News Updates from CLG
23 September 2015
Previous edition: MI5 chief demands more powers to snoop on Facebook and Twitter messages to 'stop terrorists'
Pope Francis Arrives on Historic First U.S. Visit | 22 Sept 2015 | Pope Francis landed to a red-carpet welcome on Tuesday as he opened his first visit to the United States determined to press the world's last superpower to do more to care for the planet and its most marginalized inhabitants. The papal jet descended out of cloudy skies to touch down at Joint Base Andrews, the iconic post still better known as Andrews Air Force Base...The pontiff was greeted by President Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and their families. The exuberant but unassuming ceremony seemed designed especially for a pope who has inspired millions around the world with a humbler, more populist approach to the papacy.
George W. Bush Made Retroactive N.S.A. 'Fix' After Hospital Room Showdown | 20 Sept 2015 | President [sic] George W. Bush sought to retroactively authorize portions of the National Security Agency's post-9/11 surveillance and data collection program after a now-[in]famous incident in 2004 in which his attorney general refused to certify the program as lawful from his hospital bed, according to newly declassified portions of a government investigation. Mr. Bush's effort to salvage the surveillance program without changes did not satisfy top Justice Department officials, who threatened to resign. But the newly disclosed passages of a report by inspectors general of six agencies suggest that the confrontation in the hospital room came after the Justice Department identified several problems, including a "gap" between what Mr. Bush had authorized the N.S.A. to collect and what the agency was collecting in practice...The authorization "gap" was among the disclosures in newly declassified passages of a 746-page report by six agencies' inspectors general about the N.S.A. program, code-named Stellarwind.
Sen. Wyden lifts his hold on bill allowing funding of NSA, FBI and CIA | 21 Sept 2015 | Sen. Ron Wyden on Monday stopped blocking a bill that authorizes 2016 funding for the FBI, CIA, and the National Security Agency after it was stripped of a provision that would have required Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies to heavily police their users' online speech. The Oregon Democrat placed a "hold" on the bill in July in hopes of working with Senate leaders to remove or revise the provision, which was opposed by major U.S. tech companies. The bill authorizes 2016 funding levels for all U.S. agencies that engage in intelligence-gathering activities, including the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security.
Democrats block defense spending bill in Senate | 22 Sept 2015 | Democrats blocked the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, amid a fierce fight with Republicans over tax and spending policy days before a potential Oct. 1government shutdown. The vote was 54-42, largely along party lines with Republicans voting yes and Democrats no. It meant the appropriations measure failed to achieve the 60-vote majority needed to advance to final passage in the 100-member Senate.
FBI says 'Australian ISIS jihadist' is actually a Jewish American troll named Joshua Ryne Goldberg | 12 Sept 2015 | A young Jewish American man has been charged with pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist after a FBI joint investigation with the Australian Federal Police based on information provided by Fairfax Media. Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living at his parents' house in US state of Florida, is accused of posing online as "Australi Witness," an IS [I-CIA-SIS] supporter who publicly called for a series of attacks against individuals and events in western countries. In recent days Australi Witness has claimed online that he is working with other jihadists to plan attacks in Australia and the United States. He distributed pictures of a bomb that he was working on with "2 lbs of explosives inside".
U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse, Rape of Boys by Afghan Allies | 20 Sept 2015 | In his last phone call home, Lance Cpl. Gregory Buckley Jr. told his father what was troubling him: From his bunk in southern Afghanistan, he could hear Afghan police officers sexually abusing raping boys they had brought to the base. "At night we can hear them screaming, but we're not allowed to do anything about it," the Marine's father, Gregory Buckley Sr., recalled his son telling him before he was shot to death at the base in 2012..."The reason we were here is because we heard the terrible things the Taliban were doing to people, how they were taking away human rights," said Dan Quinn, a former Special Forces captain who beat up an American-backed militia commander for keeping a boy chained to his bed as a sex slave. "But we were putting people into power who would do things that were worse than the Taliban did -- that was something village elders voiced to me." The policy of instructing soldiers to ignore child sexual abuse [and rape] by their Afghan allies is coming under new scrutiny, particularly as it emerges that service members like Captain Quinn have faced discipline, even career ruin, for disobeying it.
