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Goldman to Settle With S.E.C. for $550 Million

Goldman to Settle With S.E.C. for $550 Million 15 Jul 2010 Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments sold to investors, a person briefed on the matter told The New York Times. Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the S.E.C., with the rest serving as restitution, this person said. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing.

BP says cap has halted oil flow in Gulf: report; shares up 7%

BP says cap has halted oil flow in Gulf: report --U.S. shares of BP surged nearly 10% to $39.62 in recent activity. 15 Jul 2010 Oil has stopped leaking from the blown well in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since April, The Associated Press reported Wednesday, citing BP PLC. Earlier in the day, BP said it started performing an integrity test on the well following the placement of a new containment cap on it over the weekend. The stoppage of the leak is a part of the integrity test, which could last from six to 48 hours, and not a permanent fix to the blown well.

Israel firm charged in nuclear case

Israel firm charged in nuclear case --The goods could have been used to make nuclear weapons. 15 Jul 2010 An investigation in the United States has charged a US-based Israeli company with attempting to export nuclear weapons-related material to Israel. The investigation conducted by the Bureau of Industry and Security says Israeli company, Pelogy, attempted to export controlled goods to Israel, India, China and South Africa. The charges against the company comes after Israeli sources declared earlier in July that the US has secretly given a "written guarantee" to Israel that obliges Washington to sell Israel nuclear fission materials.

Cheney recovering from heart surgery

Cheney recovering from heart surgery 15 July 2010 The former US vice-president [sic] Dick Cheney has undergone surgery to install a small pump to help his heart work, as the 69-year-old enters a new phase of what he called "increasing congestive heart failure". The surgery took place last week at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in northern Virginia.

Liberal television host Rachel Maddow solidarizes herself with US military in Afghanistan

Liberal television host Rachel Maddow solidarizes herself with US military in Afghanistan By David Walsh 15 Jul 2010 The visit by MSNBC news program host Rachel Maddow to Afghanistan in early July was as revealing as it was repugnant... Maddow spent several days in Afghanistan this month, interviewing American officers and soldiers, touring Kandahar and Kabul, discussing counter-insurgency strategy and the overall state of the US military occupation. Whatever misgivings she might have about the ultimate fate of the American and allied effort in Afghanistan, Maddow solidarized herself fully with the occupation and the US military, endorsing the bloody suppression of the insurgency.

Rand Paul would form 'tea party caucus'

Rand Paul would form 'tea party caucus' 14 Jul 2010 Kentucky Senate GOP nominee Rand Paul is floating the idea of forming a "tea party caucus" if he is elected. In an interview with National Review, Paul said that if elected he would like to partner with other tea party-friendly senators to provide a block of representation for the loose affiliation of grass-roots conservative groups.

Hudson Bay polar bears 'could soon be extinct'

Hudson Bay polar bears 'could soon be extinct' --The bears could die out in 25 to 30 years, or perhaps in as few as 10. 15 Jul 2010 Polar bears in the Hudson Bay area of Canada are likely to die out in the next three decades, possibly sooner, as global warming melts more Arctic ice and thus reduces their hunting opportunities, according to Canadian biologists. The animals in western Hudson Bay, one of 19 discrete sub-populations of the species around the Arctic, are losing fat and body mass as their time on the floating sea ice gets shorter and shorter, according to the researchers from the University of Alberta. The west Hudson Bay population has declined from 1,200 animals to 900.

'Some Israeli envoys are spies'

'Some Israeli envoys are spies' 15 Jul 2010 Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has criticized the Israeli ambassador for his comments about his visit to Portugal, saying some Israeli envoys are "Mossad agents." Mottaki described the Israeli envoy's comments as interference in other countries' internal affairs. He also warned other countries about the true identity of some Israeli envoys. "Countries should be careful about the identity of Israeli envoys because some of them are Mossad agents," IRIB quoted Mottaki as saying.

