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Kennedy favors civilian courts in terrorism cases

Kennedy favors civilian courts in terrorism cases 20 Aug 2010 Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said Thursday that most terrorism cases should be tried in civilian courts. Kennedy addressed participants in the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference on Maui, where a panel discussion earlier this week reached a consensus in favor of using civilian courts instead of military commissions in most terrorism cases. "Article III courts are quite capable of trying these terrorist cases," Kennedy said, agreeing with the conclusion.

BP accused of withholding 'critical' spill data

BP accused of withholding 'critical' spill data 19 Aug 2010 The company that owned the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico is accusing BP of withholding critical evidence needed to investigate the cause of the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, according to a confidential document obtained by The Associated Press. The new complaint by Transocean follows similar complaints by U.S. lawmakers about difficulties obtaining necessary information from BP in their investigations.

IDF soldiers arrested over alleged mistreatment of Palestinian detainees

IDF soldiers arrested over alleged mistreatment of Palestinian detainees --5 Nahal Haredi soldiers suspected of taking their photographs alongside bound detainees, as well as two cases of drug use. 19 Aug 2010 Five Israel Defense Forces soldiers were arrested by military police Thursday, following suspicions of mistreatment of Palestinians detainees, which  included taking improper photographs. The soldiers, members of the Nahal Haredi combat unit, were arrested following information received by their battalion commander, which claimed that two of the five soldiers were involved in drug use, while the rest are suspected of taking photographs of themselves alongside cuffed and blindfolded Palestinian detainees using their cellphones.

Ice-trapped pollutants poison polar bears' diets

Ice-trapped pollutants poison polar bears' diets 20 Aug 2010 The iconic symbol of the Arctic - the polar bear - is under threat from the twin challenges of climate change and lingering chemical pollutants, such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), which are not breaking down in the region's cold waters. A comprehensive review of research on polar wildlife published recently in the journal Science of The Total Environment has concluded that the retreat of sea ice cover in the Arctic as a result of climate change could increase the exposure of species such as polar bears to a range of man-made chemical compounds, including flame retardants and substances used to harden plastics.

Salmonella Egg Recall Now Reaches 480 Million Eggs; 2,000 Report Illness

Salmonella Egg Recall Now Reaches 480 Million Eggs; 2,000 Report Illness --The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is not investigating any additional egg farms. [Useless is as useless does.] 20 Aug 2010 A second Iowa egg farm has ordered a major recall of eggs today in an effort to stem the outbreak of salmonella. The voluntary recall was announced by Hillandale Farms. The company is located about 100 miles from the Wright County Eggs, based in Galt, Iowa, which has previously ordered a recall of 380 million eggs in one of the largest egg recalls in history.

Blackwater Reaches Deal on U.S. Export Violations

Blackwater Reaches Deal on U.S. Export Violations --The State Department that dealt with the violations as an administrative matter, allowing Blackwater, now called Xe, to avoid criminal charges.21 Aug 2010 The private security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide, long plagued by accusations of impropriety, has reached an agreement with the State Department for the company to pay $42 million in fines for hundreds of violations of United States export control regulations. The violations included illegal weapons exports to Afghanistan, making unauthorized proposals to train troops in south Sudan and providing sniper training for Taiwanese police officers, according to company and government officials familiar with the deal.

The Kelly Affair: Anatomy of a conspiracy theory

The Kelly Affair: Anatomy of a conspiracy theory --Claims that we have not been told the full truth about the death of Dr David Kelly have been circulating for years. This week, the fog of rumour thickened. By Paul Vallely 21 Aug 2010 ...[I]n the last two months, a rash of disbelieving newspaper articles, predominantly in the Daily Mail, but also picked up by The Times, have ratcheted up pressure on the Government to re-open investigations into David Kelly's death.

Gunmen torch NATO trucks in Pakistan

Gunmen torch NATO trucks in Pakistan 20 Aug 2010 Militants have attacked two trucks carrying supplies to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, burning them in Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province. The attack was carried out by a group of unidentified armed men when the vehicles were parked at a depot in Khuzdar district, in the center of the province, local police officials told Press TV. The militants opened fire on the vehicles and then set them ablaze. [No worries. US taxpayers will just fund a new convoy and billions for the mercenaries who pretend to protect it.]

Militants kill 30 Afghan security guards

Militants kill 30 Afghan security guards 20 Aug 2010 Afghan police say that 30 security guards have been killed in a fierce battle with militants as the Taliban intensify their attacks against the government forces. The clashes erupted in the southern province of Helmand after the Taliban attacked construction guards on Thursday. Police said at least 15 guards were wounded in the deadly clashes and several guards have gone missing.

