S Korea stages huge show of military force near border

S Korea stages huge show of military force near border 24 Dec 2010 South Korea has staged its largest military exercise of the year in a huge show of force against North Korea... The drills, conducted just south of the heavily armed border, came a month after a North Korean artillery bombardment against a South Korean island killed four, dramatically raising tensions on the peninsula. About 800 soldiers took part in the exercise - the largest so far this year - which included 30 tanks, armoured personnel carriers, F-15 fighter-jets, artillery pieces, multiple long-range rockets and Cobra helicopter gunships.

Norwegian Newspaper gets its hands on WikiLeaks cables

Norwegian Newspaper gets its hands on WikiLeaks cables 23 Dec 2010 A Norwegian newspaper confirmed today that it had gotten hold of the entire file of more than 250,000 secret US embassy cables first leaked to WikiLeaks. Norway's main business newspaper Dagens Naerings reported that Oslo-based Aftenposten became the only media organization in the world to gain direct access to all the documents. It allows them to dodge WikiLeaks' current strategy of drip-feeding the cables to preferred partners The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and El Pais.

US-led strike kills two in Afghanistan

US-led strike kills two in Afghanistan 23 Dec 2010 A police officer and a civilian have been killed when a helicopter under the command of US-led forces opened fire on a car in northern Afghanistan. Faryab province police chief Khalil Andarabi and the governor's spokesman, Ahmad Jawed Bedar, said the vehicle was heading to the provincial capital of Maimana when it was struck. The civilian killed in the incident has been identified as Mohammad Aminuddin, the brother of former Afghan parliament member Sarajuddin Mozafari.

Afghan bomb blast kills 2, injures 4

Afghan bomb blast kills 2, injures 4 23 Dec 2010 A massive explosion has rocked the northern province of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan, killing two people and injuring four others. The huge blast rocked the capital city of Kunduz province at 8 a.m. local time, eyewitnesses told a Press TV correspondent on Thursday. Four other people were also injured after a bomber blew himself up near a police checkpoint in Konduz province.

CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks

CIA launches task force to assess impact of U.S. cables' exposure by WikiLeaks 22 Dec 2010 The CIA has launched a task force to assess the impact of the exposure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables and military files by WikiLeaks. Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: W.T.F. The irreverence is perhaps understandable for an agency that has been relatively unscathed by WikiLeaks. Only a handful of CIA files have surfaced on the WikiLeaks Web site, and records from other agencies posted online reveal remarkably little about CIA employees or operations.

WTF? OMG, LOL! CIA gives WikiLeaks taskforce naughty name

WTF? OMG, LOL! CIA gives WikiLeaks taskforce naughty name --US spy agency forms taskforce to assess fallout from 250,000 leaked US cables 22 Dec 2010 The CIA has launched a taskforce to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. Its name? WikiLeaks Task Force, or WTF for short. The group will scour the released documents to survey damage caused by the disclosures. One of the most embarrassing revelations was that the US state department had drawn up a list of information it would like on key UN figures - it later emerged the CIA had asked for the information.

UN torture rep to investigate treatment of jailed leaks suspect Bradley Manning

UN torture rep to investigate treatment of jailed leaks suspect Bradley Manning --Office of rapporteur on torture confirms it is looking into complaint made by Manning supporter 23 Dec 2010 The United Nations is investigating a complaint on behalf of Bradley Manning that he is being mistreated while held since May in US Marine Corps custody pending trial. The army private is charged with the unauthorised use and disclosure of classified information, material related to the WikiLeaks, and faces a court martial sometime in 2011. The office of Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur on torture based in Geneva, received the complaint from a Manning supporter; his office confirmed that it was being looked into. Manning's supporters say that he is in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day; this could be construed as a form of torture.

W.H.: Polar bears not 'endangered'

W.H.: Polar bears not 'endangered' 22 Dec 2010 The Obama regime is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status. In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective "threatened" species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act. [No Merry Christmas for polar bears: Under cover of his 'Holiday Bad News Dump,' sycophantic sell-out, Barack Obama, has decided that the polar bear doesn't need protection from his oil overlords.]

Senate Passes Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First Responders

Senate Passes Health-Care Bill for Sept. 11 First Responders 22 Dec 2010 The U.S. Senate approved legislation to help those who responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City. The path for approval on a voice vote was secured earlier today when Senate Republicans agreed to drop their opposition to the legislation. The bill provides for $4.3 billion in additional aid over five years, with $1.5 billion for health benefits and $2.7 billion for compensation, said Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who had been opposing the bill because of cost concerns [but "forgot" about such concerns when pushing for tax cuts for the rich and his corpora-terrorist overlords].

US-led forces kill 5 Afghan civilians

US-led forces kill 5 Afghan civilians 22 Dec 2010 At least five civilians have been killed by US-led foreign troops in southern Afghanistan, amid growing discontent over the rising number of civilian fatalities in the war-wracked country. The civilians lost their lives on Tuesday in the province of Helmand's Sangin district, which is a flashpoint for foreign forces in their nine-year war against Taliban militants.

