Tag Archive: surveillance


Reblogged from :  The Grey Enigma

April 22, 2013   

As with every terrorist attack and high-profile killing, the Boston bombing has prompted calls for Americans to give up civil liberties for the sake of security. Rather than gun control or airport pat-downs, this time the call is for a Big Brother-like network of police cameras allowing authorities to more closely monitor people who move about the streets.

But the story of the Boston bombers — the details of their crime and their capture — makes the opposite argument. We don’t need more government surveillance. We need to maintain robust civil society and public spiritedness.

Responding to IRA bombings and then going further after 9/11, London has created a “ring of steel,” with chokepoints and thousands of closed-circuit television [CCTV] cameras. Wherever you go in London, Big Brother can watch you.

At Slate, Farhad Manjoo wrote, “Thanks to CCTV cameras, the identities of the bombers and their co-conspirators were determined in a few days’ time.”

But guess who else determined the identities of bombers in a few days’ time, without thousands of police surveillance cameras? U.S., Massachusetts and Boston police.

Law enforcement in Boston used cameras to ID the bombing suspects, but not police cameras. Instead, authorities asked the public to submit all photos and videos of the finish-line area to the FBI, just in case any of them had relevant images. The surveillance videos the FBI posted online of the suspects came from private businesses that use surveillance to punish and deter crime on their property.

So it turns out we already have plenty of cameras on the street. They’re not government cameras, but rather cameras owned and operated by private individuals and businesses. In a bout of public spiritedness, these pedestrians and businesses willingly shared their videos with law enforcement. Even if the crime had not been so notorious, the police could expect public cooperation — what merchant wouldn’t share his surveillance tapes to aid in a murder investigation?

So what do we gain by having the government run its own cameras? That would mean the police wouldn’t need to turn to the public for help. This would create efficiencies, but it seems the public responded pretty efficiently last week.

 

Read More Here

 

Click here to find out more!

Posted: Feb 07, 2013 5:59 PM CST Updated: Feb 08, 2013 8:31 AM CST By David Gotfredson, Field Producer

Watch Video Here

 

VISTA (CBS 8) – They look like small helicopters with onboard cameras. Surveillance drones are taking off in San Diego County, literally.

Police agencies, small businesses, even your own neighbor could soon be flying an “eye in the sky.”

News 8’s Phil Blauer participated in a demonstration of the $100,000 “Scout” surveillance drone, manufactured by Datron in Vista.

“This unit literally flies itself. It just waits for us to tell it what to do,” said Paul Wilson, Field Support Specialist with Datron.

“I can pull this thing out of a backpack and have that video come directly to me, so I know what’s going on,” said Chris Barter, Datron Program Manager. “The real value is it streams video to a computer.”

Datron managers frequently give demonstrations of the Scout for the media, the military, and police agencies nationwide.

“We’re shooting to get the system into law enforcement and educate the public about how these systems are ultimately of benefit,” said Barter.

The video streamed back from the Scout can be recorded on the computer and monitored live. The drone can also snap still photos from above.  It can fly for about a half hour on a single battery.

Police departments across the country have purchased surveillance drones for use in swat standoffs, drug busts, or search and rescue operations.

In 2011, Datron conducted a drone demo for the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, but the department never purchased one, according to Commander David Myers.

The department reviewed several other drones last year on display at the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Mission Valley, Myers said.

“I’ve seen them from $50,000 all the way up to $300,000,” said Myers. “It all depends on what you want and what the capabilities are.”

Myers said he is not aware of any local law enforcement agency currently using a surveillance drone, including the Sheriff’s department.

Commercial photography businesses also are using drones in San Diego County.

“About two months ago there was a train derailment in Kentucky. The Scout was used in the air to take photography of the train collision,” said Barter, the Datron manager.

Most people are familiar with military use of drones in war zones but the technology is evolving and getting cheaper.

For about $300, anybody can go online and buy a personal drone with streaming, high-definition video capabilities.

“I live in Encinitas and I’ve gone surfing and actually seen these things up in the air. At that point though, those are just hobby-class birds,” said Barter.

Current Federal Aviation Administration rules restrict the flights of surveillance drones to line of sight and 400 feet in altitude.

The Scout is one of several drones being reviewed in Oklahoma by the Department of Homeland Security for surveillance capabilities, which is causing privacy concerns.

“We certainly can’t accept law enforcement secretly acquiring drones for surveillance purposes,” said Kevin Keenan, Executive Director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

“This is a public issue. It deserves to be debated,” said Keenan. “I think local law enforcement understands that people are a little freaked out by the idea of our sky being populated by these surveillance drones.”

The ACLU wants to make sure police agencies are restricted from using drones for routine surveillance on civilians.

“They can stay up there for a long time. You can’t even hear them. So it’s a potential for complete and total surveillance that we just haven’t confronted as a society,” Keenan said.

Datron managers said their Scout drone is no more invasive than a helicopter.

“Unmanned aircraft are no different than manned aircraft. They have to operate within the same legal framework as all aircraft platforms,” said Barter. “You can’t go off and do things that are illegal.”

In response to public records requests, the Federal Aviation Administration last year released a list of agencies nationwide with FAA permits to fly drones. No law enforcement agencies in San Diego County were on the list.

Linda Thomas
mynorthwest.com
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 12:48 CST

The Draganflyer X6 is an electric powered Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) which most people refer to as a drone. Seattle Police have two of them. The drones must follow FAA guidelines which include not flying over crowds. They must be monitored by at least one operator and one observer

Put words like “surveillance” and “unmanned aerial systems” together, and people begin to worry about Big Brother watching their every move.
At the direction of Mayor Mike McGinn, the Seattle Police Department has been working on rules governing the use of drones. A city council committee will discuss, and likely vote, on the proposed policy Wednesday afternoon.

The SPD has two drones, so far, that were obtained with a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. While the technology will become more advanced, the drones Seattle has burn through batteries in about 10 minutes.

The city says the systems “are intended to help us protect public safety by gathering visual information in specific situations where sending in an officer would not be safe, or to take crime scene photography that a human being could not easily capture.

The use of aerial surveillance cameras will be “tightly controlled, regulated and will not be used to conduct random surveillance,” they say.

