Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bleach plot: Taliban 'tried to poison NATO troops

NATO says none of its troops have been harmed by what is thought to be a poisoning attempt by the Taliban at a military base in eastern Afghanistan. The militant group claimed to have killed five people by lacing their food with poison.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) began investigating the claim after finding “traces of bleach” in fruit and coffee at a dining facility at Forward Operating Base Torkham, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

The contamination apparently occurred over the weekend, but it is not yet clear whether it was deliberate or accidental, Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman in Kabul said.

The toxic food was discovered before it caused any harm, military officials assured.


Tasers have killed at least 500 Americans

The Taser, the non-lethal law enforcement weapon that is meant to incapacitate criminals without causing great harm, has killed at least 500 people last decade. The real number of casualties might be even higher.

In the period between 2001 and early 2012, the stun-gun Taser devices used by law enforcement across America have claimed the lives of 500 people.

Amnesty International, the worldwide advocacy group that condemns torture and human rights violations, delivered the news this week with a report released Wednesday. In it, they reveal that the recent death of a Georgia man who died as a result of a Taser blast puts the body count brought on by the device at 500 in barely a decades’ time.


Revealed: US plans to charge Assange

UNITED STATES prosecutors have drawn up secret charges against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, according to a confidential email obtained from the private US intelligence company Stratfor.

In an internal email to Stratfor analysts on January 26 last year, the vice-president of intelligence, Fred Burton, responded to a media report concerning US investigations targeting WikiLeaks with the comment: ''We have a sealed indictment on Assange.''


DM: Iran has defensive secrets for rainy days says

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi underlined Iran's preparedness to confront any possible aggression, and said enemies are not informed of Iran's defense capabilities since the country has some top secret abilities for hard days.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Line to see Ron Paul stretched long at Central Michigan University

A line of mostly young people hummed as the lucky ones filed into Central Michigan University's Warriner Hall about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Based on the theater's capacity, near 1,400, many would be turned away.


Flashback: No need to drill, just inflate tires

Obama prepares to fight gas prices with a new bumper sticker

People are increasingly concerned about the possibility of crippling gas prices this summer, perhaps none more so than Barack Obama. And you can rest assured that he’s getting ready to do something about it. His plan? We’re going to figure out a solution which involves a new way to talk about it.

President Barack Obama will try to head off the political impact of rising gasoline prices as Republicans vow to make the price at the pump an issue in the 2012 election campaign.
Obama this week plans events focusing on his administration’s efforts to expand domestic exploration and development of alternative energy sources to combat cyclical spikes in gas prices.
Obama’s political team has been preparing to counter Republican attacks since the administration denied a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, White House officials said. The renewed focus on what Obama has described as an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy kicks off with a speech tomorrow at the University of Miami.

So basically our response to rising gas prices is to figure out a way to talk about it differently. Well… now that that’s all sorted out I guess we can move on to finally developing those flying cars.


Obama's 2008 campaign fueled by rising gas prices

'CIA feeds us bad info on Iran nukes' says former head of IAEA

N. Korea 'ready for war' as South Korea, US stage war games

North Korea says it is ready for “total war” with South Korea and the United States, as the two countries commenced mass joint war drills near its border.

“We will wipe out the traitors led by [South Korean President] Lee Myung-bak and American imperialists from the South Korean soil,” North Korean Army officer Jon Chol-guk told the media in Pyongyang.

The annual Key Resolve drills are always a flashpoint for regional tension. The Korean Peninsula has been divided between two conflicting states for over half a century.

The war games incorporate around 200,000 South Korean troops in co-operation with 2,100 US soldiers. Officials say the drills - which will last until March 9 - are “routine and defense-oriented."

This is not how North Korea sees them.


US spies say no Iranian nukes

Iran’s alleged nuclear ambition may be high in the headlines. The US intelligence community, whose job is to assess the threat, is skeptical about it. Same as it has been for five years.

The latest report accusing Iran of trying to make a nuclear weapon came Friday from the UN’s nuclear watchdog IAEA, which reported that Iran has significantly ramped up its uranium enrichment program. 

However the consensus among US spy agencies remains that Iran had stopped nuclear weapons research years ago, as evidenced by latest statements, reports The New York Times.

The agencies believe that Tehran may militarize its nuclear program, but it has not done it. James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence and David Petraeus, the CIA director, testified so before Senate on January 31.


