February 2010 Archives, Page Two
US Congress extends anti-terrorism laws 26 Feb 2010 US lawmakers voted Thursday to extend key parts of the Patriot Act law enacted after the September 11th attacks without adding privacy safeguards sought by the White House's Democratic allies. The US House of Representatives, following the Senate, voted 315-97 to renew the counter-terrorism tools, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama to sign into law. Lawmakers extended authorities' power to use roving wiretaps to track an individual on several telephones; to track a non-US national suspected of being "lone-wolf" terrorist not tied to an extremist group; and to seize personal records seen as critical to an investigation.
Iraq to Rehire 20,000 Army Officers Who Served Under Saddam Hussein 25 Feb 2010 The Iraqi government said Thursday that it would reinstate 20,000 army officers who served under Saddam Hussein, a surprising move given that Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has focused his campaign in the coming parliamentary elections around denouncing the former Baath government. Mohammed al-Askari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said the prime minister approved the reinstatement of the officers, which he said would begin immediately.
Blackwater guards stole weapons in Kabul and went on deadly rampage 25 Feb 2010 Private American security guards working for the US military in Afghanistan removed hundreds of handguns and automatic weapons from stores intended for the exclusive use of the Afghan police and used them on drunken shooting rampages that killed two Afghan civilians and injured at least two more. The guards included a former US Marine with a criminal record of assault and battery and a former soldier discharged from the US Army after testing positive for cocaine, Congress heard yesterday. Justin Cannon, Christopher Drotleff and a guard using the name "Eric Cartman" from the cartoon South Park were employees of a subsidiary of the Blackwater Worldwide group, implicated in a litany of extrajudicial shootings since 2003 in Afghanistan and Iraq. [Here is the deal. It's time to admit that the actual enemy is not the Taliban but is *Blackwater.* Soon, this terrorist organization, backed entirely by the US government, will be too big to destroy and will be used to quell uprisings on US soil. --LRP]
Afghan police training contracts likely to go to Blackwater and Lockheed By Laura Rozen 25 Feb 2010 Former officials familiar with the deal say that Blackwater is likely to get a Defense Department-issued contract worth several hundred million dollars to train and mentor the Afghan police. The police training contract, known as TORP 150, is supposed to be decided next month, and the company has not been officially notified that it will get it. But the only competing bid for the police training contract, submitted by Northrop with MPRI, has been disqualified, a former official knowledgeable about the contract said.
MoD accused of cover-up after troop data reclassified --Figures on personnel shortages deemed secret after fears over security 26 Feb 2010 Military chiefs were accused of a disgraceful cover-up last night as it was revealed that figures for troop shortages have been quietly reclassified as secret. With the army in particular maintaining a demanding tempo of battle in Afghanistan, several specialist trades such as medics have had to cope with a shortfall in their numbers. Yet the Ministry of Defence said last night that the public would no longer be privy to just how low numbers in certain regiments are.
Suicide bomber hits Kabul, two others shot dead 26 Feb 2010 A suicide bomber blew himself up in the heart of Kabul today and another two would-be attackers were shot dead by police. "A suicide bomber detonated himself in front of a kebab shop near the Safi Landmark," Interior Ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary said, referring to an upmarket shopping and hotel complex in the Shar-I-Naw area of central Kabul. "Two other suicide bombers were shot dead by police in the same area," he added.
Explosions shake Afghan capital Kabul 25 Feb 2010 Two huge explosions shook Afghanistan's capital early Friday, wounding at least five people, a hospital coordinator said. The blast erupted near the Safi Landmark Hotel in the neighborhood of Shahr-E-Naw, where there are a number of government buildings and U.N. offices as well as supermarkets, banks, diplomatic facilities and villas for well-to-do Afghans.
Soldier and Airman Killed In Afghanistan 25 Feb 2010 A soldier from The Rifles and an airman from the Royal Air Force Regiment have been killed in separate incidents in Afghanistan. The soldier, from A Company, 4th Battalion, The Rifles, died today as a result of small arms fire near Sangin in Helmand Province. Earlier an airman from 2 Squadron, RAF Regiment, part of the Kandahar Airfield Defence Force, died following an explosion during a vehicle-mounted patrol 4km (2.5 miles) north of Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar province.
US offered Rigi 'extensive aid' for Iran attacks 25 Feb 2010 The captured ringleader of the Jundallah terrorist group, Abdolmalek Rigi, has confessed that the US administration had assured him of unlimited military aid and funding for waging an insurgency against the Islamic Republic of Iran. The following is the detailed transcript of Rigi's confession, stated in Farsi, as broadcasted on Press TV. "After Obama was elected, the Americans contacted us and they met me in Pakistan.They met us after clashes with my group around March 17 in (the southeastern city of) Zahedan, and he (the US operative) said that Americans had requested a meeting."
Iran arrests most wanted man after police board civilian flight --Iran forced down a civilian airliner on Tuesday to arrest the leader of a terrorist group it claims is backed by Britain, Israel and the United States. 23 Feb 2010 Abdol Malek Rigi, Iran's most wanted man, was shown by television cameras being hauled off a jet in handcuffs by four men wearing balaclavas. Officials were vague about the details of the arrest, but state media said Rigi had been on board a flight from Dubai to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, after visiting a US military base in Afghanistan. Iran's intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, claimed that Rigi, the leader of the Sunni terror group Jundullah, had been at the US base 24 hours before his arrest.
rejects Iran claims of links to Sunni rebel group
25 Feb 2010 The Pentagon on Thursday rejected accusations by Iran of U.S.
backing for a
Israel digs in over 'Mossad' hit on Hamas militant 26 Feb 2010 Israel is steadfastly clinging to its position of neither confirming nor denying involvement in the assassination last month of Hamas militant Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. As Australia joins several other countries in protesting against the use of fake passports in the hit, Israel insists there is no proof linking it to the Dubai murder of January 20. Dubai police say they are "99 per cent certain" that Israel's intelligence agency Mossad was behind the murder of Mabhouh and several foreign countries have indicated they believe it was Israel by calling in the Israeli ambassadors in their country.
Australia warns Israel over passport abuse 25 Feb 2010 Australia warned Israel today that its alleged use of fraudulent Australian passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas militant was not considered the "act of a friend". In the most robust international response yet to the Dubai killing, Stephen Smith, the Foreign Minister, summoned the Israel ambassador to demand his co-operation into the murder in a Dubai luxury hotel.
cleared to sue federal government 25 Feb 2010 Former Guantanamo
Marine Special Operations Command, UNC to share expertise and research on national security 25 Feb 2010 The Marine Corps' elite units are teaming with one of North Carolina's main universities to improve training on national security issues. The partnership will allow professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and personnel at the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command at Camp Lejeune to share information, research and expertise in national security issues. UNC and the Marines will sign the partnership on Thursday afternoon at the Marine base.
Congress extends Patriot Act, no new protections 25 Feb 2010 Legislation to extend expiring provisions of the anti-terror USA Patriot Act won final congressional approval on Thursday, with DemocRATs unable to add additional civil liberties protections. On vote of 315-97, the House of Representatives approved the bill, a day after it cleared the Senate. It now heads to President Barack Obama to sign into law.
Pentagon Discloses Hundreds of Reports of Possibly Illegal Intelligence Activities By Nate Cardozo 25 Feb 2010 The Department of Defense has released more than 800 heavily-redacted pages of intelligence oversight reports, detailing activities that its Inspector General has "reason to believe are unlawful..." This new release, from various Defense components including the Army and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, comes in four parts. Much of the reported improper activity consisted of intelligence gathering on so-called "U.S. Persons," including citizens, permanent residents and U.S.-based organizations. Although Defense agencies are generally prohibited from collecting such information (except as part of foreign intelligence or counter-intelligence activity), it is apparent from the unredacted reports released to EFF that some DoD components have had chronic difficulty complying with that prohibition.
DNA Deception By Emily Ramshaw 22 Feb 2010 (TX) When state health officials were sued last year for storing infant blood samples without parental consent, they said it was for medical research into birth defects, childhood cancer and environmental toxins. They never said they were turning over hundreds of dried blood samples to the federal government to help build a vast DNA database... A Texas Tribune review of nine years' worth of e-mails and internal documents on the Department of State Health Services’ newborn blood screening program reveals the transfer of hundreds of infant blood spots to an Armed Forces lab to build a national and, someday, international mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) registry.
Pleads Guilty in Katrina Killing Probe 25 Feb 2010 In Hurricane
H1N1 shot blamed for Calgary woman's rare disorder 24 Feb 2010 A Calgary woman regrets getting the H1N1 shot after her doctor told her it likely caused a rare and painful disorder. Soon after getting the shot last winter, Norma Goldring felt ill... "By the time I got to emergency, it spread pretty bad and turned to blisters." Her kidneys were shutting down. Doctors eventually diagnosed it as vasculitis, an inflammation that destroys blood vessels. Her doctor, who asked not to be named, concluded it was probably connected to the H1N1 shot.
Virtually Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot: CDC 25 Feb 2010 All Americans 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot each year, a panel of U.S. advisers is recommending. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Wednesday to expand the current recommendations on who should get a flu shot to include almost everyone. [No one wants the pharmaterrorists' squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced deadly flu vaccines, or their lab-generated pandemics that precede them.]
Obama ends health summit promising to move ahead 25 Feb 2010 President Barack Obama is asking Republicans to do some "soul-searching" to help them settle on what ideas they can agree to extend health insurance to the 30 million people without it. Closing a daylong health summit with Republican and Democratic lawmakers, Obama said there is no time for another year of debate on the issue. Republicans have insisted that he scrap Democratic bills and start anew. [Oh, btw. In the Health Care Circle-jerk, I noticed that the only people that Obusha castigated were the progressives. --LRP]
Liberals haven't given up on the public option 25 Feb 2010 Some liberals refuse to let the public option die, even as Democratic leaders have given up on it. Progressive groups and two liberal House members insisted during a Thursday morning conference call that enough support exists to include it in health reform. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said he thinks all but maybe one of the Democratic senators at the health-care summit actually support a public option. He’s frustrated, though, that President Barack Obama didn't include the public option in the health proposal he released Monday.
may cave on consumer protection agency --Administration may also compromise
on regulating banks' risky behavior 25 Feb 2010 The Obama administration
is no longer insisting on the creation of a stand-alone consumer protection
agency as a central element of the plan to remake regulation of the financial
system... The administration may also
New Home Sales Drop 11 Percent In January --Level Is Lowest In Nearly Half A Century 24 Feb 2010 Sales of new homes plunged to a record low in January, underscoring the formidable challenges facing the housing industry as it tries to recover from the worst slump in decades. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new home sales dropped 11.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 309,000 units, the lowest level on records going back nearly a half century.
Toyota troubles could mean redemption for Minn. man sent to prison for 8 years in fatal crash --Prosecutor who sent man to prison thinks case merits another look 25 Feb 2010 Ever since his 1996 Toyota Camry shot up an interstate ramp, plowing into the back of an Oldsmobile in a horrific crash that killed three people, Koua Fong Lee insisted he had done everything he could to stop the car. A jury didn't believe him, and a judge sentenced him to eight years in prison. But now, new revelations of safety problems with Toyotas have Lee pressing to get his case reopened and his freedom restored.
Zoo Little Cutie! Baby Antelope Born 22 Feb 2010 (UK) Standing at only a few centimetres tall, this tiny newborn antelope is already making a big impact at Chester Zoo. (must-see pics)
Contractors outnumber full-time workers at DHS; lawmakers 'astounded' --200,000 contractors outnumber civilian work force of Homeland Security 24 Feb 2010 The Department of Homeland Security has more contractors working for it than full-time employees, a situation two members of Congress said Tuesday was "unacceptable, untenable and unsustainable." Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking Republican Susan Collins said they were "astounded" to learn there are more than 200,000 contractor employees at the department. The civilian work force of Homeland Security numbers 188,000, according to an estimate provided to the senators by Homeland Security.
briefed 68 lawmakers on torture program 23 Feb 2010 CIA officials
briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on
MI5 and MI6 not to be investigated over torture claims --MI5 and MI6 will not be investigated over allegations they were complicit in the torture of terror suspects abroad, the Attorney General has decided. 23 Feb 2010 Baroness Scotland considered the cases following a report by the pressure group Human Rights Watch, published last November. In a statement released yesterday the Attorney General’s department said the time taken to respond reflected "careful consideration of the report."
Iraqi parliamentarian won't campaign, fears U.S. assassination attempt 24 Feb 2010 Abu Mahdi al-Mohandas is one of more than 6,000 candidates who are running in the Iraqi parliamentary elections next month, but he's probably the only contender who won't set foot on the campaign trail for fear of a U.S. assassination attempt. "I was told, officially, by the speaker of parliament and a high-ranking Iraqi official that it's preferable I don't show up before the election because they couldn't assure I would be protected," al-Mohandas told McClatchy Newspapers in a rare, two-hour telephone interview Wednesday from Tehran, Iran. "Since 2005, the Americans have conveyed a message through an Iraqi mediator that they'll kidnap or assassinate me."
Iran to reveal evidence of Jundallah ties with US 23 Feb 2010 Iran says it has irrefutable evidence confirming that terrorist ringleader Abdolmalek Rigi had been aided and abetted by the US government before his arrest. The leader of the Jundallah terrorist group was on a flight from the United Arab Emirates to Kyrgyzstan when he was tracked down by Iranian security forces on Tuesday. An informed source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Press TV that Rigi and one of his deputies were captured after Iranian security forces forced their plane to land at an airport in the Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas. Iranian security forces said he was at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his capture and had a forged Afghan passport issued by the US in his possession when he was detained.
Dubai Hamas assassination: 12 suspects carried British passports --Dubai police have named a further six Britons whose cloned passports were used in the killing of a top Hamas agent last month, as they raised the number of those involved in the assassination to 26. 25 Feb 2010 An emailed police statement said an additional 15 people using western passports were thought to have played a role in the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a[n alleged] leading arms buyer for Hamas. As well as the six using British passports, three had French passports, three Irish and three Australian. Five of the 15 were women.
Blackwater workers took police assault rifles, hearing told --Employees of American defence contractor Blackwater took more than 500 assault rifles intended for Afghan police force 24 Feb 2010 Employees of American defence contractor Blackwater took more than 500 assault rifles that were intended for the Afghan police force and routinely carried weapons without permission, it emerged in a hearing of the Senate armed services committee today. It also emerged that to shed its sullied reputation and win contracting business in Afghanistan, Blackwater created what one senator called a shell company.
Senate slams US Army on Blackwater 24 Feb 2010 The US Army's careless supervision of private security firm Blackwater allowed its employees to use weapons without authorization in Afghanistan, a Senate inquiry says. Following a month-long probe, the Senate's Armed Service Committee revealed Tuesday that the US Army had put a blind eye to the activities of Blackwater now known as Xe Services in Afghanistan. "Blackwater operated in Afghanistan without sufficient oversight or supervision and with almost no consideration of the rules it was legally obligated to follow," Senator Carl Levin, the committee's chairman said.
Nato admits that deaths of 8 boys were a mistake 25 Feb 2010 A night-time raid in eastern Afghanistan in which eight schoolboys from one family were killed was carried out on the basis of faulty intelligence and should never have been authorised, a Times investigation has found. Ten children and teenagers died when troops stormed a remote mountain compound near the border with Pakistan in December.
Army must recruit more than 100,000 soldiers to continue Afghan fighting --Military chiefs say more troops needed for conflict 24 Feb 2010 Army chiefs insist that thousands more soldiers need to be recruited if Britain is to continue fighting in operations such as Afghanistan. The force, a senior army source said yesterday, should be increased by 7 per cent to around 108,000 troops. It has been acknowledged for some time that the British Army's commitment in Helmand province, as well as previous operations in Iraq, has left it overstretched.
