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North Korea Warns of Nuclear Response to Naval Exercises

North Korea Warns of Nuclear Response to Naval Exercises 23 Jul 2010 North Korea said it would counter U.S. and South Korean joint naval exercises with "nuclear deterrence" after the Obama administration said the government in Pyongyang shouldn’t take any provocative steps. North Korea will "legitimately counter with their powerful nuclear deterrence the largest-ever nuclear war exercises to be staged by the U.S. and the South Korean puppet forces," the National Defense Commission said, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

Oil Rig's Siren Was Kept Silent, Technician Says

Oil Rig's Siren Was Kept Silent, Technician Says 24 Jul 2010 The emergency alarm on the Deepwater Horizon was not fully activated the day the rig caught fire and exploded, killing 11 people and setting off the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a rig worker on Friday told a government panel investigating the accident. The worker, Mike Williams, the rig's chief electronics technician, said the general safety alarm was habitually set to "inhibited" to avoid waking up the crew with late-night sirens and emergency lights.

Severe Weather Strikes City, Tri-State

Severe Weather Strikes City, Tri-State 23 Jul 2010 New York City and the surrounding area was walloped by a bout of severe weather Friday night. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado watch for our area just before 6 p.m., it was expected to last until 1 a.m. but was cancelled at about 9:15 p.m. The alert covered Fairfield county in Connecticut, Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Hudson and Union counties in New Jersey, and Rockland, County, Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Nassau and Suffolk in New York as well as all five boroughs of New York City.

Alaska couple on US terror charge

Alaska couple on US terror charge 23 Jul 2010 A National Weather Service employee and his British-born wife have pleaded guilty to domestic terrorism charges of lying to the FBI about a hit list of possible targets who the couple suspected were enemies of Islam. Google News reports that Paul Rockwood Jr., a convert to Islam and his British-born wife, Nadia Rockwood, of King Salmon, Alaska, were charged with lying and making false statements about domestic terrorism. There were 15 targets on the list but none of its contents have been made public.

Senate passes $60B war bill, kills House add-ons

Senate passes $60B war bill, kills House add-ons 22 Jul 2010 The Senate has passed an almost $60 billion bill funding President Barack Obama's troop surge in Afghanistan after stripping out more than $20 billion in domestic spending approved by the House. In a take-it-or-leave-it gesture, the Senate is returning the bill it passed in May to the House.

Israel Gets Brutal With Media

Israel Gets Brutal With Media By Mel Frykberg 23 Jul 2010 Palestinian activists are being jailed, Israeli activists are under surveillance, and the Israeli military is increasingly targeting journalists who cover West Bank protests. The Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel issued a statement recently condemning what it sees as a change in Israel Defence Forces (IDF) policy in their treatment of journalists covering the growing number of West Bank protests against Israel's separation barrier, illegal settlements and land expropriation.

Spanish activists sue Israeli PM

Spanish activists sue Israeli PM 23 Jul 2010 Two Spanish activists have filed a court case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing him of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Manuel Tapial and Laura Arau, who were arrested in the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound humanitarian convoy in May, lodged their complaint against Netanyahu, six of his cabinet members and the Israeli navy commander at Spain's National Court on Friday. The activists say they were illegally arrested in international waters, tortured and forcibly returned to Turkey.

BP oil company stops work for Gulf storm

BP oil company stops work for Gulf storm 23 Jul 2010 The BP oil company has stopped work on a damaged well in the Gulf of Mexico due to a tropical storm approaching the site. Tropical Storm Bonnie has formed near the Bahamas with winds of 64 kilometers per hour. It is expected the storm to move across the oil spill area on Saturday.

Cancer rate in Fallujah worse than Hiroshima

Cancer rate in Fallujah worse than Hiroshima --The consequences of a US war crime By Tom Eley 23 Jul 2010 The Iraqi city of Fallujah continues to suffer the ghastly consequences of a US military onslaught in late 2004. According to the authors of a new study, "Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009," the people of Fallujah are experiencing higher rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality, and sexual mutations than those recorded among survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the years after those Japanese cities were incinerated by US atomic bomb strikes in 1945.

Feinberg: Unfair to Ask Firms to Return Payouts

Feinberg: Unfair to Ask Firms to Return Payouts 23 Jul 2010 U.S. "pay czar" [9/11 cover-up crony] Kenneth Feinberg on Friday declined to request 17 financial firms that doled out $1.6 billion in "ill advised" executive compensation to return the excessive payouts, saying to do so would be unfair to the companies and could trigger private lawsuits and additional Congressional investigation. Mr. Feinberg released a report that found 17 firms--including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.--made the bonus-like payouts to top executives in late 2008 and early 2009 even as the companies were receiving taxpayer assistance.

Pentagon workers tied to child porn

Well, knock me over with a feather! Pentagon workers tied to child porn --Security agencies were left at risk, investigators say 23 Jul 2010 Federal investigators have identified several dozen Pentagon officials and contractors with high-level security clearances who allegedly purchased and downloaded child pornography, including an undisclosed number who used their government computers to obtain the illegal material, according to investigative reports. The investigations have included employees of the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency -- which deal with some of the most sensitive work in intelligence and defense -- among other organizations within the Defense Department.

