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Libya Envoy's Killing Was a Terrorist Attack, the White House Says

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Libya Envoy's Killing Was a Terrorist Attack, the White House Says 21 Sep 2012 The White House, after more than a week in which it has come under fire from Republicans, is now calling last week's assault on the American diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya, a "terrorist attack." "It is self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack," the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, told reporters traveling on Air Force One on Thursday. White House officials, until now, have avoided calling the attack a terrorist attack, but in Congressional testimony Wednesday, Matthew G. Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, described it that way.

Appeals court judges seem skeptical of CIA secrecy on drone program

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Appeals court judges seem skeptical of CIA secrecy on drone program 20 Sep 2012 Federal appeals court judges Thursday questioned the CIA's efforts to block information on the use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists. A lower court federal judge sided with the CIA last year and dismissed a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union seeking records about the use of drones. In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the CIA had refused to confirm or deny the existence of responsive records. At a hearing on its appeal of the lower court ruling, the ACLU told the three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia that several high-ranking officials, from then-CIA Director Leon Panetta to President Barack Obama, have publicly acknowledged the use of drones.

Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Church Official Pushes Mormon Voter Registration in Key Swing State 20 Sep 2012 In a provocative move within a religious organization that has sought to display strict political neutrality, an official of the Mormon church has disseminated a presentation across the key swing state of Nevada that urges members to vote and speak "with one voice" in the coming Presidential election that pits Mormon Mitt Romney against President Barack Obama. "Any Mormon would understand exactly what's being said there," said Randall Balmer, a Dartmouth religion professor who has studied the church's handling of Romney's presidential bids. "This is very thinly coded language."

State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

State can't fix lazy people says Pa. lawmaker on voter ID 20 Sep 2012 Pennsylvania House Representative Daryl Metcalfe's "lazy" comments on a Pittsburgh radio station may have stirred the voter ID pot once again. On KDKA Radio in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R-Sociopath-Butler County) discussed a new Pa. law that requires all voters to show a valid photo ID at the polls. When asked about the 750,000 possible disenfranchised voters without proper photo identification, Metcalfe responded: "As Mitt Romney said, 40-some percent of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors' hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the id they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can't fix that."

Tea party group sends voter ID warning to justices

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Tea party group sends voter ID warning to justices 20 Sep 2012 A Philadelphia-area tea party group says it will work to defeat two state Supreme Court justices next year if the state's new voter identification law isn't in effect for the Nov. 6 election. The Independence Hall Tea Party on Thursday also criticized the court's decision to send a legal challenge to the law back for a lower court review. It called the decision "a cowardly move" to "punt the ball."

Exelon investigating shutdown at TMI

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Exelon investigating shutdown at TMI 20 Sep 2012 A Three Mile Island spokesman says steam was released this afternoon when the nuclear power plant unexpectedly shut down, creating a loud noise heard by nearby residents. Exelon spokesman Ralph DeSantis said the reason for the shutdown, which occurred at 2:20 p.m., was not immediately known. He told abc27 News that "something unexpected happened" and the shutdown was automatic. "We have a command center set up and we are going through our procedures to determine exactly what happened," DeSantis said.

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly, releasing radioactive steam

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Three Mile Island nuclear plant shuts down unexpectedly, releasing radioactive steam --The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon, releasing steam containing radiation. 20 Sep 2012 A reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant shut down unexpectedly this afternoon because of a cooling problem, a month after it went offline because of a leak in the cooling system, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. The NRC says a cooling pump for Unit One stopped working at 2:16 p.m. ET, triggering the automatic shutdown, as the system is designed to do. Residents near the plant, outside Harrisburg, Pa., the state capital, reported hearing a loud bang, WHTM-TV says.

