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US planning to boost sea and land defences in Gulf as Iran war fears grow

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

US planning to boost sea and land defences in Gulf as Iran war fears grow --Military planners sought emergency funding from Congress for defence --Central Command told Congress that it wanted new systems in place by autumn 25 Feb 2012 The Pentagon has begun to take tangible steps to prepare for a possible conflict with Iran by making formal plans to boost US sea and land defences in the Persian Gulf, it has been claimed. Military planners have asked for emergency funding from Congress to address a perceived shortfall in defence capabilities that could undermine the ability of US forces to respond to an Iranian closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the Wall Street Journal quoted American officials as saying. Gen James Mattis, the head of the US Central Command, has privately informed Congress of his intentions to place mine detection and clearing equipment in and around the Strait and to boost surveillance capabilities in the Gulf. There are also plans to modify weapons systems on ships that are at present vulnerable to Iranian fast-attack boats, many of which carry anti-ship missiles.

Anonymous hacks Infragard again

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous hacks Infragard again 25 Feb 2012 Hacktivist collective Anonymous has attacked the FBI affiliate Infragard for the second time, this time taking over and defacing the web site of its Dayton, Ohio chapter. The hackers took over the web site, changing it totally and replacing its content with a Youtube video of rapper Coolio performing Gangsta's Paradise and a message of defiance. The attack is part of the regular Friday releases from the group. "Greetings Pirates! Another #FuckFBIFriday is here and once again we emerge from the hacker underground to wreak havoc upon the 1%'s institutions of repression," says the message that introduces the hacking logs. "Today we targeted the Dayton Ohio chapter of InfraGard, the sinister alliance between law enforcement, corporations, and white hat wannabees." The message includes mention of the draconian trade agreement ACTA and suggests that while that exists the attacks will never stop.

Afghan protesters torch 20 NATO trucks

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan protesters torch 20 NATO trucks 24 Feb 2012 Angry protesters in Afghanistan burned 20 NATO oil tankers on the fourth day of protests against the desecration of the Qur'an in a US-run military base in the country, Press TV reports. The incident occurred on Friday in the southeastern province of Khost where Afghan protesters attacked a convoy of trucks supplying oil to US-led NATO forces in the country. The attack took place during a demonstration near a US military base near the provincial capital city of Khost, leaving a number of people killed and injured.

 

One killed in fresh Afghan protests

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

One killed in fresh Afghan protests 25 Feb 2012 At least one protester has been killed and more than 15 others wounded in Afghanistan as demonstrations over burning holy Qur'an by US-led forces enter their fifth day.

WikiLeaks soldier refuses to enter plea

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

WikiLeaks soldier refuses to enter plea 25 Feb 2012 An army private has declined to enter a plea to charges he engineered the biggest leak of classified information in US history. Bradley Manning also deferred a choice of whether to be tried by a military jury or judge alone. Military judge Colonel Denise Lind presided over the 50-minute hearing at Fort Meade near Baltimore. She did not set a trial date but scheduled another court session for March 15-16. Manning has been in pretrial confinement since May 2010. He faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy.

Homes near Japan nuclear plant may be banned for ever

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

Homes near Japan nuclear plant may be banned for ever 24 Feb 2012 Japan on Friday said some areas surrounding the Fukushima nuclear power plant that was wrecked last year will likely remain permanently off-limits. Measurements taken between November and January confirm earlier results which show a level of radioactivity of 470 millisierverts per year when the average, under normal conditions, is less than one per year, according to a government report released Friday. A final report by the environment ministry, expected in the coming weeks, is expected to declare as permanently off-limits to human habitation any area with contamination of more than 50 millisieverts per year.

Anonymous hits US prison contractor and FBI partner group, defaces home pages

February 25, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous hits US prison contractor and FBI partner group, defaces home pages [Excellent choices, Anonymous!] 24 Feb 2012 The website of an international prison contractor was defaced by hackers who on Friday replaced the company's home page with a hip-hop homage devoted to former death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal. Hackers allied to the loose-knit Anonymous movement claimed responsibility for vandalizing the site of Boca Raton, Florida-based GEO [terrorist] Group Inc., which manages some 60 custodial facilities in Europe, North America, Australia and South Africa. Anonymous said in a statement posted to the stricken website that its hack was "part of our ongoing efforts to dismantle the prison industrial complex."

