Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ron Paul still has chance in hunt for delegates

Ron Paul still has a number of opportunities to pick up delegates as the Republican primary race heads into the winner-take-all season.

The majority of the remaining contests, however, are modified winner-take-all primaries, a few of which may favor Paul's chances to pick up precious delegates for the Republican National Convention in August.

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Ron Paul Mania at University of Maryland

On Tuesday, Maryland residents will be voting in the Primary Election there and the remaining GOP candidates have been making their rounds around the state.

On Wednesday evening The University of Maryland hosted Ron Paul, who, despite being 76-years-old, seems to have a large following of young people everywhere he goes.

“Although he is up there in age you could say, he has youthful ideas,” said Corey Herdegen, a University of MD Sophomore.

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Climate change skepticism a sickness that must be "treated," says professor

Professor Kari Norgaard, who is currently appearing at the ‘Planet Under Pressure’ conference in London, has presented a paper in which she argues that “cultural resistance” to accepting the premise that humans are responsible for climate change “must be recognized and treated” as an aberrant sociological behavior.

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Did the US just break the secret Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance against Iran?

According to an alleged leak, Israel is secretly staging an airstrike on Iran in neighboring Azerbaijan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been salivating over the thought of bombing Iranian nuclear facilities for some time now, and an anonymous senior US diplomat along with military intelligence officials alleged that “Israel has recently been granted access to airbases on Iran’s northern border.”

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NBC edits phone call to portray Trayvon Martin's killer as racist?

NBC appears to have edited an excerpt of a phone call made by Trayvon Martin’s killer to portray him as a racist. The edited George Zimmerman says he thinks Martin is ‘up to no good’ just because he was black - but that’s not what he really said.

On Tuesday, NBC’s Today Show hosted by Ron Allen ran a segment of a phone conversation Zimmerman had with police shortly before killing Martin, as reported by Fox’s Hannity Show. NBC’s version of the phone call allegedly had Zimmerman say the following about Martin: “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

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Obama: Global oil supply sufficient for sanctions on Iran

U.S. President Barack Obama gave the green light Friday for sanctions that will target Iran's oil exports in a bid to pressure it on its nuclear program.

The White House said it had determined there was enough non-Iranian oil supply worldwide to move forward with sanctions passed by Congress last year that will target foreign entities doing with Iran's central bank, which channels funds involved in its oil exports.

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Obama administration seeks coordinated Gulf strategy on Iran and Syria

The Obama administration is seeking to advance talks among Saudi Arabia and its neighbors on a missile defense system against Iran, while slowing any plans among Arab Gulf states to intervene militarily in Syria.

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Australia joins list of countries warning against Israeli strike on Iran

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr phoned Lieberman to lay out Australia's opposition to an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and to say that sanctions need more time.

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Report: Israel's Mossad scales back covert operations in Iran

According to Time Magazine report, operations reduced in areas such as high-profile missions, including assassinations and detonations at Iranian missile bases, and spy recruitment inside Iran nuclear program.

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Afghan massacre investigation blocked by US lawyer

The defense lawyer for Robert Bales, who is accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians, is blaming the US for blocking his team’s fact-finding mission into the Kandahar incident. He says he can’t interview witnesses and prosecutors won’t cooperate.

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Friday, March 30, 2012

NDAA in court over indefinite detention of Americans

After much debate on a new law signed by President Barack Obama, House Republicans are throwing around the idea of reviewing the National Defense Authorization Act after the law was challenged in court.

Seven witnesses appeared in front of US District Judge Katherine Forrest in New York on Thursday. Among the seven individuals,a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Chris Hedges was responsible for filing the lawsuit believes the “indefinite detention” portion of the law could result in his imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay for merely doing his job.

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Mysterious Clintonville booms caught on tape

An audio engineer has captured on tape the sound of one of the mysterious booms that have been plaguing Clintonville over the last two weeks, and the noise sounds more like an underground explosion than an earthquake.

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Ron Paul gathers 5,200 supporters while Joe Biden gathers 150 supporters

While Dr. Ron Paul was getting the "rock star treatment" in Wisconsin, Vice-President Joe Biden was speaking at his own gathering. Dr. Paul had a crowd of over 5,200 supporters stand outside in 40 degree weather to hear him speak. Vice-President Biden had over 150 supporters hear him speak at the Italian Community Center in Wisconsin. 

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'Flying tank' premiere: Russia unveils new T90-MS

Russian arms producers have presented the most up-to-date exportable version of the T-90 main battle tank to potential buyers.

The presentation happened at the Defexpo India 2012 in New Delhi, where the producers of the T-90MS hope to find buyers for the armored fighting vehicle.

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Online buzz: Did Santorum just drop N-bomb on Obama?

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Israel provoked missile barrage to test Iran war defenses

Gareth Porter does some excellent reporting during his current trip to Israel, where he’s meeting Israeli military and intelligence figures concerning a possible Israeli attack on Iran. He focuses on the lack of Israeli psychological preparation or awareness of the danger they face from an Iranian counter-strike after Israel’s pre-emptive attack.

Neve Gordon reported in Al Jazeera English that Israel assassinated the leader of the Gaza PRC a few weeks ago in order to deliberately provoke a Gaza missile barrage. Bibi wanted to test the Iron Dome missile system in the expectation that its success would further reassure Israelis and his doubting cabinet members, who must vote to approve war, that Israel will remain protected from rockets in the event Iran is attacked. I have a Truthout story being publishing tomorrow that will cover more of this ground.

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AFL-CIO exec: 'Conservative, right-wing policies' to blame for Trayvon Martin's death

AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told The Daily Caller that it is “conservative, right-wing policies that are to blame” for Trayvon Martin‘s death.

Martin was a black teenager shot and killed by an Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer. The shooting, and the police department’s decision to not arrest the suspect, George Zimmerman, has caused an uproar in Florida and across the country.

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Man fined for leading hunt for Bigfoot without a permit

A man who led tour groups on a hunt for Bigfoot met up with the long arm of the law instead, and got fined for doing business on federal lands without a permit.

