US top military official says strike against Iran would halt nuclear programme --America's top military officer has said that a United States strike against Iran would go "a long way" to delaying Tehran's nuclear programme. 19 Apr 2010 Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking at a forum at Columbia University, said that attacking Iran was a "last option" but he made clear that military plans had been drawn up. "We in the Pentagon, we plan for contingencies all the time and certainly there are options which exist," he said.
Iran wins regional support for its nuclear programme 17 Apr 2010 Syria, Lebanon and Iraq backed Iran's atomic programme on Saturday, which they said has "peaceful" aims, and insisted that Israel be stripped off its nuclear arsenal. The foreign ministers of these three countries also stressed that Israel, the Middle East's sole but undeclared holder of a nuclear arsenal, must join the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Iran to start work on new nuclear site 19 Apr 2010 A senior advisor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Iranian chief executive has approved the site for a new uranium enrichment plant. "The president has confirmed the designated location of a new nuclear site and the construction process of the new site will begin upon the president's order," Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi told the Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) on Monday.
Israeli jets violate Lebanese airspace 19 Apr 2010 Israeli jets have violated Lebanese airspace, breaking the sound barrier over several villages in the southern part of the country. Lebanon's National News Agency reported on Sunday that several Israeli fighter jets crossed into Lebanese airspace at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) and hovered over the southern town of Jezzine, located some 22 km (14 miles) from Sidon and 73 km (45 miles) south of Beirut.
Israeli Leftist Groups May be Violating US Law 19 Apr 2010 Two of Israel's largest extreme-left organizations, B'Tselem and Peace Now, have been accused of potentially violating United States law by acting illegally as foreign agents. The U.S. Department of Justice has been informed of the accusations, and is looking into the matter. [Of course they are! But yet: 'The white supremacists, many of them wearing flack helmets and black military fatigue uniforms, shouted "Sieg Heil" before each of their speakers took the podium to taunt counter-protesters with racial, anti-Semitic and misogynistic epithets.' It's all good when Sarah Palin's friends stage a rally, right?]
Tony Blair stranded in Jerusalem [OMG! Why waste the moment? Arrest the f*cker for war crimes *now!*] 19 Apr 2010 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's plans for general election campaigning could be disrupted as he is stranded in Jerusalem, his spokesman said Sunday. Blair was due back at the weekend but much of Europe's airspace has been forced shut by the Icelandic volcano ash cloud.
Odierno "confident" U.S. Iraq drawdown on schedule [in time for Iran] 18 Apr 2010 The top U.S. military commander in Iraq said on Sunday he was confident of meeting an end-of-August deadline for a drawdown of U.S. troops despite political uncertainty and a spate of recent bombings there. The Obama administration has announced plans to cut the number of U.S. troops in Iraq to 50,000 from about 100,000 some seven years after an invasion to topple the government of Saddam Hussein.
GI dies in US copter crash in Iraq 18 Apr 2010 An American troop has lost his life and three others have sustained wounds in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq, says the US Army in a statement. The Saturday incident "was not attributed to enemy fire and is currently under investigation," added the statement issued by the military, AFP reported. An Iraqi military official said the crash had taken place near the US military base of Camp Speicher, located outside the town of Tikrit. [The town of Tikrit. Hmm. Saddam Hussein's hometown. Hey, military propagandist: If the incident is 'currently under investigation,' how can you assert from the outset -- as you always do -- that it's 'not attributed to enemy fire?' Apparently, these helicopters, unmolested, just seem to fall out of the sky. It's quite uncanny. Now, look for the 'update' to this incident during the Obusha Friday night 'bad news dump,' which takes place approximately 5:30 p.m. every Friday. --LRP]
US soldier dies in 'non-combat incident' in Iraq 19 Apr 2010 The U.S. military says an American soldier has died of 'non-combat related injuries' in Iraq. A statement by the military on Monday says the United States Division-South soldier died of injuries sustained in southern Iraq on Sunday.
UN bodyguard 'executed by Afghan police' 17 Apr 2010 A United Nations bodyguard who saved 17 colleagues by holding back Taliban fighters who stormed a guesthouse was minutes later executed by Afghan police, according to a video which has been seen by officials. An amateur video of the attack seen by UN officials and Stern magazine now appears to show Mr Maxwell being shot repeatedly at close range by Afghan police responding to the attack. The United Nations said an investigation had raised "the disturbing possibility" Mr Maxwell had died from "friendly fire". [Blackwater?] One official who had seen the video said "it looks like an execution". Mr Maxwell came down from the roof after the attack and was shot minutes later officials said.
120 Afghans die in a week of carnage 18 Apr 2010 The war in Afghanistan has claimed the lives of 120 people and injured over 100 more over the past week. On Sunday, Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said dozens of civilians were killed in another week of carnage. He also confirmed that 20 policemen and scores of militants lost their lives in the past seven days.
Suicide bombs kill 50 in Pakistan 18 Apr 2010 Up to 50 people have been killed in a series of suicide bombings in southern Pakistan over the weekend. This morning a suicide bomber killed seven people and wounded 26 when he rammed a truck loaded with explosives into a police station in the town of Billitung, in the Kohat region on the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan: Blast hits oil tankers on NATO route 19 Apr 2010 An official says suspected Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan detonated two bombs that destroyed a pair of oil tankers along a vital supply route used by NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Local official Iqbal Khan says the twin explosions occurred in the Takhta Beg area of Khyber tribal region Monday.
NATO: F-16 fighters damaged by volcanic ash 19 Apr 2010 A senior Western diplomat says several NATO F-16 fighters suffered engine damage after flying through the volcanic ash cloud covering large parts of Europe. The official declined to provide more details on the military flights, except to say that glasslike deposits were found inside the planes' engines after they patroled over European airspace.
President Correa may push legislation to nationalise oil fields 18 Apr 2010 President Rafael Correa said Saturday he intends to push legislation to nationalise Ecuador's oil fields in the event foreign oil companies refuse to sign contracts that would give the country more control over its resources. Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Saturday he will introduce legislation under which foreign oil companies will face nationalization if they fail to sign contracts acceptable to Quito.
DOJ abandons warrantless attempt to read Yahoo e-mail 16 Apr 2010 The U.S. Justice Department has abruptly abandoned what had become a high-profile court fight to read Yahoo users' e-mail messages without obtaining a search warrant first. In a two-page brief filed Friday, the Obama administration withdrew its request for warrantless access to the complete contents of the Yahoo Mail accounts under investigation.
Gun rights rallies 19 Apr 2010 Dozens of Second Amendment rights activists holstered their handguns and slung unloaded rifles over their shoulders Monday at a gun rights rally in northern Virginia, while hundreds of like-minded but unarmed counterparts converged in the nation's capital. Across the Potomac River in Alexandria, former Alabama Minutemen leader Mike Vanderboegh told the crowd armed confrontation should be reserved only for instances of the government threatening people's lives.
50 gather at Va. gun rally 19 Apr 2010 With rifles on their backs, pistols on their hips and the Washington Monument dominant behind a small stage, about 50 gun-rights supporters gathered Monday on a slip of national parkland just north of Reagan National Airport to speak out against a federal government they believe is usurping their individual rights. [Amazing. When hundreds of thousands of people gathered in February 2003 to protest the Iraq war, the PentaPost devoted scant coverage to those events. --LRP]
White supremacists, demonstrators square off in LA 18 Apr 2010 A white supremacist group rallied against illegal immigration in downtown Los Angeles Saturday as hundreds of counter-protesters gathered to shout them down in a tense standoff that included several arrests, thrown rocks and police in riot gear... Five people, all of them counter-protesters [Yeah, right!], were arrested on suspicion of throwing items, police said. The white supremacists, many of them wearing flack helmets and black military fatigue uniforms, shouted "Sieg Heil" before each of their speakers took the podium to taunt counter-protesters with racial, anti-Semitic and misogynistic epithets.
