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BP can be sued for punitive Gulf spill damages

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

BP can be sued for punitive Gulf spill damages 27 Aug 2011 Thousands of fishermen and business owners in a multi-billion-dollar legal battle with BP over the Gulf of Mexico oil spill have won the right to sue for punitive damages, in a fresh defeat for the oil major. More than 100,000 individuals, companies and authorities have filed cases claiming they suffered economic loss as a result of the leak last year. A judge, Carl Barbier, is considering 500 cases, many of them class actions, against BP and its main co-defendants, including Transocean, the rig owner. In a key ruling, Judge Barbier has said that the plaintiffs are allowed to make their cases under maritime law for punitive damages.

Market crash 'could hit within weeks', warn bankers

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Market crash 'could hit within weeks', warn bankers 24 Aug 2011 A more severe crash than the one triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers could be on the way, according to alarm signals in the credit markets. Insurance on the debt of several major European banks has now hit historic levels, higher even than those recorded during financial crisis caused by the US financial group's implosion nearly three years ago... The cost of insuring [Royal Bank of Scotland] RBS bonds is now higher than before the taxpayer was forced to step in and rescue the bank in October 2008, and shows the recent dramatic downturn in sentiment among credit investors towards banks.

BBC journalist killed during Taliban attack 'may have been shot by US forces'

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

BBC journalist killed during Taliban attack 'may have been shot by US forces' 26 Aug 2011 A BBC journalist who died during a Taliban suicide attack may have been shot dead by US special forces, an independent investigation has found. Ahmed Omed Khpulwak was one of more than 20 people killed in attacks on a TV station in Uruzgan province, in the south of Afghanistan, on 28 July. The Taliban was initially blamed for the 25-year-old's death, but an investigation by the Kabul-based Afghanistan Analysts' Network (AAN) said Khpulwak may have been killed by US weaponry once the Taliban attackers were already dead.

Two NATO tankers torched in Pakistan

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Two NATO tankers torched in Pakistan 28 Aug 2011 At least two NATO oil tankers have been destroyed by unknown militants in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials say. Militants riding on a motorcycle initially opened fired at the tankers and then set them on fire on the National Highway of Bolan area late Saturday, a Press TV correspondent reported Sunday. The oil tankers, which were carrying fuel for US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan, were on their way from the southern Pakistani city of Karachi to Afghanistan's Kandahar.

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

10 dead as Hurricane Irene churns up Atlantic --Winds begin to blast Northeast --More than 9,000 flights canceled through Monday 28 Aug 2011 At least 10 people were dead and about 2 million homes and businesses were in the dark early Sunday as Hurricane Irene took aim at New York City pummeling the Eastern Seaboard to the south. Forecasters and authorities warned that the storm's run north to New England from its landfall in North Carolina could be catastrophic. The National Hurricane Center said Delaware Bay, the Jersey shore, New York Harbor and Long Island Sound faced strong storm surges.

Examining a Labor Hero's Death

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Examining a Labor Hero's Death 27 Aug 2011 At Woodstock, Joan Baez sang a famous folk ballad celebrating Joe Hill, the itinerant miner, songwriter and union activist who was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1915. Hill's status as a labor icon and the debate about his conviction certainly never died. And now a new biography [by William M. Adler] makes the strongest case yet that Hill was wrongfully convicted of murdering a local grocer, the charge that led to his execution at age 36. His conviction was so controversial that President Woodrow Wilson twice wrote to Utah's governor to urge him to spare Hill's life, and unions as far away as Australia protested on his behalf.

New York City Shuts Down Amid Flooding Fears

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

New York City Shuts Down Amid Flooding Fears 28 Aug 2011 Hurricane Irene charged toward New York on Saturday evening, with the city all but closed down in anticipation of what forecasters warned could be violent winds with the force to drive a wall of water over the beaches in the Rockaways and between the skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan. "Now the edge of the hurricane is finally upon us," Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said at a briefing from the city’s emergency command center in Brooklyn at about 10:30 p.m. The subway system, one of the city’s trademarks, had shut down in the middle of the day, and firefighters and social service workers had spent much of Saturday trying to complete the evacuation of about 370,000 residents in low-lying areas where officials expected flooding to follow the storm.

