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Biden, Jewish leaders to discuss spy Pollard's fate

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Biden, Jewish leaders to discuss spy Pollard's fate 07 Oct 2011 Vice President Joe Biden has agreed to meet privately with Jewish leaders who have banded against him for saying he would prevent the early release of Jonathan Pollard, convicted in 1987 of espionage for spying for Israel. Biden, who chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he represented Delaware, has long been known as a friend of the Jewish community. But he hit a nerve two weeks ago when he told rabbis in Florida that Pollard should stay in prison for the rest of his life.

Special units, CIA to keep waging war

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Special units, CIA to keep waging war 09 Oct 2011 They were the first Americans into Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks and will probably be the last U.S. forces to leave. As most American troops prepare to withdraw in 2014, the CIA and military special operations forces to be left behind are girding for the next great pivot of the campaign, one that could stretch their war up to another decade. Recent remarks from the White House suggest the CIA and special operations forces will be hunting al-Qaida and working with local forces long after most U.S. troops have left.

After WikiLeaks, US tries to shield classified data

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

After WikiLeaks, US tries to shield classified data 09 Oct 2011 The US government on Friday announced steps to clamp down on who can access classified information, seeking to avert another WikiLeaks-scale breach of military documents and diplomatic cables. The presidential order requires US agencies to appoint senior people to prevent and detect breaches and creates a task force to monitor potential wrongdoing by government officials, bureaucrats, diplomats or soldiers handling classified data. That task force, to be headed by the attorney general and director of national intelligence, will set out government-wide policies to prevent data theft and establish binding standards within a year, the White House said, announcing the plans.

Assange, Jemima Khan lead Afghanistan protest in London

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Assange, Jemima Khan lead Afghanistan protest in London 08 Oct 2011 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and socialite Jemima Khan led a protest in London Saturday against the war in Afghanistan, 10 years after the United States and Britain went to war against the Taliban. Organisers the Stop The War Coalition claimed 5,000 people attended the protest in central London's historic Trafalgar Square. Assange, who is currently under strict bail conditions as he fights extradition from Britain to Sweden on charges of rape, compared journalists and soldiers to war criminals.

Brown signs California Dream Act

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Brown signs California Dream Act 09 Oct 2011 Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Saturday granted illegal immigrants access to state financial aid at public universities and community colleges, putting California once again in the center of the nation's immigration debate. But he vetoed a measure that would have allowed state universities to consider applicants' race, gender and income to ensure diversity in their student populations.

US protesters clash with guards at Washington museum

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

US protesters clash with guards at Washington museum 08 Oct 2011 Protesters clashed with security staff when they tried to enter a museum in Washington on Saturday, prompting one guard to use pepper spray and leading to at least one arrest, a spokeswoman said. The incident occurred at The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum around 3:15 pm (1915 GMT), after hundreds of activists had marched from Freedom Plaza, near the White House, along the National Mall towards the US Capitol.

FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

FBI to launch nationwide facial recognition service 07 Oct 2011 The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov. The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI's existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.

Climate Change and the End of Australia

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Climate Change and the End of Australia --Want to know what global warming has in store for us? Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent By Jeff Goodell 03 Oct 2011 I have come to Australia to see what a global-warming future holds for this most vulnerable of nations, and Mother Nature has been happy to oblige: Over the course of just a few weeks, the continent has been hit by a record heat wave, a crippling drought, bush fires, floods that swamped an area the size of France and Germany combined, even a plague of locusts. "In many ways, it is a disaster of biblical proportions," Andrew Fraser, the Queensland state treasurer, told reporters.

Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen

October 9, 2011 by legitgov

Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen 09 Oct 2011 The Obama administration's secret legal memorandum that opened the door to the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen found that it would be lawful only if it were not feasible to take him alive, according to people who have read the document. The memo, written last year... offers a glimpse into the legal debate that led to one of the most significant decisions made by President Obama -- to move ahead with the killing of an American citizen without a trial. The secret document provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war, according to people familiar with the analysis.

U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill

October 8, 2011 by legitgov

U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill 07 Oct 2011 The House Judiciary Committee passed a bill yesterday that would make it a federal crime for U.S. residents to discuss or plan activities on foreign soil that, if carried out in the U.S., would violate the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) -- even if the planned activities are legal in the countries where they're carried out. The new law, sponsored by Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) allows prosecutors to bring conspiracy charges against anyone who discusses, plans or advises someone else to engage in any activity that violates the CSA, the massive federal law that prohibits drugs like marijuana and strictly regulates prescription medication.

Citi, BofA cut workers after US tax holiday-report

October 8, 2011 by legitgov

Citi, BofA cut workers after US tax holiday-report --Left-leaning group hits push for another tax holiday 04 Oct 2011 Ten major U.S. corporations, including big banks Citigroup Inc and Bank of America Corp, laid off workers after enjoying a tax holiday in 2004-2005 that had been billed as a form of economic stimulus, said a report released on Tuesday. With large multinational companies today pressing Congress for another tax holiday, the Institute for Policy Studies reported that the last one did not fulfill its rosy promises for hundreds of thousands of U.S. workers. Fifty-eight corporations that accounted for 70 percent of overseas profits repatriated under the 2004-2005 tax break collectively saved $64 billion in taxes, then cut 600,000 jobs through layoffs, the report said.

