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FDA Panel Gives Nod to Bird Flu Vaccine

November 19, 2012 by legitgov

Heads up! FDA Panel Gives Nod to Bird Flu Vaccine 16 Nov 2012 An FDA advisory panel has voted in favor of a vaccine against with the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu that would be stockpiled and used in case of [the next US-engendered] pandemic. By twin votes of 14-0, the panel agreed that the immunogenicity and the safety of the vaccine, made in Quebec by GlaxoSmithKline, were enough to meet licensing standards under accelerated approval regulations. Those rules, set in 2007, allow rapid approval of a vaccine on the basis of markers that are likely to predict clinical benefit. The Q-Pan H5N1 vaccine, developed under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services, consists of a monovalent, inactivated, split A/H5N1 influenza virus antigen and Glaxo's AS03 adjuvant.

Hackers launch assault on Israeli government websites

November 19, 2012 by legitgov

Hackers launch assault on Israeli government websites 18 Nov 2012 More than 44 million hacking attempts have been made on Israeli government websites since Wednesday when Israel began its Gaza offensive, according to Israeli officials. Finance minister Yuval Steinitz said just one hacking attempt was successful on a site he did not want to name [lol], but added that it was up and running after 10 minutes of downtime. Attempts on defence-related sites were the most numerous, according to his ministry, while 10m attempts were said to have been made on the site of Israel's president, 7m on the foreign ministry and 3m on the site of the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Anonymous attacks Israeli government websites

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous attacks Israeli government websites 19 Nov 2012 Hacker collective Anonymous appear to have joined forces with Palestinian combatants and has attacked several Israeli government sites in what it terms Operation Israel. A press release posted on the Anonymous-affiliated Anonpaste website deplores what the hacking group says is "the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of Palestinian people in the so-called Occupied Territories by the Israeli Defence Force". The hackers threaten Israel that it must not shut down the Internet or it "will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous." [Israel should know the 'full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous' -- whether they shut down the Internet or not.]

NORAD plans flights in US, Canada to practice identification and intercept procedures

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

NORAD plans flights in US, Canada to practice identification and intercept procedures 15 Nov 2012 Officials with the Colorado-based North American Aerospace Defence Command are holding exercise flights in the United States and Canada. Flights to practice intercept and identification procedures are scheduled Thursday off the coast of Seattle and British Columbia's Vancouver Island. Flights for the same exercises also scheduled to take place between Anchorage, Alaska, and the Kobuk Valley in Alaska, and between Aberdeen, S.D., and Minneapolis.

U.S. denies visas to Iran officials for U.N. meeting: report

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. denies visas to Iran officials for U.N. meeting: report 17 Nov 2012 The United States has denied visas to Iranian officials hoping to attend a U.N. meeting in New York, Iran's state news agency reported on Saturday. The Iranian judiciary's Human Rights Headquarters said in a statement that the United States denied visas to members of an Iranian delegation that planned to travel to a meeting of the United Nations' Third Committee, which focuses on social issues and human rights, state news agency IRNA said. "The U.S. government, by not issuing visas to the members of the delegation, wants to ruin the possibility of the presence of the delegation, and prevent its members from conducting their mission of interacting and cooperating with the United Nations," said the statement, according to IRNA.

Gaza hospitals stretched, need supplies to treat wounded: WHO

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

Gaza hospitals stretched, need supplies to treat wounded: WHO 17 Nov 2012 Gaza hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties from Israel's bombings and face critical shortages of drugs and medical supplies, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday. The U.N. health agency appealed for $10 million from donors to meet the need for drugs and supplies over the next three months. Officials in Gaza said 43 Palestinians, nearly half of them civilians including eight children, had been killed since Israel began its air strikes.

Israel Bombs Government and Media Sites in Wider Attack

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

Israel Bombs Government and Media Sites in Wider Attack 19 Nov 2012 Israel pressed its assault on the Gaza Strip early Sunday, deploying warplanes and naval vessels to pummel the coastal enclave as Israeli forces widened the onslaught from mostly military targets to media offices and centers of government infrastructure including the four-story headquarters of the Hamas prime minister. The crash of explosions pierced the Gaza City quiet several times throughout the early morning, with one attack injuring several journalists at a communications building, witnesses said. Palestinian news agencies reported that two children were killed in a predawn strike on Sunday in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza.

3,200 children from southern Israel taken to north for 'day of fun'

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

3,200 children from southern Israel taken to north for 'day of fun' 18 Nov 2012 The Jewish Agency for Israel is taking 3,200 Israeli children who live within 15 kilometers radius of the Gaza Strip in the south for a "day of fun" in northern Israel.

