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DHS to Gain Autonomy Under Obama Cybersecurity Plan

May 25, 2011 by legitgov

DHS to Gain Autonomy Under Obama Cybersecurity Plan 24 May 2011 The Obama administration's cybersecurity legislative proposal gives the Department of Homeland Security more power than ever to 'protect' federal networks against cyberthreats and breaks down the department's communication barriers with the Department of Defense to do so, officials told a Senate panel this week. One key aspect of the plan is to put the DHS's mission to protect U.S. federal civilian networks on par with the DOD's mission to protect U.S. military networks... While the DHS has certainly been at the forefront of federal cybersecurity initiatives, working with the private sector and other agencies such as the DOD and the National Security Agency to share information and make policy, the administration's plan would solidify this role through legislation, officials said.

Democrat wins special election for NY House seat

May 25, 2011 by legitgov

Democrat wins special election for NY House seat --Race seen as referendum on Republican plan to transform eliminate popular Medicare program 24 May 2011 Democrats have picked off a heavily Republican upstate New York congressional seat in a special election that became a referendum on Medicare. Erie County Clerk Kathy Hochul edged past Republican state Assemblywoman Jane Corwin on Tuesday to win the seat in the 26th Congressional District. The rural-suburban district between Buffalo and Rochester is one of the state's most conservative. But Corwin saw her early lead dissolve after coming out in favor of a Republican budget plan that would cut billions from Medicare, the government health plan for seniors.

Lamo Summoned to Washington for Bradley Manning Prosecution

May 25, 2011 by legitgov

Lamo Summoned to Washington for Bradley Manning Prosecution 24 May 2011 Almost one year to the day Army investigators arrested intelligence analyst Bradley Manning on suspicion of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, the ex-hacker who turned him in is set to meet with the chief prosecutor on the case for the first time. The meeting is set for June 2 and 3 in Washington, and marks the first outward sign that Manning's court-martial case is proceeding apace now that a lengthy inquiry into his mental health has concluded.

US accuses oil traders of 2008 manipulation

May 25, 2011 by legitgov

US accuses oil traders of 2008 manipulation 25 May 2011 US authorities on Tuesday accused three companies linked to Norway-born Cypriot shipping and drilling tycoon John Fredriksen of manipulating oil trading on the NYMEX and ICE exchanges in 2008. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said it had filed a civil suit against three affiliated companies -- Parnon Energy Inc. of California, Arcadia Petroleum Ltd. of Britain, and Arcadia Energy (Suisse) SA of Switzerland -- for collaborating to manipulate oil prices in a scheme that netted them $50 million in profits.

GOP's Corwin granted court order barring certification of winner

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

GOP's Corwin granted court order barring certification of winner 24 May 2011 Jane L. Corwin this afternoon obtained a court order from State Supreme Court Justice Russell P. Buscaglia barring a certification of a winner in the special 26th Congressional District race pending a show-cause hearing before him later this week. The Buffalo News obtained a copy of the show-cause order Buscaglia signed this morning based on a petition the Republican candidate filed Monday. Pending court proceedings before Buscaglia on Thursday at the earliest, the judge also impounded all voting equipment and enjoined the canvass of paper ballots "except as directed by this court" and "temporarily enjoined and restrained from certifying" the winner pending that court hearing.

Feds Seize 8 More Domains in Piracy Crackdown

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Feds Seize 8 More Domains in Piracy Crackdown 23 May 2011 The Department of Homeland Security seized at least eight website addresses over the weekend, bringing to 128 the number of domains confiscated as part of a government piracy crackdown. The government is taking the sites with court approval, under the same civil seizure law the government invokes to seize brick-and-mortar drug houses, bank accounts and other property tied to illegal activity. The seizures, first reported by TorrentFreak, came as Congress is mulling dramatically increasing the government's legal power to disrupt and shutter websites "dedicated to infringing activities."

Tepco confirms meltdowns at two more Fukushima nuclear reactors

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Tepco confirms meltdowns at two more Fukushima nuclear reactors --Analysts said delay in confirming meltdowns at Fukushima suggested utility feared touching off a panic by disclosing severity of accident earlier 24 May 2011 The operator of the nuclear power plant at the centre of a radiation scare after being disabled by Japan's earthquake and tsunami confirmed on Tuesday that there had been meltdowns of fuel rods at three of its reactors. Tokyo Electric Power Co said meltdowns of fuel rods at three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi plant occurred early in the crisis triggered by the March 11 disaster.

