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Prisoner: I Threatened to Kill Obama to Get Medical Care

January 23, 2013 by legitgov

Prisoner: I Threatened to Kill Obama to Get Medical Care 22 Jan 2013 A homeless man who was arrested after threatening the life of President Barack Obama claimed that he only did so in order to get needed medical attention. The prisoner, 57-year-old Stephen Espalin, reportedly told the court his story Friday while addressing Senior U.S. District Judge Kenneth Ryskamp. "I would have no intent to hurt the president," Espalin was quoted as saying by the Florida Sun-Sentinel. "I realize it wasn’t the right thing to do. I uttered those words knowing the [federal agents] would come and take care of me."

Obama 'will not oppose' House GOP plan to suspend debt limit until May

January 23, 2013 by legitgov

Obama 'will not oppose' House GOP plan to suspend debt limit until May 22 Jan 2013 House Republicans are advancing a novel plan to suspend enforcement of the federal debt limit through May 18, a move that would lift the threat of a government default and relieve the air of crisis that has surrounded their budget battle with President Obama. The measure -- set for a vote Wednesday in the House -- would not resolve the dispute over how to control the national debt. The White House tacitly endorsed the proposal Tuesday, issuing a statement that said Obama "would not oppose" the temporary respite.

Two suspects detained after shooting on Texas college campus

January 23, 2013 by legitgov

Two suspects detained after shooting on Texas college campus 22 Jan 2013 Three people were wounded, one critically, on Tuesday when gunfire erupted during an altercation between two people on a community college campus near Houston, police said, the latest in a series of shootings on U.S. college and school campuses. Two people "of interest" in the Lone Star College shooting were detained for questioning, including one with a student identification, according to authorities. "We are questioning them now," Harris County Sheriff's Office Captain W.K. Melacon told a press conference at the scene.

4 remain hospitalized after Lone Star College shooting

January 23, 2013 by legitgov

4 remain hospitalized after Lone Star College shooting --3 injured, 1 suffers medical emergency 22 Jan 2013 An altercation between a student and another man led to a shooting that injured three people, including a campus maintenance worker, at the Lone Star College North Harris campus on Tuesday, officials said. A fourth person, a female student, also went to the hospital because of a medical event. The shooting erupted outside just after noon at 2700 W.W. Thorne, near Aldine Westfield, in the center courtyard between the academic building and the library, said Chancellor Richard Carpenter, who oversees all Lone Star College System operations.

3 Injured in Shooting at College in Houston

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

3 Injured in Shooting at College in Houston 23 Jan 2013 At least three people were injured on Tuesday in a shooting at a college in Houston, the authorities said. At least one suspect was in custody. Officials at the North Harris campus of Lone Star College announced an evacuation at 12:52 p.m. on its Web site, citing an incident involving "a couple of armed suspects." Harris County Sheriff's Department vehicles blocked access to the roads leading to the college on Tuesday afternoon.

4 Texas schools also on lockdown over college shooting

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

4 Texas schools also on lockdown over college shooting --Other schools on lockdown over Texas college shooting --Schools will not allow students communicate with their parents --Heavy police presence in area 22 Jan 2013

Multiple shots reportedly fired at Lone Star College in Houston

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

Multiple shots reportedly fired at Lone Star College in Houston 22 Jan 2013 Shots were fired Tuesday on the Lone Star College campus in north Houston, MyFoxHouston.com reported. There were local reports of three injuries. One suspect is reportedly in custody and police are searching for another possible gunman. Paramedics are on the scene and are treating several victims. An emergency alert was sent to students advising them and faculty to take immediate shelter and not to enter the campus until notified further.

Multiple people shot at Texas college - Police

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

Multiple people shot at Texas college - Police --One person in custody in Texas campus shooting --Search is on for second shooter [Remember that, folks] --Second shooter seen fleeing, leaving academic building heading for a neighboring subdivision on Lone Star College campus --Other schools on lockdown --SWAT on campus --Two transported to local hospital, entering surgery in 'serious condition.' --Third victim transported to other hospital --FBI, ATF on scene to assist --Witness: 'I saw one of the shooters.' [Ergo, there is more than one shooter.] Texas college on lockdown; multiple people report 'active shooter' --One person in custody. Police looking for 'another individual' --'Shelter-in-place' has been implemented 22 Jan 2013 [This story will be updated.]

