Nancy Pelosi ways would back plan that cuts Social Security, Medicare 27 Apr 2012 Two progressive organizations have found themselves in the unusual position of being on the opposite side of House DemocRATic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Over the course of the past two years, the former House Speaker has been the most significant obstacle to the ongoing effort to slash entitlements and cut social spending. But a series of recent comments, and reports that Pelosi was willing to accept draconian cuts as part of a debt-ceiling deal, have liberals worried that their most powerful and passionate defender may be buckling on the issue.
Milwaukee Red Cross Told to Prep For Chicago Evacuation During NATO Summit --'Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service.' 25 Apr 2012 Is there a secret plan to evacuate some residents of Chicago in the event of major trouble a false flag during the NATO summit next month? CBS 2 has uncovered some evidence that there is -- from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross. CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area. It said the NATO summit "may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago."
US police state gone wild: Federal agents to begin 'Operation Red Zone' in Chicago 26 Apr 2012 Starting next week, expect to see a showing of federal law enforcement in "battle" gear, weapons slung, in a highly visible effort to protect a perimeter that encompasses the federally operated buildings in the Loop intimidate protesters. Law enforcement has dubbed their efforts "Operation Red Zone." It's headed by the Federal Protective Service, which is working with state, federal and local law enforcement in anticipation of the NATO Summit in Chicago on May 20 and 21. The Federal Protective Service will deploy additional personnel beginning May 1, bringing in more people from out of town and outfitting them in "battle dress uniform."
To Joliet Jail for NATO offenders? 29 Apr 2012 Mothballed for a decade, the Joliet Correctional Center could be temporarily reopened to serve as a detention facility for those arrested for serious offenses during the May 20-21 NATO summit. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his first choice was to use Division 3 at Cook County Jail before the once-empty division had to be filled with detainees [?!?] over the last two months... Dart said the solution that makes the most sense is Joliet, the hulk of a prison facility mothballed in 2002.
UK police state gone wild: Surface-to-air missiles on top of flats to protect Olympics as part of huge security operation --Ministry of Defence confirmed missiles would be deployed within next few days 28 Apr 2012 Ground-to-air missiles are to be sited on the roof of a block of flats near the Olympic site as part of a huge security operation to protect the Games. The Army will station soldiers and high-velocity surface-to-air missiles on the residential block in East London to ward off airborne terror threats. Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow have received a leaflet warning them that a team of ten soldiers and police will be placed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of this summer's Games.
The chilling (and balaclava-clad) face of modern British policing: London siege reveals armed-to-the-teeth team preparing for the Olympic Games 27 Apr 2012 Bristling with guns, his face masked, a police officer moves in on a suspected suicide bomber. Just 91 days away from the start of the Olympics, the dramatic scene gave a foretaste of what can be expected this summer after a man threatened to blow himself up in a busy office block. Thousands were evacuated, Tube stations were closed and streets locked down over a wide area of London's West End. Snipers, bomb disposal squads, nuclear biological and chemical warfare specialists and dozens of armed police were scrambled to the building on Tottenham scrambled to an office block on Tottenham Court Road, one of the city's busiest shopping streets.
UK police cordon off central London 27 Apr 2012 British police have closed London's Tottenham Court Road amid reports of a hostage incident. Police have been called to a potential hostage situation after one of the country's busiest shopping streets was closed. Businesses and shoppers were evacuated from Tottenham Court Road in central London at midday. The Huffington Post's UK Executive Editor Stephen Hull, who is in Tottenham Court Road, has tweeted unconfirmed reports that a man wearing "four canisters" threatened to "blow himself up" in a logistics office.
U.S. Amasses Stealth-Jet Armada Near Iran 27 Apr 2012 The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world's most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war. The fighters join a growing naval armada that includes Navy carriers, submarines, cruisers and destroyers plus patrol boats and minesweepers enhanced with the latest close-in weaponry.
Lebanon stops ship with Syria-bound weapons --Ship originally from Libya and loaded with arms reportedly destined for Syrian opposition is stopped by Lebanese navy 28 Apr 2012 The Lebanese navy has reportedly intercepted a ship loaded with three containers of weapons destined for Syrian opposition forces. The cargo vessel, which originated from Libya, was found on Saturday. Pictures released by the army showed dozens of crates inside the containers, some of them filled with belts of heavy ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades. A security official said the Sierre Leone-flagged Lutfallah II was bound for members of the Free Syrian Army, an umbrella group of fighters [US-backed terrorists] trying to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.
