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Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner charged with false imprisonment, battery

Ex-San Diego Mayor Filner charged with false imprisonment, battery 15 Oct 2013 Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who left office in a scandal over allegations of sexual harassment, has been charged with one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor counts of battery, San Diego Superior Court officials said Tuesday. The charges, filed by the state attorney general's office, relate to three alleged victims, identified as Jane Doe 1, 2 and 3. A hearing is set for 10 a.m. in Superior Court.

Non-disclosure required for Sandy Hook School crew

Non-disclosure required for Sandy Hook School crew 14 Oct 2013 Contractors involved in the demolition of the Sandy Hook Elementary School are being required to sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from publicly discussing the site, taking photographs or disclosing information about the school. Town leaders and construction managers will be doing everything possible to ensure that anyone who might wish to gain publicity from work on the Dickinson Road site will be prevented from doing so. "It's a very sensitive topic," Selectman Will Rodgers said Monday.

Public access barred at Sandy Hook Elementary School demolition

Public access barred at Sandy Hook Elementary School demolition 15 Oct 2013 Contractors demolishing Sandy Hook Elementary School are being required to sign confidentiality agreements forbidding public discussion of the site, photographs or disclosure of any information about the building. Selectman Will Rodgers said officials want to protect the Newtown school [allegedly] where the 20 children and six educators were killed, The News-Times reported. Full-time security guards will ensure the site is not disturbed. Families of the victims and school staff visited the site, but public access is barred.

Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills influential governor

Bomb attack near Afghan capital kills influential governor 15 Oct 2013 A bomb attack on a mosque in Afghanistan killed the governor of a province south of the capital, Kabul, on Tuesday as he was making an address on the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said. Arsala Jamal was governor of Logar province, a strategically important province on the southern approaches to Kabul and home to one of Afghanistan's richest mines. Jamal was close to President Hamid Karzai and was a senior official in his successful campaign for re-election in 2009.

Strong typhoon heads for Japan and Fukushima nuclear plant

Strong typhoon heads for Japan and Fukushima nuclear plant 15 Oct 2013 A powerful typhoon was closing in on Japan on Tuesday, on a path that will take it toward the precarious Fukushima nuclear power plant. Typhoon Wipha, packing winds of up to 144 kilometres per hour near its centre, was in the Pacific south of Japan early on Tuesday and moving north at 20 kilometres per hour. It was forecast to reach an area off the Tokyo metropolitan area by early on Wednesday and later in the day would be off the coast of Fukushima where the crippled nuclear power plant sits.

Tiny Social Security hike squeezes seniors, veterans

Tiny Social Security hike squeezes seniors, veterans 14 Oct 2013 Another year, another small raise for millions of people who rely on Social Security, veterans’ benefits and federal pensions. Preliminary figures suggest next year's benefit increase will be roughly 1.5 percent, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. For the second year in a row, it would be one of the lowest raises since automatic adjustments were adopted in 1975. The exact size of the cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, won't be known until the Labor Department releases the inflation report for September.

Second dry ice bomb explodes at LAX; two others found, police say

Second dry ice bomb explodes at LAX; two others found, police say --Detectives from LAPD's Criminal Conspiracy Section responding to scene 14 Oct 2013 A dry ice bomb exploded at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday night, the second one to detonate there in little more than 24 hours, police said. The explosion was reported about 8:30 p.m. in the Bradley Terminal, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Two other similar devices that did not explode were found in the area, an LAPD source told The Times.

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally --NSA collects more than 250 million per year 14 Oct 2013 The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and "buddy lists" from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. During a single day last year, the NSA's Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation.

FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrest Suspect in Arkansas Power Grid Attacks

FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force Arrest Suspect in Arkansas Power Grid Attacks 14 Oct 2013 The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested a 37-year-old Arkansas man yesterday in connection with a series of attacks on the local power grid. The suspect, Jason Woodring, is a resident of Jacksonville, AR. Woodring was charged with destruction of an energy facility. If convicted, he could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years imprisonment.