Pew Poll Finds 1 in 5 Americans Wrongly Believe Barack Obama Is a Muslim

Pew Poll Finds 1 in 5 Americans Wrongly Believe Barack Obama Is a Muslim 19 Aug 2010 Nearly one in five Americans now incorrectly believes that President Obama is a Muslim, evidence of growing confusion among the population about the president's faith. The new poll from the nonpartisan Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 18 percent of those surveyed wrongly identified Obama as Muslim, up from 11 percent in March 2009. At the same time, the number of Americans who knew correctly that Obama is Christian has declined from 48 percent in March 2009 to 34 percent today.

Rev. Franklin Graham Says President Obama 'Born a Muslim'

Rev. Franklin Graham Says President Obama 'Born a Muslim' --Comments Come As Poll Shows One in Five Americans Wrongly Believes Obama Is Muslim 20 Aug 2010 On the heels of a new poll suggesting that nearly one in five Americans incorrectly believes that President Obama is a Muslim, one of the nation's most prominent evangelical leaders has weighed in with a seemingly lukewarm endorsement of the president's Christian faith. [?!?] The Rev. Franklin Graham waded into the discussion with his own controversial explanation of why people wrongly believe the president is a Muslim. [And, if Obama *was* a Muslim, what's the problem? This mosque/Muslim issue is a teabagging/corporaterrorist weapon of mass distraction from the doubling of mercenaries hired to fight in the Iraq war following the 'pullout' in 2011. --LRP]

Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose war in Afghanistan

Poll: Nearly 6 in 10 oppose war in Afghanistan 20 Aug 2010 A majority of Americans see no end in sight in Afghanistan, and nearly six in 10 oppose the nine-year-old war as President Barack Obama sends tens of thousands more troops to the fight, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Only 38 percent say they support his expanded war effort in Afghanistan -- a drop from 46 percent in March. Just 19 percent expect the situation to improve during the next year, while 29 percent think it will get worse. Some 49 percent think it will remain the same.

Palin defends Dr. Laura Schlessinger, telling her: 'Don't retreat. . . reload'

Palin defends Dr. Laura Schlessinger, telling her: 'Don't retreat. . . reload' 20 Aug 2010 A day after talk radio host Laura Schlessinger quit her show, following criticism for using the N-word repeatedly in a broadcast, former Alaska [half] governor Sarah Palin told her: "Don't retreat . . . reload!" Palin wrote in a post on Twitter that Schlessinger's First Amendment rights "ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence" her. Such activism "isn't American, not fair," she added. Later she added, "Dr.Laura=even more powerful & effective w/out the shackles, so watch out Constitutional obstructionists."

Homeland Security to conduct gas tests in T system

Homeland Security to conduct gas tests in T system 20 Aug 2010 Scientists will begin releasing airborne, non-toxic [we hope] contaminants into the MBTA subway system today to see how such gases would spread through the nation’s oldest subway system in the case of a terror attack. The test is being conducted in the nation’s 15 subway systems, and in Boston it will run through Aug. 27. While the study will primarily examine what would happen in the intentional release of chemical or biological agents, it will also look at the airflow characteristics for an 'accidental' spill, officials said.

Huge pool of hydrocarbons lurks in Gulf of Mexico

Huge pool of hydrocarbons lurks in Gulf of Mexico 20 Aug 2010 A plume of hydrocarbons from BP's oil spill is lurking deep in the Gulf of Mexico. The oily plume was over 35 kilometres long, up to 200 metres thick and up to two kilometres wide, and a kilo-metre below the surface, at the end of June, says a U.S. team from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, which sent a submersible vehicle down for a close look. The scientists report that the submerged hydrocarbons were not being quickly biodegraded by microbes.

Jetliner grounded in San Francisco after threat

Jetliner grounded in San Francisco after threat 20 Aug 2010 A hijack threat halted an American Airlines flight just before takeoff Thursday, leaving the New York-bound jet sitting on the tarmac for several hours while it was searched and passengers were removed for extra scrutiny. The FBI later determined that the telephoned threat wasn't credible, but in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and a series of airline scares [aka other false flags] in the past year, the incident still rattled nerves as it played out live on national TV.

