Monday, July 23, 2012

Fukushima workers 'told to lie' !!

Fukushima workers 'told to lie' 22 Jul 2012 A subcontractor at Japan's crippled Fukushima nuclear plant told workers to lie about radiation exposure. An executive at construction firm Build-Up in December told about 10 of its workers to cover their dosimeters, used to measure cumulative radiation exposure, with lead casings when working in areas with high radiation, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and other media said. The action was apparently designed to under-report their exposure to allow the company to continue working at the site of the worst nuclear disaster in a generation, media reports said.

Japan probes under-reporting of Fukushima radiation dosage 21 Jul 2012 Japan's health ministry said it would investigate reports that workers at the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant were urged by a subcontractor to place lead around radiation detection devices in order to stay under a safety threshold for exposure. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday that an executive from Build-Up, a subcontractor to plant owner Tokyo Electric Power, told workers to cover the devices called dosimeters when working in high-radiation areas. Dosimeters can be worn as badges or carried as devices around the size of a smart phone to detect radiation.

Breaking: Shooter in 'full SWAT uniform' opens fire in CO theater, killing at least 12 --Suspect is neuroscience Ph.D. candidate --Suspect, dressed in black wearing gas mask, 'calm during shooting' --At least 12 dead, 50 hurt in Colorado movie theater shooting --Military confirms military members were in theater --Shooter's apartment building rigged with explosives --Three service members wounded --Shooter had 4 weapons, 3 in theater - 1 in car, gas canisters --'How would a civilian get his hands on these weapons?' asks Fox News analyst. 20 Jul 2012 [This story will be updated.]

Pentagon: Military casualties in Colorado shooting 20 Jul 2012 The Pentagon says that some members of the military were either killed or wounded in the Colorado shooting at the Batman movie. Pentagon press secretary George Little says it's not yet clear how many military casualties there were, or whether they were deaths or injuries. Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, says initial indications are that the suspect, James Holmes, was not a member of the military.

Authorities: Aurora theater shooting suspect's apartment 'booby trapped' --Five buildings have been evacuated. 20 Jul 2012 Police say that the apartment of the suspect in an early morning movie theater shooting appears to be booby trapped. Police Chief Dan Oates said the explosive devices were "pretty sophisticated." "We could be here for days," he said. Jim Yacone, special agent in charge of the Denver FBI, said they were working on "how to disarm the flammable or explosive material." The 24-year-old suspect in the shooting, which left 12 people dead, was arrested at the scene but is not expected to appear in court until Monday, a court official said. He has been identified as James Holmes, 24, of the 1600 block of Paris Street in Aurora.

House votes to appropriate $606 billion for defense 19 Jul 2012 The House of Representatives on Thursday approved $606 billion in 'defense' spending for next year after two days of debate that saw lawmakers from both parties line up to condemn the ongoing war in Afghanistan as a waste of lives and money. Lawmakers in the Republican-dominated House voted 326-90 to approve the annual defense appropriations bill, which includes a Pentagon base budget of $518 billion plus $87.7 billion in spending for the Afghanistan war and other overseas operations, according to the House Appropriations Committee.

Syrian troops take control over Damascus neighborhood 20 Jul 2012 Syrian troops and tanks on Friday drove rebels from a Damascus neighborhood where some of the heaviest of this week's fighting in the capital left cars gutted and fighters' bodies in the streets. More than 300 people were killed in a single day, activists said, as the military struggles to regain momentum after a stunning bombing against the regime's leadership. A fourth member of President Bashar Assad's inner circle, national security chief Gen. Hisham Ikhtiyar, died of wounds he suffered in Wednesday's bomb blast, which went off during a high level security meeting in Damascus, the government announced.

US, Israel plotting to overthrow Assad: Report 19 Jul 2012 American defense officials are reportedly in talks with their Israeli counterparts plotting to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The New York Times reported on Wednesday that US officials worked on contingency plans for a collapse of the Syrian government, focusing particularly on the chemical weapons that "Syria is thought to possess." The talks focused on whether Israel might move to "destroy Syrian weapons facilities," two US administration officials said.