Obama's war on journalism

Kudos to David Carr of the New York Times for shining a light on an issue that doesn't attract nearly the attention that it should: the Obama administration's abuse of the Espionage Act, which in turn has led to a virtual war on journalism and free expression.

As Carr notes, the Espionage Act, approved in 1917 during the hysteria of World War I, was used three times before President Obama took office in 2009 -- and six times during his presidency.

We live in a dangerous era, and there have been prosecutions with which it may be hard to disagree. Carr cites the case of Bradley Manning, who's been charged with stealing national-security documents that are at the heart of the WikiLeaks disclosures.


Obama using Espionage Act to 'silence and prosecute federal workers'

The Obama administration, which promised during its transition to power that it would enhance “whistle-blower laws to protect federal workers,” has been more prone than any administration in history in trying to silence and prosecute federal workers.

The Espionage Act, enacted back in 1917 to punish those who gave aid to our enemies, was used three times in all the prior administrations to bring cases against government officials accused of providing classified information to the media. It has been used six times since the current president took office.


Video: CIA admits manipulating US news (1950)

Wyoming introduces 'doomsday bill' to prepare for collapse of federal government

“House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government,” reports the Wyoming Star-Tribune.


Official: Iran, Latin America play effective role in regulating new world order

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and Latin American Affairs Ali Asqar Khaji underlined Tehran's resolve to further boost ties and cooperation with Latin America, and said that the commonalities of Iran and Latin America have provided the two sides with an opportunity to contribute a major role to the regulation of a new world order.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Video: Rick Santorum defends earmarks, stands against Ronald Reagan

"I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement."
- Rick Santorum

"I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."
- Ronald Reagan

Video: Maxine Waters calls Boehner and Cantor 'demons'

Hope & Change: Tax dollars flow to clean-energy firms with Obama administration ties

Sanjay Wagle was a venture capitalist and Barack Obama fundraiser in 2008, rallying support through a group he headed known as Clean Tech for Obama.

Shortly after Obama’s election, he left his California firm to join the Energy Department, just as the administration embarked on a massive program to stimulate the economy with federal investments in clean-technology firms.


DHS admits U.S. does not face terror threat from Iran or Hezbollah

Despite all the hype drummed up by the establishment media about a scary Iranian or Hezbollah attack on “soft targets” in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security has admitted there is no specific threat facing the country.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King fretted over a Hezbollah attack on the fatherland - specifically synagogues - but DHS boss Napolitano was obliged to admit no such threat exists. She said, however, that there is “a threat that bears watching.” Big Sis told King and his colleagues DHS and partners like the FBI “are constantly monitoring [Hezbollah's] activities around the world.”


Ron Paul is secretly taking over the GOP - And it's driving people insane

Evidence is mounting that Mitt Romney's 194-vote victory over Ron Paul was prematurely announced, if not totally wrong. Washington County canceled their caucus on Saturday on account of three inches of snow (hardly a blizzard by Maine standards), and other towns that scheduled their caucuses for this week have been left out of the vote count. Now, it looks like caucuses that did take place before Feb. 11 have also been left out of final tally.


Valentine's Day 'role-playing' lands couple in jail

A Portland Police spokesman said around 12:35 p.m. officers got reports that a naked woman had been tied up in a car with duct tape over her mouth.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said officers raced to the area to look for the Subaru Legacy. Officers in Washington were also alerted in case the car was spotted driving on I-5.

A witness told police that the man driving the car “seemed hazy” and stated he and the woman were “just having some fun.”

The witness managed to get the license plate of the Subaru, which led police to the owner’s address on NE 111th Ave.


American-backed Libyan militias accused of torturing detainees

Armed militias now rule much of Libya, Amnesty International has warned, accusing them of torturing detainees deemed loyal to the ousted regime of Muammar Gaddafi and driving entire neighbourhoods and towns into exile.

Amnesty International quoted detainees as saying, "they had been suspended in contorted positions; beaten for hours with whips, cables, plastic hoses, metal chains and bars, and wooden sticks and given electric shocks with live wires and taser-like electroshock weapons."

At least 12 detainees had died since September after torture, Amnesty said. "Their bodies were covered in bruises, wounds and cuts and some had had nails pulled off," the group said.


