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Brief for 9 states backs Arizona immigration law

Brief for 9 states backs Arizona immigration law 15 Jul 2010 States have the authority to enforce immigration laws and protect their borders, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said Wednesday in a legal brief on behalf of nine states supporting Arizona's immigration law. Cox, one of five Republicans running for Michigan governor, said Michigan is the lead state backing Arizona in federal court and is joined by Alabama, Florida, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia, as well as the Northern Mariana Islands.

BP buys Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community

BP buys Gulf scientists for legal defense, roiling academic community 16 Jul 2010 For the last few weeks, BP has been offering signing bonuses and lucrative pay to prominent scientists from public universities around the Gulf Coast to aid its defense against spill litigation. BP PLC attempted to hire the entire marine sciences department at one Alabama university, according to scientists involved in discussions with the company's lawyers. The university declined because of confidentiality restrictions that the company sought on any research. [This is *nuts.* The petitions are not working. Recall that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Where are the 'insurgents' when you need them? They should be at BP's HQ. --LRP]

Regulators shutter six banks, tallying 96 failures so far in 2010

Regulators shutter six banks, tallying 96 failures so far in 2010 16 Jul 2010 Five more bank failures brought the total tally for the year to 96, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday. Commercial Bank of Alma, Mich., will assume all of the deposits of Mainstreet Savings Bank, FSB, in Hastings, Mich; and CenterState Bank of Winter Haven, Fla., will assume all of the deposits of Olde Cypress Community Bank of Clewiston, Fla. Also, NAFH National Bank of Miami will assume deposits for Miami's Metro Bank of Dade County; Turnberry Bank of Aventura, Fla.; and First National Bank of the South in Spartanburg, S.C. Earlier in the day, regulators closed Woodlands Bank in Bluffton, S.C., with Bank of the Ozarks of Little Rock, Ark., assuming all its deposits.

W.House eyes Warren for new U.S. consumer watchdog

W.House eyes Warren for new U.S. consumer watchdog 16 Jul 2010 Elizabeth Warren, an outspoken consumer rights advocate feared by Wall Street, is among top contenders to head a new financial consumer watchdog bureau, a senior White House adviser said on Friday. "There are other candidates as well. But Elizabeth is certainly a candidate to lead it," adviser David Axelrod told reporters on a conference call, calling Warren a "great champion of middle-class consumers." "She's going to be a strong voice" whether she leads it or not, Axelrod said. [LOL. Obusha is already preparing the psychological groundwork -- part of the Obusha Friday Night Bad News Dump -- for another surrender to his GOP bosses and Wall Street paymasters.]

AP: Ariz. spends $77K to defend law

AP: Ariz. spends $77K to defend law 16 Jul 2010 The state is paying approximately $77,000 to private lawyers for just the first 12 days of work defending Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, with that initial amount expected to be a small fraction of the total costs the state will ultimately face in the seven pending cases. An invoice obtained Friday by The Associated Press through a public records request says attorneys for a Phoenix law firm billed for 240.8 hours of work from May 20-31.

Last month was the hottest June recorded worldwide, figures show

Last month was the hottest June recorded worldwide, figures show --US government climate data suggests 2010 on course to be warmest year since records began 16 Jul 2010 Last month was the hottest June ever recorded worldwide and the fourth consecutive month that the combined global land and sea temperature records have been broken, according to the US government's climate data centre. The figures released last night by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) suggest that 2010 is now on course to be the warmest year since records began in 1880.

Judge Rules CIA Can Suppress Information About Torture Tapes and Memos

Judge Rules CIA Can Suppress Information About Torture Tapes and Memos --Ruling Allows CIA to Conceal Evidence of Its Own Illegal Conduct, Says ACLU 15 Jul 2010 A federal judge [Alvin K. Hellerstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York] today ruled that the government can withhold information from the public about intelligence sources and methods, even if those sources and methods were illegal. The ruling came in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation filed by the American Civil Liberties Union for Justice Department memos that authorized torture, and for records relating to the contents of destroyed videotapes depicting the brutal interrogation of detainees at CIA black sites. The government continues to withhold key information, such as the names of detainees who were subjected to the abusive interrogation methods as well as information about the application of the interrogation techniques.