State Department was discussing putting Marines in Libya 'sometime in the next five years'

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

State Department was discussing putting Marines in Libya 'sometime in the next five years' 20 Sep 2012 Prior to the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, the State Department and the Marines Corps had been discussing deploying Marines to guard the U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli "sometime in the next five years," according to the Marine Corps. The issue of security at U.S. diplomatic outposts in Libya has been front and center as Congress and others begin to investigate whether or not those facilities were sufficiently protected before the attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. [See? UK mercenary firm Blue Mountain likely Ok'd or actually assassinated Stevens. Now, Americans will accept the US Octopus extending its tentacles to another region in the world. See: Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate 17 Sep 2012. --LRP]

$50,000 in checks sent from Obama campaign stolen

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

$50,000 in checks sent from Obama campaign stolen 20 Sep 2012 Three checks sent out from President Barack Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago have been stolen -- a total of $50,000, according to a TV news report -- and police are investigating. "Three checks we sent to vendors made it into the wrong hands, and after learning of this, we notified the police," said Obama's Midwest press secretary, Ben Finkenbinder, in a written statement. "We're pleased that they're dealing with the issue swiftly, and don't expect this to have any impact upon the campaign."

American Airlines sends layoff notices to 11,000 employees

September 20, 2012 by walden9

American Airlines sends layoff notices to 11,000 employees 20 Sep 2012 American Airlines, the third-largest US airline, announced Tuesday that it plans to send layoff notices to over 11,000 mechanics, ground workers and other support personnel as part of its bankruptcy court-mediated restructuring. Thousands of notices have already been sent to employees.

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate 17 Sep 2012 The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm [Blue Mountain] to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside. Contrary to Friday's claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that "at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya," the department inked a contract for "security guards and patrol services" on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only "foreign security awardees" as its recipient.

Rich getting richer: Richest 400 Americans' net worth jumps 13%

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Rich getting richer: Richest 400 Americans' net worth jumps 13% 19 Sep 2012 The net worth of the richest Americans grew by 13 per cent in the past year to $1.7-trillion (U.S.), Forbes magazine said on Wednesday, and a familiar cast of characters once again populated the top of the magazine's annual list of the U.S. uber-elite, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison and the Koch brothers. The average net worth of the 400 wealthiest Americans rose to a record $4.2-billion, the magazine said. Collectively, this group's net worth is the equivalent of one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy, which stood at $13.56-trillion in real terms according to the latest government data.

Italy upholds rendition convictions for 23 Americans, including 21 CIA agents

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

Italy upholds rendition convictions for 23 Americans, including 21 CIA agents 19 Sep 2012 Italy's highest criminal court on Wednesday upheld the convictions of 23 Americans found guilty of kidnapping a Muslim cleric from a Milanese street and transferring him to a country where torture was permitted. The court of cassation's ruling is the final appeal in the world's first judicial review of the CIA practice of abducting terror suspects and transferring them to third countries, a practice also known as extraordinary rendition. The 23 Americans were all convicted in absentia following a trial that lasted over three years.

U.S inspector faults federal agents in gun probe, clears Holder

September 20, 2012 by legitgov

U.S inspector faults federal agents in gun probe, clears Holder --Department's inspector general finds no cover-up 19 Sep 2012 The U.S. Justice Department's internal watchdog faulted 14 federal agents and prosecutors on Wednesday for the botched anti-gun-trafficking effort known as "Operation Fast and Furious" but cleared Attorney General Eric Holder of any wrongdoing. The report by the department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, prompted two senior officials to leave the government. Congressional Republicans investigating the mismanaged operation had accused Holder of covering it up.

IDF chief orders surprise Golan Heights drill

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

IDF chief orders surprise Golan Heights drill --Live-fire exercise meant to test readiness, fitness of a number of units specializing in offensive firepower 19 Sep 2012 IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz ordered a number of units to conduct an unplanned exercise early Wednesday to test the army's readiness and alert level. Forces from the Central and Northern Commands, Air Force and other units are taking part in the drill. A large number of regular army and reserve soldiers received surprising telephone calls from their units overnight Wednesday, ordering them to attend the exercise. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said Gantz wants to test the readiness and fitness of a number of units specializing in offensive firepower, particularly the Artillery Corps.

Recent US-led airstrike killed Afghan civilians: Fact-finding mission

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

Recent US-led airstrike killed Afghan civilians: Fact-finding mission 19 Sep 2012 An Afghan government-appointed fact-finding mission says that a recent US-led airstrike in the eastern province of Laghman targeted civilians, Press TV reports. The fact-finding mission set up by President Hamid Karzai announced on Wednesday that seven women and a child were killed in the airstrike that was conducted in Alingar district on September 16. Nineteen other women and children were also injured in the attack, the mission said.

