Citizens For Legitimate Government is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose and resist US imperialism, corpora-terrorism, and the New World Order.


Citizens For Legitimate Government™
is a multi-partisan activist group established to expose and resist US imperialism, corpora-terrorism, and the New World Order.

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September 2009 Archives, Page Two

CLG in Washington Post: Mandatory Flu Shots Hit Resistance --Many Health-Care Workers Required to Get Vaccines By Rob Stein 26 Sep 2009 With the H1N1 pandemic spreading rapidly, hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses, orderlies and other U.S. health-care workers for the first time are being required to get flu shots, drawing praise from many public-health authorities but condemnation from some employees, unions and other critics who object to mandatory vaccination... "You start with health-care workers but then expand that umbrella to make it mandatory for everybody," said Lori Price of Citizens for Legitimate Government, a Bristol, Conn.-based group that opposes government expansion. "It's all part of an encroachment on our liberties."

GOP Senators Pull Out of Inquiry Into CIA Program 26 Sep 2009 Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said Friday that they will no longer participate in an investigation into the Bush administration's interrogation policies, arguing that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s decision to reexamine allegations of detainee abuse prisoner torture by the CIA would hobble any inquiry. The intelligence committee launched a review in March of CIA interrogations of 'high-value' detainees.

Iran and United States on collision course over nuclear plant --Tension grows ahead of Geneva talks after 'secret' uranium plant is revealed and Obama considers tougher sanctions 27 sep 2009 The US and Iran raised the stakes yesterday ahead of this week's nuclear showdown in Geneva, with threats of global strife if no resolution is found. The sharpened rhetoric followed Friday's revelation that Iran had been building a secret uranium enrichment plant under a mountain near Qom, and it points towards a new wave of sanctions that go far beyond the targeted financial measures imposed on Iran so far.

U.S. to Demand Inspection of New Iran Plant 'Within Weeks' 27 Sep 200 The Obama administration plans to tell Iran this week that it must open a newly revealed nuclear enrichment site to international inspectors "within weeks," according to senior administration officials. The administration will also seek full access to the key personnel who put together the clandestine plant... American and European officials say they will also press Iran to open suspected nuclear sites to inspectors, and to turn over notebooks and computers involved in suspected weapons design. President Obama has repeatedly said Iran must show significant cooperation by the end of the year, establishing what officials say is effectively a three-month deadline for action.

UK says 'no sane person' thinks about attacking Iran [Makes sense --Joe Lieberman thinks about it 24/7.] 26 Sep 2009 As revelations about Iran's new under-construction nuclear enrichment facility surface, Britain reaffirms commitment to finding a diplomatic solution to the nuclear row. In an interview with the BBC, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said "no sane person" would look to attack Iran over its nuclear program "without real concern." Britain is "100 percent committed" to finding a diplomatic solution, Miliband said.

Iran envoy challenges West to prove nuclear claims 27 Sep 2009 Amid Western clamor over Iran's newly-disclosed nuclear enrichment facility, Tehran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency challenges Western countries to prove their claim of 'Iranian deception'. Speaking to Press TV on Saturday, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh explained that under the IAEA Safeguards Agreements, Iran is only obliged to inform the UN nuclear watchdog of the existence of enrichment plants six months before the facility goes operational.

UN: 1,500 Afghan civilians dead in 8 months 27 Sep 2009 A United Nations report has noted that a total of 1,500 civilians have lost their lives in insurgency-hit Afghanistan from the beginning of the year to August. The UN said in a new report that NATO air strikes were to blame for about a quarter of civilian deaths across the war-ravaged country over the past months.

Withdraw from Afghanistan or face more terrorist attacks: Bin Laden 27 Sep 2009 In A new [Langley] audio recording, al-Qaeda leader 'Osama bin Laden' urged European nations to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, with a veiled threat of reprisals and an allusion to past bombings in Madrid and London. The message came as European nations, particularly Germany, are under increasing public and political pressures to reconsider their part in the Afghan war. Germany was also warned by the Taliban to remove its 4200 troops from Afghanistan or face internal terror attacks.

Oops! 16 al-Qaeda members escape from Iraqi jail 26 Sep 2009 U.S. and Iraqi militaries have launched a massive manhunt for 16 'al-Qaeda' members who broke out of a jail in Tikrit, the former home town of deposed president Saddam Hussein. U.S. military officials say they are providing aerial surveillance and search dogs for the manhunt.

Terrorist attacks across Iraq target cops 27 Sep 2009 At least one Iraqi police member has been killed and six others injured in the latest spate of terrorist assaults targeting security forces across conflict-stricken Iraq. In the first incident, an Iraqi policeman was gunned down on Saturday when unidentified assailants [aka Xe] opened fire on him at a popular outdoor market in Bab al-Toub district, central Mosul. The armed men fled the scene after the incident, according to eyewitnesses.

Fifteen Iraqi soldiers killed in bombing accident 26 Sep 2009 Fifteen Iraqi soldiers have been killed while disposing of bombs. An unspecified number were wounded. Security officials said Friday the troops had been deployed to an area east of Mosul to collect live bombs and transport them to an isolated area, where they were to be defused or detonated.

Army Officer Who Refused Iraq Duty Is Allowed to Resign 27 Sep 2009 The Army is allowing the resignation of the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq, his lawyer said late Friday. The officer, First Lt. Ehren Watada, will be granted a discharge on Oct. 2, "under other-than-honorable conditions," said the lawyer, Kenneth Kagan.

Palestinian driver says Israeli soldiers beat him 26 Sep 2009 Muhammad Id'is, 27, married with two children, is a driver in the Palestinian territories. Earlier this month, according to testimony he has given to the Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem, he was repeatedly beaten by four Israeli soldiers, one of them an officer. He was hospitalised with internal wounds.

Protests in support of Zelaya continue in Honduras 26 Sep 2009 Protests in support of Manuel Zelaya have gained pace with thousands on the streets 90 days after the Honduran president was ousted. After thousands marched to the Brazilian embassy where Zelaya has been holed up since Monday, hundreds more took part in a vehicle protest, hanging out car windows, honking horns and waving Honduran flags as they drove through a main axis of the capital, Tegucigalpa.

'No traces of any kind of chemical was found in his vehicle.' Attorney: No evidence of bomb-making by suspect 26 Sep 2009 Claims that an Afghan immigrant was on the verge of unleashing a terrorist attack on New York City on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks are missing a key element: explosives or the chemicals allegedly used to make them, the man's attorney said. FBI agents have yet to find those elements and connect them to Najibullah Zazi, charged with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction in a plot authorities say was aimed at commuter trains, attorney Arthur Folsom told a federal judge in Denver Friday.

Feds: Zazi Trips, Shopping Led to NY Terror Threat --Feds charted struggling NYC immigrant's path from coffee cart vendor to terrorism plot suspect 26 Sep 2009 It was midsummer in suburban Denver when an unassuming, bearded man pushed a red shopping cart between shelves stacked with hair coloring and nail polish remover. By the time Najibullah Zazi checked into a nearby hotel suite with a kitchen in September, he had at least 18 bottles of peroxide-based hair lighteners and pages of notes for how to turn the beauty products into bombs, authorities say. Prosecutors say the otherwise mundane movements of the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver -- who sold Wall Streeters coffee for years from his cart in downtown Manhattan and returned to the spot, not far from ground zero, on his recent two-day trip to the city -- masked a dire terrorist threat.

FBI Investigating American In Somali Suicide Bombing 26 Sep 2009 FBI agents are investigating whether an American teenager detonated one of two stolen U.N. vehicles packed with explosives at a peacekeeping base in Somalia last week, killing 21 people. Community blogger Abdirahman Warsame told the Associated Press that FBI agents in Seattle had visited the home of Mohamed Mohamud on Tuesday to investigate whether 18-year-old Omar, Mohamud's son, was involved in a twin suicide bombing in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, on Sept. 17.

Bush's wiretapping goes to court in S.F. --Lawyer cited candidate Obama's declaration in 2007 that "warrantless surveillance of American citizens in defiance of (the 1978 law) is unlawful and unconstitutional." 24 Sep 2009 After years of wrangling over legal procedures, the lawyer for a defunct Islamic charity laid out his case Wednesday that former President [sic] George W. Bush's secret wiretapping program was illegal - an argument that an Obama administration attorney refused to discuss. "May the president of the United States break the law in the name of national security? ... We're asking this court to say, 'no,' " Jon Eisenberg, lawyer for the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, told a federal judge in San Francisco. Neither the president's constitutional powers as commander in chief nor Congress' authorization to use military force against terrorists after Sept. 11, 2001, entitled Bush to override a 1978 law requiring court approval for electronic surveillance of suspected terrorists, Eisenberg argued.

Police ready to 'take on' commenters, chief says --Police chief: People who misrepresent themselves as officials in online comments could face civil, criminal penalties 26 Sep 2009 (TX) Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used in online blogs and in reader comment sections on local media Internet sites. They have since researched their legal options and decided that from now on, they might launch formal investigations into such posts, Acevedo said. He said investigators might seek search warrants or subpoenas from judges to learn the identities of the authors -- he thinks some could be department employees -- and possibly sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed.

Mandatory Flu Vaccination Riles Health Care Workers -- They'll March 24 Sep 2009 New York is requiring some health care workers to get a seasonal flu shot now and the H1N1 shot later- -or lose their jobs. But now, a lawsuit filed in new Jersey may help workers in Rochester. A lawsuit filed in New Jersey calls the mandatory flu shot unconstitutional, but so far a federal judge has denied an injunction which would halt forced vaccinations in any state while the case moves forward.

US says first swine flu vaccine to arrive Oct. 5 25 Sep 2009 The first swine flu vaccine should be in some doctors' offices as early as Oct. 5, U.S. health officials said Friday. These early batches of vaccine will 'protect' 6 million to 7 million people. Over time, the government expects to have a total of 250 million doses of the new vaccine, although 10 percent of that has been promised to other countries.

'That's the most tragic part about it. If she had insurance, she would have gone to the doctor.' Miami University graduate dies of swine flu 26 Sep 2009F riends say the Miami University graduate who died this week after reportedly suffering from swine flu delayed getting medical treatment because she did not have health insurance. News of Kimberly Young’s death Wednesday, Sept. 23, came as a shock to those who knew the vibrant 22-year-old who was working at least two jobs in Oxford after graduating with a double major in December 2008. Young became ill about two weeks ago, but didn’t seek care initially because she didn’t have health insurance and was worried about the cost, according to Brent Mowery, her friend and former roommate.

Witness: Census worker's hanging body naked, bound 25 Sep 2009 A part-time census worker found hanging in a rural Kentucky cemetery was naked, gagged and had his hands and feet bound with duct tape, said an Ohio man who discovered the body two weeks ago. Authorities have also said the word "fed" was scrawled with a felt-tip pen across Bill Sparkman's chest, but they have released very few details about the case and said investigators have not determined if it was a homicide, suicide [?] or an accident. [!] Federal, state and local authorities have refused to say if Sparkman was at work going to door-to-door for census surveys in the time before his death, but his Census identification tag was found taped to his body.

Kyl Asserts 'I Don't Need Maternity Care' In My Health Policy; Stabenow Shoots Back 'Your Mom Probably Did' Posted by Amanda Terkel 25 Sep 2009 Today, the Senate Finance Committee debated Sen. Jon Kyl’s (R-AZ) amendment to prohibit the federal government from "defining the health care benefits offered through private insurance." Kyl tried to make his case by citing the unnecessary expense of maternity care. He was quickly smacked down by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): KYL: I don't need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don’t need and will make the policy more expensive. STABENOW: If I could just interject once with my colleague -- I think your mom probably did. (LAUGHTER)

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Barack Obama: Supporters Get Words, Backers Get Deeds --Obama's able to wrap a bomb in Valentine's Day wrapping with no one ever noticing it was a bomb and not a box of chocolates The Rec Report By Michael Rectenwald 25 Sep 2009 Every time Barack Obama says something, it's compensation for something he's doing. He pays his "supporters" with words and the truly powerful backers are repaid with deeds and money. (More analysis on Obama Administration by MDR coming soon!)

Sources: Guantanamo Might Not Close By Jan. --Problems Include Resolving Legal Issues, Logistical Questions 25 Sep 2009 The White House acknowledged for the first time Friday that it might not be able to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay by January as President Barack Obama has promised. Senior administration officials told The Associated Press that difficulties in completing the lengthy review of detainee files and resolving thorny legal and logistical questions mean the president's self-imposed January deadline may slip.

Judge: blasts case against Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo 25 Sep 2009 So how did an overweight, 43-year-old Kuwaiti man with bad knees and no real military training or experience suddenly become a logistics expert helping al Qaeda leaders organize the defense of Tora Bora in 2001? That’s the question a U.S. federal judge said the government failed to adequately answer in trying to justify the indefinite detention of Fouad Al Rabiah at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The Kuwait Airways engineer’s confessions to those charges, extracted with the use of extreme interrogation torture methods, "defy belief," wrote Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in a decision issued today. "If there exists a basis for Al Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court," Kollar-Kotelly wrote in a 65-page decision, noting that his petition to the court for release under habeas corpus is the oldest pending.

Ah, then came the dawn. *This* is the reason for the US warning Iran for a not-so-secret nuclear fuel plant: Tehran dumps dollar for euro 21 Sep 2009 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has ordered the replacement of the US dollar by the euro in calculating the value of the country's Oil Stabilisation Fund (OSF). The edict, issued on Sept 12, follows a recommendation by the trustees of the country's foreign reserves, Iran's English-language daily The Tehran Times said on Monday, citing Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency.

Iran admits to secret second nuclear plant built inside mountain 25 Sep 2009 Iran has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency that it has been building a previously undeclared nuclear facility to enrich uranium, raising fears that Tehran is closer to acquiring an atomic bomb than has been predicted up until now. The presence of a secret second site - built inside a mountain near the holy Shia city of Qum - has been known about by American and other Western intelligence agencies for some time, although nothing has been revealed until now. [Right, that's because Tehran hadn't yet dumped the dollar.]

Obama warns Iran to 'come clean' on nukes, prefers diplomacy but won't rule out military force 25 Sep 2009 Backed by other world powers, President Barack Obama declared Friday that Iran is speeding down a path to confrontation and demanded that Tehran quickly "come clean" on all nuclear efforts and open a newly revealed secret site for close international inspection. He said he would not rule out military action if the Iranians refuse. Obama joined the leaders of Britain and France in accusing the Islamic republic of clandestinely building an underground plant to make nuclear fuel that could be used to build an atomic bomb. Iranian officials acknowledged the facility but insisted it had been reported to nuclear authorities as required.

Iran Is Warned Over Nuclear 'Deception' --Sarkozy: Iran has deadline of two months to comply with international demands or face increased sanctions 26 Sep 2009 President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France accused Iran on Friday of building a secret underground plant to manufacture nuclear fuel, saying the country has hidden the covert operation from international weapons inspectors for years. Appearing before reporters in Pittsburgh, Mr. Obama said that the Iranian nuclear program "represents a direct challenge to the basic foundation of the nonproliferation regime."

Egypt wants 'nuclear' Israel under UNSC supervision 23 Sep 2009 Egypt calls for international supervision of Israel's nuclear program as the pressure mounts on Tel Aviv to account for its controversial activities. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in a letter to all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), asked the council to enforce the observation, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Wednesday. Aboul Gheit mentioned that Tel Aviv has been refusing to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), adding that "Israel's nuclear capabilities cannot evade world attention." [Maybe so, but they surely escape the media attention. --LRP]

US accuses ISI of supporting Taliban 'shadow govt.' [Oh dear. Looks like the billions upon billions the US has been giving NOT to US health care reform but to Pakistan (that went *missing*) has been going to... the people the US are allegedly fighting! Oddly enough, there was NO GOP yelping (as they do with health care spending) about those billions adding to the federal deficit! Funding the Taliban, good -- funding a single-payer health plan... not so good. --LRP] 25 Sep 2009 Senior US military officials blame Islamabad's military intelligence, ISI, for providing sanctuaries in Pakistan for the pro-Taliban insurgents who attack foreign troops in Afghanistan. A New York Times report quoted US military and intelligence officials saying that American authorities believe the Taliban's leadership council, or Shura, is behind the insurgency in northern and western Afghanistan.

Pakistan: US Drone attack kills 10 in North West Province 25 Sep 2009 A US drone attacked an office operated by an Afghan radical on Thursday, killing 10 suspected militants in the tribal belt near the border with Afghanistan, officials said. "A missile was fired from a US drone in Dandy Darpa Khel area," one security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

U.S. commander in Afghanistan submits request for more troops 25 Sep 2009 Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, hand-delivered his request for as many as 45,000 more troops to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Germany Friday and made his case for why he needs more forces to fight an increasingly unpopular [not to mention, illegal] war.

Five U.S. troops killed in southern Afghanistan --Three are slain in a roadside bombing; two in other attacks. 25 Sep 2009 Five American troops were killed late Thursday and early Friday in southern Afghanistan, adding to the security and political concerns in the troubled nation. Taliban and other insurgents have stepped up attacks on U.S. and NATO-led forces this year...

20,000 neglected ex-servicemen are either in jail or on probation 26 Sep 2009 The neglect of ex-servicemen was branded a 'disgrace' yesterday as it was revealed that 20,000 are in prison or on probation in England and Wales. The shocking figures compiled by probation staff show that one in ten prisoners used to be in the armed forces - up by almost a third in five years.

Bombs thrown into Brazilian embassy: Zelaya 25 Sep 2009 The ousted Honduran president Manuel Zelaya says that gas and non-lethal noise bombs have been thrown into the Brazilian embassy, where he has taken refuge. Zelaya said the air felt heavy, and people in the building had become sick, with one aide vomiting blood. He said he had stomach cramps, and that his eyes and throat had become itchy as a result of the attacks, which he said had tried to "scare" him.

Muslims gather at Capitol Hill, condemn prejudice 25 Sep 2009 Thousands of Muslim men and women have gathered outside Capitol Hill to hold a prayer meeting and demonstrate against prejudice against Islam. On Friday, the crowd prayed on lawns outside the building in an event organized by the Dar-ul-Islam Elisabeth mosque, in northeastern New Jersey.

'In both cases, FBI agents posing as al-Qaida operatives supplied the men with bogus explosives.' FBI agents in two terrorist bomb cases let their sting operations play out to the end 25 Sep 2009 As Hosam Maher Husein Smadi prepared to remotely detonate what he believed was a powerful bomb underneath a Dallas skyscraper, his comrade-in-arms, who was actually an undercover FBI agent, offered him earplugs, authorities say. Smadi declined. He said he wanted to hear the blast, according to investigators. Sitting in a car a safe distance from the skyscraper, Smadi, 19, allegedly dialed the cell phone number he thought would trigger the explosion. It was instead a law enforcement number. He was promptly arrested on terrorism charges.

Terror Suspect's Ties to Canada Investigated --Authorities Probing Suspect's Travel North of the Border 25 Sep 2009 Authorities say that terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi has made several trips to Canada, raising concern among investigators that Zazi may have tried to organize a terror cell in that country. Canada has been the target of several alleged al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] plots. The information was revealed at a court hearing for Zazi today in Denver.

