Friday, August 31, 2012

Black CNN staffer taunted with nuts at RNC / Yahoo! fires bureau chief over 'inappropriate' Romney joke !

Yahoo! fires bureau chief over 'inappropriate' Romney joke 29 Aug 2012 Media giant Yahoo! has fired its Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian after microphones caught him making a barb aimed at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The purportedly offensive [albeit accurate] comment was recorded by a microphone that had been left on during a break in the online coverage of the GOP convention on Tuesday night. It referred to Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, and concerned the fact that the Republican National Convention was being held as Hurricane Isaac was battering the Louisiana coast. "They're not concerned at all. They're happy to have a party with black people drowning," said Chalian, to brief laughter from an unidentified audience.

Black CNN staffer taunted with nuts at RNC 29 Aug 2012 Two Republican convention-goers were ejected for throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, "This is how we feed the animals," the U.S. network said. "Multiple witnesses observed the exchange" at Florida's Tampa Bay Times Forum, the news network reported. Convention security and police immediately removed the two people from the arena, CNN said.

Romney Party Yacht Flies Cayman Islands Flag 29 Aug 2012 Gov. Mitt Romney's campaign toasted its top donors Wednesday aboard a 150-foot yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands. The floating party, hosted by a Florida developer on his yacht "Cracker Bay," was one of a dozen exclusive events meant to nurture those who have raised more than $1 million for Romney's bid... Romney to date has declined to identify the names of his top "bundlers" -- those who gather checks from scores of donors on the candidate's behalf.

Federal court blocks Texas voter ID law 30 Aug 2012 A federal court on Thursday blocked a Texas law that would require voters to show photo identification before casting ballots, saying the measure would likely curtail the ability of minorities to vote in the November 6 presidential election. Evidence showed the law did the most harm to African Americans and Hispanics, who are more likely to live in poverty, Circuit Judge David Tatel wrote for a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court in Washington. Those without the underlying documents to obtain ID would have to purchase them, discouraging poor voters, he wrote.

Court rejects Texas redistricting maps 28 Aug 2012 A U.S. federal court ruled on Tuesday that controversial Texas redistricting maps discriminate against black and Hispanic voters, effectively killing the new districts before they could take effect for the November 6 presidential election. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued the ruling. The state maps, passed by the Republican-dominated Texas legislature, redrew districts in a way that reduced the influence of minority voters, the court ruled. November's election will likely use interim maps drawn by a federal court in San Antonio instead.

Judge to lift restrictions on Florida voter registration 29 Aug 2012 A U.S. judge said on Wednesday he would issue a permanent injunction against controversial restrictions on voter registration drives in Florida put in place under a new state election law backed by the state's governor. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle temporarily prohibited Florida in May from enforcing parts of the law that tightened deadlines for groups conducting voter registration drives to submit registration forms. In a ruling on Wednesday, Hinkle said he would grant a permanent injunction against the law's provisions when a federal appellate court dismisses an appeal by Florida or sends the case back to him.

Reports: Egypt refused U.S. request to fire on Iran ship 27 Aug 2012 Egypt's Navy refused a U.S. request to fire on an Iranian weapons ship heading for Syria through the Suez Canal, al-Arabiya reported. "The Suez Canal is a narrow waterway and it is impossible for military action to take place there," Mohab Mamish, recently appointed chairman of the Suez Canal Authority and former Egyptian Navy commander, told al-Arabiya. The U.S. request was made recently, the report said. The Egypt Independent had a similar report, saying it was told by Mamish the Navy refused a United States request to "strike" the Iranian ship.

Attacks in Iraq kill general and 5 others 29 Aug 2012 Attackers killed six Iraqi security officials including an army general on Wednesday, officials said, the latest wave of insurgent attacks aimed at undermining the central [US-installed] government. The deadliest attack of the day came in the city of Kirkuk, where three policemen were killed and six wounded. City police commander Sarhad Qadir said their convoy hit a roadside bomb.