Here’s how the Seattle Police Department proposes using the new technology:

Read Full Article Here

Activists voice dismay as Senate renews government surveillance measure

Two amendments that would have provided basic oversight for US government’s warrantless surveillance program

    US senator Ron Wyden

    An amendment by Ron Wyden (above) would have required the government to estimate the number of US citizens it had spied on. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Civil rights campaigners voiced dismay on Friday over the US Senate‘s re-authorization of the government’s warrantless surveillance program, and the defeat of two amendments that would have provided for basic oversight of the eavesdropping.

    The Senate voted 73-23 to extend the law, called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act, for five years. The House of Representatives has already passed the measure, which President Obama has said he will sign.

    But while the program was extended as expected, campaigners saw a silver lining in that the vote was closer than when the legislation was first introduced in 2008.

    “We’re incredibly disappointed, not just that it passed, but that they rejected some very moderate amendments that wouldn’t have interfered with the collection of intelligence,” said Michelle Richardson, an ACLU expert on surveillance issues.

    An amendment by senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon would have required the secret court that oversees surveillance requests to disclose “important rulings of law.” It failed 37-54. An amendment by Merkley’s fellow Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden would have required the government to estimate the number of US citizens it had spied on. It fell by a narrower margin, 43-52.

     

    Read Full Article Here

    Published on May 31, 2012 by

    On Thursday, US lawmakers discussed whether or not the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act should be renewed. FISA gives government the power to monitor phone calls, emails and other forms of electronic communication. Critics believe that FISA can now be used to target citizens all in the name of homeland security. Andrew Blake, RT’s web producer, joins us with more on the controversial legislation and discusses other legislation such as CISPA, SOPA and PIPA.

    Is FISA Unconstitutional?

    Published on May 31, 2012 by

    Massive surveillance of your communications happened during the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping experiment and then we know that Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act in 2008. Except we also know that there were abuses and domestic communications were collected as well, so this clearly brings up a range of privacy and civil liberties issues. If Congress goes the way the Obama administration is pushing for, that just means reauthorizing the law that’s set to expire at the end of this year. Today there was a hearing on Capitol Hill where lawmakers at least discussed some of the concerns and heard testimony from the ACLU. EFF’s Trevor Timm discusses.

    Politics and Legislation

    Britain pushes for mass surveillance society

    Uploaded by RTAmerica on Mar 15, 2012

    Soon you can be watched everywhere you go in the UK. All your emails, texts and phone calls will be monitored and you can even be seen where cameras can’t. This could all be possible with a new anti-terrorism spy plan. Security companies will have real time access to all your personal happenings at the click of a button. Here is our report.

    N.Y. Passes DNA Requirement For Convicted Criminals

    Early on Thursday, lawmakers in New York approved a bill that will make the state the first to require DNA samples from almost all convicted criminals — and make its DNA database one of the largest in the nation.

    http://www.nhpr.org/post/ny-passes-dna-requirement-convicted-criminals

    GOP: Obama, Dems need to do more to fight high gas prices

    By Molly K. Hooper

    Republicans attacked President Obama’s energy policies as the cause of high gas prices in Saturday’s weekly address.

    http://thehill.com/video/house/216505-gop-obama-needs-to-do-more-to-fight-high-gas-prices

    White House looks to change the optics in debate over rising gas prices

    By Amie Parnes

    The White House is shifting its optics on gas prices after struggling in recent days to win the public debate over the issue.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/216499-white-house-changes-optics-in-debate-over-rising-gas-prices

    Obama: Fight high gas prices by ending subsidies, fraud

    By Jamie Klatell

    While saying there is no “silver bullet,” President Obama said Saturday that regulating energy markets and cutting government subsidies to big oil firms will help control spikes in the prices of gas.

    http://thehill.com/video/administration/216507-obama-fight-high-gas-prices-by-ending-subsidies-fraud

    White House: Colleges must cover birth control for students

    By Sam Baker

    Most universities will have to cover birth control in their students’ health plans, the Obama administration said Friday.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216485-white-house-says-colleges-must-cover-birth-control-for-students

    GOP split on health-law repeal strategy

    By Julian Pecquet

    Two conservative Republicans on Friday blasted House leaders for scheduling a vote to repeal an unpopular provision of the healthcare reform law.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216487-republicans-at-odds-over-health-law-repeal-strategy

    If You Took the Greed Out of Wall Street, All You’d Have Left Is Pavement

    Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

    The Street has only itself to blame. It should have welcomed new financial regulation as a means of restoring public trust. Instead, it lobbied intensely against the new Dodd-Frank Act and refused to resurrect Glass-Steagall. The cost of such cynicism has leached deep into America, finding expression in Tea Partiers and Occupiers and millions of others who think the Street has sold us out.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/if-you-took-greed-out-wall-street-all-you-d-have-left-pavement-why-greg-smith-s-critique-way-too-nar

    The Power of Recalls in Wisconsin

    John Nichols, Op-Ed:

    With Wisconsin recall elections looming against four Republican state Senators — as well as Governor Scott Walker and Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch — the state’s politics was thrown for another loop Friday when a targeted senator up and quit. State Senator Pam Galloway, a Tea Party favorite and one of Walker’s steadiest backers in the legislature, announced her immediate resignation from the legislature and her decision not to contest the recall election.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/power-recalls-wisconsin-1331997712

    Economy

    Five Charts That Prove We’re in a Depression and That the Federal Reserve and Washington Are Wasting Money

    By Graham Summers

    Wall Street and mainstream economists are abuzz that we’re seeing a recovery in the US due to the latest jobs data. These folks are not only missing the big picture, but they’re not even reading the fine print (more on this in a moment).

    The reality is that what’s happening in the US today is not a cyclical recession, but a one in 100 year, secular economic shift.

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1331571258.php

     

    Gas prices still climbing, top $4 in 6 states
    Pump prices click higher to national average of $3.83 a gallon, with 6 states above $4.00

    Gasoline prices rose again Friday and are now averaging more than $4 in six states and Washington, D.C. Oil had its biggest gain in three weeks and natural gas prices also rose.

    Retail gasoline prices were up a penny on Friday to a national average of $3.831 per gallon, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/gas-prices-still-climbing-top-165457157.html;_ylt=Ao1Q5Ln8g6oB0Kdt8qRBnJSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0dnFmNjdlBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzVlMDc2YjMtNWRmNS0zMmUzLWE5YzgtNjI0NzA1ZWRhOGNiBHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzI3NGFjZTk5LTZmYTAtMTFlMS1iZjdhLWM0YTZhNDQyZTAyZA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

     

    Oil hits $107 after US denial of crude release
    Oil rises past $107 a day after US denies plan to release crude supplies

    NEW YORK (AP) — Crude oil prices rose Friday, a day after the government denied reports that the U.S. and the U.K. plan to release some of their strategic crude reserves.