US toll in Afghanistan war reaches 1,000 --The US death toll in Afghanistan has reached 1,000 with the number of soldiers killed doubling since last year. 23 Feb 2010 The icasualties.org website, which tracks military deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq, said 54 US soldiers had died in the war so far this year, as the coalition tries to regain momentum in its eight-year campaign. It was the worst toll for two consecutive months since the US-led invasion of 2001 and compared with a toll of 30 in the same period last year.
US military: Soldier dies in Iraq in accident 23 Feb 2010 The U.S. military says an American soldier has died in an accident in western Baghdad. According to a statement released by the U.S. military, the soldier died in a vehicle related accident on Tuesday.
Despite Taliban activity in Helmand, NATO won't alter Kandahar plans 24 Feb 2010 Although the publicity-heavy military strategy NATO adopted ahead of its ongoing offensive in Helmand province allowed the Taliban time to plant "hundreds" of makeshift bombs that are slowing troop progress, a similar operation planned in Canadian-led Kandahar province will largely use the same tactic, its commander says. The Canadian commander of the coalition's Task Force Kandahar, Brigadier-General Daniel Ménard, said troops in Helmand have come across about 400 or 500 of the improvised explosive devices in 10 days since the start of the big attack, dubbed Operation Moshtarak.
Latin America creates bloc sans US [Awesome!] 23 Feb 2010 Latin America and Caribbean leaders united Tuesday to create a regional bloc excluding Canada and the United States... Bolivian President Evo Morales, one of Hugo Chavez's strongest allies, suggested that Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was a U.S. agent sent to sabotage the bloc. "What's my conclusion?" Morales said. "Since we are debating a new organization without the United States, the agents of the United States have come to bog this down to make this event fail."
Greek Police, Protesters Clash in Nationwide Strike 24 Feb 2010 Greek police fired tear-gas and clashed with demonstrators in central Athens after a march organized by unions to oppose Prime Minister George Papandreou’s drive to cut the European Union’s biggest budget deficit. Hooded youths threw rocks, marble and other objects at riot police after the march today to the country’s Parliament building. At least one person was detained.
Explosive News 22 Feb 2010 A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center. "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards," says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth. Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry. [See also: CLG 9/11 Exposition Zone.]
High school friends of confessed subway bomb plotter will face more terror charges --Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday more people were directly involved in Zazi's plan to bomb the subway system last year. 24 Feb 2010 Two high school pals of confessed subway bomb plotter Najibullah Zazi will face more charges now that he's talking to the feds, the Daily News has learned. Flushing High School friends Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay are already charged in connection with Zazi's trip to an Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] training camp in Pakistan in 2008. It's unclear what additional charges they may face when they appear in Brooklyn Federal Court tomorrow.
Senate set to extend Patriot Act without new restrictions By Josh Rogin 23 Feb 2010 The Senate is preparing to bring up and pass a short-term extension of some key provisions of the Patriot Act, setting aside changes to the law that were carefully negotiated by a Senate committee last fall. The Judiciary Committee approved a bill last October that would extend key provisions of the controversial law but add new restrictions to the use of so-called national security letters, a procedure used by the FBI to demand records from U.S. businesses. But according to leading senators, those new restrictions might have to wait for another year.
Australia to use face-scanning and fingerprints to combat terrorism --Australia plans to fingerprint and face-scan visitors from 10 high-risk countries in an attempt to combat terrorism, which has become a "permanent" threat to the country. 23 Feb 2010 Unveiling the government's long-awaited white paper on counter-extremism, Kevin Rudd, the prime minister, said Australia was also concerned about the rising threat from home-grown militancy, just one week after five Sydney men received long jail terms for planning a violent jihad attack. Under the plans, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship would begin collecting the fingerprints and facial images this year, and cross-check them with immigration and law enforcement databases in Australia and overseas.
Full-body scanner arriving at O'Hare --Civil liberties groups call machines an unacceptable intrusion 23 Feb 2010 The first full-body scanner is finally set to arrive at O'Hare International Airport next week... When the scanner begins operating in early March, randomly selected local passengers will be confronted with the option of going through the revealing imaging devices or being subjected to a pat-down. The scanner will be installed at United Airlines' Terminal 1 within the next two weeks, Jim Fotenos, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration, said Tuesday.
Federal judge orders school district to stop spying on students 24 Feb 2010 A Pennsylvania school district has been ordered to disable equipment allowing officials [possible pedophiles] to watch students using cameras on their laptops. The order, issued Wednesday by a federal judge, will prevent school administrators from turning on cameras installed on students' school-issued laptops remotely [and watch them getting undressed]. The move arrives at the request of a Lower Merion family, which claimed school officials were wrong to activate the camera, snap a photo of their son and confront him about its contents.
Heads up! Panel recommends annual flu vaccinations for all 24 Feb 2010 A government panel is now recommending that virtually all Americans get a flu shot each year, starting this fall. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices had gradually been expanding its recommendation for flu shots - 85 percent of Americans were already included. On Wednesday, the panel voted to recommend a seasonal flu vaccination for everyone except babies younger than 6 months and those with egg allergies or other unusual conditions. The panel's recommendation now goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Leaked ACTA Draft Treaty Reveals Plans for Net Clampdown --Proposal makes ISPs (Internet service providers) liable under civil law for content their subscribers upload or download using their networks 19 Feb 2010 The U.S., Europe and other countries are secretly drawing up rules designed to crack down on copyright abuse on the Internet, in part by making ISPs liable for illegal content, according to a copy of part of the confidential draft agreement that was seen by the IDG News Service. It is the latest in a series of leaks from the anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA) talks that have been going on for the past two years.
Gag me with a chainsaw: Obusha gave a press conference to announce that he's a big fan of the 'free' market and NOT a socialist. Well, that's five minutes of my life I'll never get back. Birthers: Please find (or fabricate) a Kenyan birth certificate so that we can get a real progressive to run in 2012. -LRP
Doctors' group: Obama plan leaves millions uninsured, boosts private insurers (PNHP) 24 Feb 2010 President Obama's health care proposal, preserving as it does a central role for the for-profit, private health insurance industry, is incapable of achieving the kind of universal, comprehensive and affordable reform the country needs, a spokesman for a national doctors' group said Wednesday. "Regrettably, the president's proposal is built on some of the worst aspects of the Senate bill," said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, an organization of 17,000 doctors who support a single-payer, Medicare-for-All approach to reform.
With social crisis mounting: Record demand for heating assistance in US By Tom Eley 24 Feb 2010 With the number of US households requesting home heating assistance reaching a record for the third consecutive year, state officials have warned that they may begin to refuse further applications unless Congress allocates more money for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. Over 8.8 million households will have received heating assistance by winter’s end, up from 7.7 million last year and 5.7 million in 2008, according to a new report from the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association (NEADA).
Senate Approves $15 Billion Jobs Bill 24 Feb 2010 The Senate on Wednesday easily approved a $15 billion plan to spur job creation, a vote that lawmakers hoped would show that they were taking steps to improve the nation’s employment outlook. The coalition that passed the relatively modest measure by 70 to 28 included 55 Democrats, 2 independents and 13 Republicans. Democratic leaders said they hoped to follow up with other measures that would encourage small businesses to expand and would provide assistance to those who remain out of work.
Vermont Senate wants leaking nuclear reactor shut in 2012 24 Feb 2010 The Vermont Senate said on Wednesday it has voted to shut Entergy Corp's Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant when its license expires in 2012, after a leak releasing radioactive tritium into the groundwater was discovered last month. While the Obama administration advocates a nuclear revival, opponents of Vermont Yankee have used the leak to show Entergy is not operating the reactor safely and that it license should not be renewed.
The region is said to compare with the well-documented 'great Pacific garbage patch'. Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean 24 Feb 2010 Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch". Karen Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association told the BBC that the issue of plastics had been "largely ignored" in the Atlantic.
Deaths from Runaway Toyotas Put at 39 by Investigators --"If the Camry and the Prius were airplanes, they would be grounded," says House Committee Chairman 24 Feb 2010 As the CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, took his place at a Congressional hearing, the committee chairman said the death toll from runaway Toyotas had reached 39. "To give that horrifying number some perspective, there were 27 deaths attributed to the famous Pinto exploding gas tank of the 1970s," said Rep. Edolphus Towns, D.-N.Y., chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. "In short, if the Camry and the Prius were airplanes, they would be grounded," said Towns in his opening statement.
U.S. plans for possible delay in Iraq withdrawal 23 Feb 2010 The U.S. military has prepared contingency plans to delay the planned withdrawal of all combat forces in Iraq, citing the prospects for political instability and increased violence as Iraqis hold national 'elections' next month. Under a deadline set by President Obama, all combat forces are slated to withdraw from Iraq by the end of August, and there remains heavy political pressure in Washington and Baghdad to stick to that schedule. But Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Monday that he had briefed officials in Washington in the past week about possible contingency plans.
Israel turns to US for backup plan against Iran 23 Feb 2010 After failing to win support in Russia for tough sanctions against Iran, Israel turns to its closest ally, the United States, for a backup plan to curb Tehran's enrichment program. On Tuesday, the Israeli military radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak will be travelling to Washington to share his concerns over Iran's refusal to stop its nuclear activities. Barak will meet several US officials during his five-day tour, including US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Middle East 'peace' envoy George Mitchell.
'Iran will respond forcefully to any attack' 22 Feb 2010 Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ali Ahani says that Iran is not a belligerent country but it will respond forcefully to any act of aggression. "Iran has no intention of launching a war but will respond strongly to any attack," AFP quoted the Iranian deputy foreign minister for European affairs as telling the Croatian daily Vecernji List in an interview published on Monday. Israel has made threatening remarks about Iran and has not excluded the possibility of striking Iran's nuclear sites.
Iran grounds plane with Rigi holding US-issued passport 23 Feb 2010 Iran's security officers grounded the plane carrying the ringleader of Jundullah terrorist group Abdolmalek Rigi in one of Iran's southern ports, informed sources say. As initial reports indicated that Iran's most wanted man was captured on a flight en-route to Kyrgyzstan from Dubai, a source talking to Press TV on condition of anonymity confirmed that Rigi and one of his deputies were captured after their plane was brought down by security forces in an airport in the Iranian Persian Gulf city of Bandar Abbas. Iran's intelligence minister says the leader of Jundallah terrorist group was at a US base in Afghanistan 24 hours before his capture, in possession of a US-issued, forged Afghan passport.
Hamas to EU: Put Israel on terrorism list [Add the US, too.] 22 Feb 2010 Hamas asked the European Union to include Israel on a list of countries that support terrorism. "We urge the EU to include the Zionist entity on the list of countries that support terrorism, as it represents a threat to international peace," Hamas said in a statement released Monday. Hamas has accused Israel of being responsible for last month's assassination of a Hamas commander, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, in a Dubai hotel.
Livni on Dubai hit: A dead terrorist is good news 23 Feb 2010 Opposition leader and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni on Tuesday praised the assassination of a Hamas commander in Dubai last month, marking the first such comment from a top Israeli official. Tzipi Livni, speaking at the closing panel of the board of trustees of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem, said the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was good news, but did not say who was behind the killing.
More British passports found in hunt for Hamas assassins 23 Feb 2010 Eight forged British passports were used in the assassination of a top Hamas agent in Dubai, it was revealed yesterday, as pressure mounted on Israel to co-operate with European investigations into the identity thefts. Chris Bryant, Minister for Europe, said that police in Dubai had discovered details of another two fraudulent British passports used by suspected Mossad agents, in addition to the six already cloned from the passports of real-life Britons.
Rachel Corrie's family bring civil suit over human shield's death in Gaza --Parents want case to highlight events that led to American activist's death under Israeli army bulldozer 23 Feb 2010 The family of the American activist Rachel Corrie, who was killed by an Israeli army bulldozer in Gaza seven years ago, is to bring a civil suit over her death against the Israeli defence ministry. The case, which begins on 10 March in Haifa, northern Israel, is seen by her parents as an opportunity to put on public record the events that led to their daughter's death in March 2003.
Roberts listened carefully and gave his assent.' Destroying
C.I.A. Torture Tapes Wasn't Opposed, Memos Say
22 Feb 2010 At a closed briefing in 2003, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence
Committee raised no objection to a C.I.A. plan to destroy videotapes of
brutal interrogations, according to secret documents released Monday.
The senator, Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, also rejected a proposal
to have his committee conduct its own assessment of the agency’s
MI5 facing five more torture investigations --MI5 may face up to five new torture investigations that threaten to [hopefully] paralyse the Security Service. 22 Feb 2010 A senior lawyer in the office of Baroness Scotland, the attorney general, has been studying the cases of five British men alleged to have been unlawfully detained and tortured in Pakistan with the complicity of MI5. Baroness Scotland is expected to decide this week whether there is sufficient evidence to refer the cases to Scotland Yard for a full investigation.
admits role in CIA rendition programme --Warsaw air control service
confirms that at least six CIA flights landed at disused military air
base in northern Poland in 2003 22 Feb 2010 The Polish authorities
have for the first time admitted their involvement in the CIA's secret
programme for the
up for Afghan police training contract?
By Laura Rozen 23 Feb 2010 Controversial
Pakistan warns US over Operation Moshtarak 22 Feb 2010 Islamabad has criticized the US over the ongoing military offensive in neighboring Afghanistan, saying the anti-Taliban offensive could threaten the stability of Pakistan. "The US administration has been informed formally of [the] spillover effect of Helmand operation and also the danger that could pose threats to Pakistan's stability", a senior government official, requesting anonymity, told Press TV on Monday.
Nato air strike kills 27 civilians in Afghanistan --A Nato air strike has killed at least 27 civilians including women and a child who were travelling in a convoy of minibuses. 22 Feb 2010 The botched attack on Sunday was the third 'mistaken' strike in a week and threatened to further strain relations between the Nato powers and President Hamid Karzai's administration. General Stanley McChrystal, the senior coalition commander in Afghanistan, personally apologised to the president hours after the deaths, but the Afghan cabinet on Monday condemned the attack as "unjustifiable". Nato had mistaken the convoy in Uruzgan province as carrying militants towards a base.
At least seven civilians killed in Helmand blast 23 Feb 2010 A remote-controlled [Blackwater?] bomb killed at least seven Afghan civilians and wounded 14 in front of a government building in southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, a government official said. The blast was in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand, Afghanistan's most violent province. Nato-led troops are in the 10th day of an operation to flush the Taliban out of nearby Marjah district, where the militants had set up their last big stronghold in Helmand.
US to launch major campaign in Afghanistan in next 18 months 22 Feb 2010 US and NATO forces are all set to roll out an "intensive 18-month" ground campaign in Afghanistan to stamp out Taliban and al-Qaeda militants, top US generals have said warning the insurgents that Marjah offensive was just the start. "Marjah campaign where the Taliban resistance has only been disjointed is just an initial operation of what will be a 12 to 18 month campaign to overun the Taliban," General David Petraeus, the head of US Central Command told NBC television's 'Meet The Press' programme. [Gee, looky here. There's *lots* of money to spend on mercenaries to preserve the opium and gas pipelines in Afghanistan, right? --LRP]
Shooting at Luke Air Force Base kills 1, injures another 23 Feb 2010 One man was killed and another man injured late Monday when they drove a stolen car through the Luke Air Force Base security gate and were shot by guards there, officials said. The stolen vehicle broke through the gate about midnight and was about to cross a bridge that connects the two parts of the base when the shooting occurred, said Capt. Jerry Gonzalez, a spokesman for Luke. Base security had set up a barricade on the bridge and at least one of the guards opened fire when the vehicle drove toward the security personnel, authorities said.
