Friday, August 21, 2015

S. Korea orders border evacuations as North declares readiness for war following exchange of fire

News Updates from CLG
21 August 2015
Previous edition: Volcano near nuclear plant raising concerns in Japan
S. Korea orders border evacuations as North declares readiness for war following exchange of fire | 21 Aug 2015 | South Korean sources claim there is evidence that North Korea is about to test-fire short and medium-range missiles, a source said. It comes a day after the two rival nations exchanged artillery fire across the border. "The North is showing signs of deploying a Scud missile near Wonsan and a Rodong missile in the North Pyeongan Province," a government source told the Yonhap news agency, citing data from a radar system that South Korean and US military operate jointly. "It seems that (the North) is weighing the timing of the firing under its strategic intention to increase military tension on the Korean Peninsula to the highest level," the source noted...The leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Kim Jong-un has ordered frontline combined forces to enter a state of war from5:00p.m. (0830 GMT) on Friday, the official KCNA news agency reports.

Kim Jong-un orders North Korean frontline troops onto war footing --Supreme Leader orders his troops to be in a 'wartime state' after exchange of artillery fire with South Korea | 21 Aug 2015 | Kim Jong-un has ordered front-line North Korean troops onto a war-footing as tensions on the border with South Korea soared following an exchange of artillery fire. South Korea fired dozens of artillery rounds towards North Korea during the day after the North shelled across the border to protest against anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts by Seoul - the first exchange of fire in 10 months. In the early hours of Friday morning, North Korea's Supreme Leader ordered his troops to be in a "wartime state".

Top British politician likens US troops to ISIS: Labour party frontrunner compared fanatics' barbarity to Americans in Iraq during TV interview | 21 Aug 2015 | Jeremy Corbyn [accurately] compared Islamic State brutality to US military action in Iraq in a TV interview, it emerged yesterday. The Labour leadership frontrunner called for 'acceptance and understanding' of IS supporters while speaking on Russia Today, the Kremlin-backed broadcaster, in June last year. He only condemned 'some' of the brutal regime's actions in Iraq, saying: 'Yes they are brutal, yes some of what they have done is quite appalling, likewise what American forces did in Fallujah and other places is quite appalling.'

The U.S. government is looking for new places to stash war prisoners after Guantanamo Bay closes | 20 Aug 2015 | Teams working on plans to close the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay have been visiting detention facilities in the United States to identify sites where war prisoners could be held long term, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. Carter said Defense Department assessment teams had visited the U.S. Army detention facility at Leavenworth, Kansas, and would soon go to the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig at Charleston, South Carolina, to look at what investments might be needed to make them suitable for holding Guantanamo detainees prisoners. The U.S. defense chief said other prisons also would be assessed in the coming weeks, providing the administration with information needed for a broad recommendation to Congress on closing Guantanamo.

Britain to reopen Tehran embassy after 4-year closure | 20 Aug 2015 | The British embassy in Tehran, the capital of Iran, will be officially reopened by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond over the weekend nearly four years after it was closed following an attack by a group of activists. The Iranian embassy in London will also reopen at around the same time, as fractious relations between Iran and the West continue to thaw following the nuclear deal signed in July. Hammond will be accompanied on his trip to Tehran by Sir Simon Gass, who represented Britain during the marathon negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.

Cairo explosion: at least six injured in bomb attack near security building | 19 Aug 2015 | A car bomb exploded near a security building in Cairo early on Thursday morning Egypt's interior ministry has said, in the latest of a series of violent attacks that have shaken the capital in recent months. The blast happened close to the national security agency building in Shubra Al-Khaima, a neighbourhood on the northern edge of the Egyptian capital. Egypt's interior ministry confirmed in a statement that a car had exploded outside the security compound. The assailant fled the scene on a motorcycle, it said.

US boxer Roy Jones Jr. asks for Russian passport over cup of tea with Putin in Crimea | 21 Aug 2015 | During their brief meeting in Crimea, famous boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. has asked President Putin for a Russian passport which would help facilitate business. Putin noted that fans would be thrilled, promising assistance if the champ spends enough time in Russia. The 46-year-old US boxer and rapper who will take part in a show in Sevastopol this weekend, opted to stay away from politics during a meeting with Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea city, and said that sport could help "build a bridge" between the US and Russia.

Former SLC mayor sues NSA, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney over 2002 Olympic spying | 19 Aug 2015 | Former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson has filed a class-action lawsuit against the National Security Agency, former President [sic] George W. Bush and former Vice-President [sic] Dick Cheney over accusations of spying on everyone in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Anderson accused the NSA and the Bush administration of blanket surveillance over everyone in Salt Lake City and the Olympic venues from the start of the opening ceremonies until the closing ceremonies two weeks later...The lawsuit claims a Fourth and First Amendment violation and seeks class-action status.

