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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 08:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,760

Journal Archives

Breaking: Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

Source: New York Times

Obama to Call for End to N.S.A.’s Bulk Data Collection

March 24, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal to drastically overhaul the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program.

Under the proposal, data about Americans’ calling habits would be kept in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would, according to senior administration officials. If approved by Congress, the changes would end the most controversial part of the bulk phone records program, a major focus of privacy concerns inside the United States since its existence was leaked last year.

In a speech in January, President Obama said he wanted to get the N.S.A. out of the business of collecting call records in bulk while preserving the program’s capabilities. He acknowledged, however, that there was no easy way to do so, and had instructed Justice Department and intelligence officials to come up with a plan by March 28 — Friday — when the current court order authorizing the program expires.

As part of the proposal, the administration has decided to renew the program as it currently exists for at least one more 90-day cycle, senior administration officials said. But under the plan the administration has developed and now advocates, the officials said, the government would no longer systematically collect and store records of calling data. Instead, it would obtain individual orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain only records linked to phone numbers a judge agrees are likely tied to terrorism.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/25/us/obama-to-seek-nsa-curb-on-call-data.html

TOM TOMORROW: The Surveillance Society - A Look Back

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/24/1286432/-Cartoon-The-surveillance-society-a-look-back

Malaysian PM: 'According to This New Data, Flight MH370 Ended in S. Indian Ocean'

Source: Associated Press

@BreakingNews: Malaysian PM: 'I must inform you that according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean' - live video

@AP: MORE: Malaysian PM Najib Razak says the information was based on an unprecedented analysis of satellite data: http://t.co/nOMG0m4JqK


— Mar. 24, 2014 10:29 AM EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says a new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing Malaysia Airlines plane plunged into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean.

The news is a major breakthrough in the unprecedented two-week struggle to find out what happened to Flight 370, which disappeared shortly after takeoff from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew aboard on March 8.

Dressed in a black suit, Najib announced the news "with deep sadness and regret" in a brief news conference late Monday night.

He said Malaysia Airlines has informed the families of passengers of the plane's fate.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/chinese-plane-spots-object-indian-ocean

"The Good Wife" Shocks Viewers, Producers Explain


"The Good Wife" shocks viewers, producers explain

Mar 24, 2014 8:43 AM EDT

You can call it one of the best-kept TV secrets.

(Spoiler Alert)


Breaking: Barge Carrying Fuel Oil collides w/ Ship in Galveston Bay, Spilling Unknown Amount

Source: NBC News

@BreakingNews: Barge carrying 924,000 gallons of fuel oil collides with ship in Galveston Bay, spilling unknown amount of oil - @AP http://t.co/OiNSW9yqna


— Mar. 22, 2014 11:09 PM EDT

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A barge carrying nearly a million gallons of especially thick, sticky oil collided with a ship in Galveston Bay on Saturday, leaking an unknown amount of the fuel into the popular bird habitat as the peak of the migratory shorebird season was approaching.

Booms were brought in to try to contain the spill, which the Coast Guard said was reported at around 12:30 p.m. by the captain of the 585-foot ship, Summer Wind. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Kristopher Kidd said the spill hadn't been contained as of 10 p.m., and that the collision was still being investigated.

The ship collided with a barge carrying 924,000 gallons of marine fuel oil, also known as special bunker, that was being towed by the vessel Miss Susan, the Coast Guard said. It didn't give an estimate of how much fuel had spilled into the bay, but there was a visible sheen of oil at the scene.

Officials believe only one of the barge's tanks was breached, but that tank had a capacity of 168,000 gallons.

"A large amount of that has been discharged," Kidd said. He said a plan was being developed to remove the remaining oil from the barge, but the removal had not begun.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/barge-leaking-oil-galveston-bay-after-collision

Lawyers for 2 Ex-Christie Aides Call for Immunity

Source: Associated Press


— Mar. 21, 2014 7:14 PM EDT

Lawyers for two former underlings of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in separate court filings Friday that a legislative committee should be able to offer their clients immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing information for the committee's investigation of possible political payback.