US unable to demine Strait of Hormuz: IRGC cmdr. 19 Jul 2012 An Iranian commander has downplayed the US move to dispatch modern mine sweepers to the Persian Gulf in a bid to prevent the possible closure of the Strait of Hormuz. "Americans talk a lot about different things but in practice they are faced with problems. We have no doubt that the United States can't do anything in the minesweeping sphere," said Deputy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) naval forces Mahmoud Fahimi on Wednesday.

7 Israelis killed, dozens injured in Bulgaria bus explosion 18 Jul 2012 At least seven people have been killed and more than 30 others injured in an explosion on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the eastern Bulgarian city of Burgas. The explosion occurred on Wednesday at Burgas International Airport on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported. "There are six bodies on the scene -- one critically wounded died at the hospital and two seriously injured are in intensive care. Thirty more people are being treated," the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.

Taliban bomb destroys 22 NATO supply trucks in Afghan north 18 Jul 2012 A bomb planted by the Taliban destroyed 22 NATO trucks carrying supplies to their forces in northern Afghanistan, the Taliban and police said on Wednesday. Eighteen fuel trucks and four supply vehicles were parked in Aibak, the capital of Samangan province, when a bomb ripped through them, wounding one person, local police said. "At 2 a.m. the mujahideen attacked the invader NATO trucks," the Taliban said in a statement, referring to the wagons which had been driven from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan's north.

Ex-CIA man's vindictive prosecution claim rejected 20 Jul 2012 A judge has rejected claims by a former CIA officer accused of leaking names of covert operatives to journalists that he is a victim of vindictive prosecution. Lawyers for John Kiriakou sought Friday to have most of the charges against him dismissed. They argued in court papers that the case is retribution for public statements by Kiriakou that portrayed the CIA in an unflattering light and that similar leaks have not been the subject of a criminal prosecution. At Friday's hearing, though, the judge cut off the argument before it began and ruled that the prosecution would go forward.

GI largely barred from discussing WikiLeaks harm 20 Jul 2012 A military judge on Thursday largely barred an Army private from presenting evidence at his trial that the mountain of classified information he's accused of leaking did little harm to U.S. national security and foreign relations. Army Col. Denise Lind, presiding over a pretrial hearing at Fort Meade, agreed with prosecutors that the extent of any damage is irrelevant to the 22 charges against Pfc. Bradley Manning. He's accused of aiding the enemy by sending hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and war logs to the secret-spilling website WikiLeaks. That charge carries a possible life sentence.

Judge in military WikiLeaks case again refuses to throw out 2 charges against Bradley Manning 18 Jul 2012 A military judge has again refused to throw out two of the 22 charges against an Army private charged in the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history. Attorneys for Pfc. Bradley Manning argued earlier this week during a hearing at Maryland’s Fort Meade that two charges should be dropped. The judge overseeing the case, Col. Denise Lind, denied the request Wednesday. She agreed with military prosecutors it would be improper to drop the charges at this point.

US government claims it has proof of Bradley Manning aiding the enemy 16 Jul 2012 The US government claims to have proof that Bradley Manning, the WikiLeaks suspect, knowingly passed state secrets to a location where it was bound to be obtained by enemy groups, a military court in Maryland has heard. Captain Joe Morrow, a member of the five-strong prosecution team assigned to the case, said that the government would show at court martial that Manning had knowingly "aided the enemy" - the most serious of the 22 charges facing the soldier that carries the death penalty.

Five Charged With Terror Offences --One charged with possession of a digital memory card 'containing a document likely to be of use to a terrorist' 19 Jul 2012 Five people have been charged with terrorism offences following investigations by the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism command, the force has said. Three men from London - including Richard Dart, who appeared in a BBC Three documentary after converting to Islam - were charged with offences that involved travelling to Pakistan for training in terrorism between July 2010 and July 2012. A woman was also charged with possessing terrorist material. All four were arrested between July 5 and 7.

