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Despite Pentagon Claims, U.S. Antimissile Intercepts Have Low Success Rate

Despite Pentagon Claims, U.S. Antimissile Intercepts Have Low Success Rate 17 May 2010 ...A new analysis being published by two antimissile critics, at M.I.T. and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the new weapon. President Obama’s announcement of his new antimissile plan in September was based on the Pentagon’s assessment that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests. But a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis, being published this month, finds only one or two successful intercepts -- for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent.

Air tests from the Louisiana coast reveal human health threats from the oil disaster

Air tests from the Louisiana coast reveal human health threats from the oil disaster By Sue Sturgis 10 May 2010 ...[T]he latest evaluation of air monitoring data shows a serious threat to human health from airborne chemicals emitted by the ongoing deepwater gusher. Today the Louisiana Environmental Action Network released its analysis of air monitoring test results by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's air testing data comes from Venice, a coastal community 75 miles south of New Orleans in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish. The findings show that levels of airborne chemicals have far exceeded state standards and what's considered safe for human exposure.

Study: BP Refineries Account for Most Violations

Study: BP Refineries Account for Most Violations 17 May 2010 A Washington-based research group says two BP refineries in the U.S. account for 97 percent of "egregious willful" violations given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The study by the Center for Public Integrity says the violations were found in the last three years in BP's Texas City refinery and another plant in Toledo, Ohio. In 2005, 15 people were killed in an explosion at the Texas City refinery. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab says BP has a "systemic safety problem."

Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns --US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson who backed church-state separation 16 May 2010 A clutch of Christian evangelists and social conservatives have grasped control of the Texas education board... Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery. Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war... Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology. There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

Presidential commission will 'investigate' oil spill

Presidential commission will 'investigate' oil spill 17 May 2010 President Obama will sign an executive order establishing a presidential commission to investigate [Yeah, right!] the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an administration official said Monday. Eight U.S. senators called earlier Monday for an independent federal investigation of whether oil giant BP violated civil or criminal laws in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Israeli scientist calls for nuclear disclosure

Israeli scientist calls for nuclear disclosure 10 May 2010 An Israeli scientist is calling for his country to end a decades-long silence over its reported nuclear weapons capability and open its nuclear reactor to inspection. Uzi Even, a Tel Aviv University chemistry professor and former worker at Israel's Dimona reactor, said US President Barack Obama's campaign for global nuclear arms reduction is a sign of changing times and Israel must get in step. "We could open Dimona to international inspection," the former member of parliament with the left-wing Meretz party told Israeli army radio on Monday.

Volcanic ash grounds 1,000 European flights

Volcanic ash grounds 1,000 European flights 17 May 2010 Volcanic ash from Iceland grounded 1,000 flights and delayed hundreds of thousands of passengers in parts of northern Europe on Monday, although forecasters said the situation would improve during the week. Several of Europe's busiest airports, including London's Heathrow and Schiphol in Amsterdam, were closed for several hours due to fears the ash could damage jet engines and bring down aircraft.

Iraq says it uncovered al-Qaida plot on World Cup

Iraq says it uncovered al-Qaida plot on World Cup 17 May 2010 Iraqi security forces have detained an 'al-Qaida' militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month, an official said Monday. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security services, said Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani was an officer in the Saudi army. He is suspected of planning a "terrorist act" in South Africa during the World Cup beginning June 11, al-Moussawi told a news conference in Baghdad.

Bomb threat on Vancouver-bound plane

Bomb threat on Vancouver-bound plane 17 May 2010 A Cathay Pacific Airbus from Hong Kong was escorted by two CF18 Hornet fighter jets to Vancouver International Airport after a bomb threat Saturday. North American Aerospace Defence Command officials sent the fighter jets to intercept a Vancouver-bound Cathay Pacific flight after receiving reports of a security threat. Major Holly Apostoliuk, with the Canadian NORAD Region headquarters, said the two jets were scrambled under NORAD command from a forward operating base at Canadian Forces Base Comox as a precaution.

17,000 Japanese circle U.S. Marine base in peaceful protest

17,000 Japanese circle U.S. Marine base in peaceful protest 17 May 2010 Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future. About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 square kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

Detroit police kill seven-year-old child

Detroit police kill seven-year-old child By Jerry White 17 May 2010 Detroit police shot and killed a seven-year-old girl during an early morning raid of a home on the city’s east side Sunday morning. The child, Aiyana Stanley Jones, was struck in the head and neck area while sleeping on a couch at the home on Lillibridge Street. In a Sunday morning press conference Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee said police were executing a "no-knock" search warrant for a homicide suspect in the two-apartment home. He said the police--members of the heavily armed Special Response Team--threw a flash grenade through an unopened window around 12:45 a.m. before charging in with guns drawn.

Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Considered 'Sexually Dangerous' May Be Held Indefinitely

Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Considered 'Sexually Dangerous' May Be Held Indefinitely  --'Justices' Vote 7-to-2, Rule 'Necessary and Proper' to Detain Some Sex Offenders Indefinitely 17 May 2010 A 7-to-2 majority of the Supreme Court ruled today that Congress has the authority to pass a law allowing federal prisoners who have been deemed "sexually dangerous" to be held beyond the date of their original sentence. The law allows confinement in a federal facility until either the person's mental condition improves to the point where he is no longer dangerous, or the state assumes responsibility for his care and treatment [or stops asserting that 9/11 was an inside job].

New terrorism defense: Parking attendants and garage workers

New terrorism defense: Parking attendants and garage workers --FEMA-backed TSA program teaches parking lot operators to watch for 'odd activities' 16 May 2010  Parking attendants could be the nation's latest line of defense against terrorist attacks. A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious -- abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions. Would-be terrorists may attempt to gain access to sensitive places or materials by applying for jobs [?!?] or asking employees strange questions, said Jeff Beatty, a former FBI and CIA agent who led the training in Las Vegas.

Spaniards protest wage cut plans

Spaniards protest wage cut plans 17 May 2010 Thousands of people in Spain have protested against the government's new austerity measures aimed at rescuing the country's fragile economy. Over 15,000 Spaniards took to the streets of Madrid on Sunday, demanding a national strike against Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's deficit-reduction plan.

Afghan prison detainee mentally ill

Afghan prison detainee mentally ill 17 May 2010 A young man believed to have been detained in the US-run Bagram prison in Afghanistan since 2004 now appears to have become mentally disturbed. Younis Ramahtullah, or "Salah" as his family calls him, disappeared in 2004 while living with his uncle in Pakistan to finish his studies... According to the Ministry of Defence, two men believed to be members of the terrorist organisation, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and who the legal rights NGO Reprieve group maintains are Salah and a man named Amanatullah Ali, were handed over to the Americans in Iraq and placed in the Bagram Theatre Internment Facility in Afghanistan.

USAID breaks Washington's pledge

USAID breaks Washington's pledge 17 May 2010 A US government aid agency has broken its pledge and is funding the construction of an Israeli planned road network in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian researchers revealed on Sunday that the USAID has funded Israel in building 114 kms of roads, despite Washington's pledge six years ago that it would not assist in implementing what has been widely described as Israel's "apartheid road" plan.

We're roller bears

We're roller bears 11 May 2010 These roly polar-y bears chill out on the Arctic ice, waving their paws as they lie on their backs. The cub and his mum made the most of the frozen sea off Alaska, US. The playful pair plunged in and out of water holes and rolled on the surface. They were caught on camera near the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by snapper Steven Kazlowski.

NORAD scrambles 2 F16s in southern Arizona

NORAD scrambles 2 F16s in southern Arizona 16 May 2010 (Peterson Air Force Base, CO) The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) scrambled two F-16 fighter jets to southern Arizona at 6:10 a.m. Sunday to intercept an ultralight aircraft that entered Arizona from Mexico. The aircraft was flying from Mexico and crossed into Arizona. At the direction of North American Aerospace Defense Command, two F-16 fighters were launched to intercept the aircraft, said a news released from NORAD issued Sunday morning.

NATO soldier killed in Afghanistan

NATO soldier killed in Afghanistan 16 May 2010 A NATO soldier fighting in Afghanistan to quell a Taliban-led insurgency was killed in clashes with insurgents in the south of the country Sunday, the military announced. The soldier was killed in an "insurgent attack," NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement without elaborating. It did not give the soldier's nationality, in keeping with ISAF policy.

Oil trails in Gulf of Mexico are up to 10 miles long as BP continues its fight to stem flow from broken rig

Oil trails in Gulf of Mexico are up to 10 miles long as BP continues its fight to stem flow from broken rig 16 May 2010 Energy giant BP's latest desperate attempt to siphon gushing oil from a broken pipe in the Gulf of Mexico has failed as the toxic slick grows to 10 miles long. As BP struggled to contain the environmental disaster, scientists have found enormous oil plumes lurking beneath the surface of the water, including one as large as 10 miles long, three miles wide and 300ft thick. The discovery suggests that the leak could be 'substantially worse' than estimates given previously by BP and the government.

