News Updates from CLG
05 June 2015
Previous edition: NSA used Stuxnet to attack North Korea's nuclear program, but U.S. agents could not access core machines
N.S.A. Secretly Expands Internet Spying at U.S. Border, Hunting for Hackers | 04 June 2015 | Without public notice or debate, the Obama administration has expanded the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance of Americans' international Internet traffic to search for evidence of malicious computer hacking, according to classified N.S.A. documents. In mid-2012, Justice Department lawyers wrote two secret memos permitting the spy agency to begin hunting on Internet cables, without a warrant and on American soil, for data linked to computer intrusions originating abroad -- including traffic that flows to suspicious Internet addresses or contains malware, the documents show. The Justice Department allowed the agency to monitor only addresses and "cybersignatures" -- patterns associated with computer intrusions -- that it could tie to foreign governments. But the documents also note that the N.S.A. sought permission to target hackers even when it could not establish any links to foreign powers.
Senate passes bill to privatize surveillance: Telcos to act as arm of law enforcement and collect, store data for US govt [I can't help but think that this has been the goal all along. Nearly all of the previous privacy abuses will continue, but the costs will skyrocket so telco corpora-terrorists can make a killing on the spying. --LRP] Congress approves bill to resume, overhaul NSA surveillance after lapse --After six months of continued spying, NSA will leave records with phone companies | 02 June 2015 | The Senate gave final approval Tuesday to legislation that would restart -- but also overhaul -- controversial government surveillance programs that went dark over the weekend after lawmakers missed a key deadline. In a 67-32 vote, the chamber approved the so-called USA Freedom Act. The legislation, which already won approval in the House, now goes to President Obama's desk. The vote comes after key surveillance programs -- most notably, the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records -- were suspended Sunday after Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization.
NSA surveillance bill passes after weeks-long showdown | 02 June 2015 | The National Security Agency lost its authority to collect the phone records of millions of Americans, thanks to a new reform measure Congress passed on Tuesday. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Tuesday evening. It is the first piece of legislation to 'reform' post 9/11 surveillance measures...Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul assailed the NSA in a 10-hour speech that roused civil libertarians around the country. He opposed both renewing the post 9/11-Patriot Act and the compromise measure -- that eventually passed -- known as the USA Freedom Act.
FBI says privacy must take backseat to national security in online fight against ISIS | 03 June 2015 | One of the United States government's top counterterrorism officials says Congress must help investigators crack the encrypted communications of terrorists as groups like the so-called Islamic State ramp-up their online recruitment efforts. On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Michael Steinbach, the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's counterterrorism division, told the House Homeland Security Committee that the FBI is "imploring for Congress to help" law enforcement with its quest to decrypt digital communications. Steinbach said that the FBI is working with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that the law enforcement tactics currently in use can be implemented as needed, but suggested that legislation might be needed for situations where communications being sought are obfuscated from the eyes of investigators by encryption or other means.
US says data on 4 million government staff hacked | 04 June 2015 | The US government on Thursday admitted hackers accessed the personal data of at least four million current and former federal employees, in a vast cyber-attack suspected to have originated in China [when, in actuality, it likely originated in Langley, VA, to justify the latest secret NSA surveillance program]. The Office of Personnel Management also said that additional exposures "may come to light." The government's personnel department handles hundreds of thousands of sensitive security clearances and background investigations on prospective employees each year.
Prisoner alleges CIA sexual abuse, torture beyond Senate findings | 02 June 2015 | The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used a wider array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture than was disclosed in a Senate report last year, according to a Guantanamo Bay detainee prisoner turned government cooperating witness. Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his "private parts" -- none of which was described in the Senate report. Interrogators, some of whom smelled of alcohol, also threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks and leather belts, Khan said. "I wished they had killed me," Khan told his lawyers. He said that he experienced excruciating pain when hung naked from poles and that guards repeatedly held his head under ice water.
Slain Boston man had planned to behead police officers: FBI| 03 June 2015 | A Massachusetts man slain by law enforcement officers on Tuesday had discussed plans to behead police officers with an associate arrested the same day, according to papers filed in Boston federal court on Wednesday. Usaamah Abdullah Rahim, 26, who law enforcement officers shot to death after he allegedly confronted them with a large knife, had told David Wright "I'm just going to, ah, go after them, those boys in blue," an FBI agent involved in the investigation said in an affidavit. Rahim had ordered three knives, with blades ranging in length from 8 inches (20 cm) to 9.75 inches (25 cm), from online retailers and had joked in wire-tapped phone conversations with Wright, 24, about "thinking with your head on your chest," according to the affidavit.