Matt Pruitt was leading a group expedition for The Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization at the Buffalo National River Park in Arkansas in February when he and his group of 31 people were stopped by two park rangers. Pruitt was slapped with a hefty $525 fine for a lack of a commercial use permit.

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Behind-the-scenes attempt to kill Arizona's Obama eligibility bill

Arizona’s state legislature is currently pushing through a “Candidate Certification Bill” which will directly address the issue of President Obama’s eligibility to hold elected federal office, and ultimately determine his place on the state election ballot come November.

But there exists an effort underway behinds the scenes, which threatens to stall - and eventually kill the legislation.

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Britain plans to increase aid to terrorist groups in Syria

Speaking at his annual Mansion House speech in the City of London, the British foreign secretary said his country would give opposition groups extra help worth £500,000.

Hague is working to boost Syria's opposition at a moment when Syrian President Bashar Assad has embarked on a reform initiative, approved by an overwhelming majority of his people who voted for his proposed constitution.

Hague told his audience, including dozens of foreign ambassadors in London, that
the extra £500,000 would help groups both inside and outside Syria.

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Congressional report: Attack on Iran would be a failure

A new Congressional report affirms that a potential US or Israeli strike on Iran would be useless since the Islamic Republic could recuperate from it within a six month time frame.

The report sparked by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s remarks claiming he “believes” Israel is “likely” to attack in Iran in either April, May or June, says although US and Israel aren’t certain of the precise location of the nuclear sites, the facilities may be spread out in a way that an attack would result in failure.

Bloomberg described the report stating it is “unclear what the ultimate effect of a strike would be on the likelihood of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.”

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Cops: 10-year-old charged with felony after stealing bicycle

A 10-year-old child was arrested and charged with felony burglary after stealing a bicycle while leaving his tricycle at the scene of the crime in order to get away successfully.

According to the Fort Walton Beach Police Department, a local woman had her bicycle stolen, along with her son’s air rifle.

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Did a 'sea monster' wash up on a South Carolina coast?

Residents in a South Carolina coastal town believe they are dealing with a whole different kind of sea monster after an alarmingly large and strange-looking body of some kind of aquatic creature washed up on the coastal state's Folly Beach.

Not knowing what the corpse could be, locals started claiming it was some kind of unknown sea monster. A South Carolina aquarium vet quickly dispelled this belief, identifying the freaky fish as a very large sturgeon.

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Infowars: More evidence of coordinated effort to sabotage Ron Paul delegates

Tonight I went to an invitation-only meeting, whose sole purpose was to destroy Ron Paul’s effectiveness in Washington’s Clark County Convention on March 31st.

First, a little back story. It is no secret by now that in other areas of Washington, and probably around the country, the GOP establishment is scrambling to deny Ron Paul any delegate slots. In Washington there is an organized effort to create a “Unity Slate” that consists of Romney, Gingrich and Santorum delegates, and to get supporters of all three candidates to vote as a bloc for this slate of delegates. The primary force behind this scheme is the Romney campaign, and it should be no surprise that they always end up with the lion’s share of delegates listed on the slate.

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Top Obama lawyer admits 'Obamacare' is unconstitutional?

The top lawyer for the Obama administration stated that the President's groundbreaking health care plan may have been a little over ambitious.

US Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli during the Supreme Court hearings on the health care reform also known as "Obamacare" has agreed that the president might have made an error mandating all Americans to purchase health insurance.

On Wednesday the two year old law which was an attempt by the Obama administration to overhaul of the US healthcare system was on the chopping block.

Verrilli was slammed by critics for his lousy appearance on Tuesday before the Supreme Court when he practically begged with the justices to keep “Obamacare.”

“Maybe they were right, maybe they weren't, but this is something about which the people of the United States can deliberate and they can vote, and if they think it needs to be changed, they can change it,” Verrilli said referring to the congressmen's decision to pass the law.

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Iran sanctions prompt 'junk for oil' barter

Iran and its leading oil buyers, China and India, are finding ways to skirt U.S. and European Union financial sanctions on Iran by agreeing to trade oil for local currencies and goods including wheat, soybean meal and consumer products.

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Iran suspends accreditation for Reuters in Tehran

The Iranian government has suspended the press accreditation for Reuters staff in Tehran after the publication of a video story on women's martial arts training which contained an error.

Reuters, the news arm of Thomson Reuters, the global news and information group, corrected the story after the martial arts club where the video was filmed made a complaint.

The story's headline, "Thousands of female Ninjas train as Iran's assassins", was corrected to read "Three thousand women Ninjas train in Iran".

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Why Dr. Ron Paul's national defense plan and foreign policy are the only humane options

I often hear people say, "I'd vote for Ron Paul if it weren't for his lack of national defense and foreign policy." I realize that people who make this statement have fallen prey to the clever and effective political spin that twists a candidate's message inside out. The truth is that Rep. Ron Paul has the most moral, rational, and constitutional approach to protecting the U.S. and interacting with the world. Consider this from his website: "In Congress, Ron Paul voted to authorize military force to hunt down Osama bin Laden and authored legislation to specifically target terrorist leaders and bring them to justice." Dr. Paul wants to "[m]ake securing our borders the top national security priority" and "[a]void long and expensive land wars that bankrupt our country by using constitutional means to capture or kill terrorist leaders who helped attack the U.S. and continue to plot further attacks." Does that sound like someone who doesn't care about national defense?

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Ben Bernanke and the case of the missing jobs

Bernanke's speech on March 26 began with a familiar analytical error. Specifically, he continued to give the impression that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the cause of today's low short-term interest rates. It isn't. The .25% rate is the result of Federal Reserve policy, but not FOMC policy. The FED pays commercial banks .25% on excess reserves. If it did not pay an interest rate of .25%, the rate would be even lower. He always gives the impression that, without the FED's intervention, rates would be higher.

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Spike Lee settles for retweeting wrong address

An elderly couple who reported being forced to leave their Florida home when a Twitter posting that Spike Lee helped spread listed their address as that of the man who shot an unarmed teen has settled with the director.

