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Guantanamo prisoner on nine-year hunger strike will be released

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Guantánamo prisoner on nine-year hunger strike will be released --Shalabi had never been charged with a crime | 26 June 2015 | A prisoner who has been on a nine-year hunger strike to protest against his confinement at the US base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, can now return to his native Saudi Arabia, a government review board said on Friday. The Periodic Review Board, which has been re-evaluating dozens of Guantánamo prisoners previously deemed too dangerous to release, said in a statement published on its website that Abdul Rahman Shalabi can be released to take part in a Saudi government rehabilitation program for militants and would be subject to monitoring afterward. Shalabi, 39, was among the first prisoners taken to Guantánamo in January 2002.

In Charleston, Pinckney's funeral brings long lines and words of hope

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

In Charleston, Pinckney's funeral brings long lines and words of hope | 26 June 2015 | Blacks and whites gathered by the thousands on the streets of Charleston on Friday to pay their last respects to state Sen. Clementa Pinckney and eight other parishioners who were slain by a white gunman last week at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The mood was somber as the long line of mourners -- many dressed in black in the sweltering heat -- began lining up at dawn to enter the College of Charleston's TD Arena, just a block away from the historic African American church where the nine parishioners were shot to death June 17...Above the crowd loomed a statue of John C. Calhoun, the United States' seventh vice president and a staunch defender of slavery.

New York prison escapee shot; second convict 'being chased by police'

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Richard Matt, Escaped Prisoner in New York Manhunt, Is Fatally Shot | 26 June 2015 | Richard W. Matt, one of the two convicted murderers who engineered an elaborate escape from New York's largest prison, was shot and killed on Friday by a federal agent, the authorities said, ending one prong of a three-week manhunt that spread over large stretches of the state's northern terrain. A team of agents from the federal Customs and Border Protection agency found Mr. Matt in the woods in Malone, N.Y., after he fired a shot at the back of a camping trailer, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said at a news conference. Officers heard him cough as he fled on foot, and a federal agent killed him when Mr. Matt, still armed with a 20-gauge shotgun, refused orders to put up his hands, the authorities said.

South Dakota county issues same-sex marriage license in wake of Supreme Court ruling

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

South Dakota county issues same-sex marriage license in wake of Supreme Court ruling | 26 June 2015 | South Dakota county issues same-sex marriage license in wake of Supreme Court ruling.

Man beheaded in France, Islamist flag found

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Man beheaded in France, Islamist flag found | 26 June 2015 | A man whose decapitated head was pinned to the gates of a French factory in a grisly attack has been identified as a local businessman from eastern France, a source close to the investigation said Friday. It was not clear whether the businessman was killed on the site of the attack, where a suspected Islamist drove a vehicle into an Air Products factory around 40km from Lyon before setting off several explosive devices. French President Francois Hollande says the incident bears the hallmarks of a terrorist attack.

Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Supreme Court rules gay couples nationwide have a right to marry | 26 June 2015 | The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples. The court's action marks the culmination of an unprecedented upheaval in public opinion and the nation's jurisprudence. Advocates called it the most pressing civil rights issue of modern times, while critics said the courts had sent the country into uncharted territory by changing the traditional definition of marriage.

Headless body, scrawled with Arabic, found at French blast site

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Headless body, scrawled with Arabic, found at French blast site | 26 June 2015 | A decapitated body daubed with Arabic writing was found at a U.S.-owned factory in southeast France on Friday after an assailant rammed a delivery van into gas containers at the site, triggering an explosion. A source close to the investigation said the victim was the boss of the suspect, a delivery man. The two had gone to the company to make a delivery but the assailant killed and beheaded his 50-year-old manager before entering the secured site in the vehicle. The attacker was injured in the blast and arrested on the site.

Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right, Supreme Court Rules, 5-4

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Same-Sex Marriage Is a Right, Supreme Court Rules, 5-4 | 26 June 2015 | In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in the 5 to 4 decision. He was joined by the court’s four more liberal justices. The decision, the culmination of decades of litigation and activism, came against the backdrop of fast-moving changes in public opinion, with polls indicating that most Americans now approve of same-sex marriage.