Zazi Pleads Guilty in New York to Subway Bomb Plot 22 Feb 2010 Najibullah Zazi pleaded guilty to supporting al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction for his role in a plot to bomb New York subways around the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Zazi, an Afghan immigrant who once lived in Queens, New York, also pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit murder. The former airport shuttle-van driver in Denver was charged in September with training at an al-Qaeda terrorist camp and conspiring to detonate an improvised explosive device in New York. He previously pleaded not guilty.
Daughter says pilot in Texas IRS crash was a hero 22 Feb 2010 The daughter of a man who crashed his small plane into a building housing offices of the Internal Revenue Service called her father a hero for his anti-government views but said his actions, which killed an IRS employee, were "inappropriate." Joe Stack's adult daughter, Samantha Bell, spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" from her home in Norway. Asked during a phone interview broadcast Monday if she considered her father a hero, she said: "Yes. Because now maybe people will listen."
Heads up! US pharmaterrorists working on a new pandemic to create vaccine demand: Deadly Hybrid Flu Possible --Stronger strain could develop if avian, seasonal viruses combine, scientists warn 22 Feb 2010 Research in mice [to create a new pandemic] suggests the avian flu virus and the ordinary seasonal flu virus could combine to create a new deadly kind of flu, researchers say. A single bit of genetic material from the seasonal virus converted the avian flu -- officially known as H5N1 -- into a very dangerous form, the scientists report in a study published in the Feb. 22-26 online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
US school district spied on students through webcams, court told --Pennsylvania district accused of using remote-control laptops to photograph teenage students at home without their knowledge 19 Feb 2010 A school district in Pennsylvania spied on students through web cameras installed on laptops provided by the district, according to a class action lawsuit filed this week... According to student Blake Robbins, assistant principal Lindy Matsko said the school had retained the ability to activate the laptop webcams remotely, at any time. Backed by his parents, Robbins filed a lawsuit on behalf of all students provided with laptops by the school. The suit claims that since the laptops were used by students and their friends and family at home, images of "compromising or embarrassing positions, including ... in various states of undress" have been captured.
Cheney tests showed evidence of mild heart attack 23 Feb 2010 An aide to Dick Cheney says tests on the former vice president [sic] showed "evidence of a mild heart attack." Cheney was admitted to a Washington hospital on Monday after experiencing chest pains. Aide Peter Long issued a statement Tuesday saying lab tests at George Washington University Hospital found "evidence of a mild heart attack."
Wall Street bonuses top $20bn --Huge payouts will be a 'bitter pill' for many [I got your 'bitter pill' right here, pal.] --Investment banks on track to make $55bn profit for 2009 23 Feb 2010 Despite calls for restraint in multi-million dollar pay packages, Wall Street bonuses jumped by 17% to $20.3bn (£13bn) for 2009 as America's financial services industry rebounded swiftly from the credit crunch to healthy profitability, according to New York's tax department. New York state's comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, said the average taxable bonus on Wall Street was $123,850, a figure he described as a "bitter pill" for many people still struggling with record unemployment and ongoing economic weakness on the high street.
proposes $950 billion 'health' bill with no public option 22 Feb
2010 President Barack Obama made a last-ditch bid to revive his stalled
Anthem Blue Cross broke law more than 700 times, official says --California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says the insurer failed to pay medical claims on time and misrepresented policies from 2006 to 2009. The firm faces up to $7 million in fines. 23 Feb 2010 California's largest for-profit health insurer violated state law more than 700 times over a three-year period by failing to pay medical claims on time and misrepresenting policy provisions to customers, the state's insurance commissioner said Monday. Anthem Blue Cross of Woodland Hills could face fines of up to $7 million stemming from the alleged violations from 2006 to 2009.
Read His Lips: Obama Calls for Increasing Payroll Taxes on 'Households' Earning Less Than $250,000 Per Year 23 Feb 2010 President Obama presented a new health care plan on Monday that calls for raising the Medicare payroll tax on some households earning less than $250,000, an apparent breach of his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than that amount. The president’s plan also calls for increasing taxes on interest, dividends, annuities, royalties and rents.
Bank lending plummets by $587B in 2009 23 Feb 2010 Lending by the banking industry fell by $587 billion, or 7.5 percent, in 2009, the largest annual decline since the 1940s, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Tuesday. FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said that some small banks have dialed back on lending because of financial weakness, a problem the Obama administration aims to address [Yeah, right!] with a proposal to pump $30 billion in new federal aid into community banks.
Job Bill Clears Senate Hurdle With Republican Support 22 Feb 2010 A $15 billion jobs bill cleared a test vote in the U.S. Senate after a handful of Republicans broke with their party leaders to help advance the Democratic measure. The vote today was 62-30, with 60 needed to overcome Republican stalling tactics. Most Republicans opposed the bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scaled back an $85 billion jobs-related measure that had been crafted in committee by a group of Democrats and Republicans.
Michael Steele's spending spree angers donors 23 Feb 2010 Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers - expenses that are infuriating the party's major donors who say Republicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress. Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck's local crew to cater the RNC's Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii.
Alaska lawmakers have little appetite for $15 meal limit 23 Feb 2010 Alaska lawmakers are talking about rolling back one of the highest-profile pieces of ethics reform passed during the heat of the federal corruption investigation: the requirement lobbyists report when they buy legislators any meal or drink over $15. The law has proven unpopular with legislators who say it's pretty much impossible to get a decent dinner in Juneau for less than 15 bucks. Lawmakers who want to keep the limit counter that lobbyists can pick up the tab for more than $15; they just need to disclose it to the Alaska Public Offices Commission and publicly name the legislator or legislative staff member they treated.
The Binyam Mohamed case and the threat of dictatorship By Robert Stevens 22 Feb 2010 The mounting evidence of the routine use of torture and abuse is of great political significance not only in Britain, but in the United States and internationally. These cases reveal that the entire state machinery in the US and Britain is guilty of heinous crimes, including sadistic torture. Such acts are themselves the essential product of criminal policies--the illegal colonial-style wars of aggression pursued by the US and Britain against Afghanistan and Iraq... The political establishments in the US and Britain are mired in criminality and filth, and their counterparts in the other major capitalist countries are also implicated. Their crimes of aggressive war and torture are compounded by their illegal efforts to conceal their actions and protect the guilty. The Obama administration is fully implicated in the cover-up. Since assuming office, Obama has moved to bar the prosecution of Bush officials who authorised torture. This, itself, is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and other statutes of international law, which impose on governments an obligation to prosecute those guilty of torture.
Pentagon Quietly Explores De-Citizenship of US Citizen Terrorists By Steve Clemons 10 Feb 2010 At the highest levels of the US military, a quiet discussion is going on about putting in place a legal framework that would permit the US government to strip American citizenship from terrorists... As the Washington Post's Dana Priest recently revealed, [New Mexico born al Qaeda commander Anwar] al-Alaqi was added recently to a short list of other Americans for whom there are kill orders in place. A senior Member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has told me that to his knowledge, there has been no serious discussion in the Committee of stripping US citizenship from terrorists, but a senior Pentagon official has confirmed that some in the military are exploring the upsides and downsides of such a more routenized mechanism for stripping citizenship.
Report: Bush Lawyer Said President Could Order Civilians to Be Massacred 19 Feb 2010 The chief author of the Bush administration's "torture memo" told Justice Department investigators that the president's war-making authority was so broad that he had the constitutional power to order a village to be "massacred," according to a report released Friday night by the Office of Professional Responsibility. Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, former Justice lawyer John Yoo was asked: "What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally--" "Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions." "To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again. "Sure," said Yoo.
Justice Department Report Reveals New Details About Development And Justification of Torture Program --ACLU Calls On Justice Department to Expand Scope of Criminal Investigation 19 Feb 2010 A report released today by the Department of Justice's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), as well as several related documents, reveal new details about the development of the Bush administration's torture program. The American Civil Liberties Union called on the Justice Department to expand its criminal investigation of the torture program.
Homeland chief: Domestic extremism is top concern 21 Feb 2010 Americans who turn to terrorism and plot against the U.S. are now as big a concern as international terrorists, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Sunday. The government is just starting to confront this reality and does not have a good handle on how to prevent someone from becoming a violent extremist, she said. In the last year, Napolitano said, she's witnessed a movement from international extremism to domestic extremism - cases in which Americans radicalized and decided to plot attacks against the country.
RiverGlass: CLG's Biggest Fan By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 22 Feb 2010 Who is RiverGlass? And, why does this Nosey Parker gobble 160+ MB of CLG bandwidth all day long? The busy little bandwidth bee that is the RiverGlass scanner. 'The end result is an analytics solution specifically geared toward fusion centers and other government intelligence agencies, enabling them to gain and maintain a complete intelligence picture, 24/7.' From the logs, here are a few examples of its seemingly insatiable appetite for all things CLG.
US blitz kills 33, injures several Afghan civilians 22 Feb 2010 Fresh air strikes by the United States have killed at least 33 civilians and injured several others in southern Afghanistan, the Afghan interior ministry says. Afghan authorities announced that the fatalities included four women and a child. US-led forces said that they fired by mistake on a group of vehicles that carried women and children.
French missile kills 2 in Afghanistan 22 Feb 2010 At least two Afghan civilians, including one child, have been killed in a French missile strike in the northeastern of the war weary country. Local Afghan officials said that six civilians were also wounded in the attack that occurred in Dolat Khel in Kapisa province on Monday. Witnesses told Press TV the French missile hit a car that was carrying local traders.
Food and water runs out for Marjah civilians --For Afghans who didn't get out before Operation Moshtarak began, the attack is taking its toll. 22 Feb 2010 As desperate residents of Marjah warned that food and water were running out yesterday, the Operation Moshtarak endgame got under way with Nato and Afghan government forces attempting to force their way into one of the last remaining Taliban enclaves. Marjah residents, speaking on the telephone, described the hardship they faced. Abdul Ghias said, "Most people cannot get hold of medicine or food, and people cannot work their farms."
Third NATO soldier dies in 24 hours 21 Feb 2010 NATO announced Sunday that another foreign soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, where foreign forces have launched a major offensive against the Taliban. The soldier lost his life to a makeshift bomb in southern Afghanistan, becoming the third service member to be killed in the war-torn country since Saturday. According to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) two other soldiers were killed on Saturday, one in the country's east and the other in the south.
Two US pilots die in Iraq 21 Feb 2010 A US Army helicopter has reportedly been involved in an accident, as a result of which two America pilots were killed in north of Iraq. Reporting on the incident, which took place near an airfield, the US Army said, "The aircraft made a hard landing inside the base. There were no enemy forces present and no hostile fire was reported," AFP reported.
British Prime Minister: Israeli officials were part of decision to invade Iraq 20 Feb 2010 In his recent testimony to the UK Committee investigating the Iraq war, British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that Israeli officials influenced and participated in the decision by the US and UK governments to attack Iraq in 2003. During testimony regarding his meetings in Texas with then-US President [sic] George W. Bush in 2002, Blair stated, "As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this."
Israel unveils new drone fleet that can reach Iran --Air Force official says Heron TP drones, which first saw action during war in Gaza, a 'technological and operational breakthrough' 21 Feb 2010 Israel's air force on Sunday introduced a fleet of huge pilotless planes that can remain in the air for a full day and fly as far as the Persian Gulf, putting rival Iran within its range. The Heron TP drones have a wingspan of 86 feet (26 meters), making them the largest unmanned aircraft in Israel's military. The planes can fly at least 20 consecutive hours and are primarily used for surveillance and carrying diverse payloads.
'We will settle accounts with them when the time comes.' BBC an arm of MI6, says police chief of Iran 22 Feb 2010 Iran’s police chief has accused the BBC of being an arm of MI6 and warned of severe punishment for any Iranians in contact with the organisation. General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam was quoted by the IRNA news agency as saying that opposition activists had co-operated with the BBC and the Voice of America (VOA) "with the aim of weakening and overthrowing the system". "The BBC is the arm of MI6, and VOA belongs to the CIA," he said. "Those who co-operate with foreign services through transmitting photos, reports, news and anti-revolutionary actions... should know that all their actions are monitored. We will settle accounts with them when the time comes."
Report: PM approved Dubai assassination in early January --Sources: Mossad hit squad trained for Dubai mission by secretly rehearsing in Tel Aviv hotel 21 Feb 2010 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu authorized in early January the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, according to a report published in the Sunday Times. Based on information obtained from "sources with knowledge of Mossad," the paper reported that Netanyahu gave Mossad chief Meir Dagan the green light for the Dubai operation during a meeting at the Midrasha - the intelligence agency's headquarters, in the northern suburbs of Tel Aviv.
Dubai hit squad may have used diplomatic passports 21 Feb 2010 The hit squad that killed a senior Hamas official in Dubai may have entered the country using diplomatic passports, senior officials in the Emirates said yesterday, calling on Britain and other European countries whose passports were forged to launch a full-scale inquiry. "There is still information that Dubai police will not make public for the moment, especially regarding diplomatic passports" used by some of the 11-strong hit team, who used British, Irish, German and French documents to enter the emirate last month, said Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s police chief. "The United Arab Emirates is deeply concerned by the fact that passports of close allies, whose nationals currently enjoy preferential visa waivers, were illegally used to commit this crime," said Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister of state for foreign affairs.
Israeli fire wounds 5 Palestinians north of Gaza 21 Feb 2010 Israeli forces have fired at and wounded five Palestinians north of the Gaza Strip amid intensifying Israeli activity within the blockaded area. The casualties were inflicted on Sunday north of the city of Beit Lahiya also causing material losses, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported.
Kurdish journalist charged with 525 years in Turkey --105 charges brought against former editor 20 Feb 2010 Prosecutors are asking for a total of 525 years for the former editor in chief of the Kurdish daily Azadiya Welat on charges of disseminating the propaganda of a 'terrorist' organization and for belonging to a 'terrorist' organization. A total of 105 charges were brought against former editor in chief Vedat Kursun for publishing propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization.
MoD blanked out 'uncomplimentary comments' on UFO files 21 Feb 2010 The Ministry of Defence had to blank out "uncomplimentary comments" made by officials about members of the public before publishing its UFO files, a newly released document shows. Following a deluge of requests under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2000, the MoD agreed to disclose its full archive of reported sightings of unexplained sights in the skies.
Haiti: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot' By Anthony Fenton 19 Feb 2010 Critics are concerned that private military contractors are positioning themselves at the centre of an emerging "shock doctrine" for earthquake-ravaged Haiti. Next month, a prominent umbrella organisation for private military and logistic corporations, the International Peace Operations Association (IPOA), is co-organising a "Haiti summit" which aims to bring together "leading officials" for "private consultations with attending contractors and investors" in Miami, Florida.
F.B.I. Queries Webcam Use by Schools 20 Feb 2010 A Pennsylvania school district accused of secretly switching on laptop computer cameras inside students’ homes is under investigation by federal authorities, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case said. The F.B.I. will look into whether any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws were violated by Lower Merion School District, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. On Friday, days after a student filed a federal lawsuit over the practice, district officials acknowledged that they had remotely activated Webcams on school-issued laptops 42 times in the past 14 months to 'find missing computers.'