Syria accuses West of nuclear double standards over Israel

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

Syria accuses West of nuclear double standards over Israel 19 Sep 2012 Syria, itself suspected of illicit nuclear activity, accused the West at a major UN meeting on Wednesday of double standards in implicitly condoning an Israeli atomic arsenal and warned of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. The United States said last week Damascus was using the "brutal repression" of its people waging an uprising as an excuse not to address international concerns about its past nuclear work. Syrian Ambassador Bassam Al-Sabbagh insisted that his country was ready to cooperate with the UN agency and he sought to turn the tables on Damascus's accusers by hitting out at Israel. Israel is believed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, although it refuses to disclose any capability. Clearly referring to Washington and its allies, Al-Sabbagh told the IAEA's 155-nation annual assembly in Vienna: "The fact that some influential states... condone Israel's possession of nuclear capabilities and its failure to subject them to any international control exposes clearly the extent of double standards used by those states."

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike

September 19, 2012 by walden9

Delegates meeting votes to end Chicago teachers strike 19 Sep 2012 The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) succeeded in obtaining a vote by 800 delegates who met Tuesday evening to end a nine-day strike against the third largest school system in the US. The vote means teachers will return to work on Wednesday, though it will be some three weeks before they are able to vote on the agreement reached between the CTU and Chicago Public Schools (CPS)...There is broad opposition among teachers to the contract deal, which incorporates all of the basic demands of Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS. In collaboration with the CTU, the city administration and the media have waged a campaign of lies and intimidation aimed at pressuring the teachers to end the strike.

Romney's Words

September 19, 2012 by walden9

Romney's Words 19 Sep 2012 The video of a Mitt Romney campaign fundraiser posted Monday on the Mother Jones web site has provided a revealing glimpse of what the financial magnates think and what they say to one another in the privacy of their board rooms and mansions...Romney's words, secretly filmed and leaked to the liberal magazine, were addressed to attendees at a $50,000-a-plate dinner held last May at the Boca Raton, Florida home of a fellow private equity multi-millionaire, Marc Leder. They express the arrogant and misanthropic outlook of the financial parasites who dominate economic life and control both big business parties.

Chicago's Teacher Strike Ends; Classes Resume Wednesday

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

Chicago's Teacher Strike Ends; Classes Resume Wednesday --Union's House of Delegates vote to end strike; Contract ratification still pending 18 Sep 2012 Chicago's first teacher strike in 25 years came to an end Tuesday after more than a week of discussions and rallies that had parents scrambling to find alternative care for their children. The Chicago Teachers Union's House of Delegates -- nearly 800 members -- voted to end the strike during a meeting at Operating Engineers Hall, at 2260 Grove Street, on the city's south side.

Suicide blast kills 12 near Kabul's airport in Afghanistan

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

Suicide blast kills 12 near Kabul's airport in Afghanistan 18 Sep 2012 Twelve people were killed near Kabul’s airport Tuesday when a suicide car bomber rammed into a minivan carrying foreign air-charter workers, Afghan officials said. A Pakistan-based militant group said it carried out the attack to avenge a YouTube video that defames the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Many of the victims were contract personnel with Air Charter Service, a British-based company that provides services to the U.S. Agency for International Development and other organizations in Afghanistan, U.S. Embassy officials said.

US suspends joint military operations with Afghanistan after attacks

September 19, 2012 by legitgov

US suspends joint military operations with Afghanistan after attacks 17 Sep 2012 The US military has suspended joint operations with Afghan forces because of a collapse in trust after a surge in the number of Americans and other Nato soldiers killed by the men they are fighting alongside or training. The chief US military officer, General Martin Dempsey, described the sharp rise in "insider attacks" by rogue Afghan soldiers and policemen, which saw four American and two British soldiers killed at the weekend, as "a very serious threat to the campaign" against the Taliban. American commanders said that joint operations on the ground will be suspended "until further notice" in a dramatic admission that the strategy to shift responsibility for fighting the insurgents to local forces has been deeply compromised by Afghan government soldiers and policemen killing 51 Nato soldiers in 36 attacks this year.

