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UK guard faces death penalty in Iraq

UK guard faces death penalty in Iraq 13 Jun 2010 A British security guard faces the death penalty for the murder of two of his colleagues in a drunken rampage at a bar in Baghdad's Green Zone. Danny Fitzsimons, 33, of Middleton, Greater Manchester, is a former paratrooper who was working for ArmorGroup, the private security division of G4S, last August when he shot two colleagues and an Iraqi interpreter.

Regulators close Seattle bank, total now 82

Regulators close Seattle bank, total now 82 11 Jun 2010 U.S. regulators seized Washington First International Bank in Seattle on Friday evening, bringing the total of failures so far this year to 82. East West Bank of Pasadena, California will assume all of the deposits and most of the assets of the failed bank, which had about $441.1 million in deposits and $520.9 million in assets as of March 31, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said.

Sea Battle Fear As Iran Sends Flotilla to Gaza

Sea Battle Fear As Iran Sends Flotilla to Gaza 13 Jun 2010 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to breach Israel's blockade of Gaza, as two aid ships and a military escort prepare to set sail. In a provocative  move the ­Iranian Red Crescent was this weekend due to send two vessels packed with food and medical aid and 70 relief workers. A third ship, carrying an operating theatre, could follow. President Ahmadinejad raised the spectre of a sea battle as he warned the ships would be carrying an escort of "volunteer marines" ready to "teach Israelis a lesson". [The 'provocative move' was the establishment of the blockade of Gaza by Israel.]

W.House Adviser Parroting BP 'Legitimate Claims' Jargon

W.House Adviser Parroting BP 'Legitimate Claims' Jargon: Obama will demand BP establish escrow account to handle oil spill claims 13 Jun 2010 President Obama will demand that BP establish an escrow account to compensate for Gulf Coast oil spill claims when he meets with company executives on Wednesday, White House officials said Sunday. Obama is expected to announce the details of the escrow account request during an address to the nation Tuesday night, which he will make upon returning to the White House after a two-day trip to the region, senior adviser David Axelrod said. "We want to make sure that money is escrowed for the legitimate claims," Axelrod said on NBC's Meet the Press. [Why not use Axelrod, et al., to plug the hole?]

US-led soldier dies in Afghanistan war

US-led soldier dies in Afghanistan war 13 Jun 2010 Another NATO soldier has been killed in southern Afghanistan as the death toll for the US-led troops continues to set new records in the war-ravaged country. The Danish soldier died in a bomb attack in Helmand Province on Sunday. Four more Danish troops were injured in the blast.

At least 24 killed as gunmen storm Iraq's Central Bank

Blackwater is a busy little Baghdad bee! At least 24 killed as gunmen storm Iraq's Central Bank --46 are injured in the assault by more than a dozen assailants, who set off explosions and exchange fire with bank guards. The purpose wasn't theft but sabotage, a Baghdad security spokesman says. 13 Jun 2010 Armed men wearing police-commando uniforms briefly overran Iraq's Central Bank on Sunday, killing at least 24 people in a brazen daylight assault and sowing panic and confusion in the heart of Baghdad's busiest commercial district. The corpses of another seven men wearing uniforms and suspected to be among the assailants were found inside the bank after police finally entered, four hours after the assault began.

Vast ocean covered one third of surface of Mars

Vast ocean covered one third of surface of Mars [Then BP arrived.] 13 Jun 2010 A vast Earth-like ocean covered a third of the surface of Mars 3.5 billion years ago, new research suggests. Scientists believe it stretched around the planet's northern hemisphere and held 10 times more water than all the Earth's oceans combined. It may also have provided a cradle for the emergence of extraterrestrial life.