Airline catering firm that employs thousands in UK at centre of investigation into how NEEDLES were found in sandwiches on four flights --FBI launches criminal investigation into the needle discoveries 17 Jul 2012 The world's largest airline food caterer, which employs thousands of people in Britain, is today at the centre of an FBI investigation into how needles found their way into turkey sandwiches on four international flights. Gate Gourmet, which provides meals for more than 20 airlines including all long-haul British Airways flights from Heathrow, distributed the sandwiches that contained what appeared to be small sewing needles. The needles were discovered in six sandwiches on four U.S.-bound Delta Air Lines planes that departed Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on Sunday.

Limerick nuclear power plant shut down after electrical problem 18 Jul 2012 (Pottstown, PA) Government officials say one of two reactors at a nuclear power plant in suburban Philadelphia has been shut down after an electrical malfunction. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a transformer problem in a turbine building led to the manual shutdown of Limerick's Unit 1 reactor at 8:15 a.m. today. The agency says Exelon soon announced an "unusual event," the lowest of four emergency classifications. The plant is about 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

Japan to probe 'active faults' under nuclear plants 18 Jul 2012 Japan's nuclear safety watchdog has ordered an investigation into claims that the country's only working nuclear power station sits on an active tectonic fault. The decision comes after geological experts argued that the Shika plant in Ishikawa is likely sitting on active faults and could be vulnerable to earthquakes if tectonic plates shift. This while, Japanese company, Kansai Electric Power (KEPCO), is getting ready to restart a second reactor at the Oi plant in western Japan.

HSBC 'sorry' for aiding Mexican drug lords, rogue states and terrorists 17 Jul 2012 Executives with Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, were subjected to a humiliating onslaught from US senators on Tuesday over revelations that staff at its global subsidiaries laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states. Lawmakers hammered the British-based bank over the scandal, demanding to know how and why its affiliates had exposed it to the proceeds of drug trafficking and terrorist financing in a "pervasively polluted" culture that persisted for years. A report compiled for the committee detailed how HSBC's subsidiaries transported billions of dollars of cash in armoured vehicles, cleared suspicious travellers' cheques worth billions, and allowed Mexican drug lords buy to planes with money laundered through Cayman Islands accounts.

Bain Capital started with help of offshore investors 19 Jul 2012 When Mitt Romney launched Bain Capital in 1984, he struggled at first to raise enough money for the untested venture. So he and his partners tapped an eclectic roster of investors, raising more than a third of their first $37-million investment fund from wealthy foreigners. Most of the foreign investors' money came through corporations registered in Panama, then known for tax advantages and unusual banking secrecy. The first outside investor in Bain was a leading London financier, Sir Jack Lyons, who made a $2.5-million investment through a Panama shell company set up by a Swiss money manager, further shielding his identity. Years later, Lyons was convicted in an unrelated stock fraud scandal. About $9 million came from rich Latin Americans, including powerful Salvadoran families living in Miami during their country's brutal [US-engendered] civil war.

'Private contractors are whacking people like crazy over in Afghanistan for the CIA.' --The Terrifying Background of the Man Who Ran a CIA Assassination Unit 18 Jul 2012 It was one of the biggest secrets of the post-9/11 era: soon after the attacks, President Bush gave the CIA permission to create a top secret assassination unit to find and kill Al Qaeda operatives. The program was kept from Congress for seven years. And when Leon Panetta told legislators about it in 2009, he revealed that the CIA had hired the private security firm Blackwater to help run it. "The move was historic," says Evan Wright, the two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist who wrote Generation Kill. "It seems to have marked the first time the U.S. government outsourced a covert assassination service to private enterprise." ..."Running operations through Blackwater gave the CIA the power to have people abducted, or killed, with no one in the government being exactly responsible." ..."While Blackwater's covert unit began as a Bush administration story, President Obama now owns it."

Pentagon, CIA Sued for Lethal Drone Attacks on U.S. Citizens 18 Jul 2012 Survivors of three Americans killed by targeted drone attacks in Yemen last year sued top-ranking members of the United States government, alleging Wednesday they illegally killed the three, including a 16-year-old boy, in violation of international human rights law and the U.S. Constitution. "The government has killed three Americans. It should account for its actions. This case gives us an opportunity to do that," Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director with the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a press call. The suit is being litigated by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU. It seeks unspecified damages and highlights the government's so-called unmanned "targeted killing" program. The ACLU and the Center maintain the drone attacks have killed thousands, including hundreds of innocent bystanders overseas.