Afghan prosecutor issues arrest warrant for US army officer over police killing

Afghan prosecutor issues arrest warrant for US army officer over police killing --Kabul prosecutor seeks 'outlaw militia' for killings 16 May 2010 An Afghan prosecutor has issued an arrest warrant for an American special forces commander over allegations that a police chief was murdered by a US-trained militia. Brigadier General Ghulam Ranjbar, the chief military prosecutor in Kabul, has accused the US of creating an outlaw militia which allegedly shot dead Matiullah Qateh, the chief of police in the city of Kandahar. The militia, which Ranjbar claimed is armed and trained by US special forces, also allegedly killed Kandahar's head of criminal investigations and two other officers, when they attempted to free one of their members from a courthouse.

Israeli soldiers attack wall protesters

Israeli soldiers attack wall protesters 17 May 2010 Israeli soldiers injure three civilians and arrest eight for protesting against construction of a wall and attempting to stop military bulldozers from destroying Palestinian orchards. Israeli soldiers attacked the anti-wall protesters with rifle butts and batons, injuring three international supporters and arresting eight others in the town of Beit Jala near Beth Lahm (Bethlehem), in southern West Bank.

Oil rig owner brings in lobbyists

Oil rig owner brings in lobbyists 13 May 2010 Transocean, the Swiss-based company which is appearing before US Senate and House of Representatives oversight committees, has hired a new lobbyist. The company which is answering for the leaking BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has hired the new lobby firm to represent its interests on environmental, natural resources and energy issues. The Capitol Hill Consulting Group, chaired by former Representative Bill Brewster of Oklahoma, is advising the company on how to handle the oil spill disaster, which has already involved BP and Halliburton.

Bombing near Afghan border wounds 3

Bombing near Afghan border wounds 3 16 May 2010 At least three have been wounded after a bomber with explosives strapped into his body blew himself up near an Afghan police post in Kandahar province. The attack occurred near the gate of an Afghan border police residence in the northern part of Kandahar city, widely deemed as the main battleground of Taliban in Afghanistan, AP reported, quoting Kandahar Police Chief Sher Mohammad Zazai as saying.

Greece blames US for snowballing debts

Greece blames US for snowballing debts 16 May 2010 Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he is considering taking legal action against US investment banks for their alleged role in the snowballing Greek debt crisis. Papandreou said Sunday that an investigation will be launched to examine whether the financial sector engaged in "fraud", leading to the spiraling of Greece's debt, the Associated Press reported.

Terror airline escorted into Canada

Terror airline escorted into Canada 16 May 2010 Canadian fighter jets have escorted a Cathay Pacific airliner into Vancouver airport, after threats of a bomb on board. An alert of a bomb threat was received by Canadian officials while the plane was still in flight from Hong Kong. The Vancouver-bound flight landed safely and was towed to a secure part of the airport, where it was scanned for explosives.

Greece to probe U.S. banks' role in crisis: PM

Greece to probe U.S. banks' role in crisis: PM 16 May 2010 Greece may investigate U.S. investment banks and their role in the run-up to the Greek debt crisis which has shaken faith in euro zone economies, Prime Minister George Papandreou said in comments broadcast on Sunday. Wall Street and major banks around the world are attracting scrutiny from regulators who are looking at transactions that occurred in the run-up to the subprime mortgage meltdown and financial crisis. U.S. prosecutors are already conducting a broad criminal investigation of six major Wall Street banks to determine if they misled investors.

Thailand toughens stand against spiraling protests

Thailand toughens stand against spiraling protests 16 May 2010 Thailand took a tough stand against anti-government protesters on Sunday, rejecting demands for U.N.-supervised talks and calling on their leaders to surrender on the fourth day of deadly clashes with troops. The government doused hopes of a compromise [?] to end fighting that has killed at least 31 people, all civilians, and wounded 230, transforming one of Asia's most dynamic cities into a battleground and raising the risk of a broader conflict.

10 killed in Iraq stadium bombing

10 killed in Iraq stadium bombing 15 May 2010 A suicide bomb attack at a football stadium in Iraq has killed 10 people and injured a further 120, according to police officials. Thousands of spectators were sitting in the stadium to watch the football match in the northern town of Tal Afar, a predominantly Shia Turkmen town to the west of Mosul. A militant group called Islamic State of Iraq [aka terrorist mercenary group called Blackwater] had earlier issued a warning to Shias in Iraq of coming "dark days soaked with blood".

Latest suspect in Dubai hit identified

Latest suspect in Dubai hit identified 16 May 2010 Dubai police say a man of Scottish nationality is the latest to be identified as a suspect behind the assassination of a senior Hamas leader in the emirate. The police said the 62-year-old Scotsman is currently in hiding in Western Europe, the Israeli newspaper Haa'retz reported citing Army Radio. Authorities in Dubai have so far identified 32 suspects in the January killing of former Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in a Dubai hotel, which was caught on CCTV cameras.

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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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