Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Va. workers' part-time hours capped due to health law !

Va. workers' part-time hours capped due to health law 08 Feb 2013 Thousands of part-time state workers, including many in Hampton Roads, are being told they'll be allowed to work no more than 29 hours a week going forward. The reason: The federal Affordable Care Act requires that employees working 30 hours a week or more receive health care benefits - which would cost Virginia tens of millions of dollars a year. The new policy will mean a pay cut for many part-timers, including adjunct college professors. The 29-hour limit is on its way to becoming state law, thanks to language inserted into the state budget at the request of [Republican] Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration.

Breaking: Cops exchange gunfire with wanted ex-cop --Deputy wounded in shootout with gunman believed to be ex-cop Dorner dies: Los Angeles Times --FAA puts flight restrictions over area, impacts coverage by news helicopters --LAPD asks media not to televise San Bernardino SWAT activities. --Area in lockdown --'Over 500 bullets' already fired--2 officers wounded, taken to hospital --4 schools in full lockdown --Man 'matching Dorner's description' was in area [?] 38 in search forChristopher Dorner 12 Feb 2013 Fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner has reportedly exchanged gunfire with federal authorities in California's Big Bear Lake area. [I wonder how many more civilians the LAPD/Feds will kill in their hunt for Dorner?

Dorner gun battle: 2 officers shot, 'deputies are everywhere' 12 Feb 2013 Fugitive former police officer Christopher Dorner allegedly shot and wounded at least two San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies during a shootout with authorities in the Big Bear area Tuesday afternoon, sources said. Dozens of law enforcement officers were racing to the last reported scene of a gun battle near the 7 Oaks cabin area near Big Bear. "There are deputies everywhere on the ground and on foot," said Cindy Bachman, a San Bernardino County sheriff's spokeswoman.

Anonymous intends to block Webcasts of State of the Union 12 Feb 2013 The online hactivist collective Anonymous intends to block Webcasts of President Obama's State of the Union address this evening because of what it calls a lack of attention to issues important to the group. "There will be no State of the Union Address on the Web tonight," the group said today in a blog post announcing the effort, which it has code named #opSOTU. Specifically, the group says it objects to Obama not addressing the prosecution of Web activist Aaron Swartz, the long detention of alleged WikiLeaker Bradley Manning, wireless wiretapping, the targeted killings of U.S. citizens by drones, and the National Defense Authorization Act, which it calls "an act of outright tyrannical legislation." In the post, Anonymous said it planned to cut off the Capitol from the Internet during the president's address.

State of the Union by Lori Price 12 Feb 2013 Here's what people can watch during the State of the Union and the two corporatists' rebuttals: Criminal Minds. Because we'd rather watch good actors who pretend to be sociopaths than sociopaths who pretend to be good actors.

White House to issue cybersecurity executive order Wednesday - Sources 11 Feb 2013 The White House is poised to release a cybersecurity executive order on Wednesday, two people familiar with the matter told The Hill. The highly anticipated directive from President Obama is expected to be released at a briefing Wednesday morning at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where senior administration officials will provide an update about cybersecurity policy. The White House began crafting the executive order after Congress failed to pass cybersecurity legislation last year.

9/11 Lawyers Fear Gov't Eavesdropping at Guantanamo 11 Feb 2013  Lawyers for the five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks want to know if U.S. government officials have been eavesdropping on their private conversations with the defendants. At a hearing Jan. 28, the sound system in the Guantanamo courtroom was suddenly cut, to the surprise of even the judge. The judge later revealed that a government official, from an agency that the military has refused to disclose, was following the proceedings from outside the courtroom and intervened to prevent the potential release of classified information... But since the Jan. 28 incident, lawyers for the defendants say they have become more concerned about possible additional monitoring that they say would violate attorney-client privilege and make it impossible for them to represent the men. They have asked the judge [Army Col. James Pohl] to halt all proceedings until the issue is resolved.

Government Panel in Afghanistan Confirms Widespread Torture of Detainees 12 Feb 2013 An Afghan government panel on Monday acknowledged widespread torture of detainees, after a two-week investigation of a United Nations report citing rampant abuses. At a news conference in Kabul, the panel's director said its inquiry had confirmed evidence that nearly half of the 284 prisoners interviewed in three provinces had been tortured during arrest or questioning. The inquiry also found that many of the detainees never had access to legal defense. But even though the official, Abdul Qadir Adalatkhwa, noted that the findings were serious, he insisted that there was no evidence of "systematic torture."

34,000 U.S. Troops to Exit Afghanistan Within a Year 13 Feb 2013 President Obama plans to announce in his State of Union address on Tuesday night that half of the 66,000 American troops in Afghanistan will be home by this time next year, according to an administration official familiar with the speech. But the plan also gives the military commanders in Afghanistan the flexibility they have long sought in determining the pace of the reductions. Under the phased withdrawal, this official said, commanders will have a "robust force" for the next fighting season, which ends in September and October.

Protester hurls shoes at Paul Bremer, former US envoy to Iraq 11 Feb 2013 Former U.S. diplomat [aka Exxon Mobil/Monsanto wh*re] Paul Bremer had shoes thrown at him during a meeting held Wednesday in the British Parliament in an attack reminiscent of the 2008 shoe hurling directed at President [sic]  George W. Bush. A video that captured the [perfect] moment was posted on YouTube. The incident occurred as Bremer, a former U.S. envoy to Iraq, was giving a speech at a meeting organized by the Henry Jackson Society, a British-based think tank named for the late U.S. senator from Washington state. Bush, who appointed Bremer to his post in Iraq was the target of a similar attack when he visited Baghdad in 2008. Shoe hurling is a traditional Arab gesture of disrespect.