Report: NATO Misleads With 'Afghan-Led' Label 25 Apr 2012 A new report Wednesday by a Kabul-based think tank accuses international forces of misleading the public by calling military operations "Afghan-led" even in cases where NATO or U.S. forces are the only troops on the ground. In the transition [NATO to hand over security to Afghan control], one phrase -- "Afghan-led" -- has become increasingly prevalent in NATO and U.S. news releases describing operations. The report charges alleges that the term has been so loosely applied that it has, in at least once instance, been used for an assault conducted entirely by U.S. troops.
Elite Afghan soldier kills U.S. special forces mentor 28 Apr 2012 An elite Afghan soldier shot dead an American mentor and his translator at a U.S. base, Afghan officials said on Friday. The soldier opened fire at an American military base on Wednesday in Shah Wali Kot district, in Kandahar province, said General Abdul Hamid, the commander of Afghan army forces in the Taliban's southern heartland. At least 18 foreign soldiers have died this year in 11 incidents of so-called green-on-blue shootings.
Images of 'Osama bin Laden' killing not to be released, judge orders --A US federal court has backed the Obama administration in refusing to release pictures or video from military operation [Osama bin Laden died in December 2001.] 26 Apr 2012 A federal judge has refused to order Barack Obama's administration to release pictures and video of the US military operation that [the US claims] killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan almost a year ago. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, had requested that the defence department and Central Intelligence Agency release any pictures or video footage of the operation on 1 May 2011 that killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The defence department said it had no pictures or videos sought by the group and the CIA said it had 52 such records, but refused to release them
Failed Equipment, Flawed Designs Plague Lockheed Littoral Combat Ship 23 Apr 2012 POGO sent a letter today to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees recommending that an expensive and severely flawed variant of the Littoral Combat Ship program be eliminated. The letter comes on the heels of POGO's release of Navy documents revealing serious cracking and corrosion problems with the ship--along with evidence of dangerous equipment failures... There are two variants of the LCS: one built by a team led by General Dynamics, which will cost $345.8 million per ship and the other built by a team led by Lockheed Martin, which will cost $357.5 million per ship. As we've reported, the General Dynamics LCS has some problems with corrosion. But the Lockheed Martin version can hardly even make it out of the harbor. As we wrote in our letter, POGO has obtained a number of documents showing that Lockheed Martin's USS Freedom has been "plagued by flawed designs and failed equipment since being commissioned, has at least 17 known cracks, and has repeatedly been beset by engine-related failures." [End welfare for corpora-terrorists Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics!]
Senate probe finds little evidence of effective 'torture' 27 Apr 2012 A nearly three-year-long investigation by Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats is expected to find there is little evidence the harsh "enhanced interrogation techniques" the CIA used on high-value prisoners produced counter-terrorism breakthroughs. People familiar with the inquiry said committee investigators, who have been poring over records from the regime of President [sic] George W. Bush, believe they do not substantiate claims by some Bush supporters that the harsh interrogations led to counter-terrorism coups.
Judge retains the biggest charge in WikiLeaks case 27 Apr 2012 A military judge refused on Thursday to dismiss the most serious charge against an Army private accused in the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history. Col. Denise Lind rejected a defense motion to throw out the charge of "aiding the enemy" during a pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. It was one of several motions seeking to dismiss some or all of the charges, but Lind left all 22 counts against Manning in place.
Heads up! FDA approves antibiotic to treat, prevent plague 28 Apr 2012 U.S. regulators have approved use of a powerful Johnson & Johnson antibiotic to treat plague, an extremely rare [except when cultivated in US labs], sometimes-deadly bacterial infection. The Food and Drug Administration also approved Levaquin, known generically as levofloxacin, to reduce risk of people getting plague after exposure to the bacteria that cause it. Called Yersinia pestis, the bacteria are considered a potential bioterrorism agent.
Jellyfish-Like Organisms Shut Down California Power Plant --Salp were clogging traveling screens in intake structure 26 Apr 2012 The workers of the [Pacific Gas & Electric] Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant received a slimy surprise this week when they discovered hoards of jellyfish-like creatures clinging to the structure, leading to the shutdown of the plant. The organisms, called salp, are small sea creatures with a consistency similar to jellyfish. The plant consists of two units. Unit 1 was shut down previously because of refueling and maintenance work and will not be functional for several weeks.
U.S. ban sought on cell phone use while driving 26 Apr 2012 U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called on Thursday for a federal law to ban talking on a cell phone or texting while driving any type of vehicle on any road in the country. Tough federal legislation is the only way to deal with what he called a "national epidemic," he said at a distracted-driving summit in San Antonio, Texas, that drew doctors, advocates and government officials. LaHood has previously criticized behind-the-wheel use of cell phones and other devices, but calling for a federal law prohibiting the practice takes his effort to a new level.