U.S. begins transporting French troops, equipment to Mali

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

U.S. begins transporting French troops, equipment to Mali --U.S. also working with France on intelligence issues, possibly using surveillance drones 22 Jan 2013 The United States has started transporting French soldiers and equipment to Mali as part of its logistical aid to French forces fighting 'Islamist militants' in the north of the country, a U.S. official said on Tuesday. "We have started air lifting French army personnel and equipment to Bamako from Istres," said Benjamin Benson, a spokesman for U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM). A Reuters camera crew on Tuesday saw a U.S.-flagged military transport aircraft taking off from the Istres air base in southern France. Benson said the U.S. flights had started on Monday, but declined to give details on the number of planes being used.

Neb. governor OKs Keystone XL route through state

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

Neb. governor OKs Keystone XL route through state 22 Jan 2013 Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R) has approved a new route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline that avoids the state's environmentally sensitive Sandhills region [but will destroy the entire environment]. Heineman sent a letter Tuesday to President Barack Obama confirming that he would allow the controversial project to proceed in his state. The pipeline has faced strong resistance in Nebraska from a coalition of landowners and environmental groups who say it would contaminate the Ogallala aquifer, a massive groundwater supply.

Inaugural demagogy

January 22, 2013 by walden9

Inaugural demagogy 22 Jan 2013 Obama began by invoking the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed that "all men are created equal." He returned several times to this theme, declaring that the country "cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it." ... Upon hearing these words, one might be tempted to ask who was the occupant of the White House over the past four years, as corporate profits soared and Wall Street bankers enriched themselves.

US Military Wants to Hide Drones Under the Sea

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

US Military Wants to Hide Drones Under the Sea 21 Jan 2013  The U.S. military envisions a scenario of hiding robotic drones, sensors or decoys on the ocean floor so that they can rise to the occasion when 'needed.' The idea of hiding sneaky spy technologies beneath the waves comes from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.  The agency described its Upward Falling Payloads program as an effort to hide underwater capsules that could be triggered remotely to activate, float to the surface and release their payloads of sensor buoys or even flying drones.

Panetta: US has to 'fight back' against al Qaeda 'wherever they are'

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

Panetta: US has to 'fight back' against al Qaeda 'wherever they are' 21 Jan 2013 The terrorist attack in Algeria that left three Americans and 34 other hostages dead shows that al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is "committed to creating terror" no matter where its members are located and that America has "got to fight back," Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Monday. "I'm glad we were able to get some rescued, but we did lose three Americans," Panetta told a small group of reporters Monday as he left the inaugural lunch at the Capitol. "That just tells us al Qaeda is committed to creating terror wherever they are, and we’ve got to fight back."

NATO Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey to counter 'Syria risks'

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

NATO Patriot missiles arrive in Turkey to counter 'Syria risks' 21 Jan 2013 The first of six NATO Patriot missile batteries intended to protect Turkey from a potential Syrian attack arrived by ship from Germany on Monday, drawing a small but noisy protest from nationalist and leftist demonstrators. Dozens of camouflaged German military vehicles carrying the batteries disembarked at the Mediterranean port of Iskenderun. About 150 Turkish Communist Party supporters fired pink smoke grenades and burned an American flag at a port entrance. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States are each sending two Patriot missile batteries and up to 400 troops to Turkey.

President Obama sworn in for second term

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

President Obama sworn in for second term 21 Jan 2013 Barack Obama publicly took the oath of office for his second term Monday in a ceremony heavily laced with references to the country’s long struggle toward equality for its African American citizens.From an invocation by the widow of a slain leader of the civil rights movement that opened the formal proceedings, to the two Bibles on which Obama took the oath, one of which belonged to Abraham Lincoln and the other to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the symbols of the nation's 57th inaugural ceremony traced the historic arc that led toward the nation’s first black president.