Drones Flying Over Huge California Fire Hindered Firefighters: Officials

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Drones Flying Over Huge California Fire Hindered Firefighters: Officials | 26 June 2015 | Two incidents involving drones hindered aerial firefighting this week as emergency responders continued to battle a raging 23,199-acre wildfire in California's San Bernardino mountains, officials said. The drones flew into the airspace over the blaze, and fire officials immediately grounded firefighting aircraft to ensure pilot safety, according to a statement from Southern California Interagency Incident Management. "Losing the ability to utilize these aircraft has a serious impact on the success of the firefighters on the ground," said the incident team, which has been fighting the massive fire since it was reported June 17.

California Assembly approves one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

California Assembly approves one of the toughest mandatory vaccination laws in the nation --Hundreds of parents besieged the Capitol during a series of legislative hearings to oppose the bill | 25 June 2015 | California lawmakers on Thursday approved one of the toughest mandatory vaccination requirements in the nation, moving to end exemptions from state immunization laws based on religious or other personal beliefs. The [insane] measure, among the most controversial taken up by the Legislature this year, would require more children who enter day care and school to be vaccinated against diseases including measles and whooping cough. Those with medical conditions such as allergies and immune-system deficiencies, confirmed by a physician, would be excused from immunization.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev transferred to high-security federal prison in Colo.

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev transferred to high-security federal prison in Colo. | 26 June 2015 | 'Boston Marathon bomber' Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was transferred to a high-security federal prison in Colorado on Thursday, one day after being formally sentenced to death for his role in the blasts. Ed Ross, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, confirmed that Tsarnaev had arrived at USP Florence in Florence, Colo. Ross could not say when Tsarnaev, 21, is expected to be moved to the federal death row in Terre Haute, Ind.

Google+ 'recommend' button added to CLG website

June 26, 2015 by legitgov

Google+ 'recommend' button added to CLG website | 25 June 2015 | Folks, I just added a Google+ 'recommend' button to the CLG website. In addition to the CLG homepage, you can also recommend individual stories on your Google+ pages! Please feel free to recommend legitgov.org (and the items that you like) to your Google+ contacts, circles, and friends. Thank you, LRP.

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GCHQ documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

GCHQ documents raise fresh questions over UK complicity in US drone strikes | 24 June 2015 | British intelligence agency GCHQ is facing fresh calls to reveal the extent of its involvement in the US targeted killing programme after details of a fatal drone strike in Yemen were included in a top secret memo circulated to agency staff. A leading barrister asked by the Guardian to review a number of classified GCHQ documents said they raised questions about British complicity in US strikes outside recognised war zones and demonstrated the need for the government to come clean about the UK's role. The documents, provided to the Guardian by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times, discuss how a joint US, UK and Australian programme codenamed Overhead supported the strike in Yemen in 2012. The files also show GCHQ and Overhead developed their ability to track the location of individuals – essential for the targeted killing programme – in both Yemen and Pakistan.

Chris Christie expected to launch 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Chris Christie expected to launch 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday | 25 June 2015 | Gov. Chris Christie is set to officially announce he's running for president in 2016. Christie, the 55th governor of the state, will formally launch his campaign for the Republican Party's nomination at an 11 a.m. kickoff at Livingston High School, his alma mater, on Tuesday, a source close to the campaign told NJ Advance Media. The news of his long-anticipated announcement was first reported Thursday morning by WNYC, which cited unnamed sources familiar with his plans.

Supreme Court upholds housing discrimination law

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Supreme Court upholds housing discrimination law | 25 June 2015 | A deeply divided Supreme Court delivered an unexpected reprieve to civil rights groups Thursday, ruling that housing discrimination need not be intentional in order to be illegal. The justices said people objecting to lending, zoning, sales and rental practices can base their legal claim on the disparate impact those practices have on blacks or other minorities. The court's 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, was an unlikely conclusion to a years-long effort by opponents of the civil rights-era law to reduce its effectiveness against housing policies and practices used by many builders, lenders and insurers.

California Set to Make Vaccines Mandatory Despite Heated Opposition

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Pharma-fascism: California Set to Make Vaccines Mandatory Despite Heated Opposition | 25 June 2015 | Robert F. Kennedy Jr. traveled through the state this spring, screening a documentary about the dangers of vaccinations for children. A Nation of Islam leader denounced requiring inoculations this month, comparing such a mandate to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments. Under a bill [pushed by the pharma-terrorists who will benefit from it] expected to be approved Thursday by state lawmakers, schoolchildren in California will be required to receive vaccinations unless there is a medical reason not to do so. The bill would end exemptions for personal or religious reasons, which parents who oppose vaccinations routinely request.