Obama signs historic bill ending 'don't ask, don't tell'

Obama signs historic bill ending 'don't ask, don't tell' 22 Dec 2010 President Obama signed historic legislation repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that compelled gay and lesbian servicemembers to hide their sexual orientation. At a ceremony at the Interior Department, Obama thanked "all the patriots... who were forced to hang up their uniforms" because of the policy, which dates to early in the Clinton administration.

Pakistan opposes US military raids

Pakistan opposes US military raids 22 Dec 2010 Pakistan has opposed any ground military operations in its territory by US troops amid reports of the US expansion of ground war into the Asian country. Following a New York Times report on Monday about the US expanding of ground operations across the border into Pakistan's tribal areas, a spokesman for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday Pakistan is capable of confronting militants in its tribal regions.

British soldier killed in Afghanistan

British soldier killed in Afghanistan 22 Dec 2010 A British soldier has been killed by an explosive device in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan, bringing the number of deaths among the UK troops to 347. The soldier was killed while patrolling the Nahr-e Saraj district of the troubled province on Tuesday. He was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).

South Korea to Stage Military Exercise With Jets, Artillery North of Seoul

South Korea to Stage Military Exercise With Jets, Artillery North of Seoul --Defense Minister Kim Kwan: Military will remain on alert 22 Dec 2010 South Korea said its military will hold a one-day exercise tomorrow involving jet fighters and mobile artillery in an area between Seoul and the Demilitarized Zone that separates the nation from its neighbor. About 800 military personnel will take part in the drill near Pocheon, approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the border with North Korea, said a spokesman at the Joint Chiefs of Staff who declined to be named, citing military policy.

Al Qaeda threat involving hotels buffets 'credible,' report says

Al Qaeda threat involving hotels buffets 'credible,' report says --CEO: Hospitality employers to include 'See something, say something' cards - developed in conjunction with Homeland Security - in employees' payroll stubs 21 Dec 2010 According to a Monday CBS report receiving much attention today, al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] terrorists have talked about poisoning salad bars and hotel buffets at various U.S. hotels and restaurants over a single weekend. Department of Homeland Security officials have deemed the threat as a "credible" one.

Angry Assange insists: I am not a sexual predator, I just really like women

Angry Assange insists: I am not a sexual predator, I just really like women 22 Dec 2010 Julian Assange has claimed the two women he is accused of sexually assaulting merely 'got into a tizzy' after sleeping with him. The WikiLeaks founder angrily denied being a sexual predator, adding: 'I’m not promiscuous. I just really like women.' The whistleblower - who is fighting extradition to Sweden – went on the attack after graphic details emerged of allegations made by Miss A and Miss W, both of whom he is accused of molesting. Assange said the decision by The Guardian - ironically, his partner in releasing hundreds of confidential US cables – to publish leaked Swedish police files about him was 'disgusting'.

WikiLeaks cables: Bangladeshi 'death squad' trained by UK government

WikiLeaks cables: Bangladeshi 'death squad' trained by UK government --Rapid Action Battalion, accused of hundreds of extra-judicial killings, received training from UK officers, cables reveal 21 Dec 2010 The British government has been training a Bangladeshi paramilitary force condemned by human rights organisations as a "government death squad", leaked US embassy cables have revealed. Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), which has been held responsible for hundreds of extra-judicial killings in recent years and is said to routinely use torture, have received British training in "investigative interviewing techniques" and "rules of engagement". Details of the training were revealed in a number of cables, released by WikiLeaks, which address the counter-terrorism objectives of the US and UK governments in Bangladesh.

'Wikileaks' enters the English language

'Wikileaks' enters the English language 21 Dec 2010 It happened to Xerox and more recently to Google, and now "wikileaks" has joined the list of proper names that are common enough to enter the English language as their own word. Texas-based Global Language Monitor on Tuesday said the website WikiLeaks, which has publicly released thousands of confidential U.S. government documents, has been referred to by so many people that it has met the criteria of reach, depth and breadth to be considered its own word.

FCC Passes Compromise Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Passes Compromise Net Neutrality Rules By Sam Gustin 21 Dec 2010 In a closely watched vote, the Federal Communications Commission approved compromise [useless] net neutrality rules Tuesday that would forbid the nation’s largest cable and DSL internet service providers from blocking or slowing online services, while leaving wireless companies with much more latitude. ...FCC chief Julius Genachowski made good on President Barack Obama’s campaign pledge to strengthen rules governing the nation’s ISPs. The measure, which passed 3-2 along party lines, did not go as far as supporters would have liked, but the FCC faced steep resistance from Republicans and the powerful telecom lobbying machine. [Actually, they're *one and the same.*]

Attorney General Eric Holder: Threat of Homegrown Terrorism 'Keeps Me Up At Night'

Attorney General Eric Holder: Threat of Homegrown Terrorism 'Keeps Me Up At Night' 21 Dec 2010 In an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America," U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spoke of the ongoing fight to protect American national security and expressed his growing concern with the threat of homegrown terror - a danger which he said  "keeps me up at night." "The threat has changed from simply worrying about foreigners coming here, to worrying about people in the United States, American citizens -- raised here, born here, and who for whatever reason, have decided that they are going to become radicalized and take up arms against the nation in which they were born," Holder said in an interview that aired Tuesday morning.

