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Senate OKs Petraeus for Afghan war

Senate OKs Petraeus for Afghan war 30 Jun 2010 The US Senate approves General David Petraeus as the new commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, following Gen. Stanley McChrystal's forced resignation. The US lawmakers voted 99-0 on Wednesday to confirm the nomination of General David Petraeus to lead the US-waged war in Afghanistan. US President Barack Obama tapped Petraeus to succeed McChrystal who was forced to step down last week for mocking his civilian bosses for their war strategy in Afghanistan.

CREW Calls for House Investigation into Obama Staffers' Use of Personal Email, Meetings with Lobbyists

CREW Calls for House Investigation into Obama Staffers' Use of Personal Email, Meetings with Lobbyists 30 Jun 2010 On Monday good-government group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked a House committee to look into whether the Obama White House violated federal laws regarding electronic records by using private email accounts to communicate with lobbyists and meeting with lobbyists outside the White House. CREW wrote a letter to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform asking it to investigate and hold hearings to determine any violations of the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Federal Records Act (FRA).

South Florida Brothers Selling Oil Spill Souvenirs

South Florida Brothers Selling Oil Spill Souvenirs --"Oil Spill Water" raises money and awareness for Gulf disaster 30 Jun 2010 Jeffrey and David Shiffman have turned their bathroom into a pseudo chemistry lab. The two brothers from Ft. Lauderdale are trying to support relief efforts in the Gulf, by bottling and selling "Oil Spill Water." A two ounce bottle goes for $9.99 on oilspillwater.com. It's real oil and real ocean water, just not from the Gulf. It's a "simulation" of the spill. Five dollars from every bottle sold goes to covering costs, the other five gets split between Reef Relief, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, and the International Bird Research Center.

Supreme court to rule on human rights of soldiers

Supreme court to rule on human rights of soldiers 30 Jun 2010 The Supreme Court rules today on a Government challenge to a landmark ruling that British soldiers serving abroad are protected by human rights laws... The Supreme Court was asked to rule on whether a British soldier on military service in Iraq is subject to UK jurisdiction and covered by human rights laws and not only when on a British military base or hospital.

20 people injured in Afghan clashes

20 people injured in Afghan clashes 29 Jun 2010 At least 20 people, mostly Afghan police, were injured when angry protesters clashed with police on the outskirts of the capital Kabul. The violent clashes erupted on Tuesday after US-led forces reportedly attacked a religious school, or madrassa, the previous night and disrespected its sanctity by bringing in dogs and detaining several people. Five protesters and 15 police officers were injured in the clashes, with reports of shots being fired.

Major NATO base in Afghanistan under attack

Major NATO base in Afghanistan under attack 30 Jun 2010 One of the biggest NATO bases in Afghanistan came under attack Wednesday, the military alliance said, in a strike claimed by the Taliban. "Jalalabad airfield is under attack. I can confirm it. It is still going on, so I can't give much detail," said Lieutenant-Commander Iain Baxter, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

NY police 'beat up' Iranian professor

NY police 'beat up' Iranian professor 30 Jun 2010 A US-based Iranian university professor and senior political analyst, Kaveh Afrasiabi, says he has been brutally beaten up by police officers in New York. Speaking to IRNA on Tuesday, professor Afrasiabi explained about the unusual manner in which he was arrested, saying that he was handcuffed and sent to jail under the pretext that he had not paid his traffic ticket.

Worker missing as Britain's Lindsey Oil Refinery explodes

Worker missing as Britain's Lindsey Oil Refinery explodes 30 Jun 2010 A fire broke out at Britain's third largest oil refinery today, causing an explosion and leaving one oil worker missing, the company that owns the site and emergency services said. Police said two people were treated for minor injuries from the blaze at the Lindsey Oil Refinery near Hull in northeast England, which more than 50 firefighters tackled before it was contained. Rescuers were also searching for a missing man, said French oil giant Total, which owns the refinery.