Goldman Sachs to award £3.5bn in bonuses... as it faces fraud probe 19 Apr 2010 Britain's financial regulator is considering whether there are grounds for a full-blown investigation of Goldman Sachs after U.S. authorities filed civil fraud charges. The revelation came as the Wall Street giant was to announce £3.5billion in bonuses tomorrow - just days after being charged with fraud. And the defiant bank was so far standing by the London-based financier at the centre of allegations it defrauded investors of $1billion (£650million), it has emerged.
Business Secretary announces rescue plans for thousands stranded in air crisis --Royal Navy and merchant ships may form flotilla to spearhead repatriation 19 Apr 2010 A Dunkirk-style sea rescue of the thousands of Britons stranded abroad by the volcano ash flight ban was being planned by the Government last night. Royal Navy ships may be joined by commandeered civilian vessels to bring home British citizens, who have now been stuck since last Thursday across Europe and around the world.
Britain's flight ban to be LIFTED tomorrow (but now the battle begins to clear the massive backlog) 19 Apr 2010 The blanket ban on flying to and from the UK will be lifted as early as 6am tomorrow, airport sources revealed this afternoon. Scottish airspace will reopen first, followed by the Midlands around midday and airports in the South at around 6pm. British Airways also confirmed they will be resuming some flights to and from London from 7pm. The news will come as a massive relief to the thousands of British travellers stranded abroad - although the backlog of flights is likely to take days to clear.
Airlines, EU governments lock horns over continued no-fly rules 19 Apr 2010 Airlines have slammed EU governments over strict no-fly rules and delays in re-opening airspace closed by the volcanic ash cloud. The travel chaos is costing airlines an estimated $250 million a day. Airlines urged governments to reopen routes through the volcanic ash cloud over Europe on Monday, branding the flight ban a "European mess" and the economic fallout "greater than September 11".
Ash clouds shut down Turkish airspace 19 Apr 2010 Days after a volcanic eruption in Iceland disrupted air traffic across a wide swathe of Europe, the massive ash cloud has reached Turkey. Turkish airspace in three provinces -- Zonguldak, Sinop, and Samsun -- above the Black Sea was shut down on Sunday. The Turkish Directorate of Civil Aviation issued a statement advising planes plying that route to fly above an altitude of 35,000 feet.
Sleeping polar bears caught on camera 18 Apr 2010 Photographed just ten feet from the world's largest land predator, these images of sleeping polar bears catch the powerful animals at their cutest. Taken by renowned adventurer Amos Nachoum at a death defying distance, these three bears were snapped on the icy tundra of Admiralty Inlet on the Arctic's Baffin Island.
'We are inadvertently creating incentives for people to be killed rather than captured.' New rules on terror custody being drafted --The Obama administration guidelines aim to help decide whether captured suspects are tried or face indefinite detention, U.S. officials say. 15 Apr 2010 The Obama administration is for the first time drafting classified guidelines to help the government determine whether newly captured terrorism suspects will be prosecuted or held indefinitely without trial, senior U.S. officials said. At least in the short term, Bagram air base in Afghanistan would be the most likely prison to hold the suspects, they said. A former State Department official said that the Obama administration, by not laying out a clear policy for holding terrorism suspects, is resorting to airstrikes and other covert tactics in an effort to kill militants.
Gates Says U.S. Lacks Strategy to Curb Iran's Nuclear Drive [Nosy Parker US: Curb *your own.*] 16 Apr 2010 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has warned in a secret three-page memorandum to top White House officials that the United States does not have an effective long-range policy for dealing with Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear capability, according to government officials familiar with the document. The highly classified analysis includes a revised set of military alternatives, still under development, to be considered should diplomacy and sanctions fail to force Iran to change course.
Iran seeks IAEA suspension of US 17 Apr 2010 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says nuclear-armed states such as the United States should be removed entirely from the IAEA and its Board of Governors. The "Nuclear Energy for all, Nuclear Weapons for None" disarmament conference kicked off in Tehran on Saturday with President Ahmadinejad outlining his vision of a world free of nuclear weapons.
'Hezbollah arms not Israel's business' 16 Apr 2010 Israel has received a humiliating rebuff over its recent remarks about Hezbollah arms after a senior official said the movement's weaponry are not Tel Aviv's business. Hezbollah-affiliated government minister Hussein Hajj Hassan said Friday that the movement is always arming and preparing itself against foreign threats, but "what we have is not their (Israel's) business," Lebanon's al-Manar TV reported.
US-led soldiers killed in Afghanistan 17 Apr 2010 As Afghanistan continues to struggle with militancy, NATO says a roadside bomb has killed two more US-led soldiers in the country's volatile south. The nationalities of the soldiers have not been disclosed yet. The deaths bring the number of foreign troops killed in Afghanistan this year to 164.
Five UN staff missing in Afghanistan: official 16 Apr 2010 The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said Friday that five of its Afghan staff had gone missing. "Five UN Afghan staff are unaccounted for since yesterday," Dan McNorton, a UN spokesman in Kabul told AFP.
Security company targeted in Afghan attack 16 Apr 2010 A suicide car bomber in Afghanistan has killed three Afghan soldiers and three foreign security guards in the south of the country. The attack on Thursday in Kandahar resulted in injuries for nine other people. The attack, on the offices of a security firm, blew windows out of several buildings. The home of the brother of Hamid Karzai was reportedly also damaged during the explosion.
Blackwater is a busy little bee: 20 killed in Pakistan twin blasts 17 Apr 2010 Twin blasts hit a camp for displaced people in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people while lining up to receive aid handouts, a local official says. "There were two blasts. The first took place when relief items were being distributed among the displaced people," said Kohat police chief Dilawar Khan Bangash. He added that there was another blast while the casualties were being taken away.
Suicide bomber kills eight in Pakistan hospital attack 16 Apr 2010 A suicide bomb attack outside a hospital emergency ward in Quetta today has killed nine people including a TV cameraman and two police officers, in the latest incident of militant violence. Gunshots ranged before a suicide bomber detonated his explosive packed jacket inside the city’s main government hospital, police said. At least 35 people including a member of parliament and media who were present in the premises were injured.
Kyrgyzstan extends US lease on Manas air base 16 Apr 2010 Kyrgyzstan's interim government says it will extend the US lease on a key air base, a day after the ousted president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, left the country. The deputy leader, Omurbek Tekebayev, said the agreement over Manas air force base - a logistics hub for Afghanistan - would extend for another year.
US soldier dismissed for threats in Iraq protest 17 Apr 2010 The U.S. Army has dismissed a soldier who threatened fellow troops and sent the Pentagon a violent rap song he wrote to protest his Iraq redeployment orders, officials said Saturday. The dismissal for misconduct means Spc. Marc A. Hall will avoid criminal charges but lose all military benefits earned over at least four years of service, including an earlier tour in Iraq.
Indicts 5 Blackwater Ex-Officials 16 Apr 2010 Federal prosecutors
charged the former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former
senior company officials on Friday with weapons violations and making
false statements in the first criminal inquiry to reach into the top management
ranks of the private security company. The executives were some of the
closest advisers to Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince, and helped him
steer the company during its swift rise to become the leading
AP: Feds indict ex-Blackwater president 16 Apr 2010 The former president of Blackwater Worldwide was charged Friday with using straw purchases to stockpile automatic weapons at the security firm and filing false documents to cover up gifts given to the King of Jordan. The federal indictment charges Gary Jackson, who left the company last year in a management shakeup, along with four other former workers. The charges against Jackson include a conspiracy to violate firearms laws, false statements and possession of an unregistered firearm.
