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Pentagon wasted $30BN in Iraq and Afghanistan and $720m on 'shipping container late fees'

August 30, 2011 by legitgov

Pentagon wasted $30BN in Iraq and Afghanistan and 'more than $720m on late fees for forgetting to return shipping containers' 29 Aug 2011 The Pentagon spent more than $30billion on contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan, a report has revealed, while $720million of the money was wasted on fees for shipping containers which it failed to return on time. The amount of money squandered over the past ten years amounts to at least one in every six dollars spent, records to be released in full on Wednesday show. Meanwhile, it has emerged that military officials underestimated the amount of time they would need to rent 20ft long containers used to ship equipment overseas - resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars thrown away on embarrassing late fees.

Suicide attack on Baghdad mosque kills 29

August 30, 2011 by legitgov

Suicide attack on Baghdad mosque kills 29 29 Aug 2011 An elderly man swathed in bandages blew himself up in Baghdad's biggest Sunni mosque killing up to 29 people in a suicide attack blamed on al Qaeda. [Yeah, but we all know that it was probably Blackwater.] The blast killed a member of Iraq's parliament and wounded 38 when it tore through a crowd of about 200 worshippers at the Um al-Qura mosque. The explosion came as Iraqi leaders were still debating whether they need to retain American troops to boost destroy security in the country after their deadline to withdraw at the end of the year.

Hurricane Irene shuts down US nuclear reactors

August 30, 2011 by legitgov

Hurricane Irene shuts down US nuclear reactors --Maryland plant damaged by hurricane winds as other US nuclear sites take precautionary measures 28 Aug 2011 A nuclear reactor in Maryland has been shut down because of wind damage, while others were either taken offline or operating at reduced capacity as precautionary measures before the arrival of hurricane Irene on Sunday. A reactor at the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant in Lusby, Maryland, remained off-line on Sunday, after going into automatic shutdown when a piece of aluminum siding ripped from a nearby building damaged a transformer.

Strauss-Kahn returns to IMF, gets warm applause

August 30, 2011 by legitgov

Strauss-Kahn returns to IMF, gets warm applause 29 Aug 2011 Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn apologized to the institution's staff in his first return visit since charges of sexual assault against him were dropped last week. He was greeted with warm applause. Strauss-Kahn, who was with his wife French TV personality wife Anne Sinclair, drove himself to the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund and met briefly with his successor and fellow French national Christine Lagarde. He later addressed a packed auditorium out of reach of the cameras of televisions crews and photographers who had camped outside the IMF all day waiting for the former director.

Greenpeace: Fukushima schools unsafe after 'clean-up'

August 29, 2011 by legitgov

Greenpeace: Fukushima schools unsafe after 'clean-up' 29 Aug 2011 Greenpeace said on Monday that schools and surrounding areas located 60 km (38 miles) from Japan's tsunami-hit nuclear power plant were unsafe for children, showing radiation readings as much as 70 times internationally accepted levels. The environmental group took samples at and near three schools in Fukushima city, well outside the 20 km exclusion zone from Tokyo Electric Power's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan's northeast. Japan's education ministry on Friday set a looser standard, allowing up to 1 microsievert per hour of radiation in schools.

NYPD Confirms CIA Officer Works at Department

August 29, 2011 by legitgov

NYPD Confirms CIA Officer Works at Department --CIA spokesperson described agency's relationship with NYPD as 'collaborative' 25 Aug 2011 New York's police commissioner confirmed Thursday that a [just one?] CIA officer is working out of police headquarters there, after an Associated Press investigation revealed an unusual partnership with the CIA that has blurred the line between foreign and domestic spying. But he and the CIA said the spy agency's role at the department is an advisory one. Speaking to reporters in New York, commissioner Raymond Kelly acknowledged that the CIA trains NYPD officers on "trade craft issues," meaning espionage techniques, and advises police about events happening overseas.