Boston shooting: Suspect plotted to behead Pamela Geller, sources say | 03 June 2015 | Usaamah Rahim, who was fatally shot after waving a military knife at law enforcement officers in Boston, was originally plotting to behead Pamela Geller, an activist and conservative blogger sociopath, law enforcement sources told CNN on Wednesday. But Rahim, a 26-year-old security guard who officials believe was radicalized by ISIS [I-CIA-SIS] and other extremists, decided instead to target the "boys in blue," a reference to police, according to court documents. "I can't wait that long," he said of the original beheading plan, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court in Boston on Wednesday.
Man shot by law enforcement in Boston was monitored round-the-clock by terrorism task force | 02 June 2015 | The fatal shooting of a Muslim man on a Boston sidewalk underscores the difficulty faced by US authorities trying to counter the 'increasing influence of Islamic radicalization' among young men and women living in the United States. Although the full details ofTuesday's encounter have not yet been released, authorities said the victim, Usaama Rahim, had been under round-the-clock surveillance by a terrorism task force that suspected he had become radicalized by the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS). Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said the fatal confrontation occurred at about 7 a.m. when a Boston police officer and an FBI agent sought to approach Rahim on the street to question him.
Man Under Surveillance by Terror Investigators Is Shot Dead| 02 June 2015 | A man who was under 24-hour surveillance by terrorism investigators was shot and killed Tuesday after he lunged with a knife at a police officer and an FBI agent outside a pharmacy, authorities said. A law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation into what happened said the man had been making threats against law enforcement. Police Commissioner William Evans said members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force approached Usaama Rahim in the city's Roslindale neighborhood on Tuesday morning to question him about "terrorist-related information" [?!?] they had received when he went at officers with a large military-style [?!?] knife.
Two charged with preparing for acts of terrorism in the UK --Police said the pair were detained to 'safeguard public safety' but did not pose any imminent threat. | 04 June 2015 | A 24-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman from Berkshire have been charged with preparing for acts of terrorism in the UK. Mohammed Rehman, from Reading, and Sana Ahmed Khan, from Wokingham, were arrested last Thursday by officers from the West Midlands counter-terrorism unit in a joint operation with the south-east counter-terrorism unit. They will appear before Westminster magistrates court in London on Friday.
Jury convicts couple of plotting terrorist attack at B.C. legislature; entrapment argument still to be heard | 02 June 2015 | John Nuttall and Amanda Korody have been found guilty of plotting to detonate pressure-cooker bombs outside the B.C. legislature on Canada Day in a case that raised questions about police tactics amid increasing fears of homegrown terrorism. And the case is not yet complete - the parties will soon return to court to consider if the accused were entrapped by police. A jury returned to a Vancouver courtroom on Tuesday after three days of deliberations and found the couple guilty of conspiring to murder persons unknown and making or possessing an explosive substance - in both cases for the benefit or at the direction of a terrorist group. The judge said she would wait to enter the verdicts until she hears the entrapment argument -- which cannot be heard by a jury.
Dumbf*ck City: Pentagon appeals for scientists' help tracking its anthrax shipments [LOL!] | 04 June 2015 | The Pentagon on Thursday asked microbiologists for help in tracking samples of anthrax that the army shipped to at least 51 labs in 17 U.S. states and three foreign countries, according to an announcement shared with Reuters. The request indicates that the Pentagon does not know where the anthrax wound up.Researchers who had worked with it at the Dugway Proving Ground biological lab in Utah thought the anthrax samples that they shipped had been killed, but at least one of the labs that received it said it in fact contained live spores. "It suggests there has been some sideways movement of the samples that the army has no record of," said Martin Hugh-Jones, an emeritus professor of epidemiology at Louisiana State University who is considered the dean of non-defense anthrax research.
Pentagon admits they 'accidentally' sent LIVE ANTHRAX to 51 different labs...and could find more as investigation continues --Number of locations affected has more than doubled since Friday | 03 June 2015 | The Pentagon admitted that its bungling scientists sent samples of live anthrax to 51 different labs around the world. Officials said that they have confirmed the instances when samples of the disease, a well-known biological weapon, was sent round without being deactivated - and added that more cases could still be discovered. In a news conference Wednesday, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said that that his department is still discovering the scale of the problem. It is still not year clear how widely the anthrax could have been distributed.
Fourth patient dies of MERS in South Korea | 04 June 2015 | A fourth patient has died of MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, in the largest outbreak outside of Saudi Arabia. Six additional patients have been diagnosed, bringing the total infected to 41, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, who has been in contact with South Korean doctors. South Korea has quarantined more than 1,600 people as ofThursday, according to the Yonhap News Agency, the largest in the country.