Banks in Calif., Ill., Fla., Texas are shut down --Regulators shut banks in Calif., Ill., Fla., Texas, putting US bank failures at 20 for year 19 Feb 2010 Regulators shut four banks from California to Florida on Friday, boosting to 20 the number of U.S. bank failures this year following the 140 closures last year in the worst financial climate in decades. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over La Jolla Bank, FSB, in La Jolla, Calif. The bank had 10 branches and about $3.6 billion in assets and $2.8 billion in deposits.
Without more federal help, states might cut Medicaid 18 Feb 2010 Unless Congress bails them out, states probably will have to cut health coverage for low-income families and others without insurance, a new report says. Lawmakers included higher Medicaid reimbursement funds for states in last year's economic stimulus bill, but the money will expire next Dec. 31. [Yeah, but the US *needs* that money to kill more Afghan civilians, carry out more false flags and build for the next Baxter-based pandemic. --LRP]
Obama decisions on wildlife raising environmentalists' ire 21 Feb 2010 A growing number of environmentalists are clashing with the administration over its management of America's struggling wildlife populations and what they call its reluctance to use the nation's most powerful environmental law, the Endangered Species Act, to stand up to industry... Two weeks earlier, the administration sparked controversy when it announced it would not add the American pika to the endangered species list. Found in California's Sierra Nevada range and the Rocky Mountains, the pika is a rabbit-like mammal that has been considered symbolic of the impact of global warming because it can overheat and die at temperatures above 78 degrees.
No Muslim, So No Terrorism By Ambassador Craig Murray 18 Feb 2010 A tragedy in Austin, Texas where a man flew a light aeroplane into an office building. Reports - which may or may not be confirmed - indicate that the man set fire to his home first, and left a suicide note. The building included Federal government offices... That is the CLG site; I subscribe to the newsfeed, as can you at the bottom of that page. I recommend the feed as an excellent source of leads to alternative stories for the intellectually curious.
Israeli immigration officials copied British passports used by hit squad, ministers told --Israeli immigration officials at Tel Aviv airport secretly copied the British passports which were then used by the hit squad which assassinated a leading Hamas official, ministers have been told. 20 Feb 2010 The six British citizens whose identities were stolen and used by the killers all had their passports taken away from them briefly during routine checks at the airport, it has been claimed. The revelation by diplomatic sources that the Foreign Office has been told that the passports were copied by Israeli officials is the first time Israel's involvement has been directly alleged.
Dubai police: Soon we'll have proof against Mossad 21 Feb 2010 Dubai police officials claimed on Saturday they expected to soon announce they have firm evidence that the Mossad was involved in the killing last month of Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. Records of credit card payments and cellphone calls made by members of the 11-person hit squad that entered Dubai on European passports would provide the details needed to tie the assassination of Mabhouh to the Mossad, the police said.
Hezbollah warns of terrorist tourists after Dubai hit 20 Feb 2010 After the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai, Hezbollah issues an alert against disguised entry of terrorists into Lebanon. The Lebanese resistance movement's Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem urged vigilance against the terrorists who would attempt to clear the Lebanese customs using forged European passports.
MI5 may face new torture inquiry 21 Feb 2010 For the past 10 weeks a senior lawyer in the office of Baroness Scotland, the attorney-general, has been studying the cases of five British men alleged to have been unlawfully detained and tortured in Pakistan with the complicity of MI5. The five cases on Scotland’s desk have yet to be subjected to independent scrutiny. But Ali Dayan Hasan, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, claims to have spoken to Pakistani officials who say they were "directly involved" in the torture of the Britons. In each case, Hasan says he was given clear evidence that MI5 and MI6 officers knew about the torture but continued to take part -- directly or indirectly -- in interrogations.
UK Human Rights Watchdog Demands Torture Probe 20 Feb 2010 Britain's justice secretary [Jack Straw] should conduct an urgent independent investigation into allegations that the country's secret service was complicit in the torture of Britons held abroad, the government's human rights watchdog said Saturday. The watchdog [Equality and Human Rights Commission] said it made the demand following revelations that MI5, Britain's domestic spy agency, knew that terrorism suspect Binyam Mohamed was beaten and shackled in U.S. custody. It said the case was only one of 25 allegations -- including some reported by the United Nations -- of British complicity in torture during interrogations abroad.
The allegations of torture taken from four UN reports 20 Feb 2010 From the JCHR 23rd report: Details of allegations by MSS, Ragzieb Ahmed, Zeeshan Siddiqui, Salahuddin Amin, Rashid Rauf, Azhar Khan, Binyam Mohamed, Tariq Mahmood, and Tahir Shah... Seven people are bringing claims for damages against the Government. The following allege mistreatment by the US in Guantánamo Bay: Feroz Abbasi says he was subjected to very loud music in interrogations, tried to commit suicide and spent over a year in solitary confinement. Tarek Dergoul claims that British intelligence services were aware that he was tortured. Shaker Aamer claims he suffered severe beatings at Bagram Theatre Internment Facility. He says a dozen men beat him, including interrogators who said they were from MI5. Three men known as the Tipton Taleban -- Shafiq Rasul, Ruhal Ahmed and Asif Iqbal -- have made their allegations in their own report
Obusha Friday night (US) bad news dump: Inquiry clears US lawyers who approved torture at Guantánamo Bay --Justice department finds John Yoo and Jay Bybee guilty of poor judgment but not professional misconduct 20 February 2010 01.06 GMT An inquiry by the US justice department last night reprimanded two senior Bush era lawyers who approved the use of torture at Guantánamo Bay. The department found the two lawyers, John Yoo and Jay Bybee, guilty of poor judgment but not professional misconduct. The lawyers wrote controversial memorandums dating from 2002 after the 9/11 attacks that provided legal cover for the CIA to use torture and other harsh interrogation techniques. [This means, when sociopath Sarah Palin - or some other freak show - is 'elected' in 2012 (because Obama will have completely destroyed the Democratic party) her regime can (and will) use torture with impunity. --LRP]
Department clears Bush lawyrs for 'torture memos' 19 Feb 2010
Two former high-level Bush administration officials who provided legal
Ex-Gitmo detainees plan to sue US for damages 19 Feb 2010 Two Algerian nationals released from Guantanamo Bay, who were picked up from Peshawar, are demanding an apology and planning to file a damages’ suit against the United States after spending several years behind bars at the US detention facility in Cuba. Pakistani wives of the two former Guantanamo prisoners told Daily Times on Thursday that the men were planning and contacting international human rights organisations to file a case against the US for detaining them for many years.
Karzai warns Operation Moshtarak is killing too many civilians --Toll grows as Afghan offensive enters second week 21 Feb 2010 Coalition forces in southern Afghanistan were trying to break down stiff resistance from insurgents yesterday as Operation Moshtarak entered its second week amid fresh warnings about civilian casualties. Small teams of rebel snipers took pot-shots with rocket-propelled grenades as UK, US and Afghan forces tried to make contact with people from Marjah, a Taliban stronghold which has been a [CIA] hotbed for opium production. [It is the US that is making the killing on the opium production in Afghanistan -- that is why the US is there. See: Afghan heroin and the CIA By Andrew G. Marshall 01 Apr 2008.]
Dutch government falls over Afghan troop mission 20 Feb 2010 Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende's coalition government collapsed this morning when the two largest parties failed to agree on whether to withdraw troops from Afghanistan this year as planned. The fall of the government, just two days short of the coalition's third anniversary, all but guarantees that the 2,000 Dutch troops will be brought home this year and will eventually prompt new parliamentary elections.
Blast damages NATO container in Khuzdar 19 Feb 2010 A remote-controlled [Blackwater?] bomb exploded on Thursday near a tanker destined for the NATO forces in Afghanistan, partially damaging the tanker and wounding its driver. Police said the bomb was planted near Baghbana area of Khuzdar on the main Karachi-Quetta highway. Police are searching for the perpetrators of the attack.
Six Nato troops killed in Marjah 19 Feb 2010 Six Nato troops have been killed in Afghanistan in the worst single-day loss for international forces since the launch of a big offensive to drive Taliban insurgents from the town of Marjah. The deaths on Thursday, followed by the loss of another soldier on Friday, underscore the risks US, UK and Afghan troops face as they seek to clear what commanders describe as pockets of resistance by fighters digging in to resist one of the biggest operations launched by Nato in Afghanistan since 2001.
Demo held in Berlin against NATO war in Afghanistan 20 Feb 2010 Around 1,500 people have held a demonstration in Berlin to protest against NATO's military presence in Afghanistan. On Saturday, the protesters, summoned by the Left Party and various peace groups, met to march on the Reichstag -- the seat of parliament -- and the Brandenburg Gate in central Berlin. Peace activists on the march held up banners and placards with the slogan "No more soldiers. Give peace a chance -- troops must leave Afghanistan."
Pakistan will not hand over Taliban suspects to US: Malik 20 Feb 2010 Pakistan will not turn over the Afghan Taliban’s second-in-command and two other [alleged] terrorists captured this month to the US, but may deport them to Afghanistan, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Friday. Malik said Pakistani authorities were still questioning Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and two other terrorists, arrested with US assistance in separate operations this month. "First we will see whether they have violated any law," Malik said.
Murder in Samarkand (BBC Radio 4) 20 Feb 2010 David Hare's witty portrait of an unlikely hero, based on the memoir by Craig Murray. Craig is proud to be sent as Ambassador to Uzbekistan, eager to work hard and also eager for fun. The combination takes him on a dangerous course both professionally and personally, and the stakes couldn't be higher.
More than 17,000 episodes of troops going Awol since 2003 --Macho culture blamed for soldiers running away rather than asking for help 20 Feb 2010 British soldiers have gone on the run from their posts on more than 17,000 occasions since the start of the Iraq war, The Independent can reveal. As resources for the armed forces remain stretched to cope with Britain's commitments in Afghanistan, official figures from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) show that there were more than 2,000 cases of soldiers going absent without leave (awol) last year, with 17,470 incidents recorded since the Iraq invasion in 2003.
U.S. Warns Of Al Qaeda Threat In Central Asia 20 Feb 2010 Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] aims to infiltrate Central Asia to train militants and turn the ex-Soviet region into a zone of unrest, a U.S. envoy said on Saturday. U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke is on a blitz tour in Central Asia. "I think the real threat in this region is less from the Taliban but from al Qaeda, which trains international terrorists," he said on a visit to Tajikistan.
Alexander Haig dies; soldier-statesman managed Nixon resignation 21 Feb 2010 Retired Army Gen. Alexander Haig, who held influential positions in the U.S. military and government and who as White House chief of staff shepherded Richard M. Nixon toward peacefully resigning the presidency, died Saturday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore of complications from an infection. He was 85.
Passenger removed from Canadian airliner over 'body odor' 20 Feb 2010 In an unprecedented move, a Canadian airliner refuses to allow a passenger to board his flight to the US because of what officials described as "his strong body odor." Jazz Air, a regional airline in Canada that also serves US cities, confirmed on Friday that a man was asked to leave a plane earlier this month for being unpleasantly odorous. The flight was reportedly departing from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Official: FBI Probing Pa. School Webcam Spy Case --Lower Merion officials acknowledged Friday they remotely activated webcams 42 times in past 14 months to 'find missing student laptops' 20 Feb 2010 A Pennsylvania school district accused of secretly switching on laptop computer webcams inside students' homes is under investigation by federal authorities, a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. The FBI will look into whether any federal wiretap or computer-intrusion laws were violated by Lower Merion School District officials, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation, told the AP on Friday.
Department of Homeland Security Officers Lost 243 Guns Over 2 Years 19 Feb 2010 Absent-minded officers with the Department of Homeland Security lost 243 weapons over a two-year period, a report by the agency's inspector general has found. Officers with two agencies, Customs and Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, lost 74 percent of those guns because they failed to secure the weapons, according to the report.
Invites G.O.P. Lawmakers' Health Care 'Ideas'
20 Feb 2010 Days before a high-profile summit meeting that could determine
the future of his 'health care' overhaul, President Obama made an impassioned
appeal for the legislation here on Friday, challenging Republicans to
come to the table with their own ideas. Back in Washington, leading Republicans
fired back that the president was not negotiating in good faith. [This
insurance cartel wet dream aka 'health care bill' is based upon Republican
'ideas.' Notice Obusha gets busy with a
Paul Tops U.S. Presidential Straw Poll at Conservative Event 20 Feb 2010 Representative Ron Paul of Texas was the top vote-getter among potential Republican presidential candidates in a straw poll of activists today at the Conservative Action Political Conference in Washington. Paul, a former Libertarian Party presidential candidate, received 31 percent of the vote.
GM Chief Gets $9 Million Pay Package 19 Feb 2010 General Motors Co. Chief Executive Ed Whitacre will receive a pay package valued at $9 million to help turn around the government-owned auto maker, according to a regulatory filing. Mr. Whitacre, according to the filing, will receive a $1.7 million base salary this year. The rest of his compensation is comprised of $5.3 million in stock available to him beginning in 2012 and restricted stock units valued currently at $2 million.
Md. borrowing to pay jobless benefits 20 Feb 2010 Maryland, its unemployment trust fund nearly empty, is following more than 25 other states in borrowing money from Uncle Sam. The state is about to begin drawing up to $250 million so it can keep its benefit payments going to the tens of thousands of people who are unemployed statewide. In Washington County alone, that could be as many as 4,830 people.
Manifesto of Joseph Andrew Stack 18 Feb 2010 'If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, 'Why did this have to happen?' The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time... Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies... The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government.'
FBI closes investigation into 2001 anthrax attacks 19 Feb 2010 The FBI officially closed its eight-year investigation of the [Cheney-Fort Detrick] 2001 anthrax attacks on Friday after concluding that Army scientist Bruce Ivins acted alone in preparing and mailing the deadly spores that killed five people and terrorized the nation... The validity of the FBI's case will never be tested in court because Ivins, a specialist in anthrax vaccines at Frederick's Fort Detrick Army base, 'committed suicide' in 2008 as investigators were preparing to charge him.
UK security service 'faces police torture probe' 19 Feb 2010 Allegations that the UK security service was complicit in the torture of Shaker Aamer - the last British resident in Guantanamo Bay - are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police, the High Court was told today. Investigating officers have now applied to the courts for the release of secret Government documents to help in their inquiries, a senior judge heard.
Allegations of UK torture complicity reaching crisis point says Davey 19 Feb 2010 "We now desperately need to see a judicial inquiry into all aspects of the British Government's alleged involvement in torture," said the Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary. Commenting on the news that the Metropolitan Police are investigating a further case of alleged involvement in torture by UK security services, Edward Davey said: "The allegations of the UK’s complicity in torture are rapidly reaching crisis point... There have been a series of allegations which paint a picture of complicity in torture."
police seek evidence from Guantanamo detainee
19 Feb 2010 British police investigating allegations that the country's
spies colluded in torture are seeking evidence from a Guantanamo Bay
'I was unable to add any information. I could not shed new light on the said matters' ...'I told him I know nothing about the event.' West turns diplomatic screw -- but Israel refuses to crack --'We know nothing', say ambassadors called for talks over how assassins who killed Hamas leader were holding foreign passports 19 Feb 2010 Dubai yesterday explicitly accused Mossad of assassinating Hamas military commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on its soil, as David Miliband declared the use of British passports in the plot "an outrage" and demanded "full co-operation" from Israel in finding out what had happened. The Foreign Secretary's comments came after an apparently fruitless meeting in London between the Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor and Sir Peter Ricketts, the permanent secretary who heads Britain's diplomatic service, which lasted just 14 minutes with no sign of any intelligence being shared. As the Israeli envoy left Whitehall, he said: "I was unable to add any information. I could not shed new light on the said matters".