FEMA Requests Removal of National Level Exercise 2010 (NLE 10) Document 14 Apr 2010 On April 13, 2010, Public Intelligence received a message from Danny Rains who is an investigator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in the Office of Security requesting the removal of a document entitled "National Level Exercise 2010 (NLE 10) Exercise Overview". The ten page document, which is described in FEMA’s request as "very sensitive", consists of approximately 20 PowerPoint slides including the title page and was published nearly seven months ago on August 8, 2009.
NYPD Raids Brooklyn Anarchist Collective, Two Arrested --Police raid art and performance space of the Independent Anarchist Media Collective on Tuesday 14 Apr 2010 The cops raided an Independent Anarchist Media Collective space at 13 Thames Art Space in Brooklyn and arrested two group members Tuesday. According to the "I AM Collective" statement, the NYPD entered the Bushwick based art and performance space without a warrant. "Two plainclothes detectives entered first, followed quickly by a Lieutenant and vans full of blue shirt officers," the statement reads. "After corralling everyone present in the back room, they searched the space and detained two members of the collective."..."The voice of decentralized creative communities will not be silenced by police repression," the group said in a statement. "They cannot raid us, because we are everywhere."
Home-grown, solo terrorists as bad as Al-Qaeda: FBI chief 15 Apr 2010 Al-Qaeda still aims to strike inside the United States but home-grown or unaffiliated extremists now "pose an equally serious threat," FBI chief Robert Mueller warned US lawmakers Thursday. "Al-Qaeda and its affiliates are still committed to striking us in the United States," Mueller told a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, pointing to plots to bomb New York City subways and the failed Christmas airline attack. "Home-grown and lone-wolf extremists pose an equally serious threat," the Federal Bureau of Investigation director said, citing the shootings at the sprawling Fort Hood army base [aka false flag central] in Texas.
Laptops took thousands of images 15 Apr 2010 (PA) The system that
Lower Merion school officials used to
Clinton alludes to 1995 bombing, says words matter 16 Apr 2010 Former President Bill Clinton warned of a slippery slope from angry anti-government rhetoric to violence like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, saying "the words we use really do matter." ...Clinton also alluded to the anti-government tea party movement, which held protests in several states Thursday. At the Washington rally, Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota railed against "gangster government."
Judge Rules National Day of Prayer Unconstitutional 16 Apr 2010 A federal judge in Wisconsin ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional Thursday, saying the day amounts to a call for religious action. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb wrote that the government can no more enact laws supporting a day of prayer than it can encourage citizens to fast during Ramadan, attend a synagogue or practice magic.
U.S. border agents shoot man at busy Mexico crossing 17 Apr 2010 U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at a border checkpoint fired on a man after he tried to drive into California from Mexico on Saturday, U.S. police said. The pickup truck driver was heading north at the checkpoint between Tijuana and San Diego, the world's busiest land border, when he tried to flee after he could not present proper identification.
Brea congressman: end birthright citizenship for illegal immigrants 15 Apr 2010 (CA) A local Republican congressman is ramping up his fight against "anchor babies." Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea, went on national television Thursday to renew his call for an end to birthright citizenship. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution automatically grants citizenship to any person born on American soil, regardless of the immigration status of the child's parents. Miller is carrying a bill to prevent children from becoming citizens at birth if both of their parents are illegal immigrants.
Eight Banks Fail, 2010 Tally Hits 50 17 Apr 2010 Regulators shuttered eight banks Friday, bring this year's tally of failed banks and thrifts to 50. All of the failed institutions were included in TheStreet.com's list of undercapitalized banks. The largest institution to fail Friday was Riverside National Bank of Florida of Fort Pierce, Fla., which had $3.42 billion in total assets when it was shut down by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
All 41 GOP Senators United in Opposition to Financial Reform Bill 16 Apr 2010 All 41 Republican senators have signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid saying they are opposed to the financial regulation bill put forward by Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd, Senate Republican Leader [FreedumbWorks wh*re] Mitch McConnell's office announced today.
SEC Accuses Goldman Sachs of Civil Fraud 16 Apr 2010 The government has accused Goldman Sachs & Co. of defrauding investors by failing to disclose conflicts of interest in subprime investments it sold as the housing market was collapsing. The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a civil complaint Friday that Goldman failed to disclose that one of its clients helped create -- and then bet against -- subprime mortgage securities that Goldman sold to other investors.
Exxon's Income Tax: $0 05 Apr 2010 ExxonMobil had such a profitable year in 2009, it contributed $15 billion to the world's tax coffers. The bad news: Not a cent of that went to the IRS. Says Forbes in a report on all the taxes of the US's top 25 firms: Exxon tries to limit the tax pain with the help of 20 wholly owned subsidiaries domiciled in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands that (legally) shelter the cash flow from operations in the likes of Angola, Azerbaijan and Abu Dhabi. No wonder that of $15 billion in income taxes last year, Exxon paid none of it to Uncle Sam, and has tens of billions in earnings permanently reinvested overseas.
GE: 7,000 tax returns, $0 U.S. tax bill 16 Apr 2010 General Electric filed more than 7,000 income tax returns in hundreds of global jurisdictions last year, but when push came to shove, the company owed the U.S. government a whopping bill of $0. GE had plenty of earnings last year -- just not in the United States. For tax purposes, the company's U.S. operations lost $408 million, while its international businesses netted a $10.8 billion profit.
Census gear is outsourced 13 Apr 2010 A Chicago alderman says he has received a load of gear promoting the 2010 Census that was manufactured in China, Bangladesh and Haiti. Alderman Ed Burke said it appears the United States government has outsourced promoting the census to foreign countries, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday... President Dennis Gannon of the Chicago Federation of Labor said manufacturing the gear in the United States could have been a "mini-stimulus package."
Airspace closure extended until Sunday morning --All Ryanair UK flights and BA shorthaul flights cancelled until Monday. Flights from London and much of the rest of Britain will remain grounded until tomorrow morning because of the cloud of volcanic ash looming over northern Europe, air traffic controllers confirmed. The ash cloud created by an erupting volcano in Iceland is "moving around and changing shape", the air traffic control company Nats said. If it "moves sufficiently", some domestic flights may be able to take off from Scotland and Northern Ireland today.
Thousands stranded as volcanic dust cloud covers UK --Flights across Northern Europe grounded 17 Apr 2010 Tens of thousands of airline passengers remain stranded around the world today as the volcanic dust cloud that cut off British airspace threatens to remain until the middle of next week. Almost all flights in England and across much of Northern Europe were grounded for a second day yesterday.
heat from destroying is nothing compared to what it would be if the tapes
ever got into public domain.' 2005
destruction of interrogation tapes caused concern at CIA, e-mails show
--A cable ordering the destruction of the tapes, which were held at an
overseas location, was first drafted by a person who remains undercover
[Well, isn't *that* convenient?] 16 Apr 2010 The 2005 destruction
of 92 videotapes documenting the
E-mail: Ex-CIA chief agreed with tape destruction 16 Apr 2010 Former CIA Director Porter Goss agreed with a 2005 decision to destroy interrogation videos showing waterboarding, but nobody told White House counsel Harriet Miers, who was "livid" to find out afterward, according to internal CIA e-mails released Thursday. The documents show that, despite Goss' apparent agreement, officials almost immediately began worrying they'd done something improper, foreshadowing a controversy that has lingered for years and remains under FBI investigation. The videos showed CIA interrogators using waterboarding on terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah.
