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Defense rests in court-martial of soldier accused of WikiLeaks disclosures

Defense rests in court-martial of soldier accused of WikiLeaks disclosures 10 Jul 2013 The soldier accused of the biggest leak of classified material in U.S. history chose not to testify at his court-martial on Wednesday, when the defense rested its case. U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, 25, is charged with disclosing more than 700,000 classified files, combat videos and State Department cables to the pro-transparency website WikiLeaks. Manning, who served as an intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, could face life in prison without parole if convicted of the most serious of 21 charges, aiding the enemy.

Parched Jordan to tap ancient aquifer

Parched Jordan to tap ancient aquifer 10 Jul 2013 Jordan, one of the world's 10 driest countries, said it will start pumping water from a 300,000-year-old southern aquifer on Thursday to the capital and other cities to help them meet high demand. An experimental pumping of water from the wells of the Disi aquifer will start at midnight Wednesday," Water Minister Hazem Nasser told the state-run Petra news agency. The much-awaited $990 million project seeks to extract 100 million cubic meters of water a year from the Disi aquifer, 325 kilometres (200 miles) south of Amman.

US navy makes history by landing unmanned drone on aircraft carrier

US navy makes history by landing unmanned drone on aircraft carrier 10 Jul 2013 The US navy made aviation history on Wednesday by successfully landing a highly autonomous drone on an aircraft carrier at sea. The batwing-shaped X-47B executed one of the hardest maneuvers in aviation, catching the arrested-landing gear on the deck of the USS George HW Bush off the mid-Atlantic coast, the navy announced Wednesday. Never before has a robot performed a feat executable only by the navy's top pilots.

Pig virus migrates to US, threatens pork prices

Pig virus migrates to US, threatens pork prices 10 Jul 2013 Pork prices may be on the rise in the next few months because of a new virus that has migrated to the U.S, killing piglets in 15 states at an alarming rate in facilities where it has been reported. Dr. Nick Striegel, assistant state veterinarian for the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said Wednesday the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, also known as PED, was thought to exist only in Europe and China, but Colorado and 14 other states began reporting the virus in April, and officials confirmed its presence in May.

Zimmerman defense rests case without defendant testifying

Zimmerman defense rests case without defendant testifying 10 Jul 2013 Lawyers for George Zimmerman rested their case on Wednesday without calling the former neighborhood watch volunteer to testify, setting up the final stages of his closely watched murder trial for the shooting of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin. "After consulting with counsel, (I have decided) not to testify, your honor," Zimmerman said in response to questions from Florida Judge Debra Nelson. Nelson also rejected a defense motion to dismiss the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman, a routine and expected step in a criminal trial.

One surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain, says CCTV survey

One surveillance camera for every 11 people in Britain, says CCTV survey 10 Jul 2013 Britain has a CCTV camera for every 11 people, a security industry report disclosed, as privacy campaigners criticised the growth of the "surveillance state". The British Security Industry Authority (BSIA) estimated there are up to 5.9 million closed-circuit television cameras in the country, including 750,000 in "sensitive locations" such as schools, hospitals and care homes. The survey's maximum estimate works out at one for every 11 people in the UK, although the BSIA said the most likely figure was 4.9 million cameras in total, or one for every 14 people.

Judge Orders U.S. to Release Aaron Swartz's Secret Service File

Judge Orders U.S. to Release Aaron Swartz's Secret Service File 08 Jul 2013 A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on Friday ordered the government to promptly start releasing thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz, following months of roadblocks and delays. "Defendant shall promptly release to Plaintiff all responsive documents that it has gathered thus far and shall continue to produce additional responsive documents that it locates on a rolling basis," wrote U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly. The order was issued in my ongoing FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security – the Secret Service's parent agency.

Russia says rebels behind chemical attack in Aleppo

Russia says rebels behind chemical attack in Aleppo --'There is every reason to believe that it was the armed opposition fighters who used the chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal.' 10 Jul 2013 Russia's ambassador to the United Nations presented a report on Tuesday that he said showed Syrian 'rebels' had manufactured and used chemical weapons, including the sarin nerve agent, in the civil war with the pro-government forces of President Bashar Al-Assad. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said a Russian team had investigated first-hand the March 19 attack in Khan al-Assal, a government-controlled suburb of Aleppo, in which 26 people were killed and 86 others injured by chemical weapons... Russia said it would provide the over 80-page report to fellow UN Security Council members United States, Britain and France so they could review the findings, but that the document would not be made public.

