PND News

IAEA pushes back against report on Iran inspections

August 20, 2015
posted by

CBS News CBS News    

"The international watchdog agency charged with monitoring nuclear activity is pushing back against a report that it would let Iran use its own inspectors to report on one particular site. ... On Wednesday, the Associated Press reported that the IAEA would let Iran use its own inspectors to monitor the Parchin nuclear site. The site was suspected of nuclear weapons development in the past, but it is not presently a suspected weapons development site. ... While [IAEA director general Yukiya] Amano suggested the AP report is inaccurate, he added that the separate arrangements the IAEA has with Iran over Parchin and other nuclear issues is confidential, 'and I have a legal obligation not to make them public.'" (08/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ow3axdv  

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Sources: FBI treats Clinton case as potential criminal investigation

August 20, 2015
posted by

Al Jazeera Al Jazeera America    

"Exactly one week after the FBI took possession of Hillary Clinton's personal email server, Al Jazeera America has been told that the FBI is now treating the Clinton case as a potential criminal investigation. Our sources add that dozens of federal investigators have now been assigned to this investigation." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pu5cozv  

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TX: After 35 years served without conviction, man’s retrial nears end

August 19, 2015
posted by

KTAR News    

"Missing and shaky evidence and a questionable confession should be enough to keep a mentally ill Texas man who's been imprisoned for more than 35 years despite his original murder conviction being tossed from being found guilty a second time, a defense attorney told jurors Wednesday. Jerry Hartfield, 59, faces life in prison if convicted of capital murder in the September 1976 slaying of 55-year-old Eunice Lowe, who sold tickets at the bus station in Bay City, about 100 miles southwest of Houston. Jurors who received the case Wednesday also could find him guilty of a lesser charge of murder or acquit him. ... Hartfield's original 1977 conviction was thrown out on appeal in 1980 because of a problem with jury selection. Gov. Mark White in 1983 commuted his sentence to life, but federal courts more recently decided the governor didn’t have a sentence to commute." (08/19/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nt86xql  

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GA: Grand jury indicts ex-cops for murder in stun gun death

August 19, 2015
posted by

Al Jazeera Al Jazeera America    

"A grand jury indicted two former Atlanta-area police officers on murder charges after, prosecutors said, they used stun guns on a man while his hands were cuffed behind his back, leading to his death. ... Eberhart and Weems each face a single count of felony murder, aggravated assault, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct as well as three counts apiece of violation of oath by a public officer." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3z62j9  

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Manning found guilty but no solitary confinement for contraband

August 19, 2015
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"[US political prisoner] Chelsea Manning has been found guilty of possessing unapproved reading material by a panel at Fort Leavenworth prison but will be spared the indefinite solitary confinement that had reportedly been among her possible sentences, according to a tweet sent from her official account. Instead the prison board ruled during a disciplinary hearing held on Tuesday that Manning will face 21 days of restrictions on her recreational activities, including no access to a gym, a library or the outdoors. Manning was given a 35-year sentence for leaking US state secrets to WikiLeaks." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odfbx2g  

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White House hires first openly transgender staffer

August 19, 2015
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"The White House has hired its first openly transgender staff member. The White House announced Raffi Freedman-Gurspan's appointment on Tuesday. Freedman-Gurspan is an outreach and recruitment director for presidential personnel in the Office of Personnel. Transgender advocates say she is the first openly transgender official to serve in the White House. Freedman-Gurspan previously was a policy advisor for the National Center for Transgender Equality's racial and economic justice initiative." (08/18/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oeqpolb  

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Pentagon plans to increase drone flights by 50 percent by 2019

August 18, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The Pentagon plans to sharply expand the number of U.S. drone flights over the next four years, giving military commanders access to more intelligence and greater firepower to keep up with a sprouting number of global hot spots, a senior defense official said. The plan to increase by 50 percent the number of daily drone flights would broaden surveillance and intelligence collection in such locales as Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, the South China Sea and North Africa, said the official, who provided exclusive details of the plan to The Wall Street Journal." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/po7gksp  