Israel, U.S. behind fatal Iran suicide bombings, Iran official says

Israel, U.S. behind fatal Iran suicide bombings, Iran official says --Top Revolutionary Guards officer says attacks, which left 27 dead, were an attempt by the west to raise tensions between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims [as the US does in Iraq 24/7, to justify the ongoing Blackwater occupation]. 16 Jul 2010 Israel and the United States were behind the twin suicide bombings on a mosque in Iran that left 27 people dead, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer told the semi-official Fars news agency on Friday. Two bombs went off in the suicide attack at the mosque in Zahedan Thursday night. Authorities said an additional 167 people were injured and warned the death toll could rise.

BP dispersant likened to 'Agent Orange'

BP dispersant likened to 'Agent Orange' 16 Jul 2010 BP's use of chemicals to disperse the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill has become a source of concern for the US, with lawmakers warning of another "Agent Orange" scandal. Agent Orange is the codename for one of the herbicides and defoliants used by the US military in its herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War from 1961 to 1971. According to Vietnam Red Cross as many as 3 million Vietnamese people have been affected by Agent Orange including at least 150,000 children born with birth defects.

Death toll from SE Iran blasts hits 27

Death toll from SE Iran blasts hits 27 16 Jul 2010 The death toll from the twin bomb blasts in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan has reached 27 while more than ten times as many have been injured. The late July 15 blasts hit outside the city's Grand Mosque, leaving widespread devastations in its trail, IRNA reported on Friday. The two explosions that took place in front of the mosque on also ripped through nearby shops. It is widely believed that hard-line Wahabis and Salafis trained by the CIA in Pakistan are the main elements behind the bombings.

The torture files: key passages

The torture files: key passages --We highlight the key passages from the classified documents disclosed in high court proceedings - and what they show. (guardian.co.uk) 14 Jul 2010 One of the most startling documents is chapter 32 of MI6's general procedural manual, entitled "Detainees and Detention Operations", which advises officers that among the "particular sensitivities" they need to consider before becoming directly involved in an operation to detain a terrorism suspect is the question of whether "detention, rather than killing, is the objective of the operation".

The torture files: MI6 legal advice
The torture files: Downing Street's role
The torture files: the Whitehall row
The torture files: the interrogations

Classified documents reveal UK's role in torture of its own citizens

Classified documents reveal UK's role in torture of its own citizens 14 Jul 2010  The true extent of the Labour government's involvement in the illegal abduction and torture of its own citizens after the 'al-Qaida' attacks of September 2001 has been spelled out in stark detail with the disclosure during high court proceedings of a mass of highly classified documents. Previously secret papers that have been disclosed include a number implicating Tony Blair's office in many of the events that are to be the subject of the judicial inquiry that David Cameron announced last week. Among the most damning documents are a series of interrogation reports from MI5 officers that betray their disregard for the suffering of a British resident whom they were questioning at a US airbase in Afghanistan. The documents also show that the officers were content to see the mistreatment continue.

Jack Straw's role in UK rendition revealed

Jack Straw's role in UK rendition revealed 15 Jul 2010 Foreign Office staff feared that interference from Downing Street over an al-Qaida [al-CIAduh] suspect would open them up to charges of "concealed extradition", according to freshly released documents. Files emerging from the high court case brought by six UK claimants over their clandestine removal to Guantánamo Bay in 2002 reveal the extent of the row... The additional material, released today, sheds further light on the government's decision-making as it approved the handing over of UK suspects, who had never been charged or tried, to US control. It also highlights the close involvement of the former foreign secretary, Jack Straw.

Kidnapped Iranian Scholar Interrogated by Israeli Agents

Kidnapped Iranian Scholar Interrogated by Israeli Agents 15 Jul 2010 Shahram Amiri, an Iranian scholar who returned home after being kidnapped by CIA in Saudi Arabia last year, said that Israeli agents interrogated him while he was in the US. Amiri made the announcement while talking to reporters upon arrival at the International Imam Khomeini Airport in southern Tehran this morning. Amiri, a university lecturer, was kidnapped in the holy Saudi city of Medina on June 3, 2009, during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. He was abducted by US agents with the help of the Saudi intelligence service.