Downing Street stays silent over claims David Cameron put genitals in a dead pig's mouth while at Oxford University | 21 Sept 2015 | Downing Street has refused to comment on extraordinary allegations made in a new book that David Cameron performed an obscene act with a dead pig and smoked cannabis while he was at Oxford University. Lord Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and a prolific donor, reportedthe claims in Call Me Dave: The Unauthorised Biography. It comes during a continuing feud between the pair, who are said to have fallen out after Lord Ashcroft was passed over for a leading role in the Coalition Government.
Parliament building being evacuated in Brussels after bomb threat - reports | 23 Sept 2015 | The Belgian Federal Parliament building in Brussels is being evacuated due to a bomb alert, the Belgian media are reporting. A large number of police officers have arrived at the scene, the Belgian broadcaster RTBF is stating, while also adding that there are still people inside the building. Parliament officials confirmed that an evacuation had taken place, according to the La Libre newspaper.
Eiffel Tower closed after three 'terror suspects' spotted with large backpacks | 20 Sept 2015 | The Eiffel Tower was forced to close today after three 'terror suspects' were spotted on the iconic French tourist landmark. The alarm was raised after a group of people were seen ascending the famous attraction in Paris. Anti-terror police supported by a helicopter could be seen at the Eiffel Tower after it closed around 9am.
Outrage after U.S. ally 'beheadings-are-us' Saudi Arabia selected to head key UN human rights panel --Anger after Saudi Arabia 'chosen to head key UN human rights panel' --UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer said the appointment, made in June, went unreported until now | 20 Sept 2015 | The United Nations is coming under fire for handing Saudi Arabia a key human rights role even though the Kingdom has "arguably the worst record in the world" on freedoms for women, minorities and dissidents. Critics, including the wife of imprisoned pro-democracy blogger Raif Badawi -- sentenced to 1000 lashes for blogging about free speech -- say that the appointment is "scandalous" and means that "oil trumps human rights". The Saudis'bid emerged shortly after it posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners, to cope with what Amnesty International branded a "macabre spike" in the use of capital punishment, including [hundreds of] beheadings, this year.
Saudi Arabian beheadings poised to double in 2015 --Under King Salman's reign [of terror], someone is publicly executed every two days, including minors and the disabled. | 12 Sept 2015 | In the first six months of 2015, Saudi Arabia's governmentregime executed more people--102--than all of 2014 combined. At its current trajectory, the nation's execution rate will be at its highest level in years. The rise of these public deaths--most often beheadings, though occasionally firing squads or stoning are implemented--could, in part, be attributed as backlash toward recent criticism from the international community. Saudi Arabia's theocratic justice system of Sharia Law permits capital punishment for a host of offences from murder to "sorcery" or converting to another religion. [Notice the US media is generally *silent* on the human rights abuses waged by US ally Saudi Arabia? Only I-CIA-SIS beheadings are 'fair game' for media discussion, even as the Islamic State army is a wholly-managed subsidiary of the CIA, Mossad, and the Saudi sociopaths -- unleashed to overthrow democratically-elected secularist, Dr. Bashar al-Assad of Syria. --LRP]
John Kerry: U.S. to Accept 85,000 Refugees in 2016, 100,000 in 2017 | 20 Sept 2015 | The U.S. is offering new details about its plan to ease the [US-engendered] Syrian refugee crisis [war on Syria] by significantly increasing the number of worldwide refugees it will take in over the next two years. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. will accept 85,000 refugees from around the world next year, up from 70,000, and the number will rise to 100,000 in 2017. Aides to Kerry say that many, though not all, of the additional refugees would be Syrian.
Hillary Clinton: I Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline | 22 Sept 2015 | After months of declining to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she opposes the construction of the project. Clinton had long cited her former job as secretary of state as a reason to delay weighing in on the deal until the administration formalized its opinion on the project. In July, she said she did not want to "prejudge" President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry on the result of an administration review of the pipeline's environmental impact. But last week, she promised that her decision would be coming "soon" and suggested that she has been growing impatient with the White House for delaying its final verdict on the matter.
Scott Walker suspending presidential campaign | 21 Sept 2015 | Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is suspending his presidential campaign today, according to several Republicans briefed on his plans, effectively ending a once-promising GOP presidential bid that collapsed over the summer. He planned to speak to reporters at a 5 p.m. CT press conference in Madison, Wis. Walker, who tumbled from top-tier status amid tepid debate performances and other missteps, had seen his candidacy wilt in the heat of a summer dominated by Donald Trump. The large cadre of staff and paid consultants around Walker had been on what one called a "death watch" for the past several weeks, and it was clear to many that a single bad debate performance would spell the beginning of a dramatic downsizing of Walker's campaign, which a recent count numbered around 90.