The torture files: the interrogations (LC13)

The torture files: the interrogations (LC13) (guardian.co.uk) 14 Jul 2010 These documents detail for the first time the experiences of a detainee under interrogation. Omar Deghayes records his complaints about his treatment in the Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan in July 2002 and the willingness of MI5 officers to let him be removed to Guantanamo Bay.

'What kind of world was it where the Americans were more barbaric than the Pakistanis?'

Omar Deghayes: 'He was brought in manacled and hooded' --Libyan-born British resident held in Afghanistan was warned he faced a long period of incarceration in US hands 14 Jul 2010 In an MI5 report on the interrogation of Omar Deghayes, a Libyan-born British resident held by the Americans at Bagram airbase north of Kabul, an officer wrote to his superiors in London: "Deghayes was brought to the interview room manacled and hooded. When the hood was removed, Deghayes looked pale and shaky." ...Deghayes told the [MI5] officers that he was suffering internal bleeding and complained that no evidence had been presented against him... "He was treated better by the Pakistanis; what kind of world was it where the Americans were more barbaric than the Pakistanis? We listened but did not comment." MI5 interrogated Deghayes again and told a senior American officer in Deghayes' presence, that the detainee had not been co-operating. "If he sticks to his story and just gives a few more details, we propose disengaging and allowing events here to take their course," the officer wrote. In the autumn Deghayes was flown to Guantánamo Bay, where he stayed for more than five years. At one point he was so severely beaten that he was blinded in one eye.

Barack Obama picks Bill Clinton man Jacob Lew to slash deficit

Barack Obama picks Bill Clinton man Jacob Lew to slash deficit 15 Jul 2010 Barack Obama has reached back into the Clinton era for a new budget director he hopes can pull the nation out of its $US1 trillion hole. The US President yesterday nominated Jacob Lew, who helped produce balanced budgets and federal surpluses a decade ago, as director of the US Office of Budget Management, replacing outgoing chief Peter Orszag. Mr Lew, who held the post under former president Bill Clinton, must be confirmed by the Senate, and the White House does not expect that to happen until the northern autumn.

Taranis: The £143million unmanned stealth jet that will hit targets in another continent

Taranis: The £143million unmanned stealth jet that will hit targets in another continent 13 Jul 2010 Defence firm BAE Systems today officially unveiled its first ever high-tech unmanned stealth jet. The Taranis, named after the Celtic god of thunder, is about the same size as a Hawk jet and is equipped with stealth equipment and an 'autonomous' artificial intelligence system. The plane will test the possibility of developing the first ever autonomous stealthy Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) that would ultimately be capable of precisely striking targets at long range, even in another continent.

Setback: BP cap in limbo over gov't questions

Setback: BP cap in limbo over gov't questions 14 Jul 2010 BP's work on capping the Gulf of Mexico gusher was frozen Wednesday after the federal government raised concerns the operation could put damaging pressure on the busted well that could make the leak worse. An administration official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the talks with BP [LOL], said the government was acting out of "abundance of caution" and didn't want potentially dangerous pressure tests on a tighter containment cap that has been placed over the well to go ahead until BP answers questions about possible risks. At the same time, BP on its own halted the drilling of two relief wells that are designed to be a more permanent solution to plug the well.

Times Square Bomber Threatens US In Video

Times Square Bomber Threatens US In Video 14 Jul 2010 A video has been broadcast of the man who tried to blow up New York's Times Square and shows him saying he planned to attack the US. Faisal Shahzad said: "This attack on the United States will be a revenge for all the mujahedeen (holy warriors)... and oppressed Muslims, including... Abu Musab al Zarqawi," the late leader of al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] in Iraq. The recording, whose authenticity could not immediately be confirmed, was made in English and had an Arabic voiceover when it was shown on the Al-Arabiya network.