Terror suspect arrives in New York over 9/11 bombing plot 25 Sep 2009 An accused Al Qaeda terrorist was hauled back to New York under intense security Friday as a prosecutor gave new details of a warped plot to detonate homemade bombs around the 9/11 anniversary. Najibullah Zazi, arrested last weekend in Denver, landed at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport about 5:45 p.m. and was whisked by NYPD helicopter into the city allegedly was his target two weeks earlier.

Suspected terrorist may have planned 9/11 anniversary attack 25 Sep 2009 A Denver man accused of plotting a terrorist attack in the United States had apparently planned to set off a bomb in New York on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, a federal prosecutor said today. That revelation came during what was otherwise a routine federal court hearing in Denver that paved the way for Najibullah Zazi, 24, to be flown to New York today.

Suspect Used Web to Find Bomb Supplies, Feds Say --Indictment alleges terror suspect Zazi shopped beauty stores for bomb supplies in US plot 25 Sep 2009 Afghan-born Najibullah Zazi set up shop in suburban Denver, scouring the Web and visiting beauty supply stores in a hunt for chemicals needed to build bombs for al-Qaida [al-CIAduh], authorities charge, calling the alleged plot one of the most significant terror threats to the U.S. since 9-11. The 12-page memorandum outlining the alleged conspiracy also used the repeated phrase "and others," evidence of a possible al-Qaida cell plotting a homemade bomb attack on U.S. soil.

Marines Train in Area --Urban exercises in advance of deployment 24 Sep 2009 The Marines are landing in our backyard. 2,300 Marines are converging on this region for two weeks of intensive training in preparation for an upcoming deployment. Part of the training involves exercises in small cities in Kentucky and southern Indiana. Simulated missions will take place in Frankfort late next week.

G20 protesters blasted by sonic cannon --US police spark outrage by using wartime acoustic weapon to disperse G20 protesters in Pittsburgh 25 Sep 2009 A few hundred protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh to mark the opening day of the G20 summit of world leaders, but the police were taking no chances. Sonic weapons or long-range acoustic devices have been used by the US military overseas, notably against Iraqi 'insurgents.' But US security forces turned the piercing sound on their own citizens yesterday to widespread outrage. Pittsburgh officials told the New York Times that it was the first time "sound cannon" had been used publicly.

"Other law enforcement agencies will be watching to see how it [the sound cannon] was used," said Nate Harper, the Pittsburgh police bureau chief. "It served its purpose well." Protesters Are Met by Tear Gas at G-20 Conference 25 Sep 2009 As the two-day Group of 20 meeting brought leaders of the world’s industrialized nations here Thursday, the police were out in force, patrolling on bicycles, foot and horseback, by river and by air. In the afternoon, protesters trying to march toward the convention center where the gathering is being held encountered roaming squads of police officers carrying plastic shields and batons. The police fired a sound cannon that emitted shrill beeps, causing demonstrators to cover their ears and back up, then threw tear gas canisters that released clouds of white smoke and stun grenades that exploded with sharp flashes of light. City officials said they believed it was the first time the sound cannon had been used publicly.

New NSA center unveiled in budget documents 25 Sep 2009 The National Security Agency was so confident that its nearly $2 billion plan for a new data center in Utah would be approved by Congress that it began designing the facility last November. NSA budgeting documents also indicate that the design of the 1-million-square-foot center should be completed by February. President Barack Obama last week signed a spending bill that included $181 million for preparatory construction of the Camp Williams facility and tentatively agreed to two future phases of construction that could cost $800 million each. The agency is set up to collect intelligence on foreign threats, but it has been accused of also participating in the unwarranted monitoring of the communications of U.S. citizens. A similar center is being constructed in San Antonio, Texas, and NSA documents indicate that the agency is also expanding its existing intelligence collection facilities in North Yorkshire, England, and Fort Meade, Md.

Unpublished Canadian data on seasonal flu shots and H1N1 stir concern 24 Sep 2009 Canadian researchers reportedly have found as-yet-unpublished evidence that people who had a seasonal flu shot last year incurred a higher risk of H1N1 infection... The Canadian Press (CP) reported that a series of studies in British Columbia, Quebec, and Ontario seem to suggest that people who received a seasonal flu shot last year were about twice as likely to contract the pandemic H1N1 virus. The findings are spurring an effort by some Canadian public health officials to delay, reduce, or cancel seasonal flu vaccination campaigns this fall.

Volunteers needed to give H1N1 shots 25 Sep 2009 The Cook County Public Health Department is calling for volunteers in its mass vaccination push in the Southland to attack the H1N1 virus that first appeared last spring. Active or retired licensed physicians, nurses or other health care workers are needed to help prevent the virus from spreading when the [squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced] shots become available in mid-October.

Health District suspends mercury limits for H1N1 shots 25 Sep 2009 Washington health officials have temporarily suspended limits on the amount of mercury allowed in the upcoming [deadly] H1N1 influenza vaccine for pregnant women and children younger than 3 years old. The move comes after Health Secretary Mary Selecky was informed that the initial batches of vaccines against the swine flu may not include enough doses that were specially packaged without thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. The preservative is controversial among some people who believe that it may be linked to autism and other childhood disorders.

Flu fascism alert: Swine flu prompts changes to Mental Health Act 23 Sep 2009 (UK) The government plans to rush through measures allowing people with suspected mental health issues to be quickly detained because of fears over staff shortages in any forthcoming swine flu outbreak, it has been revealed. The temporary changes to the Mental Health Act, as laid out in an unusually short consultation lasting just one month, would mean it would only take one doctor, rather than two, to have a person sectioned and put on medication without their consent.

Atlanta's Georgian Bank fails; 95th of the year 25 Sep 2009 Atlanta's Georgian Bank became the 95th bank failure of the year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday. First Citizens Bank and Trust Company Inc. of Columbia, S.C., will assume all of the deposits of Georgian Bank, estimated at about $2 billion as of July 24. The cost of the failure to FDIC's deposit-insurance fund is $892 million. Georgian Bank also marks the 19th bank failure in the state this year.

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'We have seen police use rubber bullets, batons and gas.' Police embroiled in violent battles with G20 protesters --Reports: Rubber bullets used 24 Sep 2009 Anti-G20 protesters rampaged through the city centre of Pittsburgh tonight, smashing up shops and throwing rocks at police, as officers used tear gas and baton-charges in an attempt to bring them under control. In riots which continued through the middle of the evening rush hour, about 300 protesters were reported to have remained from an initial crowd of 2,000 in Bloomfield, Pittsburgh’s Little Italy.

G-20 opponents, police clash on Pittsburgh streets 24 Sep 2009 Police fired canisters of pepper spray and smoke at marchers protesting the Group of 20 summit Thursday after anarchists responded to calls to disperse by rolling trash bins and throwing rocks. The afternoon march turned chaotic at just about the time that President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama arrived for a meeting with leaders of the world's major economies.

Pittsburgh a "steel city" of security for G20 summit 23 Sep 2009 Dubbed the "steel city" for its industrial history, Pittsburgh will live up to its name for a different reason when world leaders meet amid heavy security on Thursday and Friday for the Group of 20 (G20) summit. Thousands of additional police have been brought in to the western Pennsylvania city and tall steel fencing is being erected along streets around the convention center where 19 leaders of developed and developing countries will meet.

New York Police Official in Terror Unit Is Removed 25 Sep 2009 The New York Police Department has removed a senior official from one of its two sometimes competing antiterrorism units, after it played a role in disrupting a sensitive federal terrorism investigation, current and former police officials said on Wednesday. He was replaced by a top official from the other unit. The investigation was disrupted two weeks ago when detectives from one of the units, the Intelligence Division, sought assistance from a Queens imam who then alerted the central suspect in the case to the inquiry.

NYC Terror Plot Suspect Charged with Conspiracy to Detonate Bombs --Americans Urged to Remain 'Vigilant' and 'Report Any Suspicious Activity' 24 Sep 2009 Najibullah Zazi, the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver from Denver, Colorado who officials say was the ringleader of an alleged terror plot against New York City, was charged with conspiracy to use explosive bombs Thursday morning -- the latest indication that authorities still believe the alleged attack plan was "the real deal." The one-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury alleges that Zazi "conspired with others to use explosive devices against persons or property in the United States," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.

Terror suspect indicted in Brooklyn court on charge of planning bombings in U.S. 24 Sep 2009 A reputed Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative was indicted Thursday for a conspiracy to use "weapons of mass destruction" to blow up unspecified targets across the country. An indictment unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court charged Najibullah Zazi with getting bomb-making instructions in Pakistan - and then trying to build the bombs here. His trip to New York on the eve of the eighth anniversary of 9/11 was "in furtherance of his criminal plans," a government memorandum says.

Feds: Suspect hit beauty stores for bomb supplies 24 Sep 2009 An Afghan immigrant who received explosives training from 'al-Qaida' went from one beauty supply store to another, buying up large quantities of hydrogen peroxide and nail-polish remover, in a chilling plot to build bombs for attacks on U.S. soil, authorities charged Thursday. Najibullah Zazi, a shuttle driver at the Denver airport, was indicted in New York on charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction.

Cops, feds ransack Queens storage sites for Qaeda bomb-making materials 23 Sep 2009 Detectives were combing Queens storage facilities on Monday for stockpiled explosive chemicals that Al Qaeda terror thugs planned to use to bomb New York, sources said. At the same time, the Daily News has learned that prime terror suspect Najibullah Zazi has confessed he was a jihadist hell-bent on murderous mayhem, the sources said. NYPD investigators, in coordination with the FBI, hit chemical and fertilizer companies looking for customers who bought bulk and paid cash - and they were also showing up at storage centers in Long Island City.

24 People Reportedly Under Observation in NYC-Colorado Terror Probe 23 Sep 2009 As many as 24 people may be under observation in a suspected cross-country terror plot, as police in New York City stepped up patrols and increased random searches on mass transit Wednesday. Reports surfaced of up to two dozen more people under scrutiny who may have knowledge of or involvement in a suspected terrorism scheme that led to the arrest of a Denver shuttle driver and two others. Federal and local officials declined comment.

'He was introduced to an undercover FBI agent, who began working with him to plot an attack.' [Ergo, the FBI agent -- the one planning the attack -- should have been arrested.] Illinois man charged in plot to bomb federal offices 24 Sep 2009 An Illinois man was ordered held on Thursday on charges he tried to blow up a federal building in the state capital, a case unrelated to the New York terrorism plot. Michael Finton, also known as Talib Islam, was arrested in Springfield, Illinois, and charged with attempted murder of federal officers or employees and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction, charges that carry a life sentence.

Man arrested in alleged attempt to bomb Dallas skyscraper 24 Sep 2009 Federal authorities arrested a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen whom they said placed an inactive car bomb today at Fountain Place, a 60-story skyscraper in downtown Dallas. Hosam Maher Husein Smadi has repeatedly voiced his intent to serve Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida [al-CIAduh] and commit “violent Jihad,” authorities said in a prepared statement.

U.S. terror suspects accused of targeting Marine base 24 Sep 2009 Two men charged in North Carolina last month with plotting terrorist attacks overseas also planned to attack the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, authorities said on Thursday. The two were among seven suspects arrested in August for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and for conspiracy to murder, kidnap, maim and injure people overseas.

U.S. teen tied to IEDs, fake CIA badge 24 Sep 2009 U.S. authorities said a 19-year-old Maryland native is linked to the possession of explosive devices and faked CIA intelligence identification badges. Rod Rosenstein, the U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland, said Collin McKenzie-Gude of Bethesda, Md., pleaded guilty to the possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Inoperative Cameras Hinder SEPTA 'Photo' Probe 24 Sep 2009 Twice in the past two days, SEPTA officials have alerted police to men taking pictures on the Broad Street subway line in South Philadelphia. On Wednesday, a SEPTA cashier told officers about a man taking pictures at the Lombard-South station, but the man, after being questioned by the cashier about his activities, left before officers arrived. On Tuesday, officers received a report of a male taking pictures in the track area at the Snyder Avenue station.

'Al-Qaeda group' escape Iraq jail 24 Sep 2009 Sixteen members of 'al-Qaeda' in Iraq have escaped from a prison north of Baghdad, Iraqi security officials say. Reports said five of the group, who were being held at a facility in Tikrit, had been sentenced to death for involvement in attacks. One of the men has since been caught, but the rest remain at large.

Join the club, pal: Guantanamo prisoner says he's lost hope in Obama A Guantanamo prisoner who held up a photo of President Barack Obama as a sign of hope at a war crimes court hearing last year said Wednesday he has lost faith that the American leader will be much different than his predecessor. Ahmed al-Darbi, who told the court in December he hoped Obama would "earn back the legitimacy the United States has lost in the eyes of the world," said in a note passed to his lawyer that he is disappointed the Guantanamo prison remains open and the military court still holds hearings.

U.S. soldier charged with murder in contractor slaying in Iraq 23 Sep 2009 The U.S. military announced Tuesday that a soldier had been formally charged with murder in the slaying of a civilian contractor who was shot this month on a base in northern Iraq. Army Spc. Beyshee Velez, who was already in custody, was charged Monday in the killing of an employee of Houston-based KBR on Sept. 13 at the U.S. base Camp Speicher near Tikrit. The soldier, who is being held in Hawaii, faces two counts of murder, three counts of assault and one count of fleeing apprehension in the death of contractor Lucas Vinson, the military said in a statement.

Report: Census Worker In Kentucky Had Been Warned to Be Careful 24 Sep 2009 ...Much still isn't known about the death of Census field worker Bill Sparkman in Clay County, Ky. Yesterday, it was reported that he was found hanged and that the word "fed" had been written on his chest. Today on Federal News Radio, news director Ted Werbin of WHAS-radio in Louisville reported that Sparkman had told others he had been warned by a retired state trooper to be careful in rural Clay County because some people there aren't fond of anyone from the federal government.

Census Worker Hanged with "Fed" on Body --FBI Investigating Whether Worker Was Victim of Anti-Government Sentiment 23 Sep 2009 A U.S. Census worker found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery had the word "fed" scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment. The law enforcement official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity, did not say what type of instrument was used to write the word on the chest of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and teacher.

U.N. unanimously backs Obama's nuclear disarmament goal 24 Sep 2009 With President Barack Obama in the chair at an unprecedented meeting of the U.N. Security Council, major world powers on Thursday endorsed his goal of a nuclear weapons-free world and pledged to strengthen the shaky international system for preventing the spread of nuclear arms. The Security Council unanimously passed a U.S.-drafted resolution that endorses the eventual goal of "a world without nuclear weapons."

Another blow to MoD as Major-General Andrew Mackay resigns from Army 25 Sep 2009 Prince Harry’s brigade commander in Afghanistan [Major-General Andrew Mackay] has resigned from the Army. He is the fifth senior officer to leave the Forces prematurely in two years and the most senior commander to resign since the operation began in Afghanistan.

At U.N., Brazil's Lula demands Zelaya reinstatement 23 Sep 2009 Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the first world leader to address the U.N. General Assembly, called on Wednesday for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya to be reinstated. "The international community demands that Mr. Zelaya immediately return to the presidency of his country and must be alert to ensure the inviolability of Brazil's diplomatic mission in the capital of Honduras," Lula said, drawing applause from the hall.

Most parents won't have kids get H1N1 flu shots, study finds 25 Sep 2009 Germ-spreading schoolchildren are expected to be the focus of a massive U.S. vaccination campaign against the novel H1N1 flu. But if their parents are hearing the rallying cry to have their kids vaccinated, they're not buying it, says a new national survey. In a poll of 1,678 U.S. parents conducted by the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, 40% said they would get their children immunized against the H1N1 virus.

Tampa International Airport to sell flu vaccines 24 Sep 2009 Flu vaccines will be available at the Tampa International Airport starting next month. As of Oct. 1 the airport will open kiosks delivering the antiserum for the virus. Vaccines are available at drug stores and other health-related facilities around Hillsborough County.

Seasonal flu shot may increase H1N1 risk 23 Sep 2009 Preliminary research suggests the seasonal flu shot may put people at greater risk for getting swine flu, CBC News has learned. Four Canadian studies involved about 2,000 people in Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, health officials told CBC News. Researchers found people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to get sick with the H1N1 virus.

Justice Ginsburg hospitalized after feeling faint 24 Sep 2009 Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday after becoming ill in her office at the court following treatment for an iron deficiency. The 76-year-old justice, who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February, was taken to Washington Hospital Center at 7:45 p.m. EDT as a precaution, a statement from the court said.

Banks fight to kill proposed consumer protection agency 24 Sep 2009 If you doubt that U.S. banks long to return to the days of impotent regulation, you need only look at one of the financial sector's top legislative priorities: killing a proposed new agency that would be dedicated solely to protecting consumers' financial interests. The Obama administration is asking Congress to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to regulate consumer financial products ranging from credit cards to mortgages, and to simplify disclosure about them all.

U.S. stock investors set to unload junk [LOL!] 24 Sep 2009 Just like the government's "cash for clunkers" program, investors are ready to cash in junk stock holdings for sounder equities, analysts say. The stock market is up 57 percent since March 9, led by so-called junk stocks -- or badly beaten names with hazy growth prospects.

Sarah Palin bores business audience --Listeners said the speech sounded like a pitch for the 2012 presidency and was long and humourless. 24 Sep 2009 Former Alaska Governor and defeated US vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has failed to enthuse investors attending the CLSA Asia Pacific Markets Forum in Hong Kong. The forum, which entices the foremost political and business minds on earth, this year decided to include Palin on her first ever visit to East Asia.

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AP source: Census worker hanged with 'fed' on body --Census official: Law enforcement officers have told agency matter is "an apparent homicide" 23 Sep 2009 The FBI is investigating the hanging death of a U.S. Census worker near a Kentucky cemetery, and a law enforcement official told The Associated Press the word 'fed" was scrawled on the dead man's chest. The body of Bill Sparkman, a 51-year-old part-time Census field worker and occasional teacher, was found Sept. 12 in a remote patch of the Daniel Boone National Forest in rural southeast Kentucky. The Census has suspended door-to-door interviews in rural Clay County, where the body was found, pending the outcome of the investigation.

Guantanamo court "a headless chicken": lawyer 23 Sep 2009 The Guantanamo war crimes court has become "a headless chicken" that still operates under the old rules even as the Obama administration issues new ones, the lawyer for an accused Saudi boat-bomb plotter said on Wednesday. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to shut down the Guantanamo detention camp for terrorism suspects by January 22, and his administration has said it will decide by November 16 whether to move the 10 pending prosecutions into the regular U.S. courts or try them in revised tribunals. The Obama administration also is pushing legislation in Congress that would stop the military tribunals from using evidence obtained through brutality.

Administration Won't Seek New Detention System 24 Sep 2009 The Obama administration has decided not to seek legislation to establish a new system of preventive detention to hold terrorism suspects and will instead rely on a 2001 congressional resolution authorizing military force against 'al-Qaeda' and the Taliban to continue to detain people indefinitely and without charge, according to administration officials... In federal court in March, the Obama administration cited the 2001 congressional authorization of force to assert that "the president has the authority to detain persons that the president determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and persons who harbored those responsible for those attacks. The president also has the authority to detain persons who were part of, or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaeda forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act, or has directly supported hostilities, in aid of such enemy armed forces."