Afghans 'abused at secret prison' at Bagram airbase --The abuses are all said to have taken place since US President Barack Obama was elected. 15 Apr 2010 Afghan prisoners are being abused in a "secret jail" at Bagram airbase, according to nine witnesses whose stories the BBC has documented. The US military has denied the existence of a secret detention site and promised to look into allegations. But witnesses told the BBC in interviews or written testimony that abuses continue in a hidden facility.
U.S. doubles secretive special forces in Afghanistan 15 Apr 2010 The Pentagon has increased its use of the military's most elite special operations teams in Afghanistan, more than doubling the number of the highly trained teams assigned to hunt Taliban leaders, according to senior officials. The secretive buildup reflects the view of the Obama administration and senior military leaders that the U.S. has only a limited amount of time to degrade the capabilities of the Taliban.
security staff feared dead after suicide car bombs blast Taleban capital
16 Apr 2010 As many as seven Western
Four German soldiers killed in Afghanistan 15 Apr 2010 Four German soldiers were killed in Afghanistan Thursday and five wounded, Berlin said, in the latest bloodshed bound to fuel opposition to the unpopular mission. The government said in a statement that the troops were travelling from the northern city of Kunduz to Baghlan, a Taliban stronghold. The patrol came under attack with anti-tank grenades or missiles, military sources said.
US forces leave Afghan risky valley 15 Apr 2010 US troops have withdrawn from Afghanistan's Korengal Valley ending nearly nine years of NATO presence and intense fighting there. The isolated mountainous region of caves and canyons on the eastern border with Pakistan has been the scene of near daily exchanges of fire between NATO and Taliban militants that use the area as a route for infiltrating weapons and fighters into Afghanistan.
U.S. Should "Pull the Trigger" on Iran 15 Apr 2010 Senator John
McCain said the United States has been backing away from a brewing fight
with Iran, while that country moves ever closer to having nuclear weapons.
McCain opened a Senate hearing Wednesday by saying that Iran will get
the bomb unless the United States acts more boldly.
Did Banned Media Report Foretell of Gaza War Crimes? By Jonathan Cook 15 Apr 2010 An Arab member of the Israeli parliament is demanding that a newspaper be allowed to publish an investigative report that was suppressed days before Israel attacked Gaza in winter 2008. The investigation by Uri Blau, who has been in hiding since December to avoid arrest, concerned Israeli preparations for the impending assault on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead. In a highly unusual move, according to reports in the Israeli media, the army ordered the Haaretz newspaper to destroy all copies of an edition that included Mr Blau's investigation after it had already gone to press and been passed by the military censor. The article was never republished.
Police: Suspicions against Olmert grave and well-founded 16 Apr 2010 The Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court yesterday lifted its gag order on the identity of the 'senior official' suspected of taking bribes in the Holyland case, revealing the suspect to be none other than former prime minister Ehud Olmert, who served as mayor of Jerusalem from 1993-2003 and is already standing trial in three unrelated corruption cases. In the new case, Olmert is suspected of taking at least NIS 3.5 million in bribes in exchange for furthering development of the Holyland luxury housing project in Jerusalem.
Man arrested at Air Force missile silo --Man tells The Minot Daily News he is protester 16 Apr 2010 Parshall Air Force security personnel, Mountrail County Sheriff's Department, Three Affiliated Tribes police and the FBI are investigating an incident Thursday in which a man jumped the fence of a Minuteman III launch site near Parshall. According to the Minot Air Force Base Public Affairs office, 91st Missile Wing security forces personnel responded to an activated alarm at H-8 missile silo, located south of Parshall, and detained a man identified by the Mountrail County Sheriff's Department as James Richard Sauder of San Antonio.
NORAD exercise over DC Friday 14 Apr 2010 The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will conduct a one-day exercise this week in the Washington area. Called Falcon Virgo, the exercise is intended to test NORAD's intercept and identification operations and a visual warning system.The exercise will place Friday just after midnight until 2 a.m. and again from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.
New cyber security chief warns of internet attacks 15 Apr 2010 A general appointed by Barack Obama to ready US defences against cyber attacks has disclosed an alarming increase in activity by hackers and foreign countries, amounting to hundreds of thousands of attempted infiltrations daily. General Keith Alexander, who is to be the head of a new US command devoted to cyber security -- Cybercom -- was giving evidence to the Senate armed services committee yesterday. ...The issue has jumped up the agenda and the Obama administration is planning to spend billions to protect US computer networks.
Deputy Director Kappes to leave CIA 15 Apr 2010 CIA Deputy Director Stephen R. Kappes, a veteran spy who has played a major role in overseeing the agency's counterterrorism operations since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will retire in May and be replaced by the service's top analyst, CIA officials said Wednesday. Michael J. Morell, who Director Leon E. Panetta described as a 30-year CIA veteran, will take over the No. 2 position.
Ex-NSA worker charged in classified leak case --Most serious charge in 10-count indictment carries maximum possible sentence of 20 years in prison 15 Apr 2010 A former senior executive at the National Security Agency was charged Thursday with lying and obstruction of justice in an investigation of leaks of classified information to a newspaper. Federal prosecutors said Thomas Drake served as a source for many articles about the NSA in an unidentified newspaper, including articles that contained classified information.
U.S. to use stimulus money to buy more explosive detectors for airports 15 Apr 2010 The Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday it would buy more than 1,200 additional devices aimed at detecting traces of explosives to use at airports to help thwart terrorism plots. [?] The devices will cost $35.5 million and come out of money from the economic stimulus law President Barack Obama signed last year, the DHS said. The Transportation Security Administration, which screens bags and passengers at U.S. airports, already uses more than 7,000 of the devices.
WHO flu experts reject charges of business influence in pandemic 15 Apr 2010 Leading experts involved in the World Health Organisation's decision to declare a flu pandemic on Wednesday rejected accusations of undue influence from the pharmaceutical industry. Parliamentarians conducting a Council of Europe probe have criticised the transparency of decision-making during the pandemic and especially the potential influence of the pharmaceutical industry on vaccination.
Court wants more money for security concerns 15 Apr 2010 The Supreme
Court is asking for more federal security funds, citing as one reason
the "volume" of threats it receives.
Obama signs $18 billion jobless benefits bill 16 Apr 2010 Hundreds of thousands of people who lost out on additional weeks of unemployment can reapply for long-term benefits that will run until June 2. President Barack Obama signed an $18 billion bill that restores unemployment benefits for people who have been out of work for months.
Obama blames owner for West Virginia mine disaster 16 Apr 2010 President Barack Obama on Thursday put primary blame for last week's deadly West Virginia coal mine disaster on owner Massey Energy and called for better mine oversight nationwide to prevent more accidents. Obama said the safety record at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine, where an explosion killed 29 miners on April 5, was deeply troubling and said the company had "put their bottom line before the safety of their workers."
Obama Widens Medical Rights for Same-Sex Partners 16 Apr 2010 President Obama on Thursday ordered his health secretary to issue new rules aimed at granting hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners. The White House announced the rule changes, which will also make it easier for gay men and lesbians to make medical decisions on behalf of their partners, in a memorandum released Thursday night. In it, the president said the new rules would affect any hospital that participates in Medicare or Medicaid, the government programs to cover the elderly and the poor.
Works Unveils 'Contract to F*ck America' Tea
Party Activists Unveil 'Contract from America' --Democratic Party
Spokesman Says Contract Amounts to 'Slogans Not a Plan' 15 Apr 2010
Lieberman: 'Everybody should listen' to Sarah Palin 13 Apr 2010 Sen. Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic vice presidential nominee who campaigned for the Republican presidential ticket in 2008, called Sarah Palin a "powerful force" who speaks for "a lot of people out there." In an interview with Newsmax.TV, Lieberman described Sen. John McCain's former running mate as "warm and likable..." The Connecticut senator, who left the Democratic Party and is now an independent, said "everybody should listen" to her.
