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Safety net for unemployed disappears as politicians argue

Safety net for unemployed disappears as politicians argue 01 Jul 2010 In just one week and in just one state -- last week in Missouri -- more than 8,300 people fell through the unemployment insurance safety net. Actually, their nets were removed. The result: Those who have lost jobless benefits already are turning in greater numbers to food pantries and other emergency aid programs, both government and nonprofit.

Report says swine flu cost Britain $1.8 billion

Report says swine flu cost Britain $1.8 billion 01 Jul 2010 An independent review says Britain spent 1.2 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) fighting swine flu, including 1 billion pounds on drugs. The study published Thursday says officials spent 654 million pounds preparing for a possible [lab-generated] pandemic of H1N1 influenza and 587 million pounds responding to the outbreak. The total includes 1.01 billion pounds spent on drugs including antivirals, vaccines and antibiotics.

Anti-terrorism drills staged at Metro stations

Anti-terrorism drills staged at Metro stations 30 Jun 2010 Metro Transit Police boarded trains and inspected stations for about four hours Tuesday morning as they staged an anti-terrorism drill from Silver Spring to Glenmont and from Bethesda to Shady Grove on the Red Line... About 150 officers from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies took part in the drill, part of the Blue TIDE (Terrorism Identification and Deterrence Effort) initiative launched in February to demonstrate Metro's vigilance against terrorism. Metro Transit Police had about 60 officers involved in Tuesday's drills, including members of the anti-terrorism, special response and K-9 explosives detection teams.

Dr Kelly 'couldn't have slit his wrist as he was too weak'

Dr Kelly 'couldn't have slit his wrist as he was too weak' 30 June 2010 Dramatic new testimony has heaped pressure on ministers to reopen the investigation into the death of Dr David Kelly. A female colleague claims that the UN weapons inspector could not have committed suicide as claimed, as he was too weak to cut his own wrist. Mai Pedersen, a U.S. Air Force officer who served with Dr Kelly's inspection team in Iraq, said a hand and arm injury meant that Kelly even 'had difficulty cutting his own steak'. Dr Kelly was found dead in woods near his home in 2003 after the Government exposed him as the source of a BBC report questioning Tony Blair's government's case for war in Iraq.

Revealed: Tony Blair's fury with law chief after being warned war in Iraq would be unlawful

Revealed: Tony Blair's fury with law chief after being warned war in Iraq would be unlawful 01 Jul 2010 Tony Blair’s fury at being told the Iraq War was illegal was laid bare yesterday after secret memos from his Attorney General were finally published. In an unprecedented move, the Chilcot Inquiry into the conflict published Lord Goldsmith’s warnings to the then Prime Minister, the first time a government has ever declassified legal advice to ministers. They detail how time and again the Attorney General told Mr Blair he risked taking the UK into an unlawful war -- and the Prime Minister’s irritation and refusal to accept that fact.

Obama Overjoyed By Kringles at O&H Danish Bakery: "It Makes You Happy!"

Obama Overjoyed By Kringles at O&H Danish Bakery: "It Makes You Happy!" 30 Jun 2010 (Racine, WI) En route to a town hall event on the economy, President Barack Obama made a surprise detour to O&H Danish Bakery, purveyor of a delicacy called a kringle – a large round flat pastry with a hole in the middle. Obama walked in with his jacket off and sleeves rolled up and shook hands with the dozen patrons in the store. He sampled a pecan kringle, proclaimed it "outstanding" and added: "It makes you happy." He ordered one pecan and one cherry. A saleswoman recommended the cheese as well, so he said, "Let's get a third!" He insisted on paying full price -- $7.45 each.

White House Preparing National Online ID Plan

White House Preparing National Online ID Plan 25 Jun 2010 The Obama administration is set to propose a new system for authenticating people, organizations and infrastructure on the Web. The online authentication and identity management system would be targeted at the transactional level -- for example, when someone logs into their banking website or completes an online e-commerce purchase. Making such a system effective, however, will require creating an "identity ecosystem," backed by extensive public/private cooperation, said White House cybersecurity coordinator Howard Schmidt, delivering the opening keynote speech at the Symantec Government Symposium 2010 in Washington on Tuesday.

