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American ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller Dead, White House Says

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Wow, what a coincidence! Just as Obama seeks military authorization from Congress to fight ISIS: American ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller Dead, White House Says | 10 Feb 2015 | President Obama confirmed today that American ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller has been killed, days after the terror group claimed she had died in a Jordanian airstrike. "It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. A spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said that over the weekend, the Mueller family "received a private message from Kayla's ISIL [ISIS] [I-CIA-SIS] captors containing additional information. Once this information was authenticated by the intelligence community, they concluded that Kayla was deceased," NSC spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said.

Family of Isis hostage Kayla Mueller confirms US aid worker has been killed

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Family of Isis hostage Kayla Mueller confirms US aid worker has been killed | 10 Feb 2015 | The family of Kayla Mueller, the 26-year-old aid worker held hostage by Isis since August 2013, has confirmed in a statement that she has been killed. "We are heartbroken to share that we've received confirmation that Kayla Jean Mueller, has lost her life," her parents and brother said on Tuesday. Supporters of Islamic State had claimed on Friday that she was killed in a Jordanian air strike intended to avenge the burning to death of a captured Jordanian pilot.

Former C.I.A. Officer Released After Nearly Two Years in Prison for Leak Case

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Former C.I.A. Officer Released After Nearly Two Years in Prison for Leak Case | 9 Feb 2015 | John C. Kiriakou, the first C.I.A. officer to be imprisoned for leaking classified information to a reporter, has been released to home confinement after serving nearly two years in federal prison in Pennsylvania. Under the conditions of his release last Tuesday, Mr. Kiriakou, 50, is required to stay for the next three months at his house in Arlington, Va., where he lives with his wife and the youngest three of his five children.

Kerry Tells Lawmakers He's for Arming Ukraine

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Kerry Tells Lawmakers He's for Arming Ukraine | 9 Feb 2015 | Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers during a private reception in Germany that he personally supports sending lethal aid to the Ukrainian military, even though President Barack Obama has yet to make a decision on whether to say yes to Ukraine's arms request. Kerry is the latest top U.S. official to favor arming Ukraine's armed forces directly...The top U.S. general in Europe, Philip Breedlove, has for months been advocating internally for greater U.S. support for Ukraine.  Defense secretary nominee Ashton Carter testified last week he was inclined toward sending arms to Kiev.

Boston-area transit, schools to shut Tuesday after record snowfall

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Boston-area transit, schools to shut Tuesday after record snowfall | 9 Feb 2015 | A record-setting run of snowstorms that has pounded the U.S. Northeast over the past two weeks has taken a heavy toll on Massachusetts, prompting officials to shut Boston's mass-transit service through Tuesday to allow time to clear the rails. Following a day that saw 48 commuters stuck on a snowbound train during the morning rush hour, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority said all train service would shut down at 7 p.m. EST (2400 GMT) on Monday due to the snow and remain shut on Tuesday. The closure of Boston's transit system, as well as its schools, came after officials said 73.9 inches (1.9 meters) of snow had fallen on the city so far this season, making it the 10th snowiest winter on record.

Ala chief justice tells judges: Refuse gay marriage licenses

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Ala chief justice tells judges: Refuse gay marriage licenses | 9 Feb 2015 | In 2003, Alabama's chief justice [sic] Roy Moore was forced from the bench for disobeying a federal court order to remove a boulder-size Ten Commandments monument from the state courthouse. On Monday, as Alabama became the 37th state where gays can legally wed, Moore took a defiant stand again, employing the kind of states' rights language used during the Civil War era and again during the civil rights movement. He argued that a federal judge's Jan. 23 ruling striking down the Bible Belt state's gay-marriage ban was an illegal intrusion on Alabama's sovereignty.

Anti-West sentiment in Russia hits all-time high

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Anti-West sentiment in Russia hits all-time high | 9 Feb 2015 | The number of Russians with negative attitude towards the US and EU has hit its highest in modern history, with 36 percent wanting their country to further distance itself from the West, according to the latest poll. The research was conducted by the major independent pollster Levada Center in late January and its results were released on Monday. The number of Russians who claimed their negative attitude to the United States rose to 81 percent compared to 44 percent one year ago.

Compel prison to allow media to interview Omar Khadr, lawyers urge court

February 10, 2015 by legitgov

Compel prison to allow media to interview Omar Khadr, lawyers urge court | 9 Feb 2015 | The public has a right to know as much as possible about Omar Khadr before he is released from prison, especially since the federal government has repeatedly branded him an unrepentant terrorist, Federal Court heard Monday. In urging the court to force prison authorities to allow media to interview the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, their lawyer said the Harper government itself had put the issue on the public stage. "The Canadian public has a right to know and understand," media lawyer John Phillips told Judge Richard Mosley.

