Wednesday, February 1, 2012

U.S. Drones Stir Outrage In Iraq; Fleet May Grow

U.S. Drones Stir Outrage In Iraq; Fleet May Grow --Program by State Dept. Is Seen as an Affront to Sovereignty 30 Jan 2012 The State Department is operating a small fleet of surveillance drones in Iraq to help protect the United States Embassy and consulates, as well as American personnel mercenaries. Some senior Iraqi officials expressed outrage at the program, saying the unarmed aircraft are an affront to Iraqi sovereignty. The program was described by the department's diplomatic security branch in a little-noticed section of its most recent annual report and outlined in broad terms in a two-page online prospectus for companies that might bid on a contract to manage the program. It foreshadows a possible expansion of unmanned drone operations into the diplomatic arm of the American government; until now they have been mainly the province of the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency. [Just shoot them down - problem solved.]

Breaking: Mitt Romney projected winner in GOP Florida primary: NBC News --50 delegates at stake 31 Jan 2012 Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is projected to win the Republican primary in Florida, in a 'winner-take-all' primary state, NBC News projects. Newt Gingrich is projected to finish in second place. [This story will be updated.]

FDA secretly surveilled e-mail of scientists and doctors, intercepted communications with congressional staff 29 Jan 2012 The Food and Drug Administration secretly monitored the personal e-mail of a group of its own scientists and doctors after they warned Congress that the agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients, government documents show. The surveillance - detailed in e-mails and memos unearthed by six of the scientists and doctors, who filed a lawsuit against the FDA in U.S. District Court in Washington last week - took place over two years as the plaintiffs accessed their personal Gmail accounts from government computers. Copies of the e-mails show that, starting in January 2009, the FDA intercepted communications with congressional staffers and draft versions of whistleblower complaints complete with editing notes in the margins. The agency also took electronic snapshots of the computer desktops of the FDA employees and reviewed documents they saved on the hard drives of their government computers.

USociopaths trolling to spend billions on Blackwater and other corpora-terrorists: Pentagon Prepares for New Military Talks With Iraq 30 Jan 2012 The Obama administration is preparing to begin talks with Iraq on defining a long-term defense relationship that may include expanded U.S. training 'help,' according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's chief policy aide. Michele Flournoy said in an interview with a small group of reporters that the administration is open to Iraqi suggestions about the scope and depth of defense ties. "One of the things we're looking forward to doing is sitting down with the Iraqis in the coming month or two to start thinking about how they want to work with" the U.S. military to develop a program of exercises, training and other forms of security cooperation, Flournoy said.

Car bomb kills three Iraqi soldiers north of Baghdad 31 Jan 2012 Three Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a bomb blast north of Baghdad, an Iraqi official said today. The attack came hours before the nation's parliament is to reconvene after Sunni-backed politicians ended their boycott in protest at persecution of Sunni officials. Major Ghalib al-Karkhi, a police spokesman in Diyala province, said a parked car bomb was detonated near a military patrol in Baqouba late yesterday, killing three soldiers and injuring three others.

Huge Israeli Drone That Can Reach Iran Crashes [What a shame!] 30 Jan 2012 The Israeli military says a drone that can fly as far as Iran has crashed in central Israel on a routine experimental flight. The military says there were no injuries in Sunday's crash, and it was investigating the incident. The Heron TP drone is also known locally as the Eitan. It is the largest unmanned aircraft in Israel's military arsenal.

Karzai 'to hold peace talks with Taliban in Saudi Arabia' 30 Jan 2012 The Afghan government will hold talks with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia, opening up an alternative avenue to peace negotiations between the insurgent group and the United States, according to reports. The Taliban, which was ousted from power after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks [inside job] on the United States, has previously refused to talk to the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, branding him as an American stooge. The Saudi-brokered meetings are due to take place in coming weeks ahead of talks in Qatar, where the Taliban is opening an office for the purpose of holding discussions with the Americans aimed at ending the decade-long war, the BBC reported.