Rutgers students face 'bias' probe for flyers criticizing Israeli home demolitions

Rutgers students face 'bias' probe for flyers criticizing Israeli home demolitions 14 Oct 2013 Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, is under investigation by campus administrators after complaints of "bias." One Zionist group has alleged that SJP specifically targeted the dorm rooms of Jewish students on the New Brunswick, New Jersey campus with mock "eviction notices" designed to draw attention to Israel's practice of demolishing Palestinian homes. But this claim has been contradicted by the university in a statement to The Electronic Intifada. "On the night of Sunday, October 6th, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) board members printed mock eviction notices and distributed them in dormitory buildings," Students for Justice in Palestine -- Rutgers New Brunswick explained in a statement emailed to The Electronic Intifada. "This action was intended to call attention to the systematic demolition of the homes of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and Israel."

'Racist' LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans

'Racist' LA police dogs only bite Latinos and African-Americans 14 Oct 2013 Police officers in Los Angeles have long faced accusations of institutional racism, but now it appears their dogs may be unjustly discriminatory, too. A new report focusing on the Canine Special Detail of the LA Sherriff's Department (LASD) has uncovered a vast increase in the number of minority individuals bitten by police dogs since 2004. And in the first six months of this year, every single victim of a bite by a LASD dog was African-American or Latino.

West Virginia Homeland Security officer shot

West Virginia Homeland Security officer shot --DHS: Kennedy is retired New York police officer who worked in NYC after 9/11 attacks 13 Oct 2013 (WV) A training coordinator for the state Division of Homeland Security was shot Sunday afternoon, but the circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation. Homeland security officials confirmed Frank Kennedy was shot at 2:30 p.m. on Dons Drive, near Rutledge Road. Kanawha County Sheriff's Office officials said Kennedy was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Division. The extent of his injuries is unknown.

Excise Tax on Medical Devices Should Not Be Repealed

Excise Tax on Medical Devices Should Not Be Repealed --Industry Lobbyists Distort Tax's Impact 02 Oct 2013 House Republicans have reportedly decided to attach to the Senate-passed funding bill for fiscal year 2014 a provision to repeal the 2.3-percent excise tax on medical devices that policymakers enacted in 2010 to help pay for health reform. The excise tax is sound, however, and the arguments against the tax don't withstand scrutiny. Repealing the tax would undercut health reform in at least two ways. Pay-as-you-go procedures would require Congress to offset the cost of repeal by increasing other taxes or reducing spending; one likely target would be the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that expand health coverage to 27 million more Americans. Also, repealing the tax would encourage efforts to repeal other revenue-raising provisions of the ACA, which in turn would either require still more painful offsets or increase the budget deficit (if Congress failed to offset the cost).

Afghans reject impunity for US troops: Politician

Afghans reject impunity for US troops: Politician 13 Oct 2013 A prominent Afghan politician has insisted on not giving immunity to American troops leaving the fate of a bilateral security pact unknown, Press TV reports. Former Afghan premier Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai said in an interview with Press TV on Sunday that the Afghan nation does not want foreign forces to stay in their country after 2014. He also noted that the controversial pact goes against the wishes and interests of the whole nation. Shah Ahmadzai also demanded the US administration to withdraw all its troops from the war-ravaged country as soon as possible.

US forces kill two children in northeastern Afghanistan

US forces kill two children in northeastern Afghanistan 13 Oct 2013 An attack by the US forces has claimed the lives of at least two Afghan children and injured five others in the troubled northeastern province of Kunar, local security sources say. The governor of Kunar Shuja-ul-mulk Jalala said the incident happened when US-led foreign troops opened fire on a house after Taliban militants fired rockets targeting a military base in the troubled region.

British police arrest four under anti-terrorism laws

British police arrest four under anti-terrorism laws 14 Oct 2013 British police said they arrested four men under anti-terrorism laws in London on Sunday as part a "pre-planned intelligence-led operation" involving officers from a firearms unit. "Public safety remains our overriding concern," London's Metropolitan Police said in a statement late on Sunday. The four men were arrested at three different addresses on Sunday evening and taken to a south London police station.