Cables reveal role of US troops in Pakistan

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Cables reveal role of US troops in Pakistan 21 May 2011 Confidential American diplomatic cables obtained by Dawn reveal new details about the activities of US forces on the ground in Pakistan, an issue that has gained heightened sensitivity in the aftermath of the Raymond Davis incident in Lahore and the American raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad. The reports reveal that US special operations forces were embedded with Pakistani troops for intelligence gathering by the summer of 2009 and deployed with them on joint operations in Pakistani territory by September that year.

Senate considers Patriot Act despite concerns

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Senate considers Patriot Act despite concerns --"It is essential to avoid any hiatus" in the law's powers, the Obama administration said in a statement. 24 May 2011 The tortoise-like Senate is under uncommon pressure to pass a four-year extension of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act before key provisions expire Friday. But the deadline is even tighter, because President Barack Obama is in Europe. Any extension passed by the Senate must be sent to the House and passed there, then flown overseas to be signed into law.

5 Muslim immigrants appeal NJ terror convictions

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

5 Muslim immigrants appeal NJ terror convictions 23 May 2011 Attorneys for five Muslim immigrants convicted of plotting a deadly strike at a New Jersey military base will challenge the Patriot Act as they appeal the convictions. The lawyers argue that FBI informants entrapped their clients. They will also challenge the constitutionality of a Patriot Act provision used to seize video the defendants left at a store for reformatting.

Roadside bomb kills 10, wounds 28 in Afghanistan

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Roadside bomb kills 10, wounds 28 in Afghanistan 24 May 2011 A roadside bomb killed 10 laborers and wounded 28 on Tuesday as they were driving to work to clean streams in southern Afghanistan, officials said. Separately, an Afghan deputy intelligence chief escaped an attempted suicide bombing claimed by the Taliban in the nation's capital. The roadside bomb tore through a truck carrying the workers through Kandahar province, said Dr. Qayoum Pakhla, the director of Kandahar Hospital.there.

Muslim rights group cries foul over MSP security drill

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Muslim rights group cries foul over MSP security drill 23 May 2011 A national Muslim civil rights group is asking the head of Homeland Security to investigate the use of stereotypes after a man who appeared to be of Middle East descent was used in a recent security drill at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Monday renewed a request that Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano review "the use of outside trainers who offer hostile, stereotypical and grossly inaccurate information about Muslims and Islam." According to information released Monday by MSP airport police, the May 12 security test included a device in a shaving kit made to look like a bomb.

Libya: British attack helicopters to be deployed in major expansion of military mission

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Libya: British attack helicopters to be deployed in major expansion of military mission --Helicopter operation to take allies closer still to full ground operation 24 May 2011 British attack helicopters will be deployed in Libya within days in a significant expansion of the military mission [for oil] against Muammar Gaddafi's forces. The Daily Telegraph has learned that Apache helicopters will fly into Libya from a Royal Navy warship, in a joint operation with the French. As many as 18 British and French helicopters will be deployed to support rebels trying to consolidate gains against Gaddafi's forces. The helicopter operation - expected to be supported by Special Forces troops - will take the allies closer still to a full ground operation in Libya.

DNA on maid's shirt match for ex-IMF leader: report

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

DNA on maid's shirt match for ex-IMF leader: report 24 May 2011 Test results returned Monday found that DNA from former International Monetary Fund leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn matched material on the work clothes of a Manhattan hotel maid who says he attacked her, two people familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The two people would not describe the material found on the shirt, but said DNA matched a sample from Strauss-Kahn, who submitted to testing after his arrest more than a week ago. He denies the charges.

Senate debates president's power during cyber-attack

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Senate debates president's power during cyber-attack --Experts say in major cyber-attack, authorities might 'need' to take Internet off-line 23 May 2011 Senators squared off with Obama administration officials Monday about plans to give the president emergency powers to 'protect' vital U.S. electronic networks from attacks by hackers, cyberterrorists and foreign governments. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on the administration's legislative proposal, announced two weeks ago... "I must say this baffles me," said Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican, of the administration's plan to rely on a 1934 statute. Ms. Collins accused administration officials of relying on "outmoded yet potentially sweeping authorities granted in the Communications Act of 1934" that gave the president the power to take over radio stations in a time of national emergency a US false flag.