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IRS: Cyberattacks more extensive than previously thought

August 18, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) said Monday a hacking attack into one of its computer databases revealed in May was much more extensive than previously thought, with nearly three times as many taxpayers hit by data theft. The IRS said in late May the tax return information of about 114,000 U.S. taxpayers had been illegally accessed by cyber criminals over the preceding four months, with another 111,000 unsuccessful attempts made. A new review has identified 220,000 additional incidents where data was breached, the tax collection agency said. It identified another 170,000 suspected failed attempts by third parties to gain access to taxpayer data." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/orxlz5z  

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Shell gets final permit for Arctic oil drilling

August 18, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Oil and gas giant Shell has been granted the final permit it needs to begin drilling below the ocean floor for oil in the Arctic. Shell began work last month, but was allowed to drill just the top sections of two wells, off the coast of Alaska. Environmental campaigners are against the drilling which they say could harm the region. But the US government said it was monitoring Shell's work 'around the clock' to ensure the 'utmost safety.' ... 'Activities conducted offshore Alaska are being held to the highest safety, environmental protection, and emergency response standards,' added Brian Salerno, director of The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), which issued the final permit." (08/17/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/business-33968922  

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US unveils $5 million drive to combat rise in heroin abuse

August 18, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The U.S. government is launching a $5 million initiative to combat the use and trafficking of heroin, with a focus on prioritising treatment rather than punishment. Half of the money is to be designated for police to work side-by-side with public health officials. Fifteen states on the east coast will be targeted. The move comes in response to a sharp increase in the number of heroin cases in the US over the last decade. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last month a rise in the number of users by 63% between 2002 and 2013. Experts say the spike is due to people using opioid painkillers who are increasingly turning to heroin as a cheaper high." [editor's note: Or, how about (1) people got hooked on Big Pharma poisons and went to heroin for withdrawal without the side effects; and/or (2) Pharma is trying to stomp out the competition from a lesser-side-effects painkiller! - SAT] (08/17/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33964832  

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Report: Saturn’s “F-Ring” likely formed after “mini-moon” collision

August 18, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"An enigmatic ring of icy particles circling Saturn, herded into a narrow ribbon by two tiny moons, was probably born of a cosmic collision, according to a study published Monday. The so-called 'F ring,' some 140,000 kilometres (87,000 miles) beyond the sixth planet from the Sun, orbits at the border between Saturn’s other rings and several moons. Further toward Saturn, millions of ice blocks populating the planet’s haunting halos are prevented from cohering into moons by its powerful tidal forces. Further out are Saturn’s main moons, distant enough to have cohered into spheres with their own gravity: Mimas, Enceladus and Titan, which is the only moon in our Solar System with a substantial atmosphere." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pktr6jj  

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Medical scope makers cited for safety lapses

August 18, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Federal regulators have found safety violations in the manufacturing practices of all three companies producing a specialized medical scope that has been linked to deadly superbug outbreaks at U.S. hospitals -- a precursor to possible legal action against the firms. The Food and Drug Administration revealed Monday that it issued warning letters Aug. 12 to Olympus, Pentax and FujiFilm for violating an array of manufacturing and quality control standards meant to ensure the safety of their duodenoscopes. The FDA also cited Olympus and Pentax for failing to properly notify the agency after the companies learned that infections had been linked to their scopes. Additionally, the agency raised concerns that FujiFilm and Pentax may not have obtained proper regulatory clearance for their duodenoscopes before putting them on the market -- a problem for which Olympus, which makes about 85% of the duodenoscopes on the U.S. market, already has been cited." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxyqghr  

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California measure fails to create green jobs

