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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 29,876

Journal Archives

Guest Lineups For The Sunday News Shows

“Meet the Press” on NBC

• House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

• Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.)

• Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis (D)

“Face the Nation” on CBS

• Davis

• Ted Olson, plaintiff attorney in California’s Proposition 8 Supreme Court case

• Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former CIA and NSA director

“This Week” on ABC

• Davis

• WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

• Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.)

“Fox News Sunday” on Fox

• Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

• Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), chairman, Senate Rules Committee

• Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.)

• Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.)

“State of the Union” on CNN

• David Boies, plaintiff attorney in California’s Proposition 8 Supreme Court case

• Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman, House Judiciary Committee

• Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.)

Traffic Cameras Bring Tiny Ohio Village To A Stop

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio (AP) -- This little village had a big problem.

Each day, thousands of cars - sometimes as many as 18,000 - rolled along Elmwood Place's streets, crossing the third-of-a-mile town to get to neighboring Cincinnati or major employers in bustling suburbs or heavily traveled Interstate 75. Many zipped by Elmwood Place's modest homes and small businesses at speeds well above the 25 mph limit.

Bedeviled by tight budgets, the police force was undermanned. The situation, villagers feared, was dangerous. Then the cameras were turned on, and all hell broke loose.

Like hundreds of other U.S. communities big and small, Elmwood Place hired an outside company to install cameras to record traffic violations and mail out citations.

In the first month after the cameras began operating, late last year, 6,600 tickets went out - more than triple the village's population. Before some unsuspecting drivers realized it, they had racked up multiple $105 citations they would learn about when their mail arrived weeks later. Some 70 parishioners, or more than half the congregation at Our Lady of Lavang Catholic Community Church, were ticketed on one Sunday last September.



White House Notebook: Obama To US Media: 'Behave'

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — One element of President Barack Obama's Africa policy is to encourage a free press, although he offered repeated reminders for U.S. reporters traveling with him on the continent to be on their best behavior.

"Americans, behave yourselves," he needled Saturday as a contingent of U.S. and South African media was pulled from a quick photo op with President Jacob Zuma.

Obama spoke just before their joint news conference and may have been trying to suggest his press corps keep its questions tight.

On Saturday, both U.S. and South African reporters asked multi-part questions. Obama didn't try to cut anyone off, but instead said the U.S. press corps must be happy the news conference was taking place in a wood-paneled chamber inside Pretoria's grand Union Buildings.



U.S. Bugged EU Offices, Computer Networks: German Magazine


Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:20pm EDT

BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy programs.

Der Spiegel cited from a September 2010 "top secret" document of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) which it said fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden had taken with him and which the weekly's journalists had seen in part.

The document outlines how the NSA bugged offices and spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the United Nations, not only listening to conversations and phone calls but also gaining access to documents and emails.

The document explicitly called the EU a "target".

A slew of Snowden's disclosures in foreign media about U.S. surveillance programs have ignited a political furor in the United States and abroad over the balance between privacy rights and national security.

Read more: http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95S0AQ20130629

Syrian Army, Backed By Jets, Launches Assault On Homs


By Dominic Evans

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces launched a major offensive on Saturday against rebels in Homs, a centre of the two-year-old uprising, in their latest drive to secure an axis connecting Damascus to the Mediterranean.

Activists said jets and mortars had pounded rebel-held areas of the city that have been under siege by Assad's troops for a year, and soldiers fought battles with rebel fighters in several districts.

"Government forces are trying to storm (Homs) from all fronts," said an activist using the name Abu Mohammad.

Syrian state media said the army was "achieving great progress" in Khalidiyah but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad monitoring group, said there were reports that rebels had destroyed an army tank as troops tried to penetrate the Old City in the centre of Homs.

Read more: http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95S06K20130629

Obama Meets Mandela Family, Police Disperse Protesters

By Jeff Mason and Mark Felsenthal

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - President Barack Obama met the family of South Africa's ailing anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela on Saturday and he praised the critically ill, retired statesman as one of history's greatest figures.

The faltering health of Mandela, 94, a figure admired globally as a symbol of struggle against injustice and racism, is dominating Obama's two-day visit to South Africa.

But Obama also faced protests by South Africans against U.S. foreign policy, especially American drone strikes.

Police fired stun grenades on Saturday to disperse several hundred protesters who had gathered outside the Soweto campus of the University of Johannesburg, where Obama was due to address a town hall meeting with students.