Muslim Brotherhood tells FRANCE 24 it will not join Egypt's new govt

Muslim Brotherhood tells FRANCE 24 it will not join Egypt's new govt 10 Jul 2013 Spokesman Mohamed Soudane of the Muslim Brotherhood's political branch tells FRANCE 24 that the movement refuses to join a new Egyptian government. Newly appointed prime minister Hazem al-Beblawi was expected to begin talks Wednesday on forming a cabinet.

Cesium soars in water under Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant

Cesium soars in water under Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant --Tepco officials now say they do not know why the cesium levels have surged. 09 Jul 2013 Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Tuesday reported a surge in radioactive cesium levels in groundwater in an observation well at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. This signals radioactive contamination is spreading under the disaster-stricken facility. Water sampled from the well Monday contained 9,000 becquerels of cesium-134 per liter and 18,000 becquerels of cesium-137, both about 90 times the levels found Friday, Tepco said. The well is near the turbine building for reactor 2 and about 25 meters from the plant's harbor. [See also: Tritium soaring in water at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant 07 Jul 2013.]

Pro-Clinton super PAC hires Obama 2012 field organizers

Pro-Clinton super PAC hires Obama 2012 field organizers 10 Jul 2013 Ready for Hillary, the super PAC pushing a presidential bid by Hillary Rodham Clinton, is joining forces with a firm whose leaders built President Obama's wildly successful grassroots campaign operation. The PAC announced it has hired 270 Strategies to build a field operation to marshal voter support for a potential 2016 Clinton campaign. The firm's partners include Jeremy Bird, Obama's 2012 national field director, and Mitch Stewart, who oversaw the campaign's operations in battleground states.

Afghan soldier kills one US-led trooper in Kandahar

Afghan soldier kills one US-led trooper in Kandahar 09 Jul 2013 At least one US-led Czech soldier has been killed and five others injured when an Afghan soldier turned his gun on US-led troops in the troubled southern province of Kandahar, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says. The causalities came after an Afghan soldier opened fire on US troops in Kandahar airfield on Tuesday. The coalition of foreign forces has also confirmed the deadly attack inside the US Kandahar Airfield.

Bomb attack claims lives of 17 people in Western Afghanistan

Bomb attack claims lives of 17 people in Western Afghanistan 09 Jul 2013 A powerful roadside bomb explosion has claimed lives of at least 17 people in the troubled Western Afghanistan, security sources say. The causalities come after a motorcycle pulling a trailer packed with people hit a roadside bomb in the country's volatile west. Local security officials say Taliban militants fleeing a patrol of Afghan security forces have apparently placed the roadside bomb in an attempt to kill the troops.

Asiana Airlines pilots say auto-throttle didn't maintain landing speed

Asiana Airlines pilots say auto-throttle didn't maintain landing speed 09 Jul 2013 The pilots flying the Asiana Airlines jetliner that crashed in San Francisco told federal investigators that an automatic throttle -- a system akin to a car's cruise control -- had failed to keep the jetliner at the proper speed for landing. The Asiana pilots said in interviews with the National Transportation Safety Board that they had set the auto-throttles to maintain an air speed of 137 knots. That's a significantly faster speed than the plane actually achieved as it came in for its landing at San Francisco International Airport on Saturday. As the inquiry entered its fourth day, Deborah A.P. Hersman, chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said investigators were still trying to verify whether the throttles were properly activated.

Privacy Group Asks Supreme Court to Halt NSA Phone Spying

Privacy Group Asks Supreme Court to Halt NSA Phone Spying 08 Jul 2013 The Electronic Privacy Information Center asked the Supreme Court today to halt the National Security Agency’s spy program that collects phone records on millions of people. EPIC, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., argues in its petition that there is no alternative court to review a secret court's order -- disclosed by the Guardian last month -- requiring Verizon to forward all calling metadata to the National Security Agency.

Texas House approves sweeping abortion restrictions

Texas House approves sweeping abortion restrictions 10 Jul 2013 The Texas House of Representatives approved sweeping abortion restrictions on Tuesday, including a ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tougher standards for clinics that perform the procedure. The vote of 98-49 came after a full day of sometimes emotional debate. Before the measure can head to the state Senate, it needs a final vote from the House, which is expected on Wednesday. The House approved the same proposal during a previous special session of the legislature, but it failed to pass in the Senate after Democratic Senator Wendy Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster that gained national attention.