The couple's attorney, Matt Morgan, announced the settlement Thursday. Morgan says Lee called them to apologize fo retweeting their address. Details of the settlement weren't disclosed.

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Drone strikes in Yemen soar as U.S. stokes 'secret war'

America has dramatically stepped up its "secret war" in Yemen with the U.S. ordering dozens of drone attacks on al-Qaida hotspots, which have also killed scores of civilians.

With the backing of Yemen's fragile government, President Barack Obama has authorized a rapid increase in attacks since last May, with 26 incidents recorded.

The pace appears to be accelerating, with nine attacks so far this year and at least five this month, including a strike last week near the terrorist hotbed of Zinjibar. Up to 30 militants were killed in three separate missile strikes on the town, witnesses said.

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@KillZimmerman advocates violence against Martin's killer

On March 24 a “KillZimmerman” Twitter account began publishing calls for violence against George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

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Vatican cancels stem cell forum

The Vatican has canceled a stem cell research conference whose speaker lineup included scientists whose work involves human embryonic stem cells, a practice opposed by church teaching.

The Pontifical Academy for Life had organized the "Responsible Stem Cells Research Congress" for April 25-28 at the Vatican. But its website said that because so few participants had signed up, the event was canceled.

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Amazon CEO plans to raise sunken Apollo 11 engines

Long before Jeff Bezos became an Internet mogul, he was enthralled by the mysteries of space.

As a 5-year-old, Bezos, along with half a billion people around the world, watched in awe as American astronaut Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon in 1969.

More than 40 years later, the billionaire founder of Amazon.com will attempt to haul from the dark depths of the Atlantic at least one of the mammoth rocket engines that helped boost the Apollo 11 astronauts into history.

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China criticizes Japan textbook revisions

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Thursday slammed the latest revisions to Japan's textbooks, which alter the death toll of the Nanking Massacre.

The revisions also claim the Diaoyu Islands as a Japanese territory. Sovereignty of the uninhabited islands has been disputed between China and Japan since 1971 when the United States relinquished control of them.

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Christian education professor slapped with 5 more kid porn charges

An Illinois college professor accused of having child pornography has been indicted on five additional charges and his wife filed for divorce, officials said.

Donald Ratcliff, a Christian education professor at Wheaton College, now faces seven aggravated child pornography charges. He was arrested March 1, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday.

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Vigilante: Roseanne Barr tweeted home address of George Zimmerman's parents

The comedian Roseanne Barr last night tweeted the home address of George Zimmerman’s parents to her 110,000-plus Twitter followers, only to delete the posting after “not fully understanding that it was private not public.”

Barr’s posting of the correct Florida address of Robert and Gladys Zimmerman came at the same time Spike Lee was issuing an apology for erroneously disseminating a tweet that purportedly contained the home address of George Zimmerman, who last month killed teenager Trayvon Martin.

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Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee expected to plead guilty to stealing millions

Democratic campaign treasurer Kinde Durkee is expected to plead guilty to stealing millions from the accounts she controlled for her California political clients, according to two sources close to the case.

The news came as the U.S. attorney's office filed fresh charges against the veteran Democratic treasurer, who was arrested last fall. A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney in Sacramento could not confirm whether Durkee is expected to enter a plea, but said the filing of such documents typically indicates that plea negotiations are in the works.

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Hollywood's 1% demand more of your tax dollars

Alec Baldwin, Stanley Tucci and a bunch of lobbyists are crawling all over Capitol Hill attempting to steal more money out of our pockets to fund "artists" who don't have the talent to survive on private donations and earnings.

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Video: House Democrat George Miller goes berserk on the floor

Democrats reject Obama budget

The 382-38 defeat, with just 16 Republicans and 22 Democrats voting for it, marks a bad end to what began nearly two years ago, when President Obama tapped former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, and former Sen. Alan Simpson, a Republican, to lead a deficit-reduction committee.

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Feds refuse to release Obama draft card

A request for original documents by a group investigating the eligibility of president Obama has been turned down by The Selective Service System in a move that is sure to court more controversy.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, leader of the probe into the authenticity of the now notorious Obama birth certificate, announced earlier this month that he had cause to believe that Obama’s Selective Service registration form was also a forgery.

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Black Panther who posted bounty for Martin's killer arrested

The New Black Panther Party member behind the call for vigilante justice against Trayvon Martin's killer has been arrested.

On Monday Hashim Nzinga was imprisoned for an unrelated weapons charge.

According to a Dekalb County Sheriff’s arrest warrant, Nzinga had a FN Herstal 5.7 x 28 handgun which was pawned.

Over the weekend Nzinga announced to the media that anyone who was able to capture Zimmerman, “dead or alive” would be handed a reward of $10,000.

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FBI and CIA were too busy fighting each other to avert 9/11

In 1999 the US had the opportunity to potentially stop the 9/11 attacks in New York City, but failed due to internal disputes between the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigations and National Security Agency.

In that same year the Taliban had settled on a license with an American company, Afghan Wireless Communications, to build a cell-phone and Internet system in Afghanistan.

The stealthy arrangement which was dubbed “Operation Foxden,” would have given access to the US government to monitor all al-Qaeda and Taliban phone calls and e-mails.

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U.S. military Sand Flea robot can jump 30 feet high

The Sand Flea Robot can jump atop a 30-foot building with a single bound.

Developed by Boston Dynamic as a tool to obtain information for the U.S. military, the Sand Flea, aptly named because of its incredible jumping ability, will hopefully aid soldiers in war zones by revealing potential threats, CNET reported.

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Above the law: Agents can 'bend and suspend the law' - FBI training docs

The FBI taught its agents that “bending or suspending the law” is sometimes OK, a review of training papers reveals. The documents also say Arabs are prone to “Jekyll and Hyde temper tantrums” and advise agents to “never shake hands with an Asian".

The FBI has completed a six month-long review of materials and methods used to train counterterrorism agents.
‘Yes’ to suspending law, ‘no’ to handshakes with Asians

“Under certain circumstances, the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others,” one FBI PowerPoint presentation bluntly stated. The circumstances under which the FBI could get the carte blanche to violate one of the pillars of American society were not stated.