Huge ash plume blanketing Europe may last five more days 16 Apr 2010 The unprecedented closure of airspace across Britain and large parts of Northern Europe is set to continue into the weekend, after the volcanic eruption in Iceland that sent a massive plume of ash into the atmosphere. As debris continued to spew from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, airlines were last night preparing to ground flights for at least four more days.
US carriers cancel Europe flights due to ash 15 Apr 2010 U.S. airlines canceled half their trans-Atlantic service on Thursday because of a gigantic ash cloud spewing from a volcano in Iceland that has closed airports in northern Europe, industry officials said. A comparable number of flights, and possibly more, will likely be canceled on Friday, the Air Transport Association trade association said.
Volcanic ash cloud grounds flights over Britain 15 Apr 2010 Britain became a no-fly zone today as a spreading cloud of volcanic ash headed south from Iceland forcing northern European airports to shut in its wake. In the first extended closure of British air space in living memory, millions of airline passengers face travel chaos as National Air Traffic Services (Nats) said no civilian planes would fly until at least 7am on Friday morning because of the eruption in Iceland.
'White nose' decimates Vt. bat population 14 Apr 2010 As the sun begins to set on Mount Aeolus, wildlife biologists are making the two-mile climb to Vermont's largest bat cave... fearful of what they may find. "It's been a long time since we've seen a live one," commented Scott Darling of the Vt. Fish & Wildlife Department. A mysterious disease known as white nose syndrome continues to spread to bat caves across the Eastern United States, with mortality rates now approaching 95 percent.
Police need more powerful weapons to combat 'Mumbai-style terror attacks' says police chief --Security sources have also told Home Office that, unless police are backed, summoning the Army to take on fanatics could be the only alternative option in the event of an attack. 15 Apr 2010 Police officers must be armed with even more powerful weapons to deal with a Mumbai-style terrorist attack in the UK, a top officer said last night. Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates said officers needed a huge boost to their firepower to combat an atrocity where the aim is to kill as many innocents as possible in a matter of minutes. His comments... suggest moves toward the greater use of 'heavy ballistic weapons' including rapid-fire assault rifles and C9 Minimi machine guns, as used by the SAS, as well as more powerful bullets.
W.House: No Immediate Federal Response After Terrorist Nuke Blast 14 Apr 2010 The White House has warned state and local governments not to expect a "significant federal response" at the scene of a terrorist nuclear attack for 24 to 72 hours after the blast, according to a planning guide. President Obama told delegates from 47 nations at the Nuclear Security Summit on Tuesday that it would be a "catastrophe for the world" if al-Qaeda or another terrorist group [the Pentagon] got a nuclear device, because so many lives would be lost and it would be so hard to mitigate damage from the blast.
Military asserts right to return cyber attacks --Among the classified responses was his answer to whether the U.S. should first ask another government to deal with a cyber attack that came from within its borders. 14 Apr 2010 The U.S. must fire back against cyber attacks swiftly and strongly and should act to counter or disable a threat even when the identity of the attacker is unknown [themselves], the director of the National Security Agency told Congress. Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, who is the Obama administration's nominee to take on additional duties as head of the new Cyber Command, also said the U.S. should not be deterred from taking action against countries such as Iran and North Korea just because they might launch cyber attacks.
Iraq favours Shell, Total, KOGAS for gas fields 14 Apr 2010 Iraq will invite 15 companies before the end of the year to bid to develop three gas fields and Royal Dutch Shell, Total and South Korea's KOGAS are favoured, an Iraqi oil official said on Wednesday. "We are keen to select international companies with experience with gas and which have gas projects across the world," said Sabah Abdul Kadhim, head of the Oil Ministry's petroleum contracts and licensing directorate.
Iraq agrees to alter signature bonuses on oilfields 14 Apr 2010 Iraq's Oil Ministry has agreed to slash signature bonuses on two oilfield development deals secured by oil companies but is turning them into unrecoverable payments rather than soft loans, an official said on Wednesday. The signature bonus for the 8.7-billion-barrel West Qurna Phase One oilfield to be paid by Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell RDSA.L will be cut to $100 million from $400 million, said Sabah Abdul Kadhim, head of the legal section of the ministry's petroleum contracts and licensing directorate.
Iraq's Ayad Allawi warns of sectarian war, says U.S. must aid reconciliation 15 Apr 2010 Former prime minister Ayad Allawi, whose bloc won the largest number of seats in Iraq's March 7 parliamentary [stolen] elections, warned Wednesday that the country could slide into a sectarian war if his group is shut out of the next government and said the United States should work more aggressively to prevent that from happening.
Officials say Iraqi forces foil 9/11-style plot 14 Apr 2010 Iraqi security forces have disrupted a 9/11-style plot by 'al-Qaida's' local offshoot to fly hijacked planes into Shiite religious shrines, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Wednesday. Two U.S. intelligence officials in Washington confirmed the plot but said it did not appear to be fully planned out, nor was it clear that militants would be able to carry out any attacks. [Let's all call busllsh*t right now. The US (and puppet Ayad Allawi) want an excuse to remain in Iraq to protect new oil and gas deals.]
Security alert shuts Gaza tunnels 15 Apr 2010 Hamas said yesterday it had temporarily shut down smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and Egypt, cutting off the embattled strip's one faltering economic lifeline to the outside world. The move comes as Israel's security officials urged its nationals holidaying in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt to leave after receiving a "concrete" threat that militants could try to kidnap an Israeli citizen there and smuggle them across the border to Gaza.
US military warns oil output may dip causing massive shortages by 2015 --Cost of crude oil is predicted to top $100 a barrel 14 Apr 2010 The US military has warned that surplus oil production capacity could disappear within two years and there could be serious shortages by 2015 with a significant economic and political impact. The energy crisis outlined in a Joint Operating Environment report from the US Joint Forces Command, comes as the price of petrol in Britain reaches record levels and the cost of crude is predicted to soon top $100 a barrel. [Right, just in time for the 2010 'elections' so the GOP sweeps and eliminates all corporate taxes.]
York Still Under Consideration for Terror Trial 14 Apr 2010 The
Obama administration is still considering New York City as a site for
a terror trial for suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks, said Attorney General
Eric Holder. "New York is not off the table," Holder said at
a hearing today of the Senate Judiciary Committee. President Barack Obama
and Holder announced in November a plan to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
FBI launch investigation as shocking footage of police beating a student provokes outrage across the U.S. --Students at the University of Maryland claimed police had been looking for trouble and picked on innocent bystanders. 15 April 2010 A shocking video of police beating a student has provoked outrage across America and led to a probe by the FBI into alleged police brutality. John McKenna is still recovering from his injuries after three officers clad in riot gear assaulted him with batons as he offered no resistance. The 21-year-old was beaten unconscious and needed eight staples put into a gaping wound on his skull.
California to Investigate Sarah Palin Speaking Contract --Attorney General Jerry Brown Wants to Know if University Officials Who Invited Palin Broke Laws 14 Apr 2010 California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. said late Tuesday his office will look into accusations that officials at a state university violated public records laws when they refused to reveal the financial details of a contract with former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to speak at an upcoming university fundraiser, and allegedly shredded documents related to the agreement.