Tennessee infant dies in sleep less than four days after receiving seven vaccines | 03 June 2015 | Parents in Memphis, Tennessee, are mourning the loss of their baby girl Ja'Liyah Cortize Turner, after she passed away in her sleep, less than four days after receiving seven vaccines. Her mother Quavia felt pressured into getting her daughter further vaccinated, even though she didn't want to, because her daughter had a bad reaction from the round of vaccines given to her earlier. Ja'Liyah's autopsy report did not mention the vaccines even though she still had the knots on her legs at the injection sites. Her cause of death was ruled "Unknown, Undetermined." The autopsy stated Ja'Liyah had no significant medical history contributing to her death. Yet, it is very significant Ja'Liyah had just received seven vaccines four days earlier.
WikiLeaks releases documents related to controversial US TPP corporate takeover pact --Document dump regarding Trade in Services Agreement comes day after organization put 100,000 bounty on documents from series of US 'trade' treaties | 03 June 2015 | WikiLeaks on Wednesday released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), a controversial pact currently being hashed out between the US and 23 other countries -- most of them in Europe and South America. The document dump comes at a tense moment in the negotiations over a series of trade deals. President Barack Obama has clashed with his own party over the deals as critics have worried about the impact on jobs and civil liberties. On Tuesday, WikiLeaks put a 100,000 bounty on documents relating to the alphabet soup of trade treaties currently being negotiated between the US and the rest of the world, particularly thecontroversial deadly Trans-Pacific trade corporate takeover agreement (TPP). The offer, announced yesterday, has already raised more than 33,000. [The TPP: They're covering college students carrying mattresses around campus while Eden is burning.' --MDR, Ph.D.]
How the Humanist Movement Fosters Economic Injustice --A Movement That Makes a Mockery of Its Conventions | 28 May 2015 | The idea that solving the social problems produced by religion will allow for solving the problems of economics in fact gets the reality of the matter backwards...As Michael Rectenwald, Professor of cultural history, science studies, and critical theory at New York University and an expert on the history of secularism, recently suggested to me, with such comments Marx may well have invented what is now called the Existential Security Hypothesis (ESH)...Thus, as Rectenwald writes, "a true humanist doesn't work hard to eradicate religion. A true humanist works to eradicate the conditions that make religion necessary. In other words, a true humanist condemns liberals more than religions, because liberalism permits such oppression as makes religion necessary."
Where did the half billion raised for Haiti go? Red Cross won't say, only built six houses | 03 June 2015 | In late 2011, the Red Cross launched a multimillion-d-llar project to transform the desperately poor area, which was hit hard by the earthquake that struck Haiti the year before. The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars. In fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success. The Red Cross [frauds] says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
Hillary Clinton calls for sweeping expansion of voter registration | 04 June 2015 | Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday called for sweeping changes in national voter registration laws aimed at making it easier for young people and minorities to take part in elections, putting her on a collision course with Republicans who say such reforms are a political ploy that would lead to widespread abuses. In a speech at an historically black college here [Texas Southern University], Clinton called for federal legislation that would automatically register Americans to vote at age 18 and would mandate at least 20 days of early voting ahead of election days in all states. Clinton said Republican state legislatures are deliberately restricting voting by curtailing early access to the polls and other measures in an effort to suppress Democratic turnout.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to Run for President | 04 June 2015 | Emphasizing his record as a seasoned leader of a prosperous state, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally declaredThursday that he is entering the 2016 presidential race. Speaking in an airport hangar in this Dallas suburb, in front of the type of transport plane he flew as a captain in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Perry, age 65, also highlighted his military training and promised to take a more muscular approach to addressing conflicts in the Middle East...The Republican criticized the Obama administration for withdrawing troops from Iraq.
Iraq War focus for Lincoln Chafee campaign launch | 03 June 2015 | Lincoln Chafee formally announced his presidential bid on Wednesday. He has been elected to office as a Republican senator and an Independent governor. Now he's got his sights set on the White House as a Democrat. "I enjoy challenges and certainly we have many facing America. Today, I am formally entering the race for the Democratic nomination for president," he said. A defining issue for Chafee has been the war in Iraq; he was the lone Republican to vote against authorizing the war as a senator in 2003.
