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Mysterious odor leads to evacuation of 100 Penn. homes

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

Mysterious odor leads to evacuation of 100 Penn. homes --High readings of hydrogen cyanide 14 Jul 2014 A mysterious odor has prompted the evacuation of about 100 homes in Pennsylvania. A fire chief tells WPVI-TV in Philadelphia that crews haven't pinpointed the cause of the odor, but they've gotten high readings of hydrogen cyanide in about 100 homes in a Skippack Township neighborhood. About 150 evacuees have taken shelter in Skippack Elementary School.

Labor MP Melissa Parke suggests Israel is committing a war crime in Gaza

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

Labor MP Melissa Parke suggests Israel is committing a war crime in Gaza 14 Jul 2014 (AU) A Labor MP has accused the Israeli military of "indiscriminate" killing of women, children and the disabled, suggesting the Jewish state has committed a "war crime" in the Gaza Strip. Melissa Parke, a former aid worker in Gaza, today voiced "extreme concern" about this week’s bombardment of Palestinian neighbourhoods in response to Hamas rockets being fired at Israeli towns. The MP for Fremantle told parliament that the air strikes had killed more than 170 Palestinians and injured a further 1100, about 77 per cent of whom were estimated to be civilians, while no Israelis had been killed by the Islamic militants' rocket fire.

'Israel drops cancer-inducing bombs on Gazans'

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

'Israel drops cancer-inducing bombs on Gazans' 13 Jul 2014 A Norwegian doctor in the besieged Gaza Strip has strongly criticized Israel for using cancer-inducing bombs against Palestinian civilians. Dr. Erik Fosse told Press TV that the majority of patients hospitalized in Gaza are civilians injured in attacks on their homes and about thirty percent of them are children. Dense Inert Metal Explosive, known as DIME, is an explosive device developed to minimize collateral damage in warfare. Experts say it has a relatively small but effective blast radius and is believed to have strong biological effects on those who are hit by the bomb's micro-shrapnel.

NORAD exercise planned for Washington region this week

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

NORAD exercise planned for Washington region this week 13 Jul 2014 The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct flight exercises late Monday night through Wednesday morning in the Washington region, authorities said. The flights, which are scheduled between midnight and 5:30 a.m. each day, are meant to test NORAD's intercept capabilities and readiness in the event of intruding aircraft, the agency said.

Doubts over ice wall to keep Fukushima safe from damaged nuclear reactors

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

Doubts over ice wall to keep Fukushima safe from damaged nuclear reactors 13 Jul 2014 In fading light and just a stone's throw from the most terrifying scenes during Japan's the world's worst nuclear accident, engineers resumed their race against time to defeat the next big threat: thousands of tonnes of irradiated water. If all goes to plan, by next March Fukushima Daiichi's four damaged reactors will be surrounded by an underground frozen wall that will be a barrier between highly toxic radioactive water used to cool melted fuel inside reactor basements and clean groundwater flowing in from surrounding hills. Last month, Japan's nuclear regulators voiced concern at the failure to freeze the water in the trenches.

Netanyahu vows 'any means necessary' to stop Hamas

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

Netanyahu vows 'any means necessary' to stop Hamas 13 Jul 2014 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday he will use "any means necessary" to stop 'Islamic militant' group Hamas from bombing civilians but declined to say when his military action will stop or whether he will continue using ground troops. Netanyahu said on "Fox News [sic] Sunday" that his objective was to reach "sustained quiet" and that he'll continue "until it's achieved." The prime minister spoke as Israeli ground troops moved into the Gaza Strip early Sunday for the first time in the increasing bloody battle with Palestinians.

NORAD: Fighter jets scrambled after Russian bombers spotted off California

July 14, 2014 by legitgov

NORAD: Fighter jets scrambled after Russian bombers spotted off California 13 Jul 2014 Authorities say two F-22 fighter jets were scrambled after a pair of Russian bombers were spotted 50 miles off the coast of California earlier this week, Reuters reported, citing a NORAD spokesperson. Major Beth Smith, of North American Aerospace Defense Command, said that the long-range Russian bombers never officially entered U.S. airspace when two NORAD fighter jets made visual contact with them. The incident occurred about five hours after four Russian bombers and a refueling tanker were seen entering the so-called Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), airspace that extends about 200 miles from the U.S. coast.

