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White House Lifts Veto Threat of Defense Bill

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

White House Lifts Veto Threat of Defense Bill --Bill allows indefinite detention without trial of US citizens 14 Dec 2011 The White House lifted a veto threat of the defense authorization bill, staving off a potential showdown with Congress on the issue of detainees. The House is scheduled to vote on the measure today, and the Senate is expected to act by the end of the week. Late this afternoon, House Republicans were meeting to round up the last votes needed to approve the bill. Human-rights organizations remain opposed to the measure because they charge it would allow for the indefinite detention of terrorism suspects, including Americans, without a trial.

Chains we can believe in: Bagram jail detainee unlawfully held, court rules

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Chains we can believe in: Bagram jail detainee unlawfully held, court rules --Appeal court tells British ministers to ask US to end Yunus Rahmatullah's seven-year ordeal at notorious Afghan prison 14 Dec 2011 The government has been ordered by three senior judges to secure the release of a Pakistani man captured by British special forces and held by the US in Afghanistan's notorious Bagram jail without trial for more than seven years. The judges ruled that Yunus Rahmatullah, 29, who was handed over by the SAS to American forces in Iraq in 2004 and then taken to Bagram, is being unlawfully detained. They ordered a writ of habeas corpus to be issued so he can be freed.

In Unprecedented Move, Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Protocol

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

In Unprecedented Move, Canada Withdraws from Kyoto Protocol 14 Dec 2011 Barely 24 hours after it signed a new global climate change agreement in Durban, South Africa, Canada became on Monday the first country to formally withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty to reduce emissions causing climate change. The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) concluded last Sunday with an agreement called the Durban Platform, which includes a consensus agreement for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol after the first expires at the end of 2012. Canada's government under Stephen Harper essentially agreed to a continuation of Kyoto only to announce formal withdrawal after Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent arrived back safely in Canada on Monday.

Obama a fan of Showtime's 'Homeland'

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Obama and I *finally* agree on something: Obama a fan of Showtime's 'Homeland' 14 Dec 2011 President Barack Obama says he's a fan of two popular cable TV shows: HBO's "Boardwalk Empire" and Showtime's "Homeland." The president said, "I'm a little darker," telling the magazine that he enjoys "Boardwalk Empire," a drama depicting Prohibition-era Atlantic City, and "Homeland," a psychological thriller about a CIA officer trying to unravel a suspected terrorist plot.

AP Sources: Dem lawmakers may drop millionaire tax

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Democratic surrendering sociopaths alert: AP Sources: Dem lawmakers may drop millionaire tax 14 Dec 2011 DemocRATic lawmakers are considering whether to jettison their demand for a millionaires' surtax, which they had hoped to use to cover the cost of a Social Security payroll tax cut extension for millions of wage-earners, officials said Wednesday. If party leaders go ahead, it would mark a(nother) concession to Republicans in the year-end standoff over the tax cut extension that President Barack Obama requested and leaders in both parties say they want. The disclosure came as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leading Democrats went to the White House to meet with Obama. [LOL, *of course!*]

Fukushima: Reactor 4 is falling apart

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Fukushima: Reactor 4 is falling apart By Mochizuki 12 Dec 2011 The wall of the south side is falling apart at reactor 4. Reactor 4 is in the most serious situation. It is assumed that if another aftershock hits it to drop the spent fuel pool hung in the building, the entire area in eastern Japan would be too contaminated to be inhabitable. On 12/2/2011 (JST), something like "fire" was observed beside reactor 4. Since then, a strong light has been set toward Fukuichi camera as if it was hiding something by white-out. However, thanks to JNN Fukushima live camera, it was confirmed that the wall of reactor 4 was lost on the south side. At least since 12/5/2011, the wall is missing.

GOP threatens to delay Senate bus, truck safety bill

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

GOP psycho alert: GOP threatens to delay Senate bus, truck safety bill 14 Dec 2011 Senate Republicans Wednesday threatened to delay bus and truck safety legislation after an "eleventh hour" addition to the measure by Commerce Committee Democrats. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Whackjob-Texas) and other Republicans are angry that a national freight policy bill was tacked on to the safety measure without notice Friday. Hutchison said it means Republicans will hold up the bill on the floor. The panel also rejected on a party line vote an amendment from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) to slash more than $50 million in annual spending from the bus and safety bill.