Anti-Israel protesters delay El Al flight in Athens

Anti-Israel protesters delay El Al flight in Athens --Members of Communist-backed labor union say they blocked five El Al counters for two hours to protest Gaza siege. 14 Jul 2010 An Israel-bound flight was delayed for about two hours at Athens International Airport Wednesday after protesters against the blockade of Gaza blocked check-in counters, airport officials said. Members of a Communist-backed labor union said they blocked five El Al airline counters for two hours to protest the Israeli blockade of Gaza and the Jewish state's oppressive policies. "This was an action taken in solidarity with the Palestinian people and their effort to establish a Palestinian state," union spokesman Giorgos Pontikos told the AP.

Suspicious Car Parked Near N.J. Train Overpass Cleared by Bomb Squad

Suspicious Car Parked Near N.J. Train Overpass Cleared by Bomb Squad 14 Jul 2010 Police in New Jersey's largest city say a car parked near a railroad overpass did not contain a bomb. A police bomb squad was dispatched to examine the vehicle Wednesday after a passerby reported it as suspicious. Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy said police found two gasoline canisters sitting on top of a tool box inside the car. There were wires protruding from the tool box and a battery pack nearby but nothing was connected.

Obama Administration Bills BP, Others $100M More For Oil Spill

Obama Administration Bills BP, Others $100M More For Oil Spill 13 Jul 2010 The Obama administration on Tuesday said it billed BP Plc and others $100 million for costs related to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. It represents the fourth bill the administration has sent to BP and comes as the company is trying to determine whether its latest attempt to plug the leak has worked. The Obama administration said in a statement that BP and other responsible parties have paid the three prior bills sent by the government, totaling $122 million.

Police Give 'All Clear' After Probing Suspicious Newark Car

Police Give 'All Clear' After Probing Suspicious Newark Car --Robot examining vehicle parked near overpass that serves Amtrak, NJ Transit trains 14 Jul 2010 Police in New Jersey's largest city say a car parked near a railroad overpass did not contain a bomb. The Dodge Omni was parked about six car lengths from a railroad overpass in Newark that serves Amtrak and NJ Transit trains... By 1 p.m. there were at least nine police cars on the scene. By 1:45 p.m. bomb squad technicians in full gear had backed away and two robots were examining the vehicle.

US 'world bully', 'hated by nations'

US 'world bully', 'hated by nations' 14 Jul 2010 The Islamic Revolution Leader says Iran has been at the forefront of resistance against Washington's hegemony. Addressing thousands of personnel of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Wednesday, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei likened the United States to a 'bully' who is running an extortion racket around the world while his situation gets worse day by day. "Some (countries) pay extortion money to this world bully to keep their businesses safe", said the Leader. [*Exactly.*]

Carl Levin backs strikes inside Pakistan

Carl Levin backs strikes inside Pakistan 13 Jul 2010 A leading Democrat said the U.S. should be more aggressive in conducting airstrikes against groups inside Pakistan that threaten the mission in neighboring Afghanistan. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Tuesday morning that the U.S. should go after groups like the Haqqani network that "directly threaten" the mission [?] in Afghanistan. [What, exactly, *is* the 'mission' in Afghanistan, besides protecting opium and gas pipelines and enriching US corporaterrorists and mercenaries?]

Twelve US-led soldiers killed in 48 hours

Twelve US-led soldiers killed in 48 hours 14 Jul 2010 Five more American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan's volatile south, bringing to 12 the number of foreign soldiers killed over the past 48 hours. NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said on Wednesday that four of the soldiers lost their lives in a bomb attack, while the other one was killed in a gunfight with the Taliban in the volatile south. The latest casualties come a day after seven NATO soldiers -- four British and three American -- were killed in the war-torn country.

NAACP passes resolution blasting Tea Party racism

NAACP passes resolution blasting Tea Party racism 14 Jul 2010 The NAACP has passed a resolution that condemns what it feels is rampant racism in the Tea Party movement. Members passed the measure on Tuesday at the organization's 101st annual convention in Kansas City, Missouri.Tea Party activists have swiftly denounced the action as unfounded and unfair. The resolution pits the nation's oldest civil rights organization, with its storied history of wins on behalf of racial justice, against a grassroots conservative movement that has won some recent political races and is flexing its muscle in Republican circles.