Salmonella cases almost triple as tainted eggs are recalled

Salmonella cases almost triple as tainted eggs are recalled --From May 1 to July 31, a total of 1,953 cases of Salmonella enteritidis were reported. 20 Aug 2010 The salmonella outbreak that led to the recall of 380 million eggs was preventable and will likely grow, according to federal officials. Hundreds of Americans likely have become ill from tainted eggs in recent months, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell said Thursday.

Government to overhaul bioterror and pandemic flu plans

Government to overhaul bioterror and pandemic flu plans 20 Aug 2010 Acknowledging that the development of medical countermeasures against bioterrorism threats and pandemic flu is lagging, federal authorities Thursday announced a $1.9-billion makeover of the system for identifying and manufacturing drugs and vaccines for public health emergencies. The effort would provide $822 million for upgrades to speed up production of pandemic flu vaccine [not to mention, the flu itself]. Another large block, $678 million, would be used to set up at least one private facility that would work under government contract with small companies to manufacture new products, develop new manufacturing processes and help produce vaccines during periods of peak [lack of] demand. [See: Third of WHO advisers on the swine flu epidemic that never was received support from drugs firms --Gov't squandered more than £1.2 billion tackling swine flu, most of it for vaccines 12 Aug 2010. See: New US vaccine production techniques: Genetically modified insect cells, E. coli, caterpillar ovaries 24 Nov 2009 'Spurred by $487 million in federal funding, a sprawling new vaccine factory is opening in North Carolina Tuesday that will produce shots using dog cells instead of chicken eggs.']

FBI, CIA sued in overseas detention case

FBI, CIA sued in overseas detention case --Hamdan was imprisoned without a charge in a secret prison in Abu Dhabi. 20 Aug 2010 American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawyers have filed a lawsuit against FBI, CIA and other federal intelligence agencies over the imprisonment of a US citizen in the UAE. The lawsuit filed on Wednesday accuses the agencies of detaining and torturing Naji Hamdan, an American of Lebanese origin convicted on terrorism charges in the United Arab Emirates... The ACLU accuses the agencies of aiding and abetting the United Arab Emirates security forces.

2 on SFO plane detained in alleged threat

2 on SFO plane detained in alleged threat 20 Aug 2010 (San Francisco International Airport, CA) American Airlines Flight 24 to New York sat on the tarmac for hours at SFO Thursday with dozens of passengers on board. The flight was delayed because of a hijacking threat that turned out to be a false alarm. ...The plane and its passengers spent hours isolated in a distant corner of the airport. Passengers were eventually removed from the plane and forced to go through security again and a couple was taken from the plane by police in handcuffs.

Black bears guard marijuana fields

Black bears guard marijuana fields --It is unclear if they used the bears to guard the pot fields or just liked having them as pets. 19 Aug 2010 Police raiding two marijuana fields near the US-Canadian border found more than a dozen black bears wandering around the crops. The fields of about 2,300 plants were found near Christina Lake, just a few miles from the border. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says that when police arrived in the area two weeks ago, they discovered the bears and cautiously went about making the seizure. However he said the bears were docile and obviously were used to humans.

CIA forms new center to combat nukes, WMDs

CIA forms new center to combat nukes, WMDs --The center would formalize the collaboration between the agency's analysts and operators 18 Aug 2010 The CIA is opening a counterproliferation center to combat the spread of dangerous weapons and technology, a move that comes as Iran is on the verge of fueling up a new nuclear power plant. CIA Director Leon Panetta said Wednesday that the new unit would place CIA operators side by side with the agency's analysts to brainstorm plans to "confront the threat of weapons of mass destruction - nuclear, chemical and biological."

U.S. still holds detainee Pentagon wanted freed in 2004

U.S. still holds detainee Pentagon wanted freed in 2004 --Latif is the 38th Guantanamo captive to be found by a federal judge to be illegally detained at the remote U.S. Navy base. 17 Aug 2010 An emotionally ill detainee still being held at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was first recommended for release by the Pentagon in 2004, according to a federal judge whose ruling ordering that the man be freed was made public this week. Despite the Pentagon's recommendation, it wasn't until 2007 that the Bush administration adopted the military assessment and put Adnan Abdul Latif, now about 34, on an approved transfer list... U.S. District Court Judge Henry Kennedy disclosed the timeline in a heavily censored 28-page ruling made public on Monday night that ordered Latif set free.

Iran protests to UN over US war plan

Iran protests to UN over US war plan --Iran complains to UN officials about US threats of military attack on the country over its nuclear program, vowing a response to any such strike. 19 Aug 2010 In letters to the heads of the UN Security Council (UNSC) and the General Assembly that circulated Wednesday, Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Eshaq Alehabib, slammed the US plan for an Iran strike which is based on "totally false" grounds, AP reported. This comes after Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said the US military has a plan to attack Iran, although he thinks a strike is probably a bad idea.