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South Carolina teen's brutal soccer attack earns assault charge

It seemed to come out of nowhere. In the midst of a tight South Carolina girls soccer match between two area rivals, a player fell after a seemingly innocuous foul. While most anticipated that she would calmly restart play, what she did instead has sparked a criminal investigation.

The player who is now the subject of local law enforcement is Lewisville (S.C.) High senior Annette McCullough, who brutally attacked an unnamed Chester (S.C.) High opponent during a Monday match. While there is no video showcasing prior incidents between the two players, McCullough reacted viciously to a small trip that sent her tumbling to the ground.

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French presidential candidate wants 100% tax rate

Anti-capitalist firebrand whose ideas include 100% fat cat tax on earnings above £300,000 wins attention and support in the polls.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the hard left, anti-capitalist firebrand who is rising in the presidential election polls, is all over the French papers - billed as the great surprise, main event and key revelation of the campaign.

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TSA officers charged with trashing hotel room, shooting gun out the window

Miami Beach police say two Transportation Security Administration officers partied a little too hard Tuesday night, trashed their South Beach hotel room and then picked up a semi-automatic handgun and shot six rounds out the window.

One bullet pierced a $1,500 hurricane impact resistant window at a nearby Barneys New York, penetrated a wall and tore into some jeans in the closed store’s stockroom, according to store manager Adelchi Mancusi.

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Obama to the rescue: Raise taxes on oil

President Barack Obama pressured Congress on Thursday to end $4 billion intax subsidies to oil companies, but within moments of his plea, the Democratic-controlled Senate rebuffed efforts to move ahead on a bill to repeal the tax breaks.

Obama used a White House Rose Garden appearance to argue that Americans are getting hit twice — once at the gas pump, and once more by sending billions of dollars in tax subsidies to oil companies.

But the Senate, on a 51-47 procedural vote, failed to get the necessary two-thirds vote to proceed to the measure ending the subsidies.

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Israel's plan to attack Iran put on hold after damning U.S. war simulation

At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel's 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end. The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least, we can sound the all clear: It won't happen this year. Until further notice, Israel Air Force Flight 007 will not be taking off.

According to a war simulation conducted by the U.S. Central Command, the Iranians could kill 200 Americans with a single missile response to an Israeli attack. An investigative committee would not spare any admiral or general, minister or president. The meaning of this U.S. scenario is that the blood of these 200 would be on Israel's hands.

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Justices poised to strike down entire healthcare law

The Supreme Court's conservative justices said Wednesday they are prepared to strike down President Obama’s healthcare law entirely.

An Obama administration lawyer, urging caution, said it would be "extraordinary" for the court to throw out the entire law. About 2.5 million young people under age 26 are on their parents' insurance now because of the new law. If it were struck down entirely, "2.5 million of them would be thrown off the insurance rolls," said Edwin Kneedler.

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Pentagon: No 'secret deal' on missile defense with Russia

An Obama administration official on Wednesday said he was not aware of any "secret deal" made by the White House on missile defense as Republicans continued to hammer the president for his remarks to Russia's leader on the issue.

Republicans have questioned where there is a deal between President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on missile defense since Monday, when Obama told Medvedev — in a private conversation picked up by a live microphone — that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with missile defense after the presidential election.

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'Azerbaijan granted Israel access to air bases on Iran border'

Israel has been granted access to air bases in Azerbaijan on Iran's northern border, Foreign Policy reported Wednesday, quoting senior U.S. diplomats and military intelligence officials.

"The Israelis have bought an airfield," a senior U.S. administration official told Foreign Policy's Mark Perry, "and the airfield is called Azerbaijan."

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Erdogan: No force should threaten Iran's peaceful nuclear program

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed support for Iran’s nuclear program during a visit to the Islamic Republic on Wednesday, and said that no one has the right to use force against a country that is pursuing peaceful nuclear activities, Iranian and Turkish media reported.

“No one has the right to impose anything on anyone with regards to nuclear energy, provided that it is for peaceful purposes,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman. “Everyone with commonsense opposes nuclear weapons,” he added.

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IRS seeks 4,000 agents, $303 million for Obamacare

The Internal Revenue Service wants to add about 4,000 agents to hunt down tax cheats and still plans to spend $303 million building a system to oversee Obamacare even though its future looks bleak in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A new Government Accountability Office review of the IRS 2012 tax return season and the taxman’s fiscal 2013 budget request also found that the agency’s customer service rating has slipped and 5.5 million returns were delayed a week because of a computer programming glitch.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Could bombing Iran push it to build the bomb?

Pre-emptive military strikes aimed at forcing Iran to abandon its nuclear activities may end up having the opposite effect: convincing the Islamic Republic's leaders they need an atomic arsenal to secure their hold on power.

That is the argument from those in the West and elsewhere who say the negative impact of an Israeli or U.S. attack would eventually outweigh any gains - pushing Iran towards a decision that Western intelligence services believe it has not yet taken.

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Seismometer station rules out earthquakes as cause of Clintonville booms

Despite official claims to the contrary, early data from a seismometer station in Wisconsin rules out earthquakes as an explanation for last night’s mysterious booms in the town of Clintonville, as residents continue to clamor for answers amidst increasing suspicion.

After the US Geological Survey explained last week’s booms by noting they had found a previously undiscovered earthquake hit the town on Tuesday (despite the fact that the booms were first reported the previous Sunday), city officials declared the situation “case closed”.

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Poll: Santorum support dips in home state

Rick Santorum's lead in the race for the GOP nomination in his home state has apparently disappeared, according to a new poll in Pennsylvania.

The Franklin and Marshall College Poll released Wednesday indicated Santorum with 30% support among likely Republican primary voters compared to Mitt Romney's 28% support. Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich trailed with 9% and 6% backing respectively.

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Paul, Romney file complaint against Rick Santorum supporters

The campaigns of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have filed a complaint alleging “serious and prejudicial misconduct” by supporters of rival Rick Santorum at the March 17 Missouri caucus that they say amounted to “voter suppression.”

