Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Supreme Court lets stand telecom immunity in wiretap case !

Supreme Court lets stand telecom immunity in wiretap case 09 Oct 2012 The Supreme Court is leaving in place a federal law that gives telecommunications companies legal immunity for helping the government with its [illegal] email and telephone eavesdropping program. The justices said Tuesday they will not review a court ruling that upheld the 2008 law against challenges brought by privacy and civil liberties advocates on behalf of the companies' customers. The companies include AT&T, Inc., Sprint Nextel Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc. Lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Electronic Frontier Foundation accused the companies of violating the law and customers' privacy through collaboration with the National Security Agency on intelligence gathering.

US-led drone crashes in southern Afghanistan: Locals --Taliban collecting wreckage of 'large' aircraft 09 Oct 2012 Locals say an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to US-led forces has crashed in southern Afghanistan, Press TV reports. According to local officials, the incident took place on Monday in the southern Helmand Province. Taliban spokesman Qari Yusof Ahmadi also confirmed the incident, saying that the militant group has collected the wreckage of the "large" aircraft.

Thousands of Pakistanis rally against US drone strikes --Nine-mile convoy led by Imran Khan heads towards South Waziristan as local officials say it will not be allowed to proceed 07 Oct 2012 Thousands of Pakistanis, joined by US anti-war activists, have headed toward Pakistan's tribal region to protest against American drone strikes despite [alleged] threats from the Taliban. The demonstrators, headed by former cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, say the strikes violate Pakistani sovereignty and kill civilians. The motorcade started from Islamabad on Saturday morning and, after an overnight stay in the city of Dera Ismail Khan, departed for the tribal belt.

High court won't hear case against Halliburton 09 Oct 2012 The Supreme Court has ruled out reviving lawsuits against Halliburton Corp. over insurgent ambushes that killed civilian truck drivers in Iraq. In its order Tuesday, the court said it will not review a federal appeals court ruling that threw out suits filed by truckers and their families claiming that Halliburton and its former KBR Inc. subsidiary knowingly sent military supply convoys into danger on roads in the Baghdad area. The attacks killed seven KBR drivers and injured at least 10 others in April 2004.

Oregon Guardsmen suing KBR for Iraq job 09 Oct 2012 Lawyers say they will be watching the outcome of a civil case brought by members of an Oregon National Guard unit against defense contractor KBR. Jury selection was scheduled to begin Tuesday in the case of Bixby et al vs. KBR. The plaintiffs are 12 members of the Oregon National Guard who were deployed to Iraq in 2003 shortly after the U.S.-led invasion. The unit's charge included providing security at a water treatment plant damaged in the fighting, The (Portland) Oregonian reported.

Hugo Chavez comfortably wins Venezuela presidential election [That's because Venezuela doesn't allow 'True the Vote' thugs or the Koch brothers to infest their election process, unlike the Wall Street-pwned US.] 08 Oct 2012 Hugo Chavez has comfortably won Venezuela's presidential election, garnering 54.42 percent of the vote, with 90 percent of the ballots counted. Chavez is now addressing his supporters in an election victory speech in Caracas.

Two Terrorism Arrests At Heathrow Airport 10 Oct 2012 Two people have been arrested at Heathrow Airport on suspicion of committing terrorism offences. A man and a woman were held at 8.30pm on Tuesday after arriving on a flight into the airport. The pair, both aged 26, were arrested by officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. They were taken to a central London police station where they remain in custody.

RPT-WikiLeaks founder Assange's bail guarantors ordered to pay out 08 Oct 2012 Nine people who put up bail for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including two members of the British aristocracy and a Nobel Prize winner, were ordered to pay 93,000 pounds (*150,000) on Monday after Assange took refuge in Ecuador's embassy. The guarantors - who include Nobel prize-winning biologist John Sulston - are liable for part of the 140,000 pound bail fee they pledged, Westminster Magistrate's Court ruled. They were given until Nov. 6 to pay.

Halliburton's lost radioactive device located in West Texas --Device contains small [?] amount of radioactive material and classified as 'category 3' radioactive device 06 Oct 2012 Halliburton Co. said the radioactive device that went missing last month has been located. The 7-inch stainless-steel tube, used in drilling natural gas wells, was found on a road in Reeves County late on Oct. 4, Dow Jones Newswires reports. Halliburton on Sept. 11 first reported the device went missing somewhere along a 130-mile trip between Pecos and Odessa. The Houston-based company had worked with local authorities, state officials and members of a Texas National Guard unit in the search for the device.

16,800 Bq/Kg of cesium measured from sewage sludge ash in Tokyo 06 Oct 2012 06 Oct 2012 A high level of cesium is measured from sewage sludge ash. Significantly high level of cesium -- 16,800 Bq/kg -- was measured in Tokyo. It is the Kasai sewage plant, Edogawa ku, in Tokyo. The sample was taken from 9/10 through 9/26/2012.