August 18, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Three years after California voters passed a ballot measure to raise taxes on corporations and generate clean-energy jobs by funding energy-efficiency projects in schools, barely one-tenth of the promised jobs have been created, and the state has no comprehensive list to show how much work has been done or how much energy has been saved. Money is trickling in at a slower-than-anticipated rate, and more than half of the $297 million given to schools so far has gone to consultants and energy auditors. The board created to oversee the project and submit annual progress reports to the Legislature has never met, according to a review by The Associated Press. Voters in 2012 approved the Clean Energy Jobs Act by a large margin, closing a tax loophole for multistate corporations. The Legislature decided to send half the money to fund clean energy projects in schools, promising to generate more than 11,000 jobs each year." (08/07/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qcap3en  

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First two women pass US Army’s Ranger school

August 17, 2015
posted by

Miami Herald    

"Two women have passed Ranger School and are scheduled to graduate at Fort Benning on Friday morning, making them the first female soldiers to earn the Ranger tab and complete the most difficult training the U.S. Army offers, it was announced late Monday. The Army has yet to identify the two women, who are both graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A third woman, also a West Point grad, is currently in the mountain phase of Ranger School. They were among 400 soldiers, including 20 women, scheduled to start Ranger School on April 19. It was the first Ranger class in Army history to include female candidates." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/puf9t23  

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MT: Medical marijuana providers, patients slowly increasing amid legal uncertainty

August 17, 2015
posted by

The Missoulian    

"Medical marijuana providers are cautiously opening new dispensaries in Missoula and across the state, but the state law allowing such shops remains in question. 'A lot of the industry is still in limbo,' said Chris Fanuzzi, a medical marijuana provider who opened a new dispensary, Lionheart Caregiving, in Missoula last month. 'The only reason that we can come back is that there is still a demand.' The number of patients and providers, in fact, continues to increase despite the ongoing court battle over Senate Bill 432, 2011 legislation that restricted Montana's medical marijuana industry." (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pjwuxfo  

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Greece: Tsipras likely to call confidence vote after party revolt over bailout deal

August 17, 2015
posted by

Independent [Ireland]    

"The Greek government appears likely to call a confidence vote following a rebellion among lawmakers from the ruling Syriza party over the country's new bailout deal, senior ministers said on Monday. Energy Minister Panos Skourletis described such a parliamentary vote as 'self-evident' following Friday's rebellion when almost a third of Syriza deputies abstained or voted against the agreement. With Syriza's left wing showing little sign of returning to the party fold, Skourletis also raised the possibility of early elections should Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras lose a confidence motion." (08/17/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q3lyfvg  

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AT&T a closer partner of NSA than previously known, Snowden docs show

August 17, 2015
posted by

PC World    

"A fresh analysis of documents disclosed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden shows that AT&T has been a much closer and eager partner for the National Security Agency's Internet spying activities than was previously known. AT&T has been by far the most critical telecom player in the NSA's surveillance efforts and its willing participation in mass spying on both foreign and U.S. citizens has apparently been crucial in helping the U.S. agency take advantage of bulk record collection laws, according to a joint report in ProPublica and the New York Times. AT&T insists it adheres to the letter of the law." (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qa7bl5y  

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Iran hands UN agency docs linked to alleged nuke arms work

August 17, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Iran on Saturday gave the United Nations nuclear agency documents linked to the agency's investigation of allegations that Tehran tried to develop nuclear weapons, along with a confidential explanation that is unlikely to veer from previous Iranian denials of work on such weapons. The U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency announced the handover meets a key deadline Iran committed to as part of its deal with six world powers promising Tehran sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear concessions." (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/po844np  

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“Yes means yes” rape policy under fire from judges

August 17, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Judges across the country are saying 'no' to the 'yes means yes' standard of affirmative consent for date rape. The legality of the standard (adopted on California and New York campuses by state legislatures and in effect on numerous other colleges throughout the country) is in question following a series of recent rulings that cite a lack of due process. 'These decisions are harbingers,' said John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School and a public interest lawyer. 'It does take time for new ideas to percolate through the system.' Under the standard, the accused, typically a male, has to prove he obtained consent, even if neither party remembers what happened. The standard forces the accused to prove his innocence, rather than be proven guilty." [editor's note: Is the NFL aware of this? - SAT] (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qdsew7p  