Obama, in South Africa on the second leg of a three-nation Africa tour, met Mandela relatives to deliver a message of support instead of directly visiting the former president at the hospital where he has spent the last three weeks.



Talks With Palestinians Unlikely Despite Kerry Bid: Israeli Minister


JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A senior Israeli official on Saturday played down the prospect of shuttle diplomacy by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reviving long-stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Asked whether new talks might be imminent, Civil Defense Minister Gilad Erdan, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, told Israel's Channel Two television: "To my regret, no, as of now."

Read more: http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCABRE95S0B420130629

Chicago Prepares For New Concealed Carry Gun Law

CHICAGO (AP) -- This city, where violent street gangs shoot it out dozens of times a week despite some of the nation's toughest restrictions on guns, now faces a new challenge: Well-meaning citizens with the legal right to hit the streets with loaded firearms, whenever they want.

As Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn mulls whether to sign off on eliminating the country's last concealed carry ban, the question in Chicago is whether it will matter in the crime-weary city. Will a place that long had some of the nation's tightest restrictions on handguns be more at risk? Or will it be safer with a law that can only add to the number of guns already on the street?

Neighborhood leaders, anti-crime activists and police officials worry about additional mayhem in Chicago. But other residents, including some who live in Chicago's more violent areas, believe more guns will allow them to defend themselves better.

"We just had a weekend where something like 48 people were shot, seven died," said Otis McDonald, 79, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit that ended with the U.S. Supreme Court tossing out Chicago's strict gun ban three years ago. "Now law abiding citizens like myself ... can carry them when they want to and not carry them when they don't want to, and the people out there who will do us harm won't know when we got them and when we don't."



Heat Wave Strikes Western US As Temps Approach 120 In Phoenix, Las Vegas

Source: Associated Press

PHOENIX — A blazing heat wave expected to send the mercury soaring to nearly 120 degrees in Phoenix and Las Vegas settled over the West on Friday, threatening to ground airliners and raising fears that people and pets will get burned on the scalding pavement.

The heat was so punishing that rangers took up positions at trailheads at Lake Mead in Nevada to persuade people not to hike. Zookeepers in Phoenix hosed down the elephants and fed tigers frozen fish snacks. And tourists at California's Death Valley took photos of the harsh landscape and a thermometer that read 121.

The mercury there was expected to reach nearly 130 on Friday — just short of the 134-degree reading from a century ago that stands as the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth.

"You have to take a picture of something like this. Otherwise no one will believe you," said Laura McAlpine, visiting Death Valley from Scotland.

The heat is not expected to break until Monday or Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.eastoregonian.com/news/nation_world/phoenix-las-vegas-bake-in-scorching-heat/article_f4a242ca-84eb-5f3e-b902-f4be7eddc519.html

Children In The Crosshairs: Lessons From The al-Dura Affair

The continued discussion of the almost 13-year-old Al-Dura affair reflects the current Israeli government’s inability to conduct serious and impartial investigations into violations of Palestinian rights.

By Brad Parker

On Wednesday, Philippe Karsenty, a French media analyst, was convicted of defamation for accusing a French television network of orchestrating video footage of the famous shooting of 12-year-old Mohammad al-Dura in Gaza during September 2000. Over the past 13 years, the shooting has been at the center of Israeli nationalist sentiments of victimization, whether by the media, the international community or any else that criticizes Israeli policies toward Palestinians.

While the verdict may do little to chip away at the Israeli exceptionalism the incident at least in part helped to intensify, the continued discussion of the almost 13-year-old shooting highlights the indifference Israeli officials have toward the calculated destruction of life in Gaza.

Last month, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, received an Israeli government report that not only asserted there was no evidence to suggest that Israeli forces shot the boy, but also brazenly claimed the boy probably escaped unscathed. Netanyahu initiated the investigation last year because, in his opinion, the incident had been used repeatedly to slander Israel’s reputation.

Despite the fact that an Israeli general acknowledged that al-Dura had been hit by Israeli gunfire, Minister for International, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz proclaimed the shooting “a modern-day blood libel against the State of Israel.” Speaking at the report’s release, Netanyahu declared that the al-Dura affair was an example of “the ongoing, mendacious campaign to delegitimize Israel” and that “there is only one way to counter lies, and that is through the truth.” He then reiterated, “Only the truth can prevail over lies.” Mr. Netanyahu, let us consider the facts.


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