Official: More questioned in NYC terrorism probe --Backpacks and cell phones were removed from one home. 23 Sep 2009 Hundreds of investigators have widened their probe of a potential terrorist bomb plot by questioning more residents of a New York City neighborhood raided last week. A law enforcement official familiar with the probe says investigators are re-interviewing people already questioned in Queens. The apartments were searched after a visit this month from Najibullah Zazi, of Colorado.

FBI Terror Probe Expands, Intensifies --Criminal Complaint Suggests Cops May Have Tipped-Off Zazi By Questioning New York Imam, Seizing Car 23 Sep 2009 The investigation into alleged bomb plot targeting New York has expanded to include nearly all of the FBI's 57 field offices in the country and some overseas. Investigators told CBS News that agents are aggressively following a steady stream of leads in the case and have essentially constructed a family tree with Najibullah Zazi at the center... CBS News learned Tuesday that a hunt was on to see if suspects had stored a cache of explosives somewhere in New York City.

US agencies renew warnings on luxury hotels security 22 Sep 2009 U.S. security authorities have told local law enforcement agencies to be on alert for possible attacks on luxury hotels, but said they had no information on the timing, location or target of any planned attacks. The note, sent by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to local law enforcement agencies, was unrelated to a probe into a bomb plot in New York and Denver made public in the last week, officials said on Tuesday.

NYC trains raise security after terrorism warning 22 Sep 2009 New York City's transit agency says it has increased police presence at "key locations" in light of a continuing terrorism probe. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says there's no credible threat to the city's subway system and commuter trains. But extra officers with helmets and bulletproof vests are at spots like Grand Central Terminal in midtown Manhattan.

Homeland security chief awards stimulus grants to beef up Port of Baltimore terror defense 23 Sep 2009 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Baltimore Wednesday morning to unveil more than $380 million in stimulus grants for fire station construction and port and transit security across the country. Maryland will receive $6 million of the funds, with the biggest chunk going toward protecting the Port of Baltimore from terrorism. The Port of Baltimore's $4.1 million grant will be used to support the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, a tamper-resistant biometric credential issued to workers who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports and vessels.

At Pentagon's Request, Post Delayed Story on General's Afghanistan Report --Woodward withheld certain details, to avoid criticism 23 Sep 2009 To Bob Woodward, it was the modern-day equivalent of the Pentagon Papers. But to Obama administration officials, the classified assessment of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, if disclosed by The Washington Post, represented a potential threat to the safety of U.S. troops. The result was that The Post agreed to a one-day delay in publicizing the report by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, and that the paper's top editor engaged in a lengthy discussion Sunday with three top Defense Department officials in a meeting at the Pentagon... The Post agreed to withhold certain operational details. That, Woodward said, "made it easier" for the newspaper to proceed with publication without risking criticism [!] for disclosing classified information.

At UN, Obama delivers veiled warning to Iran 23 Sep 2009 In his maiden address before the UN General Assembly, President Barack Obama says Iran could play a significant role in shaping the future of the world and its security, should it abandon "the pursuit of nuclear weapons." President Obama told world leaders on Wednesday that his government was committed to a new era of engagement to tackle global problems, ranging from climate change to peacemaking in the Middle East, insisting that the international community should take a larger role.

Gaddafi blasts big powers in first ever U.N. speech 23 Sep 2009 Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, in his first ever address to the United Nations, on Wednesday accused the veto-wielding powers of the Security Council of betraying the principles of the U.N. charter. [Muammar Gaddafi on swine flu: 'The capitalist countries make the viruses and they make the profits from the viruses.' --Well said!]

Ahmadinejad calls for restructuring UN 24 Sep 2009 Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the restructuring of the UN in order to transform the world body into an efficient organization. Ahmadinejad, in his address to the 64th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday said that the reform in the structure of the UN should turn the body into a "fully democratic organization, capable of playing an impartial" role in international relations.

Ahmadinejad: Capitalism at end of road 24 Sep 2009 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the "unfair capitalism" system has reached the end of the road and the world needs fundamental changes. Ahmadinejad, in his address to the 64th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday said, "Continuation of the current circumstances in the world is impossible." He noted that the present unfavorable condition in the world runs counter to the very nature of human kind and contravenes the goal behind the creation of the world.

Medvedev: Sanctions against Iran's nuclear programme 'may be inevitable' 24 Sep 2009 Gulf countries are seeking to play a new role in the race to stop Iran's nuclear programme by using their economic leverage to line up support for tough sanctions, Arab and European officials said yesterday. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will use the prospect of oil contracts, arms deals and work visas to persuade Russia and China, who have been resisting tougher UN sanctions, that their long-term strategic interests lie with them, not in Iran.

Zbig Brzezinski: Obama Administration Should Tell Israel U.S. Will Attack Israeli Jets if They Try to Attack Iran 20 Sep 2009 The national security adviser for former President Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, gave an interview to The Daily Beast in which he suggested President Obama should make it clear to Israel that if they attempt to attack Iran's nuclear weapons sites the U.S. Air Force will stop them. "We are not exactly impotent little babies," Brzezinski said. "They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch? ... We have to be serious about denying them that right. That means a denial where you aren’t just saying it. If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a 'Liberty' in reverse."

Bombs kill 11 in Iraq's capital, northern city 23 Sep 2009 A bomb exploded Wednesday outside a home in southwestern Baghdad, killing a woman and her two children, as other bombings killed at least seven Iraqi security personnel and a local politician in the capital and a northern area.

Iraq: Attacks Kill at Least 6 People 23 Sep 2009 A series of roadside bombs and shootings in northern and western Iraq on Wednesday killed at least six people, four of them security officers, who have increasingly become the target of attacks.

Iraq detainee death 'was revenge' 23 Sep 2009 British soldiers might have been out for "revenge" when they detained an Iraqi civilian who died in their custody, a public inquiry has heard. Baha Mousa's father said he had reported members of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment after seeing them break into a safe.

Italians begin closing arguments at CIA trial 23 Sep 2009 Prosecutors began closing arguments Wednesday in the trial of 26 Americans and seven Italians accused of orchestrating a CIA-led kidnapping of an Egyptian terror suspect. The arguments by Prosecutor Armando Spataro signaled the final phase of the first trial in any country involving the CIA's extraordinary renditions program. Spataro's arguments, including his specific demands for each defendant, are expected to continue into next week.

Obama to Set Higher Bar For Keeping State Secrets --New Policy May Affect Wiretap, Torture Suits 23 Sep 2009 The Obama administration will announce a new policy Wednesday making it much more difficult for the government to claim that it is protecting state secrets when it hides details of sensitive national security strategies such as rendition and warrantless eavesdropping, according to two senior Justice Department officials. The new policy requires agencies, including the intelligence community and the military, to convince the attorney general and a team of Justice Department lawyers that the release of sensitive information would present significant harm to "national defense or foreign relations."

Seven Million Hondurans Under House Arrest as Micheletti Writes of "Democracy" By Al Giordano 22 Sep 2009 The Honduran coup regime’s 26-hour martial curfew upon the entire country effectively places 7.5 million Honduran citizens – men, women, children and elders – under house arrest... The military curfew has no practical reason. It will not bring the expulsion, anew, of [President Manuel] Zelaya from national territory. It will not hasten his capture by the regime. And it does not make the regime any more legitimate. To the contrary, it demonstrates, again, its repressive, anti-democratic and usurper character.

Tragic Details About Census Worker Found Hanged 23 Sep 2009 William E. Sparkman Jr. was a 51-year-old single father who once battled Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma while he pursued his teaching degree, according to a March 2008 article profiling the London, Kentucky man. Sparkman worked two jobs while he earned his degree and was treated for cancer. Sparkman worked as substitute teacher and a census taker for the U.S. Census Bureau. He was found dead Sunday, Sept. 13, with the word "fed" was scrawled onto his chest, according to a law enforcement source.

CNN's Dr. Gupta gets the swine flu 23 Sep 2009 As CNN's chief medical correspondent [Sanjay Gupta] writes in his blog, Paging Dr. Gupta, he, and a CNN cameraman, picked up the swine flu -- formally known as H1N1 -- while on a trip to Afghanistan. Gupta says he rarely gets sick, but this time was hit so hard he had seek out a battlefield hospital for treatment.

'What are all these black kids doing here?' Panel Orders Swim Club to Pay $3.35 Million for Discrimination 23 Sep 2009 The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has ruled that racial discrimination, not safety concerns , as the reason a group of Black and Latino youth were not allowed to return to a suburban Philadelphia swim club. Last June, children and staff from Creative Steps, Inc. day camp arrived at The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, PA only to have their money be refunded and asked to leave... The lawyer representing the swim club said they will appeal the ruling. The club must pay a $3.35million fine or $50,000 for each child discriminated against.

ACORN Sues Over Damaging Video --Secret Recording in Baltimore Violated Wiretapping Law, Liberal Group Says 24 Sep 2009 ACORN, the community organizing group embarrassed recently in a video sting, said Wednesday that it needs to determine whether it has major internal problems, but it also struck back, filing a lawsuit against the 'people' who conducted the secret investigation. Bertha Lewis, head of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, told reporters in a conference call that ACORN does not support criminal activity and that it thinks the filmmakers should have obeyed Maryland laws.

ACORN Founder Calls Conservative Attacks 'Complete Fabrication' 23 Sep 2009 The founder of ACORN, the community organizing group embarrassed recently in a video sting, says many of the accusations about the group are distortions meant to undermine President Obama and other Democrats. In an interview with The Washington Post, founder Wade Rathke said conservative claims that ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is a "criminal enterprise" that misuses federal and donor funds for political ends -- a claim contained in a report by House Republicans -- are a "complete fabrication."

Republicans ask US Senate to slow down on healthcare 23 Sep 2009 The Senate Finance Committee made unsteady progress on Wednesday on a broad healthcare overhaul bill, working slowly through a crush of amendments as lawmakers battled over its cost and size. Lawmakers resumed debate on Chairman Max Baucus's [disastrous] healthcare reform proposal, with Republicans repeatedly demanding more information on costs and calling for the committee to slow down its deliberations. [Sure, Republicans *have* health care - they don't care if anyone else has it.]

Cantor to Uninsured Woman With Growing Tumors: Get 'An Existing Government Program' Or Find Charity By Lee Fang 22 Sep 2009 At the Richmond Times-Dispatch "public square" forum yesterday, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) fielded open questions from his constituents on the health reform debate for the first time this summer. Patricia Churchill relayed a story about a close family member who recently lost a high-paying job and her health insurance. Churchill told Cantor that her relative was dying of stomach tumors and needs an operation as soon as possible. Cantor responded by suggesting that Churchill’s relative should seek "existing government programs" or find charity. [No, sorry. Instead of 'finding a charity' I think we'll start reading.]

Useless is as useless does: Democrats Soften Financial Bill 24 Sep 2009 Congressional Democrats and the White House are softening some elements of the Obama administration's proposal to overhaul financial-market supervision as they begin a push to win broader support for the bill. So far, Democrats and the White House haven't budged on the main tenets of the effort, which include tougher regulation of the country's largest financial companies and the creation of a new agency to protect consumers. But the changes are nonetheless significant...

Australia engulfed by dust storms --Wild winds sweep millions of tonnes of red dust from continent's drought-ravaged interior and dump it on coast 23 Sep 2009 Storms of red dust produced a supernaturally orange and glowing sky over much of Australia's east coast as the country experienced a day of freak weather conditions. The Sydney Opera House turned orange, flights at Sydney and Brisbane airports were delayed, building sites shut down, workers choked and emergency departments were flooded with calls, after the worst dust storm to hit Australia in 70 years.

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CLG: Are You One of Obama's 'Lone Wolf' Suspects? By Lori Price, Citizens For Legitimate Government 18 Sep 2009 Yesterday, we read: White House Backs Controversial Domestic Surveillance Provisions. The Obama administration is urging lawmakers to extend three provisions of the controversial domestic surveillance law known as the USA Patriot Act. The U.S. Justice Department issued a letter Tuesday asking Congress to renew provisions of the law that allow authorities to conduct roving electronic eavesdropping, or wiretaps, access business records and track so-called "lone wolf" suspects with no known links to foreign powers or terrorist groups... I say, we are all 'lone wolf' suspects, ready to howl and bray at the injustices that were not eradicated after Barack Obama took office. Indeed, the injustice and malfeasance is growing under President Obama. Despite the premise and unending promises of 'change,' the only 'change' that we see is a deepening of the entrenchment of policies and ideologies of the Bush regime, and a lack of willingness of the political Left to question and/or attack the sad and sorry trail of Obama's broken promises. Sign up to be one of Obama's 'lone wolf' suspects (activists) on Facebook and (other sites forthcoming), so that we form a pack, er pac!

NYC terror probe: Cops visit truck rentals, raid homes 22 Sep 2009 As New York City transportation officials moved to ratchet up security at major rail hubs, law enforcement sources said Tuesday that police were conducting more visits to truck rental companies and chemical suppliers as part of the major terrorism probe that led to the arrest of three men over the weekend. Reports also spread that police had raided homes in Queens in search of more than a dozen associates of Najibullah Zazi, who has emerged as the central figure in the investigation into a possible plot to set off explosives in the city.

USA on bomb terror alert over stadiums and hotels 23 Sep 2009 America went on heightened terror alert last night as it emerged up to 12 suspects are being probed over a New York bomb plot. Anti-terror chiefs have warned police across the US that stadiums, entertainment venues and hotels could be targeted. It follows earlier alerts that transport networks could be attacked. New York transport bosses have increased police patrols and officers in helmets and bulletproof vests were yesterday out in force at major depots such as Manhattan’s Grand Central station.

Local Police Advised on Terror --NY Transportation Authority, JTTF increase police presence in 'key locations' 22 Sep 2009 The FBI and Homeland Security officials in a series of advisories are cautioning local police to be on the lookout for suspicious activity at places like self storage facilities, entertainment complexes, luxury hotels and transportation hubs. At least one agency is responding to the FBI and Homeland Security advisories. New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority which is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force has increased police presence at what an official called "key locations."

Officials Worry NY Terror Plot 'Still Alive' as Case Broadens --Surveillance Teams "Stretched Thin" with More Than 24 Possible Suspects 22 Sep 2009 Law enforcement officials say the alleged terror plot against New York City may be "still alive" despite the arrest of its alleged ringleader, 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi of Denver, Colorado. "I have never been so worried," said one senior law enforcement official with more than a dozen years of experience in counter-terrorism investigations.

The Hunt for a Hidden Bomb Factory --Have authorities really shut down an alleged New York terror plot? 22 Sep 2009 Days after local police and federal agents busted an alleged terror plot targeting public transportation in the New York area, law enforcement and counterterrorism officials still aren't sure if they have captured all of the suspects who might have been in on the plan. Contacted by NEWSWEEK, some officials say they believe U.S. agencies "successfully disrupted" the plot with the arrests last weekend of two men in Denver and one in Queens, New York. But other officials say that more suspects are being sought, and that urgent efforts are continuing to locate what investigators fear could be a bomb factory or an explosives stockpile.

Terrorist probe expands to include friends, associates of Zazi --Between 16 and 20 men are under surveillance 22 Sep 2009 Counter-terror agents raided several city apartments on Tuesday searching for evidence that could link a half-dozen suspected terrorists to a recently uncovered plot to bomb in New York. The men are friends and associates of the three Afghan immigrants arrested over the weekend after police raided several Queens apartments. "We've got new bodies - eight more people we're looking at," a source close to the investigation told The Daily News. Between 16 and 20 men are under surveillance - as are their haunts in the city, sources said.

FBI: Informant imam Afzali worked both sides and tipped off suspects 21 Sep 2009 The Queens imam arrested in the Denver terrorism probe is an FBI informant the feds say became a double agent - tipping suspects that they were in the government's crosshairs. Ahmad Afzali insisted he's been loyally helping the government root out extremists since 9/11. His lawyer, Ron Kuby, calls him a fall guy. "I think the FBI is angry that they blew this case, and they want to blame poor Imam Afzali for blowing the investigation," Kuby said. Afzali told the News just hours before he was arrested Saturday night for lying to the feds that "someone is trying to set me up."

Attorney representing terror suspect getting help 22 Sep 2009 The attorney representing a Colorado man at the center of a terror probe into an alleged train bombing plot plans to add lawyers to his team after a judge questioned his federal court experience. Arthur Folsom, attorney for Najibullah Zazi, has been handling divorces, drunk driving and criminal cases over the past 11 years in Colorado state courts but has never tried a federal case. Folsom is "taking the appropriate steps to make sure his client gets experienced, seasoned counsel," Wendy Aiello, a spokeswoman for Folsom, said Tuesday.

Terror suspects and torture: former CIA inspector general confirms Panorama findings 21 Sep 2009 The former CIA inspector general, John Helgerson, has confirmed that the Bush administration authorised the CIA to use a harsh interrogation method torture on terror suspect Abu Zubaydah before written legal clearance was given. This is politically explosive, because the Bush administration has always claimed that it used harsh interrogation techniques such as waterboarding only after government lawyers had determined they did not amount to torture.

Former KBR employee: I know I was drugged and raped in Iraq --Jones’ day in court could still be months or years away. 22 Sep 2009 (TX) Conroe native Jamie Leigh Jones made national news when she claimed to have been sexually assaulted by several co-workers at KBR. At the time KBR, was a subsidiary of Halliburton. Jones has talked openly about what she says happened in Iraq while she was working for the Houston-based company... . Jones was 20 years old in 2005 when she claims she was raped by KBR co-workers after someone put a drug in her drink.

US soldier charged with murder in Iraq base death 22 Sep 2009 A U.S. soldier has been charged with murder in the slaying of a civilian contractor on an American base in Iraq, the military said Tuesday. Spc. Beyshee Velez of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, was charged Monday in the Sept. 13 shooting death of a contractor who worked for Houston-based KBR at Camp Speicher in the city of Tikrit, a military statement said. The 31-year-old suspect faces dishonorable discharge and a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty.

US ships arrive in Israel ahead of joint drill --Officials say US may leave some systems in Israel after planned drill 21 Sep 2009 US Navy missile ships started arriving in Israel on Sunday ahead of next month's joint missile defense exercise between the IDF and the American military's European Command. Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will include the Arrow missile defense system as well as three American systems - the THAAD, Aegis and PAC3 - that will all be deployed in Israel for the duration of the exercise.

US 'likely behind' Chavez coup 21 Sep 2009 Jimmy Carter, a former US president, has said that Washington knew about an abortive coup against Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, in 2002, and that it may even have taken part. "I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved," Carter said in an interview with Colombian El Tiempo newspaper published on Sunday. Carter said it was understandable that Chavez continues to blame the US for the failed attempt to overthrow him.

White House considers more drones over Pakistan 22 Sep 2009 The White House has said covert operations in Pakistan might be increased as it expands counter-terror operations in the area. Administration officials have said there might be more missile attacks on the Pakistan/Afghanistan border by unmanned US spy planes.