Turkish security forces foil plot to sell cesium-137

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Turkish security forces foil plot to sell cesium-137 18 Sep 2012 Turkish security forces have seized two tubes of radioactive cesium-137 being transported in a vehicle in the northeastern province of Giresun on the Black Sea, Press TV reports. Acting on a tipoff that highly toxic radioactive material was on board a car heading from the northeastern city of Trabzon to Giresun city, which is situated 622 kilometers (387 miles) east of Ankara, Turkish soldiers stopped the car near the town of Gulburnu on Tuesday. Upon searching the car, they found two glass tubes of cesium-137 hidden inside the vehicle.

Judge: Police to enforce Arizona immigration law

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Judge: Police to enforce Arizona immigration law 18 Sep 2012 A judge has ruled that police in Arizona can immediately start enforcing the most contentious section of the state's immigration law, marking the first time officers can carry out a requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally. The decision on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton is the latest milestone in a two-year legal battle over the requirement. It culminated in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that upheld the provision on the grounds that it doesn't conflict with federal law.

Facebook blocks Press TV advertisements

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Facebook blocks Press TV advertisements 18 Sep 2012 Facebook has blocked Press TV’s advertisements on the social networking website, saying that the Iranian news network is located in a region which is "not eligible to use this feature." Facebook’s risk management department informed Press TV in an email that the social networking website’s security systems had shut down the payments functionality on Press TV’s account. [Note: CLG cannot include directe links to Press TV's news items because filters then block the delivery of the CLG Newsletter when such links are included.]

Intel agencies warned U.S. Embassy in Egypt of possible violence

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Intel agencies warned U.S. Embassy in Egypt of possible violence 17 Sep 2012 A U.S. intelligence cable warned the American Embassy in Cairo of possible violence in response to Arabic-language broadcasts of clips from an anti-Muslim film, U.S. government sources said on Monday. The cable, dispatched from Washington on September 10, the day before protests erupted, advised the embassy the broadcasts could provoke violence. It did not direct specific measures to upgrade security, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Shell executive caught after accidentally printing child pornography at work

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Shell executive caught after accidentally printing child pornography at work 17 Sep 2012 A former Shell executive was caught downloading child pornography at home when he accidentally printed off explicit images at work, a court heard. Anthony Sturman, 59, sent six pages containing indecent material to a printer at the UK headquarters of Shell UK, where he had worked for 15 years. Sturman, described as a 'senior manager' at the oil giant, was viewing child pornography at his country home in Kent when he pressed the print button. His PC was linked to his work system, so the images were produced at his office.

Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Chains we can believe in: Obama wins right to indefinitely detain Americans under NDAA 18 Sep 2012 A lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House's ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process. Last week, a federal judge ruled that a temporary injunction on section 702 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 must be made permanent, essentially barring the White House from enforcing a clause in the NDAA that can let them put any US citizen behind bars indefinitely over mere allegations of terrorist associations. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on that order, and hours later US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to intervene and place a hold on the injunction. The stay will remain in effect until at least September 28, when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to begin addressing the issue.

Romney: 'Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace'

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Romney: 'Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace' 18 Sep 2012 US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney questioned the feasibility of the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, according to video footage published Tuesday by US magazine Mother Jones. "I'm torn by two perspectives in this regard," Romney said at a $50,000-per-plate fundraising dinner on May 17. "One is the one which I've had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish."

Nine foreigners killed in Afghan attack

September 18, 2012 by legitgov

Nine foreigners killed in Afghan attack 18 Sep 2012 At least 12 people, including nine foreigners, have been killed in a car bomb attack that hit a minivan carrying foreigners to Afghanistan's Kabul International Airport, Press TV reports. The attack took place on the eight-lane highway in front of a wedding hall in the Afghan capital on Tuesday. Reports say a bomber blew up the minivan, killing nine foreign workers, their Afghan translator, and two other Afghans. Eight Afghan workers have also been wounded in the bomb attack.

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