    In New York trading, benchmark oil for April delivery rose $1.95 a barrel, or about 2 percent, to finish at $107.06, the biggest gain since Feb. 24.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/oil-hits-107-us-denial-203308690.html;_ylt=Aomo5PjMW6oZV0lJwGXaEKSiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTN0bzllaW1tBG1pdANOZXdzIFRvcGljIDIEcGtnA2E1NDFjNTU0LTdlNGQtMzc0NC1iMjk1LWZkMjYxZWZmZWQzMwRwb3MDNQRzZWMDTWVkaWFTZWN0aW9uTGlzdAR2ZXIDYzA0MmI5NjAtNmZhOS0xMWUxLWJhZGEtNmQ5MmYzZWE2NjFk;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

     

    Doomsday Survey: 51% of Americans Believe a Financial Collapse Is Imminent; 85% Say Country Is Overwhelmingly Under-Prepared

    A recent survey of 1,007 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over suggests that most of us believe a doomsday scenario of some kind will occur in the next twenty five years.

    With three million preppers in the U.S. getting ready for widespread disaster, gun sales sky rocketing, and retail precious metals purchases at unprecedented levels, the results of the survey performed by Kelton Research on behalf of National Geographic shouldn’t be surprising.

    http://learnhowtobeprepared.com/2012/03/doomsday-survey-51-of-americans-believe-a-financial-collapse-is-imminent-85-say-country-is-overwhelmingly-under-prepared/#.T2VkYLRZfe8

     

    The Fed Isn’t Providing Monetary Morphine; Its Spreading Financial Cancer That Is Killing the Markets And Democratic Capitalism In General

    CONTRIBUTOR: Graham Summers.

    ~ Phoenix Capital Research While the vast majority of commentators look at the market action of the last three months and celebrate, I cannot help but shudder. The reason is that the stock market has been propped up solely by Central Bank and/or Federal Government intervention or the hope…

    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1903/390/The_Fed_Isnt_Providing_Monetary_Morphine;_Its_Spreading_Financial_Cancer_That_Is_Killing_the_Markets_And_Democratic_Capitalism_In_General.html

    Preventing the Fall of Rome

    Gar Alperovitz, Op-Ed:

    How far continuing financial and political pressures may lead other officials to attempt to secure revenues by selling off public assets is an open question. Public resistance to such strategies, although less widely publicized, has been surprisingly strong in many areas. Toll road sales have been held up in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and newly elected Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently voiced his opposition to an attempt to privatize Midway Airport as previously attempted by Daley.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/preventing-fall-rome-1331994900

     

    Senate Bill Could Roll Back Consumers’ Health Insurance Savings

    Lena Groeger, News Report:

    This is the first year that companies are required to send out rebates. According to a report by state insurance commissioners, if rebates had been handed out last year, insurers would have had to pay consumers almost $2 billion. If they had carved out the broker fees, as proposed in the two current bills, consumers would have gotten only about $800 million. The rebates have gotten relatively modest attention. Only 38 percent of the public is even aware of the rule’s existence, according to a Kaiser poll.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-bill-could-roll-back-consumers-health-insurance-savings-1331996903

     

    Wars and Rumors of War

    Panetta Disarms Marines in Afghanistan Amid Fears of Possible Rogue Marine Shooting

    Uploaded by ObamaBC on Mar 14, 2012

    It has been denied that Secretary of Defense Panetta’s disarming of Marines in Afghanistan March 14 had anything to do with a rogue Army sniper’s killing of sixteen Afghan civilians earlier in the week, but many are calling the move highly unusual, and one source states disarming Marines in a combat zone is contrary to military protocol. Approximately two hundred Marines were told to leave their weapons outside a tent while listening to Panetta’s speech, but many state disarming the Marines will lead to a morale problem due to a high official distrusting his own troops. Sources state the Marines felt uncomfortable being without their weapons in what is essentially a war zone. What many considered a rush to judgement given the the rogue U.S. sniper’s history of PTSD and TBI (traumatic brain injury), Leon Panetta had stated almost immediately that the soldier could face the death penalty. This was odd and hypocritical to many, given that many feel the Obama administration ostensibly armed drug cartels with Fast and Furious weapons that were used to kill hundreds of Mexican citizens, and at least two U.S. citizens, Border Patrol agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata, and no one has called for the death penalty in these cases, let alone actual charges being filed.
    3/14/12 By Kris Zane

     

    How Mossad Justified Its Murder of an Innocent Iranian Electrical Engineer

    By Gareth Porter

    On July 23, 2011, a 35-year-old Iranian electrical engineering student named Darioush Rezaeinejad was gunned down as he and his wife, who was also wounded in the attack, waited for their child in front of a kindergarten in Tehran.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30850.htm

     

    America and the Middle East:
    Psycho Warriors Who Deceive Humanity

    By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD

    Global peace, humanity and security of the Middle East region are the net causality of Obama’s egomaniac rhetoric.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30849.htm

     

    Top diplomat: Saudi Arabia is smuggling arms to Syria:

    Arab diplomat says Saudi Arabia is delivering military equipment to Free Syrian Army ‘to stop bloodshed by Assad’s regime’.

    http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51267

    U.S. ‘Concerned’ About Iranian Flights to Syria:

    The United States has expressed concern that Iranian cargo planes overflying Iraq may be shipping weapons to Syria.

    http://en.rian.ru/world/20120317/172223863.html

     

    Turkey urges citizens to leave Syria, set to cut consular services:

    Move comes as reports indicate 4 members of the Gulf Cooperation Council will close their embassies in Syria over the ongoing political crisis.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-urges-citizens-to-leave-syria-set-to-cut-consular-services-1.419083

     

    Environmental

     

    The Department of Homeland Security Plans to Build a High-Risk Virus Research Center in the Heart of America

    J. D. Heyes, News Report:

    “The United States works on the frontline of livestock animal health research to defend against foreign animal, emerging, and zoonotic diseases that could threaten the U.S. livestock industry, food supply, and public health,” says Homeland Security Under Secretary for Science and Technology Tara O’Toole, in a departmental risk assessment posted online. “To address congressional requirements, this detailed, updated risk assessment reaffirms that we can build a safe and secure facility to meet this important mission.”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/department-homeland-security-plans-build-high-risk-virus-research-center-heart-america-1331990145

     

    The True Cost of the Tar Sands

    Video Report:

    “Garth Lenz is an award winning conservation photographer whose work has been seen in shows around the globe. Recently he appeared at a TEDx event in Victoria, BC Canada with his exhibition, The True Cost of Oil. Through Lenz’s photography, this exhibit showcases the beauty of some of Canada’s pristine environments—and the dire impact that tar sands oil extraction has on them.”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/photos-true-cost-tar-sands-1331993923

     

     

    Misc

    ‘Kony 2012’ director hospitalized

    Published on Mar 16, 2012 by CNN

    CNN’s Erin Burnett reports that one of the men behind the “Kony 2012” video was found in the street in his underwear.