Pentagon spending bill includes sweeping detention measures

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Pentagon spending bill includes sweeping detention measures 13 Dec 2011 Even American citizens arrested in the United States could face perpetual detention in military prisons without charge or trial under draconian new presidential powers unless Barack Obama vetoes a massive Pentagon spending bill. The sweeping new "antiterrorist" measures could also ensnare Canadians or other foreigners picked up in the United States or overseas. For instance, U.S. agents tipped off by their Canadian counterparts as part of new intelligence-sharing pacts could detain a Canadian, ship him to Guantanamo and imprison him there forever.

Japanese to fit 1,000 monkeys with Geiger counters to test radiation levels in Fukushima

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Japanese to fit 1,000 monkeys with Geiger counters to test radiation levels in Fukushima --Monkeys set to wear the devices for decades --'We will get a better idea of how radiation is spread by rain, plants and rivers', say researchers 13 Dec 2011 Japanese researchers have enlisted wild monkeys to test radiation levels in forests near the devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Plant. The primates will be fitted with radiation metres and GPS transmitters to track the levels and spread of the leaked radioactive emissions. Professor Takayuki Takahashi from Fukushima University and his team of scientists are using almost 1,000 monkeys in the monitoring project. The latest project is set to enlist a range of Minamisoma's 14 species of monkeys throughout its forests to get a broad spectrum of readings.

Hundreds in Fallujah burn U.S. flag to celebrate troops pulling out of Iraq

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Hundreds in Fallujah burn U.S. flag to celebrate troops pulling out of Iraq [Right, but Blackwater terrorists remain, en masse. That issue needs to be addressed.] 14 Dec 2011 Hundreds of Iraqis set alight U.S. and Israeli flags on Wednesday as they celebrated the impending pullout of American forces from the country in the former insurgent bastion of Fallujah. Shouting slogans in support of the "resistance," the demonstrators held up banners and placards inscribed with phrases like, "Now we are free" and "Fallujah is the flame of the resistance." Surrounded by the Iraqi army, demonstrators carried posters bearing photos of apparent insurgents, faces covered and carrying weapons.

Suspicious package at Credit Suisse in New York

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Suspicious package at Credit Suisse in New York 14 Dec 2011 Parts of the Credit Suisse headquarters in New York City were evacuated on Wednesday due to a suspicious package, police said. "We have a report of a suspicious package in the building so we're investigating. We are evacuating at least part of (the building)," a police spokesman said.

Cyber war on US drones? Another spy craft crash, now in Seychelles

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Cyber war on US drones? Another spy craft crash, now in Seychelles 14 Dec 2011 With America still scrambling to explain why and how they lost a drone aircraft over Iran last week [LOL], the Pentagon is trying to make sense of how another high-tech unmanned spy craft crashed Tuesday morning in the Seychelles. For the second time in two weeks, US authorities lost contact with a drone aircraft, this time resulting in a fiery crash in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. Officials at the US embassy in Mauritius confirmed the crash on Tuesday morning, revealing that an MQ-9, or "Reaper" drone, had landed at Seychelles International Airport, citing mechanical issues. ['Mechanical issues?' *Hopefully,* Anonymous was the busy little cyber warrior bee!]

Israeli army base attacked by right-wing extremists

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Israeli army base attacked by right-wing extremists --Revealing the broad scope in defining terrorism, Israeli Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai described the incident as Jewish terrorism, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the 'activists' as 'rioters'. 14 Dec 2011 Israeli officials say around 50 right-wing Israeli extremists have infiltrated and attacked an Israeli military base in the West Bank in an act described as Jewish terrorism. The militants breached the base's perimeter and damaged property, set tires on fire, threw stones and damaged vehicles, according to a statement released by the Israeli Defence Force. The West Bank base is the Ephraim Regional Division Headquarters and the extremists also reportedly tried to attack the commander of the area, Colonel Ran Kahana, by throwing stones at his vehicle.

Wikipedia Mulls Total Blackout to Oppose SOPA

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Wikipedia Mulls Total Blackout to Oppose SOPA 12 Dec 2011 Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wants to blank out all pages of the online encyclopedia to oppose the pending SOPA anti-piracy bill in the US. Wales, who has asked the Wikipedia community for input on the idea, fears the bill could seriously hurt the Internet and thinks that blanking out Wikipedia will send a strong message to lawmakers. Later this week, the Senate's House Judiciary Committee will vote on the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA).

