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'The hackers ought to be shot then hanged upside down in public' - Stratfor client

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

'The hackers ought to be shot then hanged upside down in public' - Stratfor client --Stratfor.com and SpecialForces.com hacklog + others 06 Jan 2012 ANTISEC DISMANTLES STRATFOR, A MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR INTELLIGENCE CORPORATION --Shortly after news articles came out about Stratfor's destruction and their customers started to realize how hard they've been owned, hundreds of angry customers rushed to Facebook to rage. Many were rightfully mortified how a self-described intelligence [sic] corporation could fail so hard to protect their customer information. The second irony is when those customers who had some harsh words against Anonymous themselves found out the hard way how maybe it was a bad idea to post using their real names... Victor Gebilaguin: "The hackers ought to be shot then hanged upside down in public." (vgebilaguin@gmail.com)

The watchdog's kennel in clandestine Croydon

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

The watchdog's kennel in clandestine Croydon 07 Jan 2012 An inconspicuous Melbourne apartment block is home to a monitoring service that keeps watch on environment groups at the request of the federal government. The National Open Source Intelligence Centre, a private intelligence company, works under contract for the Australian Federal Police and Federal Attorney-General's Department to monitor activist websites, blogs, Facebook and Twitter to provide warning and analysis of protest activity. It aims to provide law enforcement agencies and other private clients with internet monitoring and analysis directed at groups engaged in "radical activism, criminal (terrorist) activity or unlawful behaviour". Services provided by NOSIC include "issue monitoring", "tactical intelligence", "threat analysis" and "trend analysis and forecasting focus on emerging patterns and trends in activism". [AntiSec? You can add NOSIC to your list.]

Torture reported in US-run Afghanistan prison

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Chains we can believe in: Torture reported in US-run Afghanistan prison --Bagram is sometimes called the 'Afghan Guantanamo', after the US military detention facility in Cuba. 08 Jan 2012 Inmates in the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan have faced abuses including torture, beatings and other mistreatment, a government report says. Publication of the report by the Constitutional Oversight Commission came just days after President Hamid Karzai ordered the transfer of the prison and its inmates to Afghan control within a month. 'In our vist of Bagram Prison, some of the inmates complained that they were tortured', said commission chairman Gul Rahman Qazi. Prisoners had also complained of being held in prison long after they were acquitted or their prison term had come to its end.

Britain brags about war on Iran

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Britain brags about war on Iran 07 Jan 2012 British foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has violated the international law by threatening to attack Iran if it closes its territorial waters in the Strait of Hormuz to transit. His threat comes despite Iran's clarification that it does not seek to close the strategic waterway and the fact that under the international law the issue is not Britain's business as it has no sovereignty in the region. Hammond said in a speech in Washington that closure of the World's most important oil artery would be "illegal and unsuccessful" saying Britain and the US would keep the water lane open using the might of their "joint naval presence" in the Persian Gulf.

Iran describes US Navy rescue as 'humanitarian'

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Iran describes US Navy rescue as 'humanitarian' 07 Jan 2012 Iran has described the US Navy's rescue of 13 Iranian fishermen held by Somali pirates as a "humanitarian gesture". Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said his country had also rescued foreign sailors from pirates on occasion. But he said such acts did not affect overall relations between countries. The Americans say they freed the Iranian fishermen in the Arabian Sea after more than a month in captivity, and provided fuel and food for them to return home.

U.S. Navy rescues Iran fishermen held by Somalia pirates

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. Navy rescues Iran fishermen held by Somalia pirates 07 Jan 2012 A Navy destroyer rescued 13 Iranian fishermen held hostage by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea only days after Tehran warned the United States to keep its ships out of the nearby Persian Gulf. Sailors from the guided-missile destroyer Kidd boarded the Iranian dhow Thursday and detained 15 Somalis after one of the fishermen was able to reveal in a radio communication that his vessel's crew was being held captive. Seeing a publicity windfall at a time of growing tension with Iran, Pentagon public affairs officers quickly swung into action, setting up a conference call for reporters with Navy commanders in the region.