     

    US soldier accused of shooting Afghan civilians identified

    By Carlo Munoz

    The U.S. soldier accused of going on a shooting rampage that left 16 Afghan civilians dead on Sunday has been identified as Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, a U.S. official confirmed to The Hill.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216503-us-soldier-accused-in-afghan-shootings-identified

     

    Big Pharma’s Evil Motives Exposed (video)

    CONTRIBUTOR: BARRACUDA.

    Former Scientist, and Pharma Executive Speaks Out On The True Motives of Big Pharma Dr. John Virapen has worked more than three decades in the pharmaceutical industry. As an insider, former scientist and whistleblower, he is now dedicated to expose and create awareness on how the pharmaceutical industry is operating with…

     

    Democrats Push New Obama US Flag: Here Is A Picture Of It (Shocking?) (Shocking?)

     

    CONTRIBUTOR: RidgeRunner.

    Some Democrats are flying, selling and proposing an Obama faced American Flag. How do you feel about this? What feeling does this picture evoke in you as an American? …

    http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1892/295/Democrats_Push_New_Obama_US_Flag:_Here_Is_A_Picture_Of_It_Shocking.html

     

    Foreclosure Victim Wins $18 Million as Part of Federal Mortgage Settlement

    Travis Waldron, News Report:

    “Fraudulent foreclosures have reached near-pandemic levels since the collapse of the housing market. At banks like Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America, fraudulent practices like robo-signing were approved by upper-level management, and employees with no banking experience were given vice-president level titles so they could sign foreclosure documents (one Wells Fargo ‘Vice President’ came to the bank from a pizza restaurant).”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/foreclosure-victim-wins-18-million-part-federal-mortgage-settlement-1331996983

     

    Politics and Legislation

    The Hill: Obama shifts healthcare defense

    By Sam Baker

    The Obama administration has shifted its legal arguments as it prepares to defend the president’s healthcare law before the Supreme Court.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/216361-obama-shifts-healthcare-defense

    The Hill: Republican bill would enroll seniors in same health plans as lawmakers

    By Julian Pecquet

    A group of Senate Republicans has introduced legislation that would end traditional Medicare and sign seniors up for the same private healthcare plans received by members of Congress.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/medicare/216303-gop-medicare-bill-would-enroll-seniors-into-lawmakers-plans

    Washington elites queue up to see nine justices on hot seat

    By Janet Adamy and Jess Bravin

    The hottest ticket in the capital is for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303863404577283631472580966.html?mod=ITP_AHED

    Tape A Cop, Face A Felony Charge

    Well, now the news is that in Chicago the police will continue to
    enforce, arrest, and prosecute citizens under this law as long as
    it remains on the books.

    Coming to Chicago in May is an upcoming NATO summit and it is
    expected to bring with it huge numbers felonious camera carrying
    members of the public, and you can bet the police will have their
    own cameras trained on them.

    Supreme Court rules out television cameras for healthcare arguments

    By Sam Baker

    The Supreme Court on Friday rejected calls to allow television cameras into its chambers during arguments over President Obama’s healthcare law.??

    The court said it would release same-day audio recordings of the arguments, scheduled for March 26-28. It cited the “extraordinary public interest” in the case, which could lead to President Obama’s signature domestic achievement being struck down in the midst of the campaign season.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/legal-challenges/216447-supreme-court-no-cameras-in-healthcare-case

    GOP Super PAC Men Seek to Overturn Donation Limits

    Michael Beckel, News Report:

    McCutcheon is a 44-year-old general contractor in Alabama. He’s the owner, founder and president of Coalmont Electrical Development. He’s a member of the Republican Party who admits he may have a bit of a libertarian streak. And he’s also the treasurer of a super PAC called the “Conservative Action Fund.” That’s a group that spent more than $43,000 opposing House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) in Tuesday’s GOP primary in Alabama, although it has mostly targeted Democrats with its attacks.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-super-pac-men-seek-overturn-donation-limits-1331907498

    Democratic Senators Issue Strong Warning About Use of the Patriot Act

    For more than two years, a handful of Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee have warned that the government is secretly interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming if the public – or even others in Congress – knew about it. On Thursday, two of those senators – Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado – went further. They said a top-secret intelligence operation that is based on that secret legal theory is not as crucial to national security as executive branch officials have maintained. The senators, who also said that Americans would be “stunned” to know what the government thought the Patriot Act allowed it to do, made their remarks in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. after a Justice Department official last month told a judge that disclosing anything about the program “could be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to the national security of the United States.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/us/politics/democratic-senators-warn-about-use-of-patriot-act.html?_r=1

    Economy

    UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

    Britain’s hopes of retaining its prized triple-A credit rating were dealt a blow last night after Fitch said the country was more likely than not to be downgraded.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9144551/UK-could-lose-coveted-AAA-rating-warns-Fitch.html

    The Global Economy is Now More Vulnerable to Oil Prices than Ever

    This paper examines the impact of oil price changes on global economic growth. Unlike some recent studies, this paper finds that oil price rises have had significant negative impacts on world economic growth. A time-series analysis of the data from 1971 to 2010 finds that an increase in real oil price by 10 dollars is associated with a reduction of world economic growth rate by between 0.4 and 1% in the following year. As oil prices approach historical highs, the global economy may be vulnerable to another oil price shock.

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Oil-Prices/The-Global-Economy-is-Now-More-Vulnerable-to-Oil-Prices-than-Ever.html

    Gold “Vulnerable” as U.S. Treasury Bond Market Sell-Off Worsens

    The WHOLESALE-MARKET gold price twice rose within a few cents of $1650 per ounce in London Thursday morning, adding 0.9% from yesterday’s fresh 8-week low as industrial commodities ticked lower again.