Report: Mossad chief visited New Delhi days before attack on Israeli officials

Mossad chief Tamir Pardo visited New Delhi just days before an attack on Israeli officials in the Indian capital this week, Indian media reported on Thursday, highlighting the extent to which Israeli intelligence was in the dark regarding possibility of a terror attack taking place in the country.

On Monday, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was moderately wounded when a car bomb exploded outside of Israel's embassy in New Delhi.


U.S.: Iran lashing out to 'distract' from impact of sanctions

The White House says Iran is lashing out at the world to "distract attention" from the damage that international sanctions are having at home.

Iran is claiming Wednesday that it has achieved two major advances in its program to master production of nuclear fuel, a defiant move in response to increasingly tough Western sanctions over its disputed nuclear program.


Israeli Arab journalist switches airline after 'humiliating' security check

An Arab journalist says she was so profoundly insulted by El Al security staff at a Milan airport that she changed her itinerary and may sue the Israeli national carrier.

Yara Mashour is the editor of the Nazareth-based women's magazine Lilac and the daughter of the late Lutfi Mashour, the editor and publisher of the Arabic weekly Al-Sinara. Yesterday she related what she said happened to her, her brother-in-law and another relative when they arrived at Milan's Malpensa Airport on Monday for their return flight to Israel, and reached the El Al security checkpoint.


Netanyahu: International sanctions against Iran not working

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that sanctions against Iran had not yet worked, adding that Tehran's nuclear pursuits made it the most "irresponsible" country in the world.

"Iran is the most irresponsible country in the world and it is breaking all the rules," Netanyahu said during a one-day visit to Cyprus.


Tokyo warns Israel to drop war rhetoric against Iran

Japan urged Israel to drop its recently intensified war rhetoric against Tehran, warning that any aggression against Iran will deteriorate situation in the region.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Russia renews opposition to military option against Iran

Lavrov said on Monday that his country will not accept use of military force against Iran.

Stressing his country's stance against any probable military action against Iran, Lavrov said in a press conference with his Emirati counterpart Abdullah bin Zayed Al- Nahyan in Moscow that Iran's nuclear issue must be resolved through political means.

He said Russia is concerned about developments on Iran's nuclear programs and believes that the only way to solve it is through peaceful means, and taking any the military action must be completely removed from the agenda.

"Russia is interested in establishing peace and stability in the Middle East region and is ready to negotiate with all UN Security Council members to reach a consensus on establishment of security in the Persian Gulf," the Russian foreign minister said.

The Russian foreign ministry had earlier rapped the Zionist regime for its war rhetoric against Iran, and cautioned that the approach will increase tensions and have dire consequences.


FBI 'spot the saboteur' guide: Cash, snorkel, US Constitution

The FBI and Department of Justice have streamed the "terrorist profiles" to every federal, state and local law enforcement agency across the country previous week. No one wants armed dangerous freaks invading a shopping mall on a Sunday, but now think about this. Are you:

- constantly impatient with your hair color?
- nervous in public spaces?
- inclined to show off before your girlfriend, even when taking your first ever dive?
- prone to staring around?
- obsessed with taking pictures?
- eager to keep your passwords to yourself in an internet cafe?

If yes, then you have all the chances to fall on the wrong side with the community and be referred to the police.


Bombs target Israeli diplomats in India, Georgia; 2 injured

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran on Monday for twin attempts to bomb people affiliated with the Israeli embassies in New Delhi and Tbilisi, Georgia.

The wife of an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi and her driver were injured in a blast from explosives slapped on their car by a passing motorcyclist, authorities said. Around the same time, a grenade-type device was found duct-taped to the bottom of a car affiliated with the embassy in Tbilisi. It was defused without anyone being injured.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the incidents. But Netanyahu quickly pointed a finger at Iran, which has vowed revenge for recent assassinations of scientists involved in its nuclear program, and at Hezbollah, a terrorist group sponsored by Iran that had pledged to avenge the assassination four years ago of one of its leaders.


Flashback:  Israel's Mossad trained assassins of Iran nuclear scientists

Iran war would cost trillions: Would the GOP pay more taxes for that?

While GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul is doing all he can in this election cycle to gin up a debate about U.S. foreign policy and a measure of the costs and benefits, the debate about Iran, China, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israel's security has been taking place in a gravityless environment.