Quebec train blast: police open criminal investigation as death toll rises

Quebec train blast: police open criminal investigation as death toll rises 09 Jul 2013 Canadian authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the fiery wreck of a runaway oil train in the small town of Lac-Mégantic as the death toll climbed to 15, with dozens more bodies feared to be still buried in the burnt ruins. Quebec police Inspector Michel Forget said investigators had "discovered elements" that gave rise to a criminal probe. He gave no details but ruled out terrorism and said police were more likely exploring the possibility of criminal negligence.

Snowden could fly under UN passport, as Donald Woods did to leave S.Africa in 1978 - CLG

Snowden could fly under UN passport, as Donald Woods did to leave S.Africa in 1978 - CLG by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 09 Jul 2013 Edward Snowden could fly under a United Nations passport. I thought of this idea when I recalled the history of South Africa's Daily Dispatch editor and anti-apartheid activist, Donald Woods. Woods, who befriended Black Consciousness Movement founder Steve Biko, was banned for five years by the South African government. An elaborate plan was concocted to smuggle Woods to freedom; the plan to escape commenced on New Year's Eve, 1977. While under house arrest, Woods evaded his guards. "Woods hitchhiked 300 miles (480 km) before attempting to cross the Tele River between South Africa and Lesotho...With the help of the British High Commission (in Maseru) and from the Government of Lesotho, [Woods and his family] flew under United Nations passports and with one Lesotho official over South African territory, via Botswana to London, where they were granted political asylum." [Note: CLG News tweeted this Tuesday evening and WikiLeaks retweeted it - so hopefully, the idea will spread.]

30,000 California prisoners refuse meals in apparent hunger strike

30,000 California prisoners refuse meals in apparent hunger strike --Protesting California prison policies of indefinite isolation, inmates signal beginning of a hunger strike by refusing meals. 09 Jul 2013 Officials said 30,000 California inmates refused meals Monday at the start of a prison strike involving two-thirds of the state's 33 lockups, as well as four out-of-state facilities. Participants refused breakfast and lunch, said corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton. In addition, 2,300 prisoners skipped work or classes, some saying they were sick. The protest was organized by a small group of inmates held in solitary confinement at Pelican Bay State Prison near the Oregon border. Their complaints focus on policies that put inmates in isolation indefinitely, some for decades, if they are suspected of having ties to prison gangs.

Pa. Law Banning Gay Marriage Faces Court Challenge

Pa. Law Banning Gay Marriage Faces Court Challenge 09 Jul 2013 The American Civil Liberties Union said it filed the first known legal challenge Tuesday seeking to overturn a state law effectively banning same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, the only northeastern state that doesn't allow it or civil unions. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Harrisburg, also will ask a federal judge to prevent state officials from stopping gay couples from getting married. It names Gov. Tom Corbett, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and three other officials.

Tepco's 'Fukushima Fifty' Leader Yoshida Dies of Cancer

Tepco's 'Fukushima Fifty' Leader Yoshida Dies of Cancer 09 Jul 2013 Masao Yoshida, the plant manager who led the fight to bring Japan's Fukushima atomic station under control during the 2011 nuclear disaster, has died. He was 58. He died on July 9 at a hospital in Tokyo, according to a statement from Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant. The cause was esophageal cancer, the statement said.

Masao Yoshida, boss of nuclear plant who battled Fukushima disaster, dies of cancer

Masao Yoshida, boss of nuclear plant who battled Fukushima disaster, dies of cancer 09 Jul 2013 The former boss of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant, who stayed at his post to try to tame runaway reactors after the 2011 events, has died of cancer, the operator said. Masao Yoshida, 58, was at the power station on March 11, 2011, when towering waves swamped cooling systems and sparked meltdowns that released plumes of radiation. Mr Yoshida led the subsequent effort to get the crippled complex under control, as workers battled frequent aftershocks to try to prevent the disaster worsening. Government contingency plans revealed after the event showed how scientists feared a chain reaction if Fukushima spiralled out of control, a scenario that could have seen other nuclear plants engulfed and would have meant evacuating Tokyo.