Chelsea Manning Found Guilty of Violating Prison Rules | 19 Aug 2015 | Convicted national security leaker Chelsea Manning was found guilty Tuesday of violating prison rules and will receive three weeks of recreational restrictions at the Kansas military prison where she's serving her 35-year sentence, her attorney said. The transgender Army private was accused of having a magazine and an expired tube of toothpaste, among other things. Her attorney, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a news release that Manning was convicted of all charges after a closed four-hour disciplinary board hearing in which she had no counsel. The maximum punishment she could have faced was indefinite solitary confinement.

Far left splits from Tsipras as Greece heads to elections | 21 Aug 2015 | Rebels opposed to Greece's international bailout walked out of the leftist Syriza party on Friday, formalizing a split after its leader Alexis Tsipras resigned as prime minister and paved the way for early elections. Greece's president gave the conservative opposition a chance to form a new government following Tsipras's resignation on Thursday, but the country appears almost certain to be heading for its third election in as many years next month. Tsipras is hoping to strengthen his hold on power in a snap election after seven months in office in which he fought Greece's creditors for a better bailout deal but had to cave in and accept more onerous terms.

Greece crisis: Syriza rebels form new Popular Unity party | 21 Aug 2015 | Rebels from Greece's governing left-wing Syriza are to break away and form a new party. Prime minister and Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras stood down on Thursday, paving the way for new elections. The move came after he lost the support of many of his own MPs in a vote on the country's new bailout with European creditors earlier this month. Greek media reports say 25 rebel Syriza MPs will join the new party, called Leiki Anotita (Popular Unity).

Former president Jimmy Carter says cancer has spread to his brain | 20 Aug 2015 | Former president Jimmy Carter said that the cancer doctors discovered earlier this year on his liver has also been found on his brain. Carter, 90, said he will receive his first radiation treatment for the disease Thursday afternoon. Carter saidThursday that doctors found "four spots of melanoma on my brain -- small spots" after first discovering cancer during an Aug. 3 operation to remove a tumor from his liver. During that surgery, Carter said, doctors suspected that the cancer had originated in another part of his body. They later discovered the melanoma spots, about "two millimeters" in size, on his brain.

Critics of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal warn about arbitration clause | 19 Aug 2015 | When Australia began prohibiting brand logos and requiring grim pictures of smoking-borne diseases on cigarette packs, tobacco giant Philip Morris fired back using a novel tactic. It turned to an obscure dispute-arbitration clause in a 1993 trade agreement between Australia and Hong Kong to argue that the Australian government's new public-health law amounted to discrimination [!] and an expropriation of a foreign investment. That case, which is pending, illustrates what opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say they fear most about the nearly completed trade corporate takeover pact: that it will benefit big corporations at the expense of consumers and workers. The provision allows multinational investors to sue foreign governments for expropriation and unfair or unequal treatment,giving them the ability to bring cases before a special, extrajudicial arbitration tribunal that is unavailable to domestic investors.

July was the hottest month since records began in 1880 as heatwaves swept the Earth's countries and oceans --All-time high average temperature 62F (17C) recorded globally in July --The first seven months of 2015 have also surpassed temperature records | 20 Aug 2015 | July was the warmest month ever on record worldwide and 2015 has been the hottest year so far, figures reveal. In its monthly global climate report, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said many countries and the world's oceans experienced heatwaves last month. Nine of the 10 hottest months since records began in 1880 have occurred since 2005, the NOAA report said. According to the NOAA, this July was the all-time highest monthly temperature in the records that date back to 1880, at 61.86F (16.61C).

Study finds global warming makes California's drought worse | 20 Aug 2015 | Climate change Global warming has aggravated California's devastating drought, causing between 8 and 27 percent of the dry conditions afflicting the nation's most populous state, a study released on Thursday has found. The study, published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, is the first paper to estimate how much climate change global warming has exacerbated the state's drought by sending moisture from plants and soils into the air, according to Columbia University, where the lead author works. Researchers examined monthly weather data, including rainfall and temperatures, going back 114 years to isolate the proportion of the drought they concluded was due to climate change global warming, as opposed to natural weather variations that have heated up the state, according to Columbia University.

3 firefighters killed, 4 hurt battling one of Washington state's many wildfires | 19 Aug 2015 | Three firefighters died and four others were injured while battling a wildfire in northern Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee said Wednesday evening. The firefighters were confronting a blaze in Okanogan County near the town of Twisp, about 150 miles northeast of Seattle. Inslee also requested a federal declaration of emergency for the state, saying 11 counties are battling more than 40 fires in all. Hours earlier, the approaching fire led officials to tell residents to evacuate the towns of Twisp and Winthrop, whose combined population is about 1,300, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures.