Groups sue over failure to provide legal representation for children in deportation proceedings

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Groups sue over failure to provide legal representation for children in deportation proceedings 09 Jul 2014 Each year, the government initiates immigration court proceedings against thousands of children, but does not guarantee that those children have legal representation...On July 9, 2014, the American Immigration Council, with co-counsel American Civil Liberties Union, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Public Counsel, and K&L Gates LLP, filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of children who are challenging the federal government's failure to provide them with legal representation as it carries out removal proceedings against them. [J.E.F.M. v. Holder]

GCHQ named 'internet villain' at award ceremony

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

GCHQ named 'internet villain' at award ceremony 10 Jul 2014 The UK spy agency GCHQ has been named as the biggest "internet villain" at the annual Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) awards. Almost fifty organisations were nominated across sixteen categories in the awards 16th year and the evening ended with the Internet Villain Award, given to the one which hindered the industry most in the last year - the NSA and GCHQ. The award was given for their role in the surveillance state, a particularly important issue for industry given yesterday’s new Bill on data retention.

Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Edward Snowden condemns Britain's emergency surveillance bill 13 Jul 2014 The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has condemned the new surveillance bill being pushed through the UK's parliament this week, expressing concern about the speed at which it is being done, lack of public debate, fear-mongering and what he described as increased powers of intrusion. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian in Moscow, Snowden said it was very unusual for a public body to pass an emergency law such as this in circumstances other than a time of total war...Suddenly it is a priority, he said, after the government had ignored it for an entire year. "It defies belief."

Gaza: Israel hits security HQ and rocket site

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Gaza: Israel hits security HQ and rocket site 13 Jul 2014 Israel has carried out overnight air strikes against Gaza's security headquarters and police stations, in the heaviest bombardment since operations began on 8 July. It also said its troops had carried out a brief raid against a rocket-launching site in the coastal territory. Israel says Palestinian militants fired about 90 rockets from the Gaza Strip into its territory on Saturday. At least 159 Palestinians have died in the air strikes, Gaza officials say.

US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

US military studied how to influence Twitter users in Darpa-funded research --Defense Department spent millions to research social networks 08 Jul 2014 The activities of users of Twitter and other social media services were recorded and analysed as part of a major project funded by the US military, in a program that covers ground similar to Facebook's controversial experiment into how to control emotions by manipulating news feeds. Research funded directly or indirectly by the US Department of Defense's military research department, known as Darpa, has involved users of some of the internet’s largest destinations, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter, for studies of social connections and how messages spread...Several of the DoD-funded studies went further than merely monitoring what users were communicating on their own, instead messaging unwitting participants in order to track and study how they responded.

Israel widens Gaza bombing targets to civilian institutions

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Israel widens Gaza bombing targets to civilian institutions --Israeli strike hits centre for the disabled, killing 2 13 Jul 2014 Ignoring international appeals for a ceasefire, Israel widened its range of Gaza bombing targets to civilian institutions with suspected Hamas ties. It announced it would hit northern Gaza "with great force" to prevent rocket attacks from there on Israel. More than 156 Palestinians have been killed in five days of bombardment. One of the Israeli strikes hit a centre for the disabled where Palestinians said two patients were killed and four people seriously hurt.

Arturo the Polar Bear - 'world's saddest animal' alone in scorching desert zoo

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Arturo the Polar Bear - 'world's saddest animal' alone in scorching desert zoo --Experts say the bear is zombie-like and fear he is going insane. 12 Jul 2014 Arturo the polar bear lies slumped in his misery -- battling the searing heat of a desert zoo, reports the Sunday People. His shaggy white coat is perfectly ­suited to icy conditions as low as minus 40C in his Arctic circle habitat. But it is hell in this concrete enclosure at Argentina's Mendoza Zoo, where the temperature can reach 40C (104F). Animal rights campaigners are now desperately trying to get him moved from the zoo, situated in the capital of Mendoza Province, to somewhere offering cooler conditions. #FreeArturo #LiberenAArturo #Arturo2Canda

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into eastern waters: Japan

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles into eastern waters: Japan 12 Jul 2014 North Korea on Sunday fired two ballistic missiles into its eastern waters, prompting Japan to lodge a protest with Pyongyang, the Japanese government said. The missiles, launched between 1:20 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. (12.20 p.m. EDT and 12.30 p.m. EDT on Saturday) from somewhere near Kaesong in southwestern North Korea, flew about 500 km (310 miles) before splashing into waters separating Japan and the Korean peninsula, Japan's Defense Ministry said.