White House to let McChrystal retire with 4 stars

White House to let McChrystal retire with 4 stars 30 Jun 2010 President Obama has agreed to waive a Pentagon rule and let outgoing Gen. Stanley McChrystal retire at his full four-star rank, a White House spokesman said Tuesday. While the general is short of the time needed to retire at his current pay grade, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama would ensure he keeps his rank as he steps down.

Congresswoman Fears Hizbullah 'Israel-Like Bombings' in US

Gag me with a chainsaw! Congresswoman Fears Hizbullah 'Israel-Like Bombings' in US 29 Jun 2010 A Republican Congresswoman has warned that Hizbullah terrorists, hooked up with Mexican drug cartels, may be planning "Israel-like bombings" against customs officials or National Guard units on the U.S. border. North Carolina legislator Sue Myrick wrote Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, urging a task force "to engage U.S. and Mexican law enforcement and border patrol officials about Hizbullah's presence, activities, and connections to gangs and drug cartels." [If this *nutjob* is seeking connections to gangs and drug cartels, talk to Wachovia Corp., their biggest backer.]

Top Republican: Raise Social Security's retirement age to 70

Top Republican: Raise Social Security's retirement age to 70 29 Jun 2010 A Republican-held Congress might look to raise the retirement age to 70, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Sociopath-Ohio) suggested Monday. Boehner, the top Republican lawmaker in the House, said raising the retirement age by five years, indexing benefits to the rate of inflation and means-testing benefits would make the massive entitlement program more solvent.

Europe approves US mass data grab

Europe approves US mass data grab --Feds get all our bank info 29 Jun 2010 Europe has signed a deal to hand over all bank transaction data to the US in order to help the ongoing war on terrorism. The SWIFT agreement was signed yesterday in Brussels by Spanish minister for home affairs Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba and the US embassy's economic officer to the EU, Michael Dodman... The European Data Protection Supervisor remains unimpressed and has questioned the need for bulk transfers of data and the time such data is kept without being investigated by US authorities.

US claims 'Russian spies' used British passports

US claims 'Russian spies' used British passports 29 Jun 2010 Government officials have confirmed to Channel 4 News they are investigating the alleged use of fake British and Irish passports by suspected Russian spies in America. Members of the alleged spy ring, who were rounded up in FBI raids in Boston, New York, New Jersey and Virginia, were using fake British and Irish passports, according to US government papers. The FBI arrested 10 people for allegedly serving for years as secret agents of Russia's intelligence service, the SVR, with the goal of penetrating US government policymaking circles. [See the full charge sheet here.]

Banks Financing Mexico Drug Traffickers Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal

Banks Financing Mexico Drug Traffickers Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal --Wachovia had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. 29 Jun 2010 Just before sunset on April 10, 2006, a DC-9 jet landed at the international airport in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, 500 miles east of Mexico City. As soldiers on the ground approached the plane, the crew tried to shoo them away, saying there was a dangerous oil leak. So the troops grew suspicious and searched the jet. They found 128 black suitcases, packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100 million. The stash was supposed to have been delivered from Caracas to drug traffickers in Toluca, near Mexico City, Mexican prosecutors later found. The smugglers had bought the DC-9 with laundered funds they transferred through two of the biggest banks in the U.S.: Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its August 2010 issue.

Hurricane Alex could make land late Wednesday

Hurricane Alex could make land late Wednesday 30 Jun 2010 Hurricane Alex strengthened in the Gulf of Mexico early on Wednesday and was expected to make landfall later in the day but skirt Mexican oil rigs and U.S. oil fields, alleviating concerns in crude markets. The first named storm of the Atlantic season became a Category 1 hurricane late Tuesday night as it slowly moved west toward northern Mexico where it was expected to drop as much as a foot of rain.

Texas Preps Emergency Weather Response for Possible Hurricane Alex

Texas Preps Emergency Weather Response for Possible Hurricane Alex 29 Jun 2010 People on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border began slowly crossing items off hurricane checklists Tuesday while government officials implored them to heed Tropical Storm Alex as it approached hurricane strength and churned toward northeast Mexico. The storm, threatening to become a Category 1 hurricane overnight, was expected to make landfall somewhere south of Matamoros, Mexico, on Wednesday evening with winds at 90 mph and gusting higher.

