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Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers

Google and Verizon Near Deal on Web Pay Tiers --End of net neutrality could see continually rising bills for Internet service, much as they have for cable television. 04 Aug 2010 Google and Verizon, two leading players in Internet service and content, are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege. Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another. In its place, consumers could soon see a new, tiered system, which, like cable television, imposes higher costs for premium levels of service.

Google denies 'two-tier internet' deal

Google denies 'two-tier internet' deal --Company dismisses reports of plot to create 'two-speed' internet with faster content for those who pay 05 Aug 2010 Google has dismissed reports that the company is in talks with US telecoms operator Verizon that could bring an end to net neutrality. In an article published yesterday, the New York Times said the two companies "are nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege".

Iraq car bomb, checkpoint attack leaves 25 dead

Iraq car bomb, checkpoint attack leaves 25 dead 03 Aug 2010 Suspected Al Qaeda-linked militants killed five policemen in the second deadly attack in a week on security checkpoints, while a car bomb in a crowded market in the southern city of Kut left at least 20 people dead and dozens injured. An Iraq Interior Ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity says the five were killed at a checkpoint on the outskirts of the affluent West Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour after gunmen with silencers opened fire on the checkpoint at dawn Tuesday. He says they left the black flag of the self-declared Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) at the site of the attack on a main highway on the edge of Mansour leading to Anbar Province.

U.S. ambassador to attend Hiroshima event

U.S. ambassador to attend Hiroshima event 05 Aug 2010 U.S. Ambassador John Roos will make a historic appearance Friday at Japan's Peace Memorial Ceremony in Hiroshima. His will be the first time in 65 years that an American ambassador has attended the ceremony, which marks the atomic bombing of the city by the United States in 1945.

Iran questions Obama's 'change'

Iran questions Obama's 'change' [Oh. God. *Everyone* does.] 04 Aug 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticized his American counterpart Barack Obama for failing to realize his campaign trail promise of "change." "They (the Americans) announced that they had pulled out part of their forces from Iraq in recent days and claimed that their move was in line with their slogan of 'change,'" Fars News Agency quoted President Ahmadinejad as saying on Wednesday. "You said you would withdraw all your troops from Iraq, why is it that some of them are still in this country? Secondly, where are you relocating your forces from Iraq?" ...At a speech in the western Hamadan Province, Ahmadinejad went on to say, "Real change means that you take your forces... and leave our region."  [*Exactly.* I couldn't agree more. --LRP]

Nine killed as Qaeda fighters plant flag in Baghdad

Nine killed as Qaeda fighters plant flag in Baghdad --The flag-planting incident was the second such act in less than a week. 03 Aug 2010 Al-Qaeda fighters killed five policemen at a Baghdad checkpoint on Tuesday and planted the black flag of the terror network's front group in Iraq, an interior ministry official said. A traffic policeman and three soldiers were also killed in the capital, raising concerns that Iraq's security may be deteriorating after the government said more people died in violence in July than in any month since May 2008.

Biologists release Gulf turtle hatchlings in Atlantic

Biologists release Gulf turtle hatchlings in Atlantic 04 Aug 2010 The ancient ritual takes place nightly along Florida's East Coast in the late summer. Tiny sea turtle hatchlings emerge from sandy nests to scramble to the sea, with females destined to return to the same beach several decades later to lay their own eggs. This year, those hatchlings are being joined by hundreds of hatchlings that began as eggs on beaches in the Florida Panhandle and Alabama... More than 13,000 eggs have been moved from 134 nests on the Gulf Coast, with thousands more expected to be moved through September. The "unprecedented effort" was planned to boost the turtles' chances of survival because biologists feared large numbers of hatchlings would be lost to the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Nuclear war imminent, Castro says

Nuclear war imminent, Castro says 05 Aug 2010 Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro is to address the country's National Assembly to warn about an imminent nuclear war involving the United States, Iran, and Israel, state media reported. Castro is expected to address the assembly on Saturday for the first time in four years to sound the warning, AFP reported on Wednesday.

Republican wants death penalty charges for alleged document leaker

Republican wants death penalty charges for alleged document leaker 04 Aug 2010 The disclosure of secret information on the web site Wikileaks has prompted US Republican congressman Rep. Mike Rogers to call for treason charges for the person who leaked the documents. Rogers called for the treason charges, which could be accompanied by a death penalty, against the  analyst who has been charged with leaking the information. During an interview on Michigan radio, Rogers said he supported a capital charge against Private Bradley Manning.

Ex-Guantanamo detainee now campaigning in Afghanistan

Ex-Guantanamo detainee now campaigning in Afghanistan 04 Aug 2010 In a country whose young parliament is filled with warlords, suspected drug barons, one-time mujahedeen fighters and religious zealots, Izatullah Nasrat Yar can still make history. Yar has set out to become the first "enemy combatant" once held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to become an elected Afghan lawmaker in this fall's legislative elections.

Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images

Feds admit storing checkpoint body scan images --TSA requires all airport body scanners it purchases to be able to store and transmit images for 'testing, training, and evaluation purposes' 04 Aug 2010 For the last few years, federal agencies have defended body scanning by insisting that all images will be discarded as soon as they're viewed. The Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer, for instance, that "scanned images cannot be stored or recorded." [But] some police agencies are storing the controversial images. The U.S. Marshals Service admitted this week that it had surreptitiously saved tens of thousands of images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse.

Judge strikes down ban on same-sex marriage

Judge strikes down ban on same-sex marriage 04 Aug 2010 A federal judge today struck down Proposition 8, the voter-passed November 2008 initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker found that the ban on same-sex marriage violated the constitutional due process and equal protection rights of a pair of couples who sued. The judge ordered an injunction against enforcement of Prop. 8 but issued a temporary stay until he decides whether to suspend his ruling while it is being appealed.

U.S. to Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers

Outsourcing we can believe in: U.S. to Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers --$22 million, federally-backed program aims to help outsourcers in South Asia become more fluent in areas like Java programming--and the English language. 03 Aug 2010 Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $22 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia. Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs. USAID [the US terrorist group that taught Latin American police how to torture political dissidents in the 1960s and 1970s] will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.

Army probing McChrystal staff over Rolling Stone interview

Army probing McChrystal staff over Rolling Stone interview --Hastings banned from scheduled embed this September in Afghanistan for being 'untrustworthy' 03 Aug 2010 The U.S. Army inspector general is investigating whether aides to former Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal were insubordinate when they made a series of derogatory comments about top civilian leaders to a Rolling Stone reporter, McClatchy has learned. The investigation comes as the Pentagon grapples with how much access the reporter who wrote the piece, Michael Hastings, should have to troops.

Rightwing group to fight vote clearing way for NYC mosque

Rightwing group to fight vote clearing way for NYC mosque 04 Aug 2010 Plans for an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero moved forward as a city panel opened the way for developers to tear down a building that was struck by airplane debris on Sept. 11. Even as the project's backers celebrated the decision, a conservative advocacy group founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson announced it would challenge the panel's vote in state court Wednesday.

ACLU Sues U.S. Government Over American Citizen's Hit List Designation

ACLU Sues U.S. Government Over American Citizen's Hit List Designation --In July, the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) formally labeled Awlaki a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist." 03 Aug 2010 The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) are suing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner over the government's decision to put radical Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki on a hit list and freeze his U.S. assets. Awlaki, a U.S. citizen now living in Yemen, is on a U.S. hit list, and has already survived at least one cruise missile strike. Last month Awlaki's father Nasser Al-Awlaki asked the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the government's placement of his son on a list of US Citizens that can be assassinated by US forces and intelligence services for ties to terrorism.

Target Corp targeted for political donation

Target Corp targeted for political donation --Target could be test case of corporate giving backlash 03 Aug 2010 In a challenge to corporations' newfound right to make unlimited campaign donations, U.S.-based retailer Target found itself in the cross-hairs of a boycott effort fueled by anger at a Minnesota candidate strongly opposed to gay rights. MoveOn.org, the Democratic political advocacy group, widened a petition drive on Tuesday it had begun last week to its five million members from Target's home state of Minnesota to drum up opposition to Target's recent $150,000 donation to a pro-business group, called MN Forward.

West Losing Afghan War, Pakistan’s Zardari Tells Le Monde

West Losing Afghan War, Pakistan’s Zardari Tells Le Monde 03 Aug 2010 The U.S. and its allies are losing the war in Afghanistan because they’ve failed to win local support and think too short term, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview with Le Monde, drawing a rebuke from the U.S. "The international community, of which Pakistan is a part, is losing the war against the Taliban because we have lost the battle for hearts and minds," Zardari told the Paris-based afternoon daily newspaper.

Blast kills UK soldier in Afghanistan

Blast kills UK soldier in Afghanistan 03 Aug 2010 The UK Ministry of Defense has confirmed the death of another British soldier in Afghanistan amid a surge in militant attacks against US-led forces in the country. Britain's Ministry of Defense says that a bomb attack has killed a British soldier in Afghanistan.

Twin blasts kill 30, wound 80 in Iraq

Twin blasts kill 30, wound 80 in Iraq 03 Aug 2010 Twin car bomb explosions have killed at least 30 people and wounded 80 others, including women and children, in the southern Iraqi city of Kut, security officials say. "We have so far received 30 corpses and 80 people have been wounded," the head of the emergency services at Kut hospital told AFP. "Two cars, parked 10 meters from each other, exploded at the same time at al-Amel crossing," said police Lieutenant Ismail Hussein. [Blackwater is a busy little bee!]

In gulf, crews begin 'static kill' attempt

In gulf, crews begin 'static kill' attempt 03 Aug 2010 BP began pumping [toxic] mud into the blown-out Macondo well Tuesday afternoon in a much-anticipated "static kill" procedure that could choke the well once and for all. After a roughly 24-hour delay to deal with last-minute leaks in equipment both at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and at the sea floor, BP engineers performed a diagnostic procedure called an injectivity test to see if they could push oil in the well back into its source rock. Satisfied with the result, they launched the static kill at 4 p.m. EDT. [Too bad BP doesn't begin a 'static kill' attempt on *themselves.*]

White House rebuffs Iran leader's call for direct talks

White House rebuffs Iran leader's call for direct talks 03 Aug 2010 The White House on Tuesday rebuffed a call from Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for face-to-face talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama, saying Iran was not serious about discussing its nuclear program. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs nonetheless held the door open to US-Iran talks as the State Department saw signs that Tehran may now be seeking a dialogue with Washington under the pain of new sanctions.