The complaint, filed with the state Republican party and several caucus officials and dated Monday, demands that the state party refuse to recognize the delegates from Jefferson County, where the campaigns say the improprieties took place.

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Fossil foot poses human origins puzzle

Swinging from trees like an ape but sometimes ambling on the ground, the owner of a foot fossil some 3.4 million years old poses a puzzle for paleontologists over humanity's history of walking.

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Ron Paul first GOP candidate to appear on ballot in all 50 states

2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul is the first candidate among those vying for the GOP nomination to appear on the ballot in all 50 states, and the only candidate aside from moderate-establishment Mitt Romney to have any prospects for 50-state ballot access.

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Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2012/03/28/3847834/ron-paul-first-gop-candidate-to.html#storylink=cpy

Former US officials ask Washington to use MKO terrorist to attack Iran

In a conference in Paris, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani suggested that the United States should use the MKO to militarily attack Iran's nuclear program.

Undeterred by a federal investigation into the activities of some of his peers, Rudolph Giuliani has shown unwavering support for an Iranian dissident group called the MKO.

Giuliani -- along with former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton and former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy -- spoke at a conference in Paris on Monday, where he suggested that the United States should use the MKO to militarily attack Iran's nuclear program.

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Government proposes first carbon limits on power plants

The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal would effectively stop the building of most new coal-fired plants in an industry that is moving rapidly to more natural gas. But the rules will not regulate existing power plants, the source of one third of U.S. emissions, and will not apply to any plants that start construction over the next 12 months.

The watering down of the proposal led some ardent environmentalists to criticize its loopholes, but a power company that has taken steps to cut emissions praised the rules.

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Barack Obama: I have a "moral obligation" to neuter America

Barack Obama actually plans to do it. He actually plans to neuter America by unilaterally dismantling most of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal. In fact, Barack Obama says that the United States has a "moral obligation" to disarm as we lead the way to "a world without nuclear weapons". Sadly, a "world without nuclear weapons" is a fantasy that will not be possible any time soon. Nuclear weapons technology is getting into more hands with each passing year, and geopolitical tensions are rising all over the globe. If the United States did not have nuclear weapons, anyone with just a handful of nukes would constitute a massive threat to our national security. An overwhelming strategic nuclear arsenal helps keep us safe because every other nation on the planet knows that it would be national suicide to attack us. If you take that overwhelming strategic nuclear arsenal away, the entire calculation changes.

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Turkey's Erdogan arrives in Iran to discuss nuclear standoff with West

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tehran Wednesday for a two-day visit, to discuss nuclear policy and regional politics.

At the top on the agenda of the talks between Erdogan and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would be the next meeting between Iran and six other countries about its nuclear program and the latest developments in Syria.

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US gears up for land operation in Persian Gulf?

The US is sending an amphibious assault group and a couple of thousand US Marines to the Persian Gulf. With another US carrier making its way to Iran’s doorstep, US military still insist that this is a “regularly scheduled deployment”.

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group is comprised of amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima, amphibious transport dock USS New York, and amphibious dock landing ship USS Gunston Hall. It is also reinforced with an atomic submarine and a marine helicopter squadron.

The group, which is “a versatile sea-based force that can be tailored to a variety of missions,” left port on Tuesday and is heading to the Gulf, the US Navy says.

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Exchange of fire along Israel-Egypt border: army

Israeli troops opened fire at a group of suspects along the Egyptian border on Tuesday, two of whom had crossed from Egypt, a military spokesman said, indicating that several of them were wounded.

The incident took place 2:00 pm (1200 GMT), the army said.

Also during the afternoon, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid a visit to another area of the Sinai border to examine the ongoing construction of a vast barrier along the frontier to halt the influx of smugglers and immigrants, his office said, without specifying at what time he was there.

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Mich. militia members cleared of charges that accused them of plotting war against government

A federal judge on Tuesday gutted the government’s case against seven members of a Michigan militia, dismissing the most serious charges in an extraordinary defeat for federal authorities who insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists poised for war.

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Globalist H.W. Bush to back Romney

Former President George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney at an event Thursday in Houston.

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the two will appear together and speak to reporters.

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Italian newspaper: Merah was French intelligence asset

The Italian newspaper Il Foglio is reporting that Mohammed Merah was a protected asset of French intelligence.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent who allegedly told the media he was inspired by al-Qaeda, was killed on March 22 during a police siege following a number of murders characterized as terrorism.

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Stronger booms heard in Clintonville

The booming and shaking continues in Clintonville.

Clintonville police say they received about 65 calls Tuesday night, from people reporting three or four loud booms. Officials say the calls came in from 10:35 until 11:40 p.m.

Authorities say the reports came from the same part of the city that has been experiencing the booms for more than a week, but there were also some reports farther west, including Clinton Avenue. Several callers told police that these booms were stronger than those from last week, but no damage has been reported.

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Pentagon to seek additional Iron Dome funding, U.S. official says

The Pentagon will approach Congress to enlarge the amount aid the United States awards Israel toward the production of the Iron Dome anti-missile systems, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

Last week, Rep. Howard L. Berman introduced the Iron Dome Support Act (IDSA) authorizing U.S. President Barack Obama to provide assistance if requested by the Israeli government to procure additional Iron Dome systems.

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Elderly couple in fear over Spike Lee tweet

With Twitter and Facebook continuing to explode with posts purporting to contain the address of George Zimmerman, property records and interviews reveal that the home is actually the longtime residence of a married Florida couple, both in their 70s, who have no connection to the man who killed Trayvon Martin and are now living in fear due to erroneous reports about their connection to the shooter.

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Police: Trayvon protesters ransack store

North Miami Beach police said surveillance video shows dozens of high school students demonstrating in the Trayvon Martin case Friday ransacking a Walgreens store.

The incident occurred during a walkout from North Miami Beach Senior High School in support of Martin, 17, who was fatally shot in Sanford. Protesters have been calling for the arrest of George Zimmerman, 28, who has not been charged because he claimed self-defense in the shooting, according to police.

