Anonymous hackers: Police arrest 25 in four countries 28 Feb 2012 Police in Latin America and Europe have arrested 25 suspected members of the Anonymous hacking group, according to Interpol. The authorities in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Spain carried out the arrests and seized 250 items of IT equipment and mobile phones, Interpol says. Spanish authorities say four people were arrested as part of the operation in Spain, in Madrid and Malaga. Two of them remain in custody, while the other two, including a minor, were released on bail. [Obviously, Anonymous, it's time for you to visit the Interpol website.]
Breaking: Romney Wins Arizona GOP Primary 28 Feb 2012 Mitt Romney won the Arizona primary and was locked in a tight battle with Rick Santorum for Michigan Tuesday, with returns showing Mr. Romney holding a small lead in his native state. The former Massachusetts governor had been widely expected to win Arizona. Michigan was the fiercer battleground, and the results in that state could determine whether Mr. Santorum can offset Mr. Romney's advantages in money, organization and experience. The outcome in Michigan and Arizona will set the stage for the biggest primary day of the year a week from now, when 10 states hold Republican primaries or caucuses on March 6, Super Tuesday.
US draws up secret charges against Assange: media --'We have a sealed indictment on Assange.' 28 Feb 2012 US prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Australian media reported Wednesday, citing a confidential email. The email is one of a huge number from the US-based global intelligence company Stratfor that the whistleblowing organisation began publishing Monday. Internal correspondence to Stratfor analysts from vice-president of intelligence Fred Burton said: "We have a sealed indictment on Assange," according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
WikiLeaks releases first 200 of 5m Stratfor emails 27 Feb 2012 WikiLeaks has released the first 200 of a cache of 5m emails obtained from the servers of Stratfor, a US-based intelligence firm. The emails originated not from a whistleblower, but instead from a series of hacking attacks against Stratfor in December 2011, carried out by the online activist collective Anonymous. Anonymous apparently passed the emails to WikiLeaks in the weeks following the attack. The whistleblowing website then recruited, according to its statement, 25 media partners to work on the document cache.
Obama using Espionage Act to 'silence and prosecute federal workers' - NYT 27 Feb 2012 The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance "whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers," has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers. The Espionage Act, enacted in 1917 to punish those who gave aid to US enemies, has been used six times since the current president took office. In the most recent case, John Kiriakou, a former C.I.A. officer who became a Democratic staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged under the Espionage Act with leaking information to journalists about other C.I.A. officers, some of whom were involved in the agency's interrogation program, which included waterboarding. For those of you keeping score, none of the individuals who engaged in or authorized the waterboarding of terror suspects have been prosecuted, but Mr. Kiriakou is in federal cross hairs, accused of talking to journalists and news organizations, including The New York Times.
Israel to attack Iran without US permission: Report 28 Feb 2012 Israeli official say they will not alert the US if they decide to launch a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities amid growing war threats against Tehran. An unnamed US intelligence official said Israelis argue that if they keep Washington in the dark, it is unlikely that the US would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential assault. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Military Affairs Ehud Barak have delivered the message to senior US officials who have visited Israel, the Associated Press reported.
US tax dollars at work: War games: Tel Aviv missile drill 27 Feb 2012 Preparing for escalation? Security officials are taking the threat of long-range rockets being fired at central Israel from the Gaza Strip seriously, and have decided to hold a drill to prepare for such scenario. The exercise, to be held in the Tel Aviv area next month, will simulate rocket attacks on central Israel that are not undertaken in the framework of an all-out regional war, unlike previous missile drills. The "Hit to the Heart" drill will be held on March 14 in the form of a war game held by senior officials and simulating rocket attacks launched without prior warning.