Australia: No US request for more troops 22 Sep 2009 Australia says it has not been asked to send more troops to Afghanistan and does not expect Washington to make any quick decisions on a top-level warning that the war there could be lost without more multinational forces. Australia has about 1,550 troops in Afghanistan -- the largest contribution of any country outside NATO -- after boosting its contingent by almost 500 in April at Washington's request.

Obama seems to lay ground to retreat on settlements 22 Sep 2009 U.S. President Barack Obama may be laying the groundwork to abandon his quest for an immediate Israeli settlement freeze and instead try to get Israel and the Palestinians directly into peace negotiations. Obama emerged from talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on Tuesday without the orchestrated set of steps that he had hoped would allow him to announce a resumption of peace negotiations, which have been on ice since December.

Capitol alert for H1N1 outbreak; senators and staff to get masks 21 Sep 2009 Senate officials are holding internal planning exercises this week to prepare for a swine flu outbreak that could hobble congressional offices. The office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms (SAA) has been talking with Senate offices and attending Senate luncheons since the disease first began to spread in the spring. The U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) and the Office of the Attending Physician are planning to attend this week’s meeting with the SAA in which they will discuss a variety of different scenarios for how an H1N1 outbreak could affect Congress.

Pre-registration advised on flu shots 22 Sep 2009 The State Department of Health is urging health-care providers who plan to offer swine flu vaccines to their patients to pre-register online to speed up the process. The DOH [aka DUH] will coordinate the distribution of novel H1N1 flu vaccine with the assistance of county health departments. The vaccine is expected to begin shipping from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in about two weeks. Providers must be set up properly to reach high-priority patients first.

Sanofi Unit: Additional Type A Flu Vaccine Order From US Govt 21 Sep 2009 Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine unit of French pharmaceutical group Sanofi-Aventis, said Monday that it has received an additional order from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Sanofi has now committed to produce 75.3 million doses of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine for the U.S. government.

US tests fast border patrol boat on Detroit River 21 Sep 2009 The Department of Homeland Security is showing off a $900,000 prototype of a speed boat designed to patrol the nation's border waters. The agency's National Marine Center demonstrated the 43-foot, 10-ton boat Monday on the Detroit River. The Advanced Concept Demonstrator Vessel has four 350-horsepower engines.

ACORN Worker In Video Reported Couple --Juan Carlos Vera Called Detective After Recorded Meeting 21 Sep 2009 Police say a worker with the activist group ACORN who was caught on video giving advice about human smuggling to a couple posing as a pimp and a prostitute had reported the incident to authorities. National City police said Monday that Juan Carlos Vera contacted his cousin, a police detective, to get advice on what to with information on possible human smuggling. Vera was secretly filmed on Aug. 18 as part of a young [Reichwing] couple's high-profile expose.

Fed Rejects Geithner Request for Study of Governance, Structure 22 Sep 2009 The Federal Reserve Board has rejected a request by U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for a public review of the central bank’s structure and governance, three people familiar with the matter said. The Obama administration proposed on June 17 a financial- regulatory overhaul including a "comprehensive review" of the Fed’s "ability to accomplish its existing and proposed functions" and the role of its regional banks. The Fed was to lead the study and enlist the Treasury and "a wide range of external experts."

House Votes to Extend Unemployment Pay for 13 Weeks 22 Sep 2009 The U.S. House voted to extend jobless benefits for 13 weeks in states hardest hit by the recession amid the worst surge in long-term unemployment in more than half a century. The chamber today approved, 331-83, a measure that would continue aid to about 300,000 Americans projected to exhaust their benefits by the end of this month. The aid goes to people in 27 states with unemployment rates of at least 8.5 percent.

Bank of America backpedals on overdraft fees 22 Sep 2009 Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday it's capping the fees it charges customers for overdrawing their accounts, backpedaling on the hikes the company imposed just this year. Starting Oct. 19, Bank of America said it will no longer charge overdraft fees when a customer's account is overdrawn by less than $10 in one day. A $35 fee will still be levied if the account isn't brought into balance within five days.

Video: Will Ferrell stands up for the real health care victims By MoveOn.org Political Action 22 Sep 2009

At U.N., Obama Calls Global Warming Threat 'Urgent' 22 Sep 2009 Several world leaders on Tuesday gave the most decisive indication in months that they would make a concerted push to revive floundering negotiations aimed at securing a new international pact on climate change. Both President Obama and Chinese Premier Hu Jintao said at a United Nations summit in New York that they were taking concrete steps to curb their nations' emissions, and were willing to do more to forge an agreement when U.N. negotiators meet in December in Copenhagen.

9 deaths blamed on Southeast storm; flood lingers 22 Sep 2009 Neighborhoods, schools and even roller coasters at Six Flags over Georgia remained awash in several feet of murky, brown water Tuesday, even as an emerging sun shed light on the widespread flood damage. So far, at least nine deaths in Georgia and Alabama were blamed on the torrential downpours in the Southeast.

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Sources: US eyes more drone hits on terror havens 21 Sep 2009 The White House is considering expanding counterterror operations in Pakistan to refocus on 'eliminating' al-Qaida instead of mounting a major military escalation in Afghanistan. Two senior administration officials said Monday that the renewed fight against the terrorist organization could lead to more missile attacks on Pakistan terrorist havens by unmanned U.S. spy planes. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no decisions have been made. ['US eyes more drone hits on terror havens' thus creating many *more* 'terror havens' when those who *weren't* terrorists *become* terrorists after having seen their loved ones blown to kingdom come by a US killer drone. --LRP]

McChrystal tries to calm Afghans after air strike 21 Sep 2009 The commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan flew on Saturday to the scene of a deadly air strike by his forces, trying to cool anger... Afghan officials say scores of people were killed, many of them civilians, when a U.S. F-15 fighter jet called in by German troops struck two hijacked fuel trucks before dawn on Friday.

'The brutality was completely unacceptable. It has stained the reputation of the British army.' British army used 'widespread torture of Iraqi civilians' 21 Sep 2009 The British army used widespread torture methods in Iraq, a British government lawyer said on Monday in an acknowledgment on a public inquiry into the 2003 death of hotel receptionist Baha Mousa. The British soldiers responsible for the death of Baha Mousa were "not just a few bad apples," Singh told the inquiry. "There is something rotten in the whole barrel," he said. Baha Mousa, a 26-year old Iraqi, was beaten and killed in the custody of British troops following a raid on his hotel in the southern Iraq city of Basra in September 2003.

UK army 'rotten', Iraq probe told 21 Sep 2009 British soldiers who abused an Iraqi detainee prisoner who died in their custody were not just "a few bad apples", a public inquiry has been told. There was "something rotten in the whole barrel", Rabinder Singh QC said. Troops in Iraq routinely used banned interrogation methods they did not think were illegal, lawyers told the inquiry into the 2003 death. The inquiry, led by Sir William Gage, is focusing on Baha Mousa's death, detainees' treatment and army methods.

Army draws up plan to send 1,000 more troops to Afghanistan 21 Sep 2009 Britain is making plans to send up to 1,000 extra troops to Afghanistan to meet the call for reinforcements made by the US commander in Kabul. The troops would be Britain’s contribution to a military surge called for by General Stanley McChrystal, who commands Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) in Afghanistan, some details of which were leaked to an American newspaper yesterday.

McChrystal: More Forces or 'Mission Failure' 21 Sep 2009 The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan warns in an urgent, confidential assessment of the war that he needs more forces within the next year and bluntly states that without them, the eight-year conflict "will likely result in failure," according to a copy of the 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post. His assessment was sent to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on Aug. 30 and is now being reviewed by President Obama and his national security team.

"I was building a bridge," an Afghan contactor said, one evening over drinks. "The local Taliban commander called and said 'don't build a bridge there, we'll have to blow it up.' I asked him to let me finish the bridge, collect the money -- then they could blow it up whenever they wanted. We agreed, and I completed my project." Who is funding the Afghan Taliban? You don't want to know. 13 Aug 2009 In Afghanistan, one of the richest sources of Taliban funding is the foreign assistance coming into the country. Virtually every major project includes a healthy cut for the insurgents. Call it protection money, call it extortion, or, as the Taliban themselves prefer to term it, "spoils of war," the fact remains that international donors, primarily the United States, are to a large extent financing their own enemy.

Brit Soldier Killed In Afghan Blast 21 Sep 2009 A British soldier has been killed in an explosion while on patrol in southern Afghanistan. The blast hit a dismounted patrol in the Gereshk district of Helmand Province, the MoD said.

Everyone seems to be agreeing with Bin Laden these days --Only Obama, it seems, fails to get the message that we're losing Afghanistan By Robert Fisk 19 Sep 2009 Obama and Osama are at last participating in the same narrative. For the US president's critics -- indeed, for many critics of the West's military occupation of Afghanistan -- are beginning to speak in the same language as Obama's (and their) greatest enemy. There is a growing suspicion in America that Obama has been socked into the heart of the Afghan darkness by ex-Bushie Robert Gates – once more the Secretary of Defence - and by journalist-adored General David Petraeus whose military "surges" appear to be as successful as the Battle of the Bulge in stemming the insurgent tide in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq... Colin Kenny, chair of Canada's senate committee on national security and defence, said this week that "what we hoped to accomplish in Afghanistan has proved to be impossible. We are hurtling towards a Vietnam ending".

IAEA denies report it is sure Iran is seeking bomb 17 Sep 2009 The UN atomic watchdog said Thursday it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapons programme in Iran. The International Atomic Energy Agency rejected a US media report which claimed its experts believed Tehran had the ability to make a nuclear bomb and was on the way to developing a missile system able to carry an atomic warhead.

Israel says still has military option on Iran 21 Sep 2009 Israel has not given up the option of a military response to Tehran's nuclear programme, senior officials said on Monday, after Russia's president said his Israeli counterpart assured him it would not attack Iran. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon was asked by Reuters if that comment by Israeli President Shimon Peres, as reported on Sunday by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, was a guarantee there would be no Israeli strike on Iran. Ayalon replied: "It is certainly not a guarantee. I don't think that, with all due respect, the Russian president is authorised to speak for Israel and certainly we have not taken any option off the table."

Judge grants new delay in Sept. 11 trial at Guantanamo 21 Sep 2009 A military judge agreed Monday to another delay in the war crimes 'trial' of five Guantanamo prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks, giving U.S. officials more time to decide how to try them. Army Col. Stephen Henley agreed to the U.S. government's request for a 60-day continuance, a delay intended to give President Barack Obama's administration enough time to decide whether it should move the case, along with those of other prisoners held at Guantanamo, to a civilian court or a revamped war crimes tribunal.

Report: CIA interrogations informed by bad science 21 Sep 2009 Prolonged stress from the CIA's harsh interrogations could have impaired the memories of terrorist suspects, diminishing their ability to recall and provide the detailed information the spy agency sought, according to a scientific paper published Monday. The methods could even have caused the suspects to create -- and believe -- false memories, contends the paper, which scrutinizes the techniques used by the CIA under the Bush administration through the lens of neurobiology. It suggests the methods are actually counterproductive, no matter how much suspects might eventually say.

Terror arrest sparks gov't warning on mass transit 21 Sep 2009 Counterterrorism officials are warning mass transit systems around the nation to step up patrols because of fears an Afghanistan-born immigrant under arrest in Colorado may have been plotting with others to detonate backpack bombs aboard New York City trains. Investigators say Najibullah Zazi, a shuttle van driver at the Denver airport, played a direct role in a terror plot that unraveled during a trip to New York City around the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Active Terror Cell Prepared NYC Attack, Officials Say --Authorities Believe After Three Arrests in Alleged Terror Plot, Others Still Out There 21 Sep 2009 After overnight arrests this weekend in the alleged New York terror plot, FBI agents believe an active terror cell directed by al Qaeda was preparing an attack on New York City, and authorities say they have yet to identify everyone involved. Officials tell ABC News they believe there were three distinct teams of four men each, and not all of them are accounted for. Law enforcement agents say they're watching a number of people on round-the-clock surveillance who they suspect might have been part of the alleged terror cell.

NYC imam held without bail in terrorism probe 21 Sep 2009 A New York City imam accused of lying to officials investigating a terrorism plot has been ordered held without bail. His attorney, Ron Kuby, says he’ll seek bail for Ahmad Afzali on Thursday. Afzali is an imam at a mosque in Queens. He was arrested Saturday in New York and charged with making false statements to the government. The former NYPD informant was accused of lying to authorities about tipping off Najibullah Zazi about a terrorism investigation.

Feds unsure if arrest of Najibullah Zazi and two others has foiled al-Qaeda terror plot 20 Sep 2009 Federal agents from Denver and New York to Pakistan are still racing to solve an Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] bomb plot, unsure whether the arrest of three suspects has put the terror gang out of business. "They're still looking," a senior counterterror official told the Daily News. As to whether they have identified all the conspirators, "nobody knows the answer for sure," the official said. FBI arrest documents showed prime suspect Najibullah Zazi visited the city from Colorado on the 9/11 anniversary carrying a laptop with bomb-making notes he wrote. Specific attack plans or targets remain unknown, a Justice Department statement said.

Lawyer for imam charged in alleged terrorism plot says he is a scapegoat 21 Sep 2009 The government has targeted a Queens imam as a scapegoat for its failings to investigate an alleged cross-country terrorist plot, his lawyer said before his client's hearing in federal court was delayed today. Ahmad Wais Afzali, who is accused of lying to federal investigators, will continue to be held. The hearing is scheduled to resume on Thursday. Afzali, who was arrested Sunday, is one of three men scheduled to appear today in federal court in the probe. Najibullah Zaziand his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, were arrested Saturday in Denver and will face charges of lying as well.

Suspect in Terror Probe Linked to Notes on Making Bomb 21 Sep 2009 Investigators said they found notes describing how to make bombs in the handwriting of an airport shuttle driver arrested as part of a terrorism investigation, and they also discovered his fingerprints on materials -- batteries and a scale -- that could be used to make explosives. The emerging details show that Najibullah Zazi, who has admitted receiving weapons training from al-Qaeda, played a direct role in an alleged terror plot, authorities said in court documents released Sunday.

F-15s escort plane that violated NJ airspace restriction due to Obama visit 21 Sep 2009 Fighter jets seen flying low over Middlesex County today were responding to an unidentified aircraft that violated a temporary flight restriction put in place while President Obama was landing in New York. The jets, both F-15s that were already in the area, were seen flying over Edison, Sayreville, East Brunswick, and other location. There were repeated calls to New Jersey 101.5 radio station by listeners who had seen or heard the jets, which shook the ground in some places. At least two people told the station they saw two fighter jets escorting a red aircraft.

New victim of the Black Death: Professor killed by plague bug he studied --Mr Casadaban, a renowned molecular geneticist, developed intense flu-like symptoms on September 13. He was admitted to hospital but within 12 hours was dead. 22 Sep 2009 An American scientist studying the origins of Black Death has died from an infection linked to the disease. Professor Malcolm Casadaban was killed by a strain of the bacteria responsible for millions of deaths over the centuries, officials at the University of Chicago revealed. An autopsy on the 60-year-old professor showed no obvious cause of death, except for the presence in his blood of the bacteria Yersinia pestis. The weakened strain being studied by Mr Casadaban at the University of Chicago was not known to cause illness. The scientist had been studying the genetics of harmful bacteria, including a strain of Yersinia pestis, for several months in an effort to find a stronger vaccine. [See: List of Dead Scientists By Steve Quayle Updated 20 Sep 2009 [Wow, they're up to 89! #86: Caroline Coffey, 28. Died June 3, from massive cuts to her throat. Hikers found the body of the Cornell Univ. post-doctoral bio-medicine researcher along a wooded trail in the park, just outside Ithaca, N.Y., where the Ivy League school is located. Her husband was hospitalized under guard after a police chase and their apartment set on fire.]

VeriChip shares jump after H1N1 patent license win 21 Sep 2009 Shares of VeriChip Corp tripled after the company said it had been granted an exclusive license to two patents, which will help it to develop implantable virus detection systems in humans. The patents, held by VeriChip partner Receptors LLC, relate to biosensors that can detect the H1N1 and other viruses, and biological threats such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, VeriChip said in a statement. The technology will combine with VeriChip's implantable radio frequency identification devices to develop virus triage detection systems. Shares of VeriChip were up 186 percent at $3.28 Monday late afternoon trade on Nasdaq.

Gulf War Toxins In Swine Flu Vaccine 23 Aug 2009 The new swine flu vaccine contains a deadly brain toxin linked to autism, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis. The Sunday Express has discovered the pandemic vaccine, to be rolled out across the country within weeks, contains the mercury. It also contains a chemical called squalene, used to stimulate the immune system to respond to the vaccine. Some scientists believe squalene is linked to autoimmune illnesses including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Squalene was included in the anthrax jab given to British and US soldiers during the 1991 Gulf War.

Obamas to get swine flu vaccine 20 Sep 2009 America's first family will get vaccinated 'against' swine flu when they are advised to, President Barack Obama said in a television interview broadcast Sunday. "We want to get vaccinated. We think it's the right thing to do. We will stand in line like everybody else and when folks say it's our turn, that's when we'll get it," Obama told CNN's "State of the Union."

AIG's Payback to Taxpayers in Doubt --Government Watchdog Says Disgraced Insurance Giant AIG May Not Repay All of Its $182B 21 Sep 2009 One year after the biggest corporate bailout in the country's history, a government watchdog office Monday warned that American taxpayers may not recoup the full $182 billion given to embattled insurance giant American International Group. "AIG's ability to restructure its business and repay the government is unclear at this time," the Government Accountability Office said in a new report released Monday. As of the start of September, the company's outstanding balance of taxpayer aid was $120 billion.

U.S. monetary policy to benefit Asian assets most: CLSA 21 Sep 2009 The biggest beneficiary of the loose monetary policies in the U.S. and other western nations may be Asian asset prices as capital flows eastward in search of growth, the top equities analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets said Monday. "The very easy money in the West will benefit most not western consumers but Asian asset prices," Christopher Wood, managing director and equity strategist at CLSA, told reporters at CLSA's annual investors' conference in Hong Kong.

Bozeman blackmailer gets 5 years probation 21 Sep 2009 A woman who blackmailed a prominent Bozeman builder will serve five years of probation, a U.S. District Court judge ruled Thursday. Shannon Michelle Clark pleaded guilty on May 22 to charges that she demanded $60,000 from William Martel, founder of Martel Construction in Bozeman, to stay quiet about their four-year affair. In a dramatic plea for leniency, defense attorney Morgan Modine charged that the FBI investigation that netted Clark began as a politically motivated drive by the Bush administration Justice [sic] Department to implicate prominent Democrats in a suspected Bozeman prostitution ring. It was only when that investigation floundered, Modine said, that the FBI went after Clark.

Fox News Producer Caught Rallying 9/12 Protest Crowd In Behind-The-Scenes Video By Danny Shea 20 Sep 2009 A Fox News Channel producer has been caught in a behind-the-scenes video rallying the crowd during last weekend's 9/12 protest in Washington. The Huffington Post has confirmed that the woman in the below video -- seen raising her arms to rally the crowd behind Griff Jenkins, who was reporting from the scene for Fox News -- is Fox News producer Heidi Noonan.