Suspicious letters sent to lawmakers and media outlets prompt investigation

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Suspicious letters sent to lawmakers and media outlets prompt investigation --Authorities: Mailings have tested negative for harmful substances 23 Feb 2012 Federal authorities said Thursday that they are investigating the existence of at least a dozen suspicious letters with powdery substances sent this week to lawmakers and national media outlets. A district office of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) received one of the letters, as did district and state offices of other members of the House and Senate, according to FBI spokesman Christopher Allen. The New York offices of Fox News and two comedians also received letters. The FBI is working on the investigation with U.S. Capitol Police, the Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Ex-KBR CEO Stanley Gets 2 1-2 Years in Prison for Foreign Bribes

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Ex-KBR CEO Stanley Gets 2 1-2 Years in Prison for Foreign Bribes 24 Feb 2012 Albert "Jack" Stanley, the former KBR Inc. chief executive officer, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for bribing Nigerian officials to win $6 billion in natural gas contracts for the company and its partners. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, who handed down the sentence yesterday in Houston, also sentenced Stanley to three years of supervised probation. Stanley pleaded guilty in September 2008 to violating the U.S. anti-bribery law, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to make restitution of $10.8 million, of which $1.55 million remains to be paid.

Maryland same-sex marriage bill goes to governor

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Maryland same-sex marriage bill goes to governor 24 Feb 2012 Gay marriage is all but legal in Maryland after the Legislature gave its final OK Thursday to the law that's being sent to Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who said he expects to sign it this week. The state Senate voted 25-22 for the law. The vote comes less than a week after the House of Delegates barely passed the measure. Maryland will become the eighth state to allow gay marriage when O'Malley - who sponsored the bill - signs the legislation.

'Friends of Syria' ready ultimatum for Assad

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

'Friends of Syria' ready ultimatum for Assad [Is there a 'Friends of America' to ready an ultimatum for the US?] 24 Feb 2012 The United States, European and Arab nations are set deliver a stern warning to Syrian President Bashar Assad that he must agree to an immediate cease-fire and allow humanitarian aid into areas hardest hit by 'his regime's brutal crackdown on opponents' or face as-yet unspecified punishments and an increasingly emboldened and powerful armed resistance. On the eve of a major international conference on Syria in Tunisia, U.S., European and Arab officials worked out details of the demands in London on Thursday as the former United Nations chief, Kofi Annan, was named to be a joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to deal with the crisis. Russia and China, foes of any foreign intervention in Syria, reiterated their opposition to an international resolution.

Nations to call on Syria to agree to cease-fire or face yet-to-be named response

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Nations to call on Syria to agree to cease-fire or face yet-to-be named response 24 Feb 2012 World powers convening Friday in Tunisia are mapping out a plan to deliver humanitarian aid and give political legitimacy to the Syrian opposition overthrow the Syrian government for Exxon Mobil, while details emerged that Arab nations have begun supplying arms to Syrian rebels, sources told CNN. Diplomatic sources told CNN late Thursday that a number of Arab nations are supplying arms to the rebel Syrian army and militias. The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, would not identify the countries.

NYPD intelligence chief wanted sources in every mosque within 250 miles

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

NYPD intelligence chief wanted sources in every mosque within 250 miles --Latest disclosures reveal ambitions of ex-CIA man David Cohen as criticism grows of NYPD's monitoring of Muslim communities 23 Feb 2012 The most senior intelligence chief in the New York police department wanted a source in every mosque "within a 250-mile radius" of the city, according to the latest in a series of revelations about NYPD-led surveillance of Muslims across north-eastern America. The latest disclosures, by the Associated Press, reveal the ambitions of an effort led by David Cohen, a former CIA officer who went on to become the NYPD's deputy commissioner for intelligence.

Afghanistan demands NATO put Koran-burners on trial

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan demands NATO put Koran-burners on trial 23 Feb 2012 Afghanistan wants NATO to put on public trial those who burned copies of the Koran at a NATO base, President Hamid Karzai's office said on Thursday, after a third day of bloody protests over the incident. It said NATO had agreed to a trial, but that could not be immediately confirmed. Demonstrations have drawn thousands of angry Afghans to the streets, chanting "Death to America!" amid violence that has killed 11 people including two U.S. service personnel.

Accused NYC Subway Terrorist to Face Anonymous Jury

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Accused NYC Subway Terrorist to Face Anonymous Jury 23 Feb 2012 In an unusual legal move, when a New York City man goes on trial this spring for allegedly plotting to blow up the subway, it will be an anonymous jury that determines his fate. U.S. District Court Judge Raymond Dearie sided with prosecutors who argued for an anonymous jury because the charges against Adis Medunjanin "are of the highest possible seriousness." In the case of an anonymous jury, any identifying information for the jurors is withheld from the public and they are only referred to by an assigned number.