UN Warns of Bird Flu Resurgence

August 29, 2011 by legitgov

UN Warns of Bird Flu Resurgence 29 Aug 2011 The United Nations warned Monday of a possible resurgence of the deadly bird flu virus, saying wild bird migrations had brought it back to previously virus-free countries and that a mutant strain was spreading in Asia. A mutant strain of H5N1, which can apparently sidestep defenses of existing vaccines, is spreading in China and Vietnam, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization said in a statement Monday. [See: CLG's Flu 'Oddities'. Also, see: Killer flu recreated in the lab 07 Oct 2004 UK Scientists have shown that tiny changes to modern flu viruses could render them as deadly as the 1918 strain which killed millions. A US team added two genes from a sample of the 1918 virus to a modern strain known to have no effect on mice. Animals exposed to this composite were dying within days of symptoms similar to those found in human victims of the 1918 pandemic.]

Tree Meets Pool

August 29, 2011 by legitgov

Tree Meets Pool By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 29 Aug 2011 Capping off 'Summer of Hell 2011' which included killer heat, several undeclared wars for oil, multiple Barack Obama cave-ins and sellouts, and a Rick Perry 'I-don't-believe-in-evolution' presidential run -- was Hurricane Irene. Below are pictures (taken by my neighbor) of a large (250-year-old?) pine tree which fell in my back yard as Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene made landfall in Southwest Connecticut, 28 August 2011. Permission is granted to repost this item and/or images, with proper attribution.

Pre-war Iraq 'not threat to UK', former MI5 boss says

August 29, 2011 by legitgov

Pre-war Iraq 'not threat to UK', former MI5 boss says 28 Aug 2011 Iraq posed no threat to the UK when then prime minister Tony Blair took Britain to war in 2003, former MI5 boss Baroness Manningham-Buller has said. In a Radio Times interview, Baroness Manningham-Buller said the service advised war was likely to increase the domestic threat and was a "distraction" from the pursuit of 'al-Qaeda... She also said she "assumed" there would be another terrorist attack on Britain.

BP can be sued for punitive Gulf spill damages

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

BP can be sued for punitive Gulf spill damages 27 Aug 2011 Thousands of fishermen and business owners in a multi-billion-dollar legal battle with BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have won the right to sue for punitive damages, in a fresh defeat for the oil major. More than 100,000 individuals, companies and authorities have filed cases claiming they suffered economic loss as a result of the leak last year. A judge, Carl Barbier, is considering 500 cases, many of them class actions, against BP and its main co-defendants, including Transocean, the rig owner. In a key ruling, Judge Barbier has said that the plaintiffs are allowed to make their cases under maritime law for punitive damages.

Market crash 'could hit within weeks', warn bankers

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Market crash 'could hit within weeks', warn bankers 24 Aug 2011 A more severe crash than the one triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers could be on the way, according to alarm signals in the credit markets. Insurance on the debt of several major European banks has now hit historic levels, higher even than those recorded during financial crisis caused by the US financial group's implosion nearly three years ago... The cost of insuring [Royal Bank of Scotland] RBS bonds is now higher than before the taxpayer was forced to step in and rescue the bank in October 2008, and shows the recent dramatic downturn in sentiment among credit investors towards banks.

BBC journalist killed during Taliban attack 'may have been shot by US forces'

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

BBC journalist killed during Taliban attack 'may have been shot by US forces' 26 Aug 2011 A BBC journalist who died during a Taliban suicide attack may have been shot dead by US special forces, an independent investigation has found. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak was one of more than 20 people killed in attacks on a TV station in Uruzgan province, in the south of Afghanistan, on 28 July. The Taliban was initially blamed for the 25-year-old's death, but an investigation by the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts' Network (AAN) said Khpulwak may have been killed by US weaponry once the Taliban attackers were already dead.

Two NATO tankers torched in Pakistan

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Two NATO tankers torched in Pakistan 28 Aug 2011 At least two NATO oil tankers have been destroyed by unknown militants in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials say. Militants riding on a motorcycle initially opened fired at the tankers and then set them on fire on the National Highway of Bolan area late Saturday, a Press TV correspondent reported Sunday. The oil tankers, which were carrying fuel for US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, were on their way from the southern Pakistani city of Karachi to Afghanistan's Kandahar.

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic --Winds begin to blast Northeast --More than 9,000 flights canceled through Monday 28 Aug 2011 At least 10 people were dead and about 2 million homes and businesses were in the dark early Sunday as Hurricane Irene took aim at New York City pummeling the Eastern Seaboard to the south. Forecasters and authorities warned that the storm's run north to New England from its landfall in North Carolina could be catastrophic. The National Hurricane Center said Delaware Bay, the Jersey shore, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound faced strong storm surges.