Lizards startle U.S. Secret Service

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

Lizards startle U.S. Secret Service 15 Nov 2012 Thai officials reassured the U.S. Secret Service that lizards found on the Government House grounds were not the dangerous komodo dragons, but water lizards. The U.S. team mistook the relatively benign water monitors for the carnivorous komodo dragons as the team conducted security inspections of the Government House Thursday ahead of President Obama's visit that begins Sunday, the Bangkok Post reported. Meanwhile, a U.S. explosives team reported five locations Obama will visit during his two-day visit to Thailand have been scanned.

Homeland Security office OKs efforts to monitor threats via social media

November 18, 2012 by legitgov

Homeland Security office OKs efforts to monitor threats via social media --DHS first began experimenting with possibility of social media monitoring in 2010 with pilot programs that targeted public reactions to the earthquake in Haiti, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill 15 Nov 2012 A little-known privacy office in the Department of Homeland Security has given its stamp of approval to an ongoing initiative aimed at monitoring social media sites for emerging threats. Congress created the department's privacy office in 2003 to review major initiatives and databases and make certain those initiatives respected the rights of Americans, while also enabling homeland security officials to better collect and share information about possible terrorism and criminal suspects. The privacy office has since conducted compliance reviews every six months, with the most recent assessment published last week.

Israel calls up 75,000 troops as bombing continues in Gaza

November 17, 2012 by walden9

Israel calls up 75,000 troops as bombing continues in Gaza 17 Nov 2012 The Israeli military boasted Friday afternoon that it had carried out more than 500 air strikes against the densely populated territory of Gaza since launching its latest offensive, dubbed Pillar of Defense. The escalating air war is unfolding amid growing signs that the Israeli government is on the brink of launching a ground invasion of Gaza that would spell a huge increase in the bloodletting...The relentless bombardment has resulted in widespread destruction and carnage, with the official death toll rising to 29 on Friday night and the number of wounded climbing to 300. Among the latest to be killed was a two-year-old Palestinian boy. The majority of the dead and wounded are civilians, including eight children and a pregnant woman.

Obama begins bipartisan talks on spending cuts

November 17, 2012 by walden9

Obama begins bipartisan talks on spending cuts 17 Nov 2012 The Obama administration and Democratic and Republican congressional leaders held their first meeting Friday to discuss a package of budget cuts and tax increases to be adopted before the end of the year, in the name of averting the so-called "fiscal cliff"...Held only nine days after a national election that returned Obama to the White House and maintained Democratic control of the Senate and Republican control of the House of Representatives, the meeting was a demonstration of the essential unity of the two capitalist parties when it comes to defending the interests of Wall Street at the expense of the working class. [See also: The Next Step: Occupy Walmart.]

U.S. drops case against KBR over Iraq private security costs

November 17, 2012 by legitgov

U.S. drops case against KBR over Iraq private security costs 15 Nov 2012 The United States has dropped its case against the engineering and military contractor KBR Inc over the costs of KBR's private armed security in Iraq. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, in an order posted on Thursday, granted the Justice Department's petition from Wednesday to have its lawsuit dismissed without prejudice, a move that would leave it free to possibly refile the case at a later date. The Justice Department had launched the lawsuit against the Houston-based company in April 2010 for alleged False Claims Act violations for impermissible security costs in billings to the U.S. Army from 2003 to 2006.

TSA Vendor Denies Faking Test of Body-Imaging Software

November 17, 2012 by legitgov

TSA Vendor Denies Faking Test of Body-Imaging Software 15 Nov 2012 OSI Systems Inc.'s Rapiscan unit, one of two suppliers of body-scanning machines in U.S. airports, may have falsified tests of software intended to stop the machines from recording graphic images of travelers, a U.S. lawmaker said. The company "may have attempted to defraud the government by knowingly manipulating an operational test," Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Transportation Security Subcommittee, said in a letter to Transportation Security Administration chief John Pistole Nov. 13. Rapiscan, in a statement today, said it couldn't have manipulated testing because those processes were controlled by the government.

Maker of Airport Body Scanners Suspected of Falsifying Software Tests

November 17, 2012 by legitgov

Maker of Airport Body Scanners Suspected of Falsifying Software Tests 15 Nov 2012 A company that supplies controversial passenger-screening machines for U.S. airports is under suspicion for possibly manipulating tests on privacy software designed to prevent the machines from producing graphic body images. The Transportation Security Administration sent a letter Nov. 9 to the parent company of Rapiscan, the maker of backscatter machines, requesting information about the testing of the software to determine if there was malfeasance.