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Huckabee: Ten-year-old rape victim must to carry rapist’s baby

August 17, 2015
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee argued over the weekend that a 10-year-old girl should have been forced to carry her pregnancy to term after she was raped. During an interview on Sunday, CNN host Dana Bash asked the GOP candidate if he would refuse an abortion to a 10-year-old girl in Paraguay, who was allegedly raped by her stepfather. 'Creating one problem that is horrible -- let nobody be misled, a 10-year-old girl being raped is horrible,' Huckabee said, 'but does it solve a problem by taking the life of an innocent child?'" [editor's note: Is he really this stupid? - SAT] [additional editor's note: I resent the implication that the non-aggression principle is stupid - TLK] (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pghhjro  

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Hidden damage revealed in veterans’ brains

August 17, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Professor Vassili Koliatsos and his team at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, believe they may have found the signature of 'shell shock' in the brains of war veterans. Shell shock has afflicted soldiers since WWI ... but it is a phenomenon that is still poorly understood. Professor Koliatsos believes scientists may soon be able to answer that question. His team has found what they call a unique honeycomb pattern of broken and swollen nerve fibers in brains of Iraq and Afghanistan combat veterans exposed to IED blasts but who later died of other causes. They compared these brains to 24 other people who died of causes such as car accidents, drug overdoses and heart attacks. The honeycomb pattern, Koalitis says, was caused by the FORCE of the blast." (08/13/15)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/13/us-usa-veterans-brains-idUSKCN0QI21I20150813  

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Australia: Gay marriage bill introduced to parliament

August 17, 2015
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A controversial bill to legalise same-sex marriage has been introduced to the Australian parliament. The private member's bill comes amid heated debate among government MPs about whether to change the law or put the matter to a plebiscite.The government's official position is that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied government MPs a free vote on any bill legalising same-sex marriage. The bill allows couples, regardless of 'sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or intersex status' to marry." (08/16/15)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-33955375  

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Notable Mississippians join chorus to change state flag

August 17, 2015
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Jimmy Buffett, John Grisham, Morgan Freeman and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning are among famous current and former Mississippi residents asking the state to remove the Confederate battle emblem from its flag. The famed musician, author, actor and athlete joined 60 others in signing a letter titled 'A Flag for All of Us,' that appeared as a full-page ad in Sunday's edition of The Clarion-Ledger. 'It is simply not fair, or honorable, to ask black Mississippians to attend schools, compete in athletic events, work in the public sector, serve in the National Guard, and go about their normal lives with a state flag that glorifies a war fought to keep their ancestors enslaved,' the letter states." (08/16/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qy2mayj  

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Cuba: Castro turns 89, says US has hefty debt to Cuba

August 14, 2015
posted by

Seattle Times    

"Fidel Castro marked his 89th birthday with a newspaper column repeating assertions that the U.S. owes socialist Cuba 'numerous millions of dollars' for damages caused by its decades-long embargo. The brief essay came a day before a historic moment in U.S.-Cuba relations: Secretary of State John Kerry is to raise the Stars and Stripes over a restored American Embassy in Havana, though the economic embargo legally remains in effect." (08/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ohl84of  

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DNA proves Harding fathered child out of wedlock

August 14, 2015
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"DNA testing all but confirmed Thomas Jefferson slept with his slave Sally Hemings. Now it's rewriting another lurid chapter in presidential history, this one from the Roaring '20s. Genetic analysis has proved that President Warren G. Harding fathered a child with long-rumored mistress Nan Britton, according to AncestryDNA, a DNA-testing division of Ancestry.com. Britton set off a Jazz Age sex scandal when she went public with her tale of forbidden love in the White House, boldly publishing her story in a 1927 best-selling memoir, 'The President's Daughter.' But historians long questioned her claims, and Harding defenders vilified her as a liar for nearly 90 years." (08/13/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p6hl98r  

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