Rise in wildfires may resurrect Chernobyl's radiation

February 9, 2015 by legitgov

Rise in wildfires may resurrect Chernobyl's radiation | 9 Feb 2015 | Fallout from the world's [2nd] worst nuclear accident just won't go away. Radioactive clouds may once again spread over Europe, as rising fires release radiation locked up in the upper layers of soil in the dense forests near Chernobyl in Ukraine and Belarus Forest fires there have already been re-distributing that radioactivity over Europe. But the situation is set to worsen with climate change, political instability -- and a bizarre effect of radiation on dead leaves. [The ongoing Fukushima disaster is the world's worst nuclear accident.]

Huge explosion at Donetsk chemical plant, military says 'don't know what they hit'

February 9, 2015 by legitgov

Huge explosion at Donetsk chemical plant, military says 'don't know what they hit' | 9 Feb 2015 | Windows were shattered and homes shaken in Donetsk after a huge blast rocked the vicinity of a city chemical plant. A Ukrainian MP praised pro-Kiev forces for hitting a target -- but said they "don't know what they hit." The powerful explosion took place at 10:50pm local time on Sunday. Local militia reported that a military chemical plant DKZHI was the target of Kiev's artillery shelling.

If Russia Is Ukraine's Enemy Why Are 1.2 Million Ukrainian Men Seeking Refuge in Russia?

February 9, 2015 by legitgov

If Russia Is Ukraine's Enemy Why Are 1.2 Million Ukrainian Men Seeking Refuge in Russia? --Economic migrants, war refugees, draft evaders...They're all voting with their feet | 4 Feb 2015 | Is Russia invading Ukraine or Ukraine invading Russia? Would you seek refuge in the very arms of your "enemy"? ...Here is a number that may shock some western European and American zombies, 20,000...20,000 increase in Ukrainian men a week seeking refuge in Russia, to avoid Porky's military draft. 1.193 million Ukrainian men, conscription age, now staying in Russia. 2.5 million Ukrainian nationals (refugees) currently being taken care of (feed, clothed, etc...) in Russia.

Insured, but Not Covered

February 9, 2015 by legitgov

Insured, but Not Covered | 7 Feb 2015 | The Affordable Care Act has ushered in an era of complex new health insurance products featuring legions of out-of-pocket coinsurance fees, high deductibles and narrow provider networks...It took many phone calls for Aviva Starkman Williams, a California computer engineer with insurance through her employer, to determine whether the pediatrician doing her son's 2-year-old checkup was in-network for 2015. Only three of the pediatricians in her doctor's six-person group were listed in her plan's online directory, and since her deductible had tripled from the previous year's, she wanted to limit her out-of-pocket  payments.The practice's office manager couldn't tell her for sure. The insurer's representative said he didn't know because doctors came in and out of network all the time, likening the situation to players' switching teams in the National Basketball Association.

50,000 casualties in Ukraine? German intel calls Kiev's 6k toll 'not credible'

February 9, 2015 by legitgov

50,000 casualties in Ukraine? German intel calls Kiev's 6k toll 'not credible' | 8 Feb 2015 | The German intelligence service estimates the real losses in the Ukrainian civil war at 50,000 dead (civilians and servicemen), which is nearly 10 times higher than reported by the Kiev authorities, German media report. The information comes from a source in German intelligence, who spoke to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAZ) newspaper. "Germany's special services estimate the probable number of deceased Ukrainian servicemen and civilians at up to 50,000 people. This figure is about 10 times higher than official data. Official figures are clearly too low and not credible," the newspaper reported on Sunday, citing its source.

Three wounded in gunfire at Pennsylvania mall

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Three wounded in gunfire at Pennsylvania mall | 8 Feb 2015 | Three people were wounded -- two critically -- when gunfire broke out Saturday at Monroeville Mall [near Pittsburgh] around 7:35 p.m. The mall was evacuated, store by store, and placed on lockdown while police scoured the complex in a fruitless search for the shooter. "It was a targeted shooting," said Monroeville Police Chief Doug Cole at a news conference Saturday night...The incident brought a heavy police response, including state police, Allegheny County sheriff's deputies and about a dozen other police departments from around the region.

Lavrov: US escalated Ukraine crisis at every stage, blamed Russia

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Lavrov: US escalated Ukraine crisis at every stage, blamed Russia | 8 Feb 2015 | Sergey Lavrov has lashed out at the US for their double standards over Ukraine and taking steps that "only promoted further aggravation" of the conflict. He added Russia is ready to guarantee agreements between Kiev and the self-proclaimed republics. One of the major sticking points of the crisis so far has been the failure of Kiev to engage in talks with militia leaders in the East of the country. "In the case of Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan our partners actively asked governments to enter into dialogue with the opposition, even if they were extremists. However, during the Ukrainian crisis, they act differently, making up excuses and try to justify the use of cluster bombs," the Russian Foreign Minister said, who was speaking at a security conference in Munich on Saturday.