'BP trying to gag scientists'

'BP trying to gag scientists' 23 Jul 2010 British energy giant BP is trying to silence scientists and academics involved in the oil titan's spill response in the Gulf of Mexico, the American Association of Professors says. The British company, which faces more than 300 lawsuits for the April disaster that lead gallons of oil to gush into the Gulf, has reportedly offered scientists contracts preventing them from publishing all research done for BP.

Israel deploys navy to stop aid ships

Israel deploys navy to stop aid ships 23 Jul 2010 Israel has urged Lebanon to stop a Gaza-bound aid convoy, saying it will use "all necessary means" to stop the humanitarian convoy from reaching the blockaded coastal sliver. The Israeli navy has deployed ships at sea to stop the Lebanese vessels and commandos from the navy's Flotilla 13 -- known as the Shayetet -- are put on standby so that in case it becomes necessary they would board the ships to prevent them from sailing into the Gaza Strip, The Jerusalem Post reported on Friday.

UK admits using DU ammunition in Iraq

UK admits using DU ammunition in Iraq 23 Jul 2010 UK defense secretary says American and British forces used depleted uranium (DU) ammunitions during the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. "UK forces used about 1.9 metric tons of depleted uranium ammunition in the Iraq war in 2003," UK Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in a written reply to the House of Commons on Thursday, the Kuwait News Agency reported.

Army discharges critic of 'don't ask' policy

Army discharges critic of 'don't ask' policy 23 Jul 2010 One of the most vocal critics of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy has been honorably discharged for being in violation of it. Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and Army National Guard first lieutenant, said he learned of the decision on Thursday. Choi announced that he is gay during a March 2009 interview on MSNBC. He has since served as a leading Pentagon critic.

'Eye-popping' Bonuses Awarded as Financial System Was on Verge of Collapse

'Eye-popping' Bonuses Awarded as Financial System Was on Verge of Collapse 23 Jul 2010 With the financial system on the verge of collapse in late 2008, a group of troubled banks doled out more than $2 billion in bonuses and other payments to their highest earners. Now, the federal authority on banker pay says that nearly 80 percent of that sum was unmerited. In a report to be released on Friday, Kenneth R. Feinberg, the Obama administration’s special master for executive compensation, is expected to name 17 financial companies that made questionable payouts totaling $1.58 billion immediately after accepting billions of dollars of taxpayer aid, according to two government officials with knowledge of his findings who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the report. Mr. Feinberg’s report points to companies that he says paid eye-popping amounts or used haphazard criteria for awarding bonuses, the people with knowledge of his findings said, and he has singled out Citigroup as the biggest offender. [It usually is.]

Allen orders ships at BP well site to begin evacuation

Allen orders ships at BP well site to begin evacuation 22 Jul 2010 Retired Coast Guard Adm. [BP troll] Thad Allen late Thursday ordered BP to begin evacuating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill site after the National Hurricane Center predicted that sustained winds of more than 55 miles per hour would reach the area perhaps as early as Saturday. Allen said he had directed BP to leave the well sealed during the evacuation and said that monitoring of the well, which has not leaked oil into the Gulf of Mexico for more than a week, would continue until the last possible moment.

Rig Worker Was Worried About Safety, Widow Says

Rig Worker Was Worried About Safety, Widow Says 23 Jul 2010 Government investigators on Thursday pressed a BP official who supervised the Deepwater Horizon about whether the company took shortcuts to save money and time by selecting riskier equipment at the oil rig. The official, John Guide, the well team leader, denied that BP had chosen a potentially risky type of well casing over more traditional equipment because it would save the company three days and $7 million to $10 million.

Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety

Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety 22 Jul 2010 A confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon in the weeks before the oil rig exploded showed that many of them were concerned about safety practices and feared reprisals if they reported mistakes or other problems. In the survey, commissioned by the rig’s owner, Transocean, workers said that company plans were not carried out properly and that they "often saw unsafe behaviors on the rig." Some workers also voiced concerns about poor equipment reliability, "which they believed was as a result of drilling priorities taking precedence over planned maintenance," according to the survey, one of two Transocean reports obtained by The New York Times.

Barack Obama calls Shirley Sherrod over false charges of racism

Barack Obama calls Shirley Sherrod over false charges of racism 23 Jul 2010 President Barack Obama on Thursday telephoned a black civil servant who was hastily told to resign over purportedly racist comments to express his regret at his administration's treatment of her... On Wednesday, Robert Gibbs, the White House spokesman, had issued an apology on behalf of the White House, saying "everybody involved made determinations without knowing all the facts and all the events". And on Thursday, Mrs Sherrod received a seven minute call from the Oval Office.