Letters detail punitive tactics used on Guantanamo hunger strikers

Letters detail punitive tactics used on Guantánamo hunger strikers --Newly declassified papers say hunger strike at Guantánamo Bay was 'broken' by a deliberate campaign to crush detainees' spirits 12 Oct 2013 The US military secretly used a variety of tactics to break the resolve of the Guantánamo Bay hunger strikers, including placing them in solitary confinement if they continued to refuse food, newly declassified interviews with detainees reveal. One detainee, 42-year-old Syrian national Abu Wa'el Dhiab, reported that the Extreme Reaction Force team, the camp's military riot squad, would "storm" Aamer's cell five times a day in an attempt to crush his resolve during the strike.

French far right sweeps to victory in local election

French far right sweeps to victory in local election 13 Oct 2013 France's Front National swept to victory over the country's mainstream centre-right opposition in a closely watched local election on Sunday in a vote widely seen as presaging big advances by the far-right party in next year's European and municipal elections. In the decisive second round of the poll for a departmental council seat representing Brignoles, a town in the south of France, the FN candidate comfortably defeated his rival from the UMP, the party of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, by 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

'Don't pollute our sea:' Mass demo in Tokyo to ban nuclear energy

'Don't pollute our sea:' Mass demo in Tokyo to ban nuclear energy 13 Oct 2013 Some 9,000 activists took to the streets of Tokyo on Sunday to protest nuclear power. The march comes as Japanese authorities are considering restarting the country's nuclear reactors, which were shut down in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The demonstration ended with a rally in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco), the operator of the crippled Fukushima power plant. Activists chanted "Stop the atom" and "Don’t pollute our sea," referring to the continued leaking of radioactive water, which Tepco uses to control the temperature of the melted reactor cores at Fukushima.

Armed terrorism officers arrest four men during a series of pre-planned raids across London

Armed terrorism officers arrest four men during a series of pre-planned raids across London --Scotland Yard said six addresses across the capital are currently being searched 13 Oct 2013 Armed terror police arrested four men tonight during a series of raids across London. Scotland Yard said the men have been arrested on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. They were arrested under the Terrorism Act 2000 in a pre-planned intelligence-led operation in London. The arrests took place at 7.10pm this evening, police said.

Colorado town vote on drone hunting licenses rescheduled for Dec. 10

Colorado town vote on drone hunting licenses rescheduled for Dec. 10 08 Oct 2013 The Colorado town of Deer Trail has rescheduled the special election during which voters will decide whether the town should sell licenses to hunt drones. The town board of six was evenly split on the ordinance when it took up the issue in August, so it forwarded the decision to voters. The election is scheduled for Dec. 10. The ordinance, which was first introduced by a resident after media reports about increased government surveillance using unmanned aircraft, would require the town to issue $25 licenses to any applicant able to read and understand English.

The House GOP Rule Change That Guaranteed a Shutdown

The House GOP Rule Change That Guaranteed a Shutdown 10 Oct 2013 Late on the night of Sept. 30, with the federal government just hours away from shutting down, House Republicans quietly made a small change to the House rules that blocked a potential avenue for ending the shutdown. It went largely unnoticed at the time. But with the shutdown more than a week old and House Democrats searching for any legislative wiggle room to end it, the move looms large in retrospect in the minds of the minority party. "What people don't know is that they rigged the rules of the House to keep the government shut down," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, told TPM in an interview. "This is a blatant effort to make sure that the Senate bill did not come up for a vote."

Senators seek to end US government shutdown and avoid default

Senators seek to end US government shutdown and avoid default 12 Oct 2013 Two senior senators have taken on the fraught process of finding a congressional deal to reopen the US government and raise the country's borrowing limit, just four days before the Treasury is scheduled to run out of money. The Democratic Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, long-time adversaries, met on Saturday morning after it became clear that a separate attempt to broker a deal, between the Republican-dominated House of Representatives and the White House, had failed. Focus shifted to the Senate when President Barack Obama rejected a plan from House Republicans to extend the so-called debt ceiling by just six weeks and made no offer lift the US government shutdown.