Tel Aviv U. academics hold first-ever discussion on BDS

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Tel Aviv U. academics hold first-ever discussion on BDS --First such event held by the sociology and anthropology department, and possibly the university; fact that discussion did not completely condemn BDS, and included some expressions of support, is considered unusual. | 09 June 2015 | About 30 Tel Aviv University students, mostly graduates and Ph.D. candidates, took part on Monday in a discussion about the boycott movement against Israel, particularly the academic boycott. The very fact that a discussion was held that did not completely condemn the BDS movement and included some expressions of support, is considered unusual.

Tel Aviv University academics debate BDS for the first time

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Tel Aviv University academics debate BDS for the first time | 25 June 2015 | On June 8th, 2015, Tel Aviv University academics held a first ever discussion on BDS. The following is an address given by Dr. Hilla Dayan at the conference: "I would like to thank Irit Naaman and Nissim Mizrahi, head of the sociology and anthropology department. It speaks to the quality of the department under your leadership, Nissim, that such a controversial and difficult issue is up for discussion here..." [BDS Movement definition: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement (BDS Movement) is a global campaign attempting to increase economic and political pressure on Israel to comply with the stated goals of the movement: the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and respect for the right of return of Palestinian refugees.]

Supreme Court Upholds Key Element of Health Law

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Supreme Court Upholds Key Element of Health Law | 25 June 2015 | The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Obama's health care law allows the government to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance, a sweeping vindication that endorsed the larger purpose of Mr. Obama's signature legislative achievement. The 6-to-3 ruling means that it is all but certain that the Affordable Care Act will survive after Mr. Obama leaves office in 2017, and will give it a greater chance of becoming an enduring part of America's social safety net. For the second time in three years, the law survived an encounter with the Supreme Court. [Decision: 25 June 2015.]

Military plane crashes in southern Arizona, sparks fire

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Military plane crashes in southern Arizona, sparks fire | 25 June 2015 | Military officials confirm a single F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft crashed Wednesday night about 5 miles east of Douglas Municipal Airport. The pilot with the 162nd Wing Arizona Air National Guard was the only person on board during the night training mission, according to an Arizona Air National Guard statement. Angel Ortega, of Douglas, said he heard a loud explosion and initially thought was thunder before he saw the smoke.

Ebola setback for Sierra Leone as capital records new cases

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Ebola setback for Sierra Leone as capital records new cases | 24 June 2015 | Sierra Leone's capital Freetown has suffered a fresh outbreak of Ebola, dashing hopes that health authorities in the densely-populated city of 1.2 million had beaten the deadly epidemic. The government's National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) told AFP late on Tuesday three cases had emerged in the east-end slum of Magazine Wharf -- three weeks after the last known infections in the capital. Health officials said six people have been placed under observation since the first of the new cases -- a casual labourer -- tested positive on June 17.

Sarah Palin, highest-paid cable news contributor, is dumped by Fox News

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Bye-bye, bimbo: Sarah Palin, highest-paid cable news contributor, is dumped by Fox News --It's thought she isn't considered as relevant as she once [? never] was | 24 June 2015 | Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has lost her reported $1million-a-year deal as a Fox News contributor. The network decided not to renew the contract of the former Republican vice presidential candidate, who was believed to be the highest-paid commentator at the cable news channel. The two parted ways 'amicably' on June 1, a Fox spokesperson confirmed Wednesday.

Judge blocks US fracking rules on public lands after petroleum groups and states object

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Judge blocks US fracking rules on public lands after petroleum groups and states object | 24 June 2015 | A US district judge [sic] in Wyoming has granted a request by four states and several energy industry groups to temporarily block new federal rules governing fracking on public lands. The interior department rules due to come into force on Wednesday would require companies to provide data on chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, and to take steps to prevent leakage from oil and gas wells on federally owned land. But on Tuesday Judge Scott Skavdahl granted a stay to the new rules until 22 July, according to the Independent Petroleum Association of America, which said the judge's decision on a preliminary injunction sought by IPAA and other opponents of the rules was now expected in mid-August. IPAA and the Western Energy Alliance were joined by Colorado, Wyoming, North Dakota and Utah in seeking to stop the new rules from taking effect.

