CLG News: Senate Bill, Quietly Rewritten
Senate bill, quietly rewritten, allows feds to read e-mail without warrants 20 Nov 2012 A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans' e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law. CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans' e-mail, is scheduled for next week. Leahy's rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies -- including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission -- to access Americans' e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.
Californian men charged with plot to join al-Qaida --The two began posting radical content on Facebook and expressing extremist views in comments. [Posting 'radical content' on Facebook and expressing 'extremist comments.' Gee, doesn't *everyone* do that?!] 20 Nov 2012 Four Southern California men have been charged with plotting to kill Americans in the US and overseas by joining al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] and the Taliban in Afghanistan, federal officials said. The defendants were arrested for plotting to bomb government facilities and public places after federal authorities uncovered their plans to engage in "violent jihad", the FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. According to a federal complaint unsealed on Monday during their initial appearances, Sohiel Omar Kabir, introduced two other California men to the radical Islamist doctrine of Anwar al-Awlaki, a deceased 'al-Qaida' leader.
Oil leak forces PPL nuclear reactor off line 20 Nov 2012 (PA) One of the nuclear reactors at PPL's Susquehanna plant near Berwick was shut down due to an oil leak Monday night after returning briefly to service following an 11-day outage caused by a computer problem. The leak of hydraulic oil in a system that controls the flow of steam into the turbine at Unit 2 did not affect public or employee safety [?] and was contained to the building housing the turbine, according to a PPL news release. Unit 2 shut down on Nov. 9 following a malfunction in a computer system that monitors two water systems, one that circulates cooling water within the reactor and another that runs water through the reactor to produce steam to drive the turbine.
TEPCO, Japanese government denying Fukushima radiation reaching ocean fish 20 Nov 2012 In what must the most dumbfounding state of denial seen in modern times, both the Japanese government and utility Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) are disputing the recent study that showed radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant is leaking into the ocean. Eighteen months after the March 2011 nuclear disaster, the U.S. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution reported that 40% of the fish caught off the coast of Fukushima were still testing positive for radioactive contamination above the government's safety own limits. Scientist Ken Buesseler of Woods Hole stated that while it was expected to still find some levels of contamination, 40% was far too high of a measurement after a year and a half had passed.
Over 13,000 file second criminal complaint against Tepco, Government for Fukushima disaster 16 Nov 2012 It's been more than a year, but life in Japan is still revolving around the Fukushima disaster and if and how it could have been averted. The government's now-defunct Nuclear Safety Commission and officials of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) were aware of the hazards involved, in case of an earthquake and tsunami. Anger by the way these people in power and position reacted to this knowledge has led to a second mass suit claiming damages. More than thirteen thousand people have filed a criminal complaint against Japanese government officials, thirty-three executives of Tokyo Electric Power Co., and experts for their role in the Fukushima nuclear power plant's disaster. The complaint outlines professional negligence resulting in deaths and injuries and violation of Japan's environmental laws by emitting substances harmful to human health.
Globe Risks 'Cataclysmic Changes' From Warming, World Bank Says 19 Nov 2012 The globe risks "cataclysmic changes" caused by extreme heatwaves, rising seas and depleted food stocks as it heads toward global warming of 4 degrees Celsius this century, according to a World Bank report. Current national pledges to reduce greenhouse gases won't do much to change the current trajectory of temperatures, which are set to rise by about double the United Nations target of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, the scientific study e-mailed by the World Bank shows today. That level of warming threatens to cause sea levels to rise by a meter (3 feet) or more by 2100, flooding cities in nations from Mexico to Mozambique and the Philippines, according to the study.
U.S. blocks U.N. Security Council action Israel, Gaza conflict 20 Nov 2012 The United States blocked on Tuesday a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the escalating conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, setting the scene for a possible showdown between Washington and Russia on the issue. [How do you excuse this one, Obama apologists?]
Turkey Labels Israel a 'Terrorist State' 19 Nov 2012 Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of being a "terrorist state" on Monday and criticized world powers for supporting the weeklong bombardment of Gaza that has killed more some 115 people, signaling that the three-year-old rift between the countries is deepening. Speaking in Istanbul shortly after returning from Cairo... Mr. Erdogan railed against what he called Western powers' failure to take concerted action to stop bloodshed in Syria. But harsher words were aimed at one-time ally Israel. "Those who speak of Muslims and terror side by side are turning a blind eye when Muslims are massacred en masse," he told a gathering of the Eurasian Islamic Council. "Those who turn a blind eye to discrimination toward Muslims in their own countries, are also closing their eyes to the savage massacre of innocent children in Gaza... Therefore, I say Israel is a terrorist state."
Gaza crisis: 'More than 100' killed in Israeli strikes 19 Nov 2012 At least 105 people have died in the Gaza Strip in six days of violence, Hamas officials say, as Israeli forces continue their bombardment. Monday's fatalities include a commander of the Islamic Jihad militant group and a couple and their two small children. More than 100 rockets were fired on Israel on Monday, but no casualties were reported. Last week, three Israelis died in one such attack.