Democrats Are Winning - Must Be Time to Cave, Say Democrats

Democrats Are Winning - Must Be Time to Cave, Say Democrats 12 Oct 2013 For Senate Democrats, the surest sign the party is on the brink of handing significant concessions to Republicans is that Democrats are so clearly winning the struggle. "We are so totally, completely winning this thing that naturally it means we're gonna cave, right? I mean they're [the Republicans] getting hammered," a Democratic Senate aide said. "So when are we going to give them what they want?" A Senate Democratic leadership aide, who has been buoyed throughout the showdown by the toughness displayed by the president, said he was getting signals that the White House is going soft. "I do fear the White House is up to something bad. [Obama] says over and over, 'I won't negotiate', but we know he loves to cave," the aide said.

US forces shoot and kill civilian in eastern Afghanistan

US forces shoot and kill civilian in eastern Afghanistan 12 Oct 2013 US forces have shot and killed a civilian in Afghanistan's eastern province of Khost, local security sources say. Local security officials said the US troops opened fire on the Afghan man as he was approaching their convoy in an area of the troubled province. The security sources did not disclose identity of the victim, nor did they provide further details on the exact whereabouts of the incident.

New York Set to Reach Climate Point-of-No-Return in 2047

New York Set to Reach Climate Point-of-No-Return in 2047 --The global point of climate departure will be 2047, with tropical areas reaching it earlier. 09 Oct 2013 Temperatures in New York are increasing, and after 2047 they won't return to the historical average of the past one and half centuries, according to a study today in the journal Nature. "Climate departure," when the average temperature for each year is expected to exceed historical averages from 1860 through 2005, will occur in Jakarta and Lagos in 2029, Beijing in 2046 and London in 2056, according to the study. New York will match the global departure 34 years from now and tropical areas will get there sooner. The research highlights the urgency of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions because the warming climate may drive some species to extinction, threaten food supplies and spread disease, according to the study.

Police colluded in secret plan to blacklist 3,200 building workers

Police colluded in secret plan to blacklist 3,200 building workers 12 Oct 2013 Police officers across the country supplied information on workers to a blacklist operation run by Britain's biggest construction companies, the police watchdog has told lawyers representing victims. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has informed those affected that a Scotland Yard inquiry into police collusion has identified that it is "likely that all special branches were involved in providing information" that kept certain individuals out of work. The IPCC's disclosure confirms suspicions voiced by the information commissioner's office last year that the police had been involved in providing some of the information held on the files, as revealed by this newspaper.

U.N. panel says Fukushima nuclear workers may have got higher radiation: report

U.N. panel says Fukushima nuclear workers may have got higher radiation: report 12 Oct 2013 Japanese authorities may have underestimated by 20 percent the radiation doses workers got in the initial phase of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, a Japanese newspaper reported on Saturday, citing a U.N. panel. The U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) raised doubts about the dose estimates of the government and Tokyo Electric, or Tepco, in a summary of a report on October 12, according to the Asahi Shimbun. The U.N. committee determined that the tests used on workers did not take into account some types of radiation.

Press group: Obama is worst since Nixon in going after leaks

Press group: Obama is worst since Nixon in going after leaks 10 Oct 2013 Despite a promise of transparency, President Barack Obama has run a secretive government that's chilling the flow of information to reporters while it tries to channel its version of news through its own government media, according to a new report from a journalists' group. The report says the Obama administration has curbed the disclosure of government information, limited the use of the Freedom of Information Act, launched a program of internal surveillance to stop people from talking to reporters and conducted an unprecedented number of investigations of journalists. The search for leaks, the report's author said, is the most aggressive since President Richard Nixon.

FISA Court: NSA can keep spying on phone calls

FISA Court: NSA can keep spying on phone calls 12 Oct 2013 The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in the US has ruled that the National Security Agency can continue its secret collection of phone records of all American citizens. The secret court ruling was announced late Friday by the Office of James Clapper who is the Director of National Intelligence [and perjurer]. "DNI Clapper has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the court renewed that authority," Clapper's spokesman Shawn Turner said. [Thanks, Obusha!]

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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