Ontario polar bears doomed, expert says

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Ontario polar bears doomed, expert says 13 Dec 2011 Say goodbye to Ontario's polar bears. Warmer weather will likely make it impossible for the iconic bears to survive on the shores of Hudson's Bay in Ontario and Manitoba in 20 to 30 years, says the world's best-known polar bear expert. The warning should not be taken lightly, considering Ian Stirling has studied polar bears as a biologist and adjunct University of Alberta professor for 41 years - longer than anyone else in the field. "It's not speculation," Stirling said in an interview Tuesday. "By the middle of the century, we're likely to have lost two thirds of the world's polar bears."

Blackwater mercenaries to return to Iraq

December 14, 2011 by legitgov

Blackwater mercenaries to return to Iraq 12 Dec 2011 With the US pulling out troops from Iraq this month, Washington plans to send Blackwater mercenaries to the Middle Eastern country under the new brand of ACADEMI. New York-based USTC Holdings, the investment group that bought ex-Blackwater firm, Xe Services, in December 2010, announced on Monday ACADEMI as the new name for Blackwater/ Xe Services, AFP reported. The deployment of ACADEMI mercenaries is likely to cause outrage in Iraq where its predecessor Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries could kill civilians with impunity during their time in Iraq. [Hopefully, insurgents will force the over-funded terrorists *out.*]

Protesters halt operations at some western ports

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Protesters halt operations at some western ports 13 Dec 2011 After their successful attempts to block trucks and curb business at busy ports up and down the West Coast, some Occupy Wall Street protesters plan to continue their blockades and keep staging similar protests. Thousands of demonstrators forced shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt parts of their operations Monday and some intend to keep their blockade attempts ramped up overnight. The movement, which sprang up this fall against what it sees as corporate greed and economic inequality, focused on the ports as the "economic engines for the elite."

Mitt Romney challenges Rick Perry to $10,000 bet in GOP debate

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Mitt Romney challenges Rick Perry to $10,000 bet in GOP debate 11 Dec 2011 In a moment during Saturday's GOP debate in Iowa that The Fix's Chris Cillizza called a "rare but likely costly unforced error," former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney challenged Texas Gov. Rick Perry to a $10,000 bet on Romney’s position on the individual mandate in the nation's new health insurance law... After a bit of back-and-forth, a visibly annoyed Romney extended his hand to Perry: "Rick, I'll tell you what, 10,000 bucks?" Romney said. "$10,000 bet?" Perry, who appeared surprised by the move, declined, saying he is "not in the betting business" but offered to show him the book.

Police to test laser that 'blinds rioters'

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Police to test laser that 'blinds rioters' --Similar devices have been used by ISAF troops in Afghanistan to protect convoys from insurgents. 11 Dec 2011 A shoulder-mounted laser that emits a blinding wall of light capable of repelling rioters is to be trialled by police. The technology, developed by a former Royal Marine commando, temporarily impairs the vision of anyone who looks towards the source. It has impressed a division of the Home Office which is testing a new range of devices because of the growing number of violent situations facing the police. The laser, resembling a rifle and known as an SMU 100, can dazzle and incapacitate targets up to 500m away with a wall of light up to three metres squared.

Barack Obama demands Iran return downed US drone

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Barack Obama demands Iran return downed US drone [LOL! Hey, Obusha! Finders - keepers!] President Barack Obama on Monday acknowledged a US drone was in Iranian hands for the first time and said the United States has asked Tehran to return the sophisticated spy aircraft. "We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said at a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. It was the first open confirmation by the Obama administration that Iran was in possession of the drone, which Tehran says it brought down as the plane was flying over the country's territory [spying, illegally].

Wild monkeys to measure radiation levels in Fukushima

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Wild monkeys to measure radiation levels in Fukushima 12 Dec 2011 Wild monkeys in nuclear-hit Fukushima are to be fitted with special radiation-reading monitors in order to measure contamination levels in forests. The new project, conducted by researchers at Fukushima University, will involve monkeys being fitted with collars containing radiation meters and GPS transmitters. Scientists will be able to monitor radiation levels deep across forest areas in Fukushima, home to the nuclear power plant severely damaged on March 11. The range of elevations at which monkeys spend their time will also enable scientists to obtain a broad spectrum of radiation level data, from the forest floor to the treetops.