WWF demands U.S. halt polar bear hunt in Alaska 21 Sep 2009 The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) is demanding the United States impose a moratorium on the hunting of polar bears, a report released on Monday by the international organization said. The U.S. still allows polar bear hunting for indigenous peoples in Alaska even though polar bears have been listed as an endangered species since 2008.

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CIA expanding presence in Afghanistan 20 Sep 2009 The CIA is deploying teams of spies, analysts and paramilitary operatives to Afghanistan, part of a broad intelligence "surge" that will make its station there among the largest in the agency's history, U.S. officials say. When complete, the CIA's presence in the country is expected to rival the size of its massive stations in Iraq and Vietnam at the height of those wars. Precise numbers are classified, but one U.S. official said the agency already has nearly 700 employees in Afghanistan. The intelligence expansion goes beyond the CIA to involve every major spy service, officials said, including the National Security Agency, which intercepts calls and e-mails, as well as the Defense Intelligence Agency, which tracks military threats.

Taliban leader boasts of eventual victory in Afghanistan 20 Sep 2009 The Taliban fight against American and NATO troops in Afghanistan "is forging ahead like a powerful flood," according to a purported online message posted Saturday by the Taliban's leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. "Anyone who opts to resist it will himself be washed away. Atrocity, torture, brutality, conspiracies, coalitions, the foreign forces and mercenaries could not hurl stumbling blocks in the way of this robust Jihadic movement," Omar adds in the written message. The fight against foreign forces "is approaching the edge of victory," according to Omar.

Mullah Omar laughs at US efforts in Afghanistan --He said they should read stories like that of Alexander the Great, whose soldiers were defeated by Pashtun tribesmen in the fourth century. 20 Sep 2009 Taliban leader Mullah Omar has warned US and NATO forces that they will not be successful in Afghanistan. It is suspected Omar's message was sent from Pakistan, where he is believed to be hiding. Omar, who has not been seen in years, put out a statement on Saturday to say Westerners should study the history of other foreign invasions in Afghanistan to see their own defeat.

U.S. weapons end up in al-Qaeda hands, in Somalia [and Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan . That's the goal --to perpetuate terrorism so US mercenary firms are funded to 'stop' it.] 20 Sep 2009 As the Somalia conflict spirals into a new proxy war between 'al-Qaeda' and the United States, there is mounting evidence that U.S. weapons and Somali soldiers are ending up under the control of Islamic terrorists, Somali politicians say. The warning comes after a week of heavy violence in Somalia, including a U.S. commando raid that killed a suspected terrorist leader, followed swiftly by a double suicide bombing that killed 17 African peacekeepers in revenge for the U.S. raid.

Blackwater involved in Bhutto and Hariri hits: former Pakistani army chief 14 Sep 2009 Pakistan’s former chief of army staff, General Mirza Aslam Beg (ret.), has said the U.S. private security company Blackwater was directly involved in the assassinations of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto and former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri. Blackwater later changed its name and is now known as Xe. General Beg recently told the Saudi Arabian daily Al Watan that former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf had given Blackwater the green light to carry out terrorist operations in the cities of Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, and Quetta.

Swiss confirm officials visited Guantánamo camps 20 Sep 2009 Swiss officials visited the U.S. detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, last month to gather information on captives the Alpine country is considering for resettlement once they are released, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sunday. The spokesman, Guido Balmer, however, declined to confirm the identities of the candidates. The Zurich weekly SonntagsZeitung said our men were under consideration -- two Chinese citizens, Muslims of the ethnic Uighur minority, an Uzbek and a Palestinian.

Obama says CIA inquiry must continue 20 Sep 2009 US President Barack Obama says he has no intentions of putting a stop to the investigations of harsh interrogations techniques torture used against suspected terrorists during the Bush regime. In a letter to President Obama on Friday, seven former CIA directors asked the president to stop the investigation, arguing that it can leave a long-term damage on the CIA. Reacting to the letter, Obama told CBS' "Face the Nation" that he appreciates that the former CIA chiefs want "to look after an institution that they helped to build."

Iraq helicopter down, 1 dead and 12 hurt 20 Sep 2009 A U.S. soldier was killed and twelve others wounded when their helicopter crashed in the U.S. military's main airbase in Iraq, the military said in a statement on Sunday. The helicopter went down over joint base Balad, about 80 km (50 miles) north of Baghdad, at 8 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Saturday, the statement said.

2 Colorado men, 1 NYC man arrested in terror probe 20 Sep 2009 The FBI arrested a 24-year-old Colorado man on charges of making false statements to federal agents in an ongoing terror investigation, and supporting documents contend the man admitted receiving weapons and explosives training from 'al-Qaida' in Pakistan... The FBI is investigating several individuals in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere in an alleged plot to detonate explosive devices in the United States, the Justice Department said in a statement.

US residents arrested over alleged plot similar to London bombings --FBI 'investigating other individuals' 20 Sep 2009 Three men of Afghan origin have been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to launch a terrorist attack in the United States similar to the bombings in London and Madrid. The US Justice Department said the FBI was also investigating other individuals "in the United States, Pakistan and elsewhere, relating to a plot to detonate improvised explosive devices in the United States," according to statements filed to support the arrests. Najibullah Zazi, 24, and his 53-year-old father, Mohammed, were arrested in Colorado late on Saturday after raids in New York and Denver. Ahmad Wais Afzali, 37, also from Afghanistan, was later arrested in New York. All three are legal permanent residents in the US.

Men in terror probe charged with making false statements 20 Sep 2009 Federal agents arrested a 24-year-old Colorado resident, his father and another man on charges of making false statements as part of an investigation into an alleged terror plot, the Justice Department said Sunday. Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan national, and his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, were arrested Saturday night in the Denver suburb of Aurora. An acquaintance of the two men, Ahmad Wais Afzali of Flushing, New York, was also arrested.

'Foreign hands behind terrorist attacks in Iran' 20 Sep 2009 Iran's first vice president says the recent unrest in the western province of Kordestan is linked with 'malicious groups' based outside the country. Mohammadreza Rahimi described the recent spate of assassinations in the Kordestan Province as a 'regretful' event and hoped that those behind the attacks will be apprehended and brought to justice in the near future, Fars News reported on Saturday.

IAEA Conceals Evidence Iran Documents Were Forged By Gareth Porter 14 Sep 2009 The International Atomic Energy Agency says its present objective regarding Iran is to try to determine whether the intelligence documents purportedly showing a covert Iranian nuclear weapons programme from 2001 to 2003 are authentic or not. The problem, according to its reports, is that Iran refuses to help clarify the issue. But the IAEA has refused to acknowledge publicly significant evidence brought to its attention by Iran that the documents were fabricated, and has made little, if any, effort to test the authenticity of the intelligence documents or to question officials of the governments holding them, IPS has learned.

U.S. Rejects U.N. Proposal to Compel War Crimes Probes of Gaza Conflict 17 Sep 2009 Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, rejected a U.N. proposal to compel Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, to conduct credible investigations into war crimes during last winter's war in Gaza or face possible prosecution by an international prosecutor.

Military Develops Arsenal of Non-Lethal Weapons 08 Sep 2009 Over the past 20 years, the U.S. military, as well NATO and UN troops, have had to defend a variety of locations, stop approaching vehicles, or disperse crowds without using deadly force or endangering themselves. But the weapons at their disposal have historically been designed to maim or kill. To give military leaders more options, the U.S. Defense Dept. established the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program (JNLWP) in 1996. Based at the Marine Corps Base Quantico and under the direction of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the program develops, evaluates, and deploys nonlethal devices. Here are some of the weapons coming out of their laboratories and field testing...

Four Chicago Policemen Admit to Robbing Suspects 20 Sep 2009 Four former members of a disbanded Chicago police unit have admitted to taking part in a scheme in which they barged into homes and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars -- once after withholding insulin from a diabetic man until he told them where to find cash. Three of the former officers -- Bart Maka, Guadalupe Salinas and Brian Pratscher -- pleaded guilty to felony theft, and the fourth, Donovan Markiewicz, pleaded guilty to official misconduct.

Ill. scientist dies, possible plague bacteria link 19 Sep 2009 The University of Chicago Medical Center says the infection that killed a scientist [Sept. 13] may be connected to bacteria he researched that causes the plague. The university said Saturday that its researcher studied the genetics of harmful bacteria including Yersinia pestis, which causes the illness [The 'illness.' Uh, that would be Y. Pestis aka bubonic plague].

Feds mum over legal protection for swine flu vaccine makers 20 Sep 2009 The federal government won't say if Canadians who suffer harmful side effects from the new swine flu shot can take the vaccine maker to court. The Public Health Agency of Canada will not reveal whether drug companies are shielded from H1N1 flu vaccine lawsuits in this country like they are in the United States. The United States has been open about its decision to protect vaccine makers, government officials and others from lawsuits over the vaccine. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted legal immunity to "individuals and entities involved in all stages of 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine development, testing, manufacture, distribution, prescribing, administration, and use," says a U.S. Health Department website. [Thanks, Opharma, for that one, slid in at 8 o'clock on a Friday night in July, when *no one* was paying attention. Notice the paucity of media coverage on this one? --LRP]

Vaccine could be 'more dangerous than swine flu' 19 Sep 2009 The Australian Vaccination Network lobby group says more testing of the swine flu vaccine needs to be done before it is given to the public. The Federal Government has ordered 21 million doses of the vaccine developed by CSL. A national vaccination program - the largest the country has seen - will start at the end of the month. Australian Vaccination Network president Meryl Dorey says the H1N1 vaccine could prove more dangerous than the disease itself. "Why are we spending hundreds of millions of dollars on this vaccine?"

New York College Sets Aside Entire Dorm for H1N1 Flu Cases 19 Sep 2009 A college in New York's Adirondack Mountains is preparing for the H1N1 flu virus by setting aside an entire dormitory for students stricken with the illness. Paul Smith's College, about 120 miles north of Albany, hasn't had any reported cases of so-called swine flu. But officials say they want to be ready. The 40-bed dorm will offer computers, Internet and television in the communal areas.

Oops! NASA caught with its hands in the chemtrail cookie jar: As NASA launches rocket for cloud experiment, dozens report seeing strange lights in the sky --The rocket is designed to create an artificial cloud. 19 Sep 2009 NASA says it successfully launched a rocket in Virginia as part of an experiment, and the blast may have caused dozens of people to report seeing strange lights in the sky. The space agency said it launched the Black Brant XII on Saturday evening to gather data on the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere. About the time of the launch, dozens of people in the Northeast started calling local television stations to report seeing strange lights.

Grizzly bear decline alarms conservationists in Canada --Demand for halt to hunting after decline in salmon stocks is blamed for bears starving to death 20 Sep 2009 A furious row has erupted in Canada with conservationists desperately lobbying the government to suspend the annual bear-hunting season following reports of a sudden drop in the numbers of wild bears spotted on salmon streams and key coastal areas where they would normally be feeding. The government has promised to order a count of bears, but not until after this year's autumn trophy hunts have taken place. It has enraged ecology groups which say that a dearth of salmon stocks may be responsible for many bears starving in their dens during hibernation.

Texas oilman leads effort to drill off Florida's coast --A little-known group headed by a Texas oilman is behind an effort to change an oil drilling ban off Florida's coast. 20 Sep 2009 The only way Floridians will ever learn who's behind Florida Energy Associates is if the Legislature approves letting the company drill near the state's gulf beaches. "We're not shadowy, or we don't want to be,'' said Doug Daniels, a Daytona Beach attorney touring the state for Florida Energy Associates to promote overturning the drilling ban. Once the law is changed, he said, the process for applying for the leases will require making their names public. For now, the only oilman identified as a principal is Texas oilman M. Lance Phillips.

GOP-installed Enron troll/privatization lackey is a disaster for state: California Joblessness Reaches 70-Year High 19 Sep 2009 California’s unemployment rate in August hit its highest point in nearly 70 years, starkly underscoring how the nation’s incipient economic recovery continues to elude millions of Americans looking for work. While job losses continue to fall, the state’s new unemployment rate -- 12.2 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics -- is far above the national average of 9.7 percent.

What exactly did the Fed do with $2tn? Despite Ben Bernanke's protestations, Congress must be given full access to audit the Federal Reserve's loans By Dean Baker 07 Sep 2009 ...[T]he Federal Reserve Board has lent out more than $2tn through various special lending facilities. While the Fed discloses aggregate information on the loans made through each of the facilities, it will not disclose how much money it lent to specific banks or under what terms. By contrast, the Treasury puts this information about its $700bn TARP bailout up on its website. Partly in response to this huge increase in the Fed's power... more than 270 representatives in Congress have co-sponsored a bill that would have the Government Accountability Office audit the Fed... However, the Fed and its chairman Ben Bernanke, do not see it this way.

New health proposal is industry's favorite 17 Sep 2009 The latest health overhaul plan circulating on Capitol Hill gives health insurers, drug makers and large employers reasons to heave sighs of relief, sparing them the higher costs and more burdensome rules included in other Democratic-written alternatives. Industry players that have already struck bargains with President Barack Obama's administration and leading DemocRATs to help pay for revamping the health system saw most of those deals left intact -- and in some cases sweetened -- in the $856 billion proposal unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman.

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Al Q shops Nordstrom: Al-Qaida Threatens Terror Attacks in Germany after Election 18 Sep 2009 In a new video message, the terrorist network al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] has warned of attacks in Germany during the two weeks after the Sept. 27 election, if there are no signals of a withdrawal of German troops from Afghanistan. Authorities are taking the threat seriously and have raised the level of security precautions. If the sender of the video released on Friday afternoon was not in all likelihood al-Qaida, it would be difficult to take it seriously: The speaker has dressed for the occasion in an atypical style, in a black suit and blue tie. [LOL! Al Q loves Ermenegildo Zegna! --LRP]

Germany boosts terrorism alert level 19 Sep 2009 The German government raised its terrorism alert level after 'al Qaeda' posted a video on the Internet threatening attacks in Germany if this month's elections do not come out the way the terrorist organization wants. The ministry added that it has noted an uptick in threats against Germany by al Qaeda and 'other Islamist' groups since the beginning of the year.

Suspect's Computer Said to Show Sports Stadiums, Fashion Sites --Officials Report Denver Man Sent Texts Suggesting Attack Coming; 'Wedding Cake' Is Ready 19 Sep 2009 As 24-year-old Najibullah Zazi was set to be questioned for a fourth straight day by FBI agents about his alleged ties to al Qaeda, law enforcement officials said the Denver man's computer showed he had researched baseball and football stadiums and sites used in the recent Fashion Week event in New York City. While officials say they do not know the targets of the alleged plot, the contents of Zazi's computer are considered a valuable insight into what he might have been planning.

Feds probe alleged terrorists who tried to rent giant truck in suspected Al Qaeda bomb plot 19 Sep 2009 Investigators probed a failed Queens truck rental for ties to a possible 'Al Qaeda' bomb plot yesterday as a chief terror suspect tried making a deal to save his skin. The New York end of the expanding federal probe centered on seven Afghan men who tried to rent the biggest truck at a Queens U-Haul on Sept. 9, sources told the Daily News. The size of the vehicle involved - a 26-foot-long truck - suggested the conspirators wanted to pack it with explosives, sources said. A police source acknowledged there was "quite a bit that we weren't completely sure of" about the plot or the role of Najibullah Zazi, the bearded public face [!?!] of the terrorism investigation.

4th day of questioning in terrorism probe 19 Sep 2009 A man under investigation in a terrorism probe in New York and Denver is expected to voluntarily answer questions for a fourth day even as a senior U.S. intelligence official says the man played a crucial role in an intended terrorist attack. Najibullah Zazi's attorney says the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver has never met with al-Qaida operatives and isn't involved in terrorism. Zazi completed a third day of questioning by FBI agents in Denver Friday but was not under arrest and was allowed to return to his apartment.

Defense: 2nd man questioned in terror probe 18 Sep 2009 FBI agents were questioning the father of a man under investigation in a terrorism probe in New York and Denver, a spokeswoman for the defense team said Friday. The FBI didn't say why it wanted to talk to Mohammed Zazi, but he is cooperating, said the spokeswoman, Wendy Aiello.

New York terror suspect Najibullah Zazi 'admits terror ties' 19 Sep 2009 Afghan-born American resident Najibullah Zazi, 24, has admitted ties to al Qaeda, according to officials investigating a home-grown terror plot against the New York subway system. The suspect has admitted contacts with extremists in Pakistan and may strike a plea deal over allegations that he attended a military training camp, according to US media reports of law enforcement officials. He denies involvement in any terrorist acts or plots.

Official: Terror Plot Suspect Admits al Qaeda Ties, May Plead Guilty --Three-Day FBI Interrogation Reveals Denver Man Had Received Explosives Training 18 Sep 2009 The Denver man at the center of an alleged New York bomb plot, Najibullah Zazi, has admitted he has ties to al Qaeda and is in negotiations to plead guilty to a terror charge, a senior law enforcement official told ABC News.

Court affirms use of chemical terrorism law against Penn. woman 18 Sep 2009 Carol-Anne Bond, of Lansdale, was arrested by federal authorities in June 2007 and charged under a 1998 chemical-weapons law for applying highly toxic chemicals on the mailbox, car door, and front house door of a close friend and romantic rival, Myrlinda Haynes. Bond's attorney, Robert E. Goldman, had argued that Bond's messy personal situation did not justify federal charges under the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998. The law, he said, was meant to prosecute terrorists - not scorned spouses.

Obama Warned By Ex-CIA Directors On Justice Probe of Detainee Interrogators 18 Sep 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder's decision to order a review of the controversial interrogation techniques used by Central Intelligence Agency employees on high-value terrorist detainees during the prior administration has drawn a cautionary letter to President Barack Obama from seven former CIA directors. [Ten buck says Obama caves in to their request in eight pico-seconds, under cover of some grandiose speech as to how our troops might be harmed by 'finding out' that the CIA (and US mercenaries) tortured people and blah blah blah. --LRP ]

Looks like I get my ten bucks --see item above: Inquiry Into CIA Practices Narrows --Ex-Agency Directors Urge Administration to Drop Investigation 19 Sep 2009 The Justice Department's review of detainee abuse torture by the CIA will focus on a very small number of cases, including at least one in which an Afghan prisoner died at a secret facility, according to two sources briefed on the matter. On Friday, seven former CIA directors urged President Obama to end the inquiry, arguing that it would inhibit intelligence operations in the future and demoralize agency employees who believed they had been cleared by previous 'investigators.'

Former CIA Directors Urge Obama to End CIA Interrogation Probe 18 Sep 2009 Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency urged President Barack Obama in a letter to end an investigation into CIA interrogations of terror suspects conducted during the Bush regime.

CIA probe must go to highest level: UN rights head 27 Aug 2009 The U.S. prosecutor's investigation into alleged criminal CIA interrogation techniques must go right to the top political level, the chief UN rights official said on Thursday. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters, urged European and other countries to resettle Guantanamo detainees prisoners so that President Barack Obama can close the U.S.-run prison in Cuba by year-end.