Student: Expelled for marrying another woman

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Student: Expelled for marrying another woman --Oklahoma school says marriage not consistent with values 12 Jul 2014 First there was friendship. Then there was romance. After that there was marriage. And now, at what would have been a few weeks from her senior year in college, Christian Minard finds herself expelled from school -- because the person she married is another woman. In a letter from earlier this month that Minard shared with CNN, an administrator at Southwestern Christian University noted that he'd been told of Minard's same-sex marriage and saw pictures of it posted to Fb.

Anti-Israel rallies held in London

July 13, 2014 by legitgov

Anti-Israel rallies held in London 13 Jul 2014 Thousands of protesters have gathered in London outside the Israeli embassy, calling on the British government and media to stop supporting Tel Aviv's atrocities. Amidst growing global outrage at the Israeli bombing in Gaza, thousands of Londoners completely blocked off Kensington High Street, one of the busiest streets in London, for several hours. Protesters were waving placards which read "Gaza: End the Siege" and "Freedom for Palestine."

Take off and land anywhere: Russia unveils hybrid amphibious drone vehicle

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Take off and land anywhere: Russia unveils hybrid amphibious drone vehicle 12 Jul 2014 A drone hybridized with an amphibious hovercraft has been presented at the Innoprom-2014 technology exhibition in Russia's Yekaterinburg. This unique UAV doesn't need an airfield to launch, so the only alternative is a helicopter. Russia's Rostech state corporation presented the first-ever drone that can land on any terrain, whether hummocky land, loose snow, sand, water, or swampland - any relatively flat surface will do. The aircraft dubbed Chirok (Teal) is both an unmanned aerial and amphibious vehicle; it was developed by Rotech's branch, Integrated Instrument-making Corporation (IIC).

Israeli airstrike on home of Gaza police chief kills 15 - Gaza Health Ministry

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Israeli airstrike on home of Gaza police chief kills 15 - Gaza Health Ministry 12 Jul 2014 Fierce rocket fire exchange is continuing between Israeli armed forces and Hamas, which has claimed the lives of more than 120 Palestinians. Israel is bracing itself for a "ground offensive," calling up 40,000 army reservists. 20:14 GMT: An Israeli airstrike on the home of Gaza's police chief has killed 15 people, Reuters quoted the Gaza Health Ministry as saying.

At least one injured after earthquake hits Japan's coast near Fukushima

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

At least one injured after earthquake hits Japan's coast near Fukushima --Nuclear power plant workers retreat to higher ground after small tsunami triggered by 6.8 magnitude earthquake 11 Jul 2014 A strong earthquake has hit Japan's northern coast near the nuclear power plant crippled in 2011. The earthquake early on Saturday triggered a small tsunami and injured at least one person. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 6 miles (10km) below the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The 4.22am (7.22pm GMT Friday) quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 120 miles north-west of the epicenter.

Afghanistan to Audit Every Vote Cast, Kerry Says

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Afghanistan to Audit Every Vote Cast, Kerry Says 12 Jul 2014 Afghanistan will conduct an audit of the entire eight million votes cast in a runoff vote for the recent presidential election [sic], Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Saturday, a deal he brokered to resolve a tense power struggle between the top two presidential candidates over widespread vote fraud. The audit will be the largest and most comprehensive possible, Mr. Kerry said at a news conference in Kabul. [But we couldn't get a Florida recount in the 2000 US coup d'etat, though, right?]

Minor tsunami hits Fukushima area after strong quake

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Minor tsunami hits Fukushima area after strong quake --Sea levels cannot be gauged near the Fukushima nuclear plant as the tsunami monitoring system was destroyed in 2011. 12 Jul 2014 A minor tsunami hit large swaths of the Tohoku region early Saturday, including in a city near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, after a strong 6.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the country's Pacific coast. There were no immediate reports of damage following the quake and tsunami, however, with authorities lifting all advisories roughly two hours later...On Friday, the crippled plant was skirted by tropical storm Neoguri.