U.K. 'knew Mossad was using fake passports for Dubai hit' --Daily Mail claims Israeli spies tipped off MI6 before assassinating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. 19 Feb 2010 Israeli agents tipped off British intelligence that they were going to carry out an 'overseas operation' using fake British passports before assassinating a Hamas official in Dubai, the Daily Mail reported on Friday. A Mossad operative said the U.K. Foreign Office was also told hours before Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel room by a hit squad the had entered the United Arab Emirates using fake foreign documents, the British newspaper said.
Did Britain know about Mossad hit? Israeli agent claims MI6 was tipped off --David Miliband vows to 'get to the bottom' of the issue. 19 Feb 2010 MI6 was tipped off that Israeli agents were going to carry out an 'overseas operation' using fake British passports, it was claimed last night. A member of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, said the Foreign Office was also told hours before a Hamas terrorist chief was assassinated in Dubai.
British threat to Israel over Dubai Hamas assassination --Britain will consider severing its intelligence-sharing agreement with Israel if Mossad agents are proved to have stolen the identities of British passport holders, The Daily Telegraph has learnt. 18 Feb 2010 Ministers are understood to be furious that an alleged hit squad which murdered a Hamas leader in Dubai last month cloned the passports of six unsuspecting Britons, who are now living in fear of reprisals. Israel, which has not denied involvement in the murder, had previously promised that Mossad, its secret intelligence service, would never use British passports to help its agents carry out covert operations. Israel's ambassador to the UK was summoned to the Foreign Office to give his explanation as the diplomatic row intensified.
Interpol asked to arrest Mossad chief --Dubai '99% sure' spies to blame for killing as UK quizzes Israeli ambassador over fake passports 18 Feb 2010 Interpol should help arrest the head of Mossad if Israel's spy agency was responsible for the killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai, the emirate's police chief said today. In comments to be aired on Dubai TV, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim called for Interpol to issue "a red notice against the head of Mossad ... as a killer in case Mossad is proved to be behind the crime, which is likely now". International pressure intensified against Israel's spy service as official "wanted" notices were released for the suspected team of Israeli secret agents accused of participating in the assassination. The faces of an 11-strong alleged hit squad appeared on the Interpol website this morning, 48 hours after authorities in the United Arab Emirates issued arrest warrants for the killing last month of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
Interpol puts 11 on most-wanted list 18 Feb 2010 Interpol has put 11 people on its most-wanted list over the slaying of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. The international police agency says it has issued red notices, its highest-level alert, to its member countries worldwide for "11 internationally wanted individuals who have been charged by UAE-Dubai authorities with coordinating and committing the murder."
Biden wants US warheads with worldwide reach 19 Feb 2010 US vice president Joe Biden says Washington should seek an "adaptive missile defense shield" and conventional warheads with global range. Biden, who spoke at the National Defense University on Thursday, added that development of programs such as the planned anti-missile in Europe would allow the United States to decrease its nuclear weaponry.
Same sh*t, different day: Iraq Mission Being Renamed Operation New Dawn The U.S. military 'mission' in Iraq will soon be getting a new name. As of Sept. 1, Operation Iraqi Freedom becomes Operation New Dawn. [The original name was Operation Iraqi Liberation, but the f*ckwads behind the insanity (as dumb as post turtles) were informed by their handlers that the acronym spelled their actual objective, so they changed it. --LRP]
13 killed in attack on govt building in west Iraq 18 Feb 2010 A suicide car bomb exploded Thursday outside the gate of the main government compound in the capital of Iraq's Anbar province, killing at least 13 people, including four police, a health official said. The attacker detonated his explosive-packed car at the compound housing the governor's office, police headquarters and courts in downtown Ramadi.
Iran launches advanced 'Jamaran' destroyer 19 Feb 2010 Iran's Navy on Friday took the delivery of the first indigenously designed and developed guided missile destroyer Jamaran in the presence of the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. The Mowdge Class vessel has a displacement of around 1,420 tonnes and is equipped with modern radars and electronic warfare capabilities.
Blast as Holbrooke visits Pakistan 19 Feb 2010 An explosion at a mosque in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 29 people and wounded dozens more. The attack on Thursday in the Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border, came hours after Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, arrived to meet Pakistan's prime minister in the capital Islamabad.
US-led offensives strike terror among local Afghans 19 Feb 2010 Afghan civilians based in the south flee in droves from the US-led offensives that are reported to be taking their toll on the local population and their sources of livelihood. The 'Operation Moshtarak' has enlisted 15 thousand troops against the Taliban militants in the Helmand province. The campaign is allegedly intended to purge the militant strongholds of Marjah and Nad-e-Ali and establish Afghan governance.
12 in Allied Forces Die in Afghanistan 20 Feb 2010 Twelve NATO forces, including at least eight Americans, have died in the first week of the offensive in Marja, with more than half the fatalities occurring on Thursday and Friday. Three of the troops were British and the nationality of the 12th soldier, killed Friday in small arms fire, was not yet divulged by the International Security Assistance Force, the name for the NATO-led troops.
Taliban kill 6 US-led troops in Afghanistan 19 Feb 2010 US-led forces have lost six more soldiers during an ant-Taliban operation in militant-infested southern Afghanistan. On Friday, a spokesman for International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed the total number of NATO solders killed on Thursday was six. Sergeant Jeff Loftin says the soldiers were slain in Helmand province, where US and British forces have lost much ground to the Taliban militants.
NATO friendly fire airstrike kills 7 Afghan policemen 18 Feb 2010 A US military plane has mistakenly bombed an Afghan police vehicle in Kunduz province, killing at least seven officers and injuring several others. According to Afghan officials, the incident took place in the Emam Saheb district of the northern province of Kunduz on Thursday morning.
Army Investigates Alleged Attempt by Soldiers to Poison Food at Fort Jackson 18 Feb 2010 The U.S. Army is investigating allegations that soldiers were attempting to poison the food supply at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. The ongoing probe began two months ago, Chris Grey, a spokesman for the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division, told Fox News. The Army is taking the allegations "extremely seriously," Grey said, but so far, "there is no credible information to support the allegations."
Ruling: No Court Can Hear Abuse and Wrongful Death Claims from Guantánamo (Center for Constitutional Rights) 17 Feb 2010 Yesterday evening, the district court in Washington, D.C. ruled against two men who died in Guantánamo in June 2006 and their families in a case seeking to hold federal officials and the United States responsible for the men’s torture, arbitrary detention and ultimate deaths at Guantánamo. Following a two-year investigation, the military concluded that the men had committed suicide... In dismissing the case, the district court ruled that the deceased’s constitutional claims that it was a violation of due process and cruel treatment to detain them for four years without charge while subjecting them to inhumane and degrading conditions of confinement and violent acts of torture and abuse, could not be heard in federal court.
Austin Plane Crash Witness: Hazmat, Fire Department In Place Before Crash (Austin News / KXAN.com) 18 Feb 2010 Witness account of the plane crash in NW Austin --'I know that the Fire Department got here real fast, because they actually had an engine sitting over there [pointing] that just happened to be doing something with Hazmat, so they were over here, like, right away.' (Video)
Second body found inside Texas building hit by plane --At least 13 people were injured, with two reported in critical condition. 18 Feb 2010 A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees... Emergency crews recovered two bodies from the wreckage. The pilot was presumed dead and one worker in the building had been missing. The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as A. Joseph Stack III. "It felt like a bomb blew off," said Peggy Walker, an IRS revenue officer who was sitting at her desk. Andrew Jacobson, an IRS revenue officer who was on the second floor when the plane hit with a "big whoomp" and then a second explosion, said about six people couldn't use the stairwell because of smoke and debris.
"Bipartisan" campaign targets US working class By Patrick Martin 18 Feb 2010 The Obama administration is announcing Thursday a new initiative for joint action by the Democratic Party and the Republican Party against American working people, when the leaders of a new bipartisan commission to slash the federal deficit are introduced at the White House. Obama has selected Democrat Erskine Bowles, a banker and former White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, and Republican Alan Simpson, a retired senator [nutjob] from Wyoming, to head the new commission. [Obamabots, read it and weep. On the international front, your man is an imperialist war criminal just like Bush. On the domestic front, he's going to cut all social spending after handing out trillions to the corporate oligarchy. Democrats, what more do you need to see that your party is a merely another big business party--aligned AGAINST the people? --Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D.]
Flight Diverted to Salt Lake After Bomb Threat --United Airlines flight carrying 199 people diverted to Salt Lake airport after bomb threat 18 Feb 2010 An airliner that was diverted mid-flight because of a bomb threat was being scoured by investigators at Salt Lake City International Airport on Thursday. Airport spokeswoman Barbara Gann said a flight attendant found a note while the 757 was en route from Denver to San Francisco and turned it over to the pilot.
WHO: Add swine flu to regular flu vaccine 18 Feb 2010 The World 'Health' Organization is recommending that swine flu be added to the regular flu vaccine next season. WHO said in a statement Thursday that it held a meeting this week to decide which flu strains should be recommended to drug makers for their vaccines during the northern hemisphere's next flu season, which begins in the fall.
Former Bush Homeland Security Pick Gets 4 Years In Prison 18 Feb 2010 Former New York City police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was hailed as a hero alongside former Mayor Rudy Giuliani after the Sept. 11 terror attacks and nearly became chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security [under George W. Bush], was sentenced to four years behind bars Thursday for eight felonies. Kerik admitted in November that he lied to the White House, filed false taxes and committed other crimes. "The fact that Mr. Kerik would use that event (9/11) for personal gain and aggrandizement is a dark place in the soul for me," said federal Judge Stephen Robinson.
Pennsylvania schools spying on students using laptop --Webcams, claims lawsuit Class-action suit alleges schools remotely activate Webcams on school-issued notebooks 18 Feb 2010 A suburban Philadelphia school district remotely activates the cameras in school-provided laptops to spy on students in their homes, a lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday alleged. According to the lawsuit filed by a high school student and his parents, the Lower Merion School District of Ardmore, Pa. has spied on students and families by "indiscriminate use of and ability to remotely activate the Webcams incorporated into each laptop issued to students by the School District."
U.S. Cracks Down on 'Contractors' as a Tax Dodge 18 Feb 2010 Federal and state officials, many facing record budget deficits, are starting to aggressively pursue companies that try to pass off regular employees as independent contractors. President Obama’s 2010 budget assumes that the federal crackdown will yield at least $7 billion over 10 years... Companies that pass off employees as independent contractors avoid paying Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance taxes for those workers.
Obama appoints panel to slash social programs By Joe Kishore 19 Feb 2010 President Barack Obama’s establishment by executive order of a bipartisan commission on deficits on Thursday is the latest step in his administration’s attack on health care and retirement programs upon which millions of Americans depend. The 18-member panel will propose measures to slash government spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. It will also consider a series of regressive taxes, including a consumption or value added tax, to force the working class to pay for the budget deficit.
Man with fake credentials got close to U.S. vice-president 18 Feb 2010 A mentally ill man carrying fake credentials got within 12 rows of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden at the Winter Olympic opening ceremony last week, the Integrated Security Unit confirmed Wednesday. Despite the incident, the Vancouver Organizing Committee insists that venue security is working well.
'His pass looked like something printed off the Internet that was laminated.' Officials scramble to explain security breach 17 Feb 2010 Nikki Yanofskyv had just finished singing O Canada at the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics when a man believed to be mentally unstable with crude, fake credentials approached within 12 rows of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden. Two plainclothes Mounties stopped the 48-year-old just as he stepped into the high-security area reserved for dignitaries at B.C. Place.
'All the evidence points to a hit ordered by Tel Aviv.' Dubai points finger at Mossad over Hamas assassination 18 Feb 2010 Officials in Dubai have all but given up hope of catching the killers of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh after admitting that Mossad is its prime suspect. Even if the assassins were somehow identified, the United Arab Emirates has no diplomatic relations with Israel, let alone judicial co-operation agreements. Dubai police have never ruled Mossad out of their investigation but have stopped short of accusing Israel’s spy agency directly until now. However, with at least seven of the eleven named suspects in the case now revealed to have used the stolen identities of Israelis with dual nationalities, officials in the Gulf state concede that all the evidence points to a hit ordered by Tel Aviv.
6 new suspects surface in Dubai terror case 18 Feb 2010 The probe into the terror of a senior Hamas member Mahmoud al-Mabhouh enters a new phase as Dubai officials confirm that at least six other assassins remain unaccounted for. The revelation comes shortly after Dubai police issued international arrest warrants for 11 suspects who were travelling on fake European passports and had arrived in Dubai one day before the killing of the Palestinian leader.
Death in Dubai: the plot thickens --Brown calls in police to investigate alleged identity theft by Mossad as Israeli envoy asked to explain how passports were in killers' hands. Assassination team now thought to number 18 18 Feb 2010 The international furore over the assassination of a senior Hamas official sharply escalated yesterday with claims that he had been lured to Dubai by the Israeli intelligence services. Security sources say that Mahmoud al-Mabhouh had changed his travel plans, leaving behind his bodyguards, for a "meeting" which may have been organised by Mossad, who had been tracking him for days before his death. The killers' use of European passports has led to widespread calls for investigation, and the repercussions for Israel over its alleged involvement in the murder began yesterday, with Gordon Brown announcing an inquiry to be held by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca).
Israel's Passport Quiz Over Hit Squad Killing 18 Feb 2010 Israel's ambassador will head to the Foreign Office later to face questions over the use of faked British passports by assassins of a Hamas commander. Ron Prosor was summoned for talks after passports in the names of six British Israelis were among 11 European identity papers revealed by Dubai police hunting the hit squad which allegedly killed Mahmoud al Mabhouh. The ambassador will meet head of the diplomatic service Sir Peter Ricketts amid calls for Mr Prosor to be expelled from Britain if he fails to provide adequate answers. There have been claims that Israel's security service Mossad was behind the murder.
Dubai 'hit team' Irish passports had real numbers 18 Feb 2010 Irish passports used by three people believed to have been involved in killing a Hamas member had genuine numbers, the Irish government has said. Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was murdered in his hotel room in Dubai on 20 January. The Republic's Department of Foreign Affairs said the numbers on the passports corresponded to those on three real Irish passports. However, the people identified in the passports recorded in Dubai were not those in the genuine passports. Previously the department said the passport numbers were counterfeits, as they had the wrong number of digits and had no letters.
Hallmarks of a classic Israeli operation By Ben Lynfield 17 Feb 2010 Was Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency, behind the assassination in Dubai? Israel had the strongest motive to kill Mr Mabhouh, and a series of declarations by former Mossad staff yesterday admiring the '"professionalism" of the hit certainly point in that direction. Mossad, which in Hebrew stands for the Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, is in charge of overseas espionage and covert operations.
Russia warns US against attacking Iran 17 Feb 2010 The chief of Russia's General Staff, Nikolai Makarov, has warned the US against striking Iran over the country's nuclear program. "The consequences, I believe, would be dreadful for Iran, as well as Russia, the entire Asia-Pacific community," Makarov said on Wednesday. The Russian military chief further suggested that the United States might turn its military attention on the Islamic Republic once its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been completed.
Five foreigners arrested in Revolution march 17 Feb 2010 Iran says five foreigners were arrested during the February 11 rallies marking the 31st anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Tehran Prosecutor Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi told the Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA) on Wednesday that three of the foreigners including a French national, a Russian and a Japanese reporter, were released after the charges against them were dropped.
10 killed in Ramadi bombing attack 18 Feb 2010 A car bombing has rocked Ramadi in the Western Iraqi province of al-Anbar, leaving at least 10 people, including four policemen, killed. Hospital officials said the blast hit a checkpoint on Thursday near local government offices in the city of Ramadi, 100 kilometers (62 miles) west of Baghdad, AFP reported.