    The price of silver bullion rallied 2.3% to $32.40 per ounce, but remained over 5% down for the week so far, being “very much influenced” by the gold price according to one Swiss precious-metals dealer.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33621.html

    Europe’s Economic Crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy and Belgium Following Greece

    It isn’t over until it is over. Of course, we are referring to Europe and its version of 1984. We find it profound that the bankers, politicians and bureaucrats of Europe can do what they have done with a straight face. Investor had a haircut shoved down their throats and the ECB, the European Central Bank and the IMF were exempt.

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33614.html

    Retail sales suggest consumers shrugging off gas prices

    Dave Prokupek doesn’t like the high price of gasoline either. But business is good enough at Smashburger that the chain where Prokupek is CEO opened its 150th restaurant Wednesday, and plans to open up to 75 this year, even though eating out is theoretically the first thing gas-strapped consumers would trim.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/story/2012-03-14/gas-prices-consumer-spending/53536216/1

    S&P 500 ends best week since December with quiet day

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – The S&P 500 closed out its best week in three months with a slim gain on Friday as investors continued to propel equities near four-year highs.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/p-ends-over-1-400-024934926.html;_ylt=ApQL0mCH094ssRZYbqrtjyiiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQzcjhzN29wBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIEp1bWJvdHJvbiBMaXRlBHBrZwM4NmU2MDcwOC1mNmVhLTNkMDUtYWUzZC0yMjI0OWUzZjI0MjIEcG9zAzEEc2VjA2p1bWJvdHJvbgR2ZXIDZTc4ODAwZDAtNmYxMi0xMWUxLTk2NmItNzIxM2Q2ZDI2ZmJl;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

    Jobless claims fall, manufacturing holds up

    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Economic growth showed signs of becoming more self-sustaining as the number of Americans claiming new jobless benefits fell back to a four-year low last week and manufacturing activity in the Northeast picked up this month.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/jobless-claims-fall-manufacturing-holds-025406890.html;_ylt=AvsoQHMJwEqo4vsQWGfhQHqiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0NWxhc2xjBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYTFkNjVjNjktNjY3Ny0zY2RmLTg4MzQtYjdkODNjY2NkZTQ0BHBvcwMxBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzk4YWNmOGMwLTZmMTMtMTFlMS1iNWZmLWZmOTYwOTBjZDY4OA–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

    Secret “Occult Economy” Coming Out of the Shadows?

    During December 2011 and January 2012, I wrote two articles dealing with the announcement of two different lawsuits being filed in U.S. District Courts regarding astronomical amounts of money in the forms of U.S. Bonds, Federal Reserve Notes, foreign government-issued bonds, and other financial instruments.

    http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/secret-occult-economy-coming-out-of.html

    Appropriators warn legislative agencies of further funding cuts

    By Debbie Siegelbaum

    Members of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on The Legislative Branch are warning congressional agencies that the current atmosphere of economic austerity will likely not abate any time soon.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/216321-senate-appropriators-warn-legislative-agencies-of-further-funding-cuts

    CBO finds Obama budget adds $3.5T to deficits

    By Erik Wasson

    President Obama’s 2013 budget would add $3.5 trillion to annual deficits through 2022, according to a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office.

    It also would raise the deficit next year by $365 billion, according to the non-partisan office.

    The CBO estimate is in sharp contrast to the White House claims last month that the Obama budget would reduce deficits by $3.2 trillion over the next decade.?

    http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/216397-obama-budget-adds-35-trillion-in-deficits-cbo-finds

    Fourth straight monthly fall in FDI

    Foreign direct investment (FDI) shrank in February from a year earlier, the fourth straight fall, while investment from Europe witnessed a sharp decline, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

    Experts were not optimistic about the inflow of foreign investment into China as the European debt crisis continues and domestic economic growth slows down.

    http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2012-03/16/content_14847086.htm

    The View From Muppetland

    Veena Trehan, Op-Ed:

    Banks relentless search for profits has racked up immense “collateral damage”. Investment banks have injured individuals and institutions of every stripe. Institutions include the country Greece whose books Goldman cooked; Jefferson County, Alabama, and many European cities devastated by risky derivatives; colleges like the University of Virginia and Harvard who have held cut-rate sales on private equity; and pension funds and others who sued for fraudulent trades.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/view-muppetland-1331903343

    Four Whistleblowers Who Sounded the Alarm on Banks’ Mortgage Shenanigans

    Cora Currier, News Analysis:

    “Buried in the sweeping mortgage settlement with banks, for which final documents were filed this week, are five whistleblower cases that shed light on the litany of foreclosure abuses by the banks. According to one suit, Bank of America allegedly passed bad loans on to the Federal Housing Administration. According to another, the bank allegedly denied qualified homeowners access to HAMP, the government’s loan modification program.”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/four-whistleblowers-who-sounded-alarm-banks-mortgage-shenanigans-1331912410

    Wars and Rumors of War

    Azerbaijan arrests 22 of their own citizens for allegedly being Iranian spies

    The Azerbaijani government has announced the arrest of 22 of their own citizens who they claim are Iranian spies.

    The tensions between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan have only increased over recent months and this latest announcement is, without a doubt, not going to make anything less heated.

    http://www.blacklistednews.com/Azerbaijan_arrests_22_of_their_own_citizens_for_allegedly_being_Iranian_spies/18467/0/38/38/Y/M.html

    GOP senator dismisses ‘CliffsNotes’ explanation for killing citizens abroad

    By Jordy Yager

    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) on Thursday demanded that the White House hand over documents that detail the administration’s legal case for killing U.S. citizens abroad who are believed to be terrorist threats.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/216263-gop-senator-dismisses-holders-cliffs-notes-explanation-for-killing-citizens-abroad

    Obama: Window for diplomacy in Iran shrinking

    US President says administration will do “everything we can” for diplomatic solution, but urges Tehran to negotiate.

    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=261878

    U.K’s Cameron: No justification for Israeli attack on Iran

    In interview to NBC’s Brian Williams, British Prime Minister says Iran could maintain a civilian nuclear project if it did away with the military aspects of its program.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-k-s-cameron-no-justification-for-israeli-attack-on-iran-1.419068

    US admits Israel is arming and training terrorist groups to create terrorism

    Uploaded by 91177info on Feb 9, 2012

    So much for this War on Terror! It is actually War OF Terror. This is proof THEY are creating terror directly and indirectly. This was shown live on US television !!