Airport body scanners deliver radiation dose 20 times higher than first thought, warns expert

Airport body scanners deliver radiation dose 20 times higher than first thought, warns expert 30 Jun 2010 Full body scanners at airports could increase your risk of skin cancer, experts warn. The X-ray machines have been brought in at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow. Scientists say that the low level beam does deliver a small dose of radiation to the body but because the beam concentrates on the skin - one of the most radiation-sensitive organs of the human body - that dose may be up to 20 times higher than first estimated.

June Marks Deadliest Month in Afghanistan War

June Marks Deadliest Month in Afghanistan War --At Least 100 Coalition Troops Killed in June and 400 Americans Wounded 29 Jun 2010 America's longest war is growing more deadly, reports CBS News. U.S. and NATO troops are being killed and injured almost daily. In June, at least 100 coalition troops have been killed, including 54 Americans. Nearly 400 Americans were wounded. Improvised explosive devices, or IEDs placed by the side of the road are the fastest-growing danger troops face.

Russian spies in UK 'at cold war levels', says MI5

Russian spies in UK 'at cold war levels', says MI5 --"The number of Russian intelligence officers in London is at the same level as in Soviet times", MI5 says on its website. 29 Jun 2010 The uncovering of the spy ring in the US is unlikely to surprise MI5. In recent years the agency has been building up its counter-espionage arm against Russian and other foreign spies for the first time since the end of the cold war, according to counter-intelligence officials. Though its priority remains the threat from extreme Islamist and al-Qaida inspired terrorism, MI5 officers have been switched to counter more traditional tasks against foreign states whose intentions are considered hostile, officials say.

Democrats drop fee from bank bill to 'secure votes'

Democrats drop fee from bank bill to 'secure votes' --The money would have been used to pay for the costs of the legislation. 29 Jun 2010 Top DemocRATic House and Senate negotiators who worked out a deal on a sweeping overhaul of financial regulations regrouped Tuesday to eliminate a $19 billion fee on banks that had threatened to derail the legislation. Eager to salvage one of President Barack Obama's legislative priorities, lawmakers replaced the bank fee with money generated by ending the $700 billion bank bailout and by increasing bank premiums on deposit insurance. The bill's fate was thrown into doubt this week following the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and after Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts vowed to abandon his support for the bill if it retained the assessment on large banks and hedge funds. [Right, the little maggot wants taxpayers to pay instead of his banking/Wall Street overlords.]

Cameron to launch inquiry into MI5 torture allegations

Cameron to launch inquiry into MI5 torture allegations 30 Jun 2010 Victims of torture carried out with the knowledge of British agents could receive compensation, the Government has decided. David Cameron is expected to announce a judge-led inquiry shortly into the long-running allegations that British intelligence officers were complicit in British residents being tortured by the security services of other countries. The move could cause tension with the US, which had already hinted that the sharing of classified information with Britain could be put at risk if the work of its agents torturers is put under the spotlight.

Israel raid on Gaza flotilla a premeditated 'terrorist attack', say Turkish organizers

Israel raid on Gaza flotilla a premeditated 'terrorist attack', say Turkish organizers --Report drafted by IHH, the Turkish NGO which spearheaded the May 31 flotilla, calls says IDF deadly takeover 'an attack against all humanity and peace'. 29 Jun 2010 The Israel Navy's deadly takeover of a humanitarian aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip was a pre-mediated "terrorist" attack motivated by hostility, the Turkish NGO that organized the convoy wrote in a special report released on Tuesday. "Israel exhibited an example of illegal action by stopping the attempts for breaking the embargo in Gaza which is a collective punishment of Palestinians," according to the report compiled by IHH regarding the May 31 raid on the Mavi Marmara, which left nine Turkish activists dead.