Scott Walker backtracks from striking 'truth,' 'human condition' from Wisconsin Idea

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Scott Walker backtracks from striking 'truth,' 'human condition' from Wisconsin Idea --Governor touts proposal, then claims 'mistake' | 5 Feb 2015 | Facing a massive backlash, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Koch Sucker) retreated Wednesday from a proposal to wipe out language at the foundation of the Wisconsin Idea -- the long-cherished principle that the state’s public universities exist to seek truth and serve the people of the entire state. "The Wisconsin Idea will continue to thrive," Walker's spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, said in a statement. "This was a drafting error. The final version of the budget will include the Wisconsin Idea." But earlier in the day, Walker told reporters in De Pere that the proposed language change in his 2015-17 budget plan would better focus the University of Wisconsin System.

GCHQ-NSA intelligence sharing unlawful

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

GCHQ-NSA intelligence sharing unlawful | 6 Feb 2015 | Britain's electronic spy agency was acting unlawfully -- until December -- when it received intelligence provided by the U.S. National Security Agency, a British court ruled Friday. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a court that oversees the intelligence and security agencies, said that Britain's spy agency, GCHQ, was violating human rights when it received the intercepted communications from the NSA because it had not made details of the procedure and its safeguards on it public. In its ruling, the court said that "the regime governing the soliciting, receiving, storing and transmitting by UK authorities of private communications of individuals located in the UK" by the NSA breached Articles 8 or 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, because GCHQ’s safeguards were kept secret. Article 8 refers to the right of privacy, while Article 10 covers freedom of expression.

Archie the bear's owners, of Lodi, heading to court to keep him

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Archie the bear's owners, of Lodi, heading to court to keep him | 6 Feb 2015 | Archie the bear won't have to  be removed from his home -- for now at least. His owners, Debbie and Jeff Gillium, of Lodi, have filed a temporary restraining order against the Ohio Department of Agriculture Agriterrorists in Medina County Common Pleas Court. "We have an understanding with the state of Ohio that everything is going to sit tight," attorney John Oberholtzer, who is representing the Gilliums, said. Oberholtzer said a hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday before Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier. The state had threatened to remove the bear by Monday. [Sign petition to let bear stay with his 'parents': Ohio couple seeks to keep elderly rescued bear on their property --'Let an old bear live his remaining years with the family. Shame on those trying to take him away.' 1 Feb 2015 ]

Federal authorities levy terrorism charges at 6 people in the U.S.

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Federal authorities levy terrorism charges at 6 people in the U.S. | 7 Feb 2015 | Federal authorities have charged six people with aiding terrorists overseas. The Department of Justice accuses them of conspiring to provide materials and money to terrorists in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Two of them are accused of conspiring to kill and harm people overseas. The materials include U.S. military uniforms, boots, tactical gear and optical devices such as scopes.

Kansas Game Wardens searching for bald eagle killer

February 8, 2015 by legitgov

Kansas Game Wardens searching for bald eagle killer | 5 Feb 2015 | Someone shot and killed a bald eagle in central Kansas and game wardens are searching for the shooter. Kansas Game Wardens said the bald eagle was shot and killed sometime Wednesday morning below the Marion Reservoir's dam near Hillsboro, Kan., north of Wichita. "Anyone with information is asked to call Operation Game Thief at 877-426-3843," game wardens posted on the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Facebook page."

NBC anchor Williams taking himself off the air for several days

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

NBC anchor Williams taking himself off the air for several days | 7 Feb 2015 | NBC News anchor Brian Williams said on Saturday that he will take himself off the evening newscast for several days as the network probes misstatements related to his experience reporting on the Iraq war in 2003. "In the midst of a career spent covering and consuming news, it has become painfully apparent to me that I am presently too much a part of the news, due to my actions," Williams said in a statement posted on the NBC News website. Lester Holt, who typically anchors NBC Evening News on weekends, will step in to handle the weekday evening broadcast in the interim, Williams said.

UK Tribunal Declares NSA's Data-Sharing with British Intel Illegal

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

UK Tribunal Declares NSA's Data-Sharing with British Intel Illegal | 6 Feb 2015 | A British tribunal has ruled that data sharing between the NSA and the UK spy group known as GCHQ was illegal for years--because it was done in secret. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal in the UK ruled today that British intelligence services acted unlawfully when they accessed the private communications of millions of people that had been collected by the NSA under its mass-surveillance programs known as PRISM and Upstream. The PRISM program, which began in 2007, allowed the NSA to collect data in bulk from U.S. companies like Yahoo and Google. The Upstream program involved the collection of data from taps placed on undersea cables outside the U.S.