400 sought medical care after trips to Escambia County beaches - Official

400 sought medical care after trips to Escambia County beaches - official --EPA plans to put decontamination stations along beach, possibly as early as this weekend 26 Jun 2010 (FL) The Escambia County Health Department lifted a health advisory on Pensacola Beach on Friday on the advice of a beach official and against the advice of a federal environmental official. But hours after the Pensacola Beach advisory was lifted, the health department asked for state approval to issue an oil-impact advisory that leaves the decision to swim in the Gulf of Mexico up to the discretion of individual beachgoers... So far, 400 people have sought medical care for upper or lower respiratory problems, headaches, nausea, and eye irritation after trips to Escambia County beaches, said Dr. John Lanza, director of Escambia County Health Department.

Financial 'Overhaul' Wins Final Approval in House

Useless is as useless does: Financial 'Overhaul' Wins Final Approval in House 30 Jun 2010 The House on Wednesday adopted legislation to [pretend to] revamp the nation’s financial regulatory system, in a party line vote that illustrated how the partisan acrimony gripping Congress prevented cooperation even on the universally shared goal of averting future economic crises and government bailouts of big banks. The vote in the House was 237 to 192, with all but three Republicans standing in opposition to a measure that President Obama in his State of the Union speech said embodied one of the highest priorities of his administration: "serious financial reform." [Too bad Obusha didn't make any efforts to get actual financial reform. Obama was/is too busy surrendering to Scott Brown and his corporaterrorist paymasters. --LRP]

Troops 'have no rights on a battlefield'

Troops 'have no rights on a battlefield' 01 Jul 2010 British troops are not protected by human rights laws on the battlefield, the country's highest court has ruled. The family of Private Jason Smith, who died of a heart attack after being exposed to extreme heat while serving with the Territorial Army in Iraq, had argued that troops should be given human rights protection while overseas. But the Supreme Court has now quashed previous rulings by the High Court and Court of Appeal that legislation should apply to soldiers at all times.

U.S. Government Sued by ACLU Over No Fly List

U.S. Government Sued by ACLU Over No Fly List --Terrorist Watch List Violates Constitutional Rights When Those Barred From Flying Are Not Told Why, Says ACLU 30 Jun 2010 A former Air Force officer will be one of 10 plaintiffs included in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union today against the U.S. government challenging the country's no-fly list... The suit names Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and Timothy J. Healy, the director of the Terrorist Screening Center as defendants.

I-40 shutdown due to bomb threat

I-40 shutdown due to bomb threat --Durham bomb squad is on scene assisting police 30 Jun 2010 (NC) Durham authorities shut down Interstate 40 in both directions in the area of Fayetteville Road Wednesday, while they investigated a suspicious package on the highway. Around 4 p.m., a motorist called police about a suspicious object along the shoulder of I-40 at exit 276 near Durham's Southpoint Mall. The caller, a former serviceman who served in Iraq, told authorities he believed the object was a possible bomb... Officials later revealed the device turned out to be purple foam tubing taped together and wrapped in what appeared to be wiring -- something they say may have fallen off of a vehicle.

More Assassinations Across Iraq

Blackwater is a busy little bee! More Assassinations Across Iraq 30 Jun 2010 A burst of violence across Iraq on Tuesday claimed the lives of 14 people, most related to what appears to be a campaign of assassinations aimed at officials amid the country’s extended political crisis... In Baghdad, a staff member of the capital’s provincial council who focused on social welfare programs was killed after an adhesive bomb that had been attached to his vehicle exploded as he passed through a security checkpoint, the authorities said. Another of those killed on Tuesday was identified as Brig. Gen. Wareed Johan, a top supply officer in the Iraqi Army.