Examining a Labor Hero's Death

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Examining a Labor Hero's Death 27 Aug 2011 At Woodstock, Joan Baez sang a famous folk ballad celebrating Joe Hill, the itinerant miner, songwriter and union activist who was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1915. Hill's status as a labor icon and the debate about his conviction certainly never died. And now a new biography [by William M. Adler] makes the strongest case yet that Hill was wrongfully convicted of murdering a local grocer, the charge that led to his execution at age 36. His conviction was so controversial that President Woodrow Wilson twice wrote to Utah's governor to urge him to spare Hill's life, and unions as far away as Australia protested on his behalf.

New York City Shuts Down Amid Flooding Fears

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

New York City Shuts Down Amid Flooding Fears 28 Aug 2011 Hurricane Irene charged toward New York on Saturday evening, with the city all but closed down in anticipation of what forecasters warned could be violent winds with the force to drive a wall of water over the beaches in the Rockaways and between the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan. "Now the edge of the hurricane is finally upon us," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a briefing from the city’s emergency command center in Brooklyn at about 10:30 p.m. The subway system, one of the city’s trademarks, had shut down in the middle of the day, and firefighters and social service workers had spent much of Saturday trying to complete the evacuation of about 370,000 residents in low-lying areas where officials expected flooding to follow the storm.

EDL march in London banned by home secretary

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

EDL march in London banned by home secretary --Theresa May consents to request from Met to ban all marches in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring boroughs for 30 days 26 Aug 2011 The [Reichwing] English Defence League's plan to march through the capital next month has been blocked by the home secretary. Theresa May banned all marches in Tower Hamlets, east London, and four neighbouring boroughs in the capital for a 30-day period, following a request from the commander for the event, which was passed on to May by Scotland Yard's acting commissioner, Tim Godwin.

Britain places blanket bans on street protests

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Britain places blanket bans on street protests 27 Aug 2011 Amid fears of violence, the UK government has placed a blanket ban on street marches in London. The Home Office has announced the ban will be in place form September 2 for 30 days and will cover five London boroughs: Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest; and the City of London. It is believed the ban was put in place by Home Secretary Theresa May following representation by Scotland Yard Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin.

Hurricane Irene Spawns Tornadoes, Damage Reported in Delaware, Virginia

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Hurricane Irene Spawns Tornadoes, Damage Reported in Delaware, Virginia 27 Aug 2011 As Hurricane Irene moved north, with its winds and torrents of rain, it caused tornadoes in at least four states, and officials warned they could be as dangerous as the hurricane itself. Tornadoes were reported in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. At least five homes in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, Va., sustained major damage from a tornado, said Mary Hancock, a spokeswoman for the city, but the area had already been evacuated and there were no injuries reported.

Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list 27 Aug 2011 Though Hurricane Irene was still hundreds of miles south, residents of low-lying areas of Connecticut and Rhode Island were evacuated Saturday as officials warned of widespread flooding from the powerful storm that is expected to strike at high tide. In an afternoon briefing, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said the storm would make landfall between Stamford and Bridgeport early Sunday morning, bringing seven to 12 inches of rain. Malloy said Connecticut was bracing for widespread power and telecommunication outages.

U.S. military ready for hurricane response

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

U.S. military ready for hurricane response --U.S. military's Northern Command directed to assist response efforts led by Federal Emergency Management Agency 26 Aug 2011 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday the military stood ready to aid the U.S. response to Hurricane Irene, with some 101,000 National Guard forces available if needed to governors of East Coast states. The Pentagon said it had pre-positioned 225 trucks loaded with equipment, food, water and generators at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Eighteen helicopters were deployed to the northeastern United States to provide life-saving support, if needed.

CLG Webhoster and CLG Editor in Path of Hurricane Irene

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

CLG Webhoster and CLG Editor in Path of Hurricane Irene Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 28 Aug 2011 The servers for CLG's webhoster, MayFirst, are located in New York City. NYC is in the path of Hurricane Irene. As I live in Connecticut, I am in the direct path of the storm. I will continue to update the CLG website, but since MayFirst controls the CLG Newsletter architecture, newsletters may be intermittent until power is restored in NYC. We apologize for the possible disruption of CLG newsletters and/or website updates.