DHS Announces New Community-Based Law Enforcement Initiatives

'Homeland security begins with hometown security.' DHS Announces New Community-Based Law Enforcement Initiatives --Expands "If You See Something, Say Something" Campaign to the Washington, D.C., area 03 Aug 2010 Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced a series of initiatives to support state and local law enforcement and community groups across the country in identifying and mitigating threats to their communities and expanded DHS "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign to the Washington, D.C., area in conjunction with National Night Out, an annual anticrime campaign involving citizens, police and neighborhood groups. "Homeland security begins with hometown security, and our efforts to confront threats in our communities are most effective when they are led by local law enforcement and involve strong collaboration with the communities and citizens they serve," said Secretary Napolitano.

US backs plan to send more troops to Somalia

US backs plan to send more troops to Somalia By Ann Talbot 02 Aug 2010 Meeting at the African Union Summit in Kampala, African leaders have agreed to send more troops to Somalia to support the Transitional Federal Government against the Islamist militia al-Shabaab. US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson welcomed the decision... Carson said that Washington would provide the African Union Mission to Somalia with more technical and financial support. He claimed that three more African countries had agreed to join the mission, but declined to name them.

U.S, Russia to Hold Joint Anti-Terror Air Defense Exercise

U.S, Russia to Hold Joint Anti-Terror Air Defense Exercise 02 Aug 2010 The U.S. and Russia will conduct a cooperative air defense exercise for the first time this month that will involve the mock takeover of an aircraft by terrorists, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) announced Monday. The exercise, named Vigilant Eagle, will involve Russian, Canadian and U.S. Air Force personnel who will operate from command centers in Russia and the U.S. During the exercise, the Russian Air Force and NORAD will launch or divert fighter aircraft to investigate a U.S.-flagged commercial air carrier that is believed to have been taken over by terrorists and is not responding to communications. [Let's hope they don't *go live,* as they did on 9/11.]

6 guards beheaded in bank heist in Afghanistan

6 guards beheaded in bank heist in Afghanistan 03 Aug 2010 Six Afghan private security guards were beheaded during a bank robbery in northern Afghanistan, police said Tuesday. It appeared that the police were poisoned before they were beheaded, said Sherjan Durani, a police spokesman for Balkh province. He said someone apparently mixed a poison into the guards' food Monday night at a branch of Kabul Bank in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Sarah Palin Found to be Russian Spy Robot

Sarah Palin Found to be Russian Spy Robot By R J Shulman (Satire) 03 Aug 2010 An explosive new post from WikiLeaks, the whistleblowing website, has exposed Sarah Palin not only as an operative for Russia but also as a robotic device. The Preyat Yeletza Rawdeena XL-3 (roughly translated as "Homeland Girlfriend"), was created by rogue KGB agents who wanted Russia to return to the old style regime of the Soviet Union. WikiLeaks documents reveal that this clandestine group, the Chashka Chayou Partenny or Teacup Political Party (TPP), was bent upon destroying the American way of life. TPP leader Yuri Boltnikov writes that he believed America could be fooled by an attractive female robot "with an opiate of the people Bible in one hand and, in the other, a flag of America waving."

UAE extends BlackBerry ban to visitors

UAE extends BlackBerry ban to visitors 02 Aug 2010 The United Arab Emirates has extended its ban on the application of BlackBerry services to foreign visitors. The UAE's Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) made the announcement on Monday. The TRA said on Sunday that the country's citizens would have to stop using the mobile handset's e-mail, messaging, and internet services as of October 11, the German press agency DPA reported.

Bomb blasts kill 5, wound 7 in Iraq

Bomb blasts kill 5, wound 7 in Iraq 02 Aug 2010 At least five people have been killed and seven others wounded after a series of bombs exploded in and around the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad. The interior ministry announced on Monday that a bomb at a bus shelter in the Shurta district killed two people and wounded four. In a separate blast in Anbar province, a bomb destroyed a policeman's house, killing three of his relatives and wounding three others, said police.

Jewish groups angered by churches' boycott call

Jewish groups angered by churches' boycott call 03 Aug 2010 Australia's leading church group has called on Australian churches and the public to boycott Israeli goods made in occupied Palestinian territories. The National Council of Churches in Australia - which includes the Catholic, Anglican, Uniting and Orthodox churches among its members - passed the resolution last month. Proposed by the Uniting Church and seconded by the Anglicans, the motion asks the council's welfare agency, Act for Peace, to help member churches with the boycott and urges Christians involved in interfaith dialogue to include justice for Palestinians in their conversations. Jewish groups were horrified at the resolution.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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