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Watch surveillance video

Dem pulled from House floor for Trayvon hoodie

Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., lost his right to speak on the House floor after he violated rules by putting on a hoodie and sunglasses in honor of Trayvon Martin, the Florida teen shot last month.

"May God bless Trayvon Martin's soul, his family and -- [inaudible]" Rush said as he was removed from the House floor this morning for wearing a hoodie.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Federal Election Commission fines Charlie Rangel $23k

Rep. Charlie Rangel has agreed to pay a $23,000 civil fine for effectively taking campaign contributions in the form of a rent-regulated apartment turned campaign office, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

An FEC letter dated Friday says that Rangel, a 21-term New York Democrat, accepted “excessive in-kind contributions” in the form of leasing a rent-stabilized Harlem apartment at a price below market rate from the property owner.

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'Pussy Ass Cracker' t-shirt hits Florida streets

Expanding the definition of “cracker,” a t-shirt featuring the photo of the man who shot Trayvon Martin is now available for purchase.

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NYC Dept. of Education wants 50 'forbidden' words banned, Divorce, Evolution, Halloween, Celebrities, Cancer,

The New York City Department of Education is waging a war on words of sorts, and is seeking to have words they deem upsetting removed from standardized tests.

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Here is the complete list of words that could be banned:

Abuse (physical, sexual, emotional, or psychological), Alcohol (beer and liquor), tobacco, or drugs, Birthday celebrations (and birthdays), Bodily functions, Cancer (and other diseases), Catastrophes/disasters (tsunamis and hurricanes), Celebrities, Children dealing with serious issues, Cigarettes (and other smoking paraphernalia), Computers in the home (acceptable in a school or library setting), Crime, Death and disease, Divorce, Evolution, Expensive gifts, vacations, and prizes, Gambling involving money, Halloween, Homelessness, Homes with swimming pools, Hunting, Junk food, In-depth discussions of sports that require prior knowledge, Loss of employment, Nuclear weapons, Occult topics (i.e. fortune-telling), Parapsychology, Politics, Pornography, Poverty, Rap Music, Religion, Religious holidays and festivals (including but not limited to Christmas, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan), Rock-and-Roll music, Running away, Sex, Slavery, Terrorism, Television and video games (excessive use), Traumatic material (including material that may be particularly upsetting such as animal shelters), Vermin (rats and roaches), Violence, War and bloodshed, Weapons (guns, knives, etc.), Witchcraft, sorcery, etc.

Where is the media? Man sexually assaults and batters 85-year-old woman to death

An 85-year-old woman was sexually assaulted and battered to death by a home invader who also shot her 90-year-old husband in the face with a BB gun.

Mr Strait, who served in the 101st Airborne Division in World War II, suffered a broken jaw, broken ribs and severe bleeding. He is in a serious condition in hospital.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Tyrone Dale David Woodfork in connection with the case.

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How the Federal Reserve hurts retirees

The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates near zero since 2008, but the economic boost comes at the expense of these savers.

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No charges filed against New Black Panther Party for vigilante bounty

Members of the New Black Panther Party are offering a $10,000 reward for the “capture” of George Zimmerman, the Neighborhood Watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin.

New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad announced the reward during a protest in Sanford Saturday. And when asked whether he was inciting violence, Muhammad replied defiantly: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

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Pope arrives in Havana; Cuban officials disavow political reform

Benedict’s comments while in Cuba have only subtly touched on politics, but already they have drawn a firm response from the island’s Communist leaders.

A top Cuban official ruled out political change following Benedict’s call on Monday for Cubans to “strive to build a renewed and open society, a better society, one more worthy of humanity, and which better reflects the goodness of God.’’
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California lawmakers' salaries are highest in nation

Salaries for California lawmakers remain the nation's highest despite years of budget crisis and a belt-tightening backlash that sparked legislative pay cuts three years ago.

State-by-state pay statistics will be weighed Friday by the state's California Citizens Compensation Commission, a seven-member panel appointed by the governor to set pay for legislators and other statewide elected officials.

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Ron Paul: 'I am trailing but the race isn't over'

Not an interview goes by where Ron Paul isn’t asked about the viability of his campaign, and although the Texas congressman usually brushes off the questions by reiterating that he’s in it for the long run, Paul got testy when asked why he doesn’t just do the “decent thing and pull out” on “Piers Morgan Tonight.”

“Why don’t you do the decent thing and not pester me with silly questions like that,” a fiery Paul replied to host Morgan. “I mean that would be decent of you.”

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TSA blocks security expert from testifying to Congress

The TSA ensured that a leading security expert, who has been vocally critical of the agency’s screening methods, was barred from speaking before a Congressional hearing yesterday.

The hearing, before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, was held Monday in an effort to evaluate the agency’s performance and address concerns raised by lawmakers, experts in the field, and members of the public.

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US missile shield branches into Asia, Middle East

The Pentagon has revealed plans to deploy elements of its global antiballistic missile defense system in Asia and Middle East. A similar project in Europe is one of key points of conflict between America and Russia.

The plan to have AMD shields in Asia and the Middle East was revealed on Monday by Madelyn Creedon, the US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Global Strategic Affairs.

Washington is engaged in two sets of trilateral talks over the Asian system - one with Japan and Australia, the other with Japan and South Korea, the official said.

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Student jailed for racist tweets

A student has been jailed for 56 days for posting offensive comments on Twitter about the on-pitch collapse of Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Liam Stacey was arrested after his tweets were reported to police by Twitter users from across Britain, including the former England striker Stan Collymore. The 21-year-old admitted incitement to racial hatred.

He posted his offensive comments shortly after Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest during his team's FA Cup quarter-final tie against Tottenham Hotspur.

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UK prepares to pull 1,500 troops out of Afghanistan in 2013

The UK is preparing to pull 1,500 troops out of Afghanistan next year before rapidly accelerating its withdrawal at the beginning of 2014.

