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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.

Hotmail, MSN and Live will no longer deliver the CLG Newsletter

January 19, 2013 by legitgov

Hotmail, MSN and Live will no longer deliver the CLG Newsletter by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 19 Jan 2013 Hotmail, MSN and Live will no longer allow the CLG Newsletter to pass, when sent through CLG's mail server. Hence, I have to bcc all senders after I send the original email, which it time-consuming. Also, this means the thousands of Hotmail, MSN, and Live subscribers receive their news on a delayed basis. CLG's webhoster, MayFirst, has made attempts to remedy the problem.

Proposed New Nuclear Reactor at Fermi Plant Clears Hurdle

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Proposed New Nuclear Reactor at Fermi Plant Clears Hurdle 17 Jan 2013 The U.S. Nuclear 'Regulatory' Commission has [insanely] found that environmental concerns are not significant enough to halt the construction of a proposed new reactor at the Fermi plant in Monroe County. Fermi owner Detroit Edison applied to the NRC in 2008 to build one of the newest generation of nuclear reactors at its plant, located next to Lake Erie in Frenchtown Township. The reactor, known as Fermi 3, is the first of its kind currently proposed in the Midwest.

Mali Islamists 'better-equipped' than expected

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Mali Islamists 'better-equipped' than expected --French forces engage in ground combat with rebels in town of Diabaly --Mali Islamists are 'well-trained and determined', French diplomat says --French troops in Mali now at 1,400, with eventual deployment of 2,500 --US agrees to French request for help airlifting troops and equipment --France's Hollande calls war in Mali 'necessary' and 'legitimate'. 18 Jan 2013 French troops' initial clashes with Islamist militants in Mali have shown that the desert fighters are better trained and equipped than France had anticipated before last week's military intervention, French and other U.N. diplomats said. The realization that the fighting could be bloodier than anticipated in the weeks—or months—ahead might make Western countries even more reluctant to get involved alongside France. French officials, however, hope it will rally their allies behind them, diplomats say.

Bombers kill more than 35 across Iraq

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Bombers kill more than 35 across Iraq 16 Jan 2013 More than 35 people died in a suicide attack and other bombings in northern Iraq and Baghdad on Wednesday. Wednesday's attacks came a day after a suicide bomber killed an influential Sunni Muslim lawmaker in the west of Iraq, where thousands of Sunni protesters have been holding mass demonstrations against Prime Minister [US-installed dictator] Nuri al-Maliki. Sunni turmoil erupted in late December after state officials arrested members of a Sunni finance minister's security team on terrorism charges. Authorities denied the arrests were political, but Sunni leaders saw them as a crackdown.

'Multiple' British hostages killed in bungled rescue mission in Algeria

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

'Multiple' British hostages killed in bungled rescue mission in Algeria 17 Jan 2013 David Cameron has been warned to expect “multiple” Britons to be among up to 34 gas workers killed in the West’s worst hostage crisis in a generation.  A botched military attack on a BP gas plant in Algeria, where al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] kidnappers were holding 41 westerners, led to a bloodbath as helicopter gunships opened fire on the compound. The attack was carried out against the wishes of Mr Cameron and other Western leaders, who had urged Algeria to negotiate with the kidnappers after the captives said bombs had been strapped to their bodies. At least one Briton was reported to have died, following the death on Wednesday of another Briton when the hostages were taken. Senior Downing Street sources said they were braced for “multiple British casualties”.

Undercover police used James Bond-style womanising tactics

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Undercover police used James Bond-style womanising tactics 17 Jan 2013 The womanising tactics famously deployed by the fictional spy James Bond to glean information may have been used by undercover police, a High Court judge has suggested. Considering the case of a group of environmental activists who claim they were tricked into forming relationships with covert officers, Mr Justice Tugendhat cited Bond as the best known fictional example of an intelligence services member who used relationships with women for his own professional ends. The case centres on the claims of 10 women and one man who are seeking compensation for emotional trauma allegedly caused by officers infiltrating activist groups.

Insect-based flu vaccine approved by regulators

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Mega barf alert! Insect-based flu vaccine approved by regulators --Production involves programming insect cells grown in steel tanks 17 Jan 2013 U.S. federal regulators say they have approved a new kind of vaccine for the flu virus. The new product, Flublok, which is available in limited supplies for the current season, is different from other flu vaccines, because it isn't made using eggs or an influenza virus, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday. Instead, Flublok's production involves programming insect cells grown in steel tanks to produce large amounts of a particular flu virus protein, known as hemagglutinin, according to Protein Sciences, the vaccine's manufacturer. This method allows for more rapid production, making more of the vaccine available more quickly in the event of a [lab-generated] pandemic, the FDA said.

Bradley Manning denied chance to make whistleblower defence

January 18, 2013 by legitgov

Bradley Manning denied chance to make whistleblower defence 17 Jan 2013 Bradley Manning, the US soldier accused of being behind the largest leak of state secrets in America's history, has been denied the chance to make a whistleblower defence in his upcoming court martial in which he faces possible life in military custody with no chance of parole. The judge [Colonel Denise Lind] presiding over Manning's prosecution by the US government for allegedly transmitting confidential material to WikiLeaks ruled in a pre-trial hearing that Manning will largely be barred from presenting evidence about his motives in leaking the documents and videos. In an earlier hearing, Manning's lead defence lawyer, David Coombs, had argued that his motive was key to proving that he had no intention to harm US interests or to pass information to the enemy.

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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.

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