NATO declares Russia its greatest threat, announces 'biggest reinforcement since end of the Cold War'

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

NATO declares Russia its greatest threat, announces 'biggest reinforcement since end of the Cold War' | 6 Feb 2015 | NATO has ranked Russia as its greatest threat, according to defence experts, as the alliance announced its plans to staff six new European bases in what its secretary general Jens Stoltenberg is calling "the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War". The plan will see NATO's rapid reaction units grow to 30,000 soldiers from 13,000, and six stations will be set up in the alliance’s easternmost member states - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, all of whom either border Russia or share the Black Sea with annexed reunified Crimea.

Park Service kills hundreds of bison despite objections from Native Americans, activists

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

Park Service kills hundreds of bison despite objections from Native Americans, activists | 5 Feb 2015 | The Buffalo Field Campaign, which monitors the Yellowstone border and tracks the park's bison management activities, reports that 410 wild bison have been trapped and removed for slaughter in recent weeks. "We don't know exact numbers because the park service will not tell us," says Stephany Seay, Buffalo Field Campaign (BFC) media coordinator. "This is a profoundly tragic event," Seay said in a press release. "These buffalo are a national treasure, a native keystone species beloved the world over, and are the most important bison population in the world. Yellowstone should be preventing harm to the buffalo, not bending over backwards for cattle interests by participating in their destruction."

The Sabu Files

February 7, 2015 by legitgov

The Sabu Files --Forty Documents 'The investigation of Hector 'Sabu' Monsegur's role as a cyber informant to the FBI (2011-2012).' Reports from Andrew Blake, Dell Cameron, and Daniel Stuckey | 2 Feb 2015 | Among the forty documents/topics: The secret chat logs of Barrett Brown; An unredacted version of Jeremy Hammond's sentencing memorandum, 1 Oct. 2014; FBI Informant Led Cyberattacks on Turkey's Government; US warrant for Facebook accounts, 29 July 2011; FBI surveillance on Jeremy Hammond and friends, 1 Mar. 2012.

Daesh claims US female hostage killed in coalition strike in Syria

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Daesh claims US female hostage killed in coalition strike in Syria | 6 Feb 2015 | The Daesh extremist group claimed on Friday that a female American hostage had been killed in an air strike in Syria by the US-led coalition. In a statement posted on jihadist websites, Daesh said the woman was buried beneath the rubble after a raid by a Jordanian warplane in Raqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the militant group. "The plane from the crusader coalition bombed a position outside the city of Raqa after Friday prayers," it said. "No fighter was wounded, but we can confirm that an American hostage was killed in the strikes."

Professor among two dead in University of South Carolina shooting

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Professor among two dead in University of South Carolina shooting | 6 Feb 2015 | A University of South Carolina professor died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body after being shot in an apparent murder-suicide in a campus building in downtown Columbia, a coroner said on Friday. Dr. Raja Fayad, 45, appeared to be the victim in Thursday's incident, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. The likely shooter, also dead, will be identified after that person's family is notified, Watts added. He was shot with a semi-automatic handgun, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told Reuters.

Jordanian airstrike kills U.S. hostage, purported militant statement says

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Jordanian airstrike kills U.S. hostage, purported militant statement says | 6 Feb 2015 | A purported statement from Islamic State militants said Friday that a Jordanian airstrike had killed an American aid worker who was being held hostage in the northeast Syrian city of Raqqa, an extremist stronghold. There was no immediate confirmation of the report from Washington or means of verifying whether the militant claim was true. In a message posted on social media, Islamic State purportedly declared that midday "crusader" airstrikes on Raqqa resulted in the death of the hostage.

Jordan warplanes strike Daesh; US aircraft escort fighter jets

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Jordan warplanes strike Daesh; US aircraft escort fighter jets --Jordan's military did not say where the targets were located | 6 Feb 2015 | Jordan said on Friday its warplanes launched dozens of new strikes Thursday against the Islamic State group, after vowing a harsh response to the [alleged] burning alive of a pilot captured in Syria. The news came as scores of people were killed when rebels unleashed rocket fire on Damascus and President Bashar al-Assad's forces retaliated. Jordan's military said "dozens of jet fighters" struck Daesh targets on Thursday morning, "hitting training camps of the terrorist groups as well as weapons and ammunition warehouses".

Man, 19, Accused of Lying to FBI Agents in Terrorism Probe

February 6, 2015 by legitgov

Man, 19, Accused of Lying to FBI Agents in Terrorism Probe | 5 Feb 2015 | A 19-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of lying to the FBI after authorities say he and three other young men from Minnesota took a bus to New York City and tried to board flights overseas. Hamza Ahmed was arrested as federal authorities are investigating people who have gone to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group. He was charged with making a false statement in a terrorism investigation, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

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