Carly Fiorina's disastrous record as HP's CEO --The more closely voters examine Carly Fiorina's record as HP's CEO, the worse she'll look. | 21 Sept 2015 | A new CNN poll released yesterday shows that Carly Fiorina has surged in the rankings since her impressive performance in the Republican candidates' debate Wednesday evening. The new issue is Fiorina's record as Hewlett-Packard's CEO, the centerpiece of her case for why she'd be a good president...If you want the withering details of her performance, the best analysis by far was written by the great Carol J. Loomis in a 6,700-word 2005 Fortune cover story called "Why Carly's big bet is failing." A few weeks after that article appeared, the HP board fired Fiorina. The company gained almost $3 billion of market value on the news that day.
Kochs Demand Walker Return Nine Hundred Million Dollars | 21 Sept 2015 | Just minutes after the Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker dropped out of the Republican Presidential race, the billionaire Koch brothers demanded that he return the nine hundred million dollars they had allocated to his campaign. For the Koch brothers, who purchased Walker earlier this year, the demand for a full cash refund reflected how badly their relationship with the formerly promising candidate had deteriorated. According to an aide familiar with the phone conversation between Walker and the Kochs, the industrialist brothers were "not amused" that the Governor had blown through millions of their dollars to become the choice of only one per cent of likely Republican voters. (Satire)
Republican candidate Carson says Muslims unfit to be U.S. president | 20 Sept 2015 | Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson on Sunday said Muslims were unfit to be president of the United States, arguing their faith was inconsistent with American principles. "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that," Carson told NBC's "Meet the Press." Carson said he thought a U.S. president's faith should be "consistent with the Constitution." Asked if he thought Islam met this bar, the retired neurosurgeon said: "No, I do not." [Actually, people who favor mandatory vaccines -- inconsistent with the Constitution -- should not be in charge of this nation. Buh-bye, Ben.]
Executive who shipped tainted peanuts gets 28 years; 9 died of salmonella | 21 Sept 2015 | Stewart Parnell, a former peanut executive convicted for his role in a nationwide salmonella outbreak in 2008 and 2009 that killed nine people, was sentenced Mondayafternoon to 28 years in prison at the federal courthouse in Albany, Ga. Federal officials had recommended that Parnell receive a life sentence -- the harshest punishment ever for a food-related crime. In court Monday, families of victims poisoned by salmonella after eating products from Parnell's company had urged a judge to impose a stiff sentence on Parnell.
Volkswagen says 11 mln cars hit by scandal, probes multiply| 22 Sept 2015 | Volkswagen AG said a scandal over falsified U.S. vehicle emission tests could affect 11 million of its cars around the globe as investigations of its diesel models multiplied, heaping fresh pressure on CEO Martin Winterkorn. The world's largest automaker said it would set aside 6.5 billion euros ($7.3 billion) in its third-quarter accounts to help cover the costs of the biggest scandal in its 78-year-history, blowing a hole in analysts' profit forecasts. It also warned that amount could rise, saying diesel cars with so-called Type EA 189 engines built into Volkswagen models worldwide had shown a "noticeable deviation" in emission levels between testing and road use.
Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight | 20 Sept 2015 | Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection. The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to 750 a tablet from 13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Kentucky clerk Davis rejects marriage licenses as invalid: ABC | 22 Sept 2015 | The county clerk from Kentucky who went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to gay couples said the licenses being granted by her staff are invalid, according to an interview that aired on Tuesday. Davis added that she was prepared to return to jail over the controversy, according to ABC. She returned to work on Sept. 14 after a five-day stint in jail for refusing to issue any marriage licenses following a Supreme Court ruling in June that made gay marriage legal across the United States. On Monday, lawyers for couples suing Davis said that she made material changes to the forms since returning to work and is not in compliance with a federal court order.
Pizza Rat: Video shows New York City rodent carrying pizza slice down subway stairs | 21 Sept 2015 | A video taken Sundaynight has sparked a social media firestorm, with many saying a furry scavenger perfectly captures the life of an average New Yorker. The video, taken by Matt Little at the First Avenue L train station in the East Village, shows a rat attempting to carry a slice of pizza in its mouth while climbing down the stairway. The rat eventually dropped the pizza and scurried away.
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