US-led airstrike kills 12 Afghan villagers 30 Aug 2012 At least 12 villagers have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan's Ghor Province, Press TV reports. Eight people were also wounded in the attack on Wednesday. The US-led NATO confirmed the attack, but it claimed the airstrike targeted militants.

Three Australian soldiers killed by rogue Afghan soldier --Deaths bring to 15 the number of foreign soldiers killed this month in insider attacks 29 Aug 2012 Three Australian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday by a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in an alarming series of "rogue" shootings that have damaged trust between Kabul and its allies. The Australian Defence Force on Thursday confirmed the nationality of the soldiers who were serving in southern Uruzgan province, where around 1,500 Australian troops are based. It said families in Australia were being informed of the deaths.

Bomb explosion kills five Afghan soldiers in eastern Afghanistan 29 Aug 2012 At least five Afghan soldiers have been killed in a bomb explosion in eastern Afghanistan's Kunar Province, Press TV reports. Afghan officials say the attack took place late Tuesday in the Manogai district while Afghan troops were on patrol in the area. On Monday, 10 Afghan soldiers were killed in an attack on a military checkpoint in southern Helmand Province.

Bomb explosion in Afghanistan kills 4 civilians, injures 20 28 Aug 2012 At least four people have been killed in a powerful bomb explosion in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar Province, Press TV reports. The incident took place late Monday in eastern part of Kandahar, injuring its provincial police chief and killing four civilians. At least 20 others were also wounded.

NATO may need more troops to ship home Afghan gear --Estimates: More than $60 billion worth of equipment needs to be pulled out 28 Aug 2012 NATO countries may temporarily send more troops to Afghanistan to pack up and ship out huge quantities of weapons and equipment as they wind down operations after more than a decade of war, a military planner said on Tuesday. Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Richardson also said coalition members could use other routes to ship home their equipment even if the troubled crossings through Pakistan were closed to them.

Guantánamo Bay terror suspect charged with plotting to attack oil tankers in Strait of Hormuz 30 Aug 2012 A terror suspect being held at Guantánamo Bay has been charged with training for al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh] and plotting to attack oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and off Yemen's coast. Ahmed Mohammed Ahmed Haza al-Darbi, 37, has spent the last decade at the US naval base in southern Cuba where 168 "war on terror" prisoners remain. The six charges before Darbi including aiding and abetting terrorism, attacks on civilian targets and attacks on a vessel, as well as aiding the enemy.

Two Americans shot in Mexico CIA operatives: Report 29 Aug 2012 A report says the two Americans injured in a gun attack on a US Embassy vehicle in Mexico were CIA agents, and had been sent to the Latin American country to bolster Mexican efforts to fight drug traffickers. The operatives, who were hurt south of Mexico City on August 24, were participating in a training program that involved the Mexican Navy, The New York Times reported. They were traveling with a Mexican Navy captain in an embassy sport utility vehicle that had diplomatic license plates.


Low-flying helicopters over Berkeley are measuring radiation levels 29 Aug 2012 Many Berkeley residents have been today asking about the helicopters that have been flying overhead, across the city and also into Oakland. A call to Berkeley Police Department confirms that the choppers are measuring baseline radiation levels. The flyovers are part of research by two federal security agencies - the Department of Homeland Security and the National Nuclear Security Administration - to compare aerial and ground based mapping of radioactivity, according to a story in the Contra Costa Times.

Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions By Ryan Grim 30 Aug 2012 Paul Ryan pledged Wednesday that if he and his running mate Mitt Romney were elected president, they would usher in an ethic of responsibility. The Wisconsin congressman and GOP vice presidential candidate... then noted that Obama, while campaigning for president, promised that a GM plant in Wisconsin would not shut down. "That plant didn't last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that's how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight," Ryan said. Except Obama didn't promise that. And the plant closed in December 2008 -- while George W. Bush was president [sic]. It was just one of several striking and demonstrably misleading elements of Ryan's much-anticipated acceptance speech. And it comes just days after Romney pollster Neil Newhouse warned, defending the campaign's demonstrably false ads claiming Obama removed work requirements from welfare, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."