Blackwater is a busy little bee! Several dead in Pakistani market blast 18 Feb 2010 A huge explosion has been heard in a cattle market in a Pakistani tribal region, killing at least ten people, according to officials. The blast occurred in Orakazi region on Thursday, a Press TV correspondent reported. Dozens of people were also injured in the incident.
US drone strike kills 4 in Pakistan 17 Feb 2010 At least four people have been killed in another US drone strike at a home in northwestern Pakistan, close to the Afghan border. The residents said the Wednesday attack targeted a house in Tapi Tolkhel village, just five kilometers from the border with the Afghan province of Khost. The attack was the third since Sunday in North Waziristan district.
UN officials criticize 'militarization' of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan 17 Feb 2010 The United Nations will not be involved in NATO's reconstruction plans for Marjah, the target of an ongoing military offensive, U.N. officials said Wednesday, expressing concerns about the military's expanding role in humanitarian assistance. "We ... are not part of that process. We do not wish to be part of that process because we would not want to have the humanitarian activities we deliver to be linked with military activity," said Robert Watkins, the deputy special representative of the secretary-general.
Another US-led soldier killed in Afghanistan 17 Feb 2010 Another US-led soldier in Afghanistan has been killed in south of the country while taking part in the offensive against the Taliban. According to a Tuesday statement released by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), the soldier was killed Tuesday by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Afghanistan's southern region.
UN should replace US in Haiti, says Brazil [Apparently, they're tired of the child trafficking, 20,000+ American troops, mercenaries, and the corporaterrorists.] 17 Feb 2010 The Brazilian foreign minister says the UN mission in Haiti should be the only operator in the aftermath of the crisis in the quake-ravaged country, dismissing the long stay of the US forces in the Central American nation. "Once emergency work is finished, it's best that UN forces are the only ones remaining on the ground," said Celso Amorim, referring to the United Nations mission in Haiti, or MINUSTAH. "It would be a mistake to think that the United States are resolving the Haitian crisis," Amorim told Spain's El Pais newspaper, reported AFP on Wednesday. [Yeah, letting the US in to 'help' is like letting loose forty child molesters on a playground. --LRP]
UN blames US for impeding relief efforts in Somalia 18 Feb 2010 UN humanitarian officials blame US measures 'to stop' Somali fighters for the hindering of humanitarian relief operations in the impoverished Somalia. "What we are seeing is a politicization of humanitarian issues," UN's top humanitarian official for Somalia, Mark Bowden told reporters in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday. The United States has reduced aid to the country on the claimed suspicions that the food and supplies get diverted to Somalia's antigovernment fighters. UN representatives, however, have rejected the allegation and have reportedly said that ordinary citizens have been suffering from 'impractical requirements' by the US government, which are purportedly meant to forestall fighters.
Biden Fears Terror Hit by Individual --Veep tells CBS News he's "very concerned" about lone attacker 17 Feb 2010 Vice President Joe Biden says the Obama administration has made "progress in dismantling the hierarchy of Al-Qaeda," but he's "very concerned" about the possibility of an individual carrying out a terrorist attack in the United States. When asked about his battle across the Sunday talk shows with his predecessor [sic], Dick Cheney, Biden said he likes Cheney and doesn't question his patriotism - but that Cheney is "wrong" in repeatedly charging that the administration doesn't take terrorism seriously enough.
Sen. Graham: White House mulling indefinite detention 15 Feb 2010 The White House is considering endorsing a law that would allow the indefinite detention of some alleged terrorists without trial as part of efforts to break a logjam with Congress over President Barack Obama’s plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday. Last summer, White House officials said they had ruled out seeking a "preventive detention" statute as a way to deal with anti-terror detainees. However, speaking at a news conference in Greenville, S.C., Monday, Graham said the White House now seems open to a new law to lay out the standards for open-ended imprisonment of those alleged to be members of or fighters for Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Khadr's lawyers challenge Ottawa's move to block evidence --Legal team says Khadr should be returned to Canada; not tried by military commission 17 Feb 2010 Political opponents blasted Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision not to seek the repatriation of Omar Khadr, saying Canada’s move to simply block tainted evidence from use at his military trial is not enough. The criticism came as Khadr’s Canadian legal team said it would challenge the federal government’s failure to seek the young man’s return from Guantanamo Bay. The decision by the Conservative government to merely ask American prosecutors to exclude tainted statements to Canadian investigators at his upcoming U.S. military trial fails to address the serious violation of Khadr’s constitutional rights that the Supreme Court of Canada identified, Khadr’s lawyers believe.
France orders 5 former Guantanamo inmates back to court 17 Feb 2010 France's highest court on Wednesday overruled a lower court's acquittal of five former inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison and ordered an appeals court to rehear the case centering on terrorism charges. The Court of Cassation did not immediately explain its reasons for the ruling, but a copy of its decision will be available Thursday, a spokesman for the court said. A defense lawyer representing two of the men criticized the ruling, saying it amounted to a "sinister page in the history of the judicial system" and "a great cruelty on a human level."
court dismisses suit over Guantanamo 'suicides' 17 Feb 2010 A
U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the families of two
Ill. bill could snarl plan for terrorism suspects 17 Feb 2010 The Illinois House has passed legislation that could complicate efforts to house terrorism suspects at an unused prison in northwestern Illinois. The measure would require lawmakers to vote on any proposal to transfer ownership of state property worth $1 million or more. It passed 81-31 Wednesday and now goes to the Senate.
TSA to swab airline passengers' hands in search for explosives 17 Feb 2010 To the list of instructions you hear at airport checkpoints, add this: "Put your palms forward, please." The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin 'randomly' swabbing passengers' hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives. Under the new protocols, tests will be conducted at various locations -- including in checkpoint lines, during the screening process and at gates.
Heads up! WHO to decide new flu vaccine formula 18 Feb 2010 World 'Health' Organization advisers will announce the make-up of this coming year's seasonal flu vaccine on Thursday... The WHO advisers could potentially vote to have the pandemic H1N1 strain substitute for the current H1N1 seasonal strain. This would be good news for vaccine makers and governments that have made and stockpiled doses of H1N1 vaccine that have not been used and could become part of the seasonal flu vaccine mix. [Translation: The World Homicide Organization wants to push Baxter's mercury-laden vaccines on us again because people wisely avoided the sh*t the first time around. --LRP]
Poll: Large majority opposes Supreme Court's decision on campaign financing 17 Feb 2010 Americans of both parties overwhelmingly oppose a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations 'and unions' to spend as much as they want on political campaigns, and most favor new limits on such spending, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Eight in 10 poll respondents say they oppose the high court's Jan. 21 decision to allow unfettered corporate political spending, with 65 percent "strongly" opposed. The poll reveals relatively little difference of opinion on the issue among Democrats (85 percent opposed to the ruling), Republicans (76 percent) and independents (81 percent).
Stimulating Hypocrisy: 111 Lawmakers Block Recovery While Taking Credit For Its Success (Think Progress) 17 Feb 2010 House Of Representatives list
217 possibly exposed to radiation at Ont. plant 16 Feb 2010 Up to 217 workers may have been exposed to nuclear radiation at a Bruce nuclear power plant near Owen Sound, Ont., says the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission in a document released Tuesday. The nuclear safety watchdog first confirmed last month that workers who were upgrading the Bruce A Unit 1 reactor may have been exposed to radiation.
Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) 16 Feb 2010 Waters from warmer latitudes -- or subtropical waters -- are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). "This is the first time we’ve seen waters this warm in any of the fjords in Greenland," says Straneo. "The subtropical waters are flowing through the fjord very quickly, so they can transport heat and drive melting at the end of the glacier."
'It is a big lie.' Taliban deny US report commander captured in Pakistan 16 Feb 2010 An Afghan Taliban spokesman on Tuesday denied a US report that its military commander had been arrested by US and Pakistani forces in a secret operation in Pakistan. The New York Times reported that US and Pakistani intelligence forces captured Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar several days ago and that he is currently in Pakistani custody with US officials taking part in his interrogation. "The rumours reported today on the arrest of Mullah Baradar are all untrue. It is a big lie," Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location. "He is currently in Afghanistan, where he is leading all jihadi activities... He is here with us and is in contact with us," he added.
Afghan Taleban's military chief Mullah Baradar seized 'in joint operation' with CIA 17 Feb 2010 The Afghan Taleban’s top military commander has been captured in Karachi in a secret raid by intelligence agents of Pakistan and the United States, according to official reports from both countries. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar -- described as the most significant Taleban figure captured since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 [blah, blah, blah] -- was arrested in a joint operation in the Pakistani city about ten days ago, they said. "The only thing we can say at the moment is that he is in our custody," the officer said.
Occupying forces send Afghan crack only to Iran 16 Feb 2010 Deadly narcotics like compact heroin, crack, is only produced, under the guidance of certain Western countries in Afghanistan, for consumption in Iran, commander of the drug squad says. "During the latest visit to neighboring countries, we found no signs of crack use. Crack is produced in Afghanistan under the guidance of western countries and sent to Iran," Commander of the drug squad General Hossein-Abadi told IRNA. "Heroin appears to constitute 80 percent of the drugs seized by the Iranian police. It seems that western countries have direct influence in drug trafficking," Hossein-Abadi noted.
'An attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada' [Buy this guy an atlas.] 16 Feb 2010 Junior Foreign Affairs minister Peter Kent is suggesting Canada stands ready to throw its full military weight behind Israel, telling a Toronto publication that "an attack on Israel would be considered an attack on Canada." His office says Mr. Kent, the minister of state for Foreign Affairs of the Americas, was merely "paraphrasing" what Stephen Harper has said in the past regarding Israel. "It’s not too far from what the [Prime Minister] has said," Norm McIntosh, Mr. Kent’s chief of staff, told The Globe.
Britons had passport details stolen by 'Mossad death squad' 17 Feb 2010 British authorities are investigating how six British nationals apparently had their identities stolen by suspected Mossad agents on a mission to assassinate a Hamas leader in Dubai. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed that the identities used by six members of the 11-strong hit squad were those of real British passport holders living in Israel. "We believe the passports used were fraudulent, and have begun our own investigation," a spokesman said.
'Mossad assassination squad used British passports' 16 Feb 2010 Six suspects in the assassination of a senior Hamas official in Dubai entered the country using British passports, it emerged yesterday. Police in the Gulf state announced that they were hunting for 11 suspects for the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a top Hamas commander, who was found dead in his Dubai hotel room on January 20.
Israeli Hit Squad? Dubai Police Issue International Warrants --11-Person Team Used Disguises, Fake European Passports in Plot to Kill Top Hamas Leader 16 Feb 2010 All signs point to an Israeli hit squad, using fake passports and elaborate disguises, in the assassination of a top Hamas leader in a Dubai hotel room, according to current and former intelligence officials. Police in Dubai have issued international arrest warrants for eleven people wanted in the murder of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a Hamas military commander, who was found dead in his room at the five-star Al Bustan Rotana Hotel in Dubai.
UK Embassy spying for US, Israel: Iran MP 16 Feb 2010 The British Embassy in Tehran has been gathering intelligence on Iran for United States and Israel, a senior Iranian lawmaker says. Deputy Head of the Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Esmail Kowsari told Fars news agency that "the US and the Zionist regime have been receiving intelligence [on Iran] through the British Embassy [in Tehran]."
Iran: US acting as military dictatorship in ME [and elsewhere] 16 Feb 2010 Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki says the US is acting as a military dictatorship in the Middle East by killing countless number of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran's top diplomat made the comments in response to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who said Iran is "moving toward a military dictatorship." The Iranian minister raised questions about the US military dictatorship in the region and said that Washington has killed large numbers of Iraqi and Afghan civilians while Iran has accepted and helped millions of refugees from the two countries.
Congressman says US should break Gaza blockade 14 Feb 2010 The United States should break Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver badly needed supplies by sea, a U.S. congressman told Gaza students. Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, also urged President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy to visit the Hamas-ruled territory to get a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Israeli's military offensive last year.
Hidden enemy delays advance in Marjah 16 Feb 2010 US Marines and Afghan troops were bogged down by sniper fire and home-made bombs on the third day of their biggest offensive since the overthrow of the Taleban in 2001. Nato and allied forces were meeting fierce resistance in their battle to seize the Taleban’s main stronghold in southern Afghanistan, and were able to advance only 500 yards yesterday. Multiple firefights broke out in various areas in and around Marjah.
'Friendly fire' probe into death of British soldier in Afghanistan 16 Feb 2010 An investigation has been launched into the death of a British soldier killed in Afghanistan amid suggestions he could have been the victim of "friendly fire", the Ministry of Defence said. Kingsman Sean Dawson, 19, from 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died in the Musa Qala area of Helmand Province on Sunday evening.
Afghanistan blast kills UK bomb expert in Helmand 15 Feb 2010 A British soldier has been killed by an explosion while trying to clear a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The member of 36 Engineer Regiment died as a result of wounds he suffered north east of Sangin, Helmand province.
Ottawa asks US not to use shared Guantanamo evidence --US forces in Afghanistan took Khadr prisoner when he was just 15 years old in July 2002. 16 Feb 2010 The Canadian government asked the United States not to use shared evidence to prosecute Canadian Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr. Canada's Supreme Court ruled last month that Ottawa violated Khadr's rights by sharing his statements to Canadian officials with Washington. Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Ottawa delivered a diplomatic note to Washington "seeking assurances that any evidence or statements shared with US authorities as a result of the interviews of Mr. Khadr by Canadian agents and officials in 2003 and 2004 not be used against him by US authorities in the context of proceedings before the (US) Military Commission or elsewhere."
How MI5 kept watchdog in the dark over detainees' claims of torture --Intelligence committee misled by MI5 evidence --Demands for reform after appeal court revelations 15 Feb 2010 It was in the middle of 2008 that Jonathan Evans, director general of MI5, delivered a bombshell confession to the previously compliant parliamentarians of the intelligence and security committee. He told them, in strict secrecy as usual, that assurances of MI5 innocence previously accepted without demur by the politicians had in fact been false. The committee, which was supposed to supervise MI5's policies, had already published a reassuring report on the basis of what it had been told. That report, based on testimony from Eliza Manningham-Buller, Evans's predecessor, informed the world that MI5 had been unaware of any ill-treatment dished out by its US allies to Binyam Mohamed. The opposite was true. As the appeal court has now finally revealed, detailed briefings had been supplied at the time by Washington on the CIA's "new strategy" for softening up Mohamed and others, for which it demanded British help.
Britain 'at greater risk of terrorism than US' 16 Feb 2010 Britain is at greater risk from terrorist attacks than the United States and Saudi Arabia, according to new research. The UK is ranked 41st [US is 46th] in the Terrorism Risk Index drawn up by global analysts Maplecroft - the highest position of any European Union country, apart from Spain.
Father of five 'still a terror threat' 16 Feb 2010 Reasonable grounds exist for suspecting that a father of five is the leader of a terrorist-related group in the UK, the High Court ruled today. A judge said the Home Secretary had reasonable grounds to suspect that BM, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was the leader of a group in Ilford, Essex, "involved in promoting terrorism".
Gag me with a chainsaw: Former US officials fend off simulated cyberattack [Corporaterrorist trolls seek million$ in security contracts to prevent their attacks] 16 Feb 2010 Former top US officials staged a digital doomsday simulation on Tuesday in which a huge cyberattack crashes cellphone networks, slows Web traffic to a crawl and plunges major cities into darkness. Dubbed "Cyber ShockWave," the elaborate exercise was held in a Washington hotel room transformed for the day into the White House Situation Room, where the president and his advisers typically meet to address national emergencies. Former president [sic] George W. Bush's Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff played the role of National Security Advisor as the "cabinet" sought to respond to a nightmare scenario drawn up by former CIA director Michael Hayden.