Areas near Japan nuclear plant may be off limits for decades

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Areas near Japan nuclear plant may be off limits for decades 27 Aug 2011 Areas surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant could remain uninhabitable for decades due to high radiation, the government warned on Saturday. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is still leaking low levels of radiation nearly six months after an earthquake triggered a three nuclear meltdown[s]. In a meeting with local officials on Saturday, the government estimated it could take more than 20 years before residents could safely return to areas with current radiation readings of 200 millisieverts per year, and a decade for areas at 100 millisieverts per year.

2.5 million people ordered out as Irene nears

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

2.5 million people ordered out as Irene nears --Outer bands flood S.C. areas; NYC-area airports to close to incoming flights 27 Aug 2011 With more coastal cities ordering evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irene, residents and tourists alike from North Carolina to New York City were moving toward higher ground. All five major New York City-area airports planned to close to incoming flights at noon Saturday. Landfall was likely to be around 9 a.m. ET Saturday near Cape Lookout on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the National Hurricane Center said, but the storm's outer bands buffeted South Carolina Friday, flooding streets and downing power lines. Evacuation orders covered 1 million people in New Jersey, 550,000 in New York, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware.

DC mayor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

DC mayor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches 26 Aug 2011 Washington Mayor Vincent Gray has declared a state of emergency for the nation's capital ahead of Hurricane Irene. Gray's spokeswoman says the mayor issued the order Friday evening after consultation with the office of the attorney general. The move follows similar emergency orders issued in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

US-led strike kills 6 Afghan civilians

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

US-led strike kills 6 Afghan civilians 26 Aug 2011 A US-led airstrike targeting the Taliban militants has killed six members of a family in Afghanistan's eastern province of Logar. Mohammed Rahim, the governor of Barki Bark said the attack took place in Pakhtab district of the town at 11 p.m. local time on Thursday, a Press TV correspondent reported on Friday. The father of the family, his wife, and their four children, aged between eight and 16, died after their house was hit in the incident, the Afghan official said.

Kan steps down as Japan's premier

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Kan steps down as Japan's premier 26 Aug 2011 Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan has stepped down amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 earthquake. "I resign as the (party) president effective today," Kan told senior party officials, quoted by AFP on Friday. Kan, in office for only 15 months, has been criticized for his handling of the nuclear crisis which erupted after the March 11 twin disasters.

NRC inspectors head to nuclear power plants in path of Irene

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

NRC inspectors head to nuclear power plants in path of Irene 26 Aug 2011 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has dispatched additional inspectors to nuclear power plants along the East Coast to ensure the safety of those facilities in advance of Hurricane Irene, the agency said Friday. The inspectors were sent to plants "likely to be in the storm's path," including Brunswick near Southport, North Carolina; Surry in Surry, Virginia; Calvert Cliffs in Lusby, Maryland; Hope Creek/Salem in Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey; Oyster Creek in Forked River, New Jersey; Pilgrim in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Millstone in Waterford, Connecticut; Seabrook in Seabrook, New Hampshire; and Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, the NRC said in a press release.

Libya's NTC still not legitimate, AU says

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Libya's NTC still not legitimate, AU says 27 Aug 2011 The African Union has declined to recognize Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of the North African nation. South African President Jacob Zuma, who is also currently the chairman of the AU, said at the end of an AU Peace and Security Council meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday that the Libyan opposition fighters were "not yet legitimate," AFP reported. [And, the Exxon Mobil mercenaries never will be.]

State Dept. report favors US-Canada oil pipeline

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

State Dept. report favors US-Canada oil pipeline --Project has become a flashpoint for environmental groups 26 Aug 2011 The Obama regime on Friday removed a major roadblock to a planned $7 billion oil pipeline from western Canada to the Texas coast, saying in a report that the project is unlikely to cause significant environmental problems during construction or operation. [Yeah, right!] The thousand-page report by the State Department says the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant environmental impacts on most natural resources in its six-state path. Calgary-based TransCanada wants to build a massive pipeline to carry crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta to refineries in Texas.

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