North Korea conducts nuclear test: South Korea defense ministry 11 Feb 2013 North Korea conducted a nuclear test on Tuesday, South Korea's defence ministry said, after seismic activity measuring 4.9 magnitude was registered by the U.S. Geological Survey. The epicentre of the seismic activity, which was only one km below the Earth's surface, was close to the North's known nuclear test site. "We've been informed by the South Koreans that there's been a (North Korean) nuclear test," a U.N. Security Council diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Senate panel to vote on Defense nominee Hagel 12 Feb 2013 The Senate Armed Services Committee is voting now on former Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel's nomination to be secretary of defense. Democrats have a 14- to 12-member edge on the committee, so Hagel is expected to clear this hurdle and move on to a full Senate vote sometime this week.

Man with rare Sars-like coronavirus in intensive care in Manchester --First UK resident to contract acute respiratory illness, from which five have died, travelled recently to Middle East and Pakistan 11 Feb 2013 A man who returned recently from the Middle East and Pakistan is under intensive care in a Manchester hospital where he has been confirmed as the first UK resident to be infected by a new form of virus. He is only the 10th confirmed case with this type of acute respiratory illness, from which five people have died. The latest case is the second to be identified with the coronavirus in Britain. Authorities notified the World Health Organisation on Friday.

Icelandic MP who released WikiLeaks video plans US visit despite legal threat 11 Feb 2013 Birgitta Jónsdóttir, the Icelandic MP and member of the WikiLeaks team that released secret footage of a US Apache helicopter attack on civilians in Iraq, is planning to visit America for the first time since the 'Collateral Murder' video was made public to express her support for Bradley Manning, the video's alleged source. Jónsdóttir plans to travel to New York on 5 April to mark the third anniversary of the posting of the footage, one of the most dramatic WikiLeaks releases and one that helped put the website and its founder Julian Assange on the global map. She is making the journey even though she has been advised by the Icelandic government not to do so for fear of legal retribution from US authorities.

Feds Set to Mandate 'Black Box' Data Recorders in Every Car and Truck --There's no opt-out. It's extremely difficult for car owners to disable the recorders. 11 Feb 2013 Many motorists don't know it, but it's likely that every time they get behind the wheel, there's a snitch along for the ride. Today is the last day that the public can comment on a proposed law that would put so-called black boxes in every new car sold by September 1, 2014. The thing is, most cars already have them unbeknownst to many drivers. Automakers have been quietly tucking the devices, which automatically record the actions of drivers and the responses of their vehicles in a continuous information loop, into most new cars for years. Privacy advocates say government regulators and automakers are spreading an intrusive technology without first putting in place policies to prevent misuse of the information collected.

Christopher Dorner manhunt: former LAPD officer could face death penalty 12 Feb 2013 Police in California are chasing more than 1,000 tips and reported sightings of Christopher Dorner, the fugitive former police officer who has eluded a massive manhunt and is eligible for the death penalty if caught. Detectives on Tuesday were examining video footage of a man resembling Dorner buying scuba diving equipment at a store in Torrance days before he allegedly killed three people in a vendetta against the Los Angeles police department. Authorities also investigated the possibility an associate identified only as JY helped the rogue former officer evade a dragnet in Big Bear, a ski resort where Dorner's pick-up truck was found burning and abandoned last Thursday.

Los Angeles Police Department declares 'tactical alert:' Dorner manhunt, Grammys have LAPD calling in troops 10 Feb 2013 Faced with two massive law enforcement situations -- security for the Grammy Awards and a manhunt for an ex-cop wanted in three slayings -- the Los Angeles Police Department declared a tactical alert Sunday night. The LAPD did not detail its Grammy security arrangements, but the department regularly sends a large contingent of officers to awards shows. The tactical alert came the same day that Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a $1-million reward for information leading to Dorner's capture.

Multiple people shot in Delaware courthouse 11 Fevb 2013 A police spokesman says three people were shot at the New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware. Wilmington police Cpl. Jamaine Crawford says two women and a man were shot early Monday and that the man hit was a security guard. Crawford says he does not know the condition of the three people who were shot. According to Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams' office, the shooter is deceased, reports KYW-TV CBS affiliate in Philadelphia.

Former Fla. GOP chief pleads guilty before trial 11 Feb 2013 The criminal trial of former Republican Party of Florida chair Jim Greer had promised to be embarrassing for party leaders... But Greer's guilty pleas on Monday to four counts of theft and a single count of money laundering ended the trial before it even started and ensured that some state GOP secrets will currently remain confidential. "There were a number of people who did not want this trial to go forward and the trial isn't going forward," Damon Chase, Greer's attorney, said after the former chair entered his pleas in court. "Once again, Jim Greer is falling on his sword for a lot of other folks."

Sexual abuse victims blast Benedict papacy 11 Feb 2013 Pope Benedict leaves office having failed to stamp out the sexual abuse of children by priests and with the culture of secrecy that fostered the scandal still in place, groups representing some of the victims said on Monday. Bishops Accountability, a U.S. pressure group, said the pope had apologized frequently for the harm done by priests but had never taken effective action to rectify the "incalculable harm" done to hundreds of thousands of children by predatory clergy. "Benedict's words rang hollow. He spoke as a shocked bystander, as if he had just stumbled upon the abuse crisis," Anne Barrett Doyle, the group's co-director said in a statement.

Benedict XVI first Pope to resign since 15th-century Gregory XII 11 Feb 2013 Church law does allow for a pope to resign -- if he is of sound mind and not forced out by fear or fraud. Pope Benedict said in Light of the World, a collection of interviews with a German journalist, that "a pope should resign if he clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically, and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right and, under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign." The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in the 15th Century.

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