Top UK commander to lose job over Afghan war

Top UK commander to lose job over Afghan war 13 Jun 2010 Britain will replace its most senior military officer, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, over failures in Afghanistan, a top British official has suggested. In an interview with the Sunday Times, Defense Secretary Liam Fox said his ministry will be replacing Sir Stirrup as well as Sir Bill Jeffrey, the department's top civil servant, by next autumn. Fox said the move was meant to seek to "draw line" under Britain's failure in Afghanistan -- which has been blamed on the military's "incompetent" war equipment.

Central Bank Targeted In Baghdad Bombings

Central Bank Targeted In Baghdad Bombings 13 Jun 2010 A series of bomb attacks in Baghdad is thought to have killed at least 16 people and injured dozens more. Gunmen detonated one bomb outside the Iraq Central Bank and then battled security forces from the building's roof. Another four bombs are thought to have exploded in just 10-minutes in the bank's compound as bank workers left the building.

Former Homeland Security official faces sentencing

Former Homeland Security official faces sentencing 13 Jun 2010 A former Department of Homeland Security official once responsible for stopping illegal aliens from entering the country through key ports in New England faces sentencing this week for encouraging her Brazilian housekeeper to remain in the United States illegally. A federal jury in Boston convicted Lorraine Henderson in March of one count of encouraging or inducing an illegal alien.

Ducks Unlimited: Oil threatens millions of birds

Ducks Unlimited: Oil threatens millions of birds 11 Jun 2010 Oil could turn Gulf marshlands into open water and affect millions of migratory birds for generations, Tom Moorman, the senior science official and leader of the oil spill task force for Ducks Unlimited said Friday. It has taken more than 50 years for the plant root network holding the marshlands together at the base of the Mississippi River to form, he said at a briefing for reporters... Louisiana marshland has shrunk from 3 million acres to 1.2 million acres, or 40 percent, since the turn of the century, and toxic oil would accelerate that, he said.

Obama overlooked key points in giving OK to offshore drilling

Obama overlooked key points in giving OK to offshore drilling 11 Jun 2010 An in-depth review by McClatchy reveals how Obama reached that initial decision to expand offshore drilling [on 31 March] _ and why he failed to get information that might have led him instead to delay or oppose it and perhaps even raise questions about the deepwater drilling that was already under way. Obama and his team overlooked some important points as they prepared to give the green light to more offshore oil drilling.

Utah Oil Spill: 500 Barrels Spill Into Red Butte Creek After Pipeline Breaks

Utah Oil Spill: 500 Barrels Spill Into Red Butte Creek After Pipeline Breaks 13 Jun 2010 A leaked pipeline sent oil spilling into a Salt Lake City creek, coating geese and ducks and closing a park, officials said Saturday as they started a cleanup effort expected to last weeks. At least 400 to 500 barrels of oil spewed into Red Butte Creek before crews capped the leak site. Nearly 50 gallons of crude oil per minute initially had spilled into the creek, according to Scott Freitag, a Salt Lake City Fire Department spokesman. (Photos)

Pakistani agents 'funding and training Afghan Taliban'

Pakistani agents 'funding and training Afghan Taliban' 13 Jun 2010 Pakistani intelligence gives funding, training and sanctuary to the Afghan Taliban on a scale much larger than previously thought, a report says. Taliban field commanders interviewed for the report suggested that ISI intelligence agents even attend Taliban supreme council meetings. Support for the Afghan Taliban was "official ISI policy", the London School of Economics (LSE) authors suggest. [As part of the 'Pakistan stimulus,' the US government gives Pakistan hundreds of millions in military aid. Guess what? That means the US is funding both sides of the Afghan war so the US can continue running its opium routes.]

Israel looted Flotilla, activists say

Israel looted Flotilla, activists say 12 Jun 2010 Gaza Freedom Flotilla activists say they were robbed of their cash and equipment by the Israeli military after their ships came under a deadly attack on May 31. According to Gaza flotilla survivors speaking to Press TV, activists on board the aid convoy were robbed of an estimated 3.5 million dollars in cash and equipment by Israeli commandos. Hundreds of the campaigners have reported missing cash, laptops, phones and clothes after being released by Israel last week.