CIA Pakistan 'vaccination' doctor accused of treason

October 8, 2011 by legitgov

CIA Pakistan 'vaccination' doctor accused of treason --Doctor accused of running fake vaccine scheme in Abbottabad for CIA should be charged with high treason, says Pakistani state commission 06 Oct 2011 A Pakistani doctor accused of helping the CIA to track down 'Osama bin Laden' should be charged with high treason, a Pakistani state commission has recommended. The finding against Dr Shakeel Afridi, who allegedly ran a fake Hepatitis B vaccination scheme in Abbottabad at the behest of the CIA, is likely to further complicate relations between Pakistan and the US.

U.S. urges citizens to avoid area around stricken Japanese reactors

October 8, 2011 by legitgov

U.S. urges citizens to avoid area around stricken Japanese reactors 08 Oct 2011 Seven months after the nuclear crisis began at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant, the U.S. government again warned its citizens Friday to avoid areas near the stricken reactors. The U.S. State Department issued the travel alert, which updates one issued about three months ago. The alert recommends that U.S. citizens stay away from any place within 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the plant. They are also being told to stay away from territory northwest of the power facility in what Japan has described as the "Deliberate Evacuation Area" and includes Iitate-mura, the Yamagiya district of Kawamata-machi, Katsurao-mura, Namie-machi and parts of Minamisoma.

NATO oil tankers set on fire in Bolan

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

NATO oil tankers set on fire in Bolan --Three oil tankers caught fire and were reduced to twisted metal. [What a shame!] 06 Oct 2011 Unidentified assailants attacked the NATO oil tankers and set the three of them on fire in Bolan district on Wednesday. According to the Balochistan Levies, the NATO oil tankers were carrying fuel for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan and were on there way from Karachi to Chaman, when some unidentified armed culprits riding the motorcycles opened fire on the tankers in Hirok area of Bolan.

Suspicious package causes scare for 82nd Airborne

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Suspicious package causes scare for 82nd Airborne 07 Oct 2011 A suspicious package caused a brief scare for U.S. soldiers and a WRAL News crew stationed in at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on Friday. Military police officers shut down a busy, small stretch of roadway because of a suspicious package that was left against a wall. A WRAL News crew, who traveled with the Fort Bragg's 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade to Afghanistan this week, was among dozens of people stopped and not allowed to walk down the sidewalk while crews evaluated the package.

Thousands demonstrate during Occupy Portland

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Thousands demonstrate during Occupy Portland 07 Oct 2011 (OR) The Occupy Wall Street movement hit Portland on Thursday with thousands who spent hours gathering, listening, chanting and marching downtown. (Photo essay)

'Occupy Seattle' protesters arrested at Westlake Park

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

'Occupy Seattle' protesters arrested at Westlake Park 05 Oct 2011 Seattle police arrested 25 "Occupy Seattle" protesters at Westlake Park on Wednesday, hours after Mayor Mike McGinn ordered the demonstrators to pack up their tents and leave. Seattle Parks Department workers took down the tents after the arrests were made. Seattle police reported that they arrested 21 men, two women and two juveniles, both girls.

Ten years on, Taliban says "victory is with us"

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Ten years on, Taliban says "victory is with us" 07 Oct 2011 The Taliban vowed to keep fighting until all foreign forces left Afghanistan in a statement on Friday to mark the 10th anniversary of the U.S. military campaign in the country. The group's fight in the last decade, "even with scarce weapons and equipment... forced the occupiers, who intended to stay forever, to rethink their position," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an English-language statement. President Hamid Karzai and his Western backers agreed all foreign combat troops would return home by the end of 2014, but the West has promised continued support beyond then in the form of funds [aka billion$ for US mercenaries and corpora-terrorists] and 'training' for Afghan security forces.

Cantor: Occupy Wall Street "mob" concerns me

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Cantor: Occupy Wall Street "mob" concerns me [It should.] 07 Oct 2011 At the Value Voters Summit on Friday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Hypocrite-Sociopath-Va.)said he is "increasingly concerned" by "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations which began in New York and spread to other major cities.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Worker Dies

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Worker Dies 07 Oct 2011 A worker hired to help bring the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant under control died suddenly, the third fatality reported among workers at the stricken plant since the March accident, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said it believed the death Thursday, like the previous two, had nothing to do with exposure to radiation in the plant. TEPCO said a male worker in his 50s became ill during a meeting Wednesday morning, before his shift started. He was taken to a hospital immediately, and died the next morning.

Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet --'We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back.' [What a shame!] 07 Oct 2011 A computer virus has infected the cockpits of America's Predator and Reaper drones, logging pilots' every keystroke as they remotely fly 'missions' over Afghanistan and other warzones. The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military's Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech's computers, network security specialists say.

The Next Step: Occupy Wal-Mart

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

The Next Step: Occupy Wal-Mart By Michael Rectenwald 07 Oct 2011 Occupy Wall Street has the potential to disrupt the standard political configuration of big business politics... If Occupy Wall Street becomes "Occupy Wal-Mart," – that is, if it penetrates to the alienated and exploited heartland, it will combine workers for a truly revolutionary activity. [See also: Occupy Main Street By Michael Rectenwald 06 Oct 2011.]

Occupy Portland's peaceful rally, march attracts thousands

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Portland's peaceful rally, march attracts thousands --Protesters plan to set up a camp outside county courthouse 06 Oct 2011 Thousands of protestors took to the streets of downtown Portland Thursday afternoon to voice their displeasure with corporate America. The rally and march organized by Occupy Portland is the latest in a series of demonstrations across the country that began in mid-September as Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan’s financial district.

Occupy Philly Takes a Stand Against "Corporate Greed"

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Philly Takes a Stand Against "Corporate Greed" --Protesters are critical of politicians in Washington and Harrisburg. 06 Oct 2011 Several hundred people rallied outside Philadelphia City Hall on Thursday as part of an Occupy Philadelphia rally modeled after the ongoing protest on Wall Street in New York. The crowd began gathering on Thursday morning and swelled through the noon hour. The event on Dilworth Plaza was a mix of speakers, demonstrators carrying signs, chanting and some musicians. An afternoon march was planned around City Hall, with police on standby to temporarily stop traffic in Center City.

Occupy Wall Street spreads to Philadelphia, 250 at City Hall

October 7, 2011 by legitgov

Occupy Wall Street spreads to Philadelphia, 250 at City Hall 06 Oct 2011 Occupy Wall Street-style protesters swarmed Philadelphia City Hall Thursday with messages of anger and hope. An estimated 250 people amassed on the 15th Street side, holding banners, picket signs and props. Teresa Shoatz of West Philadelphia held a poster-board sign saying, "Jail bankers for fraud."

Leaking pipe identified at Ga. nuclear plant

October 6, 2011 by legitgov

Leaking pipe identified at Ga. nuclear plant 04 Oct 2011 Workers have identified an underground pipe leaking radioactive water beneath a nuclear power plant in Georgia. Southern Co. spokeswoman Amoi Geter said Monday that workers were in the process of determining whether that pipe below Plant Hatch in Baxley is the sole cause of a leak of radioactive tritium that was first discovered Wednesday. Tritium is a radioactive form of hydrogen that is created inside nuclear reactors.

Apple: Co-founder Steve Jobs dead at 56

October 6, 2011 by legitgov

Apple: Co-founder Steve Jobs dead at 56 06 Oct 2011 Steve Jobs, the Apple founder and former CEO who invented and masterfully marketed ever-sleeker gadgets that transformed everyday technology, from the personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, has died. He was 56. Apple announced his death without giving a specific cause. Jobs had battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems.

Judge: Terrorist can sue over prison restrictions

October 6, 2011 by legitgov

Judge: Terrorist can sue over prison restrictions 05 Oct 2011 A man convicted of a 1998 terrorist strike on the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania has won the right to sue the federal government over tight restrictions on his visitors and letter-writing at the federal Supermax prison in southern Colorado. Khalfan Khamis Mohammed, serving a life sentence at the high-security prison, says the restrictions violate his civil rights. In a handwritten filing in 2008 in Denver District Court, Mohammed said the special administrative measures that allow restrictions on federal prisoners were "in violation of the First Amendment rights, equal protection rights, cruel and unusual punishment."

'Occupy DC' protesters rally in Freedom Plaza

October 6, 2011 by legitgov

'Occupy DC' protesters rally in Freedom Plaza 06 Oct 2011 A couple of hundred social justice protesters launched an "occupation" of Freedom Plaza Thursday, the area's first major demonstration against rising inequality since the Occupy Wall Street movement began last month in New York and spread around the country. Decrying corporate greed, ineffective political leaders and a rising gap between the haves and the have nots in the United States, protesters unfurled sleeping bags and raised tents in the public plaza in the shadow of the White House, vowing to stay indefinitely -- or until their voices are heard.

3 U.S. soldiers indicted in death of Spanish journalist

October 6, 2011 by legitgov

3 U.S. soldiers indicted in death of Spanish journalist 05 Oct 2011 A Spanish judge has again indicted three U.S. soldiers in connection with the death of a Spanish TV cameraman in Iraq in 2003, according to a court order viewed by CNN Wednesday. The long-running case stems from the death of the cameraman, Jose Couso, in Baghdad in 2003. U.S. troops assaulted the Iraqi capital and directed tank fire against the Palestine Hotel, where journalists covering the war were staying. The three U.S. soldiers were first indicted by the judge in 2007.

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