ACLU to challenge U.S. on no-fly list

ACLU to challenge U.S. on no-fly list 29 Jun 2010 The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue the U.S. government on Wednesday on behalf of 10 citizens or legal permanent residents who have been placed on a no-fly list and, in some cases, stranded abroad. The suit, in which the ACLU charges that the government has violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights, marks the first time the group has mounted a legal challenge to the no-fly list.

13 killed in Iraq attacks, including army general

13 killed in Iraq attacks, including army general 29 Jun 2010 A series of bombings and shootings around Iraq Tuesday claimed 13 lives, including four policemen, an Iraqi army general and a 9-year-old girl, Iraqi officials said. The four policemen were killed when an explosives-laden car detonated next to a police patrol in the town of Beiji, 155 miles (250 kilometers) north of Baghdad, said Iraqi police officials. A civilian in a nearby vehicle was also killed and at least seven civilians were wounded in that attack. A brigadier general with the Iraqi army was killed when a bomb attached to his car exploded in Kazimiyah, a district in northern Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

General Petraeus: US troops to remain in Afghanistan for years

General Petraeus: US troops to remain in Afghanistan for years 29 Jun 2010 Gen. David Petraeus on Tuesday appeared to adroitly navigate around the potential pitfalls of his nomination hearing lie to be commander of allied forces in the Afghanistan war. In particular, General Petraeus vowed to senators that he supports President Obama’s Afghan strategy [!], including its exit plan, while simultaneously reassuring them that the US commitment to the fight there "is an enduring one." Petraeus repeated that the July 2011 deadline for the beginning of troop withdrawals is flexible and that any such drawdown will occur only if it is warranted by conditions on the ground.

DailyKos polls were "bunk"

Just like former CIA-agent wannabe Markos Moulitsas himself: DailyKos polls were "bunk" 29 Jun 2010 Markos Moulitsas, the proprietor of the popular liberal blog DailyKos, just posted a report that he believes shows the site's pollster, Research 2000, was using "fraudulent" numbers. As Josh Marshall writes, the report is "explosive"; if Kos and the three statistics experts who approached him are right, they've caught a well-known and oft-cited pollster in outright deception.

US Senate committee confirms Gen Petraeus as new Afghanistan commander

US Senate committee confirms Gen Petraeus as new Afghanistan commander 30 Jun 2010 A key Senate committee on Tuesday confirmed General David Petraeus as the new US and NATO commander in Afghanistan after a hearing marked by bickering over the July, 2011, troop withdrawal deadline. The Senate Armed Services Committee, where he testified earlier in the day, confirmed his nomination by a voice vote. His nomination now goes to the full Senate for confirmation.

US banks off the hook until 2022

US banks off the hook until 2022 --Political reality Democrats' surrender  has forced compromise into the final version of the financial regulation 'reform' bill in the US 29 Jun 2010 It was billed by Barack Obama as the toughest crackdown on Wall Street since the great depression. But top US banks could be given until 2022 to comply with the so-called Volcker rule, which is supposed to restrict financial institutions' riskier trading activities. A string of delays and extension periods written into a final version of Congress's financial regulation reform bill means that firms such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs could exploit loopholes until 2022 before withdrawing from "illiquid" funds such as private equity.

Petraeus vows long-term commitment in Afghan war

Endless bl*wjobs for Blackwater, thanks to Betrayus replacement scam: Petraeus vows long-term commitment in Afghan war --General: Troops will be in Afghanistan 'for quite some time' 29 Jun 2010 Gen. David H. Petraeus told senators Tuesday that he would insist on "an unshakeable commitment to teamwork among all elements of the U.S. government" as the new commander of U.S. and foreign forces in Afghanistan, as the Obama administration sought his quick confirmation to replace fired Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

EU, US sign anti-terror finance deal

EU, US sign anti-terror finance deal 28 Jun 2010 Europe and the United States signed on Monday a new deal allowing Washington to access bank data to track terrorist finance after easing European concerns about privacy rights. The agreement now needs the green light from the European parliament, which had blocked an initial deal in February, barring the United States from seeing the bank data since then. The system was introduced in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States to help tackle the financing of terrorism.

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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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