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Breaking: Bradley Manning found not guilty of 'aiding the enemy,' guilty of five espionage charges --Manning found guilty of illegally leaking documents; found guilty of five espionage counts --Judge is the jury --Manning faces 154 years in prison --Press barred from courtroom 30 Jul 2013 [This story will be updated at the link.]
Sandy Hook Officer: 'There were probably two shooters' 27 Jul 2013 While law enforcement officials have released few details of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre to Connecticut residents, state police and Newtown officers have increased their trips across the country, in some cases sharing graphic details of what they saw inside the school... In March, Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who will issue the final investigative [sic] report on the shooting, ordered police to stop discussing details of the investigation at conferences. In Orlando two weeks ago, about 800 law enforcement officers who attended a conference heard the first 10 minutes of the police dispatch tape from the morning of the school shooting played by officers Leonard Penna and Jason Flynn, according to accounts reported by the Daytona News Journal... Sedensky has denied The Courant's request to release the dispatch tape and 911 calls, saying they are part of the ongoing investigation. After playing the dispatch tape, Penna then graphically described for the audience what he saw that day, according to [media reports]. Penna told the group when he pulled into the parking lot he saw a black car with the passenger's door wide open and two black jackets laid on the ground. Penna said that he assumed it was the shooter's car and that since there were two jackets, there probably were two shooters. ...He then entered into the first classroom and heard a shot. 'My first thought was one of our guys shot him,' he said.
Hacker found dead just days before he was due to demonstrate how to kill someone fitted with a pacemaker at conference --Barnaby Jack had said he could kill a person from 30 feet by using the hack 28 Jul 2013 Mystery surrounds the death of a celebrated computer hacker who claimed to know how to remotely kill someone fitted with a heart pacemaker - as happened in the fictional TV spy drama Homeland. Barnaby Jack died in San Francisco on Thursday, just days before he was due to give a speech revealing how implanted heart devices were at risk from fatal hacking attacks. The San Francisco Medical Examiner's office confirmed the death last night but did not give any further details. New Zealand-born Jack, 35, was scheduled to be one of the star guests at the Black Hat hacking convention in Las Vegas next week.
Some think car crash death of reporter who took down ex-general could have been an assassination 24 Jul 2013 If the U.S. Department of Justice under President Barack Obama's oversight is willing to investigate journalists, and has allowed the FBI to use drones on American soil to spy on citizens, is it possible that federal employees trained in espionage have the power to hack journalist Michael Hastings's car to assassinate someone they thought threatened "their" security? The answer is a resounding "yes" according to computer researchers who delivered a report, Experimental Security Analysis of a Modern Automobile, submitted to a 2010 IEEE symposium on privacy and security. What's more, the researchers say, hacking a car's computer and remotely controlling it is easy. Some conspiracy theorists won't stop believing that journalist Hastings's death was anything but an assassination.
Beyond his Moscow airport limbo, indignities await Edward Snowden 29 Jul 2013 A Russia Today commentary titled "The Layover From Hell" noted that should the fugitive's [Edward Snowden's] July 16 application for temporary asylum be accepted, "he will have to undergo a daunting medical assessment designed especially for immigrants." That would include screening for HIV, tuberculosis, leprosy and the sexually transmitted disease chancroid, the network noted. Snowden will have to register his whereabouts with police at all times and will probably be limited to finding a room in a processing facility for asylum seekers far from the capital. "I don’t think it is good for Snowden to travel freely in Russia, as he is a wanted man," said the migration service press secretary, Vladimir Volokh. He observed that outside of the airport, "his personal security cannot be guaranteed." That is a loaded phrase implying that Russian security agents won't be watching his back for any CIA-style operations of the type that snatched terrorism suspects off foreign streets and "renditioned" them to U.S. custody for interrogation torture.
Will Moscow say 'Da' to Snowden? 28 Jul 2013 The US Senate has passed a bill authored by hawkish Senator Lindsey Graham that will enable Washington to move towards sanctioning countries that are seen as "aiding" Snowden. The message being sent is clear -- American authorities are dead set on getting their "fugitive" and they are even willing to take the unprecedented move to impose sanctions on other countries for their failure to extradite a US citizen. Such a move completely undermines an individual's right of asylum as specified by international law, and is a deeply hypocritical stance for a country that loves to posture itself as an arbiter of righteousness and a haven for asylum seekers and dissidents... To add insult to injury, Moscow knows that the US would never concede to the demands it is currently placing on Russia if the tables were turned.