Soldiers notified to prepare for deployment

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Soldiers notified to prepare for deployment --Most troops notified are set to deploy to Afghanistan 21 May 2011 Some 448 soldiers from five Oklahoma Army National Guard units have been put on notice to begin preparing for deployment to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa. Most of the soldiers are from eastern Oklahoma. "The notification serves as an authorization to begin training in preparation for the possible mobilization and deployment of the unit but does not constitute an official alert or mobilization," said Lt. Col. Max Moss, Guard spokesman.

Ethnic minorities 42 times more likely to be held under terror law

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Ethnic minorities 42 times more likely to be held under terror law --Under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, those stopped have no right to maintain their silence, and failure to answer questions can be a criminal offence. 23 May 2011 People from ethnic minorities are up to 42 times more likely than white people to be the target of a counter-terrorism power which allows the stopping and searching of the innocent yet grants them less rights than suspected criminals, official figures seen by the Guardian show. The power is contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows police to stop people at ports and airports for up to nine hours without the need for reasonable suspicion that they are involved in any crime.

Obama forced to fly out of Ireland early as Iceland's volcanic ash threatens Air Force One

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

President Obama forced to fly out of Ireland early as Iceland's volcanic ash cloud threatens to ground Air Force One 23 May 2011 U.S. President Barack Obama was tonight forced to cut short his trip to Ireland by the volcanic ash cloud threatening to disrupt flights across Britain. He had been due to spend the evening in Dublin but will instead leave early to prevent any chance of getting stuck in his first port of call on the whistlestop four-country, six-day European tour. 'Due to a recent change in the trajectory in the plume of volcanic ash, Air Force One will depart Ireland for London tonight. The schedule for tomorrow will proceed as planned,' a White House official said.

Joplin Tornado Kills 116, Deadliest Since 1953

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

Joplin Tornado Kills 116, Deadliest Since 1953 23 May 2011 The tornado that killed 116 people in Joplin, Missouri, was the deadliest single U.S. twister since 1953, with winds that may have reached 198 miles per hour (319 kph), according to Jack Hayes, director of the National Weather Service. At least 481 people have died in tornadoes so far this year, the earliest such a high toll has ever been reached, said Russell Schneider, director of the weather service’s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Tomorrow is expected to be another active day for tornados from Kansas to Texas.

More blasts rock Libyan capital

May 24, 2011 by legitgov

More blasts rock Libyan capital 23 May 2011 A plume of smoke has risen in Tripoli after several large explosions from NATO airstrikes rocked the Libyan capital. Very loud explosions were heard in the early hours of Tuesday morning near the center of Tripoli, AFP reported. The column of smoke rose over a neighborhood near Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's Bab al-Aziziya residence. The NATO airstrikes left at least three people dead and 150 others wounded, a Libyan government spokesman said.

Iran to name 26 blacklisted US officials

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Iran to name 26 blacklisted US officials 23 May 2011 A senior Iranian lawmaker says Iran's Parliament (Majlis) plans to release the names of 26 American officials against whom Tehran has imposed sanctions."This bill, which concerns imposing sanctions against American officials who have a history of rights violation, was discussed in the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission's Sunday session,” Hossein Ebrahimi said on Monday. The bill has not been finalized or approved by the National Security Commission but the proposal envisions imposing sanctions on 26 American officials by the Islamic Republic," deputy chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Commission said.

7 US Corporations Advise Obama on Jobs While Investing Overseas

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Gag me with a chainsaw: 7 US Corporations Advise Obama on Jobs While Investing Overseas 23 May 2011 Seven publicly traded U.S. corporations represented on President Barack Obama's advisory council for jobs and competitiveness -- including General Electric Co. and Intel Corp. -- have devoted a growing pool of their non-U.S. earnings to investments in other countries. As a group, multinational companies with current or former chief executive officers on Obama's jobs council have, over the past four years, almost doubled the cumulative amounts they’ve reinvested overseas, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Benazir Bhutto sought US security but was denied: WikiLeaks

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Benazir Bhutto sought US security but was denied: WikiLeaks 23 May 2011 WikiLeaks has revealed that the US embassy in Islamabad had refused to provide security to former Pakistani PM Benazir Bhutto months before her assassination in December 2008 despite her personal requests to US Congressmen. WikiLeaks also revealed that several US Embassy cables between Oct and Dec 2007 reflect Bhutto's concerns and her attempts to impress upon the US authorities particularly the then ambassador at Islamabad, Anne W. Patterson, the need to provide her physical security in the run up to the elections... Another cable dated Oct 23, 2007, also reflected Washington's unwillingness to meet Bhutto's request.