EDL march in London banned by home secretary

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

EDL march in London banned by home secretary --Theresa May consents to request from Met to ban all marches in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring boroughs for 30 days 26 Aug 2011 The [Reichwing] English Defence League's plan to march through the capital next month has been blocked by the home secretary. Theresa May banned all marches in Tower Hamlets, east London, and four neighbouring boroughs in the capital for a 30-day period, following a request from the commander for the event, which was passed on to May by Scotland Yard's acting commissioner, Tim Godwin.

Britain places blanket bans on street protests

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Britain places blanket bans on street protests 27 Aug 2011 Amid fears of violence, the UK government has placed a blanket ban on street marches in London. The Home Office has announced the ban will be in place form September 2 for 30 days and will cover five London boroughs: Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest; and the City of London. It is believed the ban was put in place by Home Secretary Theresa May following representation by Scotland Yard Acting Commissioner Tim Godwin.

Hurricane Irene Spawns Tornadoes, Damage Reported in Delaware, Virginia

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Hurricane Irene Spawns Tornadoes, Damage Reported in Delaware, Virginia 27 Aug 2011 As Hurricane Irene moved north, with its winds and torrents of rain, it caused tornadoes in at least four states, and officials warned they could be as dangerous as the hurricane itself. Tornadoes were reported in New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. At least five homes in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, Va., sustained major damage from a tornado, said Mary Hancock, a spokeswoman for the city, but the area had already been evacuated and there were no injuries reported.

Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list

August 28, 2011 by legitgov

Connecticut, Rhode Island join Hurricane Irene evacuation list 27 Aug 2011 Though Hurricane Irene was still hundreds of miles south, residents of low-lying areas of Connecticut and Rhode Island were evacuated Saturday as officials warned of widespread flooding from the powerful storm that is expected to strike at high tide. In an afternoon briefing, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy said the storm would make landfall between Stamford and Bridgeport early Sunday morning, bringing seven to 12 inches of rain. Malloy said Connecticut was bracing for widespread power and telecommunication outages.

U.S. military ready for hurricane response

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

U.S. military ready for hurricane response --U.S. military's Northern Command directed to assist response efforts led by Federal Emergency Management Agency 26 Aug 2011 Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday the military stood ready to aid the U.S. response to Hurricane Irene, with some 101,000 National Guard forces available if needed to governors of East Coast states. The Pentagon said it had pre-positioned 225 trucks loaded with equipment, food, water and generators at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Eighteen helicopters were deployed to the northeastern United States to provide life-saving support, if needed.

CLG Webhoster and CLG Editor in Path of Hurricane Irene

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

CLG Webhoster and CLG Editor in Path of Hurricane Irene Posted by Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 28 Aug 2011 The servers for CLG's webhoster, MayFirst, are located in New York City. NYC is in the path of Hurricane Irene. As I live in Connecticut, I am in the direct path of the storm. I will continue to update the CLG website, but since MayFirst controls the CLG Newsletter architecture, newsletters may be intermittent until power is restored in NYC. We apologize for the possible disruption of CLG newsletters and/or website updates.

Areas near Japan nuclear plant may be off limits for decades

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Areas near Japan nuclear plant may be off limits for decades 27 Aug 2011 Areas surrounding Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant could remain uninhabitable for decades due to high radiation, the government warned on Saturday. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is still leaking low levels of radiation nearly six months after an earthquake triggered a three nuclear meltdown[s]. In a meeting with local officials on Saturday, the government estimated it could take more than 20 years before residents could safely return to areas with current radiation readings of 200 millisieverts per year, and a decade for areas at 100 millisieverts per year.