Virginia 'Literacy Test' Victims: We Will Write Your Essays By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 14 April 2010 Calling all academics, journalists, bloggers, students, and concerned citizens! Virginia Governor Robert F. McDonnell, a deeply disturbed troglodyte whose candidacy should have *never* seen the light of day, yet alone affirmation, wants nonviolent felons to submit to a 'literacy test' in order to restore their rights as citizens... Should this 'literacy test' become law in Virginia, we - a team of academics, journalists, bloggers, students, and concerned citizens - will happily write essays (or required 'statements') for any nonviolent felon who seeks our help. [New Facebook group for this action - Join us! Virginia 'Literacy Test' Victims: We Will Write Your Essays.]
Election 2012: Barack Obama 42%, Ron Paul 41% 14 Apr 2010 Pit maverick Republican Congressman Ron Paul against President Obama in a hypothetical 2012 election match-up, and the race is - virtually dead even. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote.
Democrat Wins U.S. House Race in Florida 13 Apr 2010 A Democratic state senator on Tuesday handily won the first U.S. House race since Congress passed a massive health care overhaul, beating a decidedly underdog Republican who tried to use the backlash against the measure to pull an upset. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Florida state Sen. Ted Deutch had 62 percent of the vote compared to 35 percent for Republican Ed Lynch.
Fed Shouldn't Reveal Crisis Loans, Banks Vow to Tell High Court 14 Apr 2010 The biggest U.S. commercial banks will take their fight against disclosure of Federal Reserve lending in 2008 to the Supreme Court if necessary, the top lawyer for an industry-owned group said. Continued legal appeals will delay or block the first public look at details of the central bank's $2 trillion in emergency lending during the 2008 financial crisis. The Clearing House Association LLC, a group that includes Bank of America Corp. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., joined the Fed in defense of a lawsuit brought by Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, seeking release of records related to four Fed lending programs.
G.O.P. Takes Aim at Plans to Curb Finance Industry 13 Apr 2010 Drawing the lines for a fierce election-year battle over regulating the nation’s financial system, Senate Republicans on Tuesday insisted that legislation proposed by Democrats and the White House would only encourage future taxpayer bailouts of big banks. The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, criticized the Democrats’ plans to regulate Wall Street as arrogant and partisan... At a news conference, Mr. McConnell acknowledged his own support for the $700 billion bailout in 2008 when the Bush administration warned of an [their] imminent crisis. [And, when hypocritical piece of sh*t McConnell supported a big bailout under Bush, the plans weren't 'arrogant and partisan' because they were *Republican* plans. Not that the legislation is useful: Obusha is still providing cover for banking predators, but that's a separate issue. --LRP]
Plan Would Require Homeless to Work to Qualify for Rent Subsidies 13 Apr 2010 (NY) The Bloomberg administration is planning to require more homeless families to get jobs in order to qualify for rent subsidies, city officials said Tuesday. For the last three years, the city had provided certain homeless families with vouchers good for one or two years of free or steeply discounted rent. Now the Bloomberg regime is seeking to require that nearly all families have at least one member with a job before they receive a rent subsidy. Participants would also pay more toward their rent.
West Virginia governor asks underground coal mines to halt production for a day 15 Apr 2010 West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III (D) asked all underground coal mines in his state on Wednesday to halt production for one day, so that workers can review safety issues in the wake of the April 5 explosion that killed 29 miners south of Charleston. The governor's request for what he called a "Day of Honor and Mourning" on Friday would shut down one of the state's biggest industries, idling 290 underground mines.
Powerful earthquake in western China kills nearly 600 people and injures 10,000 15 Apr 2010 A series of strong earthquakes struck China's western Qinghai province yesterday, killing nearly 600 people and injuring thousands more. The quake, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale, struck an area in southern Qinghai, near Tibet. It was centred on Yushu county, a region with a population of about 100,000, mostly herders and farmers.
'He seemed to handle the tripod very well for a bear.' Polar bear steals tripod 14 Apr 2010 A polar bear protecting its privacy ran off with a photographer's tripod as a group took pictures in the Arctic. Peter Haworth, from Bristol, was with a group of Americans taking pictures of three polar bears at Kaktovik, on Barter Island off Alaska. One of the bears then began to run towards the group and they fled to the safety of their truck, leaving three tripods standing on the ice.
military playing expanded role in Pakistan --Officials: Elite trainers
number more than 100 12 Apr 2010 U.S. Special Operations Forces on
a 'training' mission in Pakistan are playing an expanded but largely unseen
role in the country's counterinsurgency campaign, working with paramilitary
units to "hold and build" tribal areas as militants are cleared. A Pentagon
proposal would deepen that role by creating a special
$10 million pool of funds the trainers could spend more quickly
Pakistani Airstrikes Kill 70 Civilians Instead of Militants --Pakistani Government Makes $125,000 Payments to Victims' Families 13 Apr 2010 A Pakistani airstrike has killed as many as 70 civilians, according to a local resident, one of the worst mistakes made by the Pakistani military in its war against militants along the Afghanistan border. The airstrikes occurred on Saturday afternoon when Pakistani jets twice bombed a house the military believed was hosting a tribal meeting of militants, according to the local resident, who declined to be identified.
US drone attack kills 5 in Pakistan 13 Apr 2010 At least five people have been killed in a US drone attack in the troubled North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan on the Afghan border. Several more people were injured when two missiles hit a nearby compound in Boya village, located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Miranshah. Security officials say the attack came in the tribal areas of North Waziristan near the Afghan border.
Iran urges UN inquiry into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan 13 Apr 2010 Iran's president has urged the UN to launch an investigation into the aims of Western military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. The office of Secretary General Ban ki-Moon said that it was studying the letter from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad but had no comment.
Military sources: New US commander for Iraq 12 Apr 2010 The senior U.S. general in Iraq since 2008, Gen. Ray Odierno, will be succeeded by a leading Pentagon general at the end of the summer, military officials said Monday. His replacement is Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin, the staff director for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the officials said.
Gates criticizes leak of Iraq killings 13 Apr 2010 Defense Secretary [war criminal] Robert Gates on Tuesday criticized the anonymous online posting of a video showing two journalists in Iraq getting gunned down by U.S. troops in 2007 as irresponsible and presenting a "soda straw" view of war... When asked whether recent incidents of civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan have undercut the U.S. position on human rights, Gates said no.
Blackwater is a busy little bee! Liquor store bombed in Baghdad, killing 3 13 Apr 2010 Militants planted a bomb in an eastern Baghdad liquor store on Tuesday, killing the Christian owner and two others, while a TV reporter had his legs blown off by a bomb attached to his car in scattered violence across the city. At noon in the neighborhood of Zayouna, attackers posing as customers left behind a black plastic bag filled with explosives. Three people died, seven were also wounded and nearby stores were damaged.
Four killed, 37 wounded in Iraq attacks 12 Apr 2010 A suicide bomber blew up a car in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on Monday killing a policeman and a civilian, as two soldiers were killed near Baghdad, security and medical officials said. A total of 37 people were wounded in the attacks, the first of which struck around 2 pm (1100 GMT) in the centre of Mosul, 350 kilometres (220 miles) north of the capital.
'Israel may drag US into new war' 12 Apr 2010 Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed fears that Israel may attempt to involve the US in a new aggression against Lebanon or the Gaza Strip. "Because of Israel's current disagreements with the US, the Israeli side could get the US involved in what is a 'crazy move,'" Berri was quoted as saying by Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat. He added that there were no guarantees that Israel would not start another war in the region.
Summit draft calls for securing all nuclear material in four years 13 Apr 2010 President Obama announced Tuesday that nations participating in a summit conference have agreed to secure all loose nuclear materials in four years as part of a broad effort to guard against the terrifying prospect of nuclear terrorism. "We have seized this opportunity, and because of the steps we've taken... the American people will be safer and the world will be more secure," Obama told a news conference at the end of the Nuclear Security Summit.