More powerful guns may guard spent nuclear fuel

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

More powerful guns may guard spent nuclear fuel 21 Jan 2013 Machine guns may be coming to a nuclear plant near you. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has proposed a rule that would allow security guards to wield machine guns and "enhanced weapons" to guard spent fuel rods being stored at nuclear power plants. The cost of the weapons upgrade, training and background checks envisioned in the NRC rule could cost the industry US taxpayer, via corporate  welfare between $26.5 million and $34.7 million, according to NRC estimates.

Obama Takes One Last View of Pageantry With Eye to Future

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

Obama Takes One Last View of Pageantry With Eye to Future 21 Jan 2013 At the start of his second and final term, President Barack Obama paused to indulge in a moment of reflection. "I want to take a look one more time," Obama said, turning back as he entered the Capitol yesterday to savor the sight of hundreds of thousands of people packed into the National Mall to see him take the oath of office and hear his inaugural address. "I'm not going to see this again."

US drone strike kills 3 in Yemen

January 22, 2013 by legitgov

US drone strike kills 3 in Yemen 21 Jan 2013 A U.S. drone airstrike on a vehicle Monday east of Yemen’s capital of Sanaa killed three suspected al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] militants and wounded two others, according to security officials. The airstrike was the third to target al-Qaida militants in the area since Saturday and indicated an uptick in the U.S. military battle against the terror organization in Yemen. On Saturday, two U.S. drone strikes killed eight people, including two known al-Qaida militants, in Marib province.

'Horrific' New Mexico shooting leaves 5 dead; investigators arrest 15-year-old

January 21, 2013 by walden9

'Horrific' New Mexico shooting leaves 5 dead; investigators arrest 15-year-old 20 Jan 2013 Sheriff's investigators combed through what one called a "horrific" crime scene Sunday after the shooting deaths of five people, three of them children, at a home outside Albuquerque, New Mexico. A well-known local pastor and four of his relatives were among the victims, according to those who knew him.

Death toll from Algerian siege rises

January 21, 2013 by walden9

Death toll from Algerian siege rises 21 Jan 2013 The 'Al-Qaeda' linked group claiming responsibility for the four-day attack on an Algerian gas plant deep in the Sahara has threatened to stage further strikes on nations involved in chasing out Islamists from neighbouring Mali. It's believed almost 50 hostages were killed during the four-day siege.

WikiLeaks says Aaron Swartz may have been a 'source'

January 20, 2013 by legitgov

WikiLeaks says Aaron Swartz may have been a 'source' 19 Jan 2013 WikiLeaks said late yesterday that recently deceased Internet activist Aaron Swartz assisted the organization, was in contact with Julian Assange, and may have been one of the organization's sources. Reached in Iceland on Saturday evening, California time, WikiLeaks representative Kristinn Hrafnsson confirmed to CNET that the tweets were authentic but declined to elaborate. In the tweets, the organization said it was revealing the information "due to the investigation into the Secret Service involvement" with Swartz.

Agencies ready for security at presidential inauguration

January 20, 2013 by legitgov

Agencies ready for security at presidential inauguration 15 Jan 2013 Officials from the Secret Service, Homeland Security, D.C. Police, Metro, U.S. Park Police and other agencies gathered Tuesday to announce security plans for the 2013 inaugural events. In 2009, there were no arrests or security incidents, and they are working to ensure the same for President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The Multi-Agency Command Center, dubbed the MACC, will serve as a hub for 42 different agencies, from law enforcement to transportation. There are 100 workstations which will monitor the inaugural events as they happen.

Record-high cesium in fish near N-plant

January 20, 2013 by legitgov

Record-high cesium in fish near N-plant 20 Jan 2013 About 254,000 becquerels per kilogram of radioactive cesium was measured in a spotbelly rockfish caught in the port of Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station late last month, TEPCO has said. The cesium level is 2,540 times higher than the government-set limit for food and the highest found in fish since the March 2011 accident at the plant, according to TEPCO.