John McCain's Benghazi Committee Plan Would Give Senator New Relevance

November 17, 2012 by legitgov

John McCain's Benghazi Committee Plan Would Give Senator New Relevance 16 Nov 2012 Just four years ago, John McCain was the leader of the GOP. Today, he's the highest-ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, a perch from which the former fighter pilot is deeply engaged in the national conversation over war, terrorism and intelligence gathering. But in January, the Arizona senator will lose his top-ranking committee seat due to term limits. The only ranking Republican spot available to him next session will be on the Indian Affairs Committee. Unless, that is, the Senate creates a brand-new select committee. On Wednesday, McCain, flanked by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), proposed just that: a select committee with extensive authority to investigate the Benghazi, Libya, attack and the U.S. government's response.

Mo. man charged in alleged 'Twilight' mass shooting plot

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Mo. man charged in alleged 'Twilight' mass shooting plot --Lammers said he purchased 400 rounds of ammunition 16 Nov 2012 A Bolivar, Missouri, man has been charged after authorities say he admitted to planning to shoot up a movie theater screening of Twilight this weekend. Blaec Lammers, 20, was charged this morning in the 38th Judicial Circuit with first-degree assault, making a terroristic threat, and armed criminal action. In a probable cause statement prepared by the Bolivar Police Department, police say Lammers's mother contacted authorities Thursday, concerned that her son had purchased weapons similar to the ones used in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting and that she was concerned he might be planning a movie theater shooting.

Two Missing in Gulf Oil Rig Blast

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Two Missing in Gulf Oil Rig Blast --Black Elk Energy CEO, John Hoffman: 'Wrong tool' was used - contract workers should have used a saw instead of a torch. 16 Nov 2012 Ships and helicopters are searching for two oil rig workers who disappeared when an explosion rocked a gulf oil rig off the coast of Louisiana and set it on fire, Coast Guard officials said. Eleven other crew members were flown to hospitals, and four of them are listed in critical condition. No one has been confirmed dead. Earlier reports by the Coast Guard that as many as 15 people were unaccounted for were resolved as the workers were located.

Ministers to okay call up of 75,000 troops

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Ministers to okay call up of 75,000 troops 16 Nov 2012 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his nine top ministers for a special discussion Friday evening, on the third day of Operation Pillar of Defense [puke] in Gaza. Meanwhile, Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser conducted a telephone survey among the government ministers to approve the call up of 75,000 soldiers. According to a state official, "We are going to significantly aggravate the operation." At the same time, Air Force planes attacked a rocket-launching cell in the Gaza Strip. Southern communities were bombarded with rockets throughout the day, and several rockets were also fired at Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem area.

OpIsrael -- Anonymous stands by Palestine in this time of war and grief

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

#opIsrael -- Anonymous stands by Palestine in this time of war and grief (Anonymous) 15 Nov 2012 For far too long, Anonymous has stood by with the rest of the world and watched in despair the barbaric, brutal and despicable treatment of the Palestinian people in the so-called "Occupied Territories" by the Israel Defense Force. Like so many around the globe, we have felt helpless in the face of such implacable evil. And today's insane attack and threatened invasion of Gaza was more of the same. But when the government of Israel publicly threatened to sever all Internet and other telecommunications into and out of Gaza they crossed a line in the sand. As the former dictator of Egypt Mubarack [sic] learned the hard way -- we are ANONYMOUS and NO ONE shuts down the Internet on our watch. To the IDF and government of Israel we issue you this warning only once. Do NOT shut down the Internet into the "Occupied Territories", and cease and desist from your terror upon the innocent people of Palestine or you will know the full and unbridled wrath of Anonymous.

Anonymous hacker group attacks Israeli websites

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Anonymous hacker group attacks Israeli websites 16 Nov 2012 Hacking group Anonymous has launched a series of cyber attacks against websites in Israel. Data bombardments briefly knocked some sites offline and led to others being defaced with pro-Palestinian messages. The OpIsrael campaign was launched by the hacking collective in retaliation for attacks on Gaza. The cyber attacks come as the Israeli army updates its web campaign adding "achievements" and "badges" for regular visitors. Anonymous said it had launched the OpIsrael campaign following threats by the Israeli government to cut all Gaza's telecommunication links. This, said the group in a statement posted to the AnonRelations website, "crossed a line in the sand".

Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus Grilled Over Ambassador Rice

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Ex-CIA Chief Petraeus Grilled Over Ambassador Rice 16 Nov 2012 Disgraced former CIA director Petraeus spent almost four hours in closed door hearings before the House and Senate intelligence committees this morning to testify about what he learned first-hand about the Sept. 11 attack in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. Democratic senators who emerged from the hearing said Petraeus's testimony supported U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. Rice, who could be nominated for Secretary of State by President Obama, has been accused by Republicans of trying to mislead the country by saying the attack was a spontaneous eruption rather than a failure to defend against a terrorist attack. [And, the same hypocritical sacks of sh*t were fine and dandy with Bush bimbo Condoleezza Rice, who lied about the 9/11 inside job and lied about the non-existent weapons of mass distraction in Iraq.]