Journalists injured in Israeli attack 18 Nov 2012 Israeli war planes have struck two media buildings in Gaza City, injuring at least eight journalists, including one who lost his leg, medical officials say. Separately, Israeli air strikes continued in other parts of Gaza, including the north, where two children were killed in raids on homes. The first Israeli strike on a media building came around 2am on Sunday. "At least six journalists were wounded, with minor and moderate injuries, when Israeli warplanes hit the al-Quds TV office in the Showa and Housari building in the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City," health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
Faster than NATO, France ends Afghan combat role 20 Nov 2012 France on Tuesday ended its combat operations in Afghanistan, pulling hundreds of troops from a base in a volatile region northeast of Kabul and fulfilling promises to end its combat role on a faster track than other NATO allies. After a handover ceremony with Afghan troops, 500 French combat soldiers in trucks and armored vehicles left the Nijrab base in the Kapisa region -- where anti-government insurgents have been active -- and traveled southwest to Kabul, the capital, said Col. Thierry Burkhard, a French military spokesman.
Report: French officials accuse US of hacking Sarkozy's computers 20 Nov 2012 The United States used U.S.-Israeli spy software to hack into the French presidential office earlier this year, the French cyberwarfare agency has concluded, according to the newsmagazine l'Express. The magazine reported late Tuesday that the computers of several close advisers to then-president Nicolas Sarkozy – including Chief of Staff Xavier Musca – were compromised in May by a computer virus that bears the hallmarks of Flame, which was allegedly created by a U.S.-Israeli team to target Iran's nuclear program. Anonymous French officials pointed the finger at the United States.
Anonymous Doxes General Petraeus, Claims to Reveal Personal Address and Phone Number --Phone number has since been disconnected 19 Nov 2012 Doxtor Dox, a hacker affiliated with Anonymous, has published what he claims is the personal information of former CIA head General David Petraeus. Included in the dox, which was published to Pastebin on November 16th and spotted by the Daily Dot, is the personal address and phone number of both General Petraeus and his wife, Holly.
Fort Bragg officials investigate body found on post 20 Nov 2012 Officials are investigating reports of a remains found on post in a remote area of Fort Bragg. The Army's Criminal Investigation Command has now removed the remains which were found in the Eastern Training Area. Due to their condition, the remains have been moved to an Army forensic laboratory for identification.
Indianapolis house explosion becomes homicide investigation --Authorities now searching for (the proverbial) 'white van' 19 Nov 2012 Indianapolis officials have opened a homicide investigation into the massive house explosion Nov. 10 that killed a married couple and ruined more than 30 homes. The announcement was made at a Monday night news conference. Officials offered few details, but said they had executed warrants and spoken with witnesses. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said a "parallel investigation" into the explosion's cause now had them searching for a white van spotted in the area around the time of the blast.
Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy 15 Nov 2012 After Hurricane Sandy, survivors needed, in addition to safety and power, the ability to communicate. Yet in parts of New York City, mobile communications services were knocked out for days. The problem? The companies that provide them had successfully resisted Federal Communications Commission calls to make emergency preparations, leaving New Yorkers to rely on the carriers' voluntary efforts. We have so far heard few details about why the companies made the particular business choices they did on backup power and what the consequences of those choices were, because the FCC has been blocked from asking -- even though about a third of people rely on mobile service as their only voice-communications connection.
NJ Drug Company Execs Charged With Insider Trading 19 Nov 2012 Two pharmaceutical company executives are among six people charged in what federal authorities in New Jersey are calling a five-year insider trading scheme. John Lazorchak was director of financial reporting at Celgene Corp. and Mark Cupo held a similar position at Sanofi-Aventis. The U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey says that between 2007 and 2012, Lazorchak and Cupo passed privileged information on their companies' merger and acquisition plans, financial results and regulatory applications to others who would make stock trades.
Speaker Boehner taps Paul Ryan to help strike 'deal' on budget 19 Nov 2012 Speaker John A. Boehner has tapped Wisconsin Representative Paul D. Ryan, who has returned to his post as the House Budget Committee chairman after an unsuccessful run for vice president, to help strike a deal to avoid big tax increases and spending cuts by the end of the year, and to bring along fellow Republicans. "He helps us toward creating a product," said Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, "and he helps sell the product." While President Obama and the Democrats are expected to give ground on entitlements and discretionary spending, it is likely that Mr. Ryan will be the player under the most pressure to back away from his previous conservative positions in order to form a bipartisan Wall Street/GOP/Obama agreement [to burn the working class]. [I predict Obusha will betray the middle and working class and give Boehner '98% of what he (and Obama himself) wants' again on Monday, 24 December, at 5PM ET. --LRP]
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