Arab League head calls for end of Gaza blockade

Arab League head calls for end of Gaza blockade 13 Jun 2010 The blockade on the Gaza Strip "must be broken", the head of the Arab League Amr Moussa has said. The Arab world's most senior diplomat spoke at the beginning of his first trip to the Palestinian territory.

Karzai: Americans attacked peace conference, not Taliban

Karzai: Americans attacked peace conference, not Taliban 11 Jun 2010 Two senior Afghan officials were showing President Hamid Karzai the evidence of the spectacular rocket attack on a nationwide peace conference earlier this month when Mr. Karzai told them that he believed the Taliban were not responsible. A prominent Afghan with knowledge of the meeting, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Karzai suggested in the meeting that it might have been the Americans who carried it out... But underlying the tensions, according to Mr. Saleh and Afghan and Western officials, was something more profound: That Mr. Karzai had lost faith in the Americans and NATO to prevail in Afghanistan.

North Korea Threatens 'All-Out Military Strike' on South's Loudspeakers

North Korea Threatens 'All-Out Military Strike' on South's Loudspeakers 12 Jun 2010 North Korea warned of an "all-out military strike” to destroy South Korean loudspeakers and other propaganda tools along their fortified border, according to the North’s state-run Korean Central News Agency. South Korea’s preparation for psychological warfare, is a "direct declaration of a war” against the North, the general staff of the state’s military said today in a statement on KCNA. The North’s military retaliation may turn Seoul into "a sea of flame," the statement said.

Al-Jazeera says its World Cup kick-off sabotaged

CIA trolls are busy little bees! Al-Jazeera says its World Cup kick-off sabotaged 12 Jun 2010 Al-Jazeera television's sports coverage was hit by outages during the opening match of the football World Cup by what the company claims was sabotage. Al-Jazeera Sport, which has exclusive transmission rights of the event in the Arab world, was deliberately jammed on the Nilesat and Arabsat satellites, said a statement issued late on Friday. The channel aims to identify and pursue those responsible for this "act of piracy," managing director Nasser bin Ghanem al-Kholeifi said, while also apologising to the fans.

British serviceman killed in Helmand

British serviceman killed in Helmand 12 Jun 2010 Another British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan as the death toll for the US-led troops continues to rise and set new records. The soldier, from 1st Battalion the Mercian Regiment, was killed on Saturday in Nahr-e Saraj in the southern Afghan province of Helmand, AFP quoted the Ministry of Defense in London as saying.

Al-Jazeera furious after World Cup signal hacked

Al-Jazeera furious after World Cup signal hacked 12 Jun 2010 Al-Jazeera Sport, the network with exclusive broadcasting rights for the World Cup in the Middle East and North Africa, has said its signal was deliberately jammed on satellite channels Nilesat and Arabsat in an "act of piracy." Viewers were faced with blank or frozen screens when they tried to watch the opening game between Mexico and South Africa on Friday until its signal returned in the second half of the match, but the quality was patchy, the Qatar-based news network reported.

'Arrest me, I'm a terrorist'

'Arrest me, I'm a terrorist' 11 Jun 2010 Responding to US Congressman Brad Sherman (D-Nutjob-CA) call for the arrest and prosecution of "any US citizens who were aboard or involved with the Freedom Flotilla," several American activists "turned themselves in" Thursday - at Sherman's office. "Arrest me, I'm a terrorist," said one of the activists, several of whom were affiliated with the Free Gaza Movement, Gaza Freedom March, Code Pink, and Freedom Flotilla, when the group arrived at Rep. Sherman's Capitol Hill office to make themselves available for arrest.