Security Scanner Firms Step Up Marketing 16 Feb 2010 Makers of scanners and other devices that aren't yet used at airports have cranked up their marketing and publicity efforts in recent weeks looking to capitalize on the near-disaster, as well as on privacy concerns raised by existing screening devices that see through clothing. The claims are bold: Intellicheck Mobilisa Inc., for example, which makes hand-held ID card-scanners, says in a product pitch that the attempted bombing on Dec. 25 "could have been prevented" by its technology.
'Covert' surveillance cameras coming to Chicago 16 Feb 2010 Blue-light surveillance cameras in Chicago's high-crime neighborhoods will someday be augmented by "covert" cameras that "fit inside of a match box" and keep the bad guys guessing, Police Supt. Jody Weis said. Now that communities have been saturated with hundreds of blue-light cameras, Weis says it's time to take Big Brother technology to "the next level." That means surveillance cameras similar to the hidden cameras used to snare corrupt politicians.
Obama: Environmental terrorist and lying sack of 'green job' sh*t: In Bid to Revive Nuclear Power, U.S. Is Backing New Reactors 17 Feb 2010 President Obama told an enthusiastic audience of union officials on Tuesday that the Energy Department had approved a loan guarantee intended to underwrite construction of two nuclear reactors [terror magnets for 'al-Qaeda,' right?] in Georgia, with taxpayers picking up much of the financial risk. In a speech in Lanham, Md., Mr. Obama announced government approval of an $8.3 billion loan guarantee to help the Southern Company build two reactors in Burke County, Ga., near Augusta.
Obama announces loan guarantees for two nuclear reactors 16 Feb 2010 President Obama announced $8.3 billion in loan guarantees Tuesday for two nuclear reactors to be built in Burke County, Georgia. The new reactors are to be part of an expansion of an existing nuclear facility near Augusta, Georgia, operated by Atlanta-based Southern Co.
Bomb explodes in front of JP Morgan bank in Athens 16 Feb 2010 A bomb explosion outside a JP Morgan bank in Athens has caused only minor damage and no injuries. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the time-bomb placed outside the offices of the second largest US bank by assets, located in the central district of Kolonaki, said a police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. On Tuesday, shortly before the bombing, a local newspaper received a warning call and in turn immediately informed the police.
Foreigners cut Treasury stakes; rates could rise --Foreign demand for short-term Treasurys tumbles, led by China; chance of higher rates looms 16 Feb 2010 A record drop in foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury bills in December sent a reminder that the government might have to pay higher interest rates on its debt to continue to attract investors. China reduced its stake and lost the position it's held for more than a year as the largest foreign holder of Treasury debt. The Treasury Department said foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury bills fell by a record $53 billion in December.
700,000 Britons swell the ranks of 'underemployed' --Number of people who cannot work as many hours as they want rises to 2.8m 17 Feb 2010 As today's expected unemployment figures show another stabilisation in the headline numbers, the Office for National Statistics has reported that the equivalent of an extra 2.8 million people are officially "underemployed" - that is having to work fewer hours than they want - in addition to the 2.6 million officially out of a job.
Economy prompts fresh look at ND's socialist bank 16 Feb 2010 It has no automatic tellers or drive-up windows, doesn't issue credit cards, and tends only a few thousand checking and savings accounts. Its only location is a glass, steamboat-shaped headquarters near the Missouri River... The Bank of North Dakota -- the nation's only state-owned bank -- might seem to be a relic. It was the brainchild of a failed flax farmer and one-time Socialist Party organizer during World War I. But now officials in other states are wondering if it is helping North Dakota sail through the national recession.
Minot AFB prepares for biological and chemical attacks --Minot AFB completes 'Prairie Night 10-1' drill 12 Feb 2010 Minot Air Force Base has completed a 48-hour training exercise, dubbed Prairie Night 10-1, to ensure that members of its 5th Bomb Wing are prepared in the event of a biological or chemical attack if deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan. The simulated attack began at 11:39 AM with the sound of mortars hitting. Airmen at the base climbed into their chemical gear as if the attack were real in an effort to build muscle memory for an attack in the field, making preparation for the attack second nature to them.
Prairie Knight Exercise 10-1 at Minot Air Force Base --Warbirds to participate in training scenarios that include donning of chemical gear in aftermath of airfield attack 10 Feb 2010 The 5th Bomb Wing launches a 48-hour exercise today to test the wing's capabilities in preparation for an August conventional operational readiness inspection. The two-day event, Prairie Knight 10-1, measures the wing's ability to survive and operate in a contingency environment and will include a launch of 24 B-52 combat sorties practicing to place bombs on target, said Col. Julian Tolbert, vice-wing commander at Minot Air Force Base.
Air Force decertifies nuclear warheads unit in NM 10 Feb 2010 The Air Force says it has decertified a unit responsible for maintaining an estimated 2,000 nuclear warheads at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, but top military officials won't discuss the decision. Decertification means squadron members cannot perform their usual duties with nuclear weapons. Air Force officials won't specify what that means.
Civilians killed as Operation Moshtarak tightens screw 15 Feb 2010 US, British and Afghan forces claimed they made steady inroads into the last big Taliban stronghold in central Helmand yesterday but their mission was clouded by the deaths of 12 civilians in a Nato missile strike. The victims, 10 of them from one family, were killed when two missiles fired by US forces missed a compound being used by 'insurgents' hitting a nearby building where they had taken shelter from the fighting.
Five civilians killed, two injured in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan 16 Feb 2010 Five civilians were killed and two others injured Monday in an airstrike by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in south Afghanistan, an ISAF press release said Monday night. "An ISAF airstrike against suspected insurgents accidentally killed five and wounded two civilians in the Zhari district of Kandahar province today," said the press release.
US fears being bogged down in Marjah as snipers hit major offensive --US troops advance only 500 yards today 15 Feb 2010 US Marines and Afghan troops were making slow progress as they came under attack from snipers on the third day of a major offensive to seize the Taleban’s stronghold in southern Afghanistan. Multiple firefights broke out in different areas in and around Marjah, the last militant stronghold in the country’s most violent province, Helmand. The US troops leading Operation Moshtarak -- "Togetherness" -- advanced only 500 yards today. Marine units twice tried to capture the town’s central bazaar, only to be pushed back.
Blast kills British soldier in Afghanistan 15 Feb 2010 A powerful roadside explosion has killed a British soldier in southern Afghanistan amid increasing causalities for foreign forces there. According to the British Ministry of Defense, the soldier died after being hit by the blast while on foot patrol northeast of Sangin in Helmand Province on Sunday.
US drone strike kills 3 in Pakistan 15 Feb 2010 At least three people have been killed by an unmanned US aircraft in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border. The US missile hit a vehicle in the village of Tabi Ghundi Kala on Monday, according to officials. In an interview with AFP, a senior Pakistani security official on condition of anonymity claimed that the incident killed three militants. Local reports, however, said that two missiles hit the vehicle and four people were killed.
US Missiles Said to Kill 6 in Pakistan 15 Feb 2010 Two missiles fired from an American drone aircraft killed at least six 'militants' in North Waziristan on Sunday, Pakistani security officials said. The target of the attack on Sunday was a compound in the town of Mir Ali. The identity of those killed was not clear. [Probably an eight-year-old, a four-year-old and a baby. That's a typical daily US 'oops' civilian kill total.]
Bomb hits election campaign office in Baghdad 15 Feb 2010 A bomb explosion struck the office of a political group campaigning for Iraq's general elections in Baghdad on Monday, while mortar shells hit a U.S. base in the capital, an Interior Ministry source said. An explosive charge detonated at the entrance of a building of a campaign office used by a political group in the al-Qahira neighborhood in northern Baghdad, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
Violence kills three people In Iraq 15 Feb 2010 Three people have been killed and seven others wounded in the latest terrorist attacks in the capital city of Baghdad and northern Iraq. On Sunday, unidentified [Blackwater?] gunmen opened fire on two civilians who were travelling on a motorbike in Kirkuk, killing one and seriously wounding the other, police said.
Israeli politicians may provoke arrest to force law change in Britain 15 Feb 2010 A swift change to the law promised by ministers to prevent Israeli politicians and generals being arrested [for war crimes] when they visit Britain is in doubt. A Cabinet split over timing threatens to postpone any alteration of the rules until after the election, The Times has learnt, even though ministers assured Israel that it was a priority. Such a delay would leave visiting Israelis at risk and could worsen an already sour dispute with Jerusalem. Tzipi Livni, the Israeli opposition leader whose threatened arrest sparked the dispute, indicated last night that she was prepared to travel to Britain and "take the bullet" if that was the only way to shame the Government into action.
The new McCarthyism sweeping Israel --To disagree with the state is to 'delegitimise' the state: that is the increasingly strident response of the country's political and military establishment to those who dare to criticise its conduct 13 Feb 2010 ...The row has come to symbolise a new mood of establishment intolerance in Israel towards criticisms by Israeli human rights groups of such episodes as last year's military operation in Gaza. This harsh new mood has been fuelled by ministers, right-wing politicians and military figures who have closed ranks behind accusations that the UN-commissioned report into the war, led by Richard Goldstone, which accused both sides of war crimes, is being used to "delegitimise Israel".
Clinton says U.S. fears Iran is becoming a military dictatorship [Hello, Iranian pot? This is Israeli kettle...] 15 Feb 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the United States fears Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has gained enough power to potentially supplant the Tehran government. Speaking to Arab students at Carnegie Mellon's Doha campus Monday, Clinton made comments... that went further than previous administration statements. Clinton strongly suggested the United States would defend Persian Gulf allies from Iranian aggression, in what appeared to be an echo of her controversial proposal for a defense umbrella for the region.
Hillary Clinton in Middle East to push Iran sanctions 14 Feb 2010 Hillary Clinton has arrived in the Middle East on a three-day mission to gather support for tougher sanctions against Iran. The US Secretary of State is visiting Qatar and Saudi Arabia to see a series of high-level diplomatic and military contacts. She told the US-Islamic World forum the West was "encouraging Iran to reconsider its dangerous policy decisions" on its nuclear programme.
Iranian warship, destroyer dock at Qatari port 15 Feb 2010 A warship and a destroyer belonging to the Iranian naval fleet have berthed at Qatar's Doha port upon an invitation by Qatari Naval officials. Iranian Ambassador to Doha Abdullah Sohrabi and Iran's military attache in Qatar Brigadier-General Mashallah Poursheh conferred with commanders and cadets aboard the Bandar Abbas warship and Naqdi Destroyer.
American spy chiefs alarmed by Binyam Mohamed ruling --US intelligence sources are concerned that a British court's ruling on secret CIA interrogation records could affect the flow of information. 14 Feb 2010 Alarmed US spy chiefs are seeking urgent assurances from British counterparts that intelligence they share on terror threats will remain classified after a London court authorised the release of secret CIA interrogation records. British officials have been asked to explain the impact of the Court of Appeal ruling amid fears in the US that Britain can no longer be trusted with secrets crucial to the two countries' national security.
MPs demand reform of security oversight --Pressure mounts on ministers to overhaul the committee in charge of scrutinising the security services after MI5 officers were found to be complicit in the torture of Binyam Mohamed 14 Feb 2010 Ministers were tonight coming under mounting pressure to set up a judicial inquiry and overhaul the nature of the committee in charge of scrutinising the security services. The calls for reform came in response to evidence that MI5 officers were complicit in the inhumane treatment of British resident Binyam Mohamed and misled parliament. Senior Conservative politicians joined the former attorney general Lord Goldsmith in calling for an investigation into whether Britain's intelligence agencies or government were complicit in the torture of British terror suspects abroad.
Seven Paragraphs (The New York Times) 15 Feb 2010 There are times when governments fight to keep documents secret to protect sensitive intelligence or other vital national security interests. And there are times when they are just trying to cover up incompetence, misbehavior or lawbreaking. Last week, when a British court released secret intelligence material relating to the torture allegations of a former Guantánamo prisoner, Binyam Mohamed, it was clear that the second motive had been in play when both the Bush and the Obama administrations and some high-ranking British officials tried to prevent the disclosure.
'The actual target of their planning was never revealed in court.' Hefty jail terms for terrorism plotters 16 Feb 2010 Australia's longest-running criminal trial ended in a specially-built courthouse in Sydney's West on Monday, with five men sentenced to jail terms of up to 28 years. In a televised hearing, Supreme Court judge Antony Whealy said their fundamentalist Islamic beliefs drove them to plot a terrorist attack on a large scale. Legal experts say the case shows anti-terrorism laws can lead to successful prosecutions, but they worry the long-term consequences of the tough laws could harm counter-terrorism efforts.
Five Sydney men jailed over terrorism plot 15 Feb 2010 Five Sydney men convicted of terrorism-related offences have been sentenced to maximum sentences ranging from 23 to 28 years in prison. In October last year, at the end of Australia's longest terrorism trial, a jury found them guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist act or acts. During the sentencing hearing at the Supreme Court in Parramatta today, Justice Anthony Whealy said the men regarded their imprisonment as a badge of honour.
Airport body scanners 'may be unlawful' --The use of body scanners at UK airports may be unlawful, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned. 15 Feb 2010 Scanners already in place at Heathrow and Manchester Airports may be breaking discrimination law as well as breaching passengers' rights to privacy, the commission said. The commission has now expressed its concerns in a letter to Lord Adonis, the Transport Secretary. In the letter, the commission... said that it also had ''serious doubts that the decision to roll this (body scanning) out in all UK airports complies with the law''.
Biden: Military 'trial' possible for 9/11 suspect 15 Feb 2010 Vice President Joe Biden says the administration has not ruled out a military 'trial' for the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks even if a civilian trial would be preferable. Biden, in defending the Obama administration from critics of its approach to prosecuting accused terrorists, said in interviews aired Sunday that it is not yet clear where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Sept. 11 suspects held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will be tried.
Accused shooter linked to Harvard bomb plot --Bishop was calm as she got into a police car Friday, denying that the shootings occurred. "It didn't happen. There's no way. ...They are still alive." 14 Feb 2010 The scientist who is accused of killing three colleagues at the University of Alabama had been a key suspect in an attempted bomb plot at Harvard in 1993, police officials told The Boston Globe on Sunday. Authorities questioned Amy Bishop and her husband, James Anderson, in March 1993 after a bomb-laden package was delivered to a Harvard professor and doctor at Boston's Children's Hospital, the Globe reported.
Dr. Amy Bishop of Alabama-Huntsville killed to protect intellectual property By Zennie Abraham 14 Feb 2010 It was revealed to this blogger by a source who claims that Amy Bishop was his faculty advisor, that Dr. Amy Bishop Anderson killed to protect what she considered to be her intellectual property after Bishop lost tenure and was not going to be retained by the University. "You called it when you said you thought this happened over her invention," and referring to this bloggers first post on this matter,"When her tenure was denied, that invention became the intellectual property of the university." The invetion Dr. Amy Bishop believed was hers and that she had rights to something Bishop created, and what was reported, is a portable cell-incubator called "InQ" which won the couple an award in a state competition and won $25,000 of seed money in a business competition, money they could use to start a company around the invention.