Danny intensifies into first hurricane of the 2015 season | 20 Aug 2015 | After its skeletal appearance on Wednesday, Danny has exploded to life overnight and is now a hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph. Hurricane Danny is the first hurricane so far this season, and right on time -- the median date of the first hurricane formation is Aug. 16. Hurricane Danny's forward speed is just 12 mph, meaning it's still about four days away from reaching the eastern Caribbean if it maintains this speed.

FBI investigating Ashley Madison hack; 37M emails exposed | 20 Aug 2015 | The FBI is now investigating that massive breach of an website dedicated to helping people cheat on their spouse. Tens of millions of email addresses belonging to customers of the Ashley Madison website are now available to see on the internet. Among the surprises: the number of emails that seem to belong to members of the military and government. It's not known how many of the email addresses are legitimate.

15,000 government emails revealed in Ashley Madison leak | 19 Aug 2015 | Thousands of clients using the affair-oriented Ashley Madison website listed email addresses registered to the White House, top federal agencies and military branches, a data dump by hackers revealed. The detailed data, released Tuesday, will likely put Washington, D.C., on edge. Indeed, more than 15,000 of the email addresses used to register accounts were hosted on government and military servers. Buried in the list are emails that could be tied to multiple administration agencies, including the State Department and Department of Homeland Security, as well as several tied to both the House and Senate.

Head of Louisiana GOP among those in Ashley Madison data dump | 20 Aug 2015 | Louisiana GOP Executive Director Jason Doré said Thursday that his name was among those released as part of the Ashley Madison data dump earlier this week because he used the site for "opposition research." Hackers released a trove of data from the infidelity networking website on Tuesday that included at least 10,000 email addresses that appear to be associated with government and military accounts. Doré told that an account had been created using his name and former personal credit card information as part of work done by his law firm, Doré Jeansonne.

Donald Trump's venue for Alabama rally moved to larger stadium | 20 Aug 2015 | Donald Trump has been drawing large crowds at events throughout the country, but his next event in Alabama could draw his largest gathering yet. Trump is holding aFriday night "pep rally" in Mobile, Alabama, and because of increased expected attendance, a last minute venue change is taking place, the campaign said Thursday. Previously planned for the nearby Civic Center -- which can hold up to 4,000 people -- the event is now being moved to the 43,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium, normally home to high school football games. As ofThursday morning, 35,000 tickets to the event have been distributed, according to the Trump Campaign.

Gas Line Explodes During Construction at a Manhattan High School | 20 Aug 2015 | A gas line exploded during construction at John F. Kennedy High School in the Marble Hill section of Manhattan on Thursday night, injuring three workers, one critically, and heavily damaging three floors, the authorities said. Seven people were working on a construction project in a science laboratory on the sixth floor shortly after 8 p.m. when the explosion occurred, the police said. The workers were draining gas from a main in the lab before starting their work but failed to drain it completely, setting off the blast, the police said.

MSNBC Airs Softball Interview With Anti-Union Activist Campbell Brown | 19 Aug 2015 | After her show was cancelled on account of low ratings, former CNN anchor [pea-brain] Campbell Brown reinvented herself as an education reformer and charter school advocate -- this despite having little to no training in education, and never having taught students herself. She founded the education corporate advocacy group the Partnership for Educational Justice to fight teacher tenure in New York and recently launched the Seventy Four, an "nonprofit, nonpartisan" education news site. However, as some critics have pointed out, Brown's news [sic] site is largely dedicated to trashing teachers unions and advocating for school choice...Brown has refused to disclose the donors behind her Partnership for Educational Justice -- which is not tied to the news site -- saying only that they come from "both sides of the aisle." But MSNBC made no mention of Brown's ties to advocacy groups -- or her lack of transparency -- when she came on "Morning Joe" on Wednesdayto promote an upcoming education forum with many of the Republican presidential nominees.

Avoid LongHorn Steakhouse: Millville, NJ, waitress fired by LongHorn Steakhouse after trying to save dog left in car by diners | 19 Aug 2015 | All Cristal Perez thought she was doing was helping a small dog that she felt was suffering while it was left inside a car at the Longhorn Steakhouse last week. But Perez said the comments she made to the dog's owners about the situation Aug. 11 resulted in her being fired as a waitress at the restaurant where she has worked since May 2014. The dog's owners were a couple she was serving, and Perez said they complained to management about her comments...The National Weather Service reported the high temperature in the city on Aug. 11 as 84 degrees, with the heat index making it feel like 90 degrees. Information on the website for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals states that the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 degrees and 120 degrees "in just minutes" on a 78-degree day.

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