Senate Advances Arms Treaty, 67-28

Senate Advances Arms Treaty, 67-28 22 Dec 2010 The Senate voted 67 to 28 on Tuesday to advance a new arms control treaty that would pare back American and Russian nuclear arsenals, reaching the two-thirds majority needed for approval despite a concerted Republican effort to block ratification. Eleven Republicans joined every Democrat present to support the treaty, known as New Start, which now heads to a seemingly certain final vote of approval on Wednesday. Voting against the treaty were 28 Republicans...

Haley Barbour's racial remarks leave 2012 candidacy in question

Haley Barbour's racial remarks leave 2012 candidacy in question 21 Dec 2010 Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R-Racist) has come under fire for his comments on civil rights. As Krissah Thompson reported: In a Weekly Standard magazine profile published Monday, Barbour said he didn't remember it "being that bad" and referred benignly to white groups called Citizens Councils, which were known to enforce segregationist policies throughout the South. His office released a statement Tuesday morning backtracking from those remarks.

GOP sees good news in census numbers

GOP sees good news in census numbers 21 Dec 2010 The numbers for the 2010 census are available, and the news appears good for Republican-leaning states when it comes to adding new seats in the House of Representatives. The new numbers spell out congressional reapportionment as the states divvy up the 435 seats in the House. Tuesday's findings showed a growing population in Western and Southern states -- areas where Republicans tend to do well.

US Congress sends Obama food 'safety' bill

US Congress sends Obama food 'safety' bill 21 Dec 2010 The US Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a sweeping food 'safety' bill [drafted by Monsanto] in the wake of mass recalls affecting [agri-terrorists'] items from tainted eggs to peanut butter, pistachios, spinach and milk. The House of Representatives passed the measure by a 215-144 margin, days after the Senate okayed the bill, sending the legislation to President Barack Obama to sign into law.

Hundreds of Iraqis who wanted to sue MoD over mistreatment by British soldiers lose appeal

Hundreds of Iraqi civilians who wanted to sue MoD over mistreatment by British soldiers lose appeal for public inquiry --Iraqis claim they were abused between 2003 and 2008 at British bases and detention centres 21 Dec 2010 More than 200 Iraqi civilians who wanted to sue the Ministry of Defence over alleged war crimes by British soldiers yesterday lost their latest legal battle. Two High Court judges rejected the demand for a public inquiry into claims they endured years of beatings and abuse [and torture] at the hands of UK troops and interrogators. They upheld Defence Secretary Liam Fox's argument that an inquiry was unnecessary as any ill-treatment was caused by a few bad apples' and was not systematic.

Halliburton agrees to pay $35 mln in Nigeria graft case

Halliburton agrees to pay $35 mln in Nigeria graft case 21 Dec 2010 US oil services group Halliburton agreed to pay Nigeria 35 million dollars to settle a bribery dispute which led to charges being filed against former US vice president [sic] Dick Cheney, it said Tuesday. Nigeria had on December 7 filed an indictment against nine people and entities, including Cheney, who was head of Halliburton before becoming vice president after 2000 'elections.'

Minot Air Force Base airman killed in shooting

Minot Air Force Base airman killed in shooting 21 Dec 2010 Police said an airman from the Minot Air Force Base has been killed in an off-base shooting. Police Detective Matt McLeod told KCJB radio that Steven Crawford, 19, was shot with a handgun by a fellow airman at Crawford's apartment Monday night. Crawford was taken to a Minot hospital where he died. Police said the shooting appears to be accidental. [See also: Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities' By Lori Price.]

D.C. Metro randomly inspects passengers' bags

D.C. Metro randomly inspects passengers' bags 21 Dec 2010 Washington, D.C. Metro Police started 'randomly' inspecting bags at the Braddock Road and College Park Metro stations Tuesday. The searches came in the wake of recent terror plots and the same morning that an explosive device was found under a subway car seat in Rome. The searches started at 7:30 a.m. and lasted about an hour at the Braddock Metro station.

Iraq parliament approves new govt.

Iraq parliament approves new govt. 21 Dec 2010 The Iraqi parliament has given the vote of confidence to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's national unity cabinet, ending months of political impasse. The vote came a day after Maliki presented his proposed national unity cabinet to the parliament. Parliament in separate votes gave its approval to Maliki, three deputy prime ministers and 29 other cabinet ministers, as well as a 43-point government program aimed at liberalizing the economy and fighting [US-engendered] terrorism.

'No foreign troops can operate on our soil'

'No foreign troops can operate on our soil' 21 Dec 2010 Pakistan ruled out the notion of any foreign troops operating on its soil, with its top diplomat in Washington stressing that Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within the country’s borders."Pakistani forces are capable of handling the militant threat within our borders and no foreign forces are allowed or required to operate inside our sovereign territory," Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said. He was commenting on a story in The New York Times, which claimed that US commanders based in Afghanistan were pushing for special forces raids on militant targets across the border into Pakistani territory.

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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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