Pakistan Police Raid US-Contracted Security Firm --Pakistan police say they raided US-contracted security firm for illegal weapons possession 19 Sep 2009 Pakistani police raided a local security firm that helps protect the U.S. Embassy on Saturday, seizing dozens of allegedly unlicensed weapons at a time when unusually intense media scrutiny of America's use of private contractors mercenaries has deepened anti-U.S. sentiment. Two employees of the Inter-Risk company were arrested during the raids in Islamabad, police official Rana Akram said. Reporters were shown the seized weapons -- 61 assault rifles and nine pistols. Akram said police were seeking the firm's owner.

Troops in Afghanistan said to use private armies for detention and interrogation --Nato forces rely on illegal Afghan militias, report says 16 Sep 2009 Nato forces in Afghanistan are increasingly reliant on illegal militias, often run by warlords responsible for human rights abuses and drug trafficking, according to an independent report published tomorrow. New York University's Centre on International Co-operation (CIC) reports that the use of private security companies and militias is growing exponentially and accounts for up to a fifth of the funds spent on Afghan reconstruction. The CIC report, called The Public Cost of Private Security in Afghanistan, says many of the troop contingents in Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) use private militias not only to guard their camps and secure convoys, but also for "black ops", including detention and interrogation... Jake Sherman, one of the report's authors, said today: "The Kandahar incident shows these groups are being employed by US special forces, and we know they are engaged in black ops."

LOL: CIA director: Karzai appears to have won 18 Sep 2009 CIA Director Leon Panetta says Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears to have won re-election despite charges of fraud and corruption in the vote. Panetta said in an interview with Voice of America radio taped Wednesday that Karzai appears to have enough votes to carry the election even after fraudulent votes are eliminated. [I love it. We're over there to protect A) opium routes B) gas pipelines C) mercenary contracts and D) pick their president.]

Roadside bomb kills 11-year-old in north Iraq 19 Sep 2009 Authorities say a roadside bomb has killed an 11-year-old boy and wounded his two friends in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. A Mosul police officer says the bomb exploded around 4 p.m. after a police patrol that was the apparent targeted had already passed by. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Iraq shoe-thrower in Greece for medical treatment 17 Sep 2009 The Iraqi journalist jailed for throwing his shoes at former US president [sic] George W. Bush has arrived in Greece following his release, Iraqi diplomats said Thursday. TV reporter Muntazer al-Zaidi went to Greece for medical treatment after suffering torture while in prison, his family said. He was released on Tuesday after being jailed for one year for launching shoes at Bush on December 14 during a Baghdad press conference.

Iraq shoe thrower 'was tortured' --Zaidi said he had suffered beatings, whippings, electric shocks and simulated drowning [waterboarding] at the hands of officials and guards. 15 Sep 2009 The Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former US President [sic] George W Bush says he was tortured by senior government officials while in jail. Shortly after his release from nine months in a Baghdad prison, Muntadar al-Zaidi demanded an apology - and said he would name the officials later. Iraqi officials told the BBC his claims should be investigated... He also said he feared US intelligence services regarded him as an "insurgent revolutionary" and would "spare no effort" in a bid to kill him.

'No change from Bush to Obama', say Neocons and Liberals 16 Sep 2009 American foreign policy under Barack Obama has not changed course after the Bush years, according to a group of prominent commentators from both sides of the political divide. The academics from The University of Manchester, Birkbeck College and the Institute for the Study of the Americas, say the public should be properly informed that the US aims to pursue its interests, regardless of which party holds power.

Obama administration to seek extension of Patriot Act spy powers By Patrick Martin 17 Sep 2009 In a letter from the Justice Department to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Obama administration has gone on record for the first time supporting the extension of key provisions the USA Patriot Act, including the notorious provision that gives the federal government the power to subpoena library records of any individual. Several provisions of the Patriot Act, legislation adopted in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks that grants sweeping surveillance powers to US intelligence agencies, are scheduled to expire December 31, unless renewed by Congress.

'Lone Wolf' Suspects

Coughing Swine in Northern Ireland Prompt Search for Flu Source 19 Sep 2009 Coughing hogs [!] at a 5,000-head piggery in Northern Island are being investigated to determine how they became the latest animal victims of swine flu. The pandemic H1N1 influenza strain infected about 4,500 hogs at the piggery in Greenhill, U.K. veterinary officials said in a report to the World Organization for Animal Health yesterday.

Canada anger at 'flu body bags' 18 Sep 2009 Canada's health minister has ordered an investigation after body bags were sent to aboriginal reserves as part of supplies to deal with swine flu. The body bags were delivered this week to First Nation communities in Manitoba province which were hard hit by a swine flu outbreak a few months ago. Community leaders said they were "horrified" when they saw the bags. Ordering an inquiry, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said the actions of the Health Canada department were unacceptable, insensitive and offensive.

'We'll be going to every (school) district, and we're talking with private schools as well.' Flu shot clinics planned at schools 19 Sep 2009 (WI) Wood County Health Department officials will host H1N1 flu shot clinics at local schools this fall. The Food and Drug Administration approved the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine this week, and there are plans to roll out the first supplies by early October.

First U.S. H1N1 vaccines will be nasal spray - CDC 18 Sep 2009 The first U.S. roll-out of vaccines against the new swine flu virus will be 3.4 million doses of MedImmune's nose spray [containing live viruses], the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. The CDC's Dr Jay Butler said the vaccines would be distributed the first week of October.

Justice targets Bush Cabinet official in probe 18 Sep 2009 The Justice Department has launched an investigation into whether former Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton illegally used her position to steer lucrative oil leases to Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the company she works for now, officials with both departments confirmed to The Associated Press. The criminal investigation is focused on a 2006 decision by the Interior Department to award three oil shale leases on federal land in Colorado to a Shell subsidiary. Oil from the leases could eventually earn the company hundreds of billions dollars.

Federal Appeals Court Voids Campaign Finance Reform Rules 19 Sep 2009 A federal appeals court overturned hard-fought campaign finance reform regulations in a ruling on Friday that will make it easier for independent political groups to raise and spend money to influence elections. The three-judge panel struck down regulations intended to blunt the power of such organizations. The ruling, if it stands, could provide a boost to Republicans and their allies as they try to win back Congress in 2010 and the White House in 2012.

Fed Considers Sweeping Rules on Bank Pay [Yeah, right!] 19 Sep 2009 The Federal Reserve and the Treasury are preparing broad new rules that would force banks to rein in practices that made multimillionaires out of many financial executives during the housing bubble, officials said. The rules depart from the hands-off approach that dominated bank regulation for the last three decades, but are not as strict as proposals from some European leaders and suggestions from some members of Congress angered by the financial troubles of the last year... And because the rules would be applied through the confidential bank examination process, it would be hard for consumers and investors to judge how strictly the 'rules' were being applied.

Power firms to grab £3.4bn extra profit 19 Sep 2009 Britain's big six energy companies have rejected calls to cut prices, despite a halving in the wholesale cost of gas and electricity over the past year. The big six companies will earn an estimated extra £3.4 billion in profit over the next 12 months if they fail to pass on price falls to consumers, according to energy consultants Ineco.

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A dozen on constant watch including Najibullah Zazi in FBI terror probe 18 Sep 2009 Najibullah Zazi, the once-chatty suspect at the center of the probe, was silent and downcast as he arrived at FBI headquarters in Denver for a second round of questioning. "We are here to continue our cooperation," said Zazi's lawyer, Arthur Folsom. When the probe began this week, five Colorado men cited as members of the cell were under a round-the-clock watch. By yesterday, police sources said, that number had risen to as many as 12. A half-dozen were reportedly in New York, where Zazi arrived for a visit last week. Sources said he returned to Colorado after slipping an FBI tail. The Homeland Security Department beefed up security in the nation's airports as a result of the Colorado-based probe, a senior official disclosed yesterday.

Alleged NYC Terror Plot Suspect to Be Questioned for 3rd Day --Zazi Is to Be Questioned by FBI for a 3rd Day, His Attorney Tells ABC News 18 Sep 2009 Najibullah Zazi, the man being investigated for a possible connection to 'al Qaeda' and a suspected terror plot to attack New York City, emerged Thursday night from a second day of answering questions posed by FBI agents. Zazi and his attorney Arthur Folsom entered the Byron G. Rogers Federal Building in downtown Denver at about 2:30 p.m. Thursday. They were whisked out of the building by FBI agents around 10:30 pm, avoiding reporters.

'You Are Entering a 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area.' Cameras keep track of all cars entering Medina --Cameras installed at Medina intersections monitor every vehicle coming into city; cameras capture all license plate numbers 16 Sep 2009 (WA) In Medina, a new sign bears this warning: "You Are Entering a 24 Hour Video Surveillance Area." Cameras have recently been installed at intersections to monitor every vehicle coming into the city. Under the "automatic license plate recognition" project, once a car enters Medina, a camera captures its license plate number. Within seconds, the number is run through a database. If a hit comes up for a felony, the information is transmitted instantaneously to police, who can "leap into action," said Police Chief Jeffrey Chen.

PM in charge in case of Olympic terror: NORAD 17 Sep 2009 In the event a hijacked aircraft threatening the Vancouver 2010 Olympics needs to be shot down, it will be the Prime Minister of Canada who will give the order, a NORAD spokesman said Thursday. The prime minister will get the advice from his own chief of defence staff, acting on recommendations from the North American Aerospace Defence Command, said Lt. Desmond James. "It is the Government of Canada that makes the decision in Canada and the Government of the United States that makes that decision in the U.S." James gave the explanation after a University of Calgary professor issued an academic study Wednesday, saying it could well be a U.S. military commander who gives advice to the Canadian government in the event of a terrorist incident at the Olympics.

U.S. advice may prevail if terrorists strike during Games --A U.S. commander could be the top official of the Canada-U.S. military alliance during the Olympics. 17 Sep 2009 The Canadian government may be relying on a U.S. commander as its top adviser in any possible airborne terrorist attack during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, says a Canadian Studies professor at St. Lawrence University in New York State. Canada and the U.S. are partners in the North American Aerospace Defence Command, which is in charge of overall air defence in North America. NORAD leadership rotates between officers from the two countries.

Bill could block Guantanamo closure 17 Sep 2009 A bill that could go to the Senate floor as early as next week would make it impossible for President Barack Obama to move any Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. for any reason, effectively blocking his plan to close the facility by January. The bar on all such transfers was written into the Senate version of the Defense appropriations bill passed by the Appropriations Committee last week and is stricter than current law, which allows prisoners to be brought to the United States for trial as long as Congress is notified 45 days in advance of any potential risks.

U.S. Seeking 3rd Delay on Guantánamo Cases 17 Sep 2009 The Obama administration said it would decide by mid-November whether to bring charges in federal court in the United States against the five detainees prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, accused of involvement in the September 2001 terrorist attacks, according to government legal papers filed Wednesday. In two legal motions, one filed with a military court in Guantánamo and another with a federal appeals court, the government said it would seek a third postponement of proceedings in the 10 military tribunal cases at Guantánamo.

US military pulls plug on largest prison in Iraq --Prisoners transferred to other detention facilities 17 Sep 2009 The American army has decided to shut down Camp Bucca in the southern Iraqi port city of Basra as it moves to release thousands or transfer them to Iraqi custody before the year end. All the remaining 180 detainees of the facility, located just north of the Kuwaiti border, were transferred to US military's two remaining detention facilities -- Camp Taji and Camp Cropper, just outside Baghdad.

The KBR/Halliburton Iraq Rape Case Goes Forward 17 Sep 2009 A former Halliburton/KBR worker who claims she was gang-raped in her bedroom by co-workers in Iraq is one step closer to getting her day in court, thanks to a favorable ruling by a panel of three federal judges in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2-1 ruling, the judges decided that the allegations made by Jamie Leigh Jones of Houston were not subject to the arbitration clause in her employment contract, meaning Jones' civil lawsuit against Halliburton, KBR and affiliates can proceed in court to a possible trial.

Kabul slams NATO over civilian causalities 17 Sep 2009 An Afghan government-appointed commission has strongly condemned a US-led airstrike earlier this month that led to a loss of 99 lives in an area of northern Afghanistan. The commission appointed by President Hamid Karzai confirmed that some 30 civilians had died, alongside 69 Taliban insurgents, after NATO warplanes targeted stolen fuel tankers on orders of a German commander on September 4, in the Northern Province of Kunduz.

Bombs kill Canadian, US troops in Afghanistan 18 Sep 2009 A U.S. service member and a Canadian soldier died in separate roadside bomb explosions in southern Afghanistan, officials said Friday, announcing new deaths from a day that claimed the lives of a total of nine international troops. The American and Canadian died Thursday; a NATO soldier also died Thursday of wounds from an earlier attack.

Car Bomb in Kabul Kills Six Italians, 10 Afghans 18 Sep 2009 A powerful car bomb killed six Italian troops and at least 10 Afghan civilians in downtown Kabul on Thursday, moments after President Hamid Karzai told journalists in his heavily guarded palace nearby that last month's fraud-plagued presidential election had been "a big success for Afghanistan."

Washington elaborates AfPak strategy amid calls for US troop buildup By Bill Van Auken 17 Sep 2009 The Obama administration presented a document to a closed session of the Senate Armed Services Committee Wednesday spelling out a US war strategy that places special emphasis on Pakistan. The secretive briefing follows signals by US military commanders that a substantial increase in the troop presence in Afghanistan is needed to counter growing opposition to the US-NATO occupation of Afghanistan.

Intelligence Agencies Say No New Nukes in Iran --Secret updates to White House challenge European and Israeli assessments. By Mark Hosenball 16 Sep 2009 The U.S. intelligence community is reporting to the White House that Iran has not restarted its nuclear-weapons development program, two counterproliferation officials tell NEWSWEEK. U.S. agencies had previously said that Tehran halted the program in 2003. The officials, who asked for anonymity when discussing sensitive information, said that U.S. intelligence agencies have informed policymakers at the White House and other agencies that the status of Iranian work on development and production of a nuclear bomb has not changed since the formal National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's "Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities" in November 2007.

Obama Overhauls Bush-Era Missile Plan --New 'Defense' System Will Focus on Stopping Shorter-Range Missiles 17 Sep 2009 President Obama said Thursday that he is abandoning Bush-era plans for a long-range missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, turning instead to a land- and sea-based system of sensors and interceptors that is focused on stopping shorter-range missiles that could be fired from Iran. [!?!]

Canadian Aboriginals receive body bags for flu [vaccine] 17 Sep 2009 Health officials ordered an investigation Thursday into why the Canadian government sent body bags to an Aboriginal reserve in Manitoba after community leaders requested assistance to deal with an expected outbreak of swine flu. The body bags were sent this week to a remote northern reserve that was hard hit by swine flu last spring. Canadian Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said she found the action by Health Canada insensitive and offensive.

Hospitals pushing workers to get flu vaccines 17 Sep 2009 Every year, fewer than half of health care workers get vaccinated, despite a government recommendation that puts them near the top of the list. That could change this year, with the arrival of the H1N1 swine flu virus and a new [squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced] vaccine for it. Hospitals here and nationally are stepping up efforts to vaccinate workers against both seasonal flu and H1N1. One state -- New York -- is even making flu vaccinations mandatory for health care workers.

U.S. to Donate 10 Percent of Swine Flu Vaccine to WHO 18 Sep 2009 The United States plans to donate 10 percent of its supply of pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine to the World Health Organization [aka World Homicide Organization] for use in low-income countries. The nation has on order 195 million doses of the swine flu vaccine, which is due to start arriving early next month. The White House said it "is taking this action in concert" with eight other countries.

In drive-through, swine flu aid? 17 Sep 2009 (FL) When the swine flu vaccine arrives next month, Sarasota County residents could have the option of getting a shot without having to get out of their cars. Drive-though flu shot clinics are being looked at as a way to distribute the new vaccine conveniently enough to encourage people to get the shot, said Dianne Shipley, a director with the county health department in charge of the vaccination drive.

Mexico says millions of swine flu cases possible 17 Sep 2009 Mexico could see up to 5 million cases of swine flu during this winter's flu season, a higher projection than officials had previously given, the health secretary said Thursday. Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said that in the worst-case scenario, deaths could reach 2,000.

Limbaugh: "[W]e need segregated buses ... This is Obama's America" By Greg Lewis 15 Sep 2009 Rush got things started today with the latest Drudge special, a story of an assault on an Illinois school bus, with Drudge's headline highlighting the potentially racial element of the event: "WHITE STUDENT BEATEN ON SCHOOL BUS; CROWD CHEERS." Rush ran with it, saying, "it's Obama's America, is it not? Obama's America -- white kids getting beat up on school buses now..." Then Rush took a caller who said the local police investigating the bus assault said today the attack was not racially motivated. Rush responded to these developments put out by the local law enforcement: LIMBAUGH: I think the guy's wrong. I think not only it was racism, it was justifiable racism. I mean, that's the lesson we're being taught here today. Kid shouldn't have been on the bus anyway. We need segregated buses -- it was invading space and stuff. This is Obama's America.

Republicans Denounce Pelosi for Warning Against 'Incitement' The House Republicans' top campaign chief strongly denounced Speaker Nancy Pelosi's comments that appeared to question whether today's angry conservative protests were similar to anti-gay rallies in the late 1970s that preceded the assassination of two San Francisco political leaders. Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Pelosi crossed the line when she related the rhetoric of anti-gay protesters in San Francisco in 1978 -- the year Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the city's board of supervisors, and his political ally, Mayor George Moscone, were killed by former supervisor Dan White -- to that of contemporary conservatives while answering a question about the protests against President Obama's health-care proposals.

Study links 45,000 U.S. deaths to lack of insurance 17 Sep 2009 Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday. "We're losing more Americans every day because of inaction ... than drunk driving and homicide combined," Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

Grijalva urges Senate Dems to replace Baucus bill with public option 16 Sep 2009 Liberals are seizing on the absence of Republican support for the Baucus bill to make the case that Democratic leaders should draft an even stronger reform measure. "Now that we've seen that Senate Republicans are not going to support any bill, no matter how weak, it is time to start earnest negotiations among Democrats for what is best for America, not what is best for people’s personal politics," said Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, before urging other Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to "replace the Baucus plan" with legislation that has a strong public option.

Gordon Brown urges EU to back new economic order --France and Germany square off against US and UK on action needed to reduce financial risk-taking 17 Sep 2009 Gordon Brown last night urged EU leaders to back an audacious plan for a new system of world economic government in which the G20 and IMF would be empowered to tell major economies how they should tailor their national policies to secure sustainable international growth. Brown outlined his plan to EU leaders at a dinner in Brussels where an agreed strategy, including the governance of executive bonuses, was being hammered out ahead of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh next week.

FBI, DOJ investigating BofA's Merrill deal: report 18 Sep 2009 U.S. authorities are conducting a criminal probe into Bank of America Corp's purchase of Merrill Lynch, the Charlotte Observer reported on Friday. The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation and has been underway for six months, the newspaper said.

UN reports 1 billion of the world's people going hungry By Jerry White 18 September 2009 For the first time in history, more than one billion people, or nearly one in every 6 inhabitants of the planet, are going hungry this year, according to a new report from the United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP). Chronic poverty, still high food prices and the impact of the world economic crisis have led to a sharp increase in the number of hungry people, now larger than the combined populations of the United States, Canada and the European Union.