Tea Party activists fund sign linking Obama to Hitler

Tea Party activists fund sign linking Obama to Hitler 14 Jul 2010 A billboard advert in the US state of Iowa that linked President Obama to Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin was removed on Wednesday morning. The sign, which was funded by a group of local Tea Party activists, has been replaced with a community service announcement. Text on the sign had read: "Radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive." [Replace the words 'radical leaders' with 'Fox News' and you're got it. --LRP]

Abducted Iranian scientist flies home

Abducted Iranian scientist flies home 14 Jul 2010 Iranian national Shahram Amiri, who was kidnapped by Saudi and US intelligence agents last year, has left the United States for the Iranian capital, Tehran. The Iranian scholar took refuge in Iran's interest section at the Pakistani Embassy in Washington on Tuesday, demanding an "immediate return" to Iran. The embassy preserves Iran's interests in the United States, since the two countries have no diplomatic relations.

The end of Big Brother: Terror laws, stop and search and council snooping to be curbed

The end of Big Brother: Terror laws, stop and search and council snooping to be curbed 14 Jul 2010 A bonfire of draconian anti-terror laws was promised by Theresa May yesterday to reverse the 'substantial erosion of civil liberties' by Labour ministers. The Home Secretary said powers that could be scrapped or scaled back include 28- day detention without charge, control orders, stop and search and Big Brother snooping by town halls.

Pakistan: Blackwater still active in Capital

Pakistan: Blackwater still active in Capital 13 Jul 2010 On May 14 and May 26 last, the exact postal addresses of 33 houses in posh residential localities of the Federal Capital - that were confirmedly hired by US Marines and Blackwater personnel - were first published in this newspaper. Further information indicates that out of those 33 houses - either hired by US Marines in the garb of humanitarian workers of US Office of Defence Representatives to Pakistan (ODR-P) or by Blackwater mercenaries - five residences-to-offices have been relocated to alternative venues and highest possible security measures are being adopted for their protection so that no one can track them. They were previously located in the sectors F-7/3, F-8/3 and F-6/2 of the Federal Capital but now they have been moved to E-7 and G-6/4.

6 police officers charged in New Orleans Danziger Bridge shootings after Katrina

6 police officers charged in New Orleans Danziger Bridge shootings after Katrina 13 Jul 2010 Six New Orleans police officers were charged in connection with the deadly confrontation on the Danziger Bridge in the days after Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans in turmoil, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday. In the indictment unsealed on Tuesday, the government accused four officers of shooting unarmed people on the bridge. The four and two supervisors were accused of trying to cover up the incident. Two people died and four were wounded in the shootings.

Castro: US provoking war on Iran

Castro: US provoking war on Iran 13 Jul 2010 In a rare television appearance after four years, former Cuban president Fidel Castro has warned that US tension with Iran could erupt into a full-fledged war. "I think that the danger of war is growing a lot. They are playing with fire," Castro said during the 75-minute conversation on a daily Cuban talk show. Criticizing the large number of US nuclear arsenal and Washington's heavy military spending, Castro cautioned the White House that an attack on Iran would be catastrophic for it.

Libyan ship with Gaza aid arrives in Egyptian port

Libyan ship with Gaza aid arrives in Egyptian port 14 Jul 2010 A ship loaded with aid supplies for Gaza has docked in an Egyptian port, ending the latest attempt by activists to break Israel's Gaza blockade. The vessel was intercepted by Israeli naval ships off the coast of Gaza and forced to head south, the charity which chartered the ship said. The charity, headed by Col Muammar Gaddafi's son, said it wanted to reach Gaza, but would not risk violence.

Canada, U.S. work together on border security

Canada, U.S. work together on border security 13 Jul 2010 If natural disasters -- or terrorists -- disrupt cross-border infrastructure like the power grid, Canada and the United States hope to be able to tackle it together. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced Tuesday the two countries will create a cross-border plan to protect and respond to disruptions to shared critical infrastructure. It builds on a plan the feds worked out with the provinces earlier this year.

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*****

'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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