'At least 30' Ukrainian military killed as militia shell convoy with Grad rockets

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

'At least 30' Ukrainian military killed as militia shell convoy with Grad rockets 11 Jul 2014 Dozens of Ukraine's government troops have been reportedly killed after local militia shelled pro-Kiev military forces with Grad rocket launchers. President Poroshenko has vowed "killing hundreds" for each deceased soldier. Self-defense troops attacked a Ukrainian military unit at around 5:00am near Zelenopolye village in the Lugansk region, not far from the Russian border, Kiev's officials reported.

Man held at Luton airport on suspicion of terrorism

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Man held at Luton airport on suspicion of terrorism 11 Jul 2014 A 22-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism at Luton airport while trying to travel to Turkey. Scotland Yard said the suspect was held on Wednesday afternoon by officers from Bedfordshire police before he got on a flight to Istanbul. He was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the preparation of acts to commit terrorism and taken to a police station in south London, where he is still being questioned.

Ex-Bush lawyer convicted of trying to kill wife

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Ex-Bush lawyer convicted of trying to kill wife 11 Jul 2014 A former White House lawyer in both Bush administrations was convicted Friday of attempted murder and other charges in the beating of his wife at their Connecticut home four years ago. John Michael Farren, 61, who also was once general counsel for Xerox Corp., was allowed to sit out his trial after he said he wouldn't be able to handle the stress of it. But he was in the courtroom Friday when the jury returned guilty verdicts on charges of attempted murder, first-degree assault and risk of injury to a child.

Sunni militants break into military base near Baghdad - report

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Sunni militants break into military base near Baghdad - report 11 Jul 2014 Sunni insurgents entered an army base northeast of Baghdad following fighting with government forces on Thursday, Reuters reported, citing a security source and local official. The base is located in Diyala province on the edge of Muqdadiya town, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Baghdad. The insurgents already had control of the northern side of the town before entering the military base.

Kurds seize two Iraqi oilfields and pull out of country's unity government

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Kurds seize two Iraqi oilfields and pull out of country's unity government 11 Jul 2014 Armed Kurdish forces seized control of two state-run oilfields on Friday in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk as the Kurdish political bloc withdrew from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government dictatorship, deepening the rift between the Kurds and the PM. Baghdad's national oil ministry has slammed the Kurdish takeover, as Arab workers were replaced with Kurdish employees at sites in Bai Hassan and Kirkuk, saying there would be serious repercussions if they didn't immediately withdraw, reported Reuters.

Russia ready to extend Snowden's asylum, immigration official says

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Russia ready to extend Snowden's asylum, immigration official says 11 Jul 2014 US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden can expect his request for an extension of his asylum in Russia to be extended in the next few days, an immigration official said Friday. "I see no problems with it," Vladimir Volokh was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. "Snowden's life is still in danger. Therefore, we have a basis to approve his application." Snowden's attorney Anatoly Kucherena said Wednesday that his client had filed a request for an extension with the Russian Migration Service.

Japan earthquake near Fukushima triggers small tsunami

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Japan earthquake near Fukushima triggers small tsunami --Powerful quake struck off the coast of Fukushima early Saturday 11 Jul 2014 A strong earthquake hit Japan's northern coast near the nuclear power plant crippled in 2011. The earthquake early Saturday triggered a small tsunami and injured at least one person. Japan's Meteorological Agency said the 6.8-magnitude quake struck 10 kilometresbelow the sea surface off the coast of Fukushima. The 4:22 a.m. quake shook buildings in Tokyo, about 250 kilometres northwest of the epicentre.

Typhoon Neoguri heads for Fukushima nuclear plant

July 12, 2014 by legitgov

Typhoon Neoguri heads for Fukushima nuclear plant 10 Jul 2014 Typhoon Neoguri, the worst storm to hit Japan in 15 years, is likely to reach areas near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant by Friday morning, forecasters have warned. The site's operator said workers were bracing for the storm, which has been downgraded from a typhoon to a 'severe storm'. The storm's massive downpours present an extra headache for the plant where workers are locked in a daily struggle to contain huge amounts of contaminated water, used to keep the destroyed reactors cool, as well as tainted radioactive groundwater leaking into the sea.

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