    Deadly attacks on Iranian nuclear scientists are being carried out by an Iranian dissident group that is financed, trained and armed by Israel’s secret service, U.S. officials tell NBC News, confirming charges leveled by Iran’s leaders.
    The group, the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, has long been designated as a terrorist group by the United States, accused of killing American servicemen and contractors in the 1970s and supporting the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran before breaking with the Iranian mullahs in 1980.

    The attacks, which have  U.S. Embassy in Tehran since 2007 and may have destroyed a missile research and development site, have been carried out in dramatic fashion, with motorcycle-borne assailants often attaching small magnetic bombs to the exterior of the victims’ cars.

    U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Obama administration is aware of the assassination campaign but has no direct involvement.

    Currency Wars: Iran’s banks to be blocked from global banking system

    Swift, the body that handles global banking transactions, says it will cut Iran’s banks out of the system on Saturday to enforce sanctions.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17390456

    78 Percent of Americans Oppose Invading Syria

    Strong Opposition Also Seen to Arming Rebels

    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/15/78-percent-of-americans-oppose-invading-syria/

    Environmental

    Proposed UN Environmental Constitution For The World Would Establish An Incredibly Repressive System Of Global Governance

    Most people have no idea that the United Nations has been drafting an environmental constitution for the world that is intended to supersede all existing national laws. This document has a working title of “Draft International Covenant on Environment and Development” and you can read the entire thing right here. Work on this proposed world environmental constitution has been going on since 1995, and the fourth edition was issued to UN member states on September 22nd, 2010. This document is intended to become a permanent binding treaty and it would establish an incredibly repressive system of global governance.

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/proposed-un-environmental-constitution-for-the-world-would-establish-an-incredibly-repressive-system-of-global-governance

    Activism

    Occupy-Monsanto to Wear Bio-Hazmat Suits as They Protest a Genetically Modified Congress

    News Report: The GCU will arrive at the metro station wearing bio-hazmat suits to assess whether Members of Congress and their staff have been victims of genetic crimes. The GCU will hold a banner that reads, “Congress is Genetically Modified,” as they circulate on Capitol Hill sidewalks. This day of action is part of a larger international call to ‘Occupy Monsanto’ taking place all over the globe including Spain, Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and at least 28 cities throughout the US.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/occupy-monsanto-wear-bio-hazmat-suits-they-protest-genetically-modified-congress-1331912438

    The American Spring: A Time for Occupy to Blossom

    Kevin Zeese, News Report:

    The weekend of March 31st and April 1st includes a two day “Bail Out America” direct action training organized by the Backbone Campaign which will provide information on strategies and tactics and developing creative actions that advance the causes of Occupy.

    http://www.nationofchange.org/american-spring-time-occupy-blossom-1331906460

    Cyber Space

    House Dems demand meeting with Apple over privacy policy for iPhone, iPad apps

    By Brendan Sasso

    Two prominent House Democrats demanded a briefing with Apple over its privacy policies for mobile device applications in a letter to CEO Tim Cook on Thursday.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

    LulzSec-linked STRATFOR hacker appears in court

    The Chicago-based hacker who took credit for a devastating computer attack on intelligence company Stratfor made his first appearance in a New York federal courtroom, after his March 5 arrest. Hammond, 27, faces federal charges of conspiracy to commit computer hacking, computer hacking and access device fraud… Hammond chuckled when his attorney, Liz Fink, asked a prosecutor if today was the Ides of March and said, “Et tu Brutus?” a possible reference to the betrayal Hammond might have felt at learning he and other hackers were undone by LulzSec leader-turned government informant [traitor] Hector Xavier Monsegur, known online as “Sabu.” Monsegur’s FBI handler was present but declined to comment after the proceeding.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/03/15/lulzsec-linked-hacker-who-threatened-to-burn-white-house-appears-in-court/

    Radiation

    4 more steam tubes fail in tests at troubled San Onofre nuclear plant’s Unit 3 reactor

    Four more tubes that carry radioactive water at a Southern California nuclear power plant failed pressure tests, prompting new safety concerns, officials disclosed Friday. The four tubes in a massive steam generator failed Thursday in the Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre coastal plant in northern San Diego County, Southern California Edison said. Three other tubes failed earlier tests, the company said Wednesday, bringing the total to seven.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/4-more-steam-tubes-fail-in-tests-at-troubled-southern-calif-nuclear-plant-unit-3-reactor/2012/03/16/gIQAhcoHGS_story.html

    Heavy tube wear a mystery at Calif. nuclear

    Forty-five days after a radioactive water leak prompted a Southern California utility to shut down a nuclear reactor, investigators Friday sought to pinpoint why tubing in the plant eroded at an alarming rate while the prospect of an extended repair job raised questions about summertime power supply. Tests on massive steam generators at the troubled Unit 3 reactor at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was shut down as a precaution after the leak on Jan. 31, revealed seven alloy tubes that carry radioactive water are in danger of rupturing under high pressure. Traces of radiation escaped during the January leak.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/03/16/2697689/4-more-tubes-fail-in-tests-at.html

    UK nuclear sites at risk of flooding, report shows

    As many as 12 of Britain’s 19 civil nuclear sites are at risk of flooding and coastal erosion because of climate change global warming, according to an unpublished government analysis obtained by the Guardian. Nine of the sites have been assessed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) as being vulnerable now, while others are in danger from rising sea levels and storms in the future. The sites include all of the eight proposed for new nuclear power stations around the coast, as well as numerous radioactive waste stores, operating reactors and defunct nuclear facilities.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/mar/07/uk-nuclear-risk-flooding

    Misc

    The Obama Flag: Who Decided That It Was Okay To Replace The Stars On The American Flag With The Face Of Barack Obama?

    Democrat Party headquarters in Lake County, Florida has been flying an American flag with a face of Barack Obama on it. Yes, you read that correctly. The “Obama flag” features a huge picture of the face of Barack Obama in the area where the stars are usually located. To many Americans today, the American flag may be “just a piece of cloth”, but when I was young I was taught that one must never desecrate the American flag. The American flag is our highest national symbol. Millions of Americans have fought and died defending freedom and liberty under that banner. To see a photo of Barack Obama plastered on it is an absolute disgrace. Sadly, there are lots of these flags floating around. In fact, you can buy them online for $12.95. Down in Florida, the chairwoman of the Lake County Democratic Party took down the “Obama flag” after a group of veterans protested, but she also said that she is not promising that she will not put it back up and that she is going to consult an attorney about all of this.