Mourners pay respects to US vice president's son | 04 June 2015 | Delaware residents gathered at the state Capitol on Thursday to pay their respects to former Attorney General Beau Biden. Biden, eldest son of Vice President Joe Biden, died of brain cancer Saturday at age 46. Beau Biden lay in honor in the state Senate chamber following a procession from Wilmington to Dover...Gov. Jack Markell led the tributes for Biden in a 25-minute service attended by state officials, lawmakers and other dignitaries.
Protect NYC parks -- and deep-six NYU expansion By Mark Ruffalo | 04 June 2015 | What makes a park a park? ...Today, it is an urgent legal question before the New York Court of Appeals. For our state's highest court will either save our city parks, by reaffirming a time-honored civic principle, or they will throw it out, and so allow the city to seize countless open spaces long enjoyed as public parks, and hand them over to private developers, without approval from the state Legislature. Such is the looming consequence of New York University's plan to bulk up its Greenwich Village presence with four huge towers -- roughly two-million square feet of commercial real estate -- crammed onto the two residential blocks just south of Washington Square.
Colorado Lunch Lady Fired for Giving Kids Free Meals Says She'd Do it Again | 04 June 2015 | A woman says she was fired from her job in an elementary school cafeteria for helping students who forgot to bring m-ney for lunch. Della Curry, 35, was terminated from her position as a kitchen manager at an Aurora, Colorado, elementary school on Friday for giving such students free lunches, she told ABC News today. "I was let go for not charging for all of the food I gave to the students," the former Cherry Creek School District employee said.
Death toll climbs to 82 as China starts righting capsized ship| 05 June 2015 | The death toll from a Chinese cruise ship that capsized on the Yangtze River has climbed to 82, state media said on Friday, as authorities began righting the vessel and said there was no chance of finding anyone else alive. The rescue mission has become an operation to recover hundreds of bodies from the ship, which was carrying 456 people when it overturned in a freak tornado on Monday night. Only 14 survivors have been found, including the captain.
Hundreds missing, many elderly tourists, after ship capsizes on China's Yangtze River | 02 June 2015 | Rescuers searchedon Tuesday for more than 400 people, many of them elderly Chinese tourists, missing after a cruise boat was hit by a freak tornado and capsized on the Yangtze River in what may become China's worst shipping disaster in nearly 70 years. Battling bad weather, divers and other rescue workers pulled five people they found trapped in the upturned hull of the four-deck Eastern Star, a small fraction of the 458 people state media said were on board when the ship capsized on Monday night.
India heat wave kills 2,330 people as millions wait for rain | 02 June 2015 | The heat wave gripping India has killed 2,330 people, officials announced on Tuesday, as meteorologists warned that monsoon rains could still be days away. The worst-hit state was Andhra Pradesh on the country's southeast coast, where 42 people have died in the past 24 hours. The total toll in that state is now 1,719, according to K. Dhananjaya Reddy, director of the state's disaster management...Temperatures hit a high of 48 degrees Celsius in some cities last week -- that's 118 degrees Fahrenheit.
Montana man saves newborn moose after he found it crying next to its dead mother and calls rescue team who horrify him by SHOOTING it dead | 04 June 2015 | A Bozeman, Montana man thought he was saving a baby moose's life when he called park authorities about the orphan, but instead he ended up unwittingly aiding in the slaughter of the helpless newborn. Josh Hohm was exploring the woodland near West Boulder Campground in Montana's Gallatin National Forest this past Memorial Day when he stumbled upon a newborn moose, so young it could barely walk. Nearby, Hohm spotted a sad sight: the dead body of the calf's mother along with a stillborn baby. Overwhelmed by the scene, Hohm hugged the little orphaned moose, posing for a selfie with the baby...Hoping to get the moose some protection and food, Hohm called the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Service. Hohm says after he handed the newborn over to the rangers, they shot the baby dead in a 'mercy killing' and then proceeded to blow up the three bodies so that their rotting carcasses would 'not attract bears and other predators' to the campground.
Brown bear brothers look like they're shaking on a deal as they play in a lake in Kamchatka, Russia --Heart-warming photos were taken by Sergey Ivanov, who visits the region every year to watch the bears | 02 June 2015 | Stretching out their furry little paws in a show of brotherly respect, two adorable brown bear cubs appear to strike a deal while playing in a lake. In a scene echoing hit Disney film Brother Bear, the animals were pictured enjoying a morning splash in Kamchatka, Russia. The two cubs can even be seen whispering into each others' ears - just like in the movie - as they stand in the flowing waters of Kurile Lake. Describing the heart-warming spectacle, professional photographer, Sergey Ivanov, 52, said: 'It seemed like a meeting of two best friends with handshaking.'
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