Anti-nuclear protesters stage day-long siege of plant 08 Oct 2012 Launching another phase of their agitation against the Kudankulam atomic power project (India), anti-nuclear protesters today began a day-long 'siege' of the plant by placing fibre boats and floating buoys in the sea. The protesters, including hundreds of local fishermen from Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts, remained 500 metres away from the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project, demanding the scrapping of the KNPP. Over 5,000 security personnel, including Rapid Action Force, have been deployed, besides five Coast Guard vessels, said ADGP Rajendran, who is overseeing the security.

Texas schools punish students who refuse to be tracked with microchips 09 Oct 2012 A school district in Texas came under fire earlier this year when it announced that it would require students to wear microchip-embedded ID cards at all times. Now students who refuse to be monitored say they are feeling the repercussions. Since October 1, students at John Jay High School and Anson Jones Middle School in San Antonia, Texas have been asked to attend class clasping onto photo ID cards equipped with radio-frequency identification chips to keep track of each and every pupil's personal location.

U.S. government names SARS a select agent, restricting labs that work on virus --Adding the SARS virus to this list means only U.S. laboratories registered with the Federal Select Agent Program can work on the virus. 05 Oct 2012 The Centers for Disease Control has added SARS to the list of select agents in the United States, a move designed to try to ensure the virus stays within the confines of highly regulated laboratories. The addition, which the CDC first proposed over two years ago, was given legal status this week when the revised select agent list was published in the U.S. Federal Registry. A resurgence of SARS talk in the past 10 days or so has been triggered by the World Health Organization's announcement that a newly discovered created coronavirus has killed a Saudi Arabian man and severely sickened a man from Qatar.

Expert teams are in Saudi Arabia looking for source of new coronavirus 04 Oct 2012 A couple of teams of disease experts have converged on Saudi Arabia, hoping to find the source of a new virus from the SARS family. Experts from the World Health Organization and the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University in New York are in Riyadh on the invitation of the Saudi government, a senior health ministry official confirmed Wednesday. A team from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta is also slated to arrive next week, though Dr. Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia's deputy minister of health, said those plans may change if no new cases of the disease come to light in coming days.

Scant Oversight of Drug Maker in Fatal Meningitis Outbreak 07 Oct 2012 The rising meningitis toll - 7 dead, 57 ill and thousands potentially exposed - has cast a harsh light on the loose regulations that legal experts say allowed a company to sell 17,676 vials of an unsafe drug to pain clinics in 23 states. Federal health officials said Friday that all patients injected with the steroid drug made by that company, the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Mass., which has a troubled history, needed to be tracked down immediately and informed of the danger... "The Food and Drug Administration has more regulatory authority over a drug factory in China than over a compounding pharmacy in Massachusetts," said Kevin Outterson, an associate professor of law at Boston University.

How British companies pour cash into the American elections --FTSE 100 companies are making use of relaxed campaign financing rules to bring their influence to bear --Despite Royal Bank of Scotland being 84% owned by the UK taxpayer, its PAC has channelled *2,500 to Mitt Romney. 06 Oct 2012 More than one in five of Britain's largest corporations are channelling political donations to favoured candidates ahead of next month's elections in the US – though these sums may be only the tip of a new campaign-financing iceberg, according to leading politicians, judges and pro-transparency watchdogs. As election year reaches its climax, America is forecast to experience the most extensively corporate-influenced race for the White House, and for control of Capitol Hill, in living memory. Among the industries already well versed in bankrolling US politics are finance, pharmaceuticals, energy and defence. British multinationals such as HSBC, Barclays, Experian, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline,

AstraZeneca, BP, Shell and BAE all have political action committees (PACs) that channel donations from employees to US politicians.

Despite Court Order, At Least Five Pennsylvania Counties Still Telling Voters They Need ID to Vote 09 Oct 2012 Last week, a Pennsylvania court mostly suspended that state's voter ID law for the upcoming election. Under the court's order, voters will still be asked for ID at the polls, but they will still be able to cast a regular ballot -- not a provisional ballot -- if they are unable to show it. Yet, despite this court order, at least five Pennsylvania county websites still falsely inform voters that they need to show ID in order to cast a regular ballot.

'I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position.' - Obama, in 'debate' with Romney 09 Oct 2012 During Wednesday's so-called debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Obama actually said: "I suspect that on Social Security, we've got a somewhat similar position. It's going to have to be tweaked... It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan [OMG - Obama citing Ronald Reagan, the Iran-Contra, union-busting senile sociopath] and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill." [Yes, Obusha. We know you're a closeted Republican.]  

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