CIA, allies behind terrorist attack in Syria: Iran MP 21 Jul 2012 A senior Iranian lawmaker says the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its regional as well as Arab allies are behind the recent terrorist attack in Syria. "The recent terrorist attack in Damascus has been organized by the US Central Intelligence Agency and its Western and Arab allies," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, Chairman of the Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said in a Saturday statement. "Today state terrorism, led by the US and [Israel], is the most dangerous form of terrorism that is threatening regional and global security," he added.

Air Force instructor convicted of rape, assault 20 Jul 2012 A military jury has convicted an Air Force instructor of rape, sexual assault and all other counts he faced as part of a sweeping sex scandal at the Texas base where all U.S. airmen go through basic training. Staff Sgt. Luis Walker showed no emotion as the verdict was read Friday in an Lackland Air Force Base courtroom. The jury made up of seven military personnel convicted him on all 28 counts he faced. Walker is one of 12 Lackland instructors investigated for sexual misconduct.

Gunmen Attack UN Polio Doctor in Pakistan 17 Jul 2012 Gunmen opened fire on a United Nations vehicle in the southern port city of Karachi on Tuesday, seriously wounding a Ghanaian doctor who was part of an urgent campaign to eradicate spread polio from Pakistan. The attack was a further blow to the three-day polio vaccination drive, which had already been stymied in some parts of the country by Taliban threats. The Taliban also claimed that the vaccination campaign was a cover for American espionage, and referred to Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor hired by the Central Intelligence Agency to help track 'Osama bin Laden' in early 2011, who had also worked on polio vaccination.

NSA Spy Activities Violated Fourth Amendment Rights, Letter Discloses 20 Jul 2012 National Security Agency spy activities on at least one [?!] occasion have violated the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure, according to a ruling by the U.S.'s secret national security court. The ruling, which was revealed Friday in a declassified statement, represented the first time the government has acknowledged U.S. spy activities violated the constitution since the passage of a 2008 law that overhauled surveillance laws following the uproar over the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program in the George W. Bush Administration... Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon (D) is currently blocking Senate consideration of an extension of the 2008 law because he is concerned that the government hasn't tallied the number of Americans who have been spied on under the law.

Protect privacy from drones at home, lawmakers say 20 Jul 2012 Before thousands of civilian drones begin flying in U.S. skies, Congress should take steps to protect the public's privacy and prevent terrorists from hacking or jamming signals that control the aircraft, lawmakers said Thursday. House members from both parties said at an oversight hearing that they're worried about potential privacy and security threats as the use of small unmanned aircraft becomes widespread. The Federal Aviation Administration forecasts an estimated 10,000 civilian drones will be in use in the U.S. within five years.

Aurora, Colorado Shooting 'Oddities' --'Oddities' compiled as they emerge --HOW is a former student, jobless, able to spend *thousands of dollars* on, essentially, a full-blown military arsenal? Just curious. Oh. Unless, of course, someone *gave* it to him... like... his handler? By Lori Price, 21 Jul 2012

Colo. shooter's father, Robert M. Holmes, authored US Navy, military reports Posted by Lori Price,, 20 Jul 2012.

FBI, Homeland Security: No information about more movie theatre shooting sprees 21 Jul 2012 The FBI and Homeland Security Department say there is no information indicating plans for more shooting sprees at movie theatres around the country. According to an intelligence bulletin obtained by The Associated Press, investigators have not figured out the suspected shooter's motivations for killing 12 people and injuring others during a midnight showing of the new Batman movie in a suburban Denver theatre.

University: CO shooting suspect had federal grant 21 Jul 2012 The University of Colorado says shooting suspect James Holmes had a federal grant to study neuroscience. University spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery said Saturday that Holmes was one of six neuroscience students at the school to get National Institutes of Health grant money. She didn't know how much money he got. The NIH says the university decides who gets the grants. Criteria for receiving the grant weren't immediately clear.