US renews 'full commitment' to Israel

US renews 'full commitment' to Israel 16 Jul 2010 While playing the mediating role between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Washington reassures that it is "fully and firmly committed" to Tel Aviv. American Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice reiterated the US' carte blanche support for Israel during a ceremony held by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York on Thursday. Rice said Washington's commitment was not and will never be negotiable.

Blasts leave 20 dead in southeast Iran

Blasts leave 20 dead in southeast Iran 15 Jul 2010 More than 20 people have been killed and over 100 others have been wounded after two explosions hit the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchestan Province. The first explosion occurred at 9:20 p.m. local time (1650 GMT) in front of the city's Grand Mosque, and was followed by a second blast within minutes, IRNA said. Deputy Interior Minister Ali Abdollahi described the incident as a "terrorist act," Fars news agency reported.

Israeli soldiers cross Lebanese border

Israeli soldiers cross Lebanese border 15 Jul 2010 Lebanon says an Israeli patrol has violated its border, crossing into its territory in the disputed area of Kfar Shuba. "A patrol of eight enemy (Israeli) soldiers crossed the line of withdrawal at the town of Kfar Shuba in an attempt to abduct a shepherd," AFP quoted Neeraj Singh, a Lebanese army spokesman, on Thursday.

Sentence Is Sharply Increased for Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terror

Sentence Is Sharply Increased for Lawyer Convicted of Aiding Terror 16 Jul 2010 A federal judge on Thursday increased the sentence of Lynne F. Stewart, a disbarred lawyer convicted of assisting terrorism, to 10 years -- nearly five times as long as her original sentence. An appeals court had ordered the judge, John G. Koeltl of Federal District Court in Manhattan, to resentence Ms. Stewart after it deemed his first sentence, of 28 months, too light. Judge Koeltl [then] ordered Ms. Stewart to serve 120 months.

US drone attack kills 10 in Pakistan

US drone attack kills 10 in Pakistan 15 Jul 2010 At least 10 people have lost their lives and several others have been injured in a US drone attack in troubled northwestern Pakistan. A drone reportedly fired three missiles at a house in the Datakhel area of North Waziristan, which was allegedly used by militants. The house has been completely destroyed, a Press TV correspondent reported. Officials claimed the building was being used by militants, but local sources told Press TV that the house belonged to a tribesman.

Senate Passes Wall Street 'Regulation' Bill, Sending It to Obama

Senate Passes Wall Street 'Regulation' Bill, Sending It to Obama 15 Jul 2010 The U.S. Senate passed the biggest [pretend] overhaul of financial-industry regulation since the Great Depression, sending the bill inspired by the 2008 credit crisis to the White House for President Barack Obama’s signature. Senators voted 60-39 today in favor of the top-to-bottom rewrite of rules governing Wall Street firms, ending a year of partisan wrangling over protections for consumers and investors.

Goldman to Settle With S.E.C. for $550 Million

Goldman to Settle With S.E.C. for $550 Million 15 Jul 2010 Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges of securities fraud linked to mortgage investments sold to investors, a person briefed on the matter told The New York Times. Under the terms of the deal, Goldman will pay $300 million in fines to the S.E.C., with the rest serving as restitution, this person said. Goldman will not admit wrongdoing.

BP says cap has halted oil flow in Gulf: report; shares up 7%

BP says cap has halted oil flow in Gulf: report --U.S. shares of BP surged nearly 10% to $39.62 in recent activity. 15 Jul 2010 Oil has stopped leaking from the blown well in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time since April, The Associated Press reported Wednesday, citing BP PLC. Earlier in the day, BP said it started performing an integrity test on the well following the placement of a new containment cap on it over the weekend. The stoppage of the leak is a part of the integrity test, which could last from six to 48 hours, and not a permanent fix to the blown well.

Israel firm charged in nuclear case

Israel firm charged in nuclear case --The goods could have been used to make nuclear weapons. 15 Jul 2010 An investigation in the United States has charged a US-based Israeli company with attempting to export nuclear weapons-related material to Israel. The investigation conducted by the Bureau of Industry and Security says Israeli company, Pelogy, attempted to export controlled goods to Israel, India, China and South Africa. The charges against the company comes after Israeli sources declared earlier in July that the US has secretly given a "written guarantee" to Israel that obliges Washington to sell Israel nuclear fission materials.