US Professors Raise Doubts About Report on South Korean Ship Sinking

'The only conclusion one can draw on the basis of the evidence is that there was no outside explosion.' US Professors Raise Doubts About Report on South Korean Ship Sinking 09 Jul 2010 A new study by U.S. researchers raises questions about the investigation into the sinking of a South Korean navy ship. International investigators blamed a North Korean torpedo, raising tensions on the Korean peninsula. Researchers J.J. Suh and Seung-Hun Lee say the South Korean Joint Investigation Group made a weak case when it concluded that North Korea was responsible for sinking the Cheonan. Speaking in Tokyo Friday, the two said the investigation was riddled with inconsistencies and cast "profound doubt" on the integrity of the investigation.

State Dept. planning to field a small army in Iraq

State Dept. planning to field a small army in Iraq 21 Jul 2010 In little more than a year, State Department contractors in Iraq could be driving armored vehicles, flying aircraft, operating surveillance systems, even retrieving casualties if there are violent incidents and disposing of unexploded ordnance. Under the terms of a 2008 status of forces agreement, all U.S. troops must be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, but they'll leave behind a sizable American civilian mercenary presence, including the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the largest in the world, and five consulate-like "Enduring Presence Posts" in the Iraqi hinterlands.

Louisiana declares emergency due storm

Louisiana declares emergency due storm 22 Jul 2010 Louisiana's governor on Thursday declared a state of emergency due to a storm which is forecast to hit the state's coast on Sunday. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal [R-Hypocrite] announced the action at a press conference in Baton Rouge just before U.S. forecasters declared it had become a named tropical storm, Bonnie.

Hundreds of Dead Penguins Wash Ashore on Brazil Beaches

Hundreds of Dead Penguins Wash Ashore on Brazil Beaches 20 Jul 2010 Brazilian scientists have begun an investigation after hundreds of dead penguins and other sea animals washed up on Sao Paolo state beaches. A total of 530 penguins, numerous other sea birds, five dolphins and three giant sea turtles have been found in coastal towns along the shoreline. Environmental officials do not believe pollution is to blame, instead pointing to starvation as the most likely cause of the deaths.

BP embarrassed over fake photo

BP embarrassed over fake photo 22 Jul 2010 The oil giant BP is facing fresh embarrassment after admitting that it posted a fake image of its Gulf of Mexico oil spill response center on its website. The picture, posted over the weekend, shows BP workers monitoring 10 giant video screens displaying the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, the BBC reported. BP spokesman Scott Dean said that in the original photo three screens were blank and Photoshop software was used to add images, the Washington Post said.

Obama signs into law extension of jobless benefits for long-term unemployed

Obama signs into law extension of jobless benefits for long-term unemployed 22 Jul 2010 President Barack Obama has signed an extension of unemployment benefits for millions of long-term unemployed people, capping a hard-fought political fight with Republicans. The president acted swiftly to turn the legislation into law after the House approved it Thursday; the Senate approved it Wednesday in a near party-line vote.

Allen: Well to remain capped if ships evacuate

Allen: Well to remain capped if ships evacuate 22 Jul 2010 The busted well will remain capped if ships evacuate the Gulf of Mexico due to a tropical depression that could turn into a storm as it is moves toward the well site, National Incident Commander Thad Allen told reporters Thursday. "The decision has been made to leave the cap on even if the well is unattended," Allen said, adding another decision would be made as early as 8 p.m. ET about potentially evacuating ships from the site.

Family fury as CPS rules out prosecution over G20 death

Family fury as CPS rules out prosecution over G20 death --Cover-up claim as CPS rejects advice to bring manslaughter charge against police officer who struck newspaper seller 22 Jul 2010 An official decision to bring no charges against the policeman who struck Ian Tomlinson minutes before he died at the G20 protests came under intense scrutiny tonight as it emerged that the Independent Police Complaints Commission had backed a prosecution for manslaughter. Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions, acknowledged there was evidence that the officer, named as PC Simon Harwood, assaulted Tomlinson minutes before he died. But he said there was no realistic prospect of conviction because of "sharp disagreements" between pathologists.

Tropical depression races toward oil spill, threatens deep-sea effort to plug ruptured well

Tropical depression races toward oil spill, threatens deep-sea effort to plug ruptured well 22 Jul 2010 A tropical depression racing toward the Gulf of Mexico Thursday increased pressure on BP and the U.S. government to decide whether to evacuate dozens of ships at the site of the ruptured oil well. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the storm system, which has already caused flooding in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, could become Tropical Storm Bonnie later Thursday and reach the Gulf of Mexico by Saturday.

Congress Approves Extending Jobless Benefits

Congress Approves Extending Jobless Benefits --2.5 Million People Have Lost Unemployment Checks; Obama to Sign the Measure Soon 22 Jul 2010 Congress has approved legislation to restore unemployment benefits to people who have been out of work for six months or more, ending a seven-week interruption that caused 2 1/2 million people to lose unemployment benefits averaging about $300 a week. The 272-152 House vote Thursday will send the measure to President Barack Obama, who has promised to quickly sign it.

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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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