U.S. to Double Mercenary Forces in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout

U.S. to Double Mercenary Forces in Iraq After 2011 Military Pullout --'It is unprecedented in scale.' --Some veteran Iraq hands suggest that thousands of additional troops will be needed after 2011. 19 Aug 2010 By October 2011, the State Department will assume responsibility for training the Iraqi police, a task that will largely be carried out by contractors. ...It will be up to American diplomats in two new $100 million outposts to head off potential confrontations between the Iraqi Army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces. The department’s plans to rely on 6,000 to 7,000 security contractors, who are also expected to form "quick reaction forces" to rescue civilians in trouble, is a sensitive issue, given Iraqi fury about shootings of civilians by American private guards in recent years... The startup cost of building and sustaining two embassy branch offices -- one in Kirkuk and the other in Mosul -- and of hiring security contractors, buying new equipment and setting up two consulates in Basra and Erbil is about $1 billion. It will cost another $500 million or so to make the two consulates permanent. And getting the police training program under way will cost more than $800 million. [OMG, why no complaints about the *deficit?* And, Obama has manifestly out-Bushed Bush! Impeach these hypocritical lunatics and corporaterrorist trolls NOW!!]

Final U.S. Combat Forces Withdraw From Iraq, 50,000 "Advisors" Remain

Final U.S. Combat Forces Withdraw From Iraq, 50,000 "Advisors" Remain --More than 4,400 American service members were killed in the war 18 Aug 2010 The United States Thursday ended its active combat operations in Iraq. The operations officially ended as the final convoy of the Army's 4th Stryker Brigade crossed the border into Iraq. The move ends the active combat phase of a war begun 7 and-a-half years ago. An estimated 50,000 U.S. troops remain in Iraq in an "advisory" capacity.

U.S. ship arrives at Limón Friday, U.S. Embassy reports

U.S. ship arrives at Limón Friday, U.S. Embassy reports 18 Aug 2010 The U.S. Embassy said Tuesday that the USS Iwo Jima will dock in Limón Friday to begin its humanitarian mission here. A.M. Costa Rica reported on the ship's schedule last month. The ship and its crew of sailors and civilian health and construction experts visited Haiti and most recently Colombia. The ship's plans were announced amid a political flap over allowing U.S. ships on drug patrol to dock for shore leave and re-supply. Eventually lawmakers had to pass a special approval for the arrival of the Iwo Jima because it is not involved in anti-drug efforts.

Military Denies WikiLeaks Cooperation Claims

Military Denies WikiLeaks Cooperation Claims 18 Aug 2010 The Defense Department's civilian leadership and the Army are denying new claims by WikiLeaks that the military has reached out to the self-described whistle-blowing organization to cooperate on the review of some 15,000 leaked military documents. WikiLeaks has released thousands of the classified military documents related to the war in Afghanistan and has promised to release the remaining 15,000 in the coming weeks. The remaining documents are considered particularly sensitive, and WikiLeaks Editor Julian Assange has said the organization would be willing to have the Pentagon help review and redact [!?!] the documents before the site releases them.

WikiLeaks: Pentagon ready to discuss Afghan files

WikiLeaks: Pentagon ready to discuss Afghan files 18 Aug 2010 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Wednesday the Pentagon has expressed willingness to discuss the online whistleblower's request for help in reviewing classified documents from the Afghan war and removing information that could harm civilians. "This week we received contact through our lawyers that the General Counsel of the U.S. Army says now that they want to discuss the issue," Assange told The Associated Press by telephone. In Washington, Army spokesman Col. Thomas Collins denied army lawyers are involved but said Assange might have meant to say the Pentagon lawyer instead.

'Intl. law forbids attack on nuclear sites'

'Intl. law forbids attack on nuclear sites' 18 Aug 2010 Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency says attacking or threatening to attack nuclear facilities is in violation of the UN charter. "According to Resolution 533 of the IAEA, attacking or threatening to attack operational or under-construction nuclear facilities is a blatant violation of the UN charter, IAEA statute and international regulations," Ali Asghar Soltanieh said Wednesday. "The remarks made by the former US envoy to the UN show Washington's warmongering and aggressive attitude as well as its violation of international laws," Soltanieh said in reference to John Bolton hinting that Israel has only one week to attack the Bushehr power plant.

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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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