Obama Moves to Unravel Twenty Years of 'Law & Order' Episodes, Seeks Optional Miranda By Lori Price, www.legitgov.org 13 Feb 2010 The Obusha Friday night bad news dump (under cover of the Olympic Games), is really, really bad and is way beyond Bush! In a single night, President Barack Obama re-invaded Afghanistan... and announced that the White House is 'reviewing a plan that would require the Justice Department and FBI to consult with the intelligence community before *deciding* whether to inform terrorism suspects arrested in the United States that they have the right to remain silent and to consult with an attorney.' Now, how are we going to watch 'Law & Order,' 'The Closer,' 'NCIS,' and all the other good crime dramas, after the constitutional law scholar unravels their plots by deciding *if* suspects should be read their rights? Soon, the only show we'll be able to watch will be '24...' The plots of '24' (like Fox News itself) revolve around torture for the sake of sexual gratification of Fox's audience.
NY Times probes reporter's lifting from other news sources 15 Feb 2010 The New York Times is conducting an investigation after a Wall Street and finance reporter was found to have improperly used wording and passages from other news organizations. Zachery Kouwe, who joined the Times in 2008 from the New York Post, "reused language from The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and other sources without attribution or acknowledgement," the Times said in an editors' note.
Bayh Decides Against Re-election Bid 15 Feb 2010 Senator Evan Bayh, the Indiana Democrat [corporaterrorist troll], said today that he would not seek a third term in Congress, a move that gives Republicans yet another opportunity to pick up a Senate seat and gives Democrats some fresh anxiety about whether they are losing the party’s center. The decision, which he announced at an afternoon press conference, came as a surprise to Democrats in his state who had already started working on his campaign.
£4.5bn bonus pot expected as Barclays profits soar 15 Feb 2010 Banking giant Barclays is to post record annual profits of more than £11 billion tomorrow - triggering huge payouts for legions of its investment bankers. The profits bonanza - almost double the level achieved in 2008 - is expected to generate a reported pay and bonus pot of £4.5 billion for last year.
Monsanto 'faked' data for approvals claims its ex-chief 09 Feb 2010 Former managing director of Monsanto India, Tiruvadi Jagadisan, is the latest to join the critics of Bt brinjal, perhaps the first industry insider to do so. Jagadisan, who worked with Monsanto for nearly two decades, including eight years as the managing director of India operations, spoke against the new variety during the public consultation held in Bangalore on Saturday. On Monday, he elaborated by saying the company "used to fake scientific data" submitted to government regulatory agencies to get commercial approvals for its products in India.
Goldsmith calls for investigation into UK's role in torture --Former attorney general demands 'clarification' from ministers on activities of intelligence agencies 14 Feb 2010 The former attorney general Lord Goldsmith last night called for an investigation into whether Britain's intelligence agencies or government were complicit in the torture of British terror suspects abroad. His demand came days after the Court of Appeal's decision last week to release seven paragraphs summarising a US intelligence report which showed that MI5 was aware of the inhumane treatment, including sleep deprivation and shackling, meted out to the terror suspect Binyam Mohamed by his CIA interrogators in 2002.
Legal gloves come off in row over 'torture' --Claims that MI5 misled MPs is 'a calumny and a slur', says chairman of intelligence committee 13 Feb 2010 An influential committee of MPs overseeing the role of MI5 was warned last year it had been misled over Britain's alleged collusion in torture. A letter written by lawyers for Binyam Mohamed and sent to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) detailed a number of "inaccuracies" in the MPs' report on the UK's alleged involvement in rendition. It made clear that evidence given to the High Court about what the secret services knew of Mr Mohamed's treatment by the CIA was in stark contrast with the committee's findings, which exonerated MI5 of collusion in torture.
Obama's secret prisons in Afghanistan endanger us all --He was elected in part to drag us out of this trap. Instead, he's dragging us further in By Johann Hari 12 Feb 2010 [Barack Obama] is escalating the war in Afghanistan, and has taken the war to another Muslim country. The CIA and hired mercenaries are now operating on Obama's orders inside Pakistan, where they are sending unarmed drones to drop bombs and sending secret agents to snatch suspects. The casualties are overwhelmingly civilians... Obama ran on an inspiring promise to shut down Bush's network of kidnappings and secret prisons... Yet a string of recent exposes has shown that Obama is in fact maintaining a battery of secret prisons where people are held without charge indefinitely - and he is even expanding them.
U.S. to Be Hit By Massive Cyber Attack On Feb. 16. Asterisk. By Marc Ambinder 10 Feb 2010 On February 16, at about 10:00 am ET, the U.S. will be hit by a massive, crippling cyber attack from an unknown entity. Key players will convene in the White House situation room and plan the response, from mitigation to (possibly) retaliation... The war-game is not being put on by the Department of Homeland Security or the Obama administration: it is being run independently and will include former officials who are not part of the federal government. [As with other drills, the CLG hopes that the f*ckers don't *go live,* as they did on 9/11. --LRP]
DHS Monitoring Social Media and Web Sites for Terror, Disaster Info 13 Feb 2010 As the winter Olympics begin, the Department of Homeland Security has disclosed that it will be monitoring the comments and posts on websites and social media like Twitter for information on possible terror threats. Among the sites listed in a privacy impact statement filed Friday afternoon by DHS are the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post, Twitter, Google and the ABC News blog, the Blotter. [Apparently, others too. 18.104.22.168 OrgName: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NetRange: 22.214.171.124 - 126.96.36.199 Direct Assignment NameServer: NS3.DHS.GOV NameServer: NS4.DHS.GOV NameServer: NS5.DHS.GOV NameServer: NS6.DHS.GOV 188.8.131.52 - - [10/Feb/2010:05:49:16 -0500] "GET /graphics/logosmalr.gif HTTP/1.1" 200 5526 "http://www.legitgov.org/" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; InfoPath.2; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)" Etc. Hope you enjoyed your *visits.*]
US seeks cell phone tracking of suspects without warrant 13 Feb 2010 A US Appeals Court weighs a government petition on whether to allow the police to track down suspected criminals through cell-phone signals without a warrant. The Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia has begun working on a government appeal meant to authorize the law enforcement to obtain cell-phone tracking information of suspected individuals from telecommunication companies without having to give a possible reason for their probe.
US forces kill 'eight bystanders' in Iraq 13 Feb 2010 US forces have shot eight Iraqi people, most of them 'innocent bystanders,' in a raid in a village southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi provincial officials say. Iraqi provincial council officials described the US raid as slaughter and demanded financial compensation for the relatives of the victims.
US drone attack kills five in Pakistan 14 Feb 2010 A US drone missile attack has killed at least five suspected militants at an alleged training compound in Pakistan's North Waziristan region. "Two missiles landed on a militant compound in Zor Babar Aidak village near Mirali town," a security official based in Miranshah, capital of North Waziristan, said on Sunday. "The US drone strike killed five people and wounded three others," the unnamed official added.
NATO rockets miss target, kill 12 Afghan civilians 14 Feb 2010 Twelve Afghans died Sunday when two rockets fired at 'insurgents' missed their target and struck a house during the second day of NATO's most ambitious effort yet to break the militants' grip on the country's south. NATO said two rockets from a High Mobility Artillery Rocket System were aimed at insurgents firing on Afghan and NATO forces, but stuck 1,000 feet (300 meters) off their intended target.
Civilians die in second day of Afghan offensive 14 Feb 2010 Twelve civilians were killed during a major coalition assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan Sunday, prompting an apology from the head of NATO-led forces in the country. "We deeply regret this tragic loss of life," Ineternational Security Assistance Force commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal said in a statement which said he had conveyed his regret to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai warns US troops about civilian deaths [I think the horse has left the barn on that one.] 13 Feb 2010 Afghan President Hamid Karzai urges all troops operating in Afghanistan to avoid civilian casualties during the new military operation in the country. Thousands of US troops have launched a major offensive in the southern Afghan town of Marjah in Helmand Province to allegedly rout out Taliban militants in the region.
UK role in Afghan offensive 'goes to plan', MoD says 14 Feb 2010 The first stage of a major Nato offensive in Afghanistan involving some 1,000 British troops has gone to plan, the Ministry of Defence has said. British soldiers are among the 15,000 Nato troops searching for the Taliban in Marjah and Nad Ali in Helmand. Maj Gen Gordon Messenger said British troops, working with Afghan forces, had come under small-arms fire but "nothing had stopped the mission progressing".
3 U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan bomb attack 13 Feb 2010 Three U.S. soldiers died after a roadside bomb attack in southern Afghanistan on Saturday, NATO said in a statement. No details were given. U.S.-led troops launched a NATO offensive on Saturday in the Taliban's last major stronghold in Helmand. It was not clear whether the three were killed in that campaign.
British soldier dies in Afghanistan offensive on Taleban 13 Feb 2010 A British soldier died as more than 15,000 troops launched the biggest military offensive in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taleban in 2001. The soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards was killed by an explosion while on patrol in a Jackal vehicle in Nad Ali, Helmand province, in the early stages of Operation Moshtarak, the Ministry of Defence said.
Canadian soldier killed in blast during training exercise 13 Feb 2010 A Canadian soldier died after an explosion during a training exercise at a weapons range near Kandahar City on Friday. Corporal Joshua Caleb Baker, 24, died in the dinnertime blast, which also injured four other soldiers who are expected to recover.
Refugees flee to capital of Helmand to avoid huge Nato Afghan offensive 10 Feb 2010 As British troops count the hours until the start of the largest Nato offensive since the US-led invasion of 2001, Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, is witnessing the arrival of a grim procession of frightened refugees desperate to escape the battle. Nato forces have urged civilians to flee Marjah -- one of the most heavily populated parts of rural Helmand -- as more than 15,000 British, Afghan and American troops make their final preparations for Operation Moshtarak -- "Togetherness" [aka Operation War Crime].
Israeli warplanes draw Lebanese anti-aircraft fire 14 Feb 2010 The Lebanese Army has opened anti-aircraft fire on Israeli military aircrafts violating its airspace again, the Press TV has learned. The Lebanese forces launched the defensive fire on the intruding aircrafts flying at medium attitude over the village of Rashaya, as well as western, eastern and central Beqaa on Friday, our correspondent reported.
Israel is accused of waging covert war across the Middle East 13 Feb 2010 Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities. Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut.
Lights going out in Gaza again 14 Feb 2010 The Gaza Energy Authority says the Gaza Strip's only power plant will stop functioning once again if fuel is not received immediately. In a statement issued on Saturday afternoon, the Energy Authority said that one generator had already been shut down and the remaining amount of fuel was only sufficient to continue the plant's electricity output for a few hours.
Palestinian protesters pose as Na'vi from "Avatar" [Awesome!] 13 Feb 2010 Palestinian protesters have added a colorful twist to demonstrations against Israel's separation barrier [apartheid wall], painting themselves blue and posing as characters from the hit film "Avatar." The demonstrators also donned long hair and loincloths Friday for the weekly protest against the barrier near the village of Bilin. They equated their struggle to the intergalactic one portrayed in the film.
A Demonstrator dressed as a figure of the movie 'Avatar', shouts slogans against Israel's separation barrier in the West Bank village of Bilin near Ramallah, Friday, Feb. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)
UK sentences six over 2009 Gaza war protests 13 Feb 2010 Six British Muslim men have been jailed for clashing with police during the anti-Gaza war rally in front of the Israeli Embassy in London in January last year. A court sentences the young men to periods of between one to years each in jail for violent conduct. A Press TV correspondent said most of the convicts on Saturday were 19 to 20 years old, and had protested that they had been provoked by the police.
Israel not able to attack Iran, ex-IDF chief says 14 Feb 2010 Former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says Tel Aviv is not able to launch a preemptive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities. "We are taking upon ourselves a task that is bigger than us. I think that... Israel should not take it upon itself to be the flag-bearer of the entire Western world in the face of the Iranian threat," Halutz told Channel 2 news on Saturday.
Pentagon to track assault of contractor employees 12 Feb 2010 The sexual assault of employees of U.S. military contractors working in Iraq and Afghanistan will be tracked by the Pentagon under a system it is setting up. The tracking will likely begin this year, Defense official Gail McGinn said in a memo to the Pentagon's Inspector General included in a report released Friday.
Cheney cites Bush disagreements on terror suspects 14 Feb 2010 Dick Cheney says there was a major disagreement in the Bush administration about how to bring suspected terrorists to justice. Cheney says there was a "major shoot-out" in the Bush White House [Damn! We must have missed that.] between the Justice Department and "the rest of us" about whether suspects should be charged in federal courts or sent to military tribunals. He says that dispute was "never thoroughly resolved." Cheney says he believe that professed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will eventually face trial in a military court.
New 9/11 photos released By James Fetzer, Ph.D. 10 Feb 2010 Newly released aerial photos (AP via ABC News, Det. Greg Semendinger) of the World Trade Center terror attack capture the towers' dramatic collapse, from just after the first fiery plane strike to the apocalyptic dust clouds that spread over lower Manhattan. But the photos suggest something else was going on. This does not look like a "collapse".
Professor Charged With Capital Murder 14 Feb 2010 A University of Alabama Huntsville biology professor is charged with capital murder, with other charges likely. Authorities say Amy Bishop used a nine millimeter gun to shoot six colleagues during a faculty meeting on Friday. Three of the six were killed. Investigators will not discuss a motive. Police also confirmed today that the professor killed her brother in December 1986, but records of it are missing.
Iceland aims to become an offshore haven for journalists and leakers By Jonathan Stray 11 Feb 2010 On Tuesday, the Icelandic parliament is expected to introduce a measure aimed at making the country an international center for investigative journalism publishing, by passing the strongest combination of source protection, freedom of speech, and libel-tourism prevention laws in the world. Supporters of the proposal say the move would make Iceland an "offshore publishing center" for free speech, analogous to the offshore financial havens that allow corporations to hide capital from authorities.
Conservative manifesto coming soon 12 Feb 2010 With conservatives grappling among themselves for control of their movement -- and the Republican Party -- a group of more than 80 prominent conservative thinkers [an oxymoron] are set to unveil their version of a mission statement for the right. What they are calling "the Mount Vernon Statement" in homage to George Washington will be unveiled and signed Wednesday -- on the eve of the annual gathering in Washington of the establishment right, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Anthem Blue Cross to delay rate increases --The scheduled March 1 hike of up to 39% for individual health insurance policies will not take effect before May 1. In the meantime, California regulators will analyze the legality of the increases. 14 Feb 2010 Anthem Blue Cross on Saturday announced it would delay until May 1 controversial price increases of up to 39% for its individual health insurance policyholders in California, but maintained its rates were fair, legal and necessary. The announcement followed a barrage of criticism in recent weeks from policyholders, consumer advocates, regulators, state legislators, members of Congress and the Obama administration.
Aspartame has been renamed and is now being marketed as a natural sweetener By Ethan Huff 12 Feb 2010 In response to growing awareness about the dangers of artificial sweeteners, what does the manufacturer of one of the world's most notable artificial sweeteners do? Why, rename it and begin marketing it as natural, of course. This is precisely the strategy of Ajinomoto, maker of aspartame, which hopes to pull the wool over the eyes of the public with its rebranded version of aspartame, called "AminoSweet".
of Animals Urges Canada to Support Increased Polar Bear Protections
11 Feb 2010 Friends of Animals today urged the Canadian government to
reverse its decision to oppose greater international protections for polar
bears. "The reckless decision by Canadian Minister of Environment
Jim Prentice to oppose increased protections for polar bears flies in
the face of the overwhelming scientific consensus that these highly visible
arctic animals are in trouble," said Friends of Animals President
Priscilla Feral... Dave Shishkoff, FoA Canadian Correspondent and Friends
of Animals are encouraging people to send letters
to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Minister of Environment
Jim Prentice urging them to support greater protections:
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