Judge: BP liable for civil penalties for oil spill

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Judge: BP liable for civil penalties for oil spill 22 Feb 2012 A federal judge has ruled that BP PLC and one of its minority partners in the blown-out Macondo well are liable for civil penalties under the Clean Water Act for their roles in the nation's worst offshore oil spill. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier also ruled Wednesday that Deepwater Horizon rig owner Transocean Ltd. may be liable under the same law as an "operator" of the well. The judge, however, said he couldn't decide before a trial scheduled to start Feb. 27 whether Transocean meets the definition of that term.

US Now in 4 African Countries to Fight LRA

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

US Now in 4 African Countries to Fight LRA --US troops now stationed in bases in Uganda, Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic 23 Feb 2012 U.S. troops helping in the fight against a rebel group called the Lord's Resistance Army are now deployed in four Central African countries, the top U.S. special operations commander for Africa said Wednesday. The U.S. announced in October it was sending about 100 U.S. troops - mostly special operations forces - to Central Africa to advise in the fight against the LRA and its leader Joseph Kony.

Afghan soldier shoots dead two US troops over Qur'an burning

February 24, 2012 by legitgov

Afghan soldier shoots dead two US troops over Qur'an burning 23 Feb 2012 At least two US troops have been shot to death and four others wounded after an Afghan soldier turned his weapon on them as fierce anti-US protests over the desecration of the Holy Qur'an are sweeping the war-battered Asian country, Press TV reports. "An individual wearing an Afghan National Army uniform turned his weapon against International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members in eastern Afghanistan today, killing two service members," NATO-led ISAF said in a brief statement on Thursday.

7 Marines killed in helicopter collision in Arizona

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

7 Marines killed in helicopter collision in Arizona 23 Feb 2012 Two military helicopters collided over the California desert during nighttime training exercises, killing seven Marines in the latest of several similar accidents in the region. The service members with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing were based at Camp Pendleton north of San Diego, Lt. Maureen Dooley with Miramar Air Base in California said Thursday. The crash happened around 8 p.m. Wednesday and involved an AH-1W Cobra that carries two crew members and a UH-1 Huey utility helicopter carrying the other five. The aircraft collided in a remote portion of the Yuma Training Range Complex on the California side of the Chocolate Mountains very close to the Arizona border, Dooley said.

Lieberman's Office Evacuated Because of Suspicious Mail

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Lieberman's Office Evacuated Because of Suspicious Mail 23 Feb 2012 Sen. Joe Lieberman's Hartford office is evacuated after receiving a suspicious package. Lieberman's office received a warning on Wednesday to look out of packages after some Congressional offices received threatening letters. The letters contain a suspicious powdery substance that was tested and proved to be harmless, the FBI and the Senate's top law enforcement officer told the Associated Press. The letters bear a return address from "The MIB" [LOL!] and were postmarked Portland, Ore., the AP reports.

Iraq attacks on Shia and police targets kill 50

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Iraq attacks on Shia and police targets kill 50 23 Feb 2012 At least 50 people have been killed and hundreds injured in a wave of bombings and shootings across Iraq, police say. The violence targeted predominantly Shia areas, in particular police officers and checkpoints. In Baghdad, nine people died in two successive blasts in the central Karrada district. Outside the capital, at least two were killed in Baquba.

Guantanamo Bay prisoner, a former Baltimore resident, reaches plea deal

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Guantanamo Bay prisoner, a former Baltimore resident, reaches plea deal 22 Feb 2012 A former Baltimore area resident held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has reached a plea agreement with military prosecutors that calls for him to testify at the trials of other prisoners in exchange for a much-reduced sentence and eventual freedom, according to officials familiar with the case. The plea agreement with Majid Khan, 31, is the first with a high-value detainee who was previously held by the CIA at a secret prison overseas. Khan’s plea agreement could mark the beginning of an effort to accelerate the number of military tribunal cases by the new chief military prosecutor, Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, who assumed his position in October.

Fortress DC: New Capitol lockdown plan in works

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Fortress DC: New Capitol lockdown plan in works 22 Feb 2012 A new and sweeping security project to lock down gateways to the U.S. Capitol is being planned, aimed at targeting gang assaults and lone wolf attackers like the alleged 'al Qaeda' suicide bomber FBI agents seized earlier this month. Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers told Washington Secrets that the plan is to spend $7.8 million to secure House and Senate garages "very quickly" should an attacker try bust in. Ayers said the targets are "car bombs or groups of people or whatever the threat may be."