Thousand police officers deployed on streets of Indianapolis as massive Super Bowl security operation swings into gear --Special teams sweeping Lucas Oil Stadium 30 Jan 2012 A massive security operation involving 1,000 police officers has been launched in Indianapolis as the city's first Super Bowl rolls into town this week. Super Bowl fever has already hit the city and 150,000 NFL fans are expected to descend on downtown Indianapolis in one of the most high-security events in the U.S. The city has invested millions of dollars to keep spectators safe, including most bizarrely the installation of 150 new manhole covers after a series of underground explosions. Officers at the event have been equipped with smartphones and other electronic hand-held devices to allow them to feed photos and videos to a new state-of-the-art operations centre on the city's east side.

Police Violence Targets Occupy Oakland Demonstration --NLGSF Demands Action From the Monitor On Police Misconduct 30 Jan 2012 The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns Oakland Police (OPD) and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) violence, mass arrests and abuses against Occupy demonstrators at Saturday's demonstration. Police violently attacked activists with chemical weapons, so called Less-Lethal munitions, and physical assaults. Hundreds were arrested unlawfully, without opportunity to disperse, and then detained for many hours on the street and then in buses, in stress positions, and without bathrooms, food or water. Once in jail, protesters faced inhumanely crowded conditions, abusive treatment and were denied access to legal counsel. The NLGSF received many reports of assaults on protesters... Police reportedly threw others through a glass door, and down a flight of steps. A videographer was pushed to the ground and clubbed.

Park Police tase Occupy D.C. protester Sunday 29 Jan 2012 An Occupy D.C. protester was tased Sunday afternoon at McPherson Square, as Park Police were handing out fliers about the upcoming Monday deadline on overnight camping. Park Police Sergeant David Schlosser tells WTOP the man got angry about the fliers and confronted officers about the ban. Schlosser says officers used a taser on the man when he wouldn't comply with police orders. Police arrested him and took him to the hospital, after he informed them about a previous medical condition.

Park service to crack down on Occupy DC camps --Demonstrators vow to continue vigil at two sites in DC 30 Jan 2012 The National Park Service plans to crack down Monday on what it calls "sleeping activity" at two longstanding camps established by Occupy DC demonstrators in the nation's capital. The service notified protesters on Friday that they "may be subject to arrest and their property subject to seizure as evidence" if there are evident "camping violations" by around noon Monday. The demonstrators say they will defend their sites.

WikiLeaks to move servers offshore, sources say 31 Jan 2012 Julian Assange's investors are in the process of purchasing a boat to move WikiLeaks' servers offshore in an attempt to evade prosecution from U.S. law enforcement, has learned. Multiple sources within the hacker community with knowledge of day-to-day WikiLeaks activities say Assange's financial backers have been working behind the scenes on the logistics of moving the servers to international waters. WikiLeaks' servers are now based in Sweden and Iceland, among other locations.

WikiLeaks's Assange Sued on Eve of U.K. Extradition Appeal 31 Jan 2012 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who will ask the U.K. Supreme Court tomorrow to block his extradition to Sweden in a rape case, was sued by the British law firm he hired after his 2010 arrest. Finers Stephens Innocent LLP, which specializes in commercial litigation, sued the 40-year-old Australian yesterday in London over legal fees, according to court records. Assange replaced the firm last year after a U.K. judge rejected his defense and upheld the Swedish arrest warrant.

Illinois nuclear reactor shuts down, vents radioactive steam --Officials say the steam contains low levels of tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen. --Nuclear Regulatory Commission declared 'unusual event' 30 Jan 2012 Officials at a northern Illinois nuclear power plant believe a failed piece of equipment at a switchyard caused it to shut down. Exelon Nuclear officials say the switchyard is similar to a large substation that delivers power from the plant to the electrical grid. Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station shut down around 10:18 a.m. Monday after losing power. Operators began releasing [radioactive] steam to reduce pressure, though not from within the nuclear reactor.