Aurora shooting suspect appointed public defender 21 Jul 2012 The suspect in Friday's mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater has been appointed a defense attorney. Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says 24-year-old James Holmes was booked into the county's detention facility on Friday afternoon. His lawyer is James O'Connor, head of the public defender's office that covers the sprawling 18th Judicial District from suburban Denver to the eastern Colorado plains.

Explosives in Colo. shooter's apt. successfully deactivated 21 Jul 2012 The Colorado shooting suspect planned the rampage that killed 12 midnight moviegoers with "calculation and deliberation," police said Saturday, receiving deliveries for months which authorities believe armed him for battle and were used to rig his apartment with dozens of bombs. Authorities on Saturday were still working to clear dangerous explosive materials from inside James Holmes' suburban Denver apartment a day after police said he opened fire and set off gas canisters in a suburban theater minutes into the premiere of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."

Pentagon: Three Military Members Injured in Colorado Shooting; Sailor Unaccounted For 21 Jul 2012 Two military members have been reported dead, according to reports from CNN and Bloomberg News. Air Force Staff Sergeant Jesse Childress, 29, a cyber systems operator, and Navy Petty Officer Third Class John Larimer, 27, a cryptologic technician, both died due to the shooting. Both had been assigned to Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo., Bloomberg reports. One sailor remains unaccounted for following a shooting at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and dozens more wounded Friday morning, according to a Pentagon statement. A second sailor and two airmen were injured in the shooting, but the extent of their injuries remains unknown. Earlier, The Associated Press reported that "some members of the military were either killed or wounded," according to a Pentagon spokesman.

Gunman Looked 'Ready to Go Into Battle' 21 Jul 2012 A gunman dressed head to foot in body armor and brandishing three weapons, including an assault rifle, opened fire in a theater crowded with families and children at a midnight showing of the Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" in a Denver suburb early Friday morning, killing at least 12 people and wounding 59 others, police and federal officials said. The suspect, James Holmes, 24, told the police after his arrest that he had booby-trapped his Aurora apartment with explosive devices, leading the police to evacuate five buildings in the neighborhood as they sought to disable what they described as "incendiary devices" rigged to trip wires. Mr. Holmes had apparently planned the attack for some time: He wore a gas mask, body armor, a tactical helmet and was dressed completely in black.

Anti-Obama group raising money off events related to Colorado shooting 20 Jul 2012 Less than 24 hours after a shooting at a Colorado movie theater claimed the lives of 12 people and injured dozens more, a conservative political action committee sent supporters an email using coverage of the event to push for donations. The Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama released a fundraising letter late Friday afternoon requesting donations over an early report on ABC News that suggested a member of a Colorado tea party group may have been the shooter. The on-air report, delivered by ABC News chief investigative [sic] correspondent Brian Ross on "Good Morning America," was inaccurate, and Ross issued an apology and a correction later that day. The fundraising letter, which was written on behalf of Texas Senate candidate Ted Cruz, asked for money to "fight back" against the media.

Aurora Shooting Mirrored Training Exercise on Same Day Near Denver --'The irony is amazing, just amazing.' 21 Jul 2012 The tragedy that played out in an Aurora movie theater Friday was ironically paralleled as a classroom learning experience in a medical school in Parker the same day. Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine is in the middle of holding specialized classes in disaster life support for 150 second-year medical students. Along with response to natural disasters like hurricanes and floods and terrorist attacks, one of the scenarios being used to train the students is how to respond if a shooter fires at people in a movie theater and also uses a bomb in the attack. "The irony is amazing, just amazing," said Rocky Vista Dean Dr. Bruce Dubin.

Witness: Someone let gunman inside Colorado movie theater 20 Jul 2012 A man who was at the Colorado movie theater where a dozen people were killed this morning, says he saw the gunman. He says he thinks someone deliberately let the gunman inside once the movie started. Here's what he told TV station KCNC this morning live on their newscast. [See also: Aurora, Colorado Shooting 'Oddities' by LRP.]