2.5 million people ordered out as Irene nears

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

2.5 million people ordered out as Irene nears --Outer bands flood S.C. areas; NYC-area airports to close to incoming flights 27 Aug 2011 With more coastal cities ordering evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irene, residents and tourists alike from North Carolina to New York City were moving toward higher ground. All five major New York City-area airports planned to close to incoming flights at noon Saturday. Landfall was likely to be around 9 a.m. ET Saturday near Cape Lookout on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the National Hurricane Center said, but the storm's outer bands buffeted South Carolina Friday, flooding streets and downing power lines. Evacuation orders covered 1 million people in New Jersey, 550,000 in New York, 315,000 in Maryland, 300,000 in North Carolina, 200,000 in Virginia and 100,000 in Delaware.

DC mayor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

DC mayor declares state of emergency as Hurricane Irene approaches 26 Aug 2011 Washington Mayor Vincent Gray has declared a state of emergency for the nation's capital ahead of Hurricane Irene. Gray's spokeswoman says the mayor issued the order Friday evening after consultation with the office of the attorney general. The move follows similar emergency orders issued in neighboring Maryland and Virginia.

US-led strike kills 6 Afghan civilians

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

US-led strike kills 6 Afghan civilians 26 Aug 2011 A US-led airstrike targeting the Taliban militants has killed six members of a family in Afghanistan's eastern province of Logar. Mohammed Rahim, the governor of Barki Bark said the attack took place in Pakhtab district of the town at 11 p.m. local time on Thursday, a Press TV correspondent reported on Friday. The father of the family, his wife, and their four children, aged between eight and 16, died after their house was hit in the incident, the Afghan official said.

Kan steps down as Japan's premier

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Kan steps down as Japan's premier 26 Aug 2011 Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan has stepped down amid plunging approval ratings over his government's handling of the nuclear crisis that followed the March 11 earthquake. "I resign as the (party) president effective today," Kan told senior party officials, quoted by AFP on Friday. Kan, in office for only 15 months, has been criticized for his handling of the nuclear crisis which erupted after the March 11 twin disasters.

NRC inspectors head to nuclear power plants in path of Irene

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

NRC inspectors head to nuclear power plants in path of Irene 26 Aug 2011 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has dispatched additional inspectors to nuclear power plants along the East Coast to ensure the safety of those facilities in advance of Hurricane Irene, the agency said Friday. The inspectors were sent to plants "likely to be in the storm's path," including Brunswick near Southport, North Carolina; Surry in Surry, Virginia; Calvert Cliffs in Lusby, Maryland; Hope Creek/Salem in Hancocks Bridge, New Jersey; Oyster Creek in Forked River, New Jersey; Pilgrim in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Millstone in Waterford, Connecticut; Seabrook in Seabrook, New Hampshire; and Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, the NRC said in a press release.

Libya's NTC still not legitimate, AU says

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Libya's NTC still not legitimate, AU says 27 Aug 2011 The African Union has declined to recognize Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate government of the North African nation. South African President Jacob Zuma, who is also currently the chairman of the AU, said at the end of an AU Peace and Security Council meeting in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Friday that the Libyan opposition fighters were "not yet legitimate," AFP reported. [And, the Exxon Mobil mercenaries never will be.]

State Dept. report favors US-Canada oil pipeline

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

State Dept. report favors US-Canada oil pipeline --Project has become a flashpoint for environmental groups 26 Aug 2011 The Obama regime on Friday removed a major roadblock to a planned $7 billion oil pipeline from western Canada to the Texas coast, saying in a report that the project is unlikely to cause significant environmental problems during construction or operation. [Yeah, right!] The thousand-page report by the State Department says the proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant environmental impacts on most natural resources in its six-state path. Calgary-based TransCanada wants to build a massive pipeline to carry crude oil extracted from tar sands in Alberta to refineries in Texas.

Hurricane Warnings Extend to New England as Irene Nears

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Hurricane Warnings Extend to New England as Irene Nears 26 Aug 2011 Hurricane warnings were posted from North Carolina to southern New England, including New York City, as Hurricane Irene bore down on the U.S. with Category 2-force winds of 100 miles (161 kilometers) an hour. Irene maintained its strength after weakening earlier in the day as it moved toward the coast of North Carolina on its path to the Northeast, where New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ordered the first mandatory evacuation in the city's history.