Mitt Romney's opening foreign-policy opus at the Citadel criticized Obama for defense cuts with promises to boost America's defense commitments abroad, to boost military spending on hardware and ships in the Pacific -- to do everything we have been doing but more.

Where are the dollars going to come from?


Barack Obama: Let's steal 150 million dollars an hour from our children

Do you think that someone could steal 150 million dollars and get away with it? Well, the truth is that such a theft is taking place every single hour of every single day. The federal government is stealing 150 million dollars an hour from our children and our grandchildren and Barack Obama thinks that is a good thing. The new Obama budget projects a $1.33 trillion federal budget deficit for the 2012 fiscal year. That is significantly higher than the $1.15 trillion that the Congressional Budget Office was projecting because it includes a whole bunch of stimulus spending that the Obama administration plans to do. So let's do a little math. When you divide $1.33 trillion by 365 days, you get 3.6438356 billion dollars. So on average, the United States will be adding more than 3.6 billion dollars to the national debt every single day during fiscal 2012. And when you divide $3.6438356 billion by 24 hours, you get 151.8 million dollars. So on average, the U.S. national debt will be going up by more than 151 million dollars every single hour during fiscal 2012 if Obama has his way. This is a theft from our children and our grandchildren that is so vast that it is almost unimaginable.


Al Qaeda backs US regime change in Syria

It is now a matter of established public record that the “Libyan rebels” the US, through the UN and NATO, funded, armed, trained, recognized politically, and even provided special forces and air support for, were in fact led by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department (page 1) as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization.” Two West Point reports confirm that LIFG was formally joined with Al Qaeda with many of its top leaders constituting the core of Al Qaeda’s upper echelons.


Mossad chief probed US reaction to unilateral Iran strike

In his recent meetings in Washington, DC Mossad chief Tamir Pardo aimed to discover how the US would react were Israel to unilaterally attack Iran's nuclear facilities, Newsweekreported Monday.

According to an unnamed source in the report, Pardo asked if the US was ready to bomb, and if not, "What does it mean if [Israel] does it anyway?"


Investigation: Media Matters conspires with White House to influence news

An investigation by the Daily Caller has confirmed that the leftist organization Media Matters, which routinely attacks Alex Jones and Infowars, is an Obama administration front that strategizes with the White House on a weekly basis on how to influence and direct the media.

Media Matters has habitually attempted to denigrate and smear Alex Jones and his message of liberty, by dismissing Jones as a crazed “conspiracy theorist” and then connecting him to other targets of their attacks, people like Ron Paul, Glenn Beck, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Lou Dobbs and the Fox News network.


Friday, February 10, 2012

US war woe: Suicide kills more soldiers than combat

When guns fall silent and ceasefires are agreed, wars live on in the minds of the men and women who fought them. And a killer still stalks them, more deadly than the enemies they once faced. Being in a conflict environment is killing US soldiers. But surprisingly, the biggest killers are not enemy combatants. For the second year in row, more US soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. In 2010, 468 soldiers took their own lives, compared to 462 killed in fighting.


Marine's failed suicide attempt lands him jail sentence

In 2010, 37 active Marines in the US Military committed suicide. Had Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell been successful in his attempt, he would’ve been number 38.

Since discharged, Pvt. Caldwell has battled post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses. In his latest battle, however, he’s fighting the Armed Forces.

Pvt. Lazzaric T. Caldwell was stationed in Okinawa, Japan when he attempted suicide in 2010. Caldwell has survived thankfully and is still around, but so are his troubles. He is taking the Marines to court after the US Military sentenced him to 180 days in jail for his attempted suicide.


Congress approves $82 million for army's biggest weapon

It weighs as much as the bell in Big Ben; it’s capable of plunging through 60 feet of reinforced concrete and has the most ridiculously sexual name imaginable for a deadly weapon - but the Massive Ordnance Penetrator is THE bomb, says the Pentagon.

Talk of beefing the bomb up with a hardened case and further advancements has been ongoing since the Air Force took delivery of it in September 2011. But Bloomberg reported that, in response to “an urgent request” from the Pentagon, immediate approval was given to shift $81.6 million to the so-called MOP program.


CNN: Peeing on dead Afghans is fine just don't joke about Beckham's underwear

Apparently CNN is cool with its contributors Dana Loesch wanting to join American Marines to pee on the corpses of Afghans and Erick Erickson getting joy from “watching a hippie protester get tased.”