Central, eastern Europe swelter in record heat 28 Apr 2012 Summer came early to central and eastern Europe as unseasonably high temperatures were recorded Saturday in several parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Temperatures "are exceptionally mild for April", Austria's ZAMG meteorological centre said, reporting a record 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) in the northern region of Lower Austria. Prague experienced its hottest April 28 in 212 years, with mercury hitting 27.7 Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) while unusually high temperatures were also recorded in Poland and Slovakia.
Monkeypox fears prompts Delta plane quarantine in Chicago --Plane was met with emergency crews and Chicago Department of Public Health: Chicago Department of Aviation 26 Apr 2012 Fears of a potential monkeypox outbreak led a Delta flight to be quarantined for more than two hours Thursday afternoon in Chicago. Federal health officials later determined there was "very little risk" to passengers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that "based on the patient's symptoms and photographs of the rash, it does not appear that the signs and symptoms are consistent with a monkeypox infection." The ill passenger, who had been travelling in Africa, was released from the plane before others on board were allowed to disembark. Flight 3163 was coming from Detroit, and landed at Midway International Airport in Chicago at about 3:45 local time.
Jet thought to be struck by monkeypox on lockdown --WBBM Newsradio: Passenger may have been traveling from Ghana and may have had 'sort of rash' or contagious disease 26 Apr 2012 Passengers are being let off a plane that was quarantined after landing in Chicago. The Centers for Disease Control determined there was no threat, and normal operations have resumed at Midway Airport. Aviation officials in Chicago said the city's health department and fire department responded to a flight that landed at Midway International Airport, but local police and fire officials told Fox News the CDC was handling it. Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said a passenger on Delta flight 3163 had a reported medical issue. Television images showed emergency vehicles lined along the aircraft on the tarmac.
Heads up! Major exercise scheduled at Minot Air Force Base 26 Apr 2012 The North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD and U.S. Northern Command will conduct a major exercise at Minot Air Force Base focused on defense support of civil authorities May 2-9. The exercise will primarily be a command post exercise, but there will be field-training events within the exercise. Those events will take place in North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Alaska, Connecticut, and Nova Scotia and involves U.S. and Canadian military. In North Dakota, Air Force Global Strike Command will respond to a simulated nuclear weapons accident on Minot AFB. About 150 people will be here for the exercise, base officials said. [Let's hope they don't 'go live,' as they did on 9/11. Also, see CLG's Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]
House Passes Controversial Cybersecurity Measure CISPA 26 Apr 2012 The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that privacy groups have decried as a threat to civil liberties. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), passed on a vote of 248 to 168. Its goal is a more secure internet, but privacy groups fear the measure breaches Americans' privacy along the way. The White House had weighed in on Wednesday, threatening a veto unless there were significant changes to increase consumer privacy. The bill was amended to provide more privacy protections, but it was not immediately clear whether the Senate or the White House would give the amended bill its blessing. [Yeah, right! Obusha will withdraw the veto threat and cower in the corner five picoseconds after the first Faux News pundit criticizes him.]
Cybersecurity bill passes despite concerns about personal data protection 26 Apr 2012 Ignoring a veto threat from the White House, the House passed legislation Thursday [CISPA] designed to protect communications networks from cyberattacks allow corpora-terrorists and USociopaths to censor the Internet. The vote was 248-168. But even as the House bill moves forward, privacy concerns about granting government agencies access to personal information transmitted on the Internet could prove to be a major obstacle to any new cybersecurity law. The Obama administration, many congressional Democrats, and numerous outside civil liberties advocates... worry the new rules allowing Internet companies to share information with the National Security Agency could give unfettered access by the intelligence community to data about any individual surfing the Web or sending e-mail.
Bradley Manning loses 2 more rounds in motions hearing 26 Apr 2012 Pfc. Bradley Manning's attorneys failed again Thursday in their attempts to persuade a judge to throw out some of the charges against him. Manning is the Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq. Many of those documents ended up on the WikiLeaks website. Among the motions filed by Manning's legal team is one addressing what the attorneys call "unreasonable multiplication of charges" in the 16 specifications he is facing for the second charge against him. Each specification carries a 10-year maximum sentence.
Secret Service expands misconduct probe to El Salvador: lawmaker 26 Apr 2012 The U.S. Secret Service is examining a new report of alleged misconduct by agents at an El Salvador strip club ahead of a trip there last year by President Barack Obama, a senior lawmaker said on Thursday. Representative Peter King, a Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement to Reuters that the review is part of an extensive investigation the Secret Service is conducting in the aftermath of an incident involving prostitutes in Columbia. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the agency also is looking into the El Salvador allegations, aired Thursday in a report by Seattle channel KIRO-TV.