Fish with radiation over 2,500 times safe levels found near Fukushima plant

January 20, 2013 by legitgov

Fish with radiation over 2,500 times safe levels found near Fukushima plant 19 Jan 2013 A fish containing over 2,500 times Japan's legal limit for radiation in seafood has been caught in the vicinity of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, the facility's operator reported. ­A ‘murasoi' fish, similar to a rockfish, was caught at a port inside the plant, according to AFP. Plant owner Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) indicated that the amount of cesium measured 254,000 becquerels per kilogram – 2,540 times Japan's legal limit for radiation in seafood. In October, TEPCO admitted that radiation leaks at the plant had not fully stopped.

CIA drone strikes will get pass in counterterrorism 'playbook,' officials say

January 20, 2013 by legitgov

CIA drone strikes will get pass in counterterrorism 'playbook,' officials say 19 Jan 2013 The Obama administration is nearing completion of a detailed counterterrorism manual that is designed to establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations but leaves open a major exemption for the CIA's campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, U.S. officials said. The carve-out would allow the CIA to continue pounding al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and Taliban targets for a year or more before the agency is forced to comply with more stringent rules spelled out in a classified document that officials have described as a counterterrorism "playbook."

7 hostages reported dead in 'final assault' on Algerian refinery

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

7 hostages reported dead in 'final assault' on Algerian refinery 19 Jan 2013 Algerian troops raided a remote natural gas refinery Saturday, killing 11 Islamic militants but not before extremists executed seven hostages who for days had been trapped in a deepening international crisis, according to media reports. Algerian state media described the army mission as the “final assault” to end a hostage ordeal that began in the predawn Wednesday at a gas compound on the Algerian-Libyan border. It was not clear if the hostages killed were Algerians or foreigners. The natural gas refinery at In Amenas is also jointly operated by BP; Statoil, a Norwegian firm; and Sonatrach, the Algerian national oil company.

School Kicks Out Sophomore in RFID Student-ID Flap

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

School Kicks Out Sophomore in RFID Student-ID Flap 18 Jan 2013 A Texas high school on Friday barred a girl from attending class as part of the fallout from a legal flap that began when the sophomore [Andrea Hernandez] refused to wear around her neck an RFID-chip student ID she claims is the "Mark of the Beast," lawyers connected to the brouhaha said. The Northside Independent School District in San Antonio began issuing the RFID-laden student-body cards when the semester began in the fall. The ID badge has a bar code associated with a student's Social Security number. The chip monitors pupils' movements on campus, from when they arrive until when they leave.

Fukushima debris hits Hawaii

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

Fukushima debris hits Hawaii 18 Jan 2013 Debris set adrift by the 2011 Japanese tsunami has made its way to Hawaii, triggering concerns over the unknown effects of the radiation it may carry from the meltdown[s] of the Fukushima reactor. Debris has washed ashore the islands of Oahu and Kauai and the state’s Department of Health has been asked to test some of the incoming material for radiation levels. Refrigerator parts, oyster buoys, housing insulation, storage bins... and even Japanese net boats have all washed up on Hawaiian sands in the past few weeks, triggering serious environmental concerns over both water pollution and radiation exposure.

Homeland Security Components Getting Set for Inaugural

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

Homeland Security Components Getting Set for Inaugural 18 Jan 2013 The Department of Homeland Security will support security operations for the 57th Presidential Inaugural, coordinating with federal, state and local agencies to secure transportation systems and protected sites surrounding the event. The U.S. Secret Service has primary responsibility for the coordination of security planning and implementation. In addition, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will provide assets and personnel. The 57th Presidential Inaugural, to be held Jan. 21, 2013, was designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Secretary of Homeland Security on September 12, 2012.

GOP eyes new election laws in states Obama won

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

If you can't beat 'em, steal 'em: GOP eyes new election laws in states Obama won 18 Jan 2013 After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules to make it easier for them to win. From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, GOP officials who control legislatures in states that supported President Barack Obama are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state's popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too. Instead, these officials want Electoral College votes to be divided proportionally, a move that could transform the way the country elects its president. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed the idea this week, and other Republican leaders support it, too, suggesting that the effort may be gaining momentum.

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