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Canadian govt sends body bags to Indian reserves for 'flu readiness' 16 Sep 2009 The Canadian government sent body bags to remote Indian reserves as it prepared for the winter flu season, sending a jarring message at odds with its promise that it's ready for the H1N1 flu. The body bags went to some reserves in Manitoba, the western province in which some remote Indian communities were hard-hit by the flu in the spring, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said on Wednesday. Aglukkaq said she didn't have details of the body-bag shipments and has ordered officials to investigate.

Boston launches flu shot tracking --When people arrive for their shots, they will get an ID bracelet with a barcode. Basic information - name, age, gender, address - will be entered into the database. There will be electronic records, too, of who gave the vaccine and whether it was injected into the right arm or the left, and time-stamped for that day. 16 Sep 2009 Using technology originally developed for mass disasters, Boston disease trackers are embarking on a novel experiment - one of the first in the country - aimed at eventually creating a citywide registry of everyone who has had a flu vaccination. The trial starts this afternoon... Each of them will get a bracelet printed with a unique identifier code. Information about the vaccine's recipients, and the shot, will be entered into handheld devices similar to those used by delivery truck drivers. Infectious disease specialists in Boston and elsewhere predicted that the registry approach could prove even more useful if something more sinister strikes: a bioterrorism attack or the long-feared arrival of a global flu epidemic. In such crises, the registry could be used to track who received a special vaccine or antidote to a deadly germ. [Um, I think I'll *pass* on the 'special vaccines' (lol) and the 'antidote' to the 'deadly germs' (that they themselves likely will have unleashed). --LRP]

Baxter ramps up swine flu vaccine yields 16 Sep 2009 Baxter International Inc on Wednesday said its production yields of a "swine flu" vaccine have increased three-fold. In a presentation to investors, Joy Amundson, president of Baxter's Bioscience unit, said the company has begun shipping the swine flu, or H1N1, vaccines weekly. [See: Baxter working on vaccine to stop swine flu, though admitted sending live pandemic flu viruses to subcontractor 26 Apr 2009.]

Blackwater running covert recruitment drive in Pak through its website 16 Sep 2009 The controversial US private security company, Blackwater, is reportedly running a covert recruitment drive through its website in Pakistan. The hidden pages of the company's website, www.BlackwaterUSA.com, can only be accessed through four company executives' references, The Nation reports. It is in these hidden pages one can find application form for job applicants. It is here that one can see the effort by this company to hire Pakistanis who speak Punjabi and Urdu - to add to their earlier requirements of Arabic, Farsi and Dari. [See: Blackwater Recruiting Agents Fluent In Urdu and Punjabi For Pakistan --Report suggests Pakistani envoy in Washington issued 360 visas to Americans in one month without consulting Islamabad By Ahmed Quraishi 15 Sep 2009.]

Xe Worldwide (Blackwater) spreads tentacles to Karachi 15 Sep 2009 US private security outfit Blackwater has begun to expand its presence in Karachi port city in the backdrop of the Peshawar debacle last month... Well-placed sources told The Nation on Monday that Blackwater, which has been operating in the region including in Afghanistan and Pakistan under different names, is believed to have hired on rent at least seven private houses in posh Defence area of Karachi port city. It was further learnt from knowledgeable sources that Blackwater had acquired hundreds of acres of land near Pataro in Sindh in order to launch a supposedly Agriculture Research Institute.

Death squads, disappearances and torture in Pakistan By Bill Van Auken 16 Sep 2009 As the Obama administration prepares a major escalation of the so-called AfPak war, reports from Pakistan’s Swat Valley, near Afghanistan’s eastern border, provide a gruesome indication of the kind of war that the Pentagon and its local allies are waging. While touted by Obama and his supporters as the "good war," there is mounting evidence that the Pentagon and the CIA are engaged in a war against the population of the region involving death squads, disappearances and torture.

Appeals court sends KBR gang-rape case to court 15 Sep 2009 The case of a Texas woman who alleges she was gang-raped by co-workers while working for a military contractor in Iraq will go to court instead of arbitration, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. A divided three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled Jamie Leigh Jones' federal lawsuit against Halliburton Co., former subsidiary KBR and several affiliates can be tried in open court. The companies contended Jones signed an agreement that required claims against the companies to be resolved privately through arbitration.

Green Zone Takes More Fire During Biden Visit 17 Sep 2009 Baghdad’s heavily fortified international zone was attacked by rocket fire for a second night on Wednesday, this time just after Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki had made brief public remarks and sat down for a traditional dinner to break the Ramadan fast. One rocket landed on the edge of the American Embassy compound, about a mile from the building where the two leaders met, wounding several people at a security company, according to the Ministry of the Interior. A second landed on the opposite side of the Tigris River near the Babylon Hotel, a towering landmark in the cityscape, killing one and wounding two, a ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under the ministry’s rules.

Iraq leader seeks investment as rockets fall 16 Sep 2009 Iraq's prime minister appealed for more foreign investment in the country Wednesday even as rocket attacks on key installations highlighted continuing security problems. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said a conference in Washington on October 20-21 would showcase investment opportunities and contracts in Iraq as it emerges from the 'sectarian' killing unleashed by the 2003 U.S. invasion. [Oops! Looks like the horse has fled the barn on this one.

US troops kill Fallujah 'shoe-thrower' 16 Sep 2009 An Iraqi man who witnesses said shouted abuse before throwing a shoe at a US army vehicle was shot dead on Wednesday in what the American military said was a suspected grenade attack. Residents told an AFP reporter in Fallujah that Ahmed Latif, 32, whom they said was mentally disturbed, insulted the soldiers as they patrolled in the centre of the city, and then hurled a shoe at them. The [liars aka] US military told AFP that a convoy in Fallujah had been attacked with a suspected grenade.

UN: Israel terrorised Gazans in war 16 Sep 2009 Israel "punished and terrorised" civilians in Gaza in a disproportionate attack in its three-week war on the territory earlier this year, a United Nations report has found. Judge Richard Goldstone, who led the inquiry, said he found evidence Israel targeted civilians and used excessive force in the assault, which was launched on December 27.

Gaza water supplies in danger of 'collapse': UN 14 Sep 2009 The Gaza Strip's underground water supplies are "in danger of collapse" following years of overuse and a devastating war Israel waged in the territory at the turn of the year, the UN said Monday. "The underground water supplies, upon which 1.5 million Palestinians depend for agriculture and drinking water, are in danger of collapse," the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said in a statement accompanying a new report.

Afghanistan election may be run again [LOL, it never 'ran' in the first place.] 16 Sep 2009 Ballots from about a tenth of Afghanistan's polling stations are to be recounted. With evidence surfacing of widespread fraud, President Hamid Karzai has been informed he may have to face another round of 'voting.'

Secretive spending on US intelligence disclosed 15 Sep 2009 Intelligence activities across the U.S. government and military cost a total of $75 billion a year, the nation's top intelligence official said on Tuesday, disclosing an overall number long shrouded in secrecy. Dennis Blair, the U.S. director of national intelligence, cited the figure as part of a four-year strategic blueprint for the sprawling, 200,000-person intelligence community.

White House Backs Controversial Domestic Surveillance Provisions 16 Sep 2009 The Obama administration is urging lawmakers to extend three provisions of the controversial domestic surveillance law known as the USA Patriot Act. The U.S. Justice Department issued a letter Tuesday asking Congress to renew provisions of the law that allow authorities to conduct roving electronic eavesdropping, or wiretaps, access business records and track so-called "lone wolf" suspects with no known links to foreign powers or terrorist groups. The roving wiretaps would let agents track the communications of suspects who change their cell phones or other devices. The provisions are due to expire on December 31.[See: Barack Obama: Change We Can Deceive In --A critique from the Left By Lori Price 19 Aug 2009.]

FBI unit set for more anti-terror raids in Queens; Fears of Madrid-style subway bombings - sources 16 Sep 2009 Fearful of a Madrid-style subway train bombing, authorities are poised to make more raids to seize bomb-making materials at locations in Queens, sources said Wednesday. The FBI's elite Hostage Rescue Team arrived in New York in anticipation of the offensive to thwart a Denver-based terror cell with ties to Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh], police sources told the Daily News. Another source said an earlier raid uncovered nine backpacks and cell phones, raising memories of the March 2004 bombings in Madrid.

Bush homeland security adviser chairs Obama's special task force 15 Sep 2009 A special task force recommended Tuesday that if the Obama administration keeps color-coded terror alerts, the number of colors and levels of risk should be reduced from five to three. The recommendations come after a 60-day 'bipartisan' review of the often ridiculed color-coded terror alert system. The task force was divided on whether the colors should be eliminated, but all agreed that if the administration chooses to keep the colors, there should be only three tiers, said Fran Townsend, the former homeland security adviser to President [sic] George W. Bush. Townsend, who co-chaired the task force, explained the recommendations during a teleconference Tuesday afternoon.

Suspect at Center of Alleged Terror Plot Denies al Qaeda Ties --FBI Says No Imminent Danger to New York Following Terrorism Raids 16 Sep 2009 The Denver man under surveillance by the FBI and the Colorado Joint Terrorism Task Force for his suspected ties to 'al Qaeda,' denies any connection to the terrorist group and says the alleged terror plot that has centered around him is all a big mistake. "I have nothing to do with al Qaeda," Najibullah Zazi told ABC News' Denver affiliate. "Any link or anything with al Qaeda."

'All I can say is that I have no idea what it is all about.' Colo. man denies terrorist ties after NYC raids 15 Sep 2009 A Colorado man denied Tuesday that he's a central figure in a terrorism investigation that fed fears of a possible bomb plot and led to several police raids in New York City. Najibullah Zazi told The Associated Press at his home outside Denver that he recently visited New York City and was driving a rental car when he was stopped by authorities Sept. 10 on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New York City and New Jersey. But he said after officers searched the vehicle, he was allowed to leave and return to suburban Denver.

Dramatic raids in search of terror: Feds move on Qaeda suspect's Queens pals [<g>] 14 Sep 2009 Federal officials launched a series of raids Monday after tailing a suspected Al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative believed to have been orchestrating a bomb plot. FBI agents thought the threat was significant enough to race to court Sunday night to get an emergency search warrant to look for bomb-making components, explosive powders, gels, TNT and fuses, sources said. At least three apartments in Flushing were searched.

AP: Probers find FBI, ATF bomb feud 15 Sep 2009 Agents of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives are feuding over bomb investigations -- racing each other to crime scenes, failing to share information and refusing to train together, according to a draft report obtained by The Associated Press. The report says Justice Department bosses have repeatedly failed to fix the problem involving the two agencies that are part of their department.

Jimmy Carter: Wilson Comments 'Based on Racism' --Former President Carter: Congressman's outburst to Obama 'based on racism,' 'dastardly' 15 Sep 2009 Former President Jimmy Carter said Tuesday that U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst to President Barack Obama during a speech to Congress last week was an act "based on racism" and rooted in fears of a black president. "I think it's based on racism," Carter said in response to an audience question at a town hall held at his presidential center in Atlanta. "There is an inherent feeling among many in this country that an African-American should not be president."

House Vote of Disapproval on Rep. Joe Wilson 15 Sep 2009 The 240-179 roll call Tuesday by which the House passed a resolution of disapproval against Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., for Wilson's ''You lie!'' shout during President Barack Obama's health care address to a joint session of Congress. A ''yes'' vote is a vote to pass the resolution. Voting yes were 233 Democrats and 7 Republicans. Voting no were 12 Democrats and 167 Republicans.

House officially rebukes Rep. Joe Wilson, 240-179 16 Sep 2009 The House of Representatives officially rebuked Republican Joe Wilson on Tuesday for shouting "You lie!" in the middle of President Obama's health care address to a joint session of Congress. The South Carolina lawmaker's outburst last week was a "breach of decorum," according to the resolution, which states that the House "disapproves" of his behavior. The resolution passed 240-179, largely along party lines. Seven Republicans broke with their leadership to support it; 12 Democrats were opposed.

Text of Rep. Joe Wilson Resolution 15 Sep 2009 The text of the resolution disapproving of the outburst by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during President Barack Obama's speech

Tourism boycott threatened over Wilson's 'You lie' outburst 15 Sep 2009 State and local tourism officials are being flooded by emails and calls from people across the country, saying they won't vacation in South Carolina because they're upset by GOP Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst at President Barack Obama. The officials said that a number of the out-of-state e-mailers have said they've taken beach trips for years in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head and other South Carolina resort areas, but don't plan to return.

UK's top doctors write letter to U.S. politicians to battle 'lies' about the NHS 16 Sep 2009 More than 100 top doctors have signed an open letter to U.S. senators to counter 'lies' about the National Health Service. The NHS has been the subject of vicious attacks by senior Republicans angry at President Obama's plans to reform healthcare in the country. Top British doctors have been moved to write an open letter to Democratic senator and former presidential candidate John Kerry, who has called for evidence from the medical profession that Republican fears were unfounded.

Baucus Introduces $856 Billion Health-Care Bill 16 Sep 2009 Bill Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled an $856 billion health-care reform plan Wednesday that would require nearly all Americans to carry health insurance [so the insurace companies get millions of new customers, but no competition to hold down costs] while barring insurance companies from discriminating against people based on their health status or denying coverage because of preexisting conditions. The plan does not call for a government-run insurance option, as 'advocated' by President Obama and most Democrats, but would set up a system of nonprofit consumer-owned cooperatives to compete with private insurers -- a provision intended to appeal to Republicans who have railed against the "public option" in recent weeks. [Right, but the conciliatory, sycophantic cowards aka DemocRATs are still kissing a** in a pretense of hoping to 'get their support.' Reichwing nutjobs are packing heat yards from where Obama speaks (even though Bush's Waffen-SS arrested people sporting Kerry pins at *his* rallies), carrying 'Bury Obamacare with Kennedy' signs --but the Democratic douchebags actually want us to believe that they're caving on single payer and the public option so that they can get Olympia Snowe to vote for their useless legislation. How stupid do you think we are? We all know that Baucus, LieberBush (and most DemocRATs) are on the campaign contribution payroll of the pharma-terrorists and *that's* why we're not getting single payer. Mr. Exelon himself, Barack Opharma, needs to stop pretending that he was ever going to push for genuine health-care reform. --LRP]

No Republican support for Senate health plan 16 Sep 2009 Senate Democrats' most concerted quest for a bipartisan compromise sellout on healthcare collapsed Tuesday as finance committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) announced he would move ahead with his long-delayed proposals without any guarantee of Republican support. Baucus also took a blow from his own party's left, as a senior Senate Democrat [Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (W.Va.)] declared that too many concessions had been made and that he would not support the emerging bill because it did not include a public insurance option.

Public Service unions up in arms over Tory attempt to rush 14 Sep 2009 Four of the largest Canadian trade unions are incensed at the Harper government’s attempt to ram through the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement in advance of a possible federal election. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the National Union of Public and General Employees are criticizing the scheduling of Bill C-23, the Canada-Colombia Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, as the first order of business when Parliament resumes on Sept. 14, 2009.

Endangered Species Listing Sought for Arctic Reindeer 15 Sep 2009 Today the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW www.ifaw.org) filed a petition with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to protect two North Pole-residing caribou species under the Endangered Species Act. While caribou, more commonly known as reindeer, are threatened globally by climate change, the two specific sub-species in this petition, Peary and Dolphin-Union caribou, face an imminent risk of extinction.

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Has Osama Bin Laden been dead for seven years - and are the U.S. and Britain covering it up to continue war on terror? --'In the video, Bin Laden can be seen writing a note with his right hand, although he is left-handed.' 11 Sep 2009 This new offensive is, of course, based on the premise that the 9/11 terrorist is alive. After all, there are the plethora of 'Bin Laden tapes' to prove it. Yet what if he isn't? What if he has been dead for years, and the British and U.S. intelligence services are actually playing a game of double bluff? What if everything we have seen or heard of him on video and audio tapes since the early days after 9/11 is a fake - and that he is being kept 'alive' by the Western allies to stir up support for the war on [of] terror?

'Hundreds of FBI agents are on the ground in Colorado, conducting round-the-clock surveillance on five suspects' Queens terror raids part of FBI probe into Denver-based cell plotting attack on 9/11 scale 15 Sep 2009 The massive FBI probe that triggered raids in Queens is focused on a Denver-based terror cell plotting another attack on the scale of 9/11, the Daily News learned Tuesday. Hundreds of FBI agents are on the ground in Colorado, conducting round-the-clock surveillance on five suspects - including a man who recently visited Queens, sources told The News. New York authorities searched three Flushing apartments and detained several men - later released - after getting a warrant to look for bomb-making components, explosive powders and fuses. "The FBI is seriously spooked about these guys planning another 9/11," a former senior counterterrorism official told the News. "This is not some ... FBI informant-driven case. This is the real thing."

FBI Warns Police Depts After NYC Anti-Terror Raid --FBI, Homeland Security warning lists indicators that could tip off police to homemade explosives, such as foul odors coming from a room or multiple window fans 15 Sep 2009 Counterterrorism officials are warning police departments around the country to be on the lookout for evidence of homemade bombs following raids on several New York City apartments in a hunt for explosives and possible links to al-Qaida operatives. Investigators issued warrants to search the residences early Monday for explosives material but did not find any, according to a person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to discuss the case and requested anonymity. The joint FBI and Homeland Security intelligence warning, issued Monday, lists indicators that could tip off police to homemade hydrogen peroxide-based explosives, such as people with burn marks on their hands, face or arms; foul odors coming from a room or building; and large industrial fans or multiple window fans. The warning, obtained by The Associated Press, also said that these homemade explosive materials can be hidden in backpacks, suitcases or plastic containers.

Police states we can believe in: 'Preventive' terror raid targets NYC apartments 15 Sep 2009 The investigation of a suspected 'al-Qaida' associate prompted the "preventive" raid of three New York City apartments -- but authorities said the target of any terror attack plan remained unclear. The searches early Monday came after the man, who was under surveillance for possible links to the terrorism network, visited New York City over the weekend and then left the area, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. Sen. Charles Schumer said the law enforcement action was unrelated to President Barack Obama's visit to the city Monday. "There was nothing imminent, and they are very good now at tracking potentially dangerous actions, and this was preventive," said Schumer, D-N.Y.

FBI, NYPD Hunting For Al-Qaida In NYC --Feds looking through Queens neighborhoods for powders, gels, TNT and fuses 15 Sep 2009 Federal agents walked out of homes with bags and boxes of evidence after raiding several locations on Monday. "Full body armor, bulletproof vests ... two of them are holding machine guns," witness George Pollakis said. A swarm of FBI agents and NYPD detectives, part of the joint terrorist task force, carted away bags and boxes of material. A federal search warrant mentioning bomb-making components such as powder, gel, TNT, and nitroglycerin were among the items to be seized. Those who were there said the operation was a blitzkrieg at about 2 a.m. Monday at an address on 41st Avenue near 144th Street. [Click here for further updates.]