Condi Rice Can't Name a Specific Obama Foreign Policy Failure 29 Aug 2012 Today on CBS’s morning show, former Bush administration Secretary of State and top Mitt Romney surrogate Condoleezza Rice could not offer any specific foreign policy failures made by President Obama. Romney's allies, led by Rice and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), are expected to attack Obama on national security grounds tonight in at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. [No wonder: Obama has continued and expanded every one of Bush's foreign policies. She can't find anything wrong with them because she helped design them!]

Billionaire Donors Hide Behind Velvet Curtain at Republican Convention 30 Aug 2012 When oil and chemical baron David Koch took his seat among the throngs of Republican grassroots activists on the convention floor in Tampa this week, he was making a rare appearance on behalf of the small group of wealthy donors who are bankrolling a good portion of Mitt Romney's bid for president. For the past several days in Tampa, Koch has been the exception. Most of the deep-pocketed donors have spent the convention largely out of sight. Unlike Koch, they have watched the parade of speakers at the convention podium from high above, in a vast luxury skybox on the fourth and fifth levels of the Tampa Times Forum. Their box was cordoned off by ropes and blocked from public view by a velvet curtain.

Montreal police arrest 10 people for assault at university protest 29 Aug 2012 Police were laying numerous criminal charges in a second day of confrontation with student protesters following the reopening of Quebec's universities. Striking students at the Université de Montréal have been attempting to force the cancellation of certain classes to protest back-to-school legislation passed this spring. As they did on Monday, students clashed with the university's security guards and Montreal police as they reportedly sought to disrupt a film class.

Second accused LulzSec hacker arrested in Sony breach 28 Aug 2012 A second suspected member of the LulzSec hacker group has been arrested for his alleged role in a 2011 network security breach at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Raynaldo Rivera, 20, of Tempe, Ariz., surrendered to authorities today in Phoenix, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement. An indictment unsealed today charged Rivera with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer. He faces 15 years in prison if convicted.

Nuclear agency keeping close eye on Isaac 28 Aug 2012 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says it is monitoring Hurricane Isaac as it approaches the Gulf Coast. Nuclear power plants in the Southeast have taken precautions such as tying down loose equipment, removing debris that could become airborne in winds of 75 mph or more and topping off water and fuel tanks. A spokeswoman said the agency has sent in additional staff to assist resident inspectors at two nuclear plants in Louisiana and one in Mississippi.


Mississippi Dam Failure Feared After Tropical Storm Isaac 30 Aug 2012 Heavy rainfall from Tropical Storm Isaac is threatening a dam in southern Mississippi, leading local officials to order an evacuation. Mississippi emergency management notified Gohsep and Tangipahoa Parish, La., government of an "imminent failure" of the dam at Lake Tangipahoa in Mississippi's Percy Quin State Park, which is expected to cause additional flooding along the already swollen Tangipahoa river. The park and dam are near the Louisiana border.

SW Idaho vets volunteer to care for burned bear cub found in wildfire 30 Aug 2012 Veterinary hospitals across southwestern Idaho are volunteering to care for a black bear cub rescued from a wildfire burning in the eastern Idaho backcountry. The bear nicknamed "Boo Boo" needs daily care for second-degree burns on all four paws. The cub needs his bandages changed every day for at least four to six weeks to heal.

Firefighters Save Injured Bear Cub Found Near Idaho Wildfire 30 Aug 2012 A young, frightened and badly injured bear cub - found alone and wandering through the Mustang Complex wildfire area in Idaho - has been saved by firefighters in a coordinated effort with state and federal employees. The small, approximately 20 to 25-pound black bear was spotted in a fir tree along the Salmon River, about 30 miles east of North Fork. The tree was near the border of the wildfire. The cub, estimated to be only about 4 months old was without its mother and appeared weak, according to officials with the U.S. Forest Service and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Frustrated UWS Resident Hangs 'Rat Crossing' Signs 30 Aug 2012 (NYC) Rat infestations are a common problem in the city, but one resident is taking matters into his own hands. Joseph Bolanos, president of the West 76th Street Block Association, installed rat-crossing signs in his neighborhood on the Upper West Side.

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