Ministers are expected to endorse plans that stick closely to advice from British commanders in Helmand, and from Nato headquarters in Kabul, when they come before the National Security Council (NSC).

The strategy would leave the bulk of UK forces in place throughout most of next year, though there is also an option for a "fast-track" pullout by the spring of 2014.

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'Russia is Public Enemy No. 1' - Mitt Romney

US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has branded Russia as America’s number one geopolitical enemy. He slammed President Obama’s comments to Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev over flexibility concerning US missile defense as alarming and worrying.

"This is without question our number one geopolitical foe; they fight for every cause for the world's worst actors. The idea that he has more flexibility in mind for Russia is very, very troubling indeed," he said

The presidential hopeful cited this case, along with the new START treaty and the decision to reduce missile defense sites in Poland and Alaska, as “unfortunate developments.”

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Man arrested, charged with assault for pointing finger at cops

David Loveless, who has no criminal record, was arrested and handcuffed last week after he allegedly made a hand gesture at police who had testified against his son in a robbery case.

He now faces two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer by way of intimidation and two counts of obstruction of justice.

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Germany official: Meeting with Israel's Barak left me 'more concerned' of war with Iran

Germany's defense minister Thomas de Maiziere said that a recent meeting with Defense Minister Ehud Barak left him "more concerned" as to the possibility of war with Iran, an interview published on Tuesday indicated.

De Maiziere's comments came after U.S. President Barack Obama said on Sunday there was still time to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff through diplomacy, indicating, however, that the window for such a solution was closing.

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Forgetting to turn off cellphone before takeoff may cost you $10,000 or more in fines

The agency that operates the New York City area's three major airports wants passengers who don't turn off their cellphones or tablets before takeoff to pay up or go to court.

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.

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Michigan government announces plan to destroy ranch livestock based on hair color

The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true "animal genocide" -- the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It's all part of a shocking new "Invasive Species Order" (ISO) put in place by Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal "invasive species," and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison.

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Eating lots of chocolate helps people stay thin, study finds

For the study, published in the March 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers examined more than 1,000 healthy men and women who were free of heart disease, diabetes and cholesterol problems. They were all enrolled in another study that measured the effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, but for this study researchers assigned them questionnaires that gauged how often participants chowed down on chocolate.

The researchers found that the participants - who were an average age of 57 - ate chocolate for an average of twice of week and exercised roughly 3.5 times per week. But the more frequent chocolate-eaters had smaller BMIs, a ratio of height and weight that's used to measure obesity.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

DHS raids home to seize deadly hair straighteners

The Department of Homeland Security, a federal agency created in the aftermath of 9/11 to fight terrorism, has continued its war on potentially deadly grooming appliances by raiding a home in the affluent Orange County city of Laguna Niguel to seize allegedly counterfeit hair straighteners.

“About 10 investigators with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and special ICE Homeland Security Investigations agents combed through the garage and the single-story house in the 29500 block of Pelican Way near Niguel Road and Alicia Parkway,” reports the Orange County Register.

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Earth heated up in medieval times without human CO2 emissions, says new study

Current theories of the causes and impact of global warming have been thrown into question by a new study which shows that during medieval times the whole of the planet heated up.

It then cooled down naturally and there was even a 'mini ice age'.

A team of scientists led by geochemist Zunli Lu from Syracuse University in New York state, has found that contrary to the ‘consensus’, the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ approximately 500 to 1,000 years ago wasn’t just confined to Europe.

In fact, it extended all the way down to Antarctica - which means that the Earth has already experience global warming without the aid of human CO2 emissions.

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MF's Corzine ordered funds moved to JP Morgan, memo says

Jon S. Corzine, MF Global Holding Ltd. (MFGLQ)’s chief executive officer, gave “direct instructions” to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to a memo written by congressional investigators.

Edith O’Brien, a treasurer for the firm, said in an e-mail quoted in the memo that the transfer was “Per JC’s direct instructions,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The e-mail, dated Oct. 28, was sent three days before the company collapsed, the memo says. The memo does not indicate whether that phrase was the full text of the e-mail or an excerpt.

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Video: Santorum's heated exchange with reporter, 'It's bulls**t'

F-35 - a trillion dollar disaster

After hundreds of billions of dollars and almost ten years past due, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter hits another hurdle.

In a report the Government Accountability Office claims the aircraft that is being dubbed the “backbone” of the US military’s future air arsenal may be costing tax payers billions of dollars more in unplanned fixes delaying the already late debut.

The program which will cost the American people approximately $1 trillion to develop, purchase and maintain until the year 2050, has been mismanaged to the point of being called a financial catastrophe.

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Germany warns about disastrous consequences of attacking Iran

German top diplomat Guido Westerwelle underlined the necessity for finding a diplomatic solution to the West's deadlock with Iran over Tehran's civilian nuclear program, and warned that any aggression against the Islamic Republic would have disastrous consequences for the whole world.

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Obama: 'After my election I have more flexibility'

At the tail end of his 90 minute meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev Monday, President Obama said that he would have “more flexibility” to deal with controversial issues such as missile defense, but incoming Russian President Vladimir Putin needs to give him “space.”

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The exchange:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

Obama's disbelief after staring into N. Korea

After squinting through binoculars into a nation frozen in time, US President Barack Obama reeled off a contempt-laden and startlingly frank indictment of North Korea.

The Stalinist remnant of the Cold War was, in Obama's eyes, nothing but a nation which cannot make "anything of any use", "doesn't work", and even its vaunted weapons exports were hardly state of the art.

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China unveils new legislation on police powers of detention

China has unveiled legislation enshrining police powers to hold people at unknown locations, but has removed a controversial secrecy clause after an outcry.

Experts had warned that the original draft would have legalised disappearances by allowing police to hold some suspects for up to six months without informing their families.


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Global 'water war' threat by 2030 - US intelligence

Nations will cut off rivers to prevent their enemies having access to water downstream, terrorists will blow up dams, and states that cannot provide water for their citizens will collapse. This is the future - as painted by a top US security report.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), the organization that oversees US intelligence agencies such as the CIA and FBI, was commissioned by President Barack Obama to examine the impact of water scarcity worldwide on US security.