Israeli wanted over Dubai killing 'held in Poland'

Israeli wanted over Dubai killing 'held in Poland' 12 Jun 2010 Polish authorities have reportedly arrested a suspected Israeli agent in connection with the murder of a Hamas operative in Dubai in January. German prosecutors say the agent was arrested in early June. Media reports named him as Uri Brodsky. Germany is seeking his extradition over a forged German passport used by one of the killers, the prosecutors say.

Pentagon 'hunting Wikileaks founder over Iraq video'

Pentagon 'hunting Wikileaks founder over Iraq video' 12 Jun 2010 The Pentagon is trying to establish the whereabouts of the founder of Wikileaks, the whistle-blowing website, as it tries to stop the publication of classified documents it says could damage US national security. According to The Daily Beast website, US officials want to find Julian Assange, who they believe may be in possession of documents leaked by Bradley Manning, 22, a soldier who was detained in Baghdad a week ago. Manning was detained in connection with the leak of a military video that was provided to Wikileaks and showed Apache helicopters gunning down unarmed men in Iraq, including two journalists. [Hurry and publish, Julian!!]

'US troops kill 5 Iraqi bystanders'

'US troops kill 5 Iraqi bystanders' 12 Jun 2010 Five Iraqis who were standing on their rooftop witnessing the arrival of US infantrymen have lost their lives after their house was attacked by the troops. The Friday attack took place in al-Khanafsa area, south of Baghdad and near the holy city of Karbala, witnesses said, according to Reuters. "The US troops came from here on foot patrol…," said one witness. "When they arrived, a man went to the roof of his house to look at them, they intentionally opened fire at him as they saw him and his wife who went upstairs to check what happened..."

Doctors "calibrated" pain for CIA interrogations

Doctors "calibrated" pain for CIA interrogations By Ed Hightower 12 Jun 2010 According to a recent report, the CIA’s Office of Medical Services (OMS) utilized doctors to carefully monitor the physical effects of torture techniques on prisoners. The report, issued by the non-profit organization Physicians for Human Rights, relies on declassified government documents to demonstrate that the CIA and other agencies, including the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, engaged in human experimentation in violation of international law, domestic law and relevant ethical requirements for health care professionals.

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites

Saudi Arabia gives Israel clear skies to attack Iranian nuclear sites 12 Jun 1010 Saudi Arabia has conducted tests to stand down its air defences to enable Israeli jets to make a bombing raid on Iran’s nuclear facilities, The Times can reveal. In the week that the UN Security Council imposed a new round of sanctions on Tehran, defence sources in the Gulf say that Riyadh has agreed to allow Israel to use a narrow corridor of its airspace in the north of the country to shorten the distance for a bombing run on Iran.

NRC to consider allowing blended waste in Utah

NRC to consider allowing blended waste in Utah 10 Jun 2010 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is proposing a rule change that would allow hotter radioactive waste to be mixed with less hazardous waste so it could be disposed of in Utah. Utah is home to the only low-level radioactive waste facility available to 36 states. But it only disposes of Class A waste, considered the least hazardous. NRC regulators are proposing the blending of hotter Class B and C waste with Class A waste so that it can legally come to Utah. [Store it at BP HQ - problem solved!]

NRC approves operation of New Mexico uranium plant

Under cover of the BP oil gusher: NRC approves operation of New Mexico uranium plant 11 Jun 2010 The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has authorized startup of a [deadly] $3 billion uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico, the first major nuclear facility to be licensed in the US in the past three decades. NRC officials said in a news release Thursday they are satisfied the facility can begin operations. [Thanks, Obusha!]

Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News

Efforts to Limit the Flow of Spill News 10 Jun 2010 A pilot wanted to take a photographer from The Times-Picayune of New Orleans to snap photographs of the oil slicks blackening the water. The response from a BP contractor who answered the phone late last month at the command center was swift and absolute: Permission denied... Journalists struggling to document the impact of the oil rig explosion have repeatedly found themselves turned away from public areas affected by the spill, and not only by BP and its contractors, but by local law enforcement, the Coast Guard and government officials.

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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