Heads up! Odds skyrocketing for big London MOSSAD/MI6/CIA false flag so Israel can attack Iran: London on alert for terror attack ahead of Olympic Games 22 Jul 2012 Israel fears an Iranian terror squad in Europe are planning to attack their athletes during the London Olympics, according to reports. Agents from Israel's elite intelligence organisation, Mossad, are hunting Iranian-backed terrorists in Europe, who are allegedly planning an "anniversary" attack 40 years after the Munich massacre, Britain's The Sunday Times reports. In preparation for an Olympic terror assault, panic rooms for VIPs and spectators have been set up beneath London's Olympic Stadium to protect them from being taken hostage or killed, according to The Sunday Times.

Marine Corps creates law enforcement battalions --The battalions will be capable of helping control civil disturbances, handling detainees, carrying out forensic work, and using biometrics to identify suspects. 22 Jul 2012 The Marine Corps has created its first law enforcement battalions - a lean, specialized force of military police officers that it hopes can quickly deploy worldwide to help investigate crimes from terrorism to drug trafficking and train fledgling security forces in allied nations. The Corps activated three such battalions last month. Each is made up of roughly 500 military police officers and dozens of dogs.

Gunman wearing Afghan uniform turns weapon on foreign trainers working for NATO, killing three 22 Jul 2012 A gunman wearing an Afghan uniform turned his weapon against foreign trainers working for NATO in the western province of Herat on Sunday, killing three, in a grim 24 hours for the coalition which also saw five NATO soldiers killed. The latest rogue shooting by an Afghan in a police or army uniform happened at a regional training center in the relatively peaceful western province near Afghanistan's border with Iran, which is normally patrolled by Italian forces.

5 NATO troops die in Afghanistan 22 Jul 2012 Five NATO service members have been killed in roadside bombings in Afghanistan during the past two days, while Afghan officials reported Sunday that four civilians died when hundreds of shells and rockets were fired from neighboring Pakistan. The artillery shells hit homes along frontier areas from which insurgents have in the past staged cross-border attacks.

Netanyahu Says Israel Might Act to Stop Syria Weapons Transfer 22 Jul 2012 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is concerned that terrorists could gain control of chemical weapons if Syria's government collapses into chaos and won't rule out taking measures to prevent such a transfer. "Do I seek action? No," Netanyahu said in an interview on the Fox News Sunday program. "Do I preclude it? No."  Netanyahu said the need for action "might arise if there's a regime collapse, but not a regime change."

Iran breaks up nuclear assassination cells: media 22 Jul 2012 Iran has arrested some of those responsible for assassinations of its nuclear scientists, state media reported on Sunday, in a continued hunt for those it says are working to sabotage its nuclear program. Intelligence Minister Heydar Moslehi said Iran had shut down two networks inside and outside the country he said were involved in training the killers, Fars news agency reported. At least four scientists associated with Iran's nuclear disputed nuclear works have been slain since 2010 and a fifth - Fereydoun Abbasi Davani, now the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization - was wounded.

Bombs kill 20 and wound 80 across Iraq 22 Jul 2012 Car bombs in two towns south of Baghdad and in the Iraqi city of Najaf killed a total of 20 people on Sunday and wounded 80, police and hospital sources said, in one of the most violent days of the past two weeks. Three car bombs killed 11 people and wounded 38 in Mahmudiya, a town 20 miles south of Baghdad, according to police.

Justice Department Sues Telecom for Challenging National Security Letter 18 Jul 2012 Last year, when a telecommunications company received an ultra-secret demand letter from the FBI seeking information about a customer or customers, the telecom took an extraordinary step - it challenged the underlying authority of the FBI's National Security Letter, as well as the legitimacy of the gag order that came with it. Both challenges are allowed under a federal law that governs NSLs, a power greatly expanded under the Patriot Act that allows the government to get detailed information on Americans' finances and communications without oversight from a judge. The FBI has issued hundreds of thousands of NSLs and been reprimanded for abusing them - though almost none of the requests have been challenged by the recipients. After the telecom challenged its NSL last year, the Justice Department took its own extraordinary measure: It sued the company, arguing in court documents that the company was violating the law by challenging its authority.