Outbreak of endangered seal killings in Hawaii

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Outbreak of endangered seal killings in Hawaii 07 Jan 2012 Two Hawaiian monk seals were found bludgeoned to death on a remote coast of Molokai — one was killed in mid-November and the other shortly before Christmas. Earlier this month, a dead seal showed up on Kauai. A fourth possible killing on Molokai is also under investigation. No one knows who is killing the seals — a critically endangered species — or why. The animal is dangerously close to disappearing. There are only 1,100 left in the world, and scientists say the seal is on course to vanish in 50 to 100 years. [Too bad the monk seals were unable to *bludgeon first.*]

Preppy protester: 19-year-old Mitt Romney demonstrated in favour of Vietnam War draft

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Preppy protester: The moment a 19-year-old Mitt Romney demonstrated in favour of Vietnam War draft --Teenage Romney takes unpopular stance in favour of south-east Asian war --But his status as 'Mormon missionary' exempted him from draft 06 Jan 2012 A newly-unearthed photograph showing Mitt Romney demonstrating in favour of the Vietnam War draft might leave the presidential candidate feeling somewhat embarrassed. The veteran Republican, then 19, can be seen picketing an anti-war sit-in at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, in 1966. Romney never served in south-east Asia because his status as a Mormon missionary exempted him from the draft.

New swine, drug-resistant flu strains tracked

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

New swine, drug-resistant flu strains tracked 06 Jan 2012 Bay Area infectious disease experts are on the alert for new strains of flu, including another swine flu that's popped up in parts of the United States and a drug-resistant flu circulating in the Southern Hemisphere. Last week, Australian public health officials reported that during their flu season they saw an increase in strains of influenza that were resistant to antiviral drugs. In the United States, public health officials have recorded 12 cases of a new type of swine flu - this one a form of the subtype H3N2, instead of the H1N1 subtype that made up the 2009 pandemic. Federal authorities are already preparing a vaccine to prevent ensure the spread of this new virus.

Blackwater settles Iraq killings suit

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Blackwater settles Iraq killings suit 06 Jan 2012 A wrongful death lawsuit linked to a defining moment of the Iraq war has ended with the company formerly known as Blackwater agreeing to settle with the families of four security contractors killed in a gruesome 2004 ambush. The victims' survivors reached a confidential settlement with the company's successor, Academi, agreeing to dismiss the case before the Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. The court entered an order dismissing the case on December 29.

Leaked: US to Start 'Trade Wars' with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Leaked: US to Start 'Trade Wars' with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops 03 Jan 2012 The United States is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars, according to information obtained and released by the organization WikiLeaks. Nations like France, which have moved to ban one of Monsanto's [deadly] GM corn varieties, were requested to be 'penalized' by the United States for opposing Monsanto and genetically modified foods. The WikiLeaks cable reveals that in late 2007, the United States ambassador to France and business partner to George W. Bush, Craig Stapleton, requested that the European Union along with particular nations that did not support GMO crops be penalized.

Royal Navy sends its mightiest ship to take on the Iranian show of force in the Gulf

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Royal Navy sends its mightiest ship to take on the Iranian show of force in the Gulf 06 Jan 2012 The Royal Navy's most formidable warship is being sent to the Gulf for its first mission as tensions rise in the strategically vital region, it can be disclosed. Naval commanders believe the deployment of HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, will send a significant message to the Iranians because of the firepower and world-beating technology carried by the warship. Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has publicly warned Iran that any blockade of the Strait of Hormuz would be "illegal and unsuccessful".

Homeland Security monitors journalists

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

Homeland Security monitors journalists 07 Jan 2012 The Department of Homeland Security is on the ready to make sure that the government is keeping dibs on who is saying what. Under the National Operations Center (NOC)'s Media Monitoring Initiative that came out of DHS headquarters in November, Washington has the written permission to retain data on users of social media and online networking platforms. Specifically, the DHS announced the NCO and its Office of Operations Coordination and Planning (OPS) can collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use "traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed." [Hello, AntiSec? Get busy!]

8 NATO troops killed in 24 hours in southern Afghanistan

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

8 NATO troops killed in 24 hours in southern Afghanistan 06 Jan 2012 Eight NATO troops were killed in southern Afghanistan in a 24-hour period ending Friday, Western military officials said. NATO's International Security Assistance Force did not disclose the nationalities of the troops, but most of those serving in southern Afghanistan are American or British. Four of the eight were killed Friday in a single explosion, military officials said in a statement, and a fifth died as the result of an earlier "insurgent attack," a phrase often used to characterize a firefight with Taliban militants.

New Law Requires Photo ID to Buy Drain Cleaner

January 7, 2012 by legitgov

New Law Requires Photo ID to Buy Drain Cleaner 05 Jan 2012 (IL) A new state law requires those who buy drain cleaners and other caustic substances to provide photo identification and sign a log. The law, which took effect Sunday, requires those who seek to buy caustic or noxious substances, except for batteries, to provide government-issued photo identification that shows their name and date of birth. The cashier then must log the name and address, the date and time of the purchase, the type of product, the brand and even the net weight.