Supreme Court to look at Arizona immigration law

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Supreme Court to look at Arizona immigration law 12 Dec 2011 The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's immigration law, Senate Bill 1070. Its ruling could impact immigration laws nationwide and push the immigration debate into the spotlight during the final months of the 2012 presidential race. The high court issued its two-sentence decision to hear the case Monday morning. No court date has been set, but justices will likely hear arguments this spring and release a decision in the summer.

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich call on each other to return millions

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich call on each other to return millions 13 Dec 2011 Trading accusations of greed, [sociopaths] Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich challenged each other Monday to return millions made in private business as the race for the GOP presidential nomination turned increasingly acerbic and personal at the start of a three-week sprint to the Iowa caucuses. Far from Iowa, the two men campaigned miles apart from each other in next-up New Hampshire, where Romney has long dominated in polls but where Gingrich is aggressively working to make inroads.

More than 1,000 Occupy protesters block western shipping ports in California, Oregon and Washington

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

More than 1,000 Occupy protesters block western shipping ports in California, Oregon and Washington --'Shutdown Wall Street on the Waterfront' protesters hoped to cut into profits of corporations that run docks 13 Dec 2011 More than 1,000 Occupy Wall Street protesters blocked cargo trucks at busy West Coast ports Monday, forcing some shipping terminals in Oakland, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Longview, Wash., to halt operations. While the protests attracted far fewer people than the 10,000 who turned out Nov. 2 to shut down Oakland's port, organizers declared victory and promised more demonstrations to come.

Hezbollah identifies undercover CIA officers

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Hezbollah identifies undercover CIA officers 13 Dec 2011 The militant group Hezbollah has revealed the identities of CIA officers working undercover in Lebanon, a blow to agency operations in the region and the latest salvo in an escalating spy war. Hezbollah made the names public in a broadcast Friday night on a Lebanese television station, al-Manar. Using animated videos, the station recreated meetings purported to take place between CIA officers and paid informants at Starbucks and Pizza Hut. The disclosure comes after Hezbollah managed to partially unravel the agency's spy network in Lebanon after running a double agent against the CIA, former and current U.S. intelligence officials said.

Hezbollah: CIA agents hold open meetings in north Beirut

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Hezbollah: CIA agents hold open meetings in north Beirut 12 Dec 2011 Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Musawi Monday said there were open meetings taking place by U.S. intelligence agents in the Metn area, and urged the government to deal with U.S. intelligence the same way they deal with Israel. "There are currently open meetings held by American intelligence agents in Lebanon in restaurants and nightclubs in Dbayeh and Jounieh," Musawi told LBCI in a live interview. He also said that among the agents are a doctor, a researcher and a journalist, and asked them to surrender to the Lebanese security services or to the resistance's security apparatus.

Trapped NATO fuel trucks set on fire in Pakistan

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

Trapped NATO fuel trucks set on fire in Pakistan 12 Dec 2011 A group of fuel tankers contracted to NATO forces in Afghanistan were set on fire by armed militants on motorcycles who ambushed the convoy in southwest Pakistan, officials said. The gunmen opened fire on the trucks, killing one driver and forcing the others to stop in an area 90 kilometers (55 miles) southwest of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, police official Abdul Qadir said. The eight trucks were then set alight.

New Concerns About Northwest Nuclear Waste Plant

December 13, 2011 by legitgov

New Concerns About Northwest Nuclear Waste Plant 11 Dec 2011 The federal government says a one-of-a-kind plant that will convert radioactive waste into a stable and storable substance that resembles glass will cost hundreds of millions of dollars more and may take longer to build, adding to a string of delays and skyrocketing price tag for the project. In addition, several workers at southeast Washington's Hanford nuclear reservation have raised concerns about the safety of the plant's design -- and complained they've been retaliated against for voicing their issues.

Google chairman says online piracy bill would 'criminalize' the Internet

December 12, 2011 by legitgov

Google chairman says online piracy bill would 'criminalize' the Internet 12 Dec 2011 An online piracy bill in the House would "criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself," according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet. "By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet," Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front

December 12, 2011 by legitgov

Police employ Predator drone spy planes on home front --The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate. 10 Dec 2011 (ND) Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said. The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers.

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