Ukraine Uranium Agreement Gives Obama Summit Result 13 Apr 2010 Ukraine’s agreement to relinquish its entire stockpile of highly enriched uranium gave President Barack Obama the first concrete result for a summit he convened on securing the world’s atomic material. Under the terms of the accord, Ukraine will dispose of roughly 90 kilograms of the uranium, "enough to construct several nuclear weapons," and convert nuclear research reactors to use lower grade fuel, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said.
Army to court martial 'birther' officer By Jim Miklaszewski and Mark Murray 13 Apr 2010 U.S. military officials tell NBC News that the U.S. Army will court martial a lieutenant colonel who refuses to deploy to Afghanistan because he considers orders from President Obama to be "illegal." Army doctor Lt. Col. Terry Lakin believes Obama does not meet the constitutional requirements to be president and commander-in-chief, because he believes (incorrectly) that Obama wasn't born in the United States.
Hutaree Militia Raided: Guns, Knives, Drugs, Gas Masks, Nazi Propaganda Uncovered, says FBI 13 Apr 2010 FBI raids on the self-proclaimed Christian militia group, Hutaree, uncovered more than guns and a plot to kill law enforcement - they also turned up Nazi propaganda, crack cocaine, and steroids, according to court papers released Monday. Federal agents say they also found gas masks, hand grenade instructions and schematics along with potassium chlorate.
Okla. tea parties and lawmakers envision militia 12 Apr 2010 Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty. Tea party movement leaders say they've discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force.
Judge tells Mississippi schools to stop segregating 13 Apr 2010 A U.S. judge on Tuesday ordered a rural Mississippi school district to comply with a nearly 40-year-old order and halt long-disputed practices that led to racial segregation in its schools. The Justice Department accused the Walthall County School District in rural Mississippi of annually permitting more than 300 students, most of them white, to transfer to a school outside of their residential area, shifting its racial makeup.
'Anti-vaccine messaging was very active.' WHO pandemic probe focuses on media, Internet role 13 Apr 2010 The Internet had a disruptive impact on the [corporaterrorists] handling of the flu pandemic by fanning speculation and rumours, officials said as a world health probe on Tuesday examined communications on swine flu. World Health Organisation influenza chief Keiji Fukuda told 29 health experts reviewing the international response to the pandemic that the Internet had added a new dimension to flu alerts over the past year. [Yup! It sure did.]
Cerberus to buy DynCorp for $1.5 billion 13 Apr 2010 DynCorp International, a Falls Church-based government contractor that does work for the military in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Monday that it has agreed to be acquired by private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management in a deal valued at $1.5 billion. The agreement has been approved by DynCorp's board of directors but requires a vote by the company's investors.
Washington Mutual created 'mortgage time bomb,' Senate panel says 13 Apr 2010 Before Washington Mutual collapsed in the largest bank failure in U.S. history, its executives knowingly created a "mortgage time bomb" by making subprime loans they knew were likely to go bad and then packaging them into risky securities, a congressional investigation has found. In some cases, the bank took loans in which it had discovered fraudulent activity -- such as misstated income by borrowers -- and rolled them into mortgage securities sold to investors without disclosing the fraud, according to the report released Monday by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.
Specter denies endorsement deal for Supreme Court confirmations --Santorum stands by his claim that 2004 endorsement of Specter came with condition 11 Apr 2010 Sen. Arlen Specter and former Sen. Rick Santorum -- political allies during their tenures in Congress -- were in dual damage control mode Sunday after Santorum told conference goers that in 2004, he and former President [sic] George Bush endorsed Specter in the Pennsylvania Republican primary against Pat Toomey after Specter pledged support for Bush's Supreme Court nominees.
Sarah Palin's Secret Contract Demands: Big Jets and Bendable Straws --Read Contract Fished Out of a California University Dumpster By Angry Students 13 Apr 2010 Six pages of the contract Palin's handlers sent to Cal State Stanislaus were unearthed in a dumpster by students there this week, and one of the many requirements that must be met for the former vice presidential hopeful: two unopened bottles of still water and "bendable straws" must be waiting on a wooden lectern. That was just one item among the pages of elaborate demands that must be met to land a contract for Palin to come speak at an event.
Sarah Palin Has Earned an Estimated $12 Million Since July 13 Apr 2010 ...The monetary advantages of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin leaving her $125,000-a-year public service post are beyond dispute. Since leaving office at the end of July 2009, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee has brought in at least 100 times her old salary – a haul now estimated at more than $12 million -- through television and book deals and a heavy schedule of speaking appearances worth five and six figures.
Ahmadinejad urges Ban to probe 9/11 attacks --Several times Ahmadinejad has questioned accepted version of Al-Qaeda strikes on New York and Washington which killed nearly 3,000 people 12 Apr 2010 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has written to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, asking him to launch an investigation into the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, news reports said on Monday. "The minimum expectation from your excellency is to set up an independent and trusted fact-finding group to comprehensively investigate the real factors behind September 11," Ahmadinejad said in the text of the letter carried by official news agencies.
Al-Qaeda trying to secure nuclear weapons, says Barack Obama 12 Apr 2010 Al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] is trying to secure material for nuclear weapons and would have "no compunction in using them", President Barack Obama warned, as he welcomed leaders for the largest gathering in the US since the Second World War. The US president has set himself the mission of convincing fellow leaders from 45 nations that they faced the same threat and to establish a plan to secure every ounce of the world's nuclear weapons-grade fuel. "The single biggest threat to US security, both short-term, medium-term and long-term, would be the possibility of a terrorist organisation obtaining a nuclear weapon," Mr Obama said. [It's already happened.]
National Guard Supports Nuclear Summit 12 Apr 2010 The National Guard is helping civilian authorities to protect 46 heads of government and international organizations at the largest domestic summit since the founding of the United Nations. President Barack Obama is hosting 43 heads of state and three heads of international organizations for the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held here through tomorrow. National Guard soldiers and airmen are among those supporting civilian authorities in the largest security operation here since Obama's inauguration, when about 10,000 Guard members were on hand.
The 'Obama doctrine': kill, don't detain --George Bush left a big problem in the shape of Guantánamo. The solution? Don't capture bad guys, assassinate by drone By Asim Qureshi 11 Apr 2010 The lawyers for the Guantánamo detainees with whom I am in touch in the US speak of their dismay as they prepare for Obama to do the one thing they never expected - to send the detainees back to the military commissions - a decision that will lose Obama all support he once had within the human rights community. Worse still, a completely new trend has emerged that, in many ways, is more dangerous than the trends under Bush. Extrajudicial killings and targeted assassinations will soon become the main point of contention that Obama's administration will need to justify. Although Bush was known for his support for such policies, the extensive use of drones under Obama have taken the death count well beyond anything that has been seen before.
NATO troops kill Afghan civilians, sparking protest 12 Apr 2010 Four civilians were killed and 18 wounded Monday when NATO troops fired on a bus in Afghanistan, sparking a furious protest and shouts of "death to America", officials and witnesses said. Gunshots rang out after the shooting in the volatile southern province Kandahar, while witnesses reported hearing an explosion. "In this incident four passengers were martyred and 18 others were injured," Afghan interior ministry said in a statement...
Civilians Killed as U.S. Troops Fire on Afghan Bus 12 Apr 2010 American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing and wounding civilians, and igniting angry anti-American demonstrations in a city where winning over Afghan support is pivotal to the war effort. The shooting, which killed as many as five civilians and wounded 18, occurred on the eve of the most important offensive of the war.