    Needless to say, a lot of veterans had steam coming out of their ears when they heard about the Obama flag. Korean war veteran Don Van Beck said that he was absolutely furious when he saw what they had done to the American flag….

    http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-obama-flag-who-decided-that-it-was-okay-to-replace-the-stars-on-the-american-flag-with-the-face-of-barack-obama

    GRIME WAVE

    It’s a dirty job: Police nationwide take on soaring Tide detergent theft

    Law enforcement officials across the country are puzzled over a crime wave targeting an unlikely item: Tide laundry detergent.

    Theft of Tide detergent has become so rampant that authorities from New York to Oregon are keeping tabs on the soap spree, and some cities are setting up special task forces to stop it. And retailers like CVS are taking special security precautions to lock down the liquid.

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/03/12/031212-news-tide-theft-1-4/

    McCain sees another Solyndra in Navy biofuels spending

    By Carlo Munoz

    The Navy’s push to develop biofuels to run its fleet of planes and warships could devolve into a “Solyndra situation” for the Pentagon, a top Republican senator said today.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/army/216261-mccain-warns-navy-biofuels-plan-could-become-another-solyndra

    Department of Agriculture to offer beef without ‘pink slime’ to schools

    By Mike Lillis

    Facing increasing pressure over its embrace of “pink slime,” the Obama administration announced Thursday that it will offer schools ground beef absent the controversial product.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/216299-house-democrats-demand-meeting-with-apple-over-privacy

    Norway Military Plane Lost During Exercise
    C-130 presumed crashed; 5 missing

    AP) – A Norwegian military transport plane with five people on board went missing today during an exercise and was feared to have crashed in northern Sweden, officials said. The C-130 was heading from Evenes in northern Norway to the Swedish city of Kiruna where it was supposed to pick up personnel. Air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it was about 50 miles west of Kiruna, a Norwegian military spokesman said.

    http://www.newser.com/story/141930/norway-military-plane-lost-during-exercise.html

    Lawyer wants WikiLeaks case dropped

    A lawyer for an army private accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of pages of classified information has asked a military judge to dismiss the charges, arguing the government bungled the handover of documents to the defence. The request came during a pre-trial hearing for Private Bradley Manning at a military courtroom at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, asked that charges against his client be dismissed because the government has “hopelessly” messed up the document turnover in the nearly two years Manning has been held.

    http://www.theage.com.au/world/lawyer-wants-wikileaks-case-dropped-20120316-1vaky.html

    State Dept. moves to fire author of book critical of Iraq reconstruction effort

    Peter Van Buren, a foreign service officer who wrote an unflattering book about his year leading two reconstruction [sic] teams in Iraq, was stripped of his security clearance, banned from State Department headquarters for a time and transferred to a telework job that consists of copying Internet addresses into a file. Now the State Department is moving to fire him based on eight charges, ranging from linking on his blog to documents on the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks to disclosing classified information. Van Buren called the termination notice he received Friday the coup de grace in a series of blows he received since his book, “We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People” was published last fall.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/post/state-dept-moves-to-fire-peter-van-buren-author-of-book-critical-of-iraq-reconstruction-effort/2012/01/31/gIQAiXNSCS_blog.html

    CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher

    More and more personal and household devices are connecting to the internet, from your television to your car navigation systems to your light switches. CIA Director David Petraeus cannot wait to spy on you through them. Earlier this month, Petraeus mused about the emergence of an “Internet of Things” – that is, wired devices – at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm. “‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.” All those new online devices are a treasure trove of data if you’re a “person of interest” to the spy community.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/03/petraeus-tv-remote/

    HAZMAT situation: ‘Non-emergency significant event’ declared at Los Alamos –DP Road open after HAZMAT situation on Los Alamos property

    With sirens blaring, emergency management vehicles raced down DP Road Wednesday, responding to a Hazmat situation at Enclosure 12 in TA-21. For two hours, DP Road was closed as the LANL Hazmat team, Los Alamos Fire and Police Department and FEMA assessed the situation. Most of DP Road was reopened around 1:45 p.m. as LAPD decreased its perimeter. Capt. Randy Foster said the initial call came into dispatch at 11:53 a.m. The road was closed east of 272 DP Road until the all-clear from the LANL Hazmat teams came in Wednesday evening. The situation has been categorized as a “non-emergency significant event” by the laboratory… Police said a voluntary evacuation was taking place on DP Road. Police said for those who are working on DP Road to remain inside if they chose to stay. Businesses along DP Road still were waiting for an all-clear signal as of 7:30 p.m. An automated 911 call was received at the Los Alamos Monitor at 1:05 p.m. advising all people on DP Road to shelter in place until the all-clear signal is sounded.

    http://www.legitgov.org/HAZMAT-situation-Non-emergency-significant-event-declared-Los-Alamos

    Whistleblower details unreported mercury spill at Hill AFB

    A whistleblower’s claim that a 2007 spill of more than 60 pounds of mercury was not properly reported or cleaned up at this military base, where more than 24,000 military personnel and civilians work and live, has prompted a federal criminal investigation. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has backed that claim, concluding after an investigation in September and October that the base violated permits because it failed to report the spill and cleanup, improperly stored the cleaned-up material, improperly labeled storage containers that were also not in good condition and failed to inspect containers storing the hazardous waste.

    http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=19583627&title=whistleblower-details-unreported-mercury-spill-at-hill-afb

    The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)

    The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

    ‘Media – West proxy to fuel Syria conflict’

    Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 14, 2012

    Syria’s turmoil has been laid bare on our TV screens for more than a year, but some networks are being accused of affecting rather than reflecting the conflict. Maria Finoshina reports now, on how there’s more to the coverage on the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera TV channel, than meets the eye.