Pentagon's non-lethal weapon projects leaked - including a laser beam that 'steers enemy planes'

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Pentagon's non-lethal weapon projects leaked - including a laser beam that 'steers enemy planes' 05 Jan 2012 Descriptions of the Pentagon's latest non-lethal weapon projects have been leaked online. Publicintelligence.org recently published the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate's 'Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book', which includes devices in use and some that have been dreamed up for the future. One of the fantasy weapon systems is a laser device fitted to a plane that can actually steer an enemy aircraft away from a restricted area. It also details some projects that are being worked on... Also on the drawing board is a weapon that blocks cars using high-powered microwaves. Among the non-lethal weapons being used today that the leak details are Tasers, rubber bullets filled with pepper spray that disorientate rioters and 'Acoustic Hailing Devices' that leave targets with 'auditory impairment'.

DHS 'Operation Shield' training exercise with semiautomatic rifles startles locals

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

DHS 'Operation Shield' training exercise with semiautomatic rifles startles locals 04 Jan 2012 (FL) It may have looked like they were ready for war or some deranged person looking for his late Social Security benefits. But it was only Federal Protective Service officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who were conducting a random training operation early Tuesday morning when they surprisingly showed up at the Social Security Administration office in downtown Leesburg. With their blue and white SUVs circled around the Main Street office, at least one official was posted on the door with a semiautomatic rifle, randomly checking identifications. And other officers, some with K-9s, sifted through the building.

The scaffolding of an American police state

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

The scaffolding of an American police state By Bill Van Auken 06 Jan 2012 With his December 31 signing of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), allowing for indefinite military detention without charges or trial, Barack Obama has made an infamous contribution to the steady march towards police-state dictatorship in the United States... As one of the legislation's key Democratic sponsors, Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, revealed, the Obama White House intervened directly into the legislative process to kill amendments that would have specifically prohibited the military from indefinitely imprisoning US citizens without trial. It viewed such an exemption as an unacceptable restriction on presidential power.

Federal regulators say Ohio nuclear reactor safe despite not knowing cause of concrete cracks

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Federal regulators say Ohio nuclear reactor safe despite not knowing cause of concrete cracks 05 Jan 2012 Federal inspectors are convinced that a nuclear reactor along Lake Erie is safe to operate even though they said Thursday it is not clear why small cracks appeared in a concrete shell that protects the plant. The NRC allowed FirstEnergy Corp.'s Davis-Besse nuclear plant to begin producing electricity again in early December, less than two months after the first cracks were found. The plant was shut down for maintenance in October when crews discovered a 30-foot hairline crack in the outer concrete wall that's designed to protect the reactor from anything that might hit it from outside, such as storm debris or an airplane. More cracks were found soon after near the bottom of the 224-foot tall shield structure, leading to closer inspections that found cracks close to the top of the wall.

UK may take military action if Iran blocks Strait of Hormuz

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

UK may take military action if Iran blocks Strait of Hormuz 05 Jan 2012 The UK may take military action against Iran if it carries out its threat to block the Strait of Hormuz, Defense Secretary Philip Hammond will warn in a speech in Washington today. Any attempt by Iran to block the strategically important waterway in retaliation for sanctions against its oil exports would be "illegal and unsuccessful" and the Royal Navy will join any action to keep it open, Hammond will say, according to extracts of the address released by his office.

Boston Globe endorses Huntsman in GOP primary

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Boston Globe endorses Huntsman in GOP primary 05 Jan 2012 In a rebuke to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney [LOL!], The Boston Globe on Thursday endorsed Jon Huntsman for the Republican presidential nomination, marking the former Utah governor's sixth -- and by far largest -- newspaper endorsement in or near the state where he has chosen to put all of his campaign chips. Huntsman announced the endorsement shortly after taking the stage for a town hall at the Newport Recreation Department in Newport, N.H. on Tuesday night, touting it as "the largest newspaper in the entire region."

NY man accused in mosque attack held without bail

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

NY man accused in mosque attack held without bail 05 Jan 2012 A New York City man accused in a series of New Year's Day Molotov cocktail [terror] attacks that hit a mosque and a Hindu place of worship has been ordered held without bail, prosecutors said on Thursday. Ray Lazier Lengend was arraigned at Bellevue Hospital Center, where he is under psychological observation. He is accused of throwing Molotov cocktails at five locations in Queens and Long Island, including firebombs aimed at the front entrance of the Imam al-Khoei Foundation, a Shi'ite organization in the New York City borough of Queens, while some 75 to 80 people were inside. [Notice that the words 'terror' and 'terrorist' are conspicuously absent in the US corporate-run media when bombs are used against mosques?]