But don’t talk “ish” about David Beckham’s new H&M ad.

This after CNN made the choice to suspend Roland Martin a political contributor on Wednesday for the joke he made on Twitter about David Beckham advertising underwear.

Martin tweeted, “if a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl.”

"Ain't no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear!… I bet soccer fan Piers Morgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman's (sic) underwear line," Martin added.


SS = Scout Snipers: US Marines adopt Nazi goons emblem

A picture showing a US Marine scout sniper team posing in front of what appears as a flag of the notorious Nazi organization SS, has surfaced online. The Marine Corps confirmed that the embarrassing photo taken in Afghanistan is real.

The use of the SS symbol in not acceptable and the Corps has addressed the issue, Lt. Col. Stewart Upton said in a statement Thursday.


Obama signs executive order on Iran, invokes 2012 NDAA


On February 5, 2012, President Obama invoked the NDAA, which authorizes the use of military force, and issues an executive order declaring the “threat” of Iran a National Emergency. The video below shows this issuance of President Obama executive order which declares Iran’s threat to cut off oil supplies a national emergency.

The executive order directs all government agencies to respond immediately to the threat. It further invokes the authority of the 2012 NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which gives the President the power to launch military action against any nation without the approval of Congress. Ironically, the State of Emergency order also accuses the Iranian central bank of deceptive banking practices.

Turkey FM: Israeli military strike on Iran would be a disaster

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday that an Israeli strike on Iran would be disastrous and should not be an option.

"We don't want any nuclear power - not in the region, and not in the world," he said while speaking to reporters at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "But a military strike would be a disaster. It should not be an option," he said.


Report: Israel's Mossad trained assassins of Iran nuclear scientists

Mossad officials are training Iranian dissident activists to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, a NBC News report citing U.S. officials said on Thursday. The report noted, however, that Washington was not directly involvement in the alleged attacks.

The report by NBC News followed Iranian accusations that Israel and the U.S. had been orchestrating attacks against Iranian scientists and military officials associated with Iran's nuclear program.


Iran's president renews call for just world order

Fars News Agency

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad lashed out at the world powers for their wrong policies, and reiterated his call for the establishment of a world order based on justice and friendship.

Addressing a meeting with Iranian ambassadors and heads of Iran's diplomatic missions here in Tehran on Thursday, President Ahmadinejad stated that global management should be based on justice and friendship in cooperation with all countries.

He stressed people across the globe demand a transformation of such a 'cruel' system against human beings and divine values.

Ahmadinejad further called on powers that have amassed nuclear arms and weapons of mass destruction to remain committed to international regulations and stop their proliferation.

He also recommended hegemonic powers to become vigilant and truly recognize the rights of nations, noting that the rights of independence, progress and national sovereignty of people should be presented to them.

Iran expands naval fleet with new submarines

Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced that two light Ghadir submarines have joined Iran's naval fleet as part of efforts to upgrade the country's defense capabilities.

He told the Islamic republic news agency that all parts of the Ghadir class submarines including hull, radar equipment and advanced defense systems have been manufactured inside the country.

They have improved the protection and defense capabilities of Iran's Armed Forces under the sea, Sayyari stated.


Iran to send heavy satellites into orbit

Fars News Agency

Vahidi said Thursday that the base will be used to launch one-ton satellites into an orbit of 1,000 kilometers.

He said that among Iran's next year plans was the launch of Tolou (Rise) and Fajr (Dawn) satellites into orbit.

Vahidi also said that Iran is planning to launch satellites into orbits of up to 36,000 kilometers next year.

Last Friday, Iran successfully sent Navid-e Elm-o Sana'at (Promise of Science and Industry) satellite into orbit.

The 50-kilogram orbiter lifted off into space with an orbital angle of 55 degrees on the Iranian-made Safir satellite-carrier.

The Islamic republic, which first put a satellite into orbit in 2009, has outlined an ambitious space program and has, thus far, made giant progress in the field despite western sanctions and pressures against its advancement.

Pakistan to support Iran against Israel

Wajid Shamsul Hasan told the British The Sun newspaper that “Pakistan would be left with no option but to support Iran if Israel attacks it”. 

“We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well”, said the Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain. 