Power Pwn: This DARPA-funded power strip will hack your network 22 Jul 2012 The Power Pwn may look like an ordinary power strip, maybe with an included surge protector, but it's far from it. Network administrators and IT staff in general need to be wary of this one: it can do much more than meets the eye. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)'s Cyber Fast Track program helped funded the development of the Power Pwn. Pwnie Express, which developed the $1,295 gizmo, says it's "a fully-integrated enterprise-class penetration testing platform." That's great, but the company also notes its "ingenious form-factor" and "highly-integrated/modular hardware design," which to me translates to: it's the perfect tool for hacking a corporate network.

Prosecutors, regulators close to making Libor arrests 22 Jul 2012 Prosecutors and European regulators are close to arresting individual traders and charging them with colluding to manipulate global benchmark interest rates, according to people familiar with a sweeping investigation into the rigging scandal. Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., have recently contacted lawyers representing some of the suspects to notify them that criminal charges and arrests could be imminent, said two of those sources, who asked not to be identified because the investigation is ongoing.

£13tn: hoard hidden from taxman by global elite 21 Jul 2012 A global super-rich elite has exploited gaps in cross-border tax rules to hide an extraordinary £13 trillion ($21tn) of wealth offshore – as much as the American and Japanese GDPs put together – according to research commissioned by the campaign group Tax Justice Network. James Henry, former chief economist at consultancy McKinsey and an expert on tax havens, has compiled the most detailed estimates yet of the size of the offshore economy in a new report, The Price of Offshore Revisited, released exclusively to the Observer. He shows that at least £13tn - perhaps up to £20tn - has leaked out of scores of countries into secretive jurisdictions such as Switzerland and the Cayman Islands with the help of private banks, which vie to attract the assets of so-called high net-worth individuals.

US poverty on track to rise to highest since 1960s 22 Jul 2012 The ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s amid a weak economy and fraying government safety net. Census figures for 2011 will be released this fall in the critical weeks ahead of the November elections. The Associated Press surveyed more than a dozen economists, think tanks and academics, both nonpartisan and those with known liberal or conservative leanings, and found a broad consensus: The official poverty rate will rise from 15.1 percent in 2010, climbing as high as 15.7 percent.

Greece now in "Great Depression", PM says 22 Jul 2012 Greece is in a "Great Depression" similar to the American one in the 1930s, the country's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras told former U.S. President Bill Clinton on Sunday. Samaras was speaking two days before a team of Greece's international lenders arrive in Athens to push for further cuts needed for the debt-laden country to qualify for further rescue payments and avoid a chaotic default. Athens wants to soften the terms of a 130-billion euro bailout agreed last March with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, to soften their impact on an economy going through its worst post-war recession.

Documents reveal details of Lejeune's toxic water 20 Jul 2012 Thousands of newly released documents about water contamination at Camp Lejeune add to the evidence that the military long knew about tainted tap water blamed for deaths and illnesses among Marines and their families, and that officials covered up the information for years, a North Carolina congressman said Friday. "For the last 30 years, instead of saying there could be health effects and or even we don't know what the health effects are, they've minimized it," said Democratic Rep. Brad Miller. On Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., released more than 8,500 Department of Defense documents relating to the water contamination that continued at the base for decades.

Rupert Murdoch quits directorships on string of boards behind The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times 21 Jul 2012 Rupert Murdoch has resigned as director of a string of companies behind UK newspapers The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times, it emerged today. The move has led to fevered speculation the media mogul is preparing to sell his newspaper group. According to documents filed with Companies House, Mr Murdoch stepped down as director from the boards of the NI Group, Times Newspaper Holdings and News Corp Investments last week. He also quit a number of News Corp's U.S. boards, although the details have not yet been disclosed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bank failures in 4 states bring 2012 total to 38 20 Jul 2012 Regulators closed two small banks in Georgia on Friday and one each in Florida, Kansas and Illinois, bringing to 38 the number of U.S. bank failures this year. That's a slower pace than in 2011; 58 banks had failed by this time last year.

Brazil says Chevron oil leak larger than estimated 19 Jul 2012 An investigation by regulators found that Chevron Corp. could have

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