11 arrested over raids on NATO trucks

11 arrested over raids on NATO trucks --Four companies contracted by NATO to provide logistics and security for the foreign fuel convoys have been taken over by the government for failing to fulfill the task. 30 Jun 2010 Pakistan authorities have arrested 11 people suspected of being behind the attacks on NATO fuel convoys in the country's North Western Frontier Province. The Pakistani law enforcement officers made the arrests based on information provided by the NATO supply drivers, who had formerly survived militant attacks, a Press TV correspondent reported on Wednesday. The Provincial authorities have instituted an investigative committee to probe the [Blackwater] terrorist attacks on NATO fuel convoys.

 

Senate OKs Petraeus for Afghan war

Senate OKs Petraeus for Afghan war 30 Jun 2010 The US Senate approves General David Petraeus as the new commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, following Gen. Stanley McChrystal's forced resignation. The US lawmakers voted 99-0 on Wednesday to confirm the nomination of General David Petraeus to lead the US-waged war in Afghanistan. US President Barack Obama tapped Petraeus to succeed McChrystal who was forced to step down last week for mocking his civilian bosses for their war strategy in Afghanistan.

CREW Calls for House Investigation into Obama Staffers' Use of Personal Email, Meetings with Lobbyists

CREW Calls for House Investigation into Obama Staffers' Use of Personal Email, Meetings with Lobbyists 30 Jun 2010 On Monday good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked a House committee to look into whether the Obama White House violated federal laws regarding electronic records by using private email accounts to communicate with lobbyists and meeting with lobbyists outside the White House. CREW wrote a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asking it to investigate and hold hearings to determine any violations of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Federal Records Act (FRA).

South Florida Brothers Selling Oil Spill Souvenirs

South Florida Brothers Selling Oil Spill Souvenirs --"Oil Spill Water" raises money and awareness for Gulf disaster 30 Jun 2010 Jeffrey and David Shiffman have turned their bathroom into a pseudo chemistry lab. The two brothers from Ft. Lauderdale are trying to support relief efforts in the Gulf, by bottling and selling "Oil Spill Water." A two ounce bottle goes for $9.99 on oilspillwater.com. It's real oil and real ocean water, just not from the Gulf. It's a "simulation" of the spill. Five dollars from every bottle sold goes to covering costs, the other five gets split between Reef Relief, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the International Bird Research Center.

Supreme court to rule on human rights of soldiers

Supreme court to rule on human rights of soldiers 30 Jun 2010 The Supreme Court rules today on a Government challenge to a landmark ruling that British soldiers serving abroad are protected by human rights laws... The Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether a British soldier on military service in Iraq is subject to UK jurisdiction and covered by human rights laws and not only when on a British military base or hospital.

20 people injured in Afghan clashes

20 people injured in Afghan clashes 29 Jun 2010 At least 20 people, mostly Afghan police, were injured when angry protesters clashed with police on the outskirts of the capital Kabul. The violent clashes erupted on Tuesday after US-led forces reportedly attacked a religious school, or madrassa, the previous night and disrespected its sanctity by bringing in dogs and detaining several people. Five protesters and 15 police officers were injured in the clashes, with reports of shots being fired.

Major NATO base in Afghanistan under attack

Major NATO base in Afghanistan under attack 30 Jun 2010 One of the biggest NATO bases in Afghanistan came under attack Wednesday, the military alliance said, in a strike claimed by the Taliban. "Jalalabad airfield is under attack. I can confirm it. It is still going on, so I can't give much detail," said Lieutenant-Commander Iain Baxter, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

NY police 'beat up' Iranian professor

NY police 'beat up' Iranian professor 30 Jun 2010 A US-based Iranian university professor and senior political analyst, Kaveh Afrasiabi, says he has been brutally beaten up by police officers in New York. Speaking to IRNA on Tuesday, professor Afrasiabi explained about the unusual manner in which he was arrested, saying that he was handcuffed and sent to jail under the pretext that he had not paid his traffic ticket.