Another historical narrative baked in a CIA false flag bites the dust: Scientific evidence unearthed by Scottish legal review undermines Lockerbie case --Secret legal files show that conviction in aircraft bombing case would probably have been overturned. 27 Feb 2012 Fresh scientific evidence unearthed by a Scottish legal review undermines the case against the man convicted of being responsible for the Lockerbie aircraft bombing, an investigation for Al Jazeera has found. The Scottish Criminal Case Review Commission (SCCRC) report details evidence that would probably have resulted in the verdict against Abdel Baset al-Meghrahi, a Libyan man convicted of carrying out the bombing of Pan-Am flight 103 in 1988, being overturned. 'Lockerbie: Case Closed', a documentary to be aired on Al Jazeera on Monday, examines the evidence uncovered by the SCCRC as well as revealing fresh scientific evidence which is unknown to the commission but which comprehensively undermines a crucial part of the case against the man known as the Lockerbie bomber.
Fukushima crisis: Official warned 'demonic chain reaction' of plant meltdowns could trigger evacuation of Tokyo 28 Feb 2012 In the darkest moments of last year's nuclear accident, Japanese leaders did not know the actual extent of damage at the plant and secretly considered the possibility of evacuating Tokyo, even as they tried to play down the risks in public, an independent investigation into the accident disclosed on Monday... The 400-page report, due to be released later this week, also describes a darkening mood at the prime minister's residence as a series of hydrogen explosions rocked the plant on March 14 and 15. It says Prime Minister Naoto Kan and other officials began discussing a worst-case outcome if workers at the Fukushima Daiichi plant were evacuated. This would have allowed the plant to spiral out of control, releasing even larger amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere that would in turn force the evacuation of other nearby nuclear plants, causing further meltdowns. The report quotes the chief cabinet secretary at the time, Yukio Edano, as having warned that such a "demonic chain reaction" of plant meltdowns could result in the evacuation of Tokyo, 150 miles to the south.
Report: Gov't 'collapsed' during Japan nuclear crisis 27 Feb 2012 Today, a report revealed the chaos between Japan's leaders during the Fukushima nuclear crisis. "The normal lines of authority completely collapsed," Tetsuro Fukuyama, the prime minister's adviser, told investigators. With little information from the plant, Fukuyama said that the government thought that a nuclear meltdown was impending, and feared that a massive cloud of radiation would force the evacuation of 30 million people in the Tokyo region. As a last-ditch effort, the Japanese government discussed "suicide squad" made up of men over 65 years old to ascertain the damage first hand. Fukuyama said he would lead the group.
NATO airstrike kills four Afghan civilians --The victims were reportedly bombed twice while herding sheep in the snow. 26 Feb 2012 A US-led NATO airstrike carried out by French troops has claimed the lives of four Afghan civilians, including children. The airstrike targeted Kapisa’s Tagab district, leaving another four people injured. The attack comes less than two weeks after another US-led strike killed eight Afghan civilians in the same province. The victims were reportedly bombed twice while herding sheep in the snow. [*Sociopaths.*]
Nine killed in Afghan airport bomb, NATO base attacked 27 Feb 2012 A suicide car bomber killed at least nine people in an attack on a military airport in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, the latest incident of violence and protests since copies of the Koran were 'inadvertently' burned at a NATO base last week. ...The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack as "revenge" for the Koran burning. Anti-Western fury has deepened significantly since the desecration of the Muslim holy book at the main NATO base in Afghanistan.
France and Germany evacuate staff from Afghanistan 26 Feb 2012 France and Germany have announced the withdrawal of staff supervisors from Afghan ministries. Following last week's shooting of US members of NATO forces in Kabul, the French and German ambassadors in Afghanistan were told by their respective governments to make arrangements for some staff to leave. Advisors who have been helping to rebuild public institutions in Afghanistan will be amongst the first to go.
U.S. opening up airspace to use of drones --Currently, UAVs can only fly in restricted airspace zones controlled by U.S. military 23 Feb 2012 Legislation passed by Congress last week gives the Federal Aviation Administration until Sept. 30, 2015, to open the nation’s skies to drones. The first step comes in 90 days when police, firefighters and other civilian first-response agencies can start flying UAVs weighing no more than 4.4 pounds, provided they meet still-to-be-determined requirements... By May 2013, the next class of drones, those weighing less than 55 pounds, can fly the nation's skies, according to provisions of the FAA bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama last week.