Cheney recovering from heart surgery

Cheney recovering from heart surgery 15 July 2010 The former US vice-president [sic] Dick Cheney has undergone surgery to install a small pump to help his heart work, as the 69-year-old enters a new phase of what he called "increasing congestive heart failure". The surgery took place last week at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute in northern Virginia.

Liberal television host Rachel Maddow solidarizes herself with US military in Afghanistan

Liberal television host Rachel Maddow solidarizes herself with US military in Afghanistan By David Walsh 15 Jul 2010 The visit by MSNBC news program host Rachel Maddow to Afghanistan in early July was as revealing as it was repugnant... Maddow spent several days in Afghanistan this month, interviewing American officers and soldiers, touring Kandahar and Kabul, discussing counter-insurgency strategy and the overall state of the US military occupation. Whatever misgivings she might have about the ultimate fate of the American and allied effort in Afghanistan, Maddow solidarized herself fully with the occupation and the US military, endorsing the bloody suppression of the insurgency.

Rand Paul would form 'tea party caucus'

Rand Paul would form 'tea party caucus' 14 Jul 2010 Kentucky Senate GOP nominee Rand Paul is floating the idea of forming a "tea party caucus" if he is elected. In an interview with National Review, Paul said that if elected he would like to partner with other tea party-friendly senators to provide a block of representation for the loose affiliation of grass-roots conservative groups.

Hudson Bay polar bears 'could soon be extinct'

Hudson Bay polar bears 'could soon be extinct' --The bears could die out in 25 to 30 years, or perhaps in as few as 10. 15 Jul 2010 Polar bears in the Hudson Bay area of Canada are likely to die out in the next three decades, possibly sooner, as global warming melts more Arctic ice and thus reduces their hunting opportunities, according to Canadian biologists. The animals in western Hudson Bay, one of 19 discrete sub-populations of the species around the Arctic, are losing fat and body mass as their time on the floating sea ice gets shorter and shorter, according to the researchers from the University of Alberta. The west Hudson Bay population has declined from 1,200 animals to 900.

'Some Israeli envoys are spies'

'Some Israeli envoys are spies' 15 Jul 2010 Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has criticized the Israeli ambassador for his comments about his visit to Portugal, saying some Israeli envoys are "Mossad agents." Mottaki described the Israeli envoy's comments as interference in other countries' internal affairs. He also warned other countries about the true identity of some Israeli envoys. "Countries should be careful about the identity of Israeli envoys because some of them are Mossad agents," IRIB quoted Mottaki as saying.

The torture files: the interrogations (LC13)

The torture files: the interrogations (LC13) (guardian.co.uk) 14 Jul 2010 These documents detail for the first time the experiences of a detainee under interrogation. Omar Deghayes records his complaints about his treatment in the Bagram detention centre in Afghanistan in July 2002 and the willingness of MI5 officers to let him be removed to Guantanamo Bay.

'What kind of world was it where the Americans were more barbaric than the Pakistanis?'

Omar Deghayes: 'He was brought in manacled and hooded' --Libyan-born British resident held in Afghanistan was warned he faced a long period of incarceration in US hands 14 Jul 2010 In an MI5 report on the interrogation of Omar Deghayes, a Libyan-born British resident held by the Americans at Bagram airbase north of Kabul, an officer wrote to his superiors in London: "Deghayes was brought to the interview room manacled and hooded. When the hood was removed, Deghayes looked pale and shaky." ...Deghayes told the [MI5] officers that he was suffering internal bleeding and complained that no evidence had been presented against him... "He was treated better by the Pakistanis; what kind of world was it where the Americans were more barbaric than the Pakistanis? We listened but did not comment." MI5 interrogated Deghayes again and told a senior American officer in Deghayes' presence, that the detainee had not been co-operating. "If he sticks to his story and just gives a few more details, we propose disengaging and allowing events here to take their course," the officer wrote. In the autumn Deghayes was flown to Guantánamo Bay, where he stayed for more than five years. At one point he was so severely beaten that he was blinded in one eye.

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