And while the prospect of “water wars” has been touted for decades, it may start to become reality within a decade. The ODNI predicts that by 2040 water demand will outstrip current supply by 40 per cent.

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Exposed: Concerted effort by establishment to steal Ron Paul's delegates

Doug Wead, a New York Times best selling author and a senior adviser for the Ron Paul presidential campaign, writes on his blog today that Alex Hayes, director of establishment Republicans in Washington State, made the claim that the Romney-Santorum-Gingrich campaigns are pushing a common slate of candidates in Washington State to block Ron Paul’s campaign from taking delegates.

“The apparent move on the part of the Romney-Santorum-Gingrich campaigns is to block citizens favoring Ron Paul from taking over the Washington State delegation to Tampa,” Wead writes.

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Russian punk band were doing devil's work, says leader of Orthodox church

A feminist punk band who staged an unsanctioned performance in Moscow's principal cathedral were doing the work of the devil, according to the head of the Russian Orthodox church.

Patriarch Kirill said that "the devil laughed at us" when Pussy Riot performed their song Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Expel Putin! in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour less than a fortnight before presidential elections.

Three alleged members of Pussy Riot, who wear colourful balaclavas to hide their identities, have been arrested since the "punk prayer." They remain in prison awaiting trial on hooliganism charges and deny taking part in the 21 February show. All face sentences of up to seven years.

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Israeli anti-war activists rally against Zionists' warmongering against Iran

Hundreds of anti-war activists rallied in Tel Aviv to warn the authorities of the Israeli regime against a potential military attack on Iran over its nuclear energy program.

The campaigners fear that mounting pressure on Iran can escalate into an all-out regional war, the effects of which will reverberate globally.

The protest followed a recent spontaneous Facebook campaign in which a large number of anti-war activists working on the internet united in their opposition to potential war against Iran.

On Saturday, the participants in the march held signs with captions such as "No to War with Iran," and "Talks, not Bombs," as well as "No to pre-emptive suicide."

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Ron Paul campaign condemns watchdog report alleging nepotism

Texas Rep. Ron Paul's campaign is pushing back against charges of nepotism leveled by a new study published by a political watchdog group.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) published a report report, titled “Family Affair,” outlining instances in which 248 members of Congress allegedly used their positions to benefit their families during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles.

The report highlighted the Paul family as one such example.

“There are, of course, members who stand out. Rep. Ron Paul’s campaign (R-TX) paid six relatives salaries or fees, the most of any member," the report read.

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Bernanke says job market weak despite gains

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says the U.S. job market remains weak despite three months of strong hiring and that the Fed's existing policies will help boost growth.

Further job gains will likely require more robust consumer and business demand, Bernanke said Monday during a speech at the National Association for Business Economics spring conference in Arlington, Va.

Bernanke's comments suggest the central bank is prepared to keep interest rates near zero for some time.

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S. Korea threatens to gun down North's rocket

The South Korean government has threatened to shoot down a North Korean rocket due for launch in April. The rocket mission has sparked international controversy, the US labeling it a test for a long-range missile that could carry nuclear warheads.

"We are studying measures such as tracking and shooting down [parts] of a North Korean missile in case it strays out of its normal trajectory" and violates South Korean airspace, said Yoon Won-shik, a spokesman at the South's Defense Ministry.

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Iran warns U.S.: Stop dictating world policy

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday the United States could no longer dictate policy to the rest of the world and warned of growing instability in the West's relations with Pakistan.

Ahmadinejad, speaking at a regional conference on Afghanistan, called for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from the country and proposed that NATO use part of its military budget to help revive the Afghan economy.

"NATO and the United States should change their policy because the time when they dictate their conditions to the world has passed," Ahmadinejad said in a speech in Dushanbe, capital of the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Nancy Pelosi: Obamacare allows you to quit your job and become 'whatever'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that Obamacare facilitates the type of “liberation” that the “Founders had in mind” because it allows you to quit your job and become a “photographer,” a “writer,” a “musician”--or “whatever.”

“As you hear from these stories, this is a liberation,” Pelosi said at a Capitol Hill news conference Thursday.

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Ron Paul more electable than Mitt Romney in latest poll

2012 Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul polls better against President Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup than establishment-choice moderate Mitt Romney, according to a recent survey conducted by Public Policy Polling.

The poll found that Obama defeats Romney by 4 percentage points (48-44) and Newt Gingrich by 8 percent (50-42). While Santorum also joins Paul being within striking distance of the President by 3 points (48-45 and 46-43 respectively), Paul brings Obama a noticeable 2 percentage points further away from the 50 percent a candidate seeks to win on election day. Considering the +/- 3.3-percentage point margin of error, Paul in this poll is statistically tied for the presidency.

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EU imposes sanctions on Assad's wife and close relatives

European Union foreign ministers approved Friday a fresh round of sanctions against Syria, diplomats said, which target the wife, mother, sister and sister-in-law of President Bashar Assad.

The visa ban and asset freeze measures also concern the minister of electricity, the minister for local administration, five junior ministers, one businessman and two companies.

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U.S. Congress supports additional funding for Israel's Iron Dome systems

The Iron Dome missile defense system has proven its effectiveness, as it successfully intercepted nearly 60 rockets fired from within the Gaza Strip last week. U.S. Congressmen were also impressed by the performance, and Rep. Howard L. Berman, (D-Valley Village) - the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee - introduced the Iron Dome Support Act (IDSA) authorizing the President to provide assistance if requested by the Israeli government to procure additional Iron Dome anti-missile defense systems.

During the 2011 budget year, Congress approved 205 million dollars in funding for Iron Dome. Congressman Berman said: “When Palestinian terrorists launched their latest round of missile attacks on innocent Israelis, the Iron Dome anti-missile system saved innocent lives and prevented an escalation of hostilities and a full-blown crisis." He added that "Israel must have the ability to defend itself from rocket and missile attacks, and the United States will continue to stand by our strong ally if called upon in times of need."

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