Main New York-area airports to close to arrivals Saturday

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Main New York-area airports to close to arrivals Saturday 26 Aug 2011 The three major New York-area airports will close to domestic and international arrivals beginning at noon EDT on Saturday due to Hurricane Irene, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said. John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport in New York as well as Newark Liberty International Airport, however, will remain open to departures, the Port Authority said in an alert on its website.

BP risks another PR disaster as polar bear is killed in Alaskan oilfield

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

BP risks another PR disaster as polar bear is killed in Alaskan oilfield 26 Aug 2011 BP has landed itself in a new public relations disaster in the US after accidentally shooting dead a polar bear at one of its Alaskan oil fields... BP must now fend off fresh accusations of recklessness, this time over its attitude to the delicate ecosystem of the oil-rich Alaskan countryside. The female bear was killed on 3 August by a guard working for BP's security contractor Purcell and died of its wounds about 11 days later, the US Fish and Wildlife Service said. Oil firms in Alaska [INSANELY] hold special permits that allow them to scare off curious polar bears using 'nonlethal harassment', known as 'hazing'. [Polar bears should be allowed to hold special permits to use 'lethal harassment' against BP.]

Hurricane Irene: 250,000 New Yorkers told to evacuate homes

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Hurricane Irene: 250,000 New Yorkers told to evacuate homes 27 Aug 2011 More than 250,000 people were last night ordered to evacuate their homes in New York as Hurricane Irene swept up America's east coast. Those living in low-lying areas like Manhattan and Brooklyn must be out by 5pm today. More than 90 emergency shelters will be opened. The city's transport system will halt at noon. The hurricane will be the biggest to hit New York in decades.

Transit in NYC, NJ, Pa. to halt because of Irene

August 27, 2011 by legitgov

Transit in NYC, NJ, Pa. to halt because of Irene 26 Aug 2011 Commuter transit systems in New York, New Jersey and outside Philadelphia will shut down services because of Hurricane Irene. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says public transportation in New York City will shut down at about noon on Saturday. According to the governor's office, the Metropolitan Transit Authority will institute a system-wide shutdown when subways and buses begin their final runs starting at approximately noon.

NYC mayor orders mandatory evacuations

August 26, 2011 by legitgov

NYC mayor orders mandatory evacuations --Bloomberg calls mandatory evacuations a first 26 Aug 2011 New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in low-lying coastal areas ahead of Hurricane Irene. Bloomberg said at a briefing Friday that emergency shelters will be opened at 4 p.m. The low-lying areas are scattered across the city and are home to about 270,000 residents. They include parts of Battery Park City, Coney Island and the Rockaways.

New York MTA to Shutdown Saturday

August 26, 2011 by legitgov

New York MTA to Shutdown Saturday 26 Aug 2011 New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority will institute a system-wide shut-down when trains and buses begin their final runs starting at about noon on Saturday due to Hurricane Irene. The shut-down will include subways, buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Access-A-Ride. Also, if wind speeds exceed 60 mph, several bridges including the George Washington Bridge and Tappan Zee Bridge will be closed.

Secret Service agents seek immunity from suit over Cheney arrest

August 26, 2011 by legitgov

Secret Service agents seek immunity from suit over Cheney arrest 25 Aug 2011 Two Secret Service agents on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to rule that they are immune from a lawsuit filed by a Colorado man who claims they violated his First Amendment rights when he was arrested for confronting then-Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Steven Howards was arrested in the resort town of Beaver Creek in 2006 after he touched Cheney on the arm and told him his Iraq War policies were "disgusting." The lawsuit claims that agents Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle arrested him in retaliation for criticizing Cheney. 

Ex-Blackwater contractor seeks job in Afghanistan

August 26, 2011 by legitgov

Ex-Blackwater contractor seeks job in Afghanistan 26 Aug 2011 A former Blackwater contractor convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian wants to take a new job - in Afghanistan. Chris Drotleff of Virginia Beach has asked a federal judge for permission to travel to Kandahar to pour concrete and lay cable for a government contractor. Federal prosecutors have opposed the request. Drotleff and co-defendant Justin Cannon were convicted by a federal jury of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian in Kabul.

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