'When he arrived home from work afterward, he was told that one of his roommates had been hauled away.' 3 New York residences raided in terrorism probe 14 Sep 2009 FBI agents and police raided three apartments in New York City before dawn Monday during an investigation of a man suspected of being 'an al-Qaida' associate... New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne confirmed that searches were conducted in the borough of Queens by agents of a joint terrorism task force. Residents on Monday described officers armed with search warrants swarming their immigrant neighborhood at about 2:30 a.m. One, Afghanistan native Akbari Amanullah, said when he arrived home from work afterward, he was told that one of his roommates had been hauled away.

Panel to recommend keeping some color-coded terror alerts 15 Sep 2009 After a 60-day review of the nation's terror-alert system, a special task force is expected to recommend that the Obama administration keep color-coded alerts, but reduce the number of colors -- or levels of risk. There are currently five colors in the coded terrorism advisories. A bipartisan task force is expected to recommend reducing that to three colors, an official familiar with the review told The Associated Press.

City council delays giving police new powers for G-20 15 Sep 2009 Pittsburgh City Council balked at giving final approval today to legislation that could give police new powers in advance of anticipated G-20 Summit protests, putting the matter off until tomorrow. Council members said they have not gotten clear responses from Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's administration to concerns they've had with the proposed ordinance allowing police to cite people for having an array of items if they detect intent to defy a crowd dispersal order.

Blackwater Recruiting Agents Fluent In Urdu and Punjabi For Pakistan --Report suggests Pakistani envoy in Washington issued 360 visas to Americans in one month without consulting Islamabad By Ahmed Quraishi 15 Sep 2009 Blackwater USA is looking for mercenaries fluent in Urdu, Pakistan's national language, and Punjabi, the language spoken by natives of Pakistan's largest populated province. The US military already deploys officers and commando units manned by people fluent in Pashto, spoken in most of western Pakistan and southern Afghanistan... A petition has been submitted to the Supreme Court of Pakistan today requesting that the government of Pakistan be ordered to explain why the US embassy in Islamabad is building a fortified embassy the size of an international airport, spread over 52 to 54 acres. The petitioner, who is a private Pakistani citizen, has accused the United States of constructing a military base in the heart of the Pakistani capital in the guise of an embassy.

Embassy guard photos evoke Abu Ghraib comparison 14 Sep 2009 A member of a federal commission investigating wartime spending said Monday that photos showing private security guards in various stages of nudity at drunken parties may be as damaging to U.S. interests in Afghanistan as images of detainee mistreatment at Abu Ghraib were in Iraq. Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon comptroller, made the comment at a hearing Monday held by the Commission on Wartime Contracting on allegations of lewd behavior and sexual misconduct by employees of ArmorGroup North America, the company hired to protect the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

Pittsburgh soldier suing KBR Inc. over Iraq toxin 14 Sep 2009 A retired Pittsburgh soldier has joined dozens of others nationwide in suing a contractor for exposure to a dangerous chemical while he guarded a water treatment plant in Iraq. Glen Bootay's federal lawsuit was filed Friday against KBR Inc., the same firm that has also been sued for allegedly faulty systems that led 18 soldiers to be electrocuted in barracks during the Iraq war.

KBR Australian unit wins $2.3 billion contract from Chevron 14 Sep 2009 A unit of KBR Inc. has been awarded a $2.3 billion engineering, procurement and construction management contract by Chevron Australia Pty Ltd. Kellogg Joint Venture Group will manage the liquefied natural gas downstream and logistics portion of the Chevron-operated Gorgon LNG Project. The project plans to develop the Greater Gorgon gas fields, located off the northwest coast of Western Australia.

Freed Iraq shoe-thrower claims "tortured" in custody 15 Sep 2009 The released Iraqi reporter who threw his shoes at former U.S. President [sic] George W. Bush said Tuesday he was tortured during the first days of being in custody. "I have been tortured by electric shocks, beatings and whipped by cords," Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who was freed earlier in the day after nine months of imprisonment, told in the news conference at the TV station where he works in Baghdad's northern neighborhood of Waziryah.

Biden welcomed by mortar shells in Baghdad 15 Sep 2009 Iraq's heavily fortified Green Zone has come under fire the same day US Vice President Joe Biden visited Baghdad, an Iraqi security official says. At least four mortar shells landed about 100 meters (yards) from the US embassy as Biden paid a surprise visit to the city on Tuesday, AFP reported.

Mortar attack during Vice-President Biden's green zone visit 16 Sep 2009 Four mortar shells exploded in Baghdad’s heavily secured green zone yesterday as Vice-President Biden arrived in Iraq to discuss the withdrawal of American forces. Iraqi police said that two of the mortar rounds, which were fired from the east bank of the River Tigris, landed near the US Embassy’s compound. Two civilians were killed and five wounded.

'One does not cooperate with a kangaroo court.' Israel and Hamas 'war crimes' in Gaza 15 Sep 2009 A UN investigation said "actions amounting to war crimes, and possibly in some respects, crimes against humanity" were committed by Israel in January, while the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas meant it was also responsible for crimes. There is now a possibility that the allegations could be referred to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. Israeli government spokesman, Mark Regev, told Channel 4 news that Israel has conducted a "whole series of independent investigations" which are continuing, but said "this report was born in sin and is the product, unfortunately, of an unholy union between propaganda and between untruth". When asked why Israel had not participated in the inquiry, he said: "One does not cooperate with a kangaroo court."

Iran talks must address nuclear issue, US insists 15 Sep 2009 After Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cast doubts on talks over the country's nuclear case during negotiations with the West, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton moves to stress that the nuclear issue "cannot be ignored." Ahead of much-anticipated talks with major world powers, President Ahmadinejad urged the West on Sunday to make changes in their approach toward the Iranian nuclear case.

US 'may need more Afghan troops' 15 Sep 2009 The US may require more troops in Afghanistan despite almost doubling the size of its force there this year, its top military officer has said. Adm Mike Mullen told the Senate Armed Services Committee "a properly resourced counterinsurgency probably means more forces". He said that he did not know how many more troops were likely be requested.

Musharraf exit brokered by 'foreign powers' 15 Sep 2009 Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has revealed that his predecessor Pervez Musharraf was given a "safe exit" due to a secret deal in place with foreign powers. International and local powers were guarantors in Musharraf's resignation, Zardari said at an informal dinner meeting with journalists.

US becomes a member of UN Human Rights Council 15 Sep 2009 The United States for the first time has joined the UN Human Rights Council as a full-fledged member. After years of scating criticism by the Bush regime, the UN Human Rights Council has welcomed US participation. The Bush Administration refused to join as an active member, claiming the panel was overly influenced by countries with their own serious human-rights issues.

U.S. approves H1N1 vaccine, says enough for everyone [No thanks.] 15 Sep 2009 U.S. health officials approved [squalene-laden, mercury-filled, Polysorbate 80-laced] vaccines from four drugmakers to help 'prevent' the H1N1 swine flu, ensuring there will be enough to inoculate Americans who want the protection, U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers on Tuesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared vaccines from Sanofi-Aventis SA, CSL Ltd, Medimmune and Novartis AG for the H1N1 strain of influenza, she said. "There will be vaccines for everyone," Sebelius said at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. [See & sign: Petition against mandatory vaccines.]

BioCryst Inks Flu-Deals In Four Countries; Shares Up 15 Sep 2009 BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc. has signed letters of intent with three partners who will exclusively represent the company in selling its peramivir influenza treatment in four countries. The news sent shares up 9.2% premarket to $11.72. The flu-drug developer's stock through the close Monday had already surged nearly eightfold this year as investors have been flcoking to flu-drug makers amid fears about H1N1.

Wells Fargo fires executive who partied at repossessed Malibu mansion --US bank sacks vice president for misuse of $12m California beach house lost by victims of the Bernard Madoff fraud 15 Sep 2009 For an executive at the US bank Wells Fargo, a repossessed $12m beach house in southern California proved just too tempting. The financial institution has fired a top loans officer for using a luxurious Malibu property for a series of family getaways, culminating in a summer party at which guests arrived by yacht.

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DHS Announces New Information-Sharing Tool to Help Fusion Centers Combat Terrorism --Select fusion center personnel with a federal security clearance will be able to access specific terrorism-related information resident on the DoD Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet). 14 Sep 2009 The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Defense (DoD) today announced an initiative to grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information residing in DoD's classified network. Under this initiative, select fusion center personnel with a federal security clearance will be able to access specific terrorism-related information resident on the DoD Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet)--a secure network used to send classified data. This classified data will be accessed via DHS' Homeland Security Data Network (HSDN)... This joint initiative will promote collaboration between DHS, DoD and other federal departments and agencies, enabling the trusted and secure exchange of terrorism-related information in order to detect, deter, prevent and respond to homeland security threats. [For more on Fusion Centers, see: Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment: Universities Possible Terror Portals --2009 Virginia Terrorism Threat Assessment.]

Homeland Security tells businesses to quarantine sick workers 14 Sep 2009 A new federal guide for businesses on the H1N1 flu tells employers to quarantine sick workers and have them wear surgical masks. The guide was released Monday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “If an employee does become sick while at work, place the employee in a separate room or area until they can go home, away from other workers,” the federal H1N1 guidebook says.

Petition against mandatory flu vaccines reaches five thousand signatures - please add yours!

Hold on to your hats! A Grade 'A' sociopath is drafting an Internet bill: Lieberman to draft cyber bill 14 Sep 2009 Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-Israel) plans to push legislation this year that would bolster the government against cyber attacks and may require private companies to meet new security standards. Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and ranking member Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Monday told Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and financial-services representatives at a hearing on the topic that the public and private sectors are not coordinating enough to prevent high-tech threats against critical networks. The pair also said they were going to take a hard look [!] at how effective Homeland Security officials have been at thwarting attacks across federal networks. [I don't want LieberBush taking a hard look -- or a soft look -- at *anything* to do w. the Internet *or* Homeland Security! --LRP]

Prosecutors: Blackwater Guards Opened Fire to 'Instigate Gun Battles' 14 Sep 2009 Private security guards Terrorists who worked for Blackwater repeatedly shot wildly into the streets of Baghdad without regard for civilians long before they were involved in a 2007 shooting episode that left at least 14 Iraqis dead, federal prosecutors charge in a new court document. While traveling through Baghdad in heavily armored vehicles, at least one of the guards, under contract with the State Department to provide security for United States Embassy personnel, fired an automatic weapon "without aiming" while another deliberately fired into the streets to "instigate gun battles in a manner that was inconsistent with the use of force and escalation of force policies that governed all Blackwater personnel in Iraq," the federal prosecutors stated. [Looks like CLG was right all along for stating that Blackwater/Xe carries out acts of terrorism so that they are 'needed' to stop attacks that they are blaming on so-called insurgents. --LRP]

Official: NYC Raids Disrupted Possible Terror Attack --'Al Qaeda' Suspect Tracked to New York Over the Weekend, Met with Possible Followers 14 Sep 2009 Authorities raided properties in New York City today in an effort that was intended to disrupt the plans of a terror suspect whose travels had been tracked by the FBI, according to an official briefed on the raids. "He was being watched and concern grew as he met with a group of individuals in Queens over the weekend," [<g>] said Congressman Pete King (R-NY). "The FBI went to court late last night for an emergency warrant to conduct the raids this morning." A resident in the neighborhood said there was police activity around 2 a.m. Monday.

FBI, Police Raid New York Homes in Terror Probe --Investigators had suspects under surveillance 14 Sep 2009 Federal law enforcement agents and New York police raided several locations in New York City as part of a joint terrorism investigation, a police department spokesman said. Searches took place in the borough of Queens, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter who added that investigators had suspects under surveillance. Dave Cardona, special agent in charge of the FBI’s criminal division in New York, confirmed the investigation. New York police are assisting in the matter, the department said.

UK liquid bomb convicts handed stiff terms 14 Sep 2009 A British court has handed hefty jail terms to three men convicted of plotting a catastrophic attack onboard at least seven transatlantic commercial airliners. The verdict on Monday sentenced 28-year-old 'ringleader' Abdulla Ahmed Ali to at least 40 years behind bars without parole, while Assad Sarwar, 29, and Tanvir Hussain, 28, got prison sentences of least 36 and 32 years, respectively.

NYC Terror Raids a Cover For Covert US War Front: US Launches Military Strike in Somalia Against 'al Qaeda' Target 14 Sep 2009 A U.S. commando attack in Somalia has 'killed' an al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] operative who is on the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists, sources tell ABC News. Several sources tell ABC News at least one U.S. helicopter fired on a convoy carrying suspected 'al Qaeda' targets in southern Somalia. An American official says a U.S. Navy ship was also nearby to monitor the situation and provide assistance if needed. Saleh Ali Nabhan's death has not yet been officially confirmed, but sources tell ABC News that his body is now in U.S. custody. [Right, he'll be back again, to provide cover for another Pentagon 'oopsie' bombing, when the media attention needs to be elsewhere. --LRP]

He's baaack: 'Bin Laden' message harangues US 14 Sep 2009 An audio message purportedly by 'al-Qaeda' leader Osama Bin Laden has been released on an Islamist website. The message, entitled "a statement to the American people", was about 10 minutes long and was accompanied by a still image of Bin Laden but no video. [As always.] In the message, a voice tells the US president that he is "powerless" to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The message comes just two days after the US marked the eighth anniversary of the 11 September attacks on America.

'Osama bin Laden' Message Surfaces in Wake of 9/11 Anniversary --Message Blames U.S. Support of Israel for Sept. 11 Attacks 13 Sep 2009 The tape contains no specific threats to the U.S., and the al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] leader says his message is to counter the White House argument that the war on terror is being waged to protect U.S. security. 'Bin Laden' also tries to link President Obama to the Bush Administration, saying "the sour reality is that the new administration is still covering you in the shroud of darkness." Bin Laden criticizes Obama for using "the same heads of defense from Cheney and Bush," specifically naming Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and General David Petraeus.

Four killed in U.S. missile strike in Pakistan 14 Sep 2009 A suspected U.S. drone fired a missile at a Taliban target in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Monday, killing at least four militants, intelligence officials and residents said.

Victims' families tell their stories following Nato airstrike in Afghanistan --'I took some flesh home and called it my son.' The Guardian interviews 11 villagers 11 Sep 2009 At first light last Friday, in the Chardarah district of Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, the villagers gathered around the twisted wreckage of two fuel tankers that had been hit by a Nato airstrike. They picked their way through a heap of almost a hundred charred bodies and mangled limbs which were mixed with ash, mud and the melted plastic of jerry cans, looking for their brothers, sons and cousins. They called out their names but received no answers. By this time, everyone was dead.

Afghan war claims life of 214th British serviceman 15 Sep 2009 Another British soldier died of gunshot wounds in Helmand province yesterday – the fifth to be killed in the district of Babaji since the end of an operation to clear it of Taliban fighters. The soldier from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, who was serving with The Light Dragoons battlegroup, was shot while on foot patrol on Sunday night.

Iraq shoe-thrower's release delayed 14 Sep 2009 The release of Muntazer al-Zaidi, the television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes at George Bush, the former US president [sic], has been delayed, according to his brother. He was set to be freed on Monday because of good behaviour.

Iraq shoe-throwing reporter to leave jail as celebrity --Well-wishers carried balloons, flags, banners and portraits of the jailed reporter, seeking a first glimpse of him at liberty. 13 Sep 2009 Muntazer al-Zaidi, the television reporter jailed for throwing his shoes in disgust at former US president [sic] George W. Bush, was expected to be freed to a joyous welcome on Monday, his family said. Zaidi was initially sentenced to three years for assaulting a foreign head of state but had his jail time reduced to one year on appeal. He is set to be freed early because of good behaviour.

White Supremacist Held on $1 Million Bail for Facebook Threats By Terrence O'Brien 14 Sep 2009 ...22-year-old James Gallagher, of Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, failed to see the flaw in his plan when, via his Facebook page, he announced his intention to shoot up the entirety of nearby Springfield Township... Those messages were brought to the attention of local authorities, who then placed a detective on the case. The detective went undercover online and was able to gain access to Gallagher's profile, which contained not only the threatening messages but several photos of him brandishing heavy firearms, including AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles.

Ministers retreat on child database 15 Sep 2009 Moves to vet every adult who works with children are set to be watered down after the Government ordered a last-minute review of the controversial anti-paedophile scheme. Ed Balls, the Children's Secretary, acted amid fury that the criminal record checks would affect parents who give lifts to children on behalf of sports teams or voluntary organisations such as the Scouts. The move comes after The Independent revealed that prominent children's authors, including Philip Pullman and Anthony Horowitz, have threatened to stop visiting schools rather than subject themselves to the "insulting" requirement.

House Dems vote on Wilson sanction 14 Sep 2009 House Democratic leaders will move ahead with a "resolution of disapproval" against Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) on Tuesday afternoon, following through on their threat to sanction the conservative lawmaker for heckling President Obama last week. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) will formally introduce the resolution Tuesday afternoon, according to Democratic insiders, and the vast majority of Democrats - as well as some Republicans - are expected to vote for it.

Insert eye-roll here: Obama to Wall Street: Get behind regulatory reform 14 Sep 2009 President Barack Obama warned financial firms on Monday to heed the lessons of Lehman Brothers' collapse a year ago and get behind a regulatory overhaul he wants Congress to pass this year. Obama, who has focused most of his energy on healthcare reform in recent weeks, went to Wall Street to highlight another top priority of his administration -- updating financial rules to prevent another economic collapse.

"Tea party" photo shows huge crowd -- at different event By Catharine Richert 14 Sep 2009 ...[S]upporters of Saturday’s "tea party" protests against President Barack Obama were quick to highlight their big turnout. To bolster countless claims on blogs and Facebook, many posted a photograph that showed a gargantuan crowd sprawling from Capitol Hill down the National Mall to the Washington Monument. But it turns out the photo is more than 10 years old, apparently taken during a 1997 Promise Keepers rally.

Right-wing march in Washington against Obama health care plan 14 Sep 2009 On Saturday, right-wing groups organized a demonstration in Washington to denounce the Obama administration, with particular focus on the proposed health care overhaul outlined in the president’s speech before Congress on Wednesday. The march, organized by former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s group, FreedomWorks, attracted an extremely confused social layer [ain't that the truth], combining demands for lower taxes and less government spending with fanatical anti-abortion and anti-immigrant politics... According to media reports, those marching numbered between 15,000 and 30,000. The protest was far smaller than the massive anti-war demonstrations that preceded the invasion of Iraq in February of 2003, but this weekend's demonstration has been given vastly disproportionate coverage in the US media, particularly on cable television.

Stop Begging Obama and Get Mad By Chris Hedges 14 Sep 2009 The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations. He is squandering the country’s future with deficits that can never be repaid. He has retained and even bolstered our surveillance state to spy on Americans. He is forcing us to buy into a health care system that will enrich corporations and expand the abuse of our for-profit medical care... He will not end our wars. He will not rebuild the nation. He is a tool of the corporate state.

Wis. DNR: Plant a tree, help a polar bear 13 Sep 2009 Plant a tree in Wisconsin and help save the habitat for polar bears thousands of miles away on frozen ice. That's the message of a new project called "tree planting for climate change" involving a partnership between the state Department of Natural Resources and Polar Bears International. DNR secretary Matt Frank says planting trees is one way for people to reduce their carbon footprint and help combat global climate change.

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