    Politics and  Legislation

    Senate rejects Blunt amendment to limit birth-control mandate

    By Josiah Ryan and Sam Baker – 03/01/12 03:18 PM ET

    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/213615-senate-rejects-blunt-amendment-to-kill-birth-control-mandate

    Punchy Obama hits Republicans over auto bailout

    http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=379091

    Amid rising gas prices, Obama to call for vote on killing oil tax breaks

    By Ben Geman – 03/01/12 06:08 AM ET

    Israel legalizes unsanctioned settler enclave

    http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article581707.ece

    Defense Ministry clarifies presence of Iran warships in Jeddah

    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article579690.ece

    Economy

    GDP Records 3 Percent Annual Increase in Fourth Quarter

    http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/220743/gdp_records_3_percent_annual_increase_in_fourth_quarter_.html

    Stop Starving Public Universities and Shrinking the Middle Class

    http://www.nationofchange.org/stop-starving-public-universities-and-shrinking-middle-class-1330615050

    The Keystone XL Flim-Flam

    http://www.nationofchange.org/keystone-xl-flim-flam-1330611946

    Financial Firm Fined for Misleading Investors on Magnetar Bets

    http://www.nationofchange.org/financial-firm-fined-misleading-investors-magnetar-bets-1330621789

    On Regaining a Spirit of Defiance: “I’m Worried Now But I Won’t Be Worried Long”

    http://www.nationofchange.org/regaining-spirit-defiance-i-m-worried-now-i-won-t-be-worried-long-1330620411

    China Dumps $100+ Billion In USTs In December Per Revised TIC Data; UK Is Now Russia’s Shadow Buyer

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/china-dumps-100-billion-usts-december-revised-tic-data-uk-now-russias-shadow-buyer

    Fed officials flag soft economy but mum on easing

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/fed-officials-flag-soft-economy-235647241.html;_ylt=Ar6NA7DNLmIaxADmLEx3TkuiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0c3J1czEyBG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDYzZkZTYyMGYtMTllNy0zNWU3LWFiZjktMmFhMDc3MjhhNDg4BHBvcwMyBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyA2QzNzI2OTUwLTYzZmEtMTFlMS1iOWZjLWI1NThhNTkwZTI1Zg–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

    Factory growth cools, spending stagnant

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/factory-income-data-support-growth-075906195.html;_ylt=AmDI1doYqhA.Da7ntekvURaiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTQ0Nm5vaWc2BG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yeSBSaWdodARwa2cDZWEyNzkwMmQtOTc0Mi0zNWY4LTk3OGQtZDM3ZDdkOTY4ZDg2BHBvcwMzBHNlYwN0b3Bfc3RvcnkEdmVyAzczNTQ1ZTUwLTYzZjItMTFlMS1iY2E3LTc0YmU1MjllZDU3Ng–;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

    Inflation Is A Tax And The Federal Reserve Is Taxing The Living Daylights Out Of Us

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/inflation-is-a-tax-and-the-federal-reserve-is-taxing-the-living-daylights-out-of-us

    Nasdaq cracks 3,000; stocks dip as Bernanke speaks

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2012/02/nasdaq-cracks-3000-stocks-dip-bernanke-speaks/323556

    IRS battling conservatives over tax-exempt status

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/news/2012/03/irs-battling-conservatives-over-tax-exempt-status/327396

    Kingdom’s foreign trade jumps to $358 billion

    http://arabnews.com/economy/article581881.ece

    New Exposé Tracks ALEC-Private Prison Industry Effort to Replace Unionized Workers with Prison Labor

    http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

     

    Oil price jumps to 43-month high on Saudi blast reports

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17229025

     

    Wars  and  Rumors of War

    Pentagon prepares “aerial refueling” for Israeli planes striking Iran

    http://www.debka.com/article/21780/

    Israel unveils sophisticated bomb shelters in Tel Aviv

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Israel-unveils-sophisticated-bomb-shelters-in-Tel-Aviv/articleshow/12100497.cms

    US confirms placement of US forces at a radar site in Malatya

    http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=379120

    Russia Upgrades Air Defense Radar; Iranian Underground Nuke Facilities Vulnerable

    http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/221099/russia_upgrades_air_defense_radar;_iranian_underground_nuke_facilities_vulnerable.html

    Senators Concerned About Risk to U.S. Forces over Syrian Chemical Weapons

    http://www.newsroomamerica.com/story/220848/senators_concerned_about_risk_to_u.s._forces_over_syrian_chemical_weapons.html

    Creator Explains Message Behind “Bomb Iran” Billboard

    http://www.bombiran.org/

    Counter-terrorism: US special forces stationed in India, reveals Pentagon

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Counter-terrorism-US-special-forces-stationed-in-India-reveals-Pentagon/articleshow/12107378.cms

    Misc

    Fracking Bans that Can Stand

    http://www.nationofchange.org/fracking-bans-can-stand-1330618484

    Occupy Education: Teachers, Students Fight School Closings, Privatization, Layoffs, Rankings

    Attorney General reviewing NYPD spying complaints

    By EILEEN SULLIVAN and PETE YOST, AP

    WASHINGTON — Months after receiving complaints about the New York Police Department’s surveillance of entire American Muslim neighborhoods, the Justice Department is just beginning a review to decide whether to investigate civil rights violations.

    Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress the status of the review Tuesday.

    The announcement bothered some Democrats, who said they were under the impression the Justice Department had been reviewing the matter since last late last year.

    Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the NYPD has built databases pinpointing where Muslims live, where they buy groceries, what Internet cafes they use and where they watch sports. Dozens of mosques and student groups have been infiltrated, and police have built detailed profiles of Moroccans, Egyptians, Albanians and other local ethnic groups. The NYPD surveillance extended outside New York City to neighboring New Jersey and Long Island and colleges across the Northeast.

    Holder told Congress that police seeking to monitor activities by citizens “should only do so when there is a basis to believe that something inappropriate is occurring or potentially could occur.”

    Holder responded under questioning by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who as an infant was sent with his parents to a Japanese internment camp during World War II and has compared that policy to the NYPD’s treatment of Muslims. The attorney general was on Capitol Hill to discuss the Justice Department’s federal budget.

    Holder did not suggest that a Justice Department investigation of the NYPD was imminent. Over the last six months, the AP has revealed the inner workings of secret programs of the NYPD, built with help from the CIA, to monitor Muslims.

    “I don’t know even if the program as it has been described in the news media was an appropriate way to proceed, was consistent with the way in which the federal government would have done these things,” said Holder, who was born in the Bronx and described New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as a personal friend. “I simply just don’t know the answers to those questions at the beginning stages of this matter.”

    That surprised Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., one of the first lawmakers to ask the Justice Department to scrutinize the NYPD’s operations.

    “They very definitely gave me the sense that they were farther along in their investigation than just reviewing some mail,” Holt said.

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