Barack Obama given fast-track authority over 'trade' deal negotiations

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Barack Obama given fast-track authority over 'trade' deal negotiations | 24 June 2015 | [Grade 'A' sociopath and complete and utter fraud] Barack Obama was given the authority he has long sought to expedite negotiations for a massive trade corporate takeover deal with countries on the Pacific rim, propelling the US toward a landmark agreement that, both proponents and critics agree, will reshape the global economy. The Republican-controlled Senate finally passed legislation on Wednesday that gives the president the power to "fast-track" negotiations with the 11 other countries party to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The vote, which passed 60-38, was a significant victory for multinational corporations which have been lobbying hard for a trade agreement expected to lower tariffs and create new [de]regulations for sectors as diverse as agriculture, banking and the pharmaceutical industry.

Boston bomber apologizes, admits guilt for deadly 2013 attack

June 25, 2015 by legitgov

Boston bomber apologizes, admits guilt for deadly 2013 attack [even though the FBI's picture of the 'bomb backpack' matched that of Craft International, not Dzhokhar Tsarnaev] | 24 June 2015 | Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday apologized for the deadly 2013 attack at a hearing before a U.S. judge formally sentenced him to death for killing four people and injuring 264 in the bombing and its aftermath. The 21-year-old ethnic Chechen, who had not testified during his trial, referred to Allah and admitted that he and his now-dead older brother carried out one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil, in a courtroom packed with survivors of the April 15, 2013, bombing.

Braidwood nuclear plant nearly hit by tornado

June 24, 2015 by legitgov

Braidwood nuclear plant nearly hit by tornado | 23 June 2015 | (Braidwood, IL) The ABC7 I-Team looked at a close call for a nuclear plant when one of Monday night's twisters brushed by the Braidwood generating station. Braidwood was [*allegedly*] built to take a direct hit from a tornado. The tornado took down signs, bent utility poles, snapped power lines and cracked trees in half, all within the Braidwood nuclear plant perimeter. "This has been a freak two years," said Braidwood Mayor James Vehrs. Freaky and lucky, Vehrs said, because it is the second time in two tornado seasons that the nuclear plant has been in the path of a twister.

Fracking Industry's Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: I'm Running for President

June 24, 2015 by legitgov

Fracking Industry's Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: I'm Running for President | 24 June 2015 | Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is officially running for president. The Republican governor [completely owned by the oil and fracking industries] tweeted on Wednesday that he's jumping in to the GOP nomination race, also sending out a link to a new campaign website. He is slated to hold an official announcement event Wednesday afternoon in New Orleans.

White supremacist cash went to more than 40 GOP candidates

June 24, 2015 by legitgov

White supremacist cash went to more than 40 GOP candidates | 23 June 2015 | White supremacist leader Earl Holt III gave more than $80,000 in campaign money in recent years to more than 40 members of Congress and candidates for federal office – all Republicans - ironically including the party's first black congresswoman. Holt heads the Council for Conservative Citizens, the group whose internet postings may have inspired Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old accused of killing nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church. The politicians, including GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, as well as 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, sought quickly to put distance between themselves and the avowed racist. [LOL.]

2 dead, 2 badly injured in shooting at Vaughan, Ont., cafe

June 24, 2015 by legitgov

2 dead, 2 badly injured in shooting at Vaughan, Ont., cafe | 24 June 2015 | Two people are dead, and two have been seriously injured in a shooting at a cafe in Vaughan [north of Toronto]. York Regional Police were called to the scene of the Moka espresso bar, on Islington Ave near Highway 7, just after 8:15 a.m. Two victims were found without vital signs, according to York EMS. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Battle over Confederate flag unfurls in South Carolina and beyond

June 24, 2015 by legitgov

Battle over Confederate flag unfurls in South Carolina and beyond | 24 June 2015 | An initiative to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House grounds picked up steam on Tuesday, a week after the massacre of nine black church members, and criticism over the emblem long associated with slavery spread to other U.S. southern states. U.S. retailers joined lawmakers in distancing themselves from the banner, with industry leaders...pulling the images of the rebel flag from their stores and websites.. The Civil War-era flag of the South's pro-slavery Confederacy has become a lightning rod for outrage over the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, which authorities say was motivated by racial hatred.

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