The briefs on behalf of former Christie aide Bridget Kelly and ex-campaign manager Bill Stepien were highly critical of the court filings from the lawmakers early this week, questioning their motives for releasing emails involving their clients and their legal positions.

Kelly's lawyer, Michael Critchley, compared the committee's arguments to "Alice in Wonderland."

The issue before a state court judge in Trenton is whether the lawmakers can force Kelly and Stepien to comply with subpoenas in the investigation of politically motivated traffic jams created near the George Washington Bridge last year. The judge, Mary Jacobson, had asked both sides to write briefs on the issue of immunity.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/lawyers-2-ex-christie-aides-call-immunity

NC Pulls Deal With Duke On Coal Ash Pollution

Source: Associated Press


— Mar. 21, 2014 4:41 PM EDT

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina regulators say they have asked a judge to withdraw a proposed settlement that would have allowed Duke Energy to resolve environmental violations by paying a $99,000 fine with no requirement that the $50 billion company clean up its pollution.

The state Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement Friday that it would scuttle the proposed consent order to settle violations for groundwater contamination leeching from coal ash dumps near Charlotte and Asheville.

The decision comes after a Feb. 2 spill at a Duke coal ash dump in Eden coated 70 miles of the Dan River in toxic sludge.

The settlement was initially tabled last month, the day after an Associated Press story highlighting what environmentalists criticized as a "sweetheart deal" to Duke.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/nc-pulls-deal-duke-coal-ash-pollution

BREAKING: Australian PM: Australia Checking 2 Objects in Search for Plane (Update: PHOTOS)

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Australian PM: 2 objects in search for Malaysian jet may have been found.

@BreakingNews: More: Prime minister says Royal Australian Airforce Orion aircraft diverted to investigate objects - @smh http://t.co/E10hk5liHK


— Mar. 19, 2014 11:16 PM EDT

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia's prime minister says objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight have been spotted on satellite imagery.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told Parliament in Canberra on Thursday that a Royal Australian Airforce Orion has been diverted to the area to attempt to locate the objects. The Orion is expected to arrive in the area Thursday afternoon. Three additional aircraft are expected to follow for a more intensive search.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/thai-radar-might-have-tracked-missing-plane

Video Shows Toronto Mayor Inhaling From Glass Cylinder - Police

Source: Reuters

Video shows Toronto mayor inhaling from glass cylinder -police

TORONTO | Wed Mar 19, 2014 3:13pm EDT

By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) - A video obtained by police last year shows Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, who has admitted to using crack cocaine, inhaling some kind of vapor from a glass cylinder, according to police documents unsealed on Wednesday.

The documents also said some of Ford's meetings and calls with friend and occasional driver Sandro Lisi were "indicative to that of drug trafficking" and showed that police asked for a warrant to access some of Ford's phone records.

The mayor has not been charged in the investigation, and allegations in the documents have not been proven in court. Ford did not respond to requests for comment.

Ford, who is running for re-election, made international headlines last May when media blog Gawker and the Toronto Star newspaper said they had seen a video that appeared to show him smoking crack.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBREA2I1UZ20140319?feedType=RSS&irpc=932

APNewsBreak: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell (Homeless Mentally Ill Veteran)

Source: Associated Press

APNewsBreak: NYC Inmate 'Baked to Death' in Cell

NEW YORK March 19, 2014 (AP)
By JAKE PEARSON Associated Press

A New York City official tells The Associated Press that a mentally ill homeless veteran who died behind bars last month "essentially baked to death" in a jail cell that overheated to more than 100 degrees.

Fifty-six-year-old Jerome Murdough (muhr - DOH') had been charged with trespassing and placed in an observation unit for inmates with mental illnesses at Rikers Island.

Four city officials say Murdough, who took anti-psychotic and anti-seizure medication, apparently did not open a small vent to let cool air into his cell, as other inmates did. Officials also said he was not checked for hours, in violation of department protocol.

The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the investigation by the city's Department of Correction.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/apnewsbreak-nyc-inmate-baked-death-cell-22968762
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