Fukushima radioactive groundwater readings rocket

Fukushima radioactive groundwater readings rocket 09 Jul 2013 Toxic radioactive substances in groundwater at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have rocketed over the past three days, its operator said, admitting it did not know where the leak was coming from. Samples taken on Monday showed levels of possibly cancer-causing caesium-134 were more than 90 times higher than they were on Friday, at 9,000 becquerels per litre, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) revealed. Levels of caesium-137 stood at 18,000 becquerels per litre, 86 times higher than at the end of last week, the utility said.

Edward Snowden: 'The US government will say I aided our enemies'

Edward Snowden: 'The US government will say I aided our enemies' - video interview 08 Jul 2013 In the second part of an exclusive interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden contemplates the reaction from the US government to his revelations of top-secret documents regarding its spying operations on domestic and foreign internet traffic, email and phone use. This interview was recorded in Hong Kong on 6 June 2013. [Part one of the Snowden interview is here.]

US judge denies Guantanamo Bay prisoner's request to end force-feeding

US judge denies Guantánamo Bay prisoner's request to end force-feeding 08 Jul 2013 A US judge on Monday denied a Guantánamo prisoner's request to halt the force-feeding of hunger strikers and said that only President Barack Obama had the power to intervene. US district judge Gladys Kessler, based in Washington, DC, said she would be overstepping her authority if she issued an injunction against force-feeding as requested by inmate Abu Wa'el Dhiab. Dhiab, a Syrian, is one of four prisoners, all of whom are hunger strikers, to make such a request. The court has yet to rule on the other three captives.

Irish High Court refuses to grant arrest warrant for Snowden

Irish High Court refuses to grant arrest warrant for Snowden 08 Jul 2013 The High Court has refused an application by the United States for an arrest warrant for the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. In a judgment issued this afternoon, Judge Colm Mac Eochaidh said he was "compelled" to reject the application for a provisional arrest warrant, which was made by the US embassy to the Department of Foreign Affairs last Friday, because it did not state where the alleged offences were committed. The application, under the Extradition Act 1965, was brought to the High Court by the attorney general last Saturday. According to the judgment, the US authorities made contact with their Irish counterparts on an informal basis on July 4th.

Feds hope to learn more from 4 pilots aboard jet that crashed in San Francisco

Feds hope to learn more from 4 pilots aboard jet that crashed in San Francisco 08 Jul 2013 Federal investigators said Monday they hope to learn much more from interviews with the four pilots aboard the jetliner that crash-landed at the San Francisco airport, and they said the aircraft was still 500 feet in the air -- much too high -- when it slowed to touchdown speed. Two days after Asiana Airlines Flight 214 scraped across the runway and caught fire, killing two teenagers and injuring 180 passengers, the investigators gave no indication of mechanical or external problems, suggesting the cockpit holds vital clues.

Web monitoring tools made by U.S. firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan - Report

Web monitoring tools made by U.S. firm Blue Coat detected in Iran, Sudan - Report 08 Jul 2013 American-made devices used for Internet monitoring have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan, in apparent violation of U.S. sanctions that ban the sale of goods, services or technology to the 'autocratic' states, according to new research. Several of the devices, manufactured by California-based Blue Coat Systems, were also discovered in Syria. Although Blue Coat tools have been identified in Syria in the past, the new research indicates that the government of President Bashar al-Assad has more of the monitoring devices than previously known.

Japan moves closer to restarting nuclear reactors

Japan moves closer to restarting nuclear reactors 08 Jul 2013 Japan has [insanely] moved a step closer to restarting nuclear reactors, with four utility companies applying for safety inspections of 10 idled plants, the clearest sign of a return to atomic energy almost two and a half years after the [start of the ONGOING] Fukushima disaster. About 160,000 evacuees still cannot return home... Dozens of activists opposing nuclear power staged rallies outside a building that houses the watchdog's office, holding banners and chanting anti-nuclear slogans.

Israeli doctors to advise US on Guantanamo hunger strikers

Israeli doctors to advise US on Guantanamo hunger strikers 08 Jul 2013 Officials from the Israeli Medical Association have been invited to the U.S. to present policy makers there with their methods of handling hunger strikers, as the U.S. administration comes under fire for its own practice of force-feeding of Guantanamo Bay detention camp prisoners who refuse to eat. The invitation followed the officials remarks on the matter at a convention at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the most prestigious medical faculties. Israeli policies regarding hunger strikers were formulated in a position paper of the IMA in February 2005.

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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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