Federal Money Linked to NYPD's Muslim Surveillance Program 27 Feb 2012 The Associated Press reports that the New York Police Department's controversial program to monitor Muslim neighborhoods and organizations was funded, at least in part, by White House grants meant to pay for the drug war. The money was given to the NYPD through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, which was established years ago to fight gangs and drug trafficking. After September 11, 2001, however, local authorities were permitted to redirect some of that money to fight terrorism. The HIDTA has given out around $2.3 billion over the last 10 years, with about $135 million given to officials in the New York/New Jersey metro area.
Kelly Defends Surveillance of Muslims 28 Feb 2012 Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly defended the New York Police Department's counterterrorism program on Monday, saying "people have short memories as to what happened here in 2001." Mr. Kelly's remarks, made during an appearance on WOR-AM (710), were in response to growing criticism of the department's surveillance methods, including monitoring of Muslim communities in New York City and beyond, and its reliance on stop-and-frisk interactions as a crime-fighting tool. He defended the surveillance conducted by the Police Department, saying, "It would be folly for us to focus only on the five boroughs of New York City, and we have to use all of our resources to protect everyone."
Some September 11 dead's remains ended in landfill 28 Feb 2012 Partial remains from some people killed in the September 11 attacks in 2001 ended up in a landfill, according to a Pentagon-commissioned report released on Tuesday that revealed previously undisclosed blunders at the U.S. military's main mortuary. The unidentified remains came from two of the three sites of the September 11 attacks: the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site of one of the 'hijacked airliners.' Retired General John Abizaid, briefing Pentagon reporters on the findings of the independent review of practices at the mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, said it was unclear how many people's partial remains were disposed of in this manner.
Citing partisanship, Maine's Snowe says she'll leave the Senate 29 Feb 2012 Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine announced Tuesday she will retire rather than seek re-election this year, surprising colleagues and perhaps casting the future of her seat in doubt. Snowe, 65, was first elected to the U.S. House in 1978 and then to the Senate in 1994. She is the first woman to serve in both chambers of a state legislature and the U.S. Congress. Snowe was known as a moderate who sometimes sided with Democrats in the increasingly partisan environment of Washington politics.
Rick Santorum expected to get Secret Service protection 27 Feb 2012 Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is expected to get Secret Service protection Tuesday, according to an administration official with knowledge of the plan. The campaign of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich requested Secret Service protection last week and is awaiting word on whether he will receive the security, a person close to the campaign said Sunday. Secret Service protection is given to each major party's presidential nominee but can be provided earlier if the Homeland Security Department approves a campaign's request.
Third Student Dies After Ohio School Shooting 29 Feb 2012 The fatal shooting rampage in a high school in this quiet suburb of Cleveland remained a puzzle on Tuesday, with prosecutors saying that a student had confessed to the killings and had told them that he did not know his victims and chose them at random. Prosecutors said the student, T. J. Lane, 17, admitted taking a .22-caliber Ruger semiautomatic pistol to Chardon High School on Monday and firing 10 rounds at four students at a cafeteria table. He has not been formally charged, but prosecutors said it was likely that he would be tried in an adult court.
Murdoch tabloid established 'network of corrupted officials', police chief says 27 Feb 2012 Rupert Murdoch's flagship tabloid, the Sun, established a "network of corrupted officials" and created a "culture of illegal payments", the police officer leading the investigation into bribery and hacking at News International has alleged. On a day of dramatic developments surrounding the investigations into the tycoon's newspapers, Sue Akers, the deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan police, told the Leveson inquiry into press standards there had been "multiple payments" by the Sun to public officials of thousands of pounds, and one individual received £80,000 in alleged corrupt payments over a number of years.
