American spies might read the posts, investigate the online account and even attempt to identify the person from it, the Daily Mail reported. Some words which reportedly attract attention are outbreak, drill, strain, illegal immigrant, virus, recovery, deaths, collapse and trojan, according to a report filed by a private group -- the Electronic Privacy Information Centre.

DHS Creates Accounts Solely to Monitor Social Networks

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

DHS Creates Accounts Solely to Monitor Social Networks --Several countries and cities are also flagged as key words. 28 Dec 2011 An online privacy group is suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security accusing it of not releasing records from the agency's covert surveillance of Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. The DHS creates accounts solely to monitor social media sites and establish a system of records of the information gathered. The agency scans social media sites for a list of words that include "dirty bomb," "hostage," "exercise," "task force," "explosion," "lockdown," "riot," "nuclear threat," "brown out," "meth lab," "cain and abel" and "brute forcing." [Speaking of which, here are a few recent log entries, detailing dhs.gov visits to the CLG website: cbcp4.dhs.gov 1 9 81.14 KB 12 Dec 2011 - 15:18, sbcp2.dhs.gov 1 9 140.23 KB 12 Dec 2011 - 16:52, sbcp2.dhs.gov 2 11 197.91 KB 22 Dec 2011 - 14:34, cbcp4.dhs.gov 3 12 111.45 KB 27 Dec 2011 - 18:54.]

8,000 US troops remain in Iraq

December 29, 2011 by legitgov

8,000 US troops remain in Iraq 28 Dec 2011 Some 8,000 US troops have remained in Iraq despite Washington's plan for the complete withdrawal of US forces by the turn of 2011, Press TV reports. The troops, along with 14 warplanes, 125 helicopters and 28 drones, are mainly based in Iraq's Kurdistan region in the north. The US troops have been stationed in Jordan and some Persian Gulf Arab countries as well as some new locations in Kuwait after leaving Iraq, while a small number of them have returned to the United States, a Press TV correspondent reported.

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