Ex-CIA officer: U.S. shielded higher-ups in kidnap case --The official says she was used as a scapegoat following one of the Bush administration's secret 'extraordinary renditions.' 28 Jul 2013 A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President [sic] George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation. Confirming for the first time that she worked undercover for the CIA in Milan when the operation took place, Sabrina De Sousa provided new details about the "extraordinary rendition" that led to the only criminal prosecution stemming from the secret Bush regime's rendition and detention program launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
New Zealand military, with US spy agencies, collected data on phone calls of McClatchy contributor - Report 29 Jul 2013 New Zealand's defense minister said Monday that an investigation is underway into a report that U.S. intelligence agencies helped his nation's military track the mobile telephone calls of a freelance journalist while he worked for McClatchy Newspapers in Afghanistan. A report was published in the Sunday Star Times of Auckland that said that the New Zealand military asked "U.S. spy agencies" to help them collect the "metadata" of cellular calls made by Jon Stephenson, a New Zealand freelance journalist who was based in Afghanistan. The data collection occurred in the latter half of last year while Stephenson was under contract in Kabul for McClatchy and was aimed at identifying Stephenson’s contacts, the report said, citing unidentified sources.
Former Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush confirmed as FBI head 30 Jul 2013 James Comey, the former Deputy US Attorney General under President [sic] George W. Bush, has sailed through a confirmation vote in the US Senate to become the next head of the FBI. Comey, 52, will replace Robert Mueller, who has been the head of the bureau since just before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Though a Republican, Comey was able to garner bipartisan support during his brief period as acting attorney general, for refusing to sanction a Bush-era government surveillance initiative in 2004, which may partly account for Monday’s 93-1 Senate vote.
US drone strike kills 5 in northwestern Pakistan 28 Jul 2013 At least five people have been killed in an attack by a US assassination drone in northwestern Pakistan. The casualties come after two missiles hit a convoy of people in the Shawal area of North Waziristan Sunday evening. Local security officials say several people were also severely injured in the fatal attack, which sent shock waves across the troubled region. The latest attack come as Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recently blasted US assassination drone strikes in his country, describing them as a violation of international law and the UN charter.
Conn. DOT officials trying to stop 9/11 graffiti on bridges, overpasses [
Mers: New virus 'not following Sars' path' [Right, it's following Fort Detrick's path.] 26 Jul 2013 The new Mers virus, which has killed half of those infected, is "unlikely" to reach the same scale as Sars, ministers in Saudi Arabia say. Most of the 90 Mers cases reported so far have been in Saudi Arabia. Mers is from the same group of viruses as the common cold and Sars, which killed 774 people. However, a detailed analysis of the Saudi cases, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, did warn of "major gaps" in understanding of the virus.
Explosions rock Blue Rhino gas plant in Florida --Multiple injuries reported 29 Jul 2013 A series of major explosions at a Florida gas plant has injured several workers and left others missing. The Orlando Sentinel reports Monday night Tavares City Administrator John Drury says 10 of 24 people working at Blue Rhino, a propane-take business there, have not been accounted for after the blasts. Lake County Sheriff Gary Borders says the blasts occurred inside the plant and blew the roof off.
Louisiana Agency Sues Dozens of Energy Companies for Damage to Wetlands 25 Jul 2013 Louisiana officials filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against dozens of energy companies, hoping that the courts will force them to pay for decades of damage to fragile coastal wetlands that help buffer the effects of hurricanes on the region. The suit, which was denounced by Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal [R-BP Wh*re], was filed in civil district court in New Orleans by the board of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East. The board argues that the energy companies, including BP and Exxon Mobil, should be held responsible for fixing damage done by cutting thousands of miles of oil and gas access and pipeline canals through the wetlands. It alleges that the network functioned "as a mercilessly efficient, continuously expanding system of ecological destruction," killing vegetation, eroding soil and allowing salt water into freshwater areas. "What remains of these coastal lands is so seriously diseased that if nothing is done, it will slip into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of this century, if not sooner," the filing stated.
Genetically engineered sugar beets destroyed in southern Oregon 20 Jun 2013 Federal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County. The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and 'managed' by Syngenta. The first act of what the FBI considers "economic sabotage and a violation of federal law involving damage to commercial agricultural enterprises," took place during the night of June 8, when about 1,000 sugar beet plants on one property were destroyed. Three nights later, the destruction continued on another property, where another 5,500 plants were ruined. [Obviously, the petitions against deadly GMOs are not working--Obusha and the corpora-terrorists ignore the people. *Burn and boot* - exactly!]