Video: Father shoots daughter's computer for disrespectful Facebook post

Link to original Facebook thread

Shyness, grieving soon to be classified as mental illness

Millions of healthy people - including shy or defiant children, grieving relatives and people with fetishes - may be wrongly labeled mentally ill by a new international diagnostic manual, specialists said on Thursday.

In a damning analysis of an upcoming revision of the influential Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health experts said its new categories and "tick-box" diagnosis systems were at best "silly" and at worst "worrying and dangerous."


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran's nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News

Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.

The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Senate sneaks in SOPA under a new name

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) launches a second round of attacks in an attempt to censor the Internet.

After trying to adopt Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), both pieces of legislation turned out to be a disaster, causing outrage among Internet giants and ordinary users alike. Congress had to retreat. However it's determined to get what it wants this time.

After the shelving of SOPA and PIPA back in January Reid stated,“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved.”


JFK bought 1,200 hand rolled Cubans just hours before blockade

President John F Kennedy ordered an aide to buy him as many Cuban cigars as he could just hours before he authorised the U.S. trade embargo - which subsequently made them illegal.

Kennedy asked his head of press and fellow cigar smoker Pierre Salinger to obtain '1,000 Petit Upmanns' on February 6, 1962, so he could have them in his hands before they were deemed contraband.

Then, seconds after he was told the next morning that 1,200 of Cuba's finest export had been bought for him, he signed the decree to ban all of the communist state's products from the U.S.


Judge orders man to take his wife on a date

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a Florida judge ruled on Tuesday that a man involved in a scuffle with his wife treat her to an evening at a local bowling alley and a romantic meal at Red Lobster.

Judge John Hurley ordered that Joseph Bray, 47 and his wife Sonja, 39, also visit a marriage counselor.

Hurley handed down this ruling instead of setting bond or slapping Bray with a prison sentence after he deemed domestic violence charges leveled by Bray's wife to be "very, very minor."


CREW requests investigation into lobbying conduct of Newt Gingrich

CREW: FBI: DOJ: Request for Investigation into Newt Gingrich's Lobbying Activities: 1/5/2012 - Complaint

Maldives president says he was forced to resign at gunpoint

Nasheed was brought to his office, met his cabinet, and then went on television to announce his resignation, Roberts said from an undisclosed location.

"He was forced to resign by the military," said Roberts, a 32-year-old British citizen. "He could have gone down shooting, but he didn't want blood on his hands."


Iran defaults on payments to India on 200,000 tons of rice

Indian sources said the Iranian buyers had defaulted on payments worth about e144 million for rice shipments under long-term supply deals. Iran shipped the cargoes from Indian ports in October and November. Most Indian rice exporters allow 90 days credit.

Iran relies on imports for about 45 pct of its annual rice consumption of 2.9 million tons, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data.


Iran sanctions punish Iranian citizens, ignore the regime

More evidence emerged on Tuesday of the crippling impact of new sanctions on Iran, with international traders saying Tehran is having trouble buying rice, cooking oil and other staples to feed its 74 million people weeks before an election.

The sanctions have been imposed to halt Iran's nuclear program, which the West believes is being used to develop a nuclear bomb. Iran's leadership says the nuclear program is peaceful, and it is willing to endure sanctions to maintain it as a national right.

Last month, Iran took the important step of beginning production of highly enriched uranium at a new facility hidden deep under a mountain, where it would be difficult for U.S. or Israeli warplanes to destroy it.

Rice is one of the main staples of the Iranian diet. With the rial currency plummeting, prices have more than doubled to $5 a kilo at bazaars in Iran from about $2 last year.

A margarine factory owner in Iran, who asked not to be identified, said there was a shortage in supply of the oils needed to make margarine that could halt production soon.

"The way things are going, I predict that over next three to four months our edible oil will run out because of sanctions. It is no longer being imported and Iran itself cannot produce that much."


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Israel to build migrant detention camp

Israeli planning authorities on Tuesday approved construction of a detention centre for illegal immigrants, at a projected cost of 250 million shekels ($67 million, 51 million euros), the defence ministry said.

The formal authorisation follows a November 2010 cabinet decision to build a facility for mostly African migrants smuggled across Israel's borders but who for legal reasons cannot immediately be deported to their countries.


Embassies in Israel preparing for Iran strike

Diplomats stationed in Israel request gas masks, prepare contingency plans in case of missile attacks; envoys fear that thousands of dual-citizenship Israelis will seek evacuation.