Thousands protest against US drone attacks in Pakistan

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Thousands protest against US drone attacks in Pakistan --'It is not Pakistan's war, this is America's war. This war has killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis, women and children.' 22 May 2011 Thousands demonstrated in Karachi on Sunday to demand an immediate end to US missile strikes in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas and urge the blocking of NATO supplies passing through the country. Activists from the Tehreek-e-Insaf (Movement for Justice) continued a two-day sit-in outside the city's Arabian Sea port, urging the government to end its cooperation with Washington's "war on terror".

Barack Obama agrees to form joint national security body with UK

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Barack Obama agrees to form joint national security body with UK --US president will use visit to London to announce new joint National Security Strategy Board 23 May 2011  Barack Obama will announce during his first state visit to Britain this week that the White House is to open up its highly secretive national security council to Downing Street in a move that appears to show the US still values the transatlantic "special relationship". A joint National Security Strategy Board will be established to ensure that senior officials on both sides of the Atlantic confront long-term challenges rather than just hold emergency talks from the "situation room" in the White House and the Cobra room in the Cabinet Office.

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq

May 23, 2011 by legitgov

Two US soldiers killed in Iraq 22 May 2011 Two US soldiers have been killed in central Iraq, capping a day of violence that left more than a dozen Iraqis dead and more than 80 others wounded in and around Baghdad. "Two US service members were killed Sunday while conducting operations in central Iraq," AFP quoted the American statement as saying... Meanwhile, an Iraqi interior ministry official said two US soldiers were killed and three others wounded when the convoy they were in was struck by a roadside bomb in the capital's western outskirts.

British Transport Police to be given right to carry weapons on capital's trains and stations

May 22, 2011 by legitgov

British Transport Police to be given right to carry weapons on capital's trains and stations --New Al-Qaeda chief pledges major attack on London to avenge Bin Laden's death 21 May 2011 Osama Bin Laden's replacement as leader [Saif al-Adel] of 'Al-Qaeda' is planning a major terrorist attack on London, ordering his followers to 'crush' the city. In response to the heightened threat on London, British Transport Police (BTP) are to be given the power to carry weapons on the capital's trains, stations and the underground for the first time. Transport Secretary Philip Hammond will next week announce the plan, which is aimed at deterring the threat of another terrorist attack.

Squads tackle mock terrorists and building collapse in drill

May 22, 2011 by legitgov

You just *know* these f*ckers are dying to go live, as they did on 9/11: Squads tackle mock terrorists and building collapse in drill 22 May 2011 Half a dozen SWAT commandos raided a Winthrop ferry boat loaded with a dozen hostages and two gunmen. A couple of miles away in Chelsea, a bomb squad robot inched toward a sedan loaded with explosives, parked near a rail line and massive fuel storage tanks. At the Fore River Shipyard in Quincy, crews chopped and sawed through concrete and steel to unearth victims trapped in a building collapse. But it was only a test. [For now.] Dubbed "Urban Shield: Boston," it was the first large-scale effort to get different types of first responders to train together for a terrorism attack or natural disaster that would require their collaboration.

"Urban Shield" Prepares Boston Police, Fire and Military for Terrorist Attacks

May 22, 2011 by legitgov

"Urban Shield" Prepares Boston Police, Fire and Military for Terrorist Attacks --At Boston's Marine Industrial Park around 5 p.m., there will be a "large-scale event similar to terrorist attacks in Mumbai." SWAT, USAR, EMS and bomb squads will respond to this situation. 21 May 2011 On Friday, Boston officials started hosting "Urban Shield: Boston," a 24-hour large scale crisis management competitive training exercise began in South Boston at the Marine Industrial Park. More crisis-type events were scheduled to begin Saturday morning at 8 a.m. Teams from the City of Boston, Metro-Boston Homeland Security Region, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island and Alameda County in California, are all participating.

British activist and former Guantanamo detainee denied boarding on flight to Toronto

May 22, 2011 by legitgov

British activist and former Guantanamo detainee denied boarding on flight to Toronto --'There was a possibility the flight could be rerouted to the United States, which could pose security concerns.' 20 May 2011 A British human rights activist and former Guantanamo Bay prisoner says he was denied boarding on a direct flight from London to Toronto Friday because of a supposed security risk. Moazzam Begg, who is based in London, England, was scheduled to speak at a conference on Islamophobia in Toronto on Saturday. Dennis Edney, a Canadian lawyer who is organizing the conference told Postmedia News that 45 minutes before Begg was to board the Air Canada jet, the Canadian High Commission in London told him he could not fly.

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