Hypocritical GOP sociopaths/DemocRATs think forced mercury-laden, squalene-filled vaccines are not government intrusion: Va. Senate kills bill repealing vaccine mandate 28 Feb 2012 Legislation repealing a requirement that girls receive a vaccine to prevent a sexually transmitted, cancer-causing virus that causes Guillain-Barre Syndrome was killed for this year when the Senate voted 22-17 Monday to send the bill back to committee and carry it over to 2013. Republicans John Watkins of Powhatan County and Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach joined all 20 Senate Democrats in rejecting the bill. Del. Kathy Byron, R-Campbell County, sponsored the measure to repeal the [insane] 2007 law mandating the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine before girls reach sixth grade... California recently passed a law allowing children as young as 12 to be vaccinated without their parents' consent.
Virginia Senate approves contentious ultrasound bill 28 Feb 2012 The Virginia Senate voted Tuesday for a scaled-back version of a contentious proposal that would require women to undergo external ultrasounds before abortions, but not the transvaginal ones. The 21-19 vote in the Republican-controlled Senate - mostly along party lines - came after Gov. Robert F. McDonnell asked legislators to soften the bill following protests on Capitol Square and mocking on national television. McDonnell, an abortion opponent who had said he would sign the bill, asked lawmakers to amend the measure after it became clear the original legislation would have required a vaginal ultrasound in most cases.
Nuclear Energy Group Sues Over Uranium Mining Ban in Arizona 28 Feb 2012 The Nuclear Energy Institute and the National Mining Association said they sued the U.S. to reverse a ban on new uranium mining on federal land around the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The two organizations [corpora-terrorists], representing mining and nuclear power companies, today asked a federal court in Arizona to reverse a U.S. Interior Department ban, announced Jan. 9, on new hard-rock mining claims on about 1 million acres (405,000 hectares) of land, according to an e-mailed statement. The lawsuit couldn't be independently confirmed from court records.
BP seeks settlement with oil spill plaintiffs group 28 Feb 2012 BP Plc is seeking to settle a lawsuit over the massive 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill by tapping a $14 billion fund it set aside to compensate fishermen and businesses harmed by the disaster, lawyers familiar with the talks said. In exchange, the claimants, represented by a group called the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee, would drop their lawsuit in a court case scheduled to start in New Orleans on March 5. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier delayed the trial by a week on Sunday to allow talks between BP and the PSC, which represents fishermen, oystermen, hoteliers and restaurateurs who say their livelihoods were damaged by the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig and subsequent oil spill.
Polar bear cub going live to save sea ice 27 Feb 2012 Officials at Denmark's Scandinavian Wildlife Park said Siku the polar bear cub would have an important burden to shoulder. "Siku is going to be an ambassador for polar bears, for global warming," park director Frank Vigh-Larsen said in December. Siku's official first day on the job was Monday, International Polar Bear Day. "We"re launching the Siku Cam on International Polar Bear Day, which is a day of action on climate change," Robert Buchanan, president and CEO of Polar Bears International, said in a press release. "Our goal with the Siku Cam is for people to fall in love with this little cub and become inspired to reduce their carbon footprint to help save arctic sea ice."
Siku the Polar Bear Goes Live on International Polar Bear Day 27 Feb 2012 Today is International Polar Bear Day, a day dedicated to raising awareness about polar bears and conservation efforts surrounding the species. In honor of the occasion, the Denmark Scandinavian Wildlife Park, the organization which helped bring online polar bear sensation Siku to the world, has launched an initiative involving their most popular cub that is aiming to help Siku's entire species. Beginning today, the Wildlife Park, in conjunction with Explore.org and Polar Bears International, will have a live camera dedicated to Siku, the adorable polar bear, from 9am-11am EST daily. The aim of showing this adorable cub is to bring people to their senses and make people realize that an entire species (equally as cute as Siku) is in danger.
Dow crosses 13,000, first time since crisis 28 Feb 2012 The Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday finally reclaimed the ground it held before the carnage of the Great Recession- bailouts, bank failures, layoffs by the million and a stock market panic that cut retirement savings in half. The Dow closed above 13,000 for the first time since May 19, 2008, almost four months before the fall of the Lehman Bros. investment bank triggered the worst of the financial crisis. The Dow finished at 13,005.12, up 23.61 points for the day.