Blasts, gunfire rock S Afghanistan 12 Apr 2010 A strong explosion rocked Afghanistan's southern city of Kandahar as the country's security forces foil a terror attack on local intelligence service offices. The blast followed by continued gunfire came at round 1:00 p.m. (0830 GMT) on Monday when three militants wearing explosive-laden vests tried to enter the National Directorate for Security (NDS) compound in the city.
Helmand governor seizes Italian medics for alleged assassination plot --Key ally of UK claims staff of hospital run by charity were planning to kill him on orders of Taliban 11 Apr 2010 The British-backed governor of Helmand today launched an extraordinary attack on three Italian medical workers who were arrested in the province on Saturday after suicide bomb vests were found in their compound. Gulab Mangal said the three Italians, who have not been named but who worked as a doctor, a nurse and a logistics officer, had been plotting to assassinate him on the orders of Taliban leaders in Pakistan.
Italian medics 'in suicide plot to kill Afghan governor' 12 Apr 2010 Three Italian medical workers are among nine suspects who have been detained over an alleged suicide bomb plot to kill an Afghan governor. They were arrested after suicide bomb vests, hand grenades, pistols and explosives were found in a hospital store-room in Lashkar Gah, the capital of the southern province of Helmand.
US violates UN law by threatening Iran 12 Apr 2010 Iran's envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog says the US nuclear policy which allows the use of nuclear arms against Tehran is a clear violation of the UN Charter. Speaking on Monday, Ali-Asghar Soltanieh called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to deal with the US violations. The US Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) purportedly restricts the use of its nuclear arms against most non-atomic states, except Iran and North Korea, which are accused by the US of seeking nuclear weapons. [And, Israel's 300 nukes?]
Iran to complete 'Peace Pipeline' 12 Apr 2010 Tehran is to start in early May the design and construction of the remaining part of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline on Iranian soil, a gas official says. The Head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company told Shana newswire on Sunday that a consultant would be chosen in the near future for the remaining part of the pipeline, also known as the 'Peace Pipeline'.
Israeli groups fight orders allowing army to jail West Bank residents --Israeli human rights campaigners claim Palestinians or foreigners could be labelled infiltrators 12 Apr 2010 Israel's leading human rights groups are trying to stop two new Israeli military orders which will make any resident of the occupied West Bank who does not have an Israeli-issued permit liable for deportation or jail. The new Order Regarding Prevention of Infiltration and Order Regarding Security Provisions, which comes into force on Tuesday have "severe ramifications," the rights groups say. Palestinians, and any foreigners living in the West Bank, could be labelled infiltrators and deported within 72 hours or jailed for seven years if they are found without the correct permit.
Britain's BAE Systems tops international list of biggest arms groups 12 Apr 2010 A British company has become the largest arms dealer in the world, with £21billion in weapons sales. Defence group BAE Systems is the first company outside the U.S. to reach the position, thanks to a deal with the Pentagon for mine-resistant vehicles to be used in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a defence think tank, the former British Aerospace group's arms sales are ahead of American market leaders Lockheed Martin and Boeing.
Secret pact covered jurisdiction of U.S. military crimes committed in Japan --Professor: Japan's abandonment of the right to try members of U.S. forces for offenses committed during off-duty hours could be considered to still apply under current status of forces agreement 10 Apr 2010 In a 1958 secret agreement with the United States, the Japanese government effectively ceded the right to try U.S. military personnel for crimes committed in Japan, Foreign Ministry sources said Saturday. The revelation comes on the heels of reports of the existence of several secret security-related agreements between Japan and the United States.
WHO admits shortcomings in handling flu pandemic --World Bank: Countries spent $4 billion on pandemic preparedness plans 12 Apr 2010 The World Health Organization conceded shortcomings on Monday in its handling of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic... Critics have said the WHO created panic about the swine flu virus, which turned out to be moderate in its effect, and caused governments to stockpile vaccines which went unused. Some questioned its links to the pharmaceutical industry after companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi-Aventis profited from producing H1N1 vaccine.
Homeland Security Seeks Bio-Agent Sniffing Cell Phones 12 Apr 2010 Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate want to use cell phones to detect threats that might be coordinated using wireless chit-chat. Their new program, called 'Cell-All,' would embed inexpensive, chemical-sniffing microchips into cellular telephones. If a dangerous level of air-based toxin is detected, the phone would issue a warning ring (or vibration) to alert the owner -- while also sending a message to a centralized military monitoring station.
Details Emerge in Al Qaeda Plot on NYC Subway System 12 Apr 2010 A fourth suspect in the alleged plot to blow up New York City subways has reportedly revealed shocking details about the plan involving Najibullah Zazi, MyFoxNY.com reported. The Queens native and two high school friends were planning to detonate explosives attached to their bodies at Grand Central and Times Square stations during rush hour, according to the NY Daily News.
AP: NYC terror probe nabs 4th in Pakistan 12 Apr 2010 A fourth suspect in a disrupted plot to bomb New York City subways has been arrested in Pakistan, law enforcement officials said Monday. The principal suspect in the case, Najibullah Zazi, has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with investigators, key developments that prosecutors hope will help them trace the plot back to its roots in Pakistan, where Zazi and former friends from high school allegedly traveled in 2008 to seek terror training.
6 charged with left-wing terrorism in Greece 12 Apr 2010 A Greek prosecutor on Monday charged six people with membership in the country's most active far-left terrorist group, which has claimed a string of bombings and a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Athens. The five men and one woman were also charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, causing explosions, and arms offenses linked with the Revolutionary Struggle organization.
Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI 11 Apr 2010 Richard Dawkins, the atheist campaigner, is planning a legal ambush to have the Pope arrested during his state visit to Britain "for crimes against humanity". Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the atheist author, have asked human rights lawyers to produce a case for charging Pope Benedict XVI over his alleged cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic church.
Coal Company Had Twice Settled Court Cases By Promising Safety Upgrades 12 Apr 2010 Over the past two years, controversial coal boss Don Blankenship has twice agreed to courtroom settlements requiring his company to clean up a checkered safety record, yet federal documents show Massey Energy mines continued to rack up serious violations in advance of the explosion that killed 29 miners this week.
Judge denies insurers' request for injunction 12 Apr 2010 (MA) Suffolk Superior Court Judge Stephen E. Neel today denied a request by six health insurers to allow them to implement double-digit premium rate increases for tens of thousands of small businesses and individuals. Neel's decision not to grant an injunction sought by the insurers means the state Division of Insurance's rejection of 235 proposed rate hikes stands for now.
Greece to Receive 30bn Euros For Bail Out 12 Apr 2010 Eurozone countries have announced a 30bn euro (£26bn) aid package of loans to help debt-ridden Greece. Finance ministers from the 16 countries agreed on Sunday to a three-year bail out programme with interest rates of around 5%. The deal comes after the euro fell sharply last week and the yield on Greek 10-year bonds hit 7.5% - the highest level since 1998.
Dow ends above 11,000 for first time in 18 months 12 Apr 2010 The Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 11,000 for the first time in a year and a half on investors' rising hopes about the economy. The Dow edged up about 9 points Monday to almost 11,006. The Standard & Poor's 500 index came within a point of hitting its own milestone of 1,200 during trading but closed just short of that mark.
Florida ordinance targets people who give to beggars and peddlers 12 Apr 2010 (Oakland Park, FL) Citing traffic safety concerns, officials in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of 42,000 tentatively approved an ordinance targeting not only panhandlers and peddlers, but the people who give to them or buy something from them. Under the ordinance initially passed last month, anyone who responds to a beggar with money or any "article of value" or buys flowers or a newspaper from someone on the street would face a fine of $50 to $100 and as many as 90 days in jail.
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