Foreign embassies in Israel have recently started to formulate contingency plans to evacuate their citizens from the Jewish State in case of a missile attack on Israel.

Senior officials in Jerusalem said that several diplomatic missions have shown great interest in preparing for various emergency situations, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday.


Marines 'assault' US beaches in amphibious drill

With beach landings, 25 naval ships and an air assault, the United States and eight other countries are staging a major amphibious exercise on the US East Coast this week, fighting a fictional enemy that bears more than a passing resemblance to Iran.

About 20,000 US forces, plus hundreds of British, Dutch and French troops as well as liaison officers from Italy, Spain, New Zealand and Australia are taking part in the exercise along the Atlantic coast off Virginia and North Carolina.


Girls, 13, given contraceptive implants at school

The procedure was carried out in Southampton, Hants, as part of a government initiative to drive down teenage pregnancies.

As many as nine secondary schools in the city are thought to have been involved.

But it has caused a backlash from parents who weren't aware that their daughters had been fitted with the 4cm device, which sits under the skin.

It is currently unknown exactly how many youngsters have taken part in the scheme.


'Oldest living thing on earth' discovered

Ancient patches of a giant seagrass in the Mediterranean Sea are now considered the oldest living organism on Earth after scientists dated them as up to 200,000 years old.


Lebanese security officials seize 'regime change' cargo from US, Brazil

Lebanon’s security officials say a suspicious cargo containing huge amounts of US dollars, guns, special passports and credit cards have been seized upon arrival in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, from the US and Brazil.

The items, packed in a number of chests and delivered via airmail, were discovered at Beirut’s airport, the Lebanese security officials said.

The chests also contained a list of both well-known and ordinary Lebanese citizens including a figure related to Salafi extremist groups. The security officials have summoned a number of the individuals, whose names were on the list, arresting some of them.


FBI: Paying cash for coffee a 'potential indicator of terrorist activity'

An FBI advisory aimed at Internet Cafe owners instructs businesses to report people who regularly use cash to pay for their coffee as potential terrorists.

The flyer, issued under the FBI’s Communities Against Terrorism (CAT) program, lists examples of “suspicious activity” and then encourages businesses to gather information about individuals and report them to the authorities.


Obama's major donors tied to drug and fraud fugitives

Two American brothers of a Mexican casino magnate who fled drug and fraud charges in the United States and has been seeking a pardon enabling him to return have emerged as major fund-raisers and donors for President Obama’s re-election campaign.

The casino owner, Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, known as Pepe, jumped bail in Iowa in 1994 and disappeared, and has since been linked to violence and corruption in Mexico.


Monday, February 6, 2012

NYC teacher banned from classroom, still paid $100k a year, won't retire

Disgraced New York City teacher Alan Rosenfeld has been banished from the classroom for more than a decade, yet still receives an annual salary of $100,049 along with a bulky package of benefits, including health insurance, a generous pension, and vacation and sick pay. Deemed a danger to students, the 66-year-old teacher was accused in 2001 of making vulgar comments and inappropriately gawking at eighth-grade female students in a Queens public school.


"Hidden" mortgage fee paying for Obama payroll tax cut

At the time, both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner lauded the move to avoid a tax increase for millions of working Americans.

But there's something the politicians weren't bragging about - the fact that they're paying for the two-month tax cut with what has turned into a brand new fee on home buyers.

The new fee is a minimum of one-tenth of 1 percent on Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-backed loans, and is likely to go much higher.

It will be imposed for the next 10 years on most mortgages and refinancings and it lasts for the life of the loan.


US-backed Libyan militia accused of torture

Human Rights Watch said that Omar Brebesh, a career diplomat who was cultural attache and then ambassador to France between 2004 to 2008, was brought in for routine questioning in Tripoli over his work for the former regime.

His body turned up at a hospital in Zintan, the town two hours' drive to the south-west that was a hub of last year's revolution, beaten, bruised and with some of its toenails removed.


Report: North Korea using US made drones

North Korea's hard-line communist regime is using old US-made target drones to develop unmanned attack aircraft, South Korea intelligence sources said Sunday.

"North Korea recently bought several US MQM-107D Streakers from a Middle Eastern nation that appears to be Syria, and is developing unmanned attack aircraft based on them," the South's Yonhap news agency quoted an intelligence source as saying.


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