Illinois nuclear plant shut down over power issue 30 Jan 2012 A nuclear reactor at a northern Illinois plant shut down Monday after losing power, and [radioactive] steam was being vented to reduce pressure, according to officials from Exelon Nuclear and federal regulators. Unit 2 at Byron Generating Station, about 95 miles northwest of Chicago, shut down at 10:18 a.m., after losing power, Exelon officials said. Diesel generators began supplying power to the plant, and operators began releasing steam to cool the reactor from the part of the plant where turbines are producing electricity, not from within the nuclear reactor itself, officials said.

Japan finds water leaks at stricken nuclear plant 29 Jan 2012 Japan's stricken nuclear power plant has leaked more than 600 liters of water, forcing it to briefly suspend cooling operations at a spent-fuel pond at the weekend. The operator of the Fukushima complex, the Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), reported two main leakages on its Web site on Sunday, one from a pump near the plant's office building and another from a back-up cooling system at reactor No.4. Water had also leaked at other facilities within the complex, the Nikkei newspaper said Monday.

Fukushima pets in no-go zone face harsh winter 31 Jan 2012 Dogs and cats that were abandoned in the Fukushima exclusion zone after last year's nuclear crisis have had to survive high radiation and a lack of food, and they are now struggling with the region's freezing winter weather. The government let animal welfare groups enter the evacuation zone temporarily in December to rescue surviving pets before the severe winter weather set in, but Yasunori Hoso said there were still many more dogs and cats left in the area. Hoso runs a shelter for about 350 dogs and cats rescued from the 20-km evacuation zone around the crippled nuclear plant.

Occupy Exxon Mobil: Exxon Mobil's quarterly profit hits $9.4 billion 31 Jan 2012 Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit rose 2% to $9.4 billion, or $1.97 a share, from $9.25 billion, or $1.85 a share, in the year-ago period. The oil major earned $41.1 billion in 2011, up 35%, reflecting higher crude oil prices. In the fourth quarter, capital spending remained about flat at $10 billion. [Exxon Mobil - and other oil corpora-terrorists - gets huge tax subsidies - thanks to Obusha and his GOP overlords. And, after USociopaths/Israel attacks Iran, Exxon Mobil will make a greater killing on the killing.]

Taxpayers still owed $132.9B from bailout: report 26 Jan 2012 A government watchdog says U.S. taxpayers are still owed $132.9 billion that companies haven't repaid from the financial bailout, and some of that will never be recovered. The bailout launched at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008 will continue to exist for years, says a report issued Thursday by Christy Romero, the acting special inspector general for the $700 billion bailout. Some bailout programs, such as the effort to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by reducing mortgage payments, will last as late as 2017, costing the government an additional $51 billion or so.

Eurozone unemployment at new record high 31 Jan 2012 Unemployment in the 17-nation eurozone ended 2011 at 10.4 per cent, a new record high for the single currency since its launch at the start of 1999, official figures showed today. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said the rate in December was unchanged, as November's was revised upwards from a previous estimate of 10.3%. Unemployment has been steadily rising over the past year - in December 2010, it stood at 9.5% - largely because of Europe's debt crisis.

Free the Captive Dolphins in Turkey --Target: Republic of Turkey Prime Minister and the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock --Sponsored by: Freedom for Dolphins and Ric O'Barry's Dolphin Project 31 Jan 2012 Dolphin captivity is cruel, no matter where it is in the world. Unfortunately, there are 10 dolphinariums in Turkey, with dolphins being held in rusty, cramped and unnatural pens. Sadly, many bear the physical and emotional scars of their appalling conditions... The Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry, together with the Turkish Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, have the authority to shut down these operations and to prevent further captures and imports of dolphins into the country. Please sign and share this petition!

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