Suspicious Letters to Boehner, Coats, and Murray Prompt House-Senate Alert

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Suspicious Letters to Boehner, Coats, and Murray Prompt House-Senate Alert 22 Feb 2012 House and Senate members were alerted on Wednesday that a House member's district office and at least two senators' state offices have received threatening mail this week containing a suspicious powdery substance, all later determined to be harmless. Memos sent to members' offices from the sergeants-at-arms of both chambers notified the lawmakers and their staffs that two of the letters had been received on Tuesday, and that another similar letter was received by the second Senate state office on Wednesday. While the alert memos did not mention which lawmakers had received the packages, three of the incidents occurred in Ohio, Indiana, and Washington state involving offices of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Hearing Held on Program Monitoring Social Media

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Hearing Held on Program Monitoring Social Media --'The D.H.S. continues to monitor the Internet for criticism of the government.' [*Apparently.*] 23 Feb 2012 Analysts for a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors social networks like Twitter and Facebook have been instructed to produce reports on policy debates related to the department, a newly disclosed manual shows. The manual, a 2011 reference guide for analysts working with the department's Media Monitoring Capability program, raises questions about recent claims by Homeland Security officials who portrayed the program as limited to gathering information that would help gain operational awareness about attacks, disasters or other emerging problems. Last month, a previous disclosure of documents related to the program showed that in 2009, when it was being designed, officials contemplated having reports produced about "public reaction to major governmental proposals with homeland security implications."

Congress members threatened with biological attack

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Congress members threatened with biological attack --NYPD made aware of letters received by some media outlets on Tuesday night and alerted FBI, U.S. Capitol Police --Letters were signed 'the MIB' 22 Feb 2012 Several members of the Congress received mail threatening a biological attack and containing a suspicious powder later found to be harmless as law enforcement officials warned on Wednesday that more letters could be on their way. In a notice to Senate staffers titled "Urgent: Suspicious Mail Alert," Senate Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer warned that the sender of the letters had "indicated that additional letters containing a powdery substance will be arriving at more Senate offices and that some of these letters may contain actual harmful material."

John McCain renews call for arming Syrian opposition

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

John McCain renews call for arming Syrian opposition 23 Feb 2012 US Republican Senator (sociopath) John McCain has once again urged Washington to consider all options when it comes to helping the opposition in Syria. Speaking at a Wednesday press conference in Tripoli, Libya, McCain reiterated that the anti-Damascus forces in Syria should be given weapons to confront forces of President Bashar al-Assad's government. "We should consider every option ranging from sanctuaries to seeing that weapons are brought to the hands of those who are resisting Assad," he said, also calling for technical and medical help for the opposition.

UC Davis sued over pepper spray attack

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

UC Davis sued over pepper spray attack 23 Feb 2012 US current and former students have sued the University of California, Davis, over its campus police's use of pepper spray against peaceful student demonstrators. Seventeen UC Davis students and two alumni filed the lawsuit against university officials and police on Wednesday concerning the shocking pepper-spraying incident in November 2011 that sparked international condemnation. The incident saw campus police pepper-spraying a group of students, who were sitting in a peaceful protest as part of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement.

CDC Warns That New Swine Flu Strain Has 'Pandemic Potential'

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

CDC Warns That New Swine Flu Strain Has 'Pandemic Potential' [Yeah, especially when you make it so.] 22 Feb 2012 A paper published Tuesday by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control suggests a new swine flu virus has the potential to cause an outbreak. The A(H3N2)v swine flu strain that has infected at least 18 Americans since Sept. 2010 has shown the potential for human-to-human transmission. According to the paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the H3N2 strains "resemble viruses with pandemic potential." Terrence Tumpey, one of the authors of the study, says the current seasonal flu vaccine won't protect against this swine flu strain, although he says the CDC is working on creating a vaccine for swine flu variants such as the one he studied. [Isn't *that* convenient! First, you create the pandemic. Then, lo and behold, there's a vaccine available to 'stop' the pandemic that you created! Meanwhile, US pharma-terrorists (Baxter, etc.) make a killing on the killing! See 'V for Vendetta' (2005) sub-plot which details this sorry saga. And while you're at it, watch the last five or six minutes of the film... for sheer viewing pleasure. --LRP]

Afghanistan: New clashes over burning of Koran leave seven dead

February 23, 2012 by legitgov

Afghanistan: New clashes over burning of Koran leave seven dead 23 Feb 2012 Seven people were killed in clashes between Afghan security forces and protesters demonstrating against the burning of Korans by foreign soldiers at a Nato base near Kabul. The interior ministry said the clashes in the eastern province of Parwan left four dead. Other deaths were reported at a US base near Kabul, where guards killed one person, and in Logar and Jalalabad provinces.

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