Worker missing as Britain's Lindsey Oil Refinery explodes

Worker missing as Britain's Lindsey Oil Refinery explodes 30 Jun 2010 A fire broke out at Britain's third largest oil refinery today, causing an explosion and leaving one oil worker missing, the company that owns the site and emergency services said. Police said two people were treated for minor injuries from the blaze at the Lindsey Oil Refinery near Hull in northeast England, which more than 50 firefighters tackled before it was contained. Rescuers were also searching for a missing man, said French oil giant Total, which owns the refinery.

White House to let McChrystal retire with 4 stars

White House to let McChrystal retire with 4 stars 30 Jun 2010 President Obama has agreed to waive a Pentagon rule and let outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal retire at his full four-star rank, a White House spokesman said Tuesday. While the general is short of the time needed to retire at his current pay grade, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would ensure he keeps his rank as he steps down.

Congresswoman Fears Hizbullah 'Israel-Like Bombings' in US

Gag me with a chainsaw! Congresswoman Fears Hizbullah 'Israel-Like Bombings' in US 29 Jun 2010 A Republican Congresswoman has warned that Hizbullah terrorists, hooked up with Mexican drug cartels, may be planning "Israel-like bombings" against customs officials or National Guard units on the U.S. border. North Carolina legislator Sue Myrick wrote Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, urging a task force "to engage U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hizbullah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels." [If this *nutjob* is seeking connections to gangs and drug cartels, talk to Wachovia Corp., their biggest backer.]

Top Republican: Raise Social Security's retirement age to 70

Top Republican: Raise Social Security's retirement age to 70 29 Jun 2010 A Republican-held Congress might look to raise the retirement age to 70, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Sociopath-Ohio) suggested Monday. Boehner, the top Republican lawmaker in the House, said raising the retirement age by five years, indexing benefits to the rate of inflation and means-testing benefits would make the massive entitlement program more solvent.

Europe approves US mass data grab

Europe approves US mass data grab --Feds get all our bank info 29 Jun 2010 Europe has signed a deal to hand over all bank transaction data to the US in order to help the ongoing war on terrorism. The SWIFT agreement was signed yesterday in Brussels by Spanish minister for home affairs Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba and the US embassy's economic officer to the EU, Michael Dodman... The European Data Protection Supervisor remains unimpressed and has questioned the need for bulk transfers of data and the time such data is kept without being investigated by US authorities.

US claims 'Russian spies' used British passports

US claims 'Russian spies' used British passports 29 Jun 2010 Government officials have confirmed to Channel 4 News they are investigating the alleged use of fake British and Irish passports by suspected Russian spies in America. Members of the alleged spy ring, who were rounded up in FBI raids in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, were using fake British and Irish passports, according to US government papers. The FBI arrested 10 people for allegedly serving for years as secret agents of Russia's intelligence service, the SVR, with the goal of penetrating US government policymaking circles. [See the full charge sheet here.]

Banks Financing Mexico Drug Traffickers Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal

Banks Financing Mexico Drug Traffickers Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal --Wachovia had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. 29 Jun 2010 Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet. They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

Hurricane Alex could make land late Wednesday

Hurricane Alex could make land late Wednesday 30 Jun 2010 Hurricane Alex strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday and was expected to make landfall later in the day but skirt Mexican oil rigs and U.S. oil fields, alleviating concerns in crude markets. The first named storm of the Atlantic season became a Category 1 hurricane late Tuesday night as it slowly moved west toward northern Mexico where it was expected to drop as much as a foot of rain.

Texas Preps Emergency Weather Response for Possible Hurricane Alex

Texas Preps Emergency Weather Response for Possible Hurricane Alex 29 Jun 2010 People on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border began slowly crossing items off hurricane checklists Tuesday while government officials implored them to heed Tropical Storm Alex as it approached hurricane strength and churned toward northeast Mexico. The storm, threatening to become a Category 1 hurricane overnight, was expected to make landfall somewhere south of Matamoros, Mexico, on Wednesday evening with winds at 90 mph and gusting higher.

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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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