Jill Kelley visited the White House THREE TIMES in last three months with her twin sister

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Jill Kelley visited the White House THREE TIMES in last three months with her twin sister 16 Nov 2012 Jill Kelley, the Florida housewife whose complaint over threatening emails revealed David Petraeus's affair, has visited the White House three times in the past three months, it has emerged. In by far the most astonishing example of her determination to reach the top, the shrewd socialite and her twin sister, Natalie Khawam, were invited to two 'courtesy' meals in the Executive Mansion mess hall as a guest of a White House aide, an Obama administration official has revealed. She met the mid-level aide through her work with MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa, where she also rubbed shoulders with the military's top brass, including General Petraeus. On one further occasion, she received a White House tour with her family, the official added.

Man with bomb-making supplies arrested at Oakland Airport

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Man with bomb-making supplies arrested at Oakland Airport 16 Nov 2012 Officials are investigating a Southern California man who was arrested at Oakland International Airport Thursday night after he was found with materials that could be used to make a bomb. It happened around 8 p.m. Thursday. The man, who had a Southern California address, was trying to board a Southwest Airlines flight to Los Angeles. He was going through a security checkpoint when TSA inspectors noticed suspicious items in the bin where he had placed his carry-on bag. They found what appeared, to them, to be components of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) including a watch with wires, fuses, and a toggle switch. All the components were there except for an explosive.

Israeli protesters gather in Tel Aviv to urge end to Gaza operation

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Israeli protesters gather in Tel Aviv to urge end to Gaza operation 15 Nov 2012 Some 200 protesters rallied in central Tel Aviv on Thursday night, calling for a cease-fire in Gaza. The activists, largely identifying with left-wing political parties Meretz and Hadash, chanted slogan such as "Arabs and Jews refuse to be enemies," "in Gaza and Sderot, little girls want to live," and "Bibi and Barak, war is not a game." Across the street, dozens of right-wing activists, including MK Michael Ben Ari, from the National Union party, engaged in a counter protest, chanting "everyone knows left-wingers are traitors," and "let the IDF in, let the IDF win." In central Jerusalem, police arrested five people participating in a protest against Israeli activity in Gaza.

Bernie Sanders, Progressive Senators Pressure Obama Not to Cut Social Security

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Bernie Sanders, Progressive Senators Pressure Obama Not to Cut Social Security 16 Nov 2012 A group of progressive lawmakers led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Thursday called for protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits in any deficit reduction deal. "We're going to send a loud message to the leadership in the House, in the Senate and President Obama. Do not cut Social Security, do not cut Medicare, do not cut Medicaid," Sanders said. "Deficit reduction is a serious issue but it must be done in a way that is fair. We must not balance the budget on the backs of the elderly, the sick, the children or the poor."  [Yeah, good luck with that. Sanders has as much chance as a cat with a long tail in a room filled with rockers. --LRP]

State of emergency declared for hospitals across Israel

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

State of emergency declared for hospitals across Israel 16 Nov 2012 Israel declares state of emergency for all hospitals in the occupied territories as Ehud Barak orders call-up of fresh troop reserves, Israeli media say.

Oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico; 2 people missing, 4 rushed to hospital

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Oil rig explodes in Gulf of Mexico; 2 people missing, 4 rushed to hospital --'Not known' if fire caused an oil spill 16 Nov 2012 Two people were missing and four people were airlifted to a hospital Friday after an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico some 17 miles southeast of Grand Isle, La., the U.S. Coast Guard told NBC News. Rescue crews were searching the waters for the two. Officials did not immediately release the names of missing or the injured. Jefferson Parish Councilman Chris Roberts told WWL-TV that the rig is a shallow water platform near West Cote Blanche Bay.

8 Palestinian rockets explode in southern Israel

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

8 Palestinian rockets explode in southern Israel 16 Nov 2012 At least 8 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have exploded in the Israeli cities of Eshkol and Ofakim. A number of rockets also fired from the coastal enclave have hit Bnei Shimon, Ashdod, Sha'ar Hanegev and Hof Ashkelon in the southern Israeli-occupied territories.

Paula Broadwell Stripped of Secret Clearance Amid Petraeus Scandal

November 16, 2012 by legitgov

Paula Broadwell Stripped of Secret Clearance Amid Petraeus Scandal 14 Nov 2012 Paula Broadwell, the author suspected of carrying on an affair with former CIA director David Petraeus, has been stripped of her military security clearance after a federal probe alleged she was storing classified military material at her home. "Appropriate actions with regard to this officer's clearance and access have been taken," said Army spokesman George Wright of Broadwell, an Army reservist and West Point graduate... A source familiar with the case told ABC News that Broadwell admitted to the FBI she took documents from secure government buildings. The government demanded that they all be given back, and federal agents descended on her North Carolina home on Monday night in pre-arranged visit.

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