Mega barf alert and gag me with a chainsaw: Obama to propose 'grand bargain' to slash corporate tax rate, infrastructure 30 Jul 2013 President Barack Obama will propose a "grand bargain for middle-class jobs" on Tuesday that would cut the U.S. corporate tax rate and use billions of dollars in revenues generated by a business tax overhaul to fund projects aimed at creating jobs helping Wall Street. Obama wants to cut the corporate tax rate of 35 percent down to 28 percent and give manufacturers a preferred rate of 25 percent. He also wants a minimum tax on foreign earnings as a tool against corporate tax evasion and increased use of tax havens. The new twist is that in exchange for his support for a corporate tax reduction, he wants money generated by the tax overhaul to be used on a mix of proposals such as funding infrastructure projects like repairing roads and bridges, improving education at community colleges, and promoting manufacturing, senior administration officials said. [See CLG spin-off Facebook group, I Really Hated Bush but Obama is Actually Worse and join us.]
Fast food strikes intensify in seven cities 29 July 2013 This morning marks the start of what will likely be the largest fast food worker mobilization in U.S. history, with a New York City walkout today kicking off strikes in seven cities over four days. These work stoppages by non-union workers are the latest escalation in an embattled labor movement's unprecedented challenge to the overwhelmingly non-union industry, whose ranks are growing and whose conditions are spreading elsewhere in the U.S. economy.
U.S. says JP Morgan manipulated market; settlement seen 29 Jul 2013 The U.S. power regulator outlined its case of market manipulation against JPMorgan Chase & Co on Monday as industry sources said a final settlement on the issue should come on Tuesday. Tr*ders used improper bidding tactics in California and the Midwest to boost profits, officials said in a statement that brought to light some details of an extensive investigation. Reports of that probe have circulated for months and a deal with the regulator could put an end to a distraction for JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon.
On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, 'Who Am I to Judge?' 30 Jul 2013 For generations, homosexuality has largely been a taboo topic for the Vatican, ignored altogether or treated as "an intrinsic moral evil," in the words of the previous pope. In that context, brief remarks by Pope Francis suggesting that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation, made aboard the papal airplane on the way back from his first foreign trip, to Brazil, resonated through the church. "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis told reporters, speaking in Italian but using the English word "gay."
McCrory not familiar with all of bill he's to sign 27 Jul 2013 North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory says he will sign into law a Republican-backed bill making sweeping changes to how and when citizens can vote even though he has not seen one of its key provisions. McCrory was then asked by an Associated Press reporter specifically about the provision ending pre-registration by those under 18. "I don't know enough, I'm sorry, I haven't seen that part of the bill," McCrory replied. Republicans have said the legislation is meant to prevent voter fraud. But non-partisan voting rights groups, Democrats and libertarians, suggested the true goal is suppressing voter turnout -- especially among blacks, the young, the elderly and the poor.
McCrory signs NC abortion bill as protesters hold vigil outside governor's mansion 29 Jul 2013 While Planned Parenthood supporters held a 12-hour vigil across the street from the Executive Mansion, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) signed the very bill they were rallying against. McCrory's office issued a statement Monday evening saying the governor had signed a number of high-profile bills, including the abortion bill, a gun-rights bill and a scholarship grant for children with disabilities to attend nonpublic schools. Abortion-rights protestors outside McCrory’s residence gathered to denounce a bill they say will restrict access to safe and legal abortions. They earlier had called for McCrory to veto the measure -- noting the campaign promise he made last year not to sign any legislation that would further restrict access to abortions.
Milford, Where Ku Klux Klan Group Dropped Leaflets, Has Racist Incidents in Its Past 10 Jul 2013 A self-described Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group that leafleted a city neighborhood Monday is just the latest in a series of similar incidents over the years. However, city residents and political leaders have met such activity with anti-racist activism. In 2011, a U.S. District Court judge sentenced Alexander DeFelice, a city resident, to a 10-year prison term for trying to sell guns and grenades to a federal informant posing as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Cumulus planning to drop Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity 28 Jul 2013 In a major shakeup for the radio industry, Cumulus Media, the second-biggest broadcaster in the country, is planning to drop both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity from its stations at the end of the year, an industry source told POLITICO on Sunday. Cumulus has decided that it will not renew its contracts with either host, the source said, a move that would remove the two most highly rated conservative talk personalities from more than 40 Cumulus channels in major markets. Cumulus is expected to move some of its existing talent -- which includes Mike Huckabee, Mark Levin, and Michael Savage -- into one of the slots.
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