We would use force to keep Gulf open: Hammond warns Iran not to block key oil route

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

We would use force to keep Gulf open: Hammond warns Iran not to block key oil route --Defence Secretary warned Tehran that UK will not tolerate the 'very significant consequences' of a threat to block the Strait of Hormuz 06 Jan 2012 Britain would take military action to prevent Iran blocking the Persian Gulf to cut off oil supplies, the Defence Secretary said yesterday. Philip Hammond warned the government in Tehran that the UK will not tolerate the 'very significant consequences' if it fulfils a threat to block the Strait of Hormuz. He signalled that such action would be blocked by force of arms. Mr Hammond used a speech in Washington to warn Iran that any move to close the key Gulf trade route would be opposed by the Royal Navy.

Indiana Democrats block anti-union bill a 2nd day

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Indiana Democrats block anti-union bill a 2nd day 05 Dec 2012 Indiana Democratic legislators on Thursday delayed for a second day an anti-union bill that would make Indiana the first right-to-work state in the U.S. industrial belt. The Indiana House of Representatives conducted no official business Thursday because it lacked a quorum, as Democrats caucused and attended committee meetings. Though Republicans have a 60-40 majority, a quorum of 67 legislators is needed to conduct official business.

Obama to launch initiative to create 110,000 unpaid summer jobs

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Obama to launch initiative to create 110,000 unpaid summer jobs 05 Jan 2012 President Obama on Thursday will unveil a summer-jobs initiative that the White House says is already on track to create 180,000 "work opportunities" in the private sector in 2012. That is the number of opportunities, which includes mentoring and unpaid internships, that companies have told the administration they are willing to create. Some 70,000 jobs are paid, the White House says. In 60 days, the administration plans to create a jobs bank in order to facilitate more hiring of youth for summer 'jobs.'

Hamid Karzai orders transfer of US prison at Bagram to Afghan control

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Hamid Karzai orders transfer of US prison at Bagram to Afghan control 05 Jan 2012 Hamid Karzai, the Afghan President, has made a bid to wrest back control of the peace process with the Taliban by demanding that the US hand over control of their detention facility at Bagram within a month. Mr Karzai also said he wanted all Afghan citizens held by the coalition troops across the country passed into Afghan hands... A presidential statement said that keeping Afghan citizens imprisoned without trial violates the country's constitution, as well as international human rights conventions.

Iran urges vigilance against enemy plots

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Iran urges vigilance against enemy plots 05 Jan 2012 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has urged regional countries to remain vigilant against enemies' plots aiming to influence recent developments in the region. Describing recent regional and international developments as swift, vast and diverse, Ahmadinejad said governments and nations in the region must remain vigilant against plots and schemes of humanity's enemies. Ahmadinejad made the remarks at a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday. Ahmadinejad added that every nation has the right to freedom, justice, democracy and to determine their own fate, advising governments in the region to pay attention to people's demands. [Too bad the US government doesn't espouse the same.]

3 arrested as part of probe into ex-Walker aides

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

3 arrested as part of probe into ex-Walker aides 05 Jan 2012 A former close aide to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) [Tim Russell] and a Walker appointee [Kevin Kavanaugh] were arrested Thursday on felony embezzlement charges as part of an ongoing criminal investigation that centers on people who served during Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County executive. A third person, who worked six months for the state Department of Public Instruction until being fired Thursday, was charged with two felonies for child enticement in a case the county prosecutor said was discovered while investigating the others. The third person arrested on the child enticement charges, Brian Pierick, is Russell's longtime partner. The complaint alleges Pierick tried to entice a 17-year-old boy into his van to have sex.

Appointment Clears the Way for Consumer Agency to Act

January 6, 2012 by legitgov

Appointment Clears the Way for Consumer Agency to Act 05 Jan 2012 Payday lenders, money transfer agencies, credit bureaus and debt collectors, take notice: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is coming after you, and quickly. The recess appointment of Richard Cordray on Wednesday as director of the consumer bureau finally gives the fledgling agency the legal standing to supervise those types of financial enterprises, something it has lacked since the bureau was created with the signing of the Dodd-Frank financial regulation act in July 2010.

New attacks kill 45 in southern Iraq

January 5, 2012 by legitgov

New attacks kill 45 in southern Iraq 05 Jan 2012 At least 45 people have been killed in new outbreak of violence in Iraq's southern city of Nassiriya, following a string of bombings that killed two dozen others in Baghdad. The incident occurred on Thursday when a roadside bomb detonated on the outskirts of Nassiriya. Up to 70 people were also injured in the bomb attack that targeted a group of Shia pilgrims walking to the holy shrine city of Karbala.

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