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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 44,280

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Fugitive Snowden's Hopes of Leaving Moscow Airport Dashed

Source: Reuters/AFP/Associated Press

Fugitive Snowden's hopes of leaving Moscow airport dashed

By Lidia Kelly

Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:35pm EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden's hopes of leaving Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport for the first time in a month on Wednesday were dashed when he failed to secure permission from Russia to leave.

An airport source said Snowden, who is wanted by the United States on espionage charges for revealing details of government intelligence programs, was handed documents by his lawyer that were expected to include a pass to leave the transit area.

However, Snowden did not go through passport control and lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is helping him with his request for temporary asylum in Russia until he can reach a country that will shelter him, said the American did not have the pass he needed.

It was not clear whether there had been last-minute political intervention or a hitch, or whether the pass had never been in his possession.

@BreakingNews: Report: Russia gives Edward Snowden documents allowing him to leave Moscow airport, source tells RIA Novosti state news agency - @AFP

@AP: BREAKING: Russian state news agency says leaker Edward Snowden has documents to enter Russia. -MM

@Reuters: Snowden granted papers needed to leave Moscow airport: source http://t.co/CFQkHqoZt4

Snowden granted papers needed to leave Moscow airport: source

Wed Jul 24, 2013 7:59am EDT

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was on Wednesday granted documents that will allow him to leave a Moscow airport where he is holed up, an airport source said on Wednesday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of U.S. government intelligence programs, was expected to meet his lawyer at Sheremetyevo airport later on Wednesday after lodging a request for temporary asylum in Russia. The immigration authorities declined immediate comment.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE96N0KH20130724

Breaking: US Will Proceed with Plan to Arm Syrian Rebels After Congressional Concerns Eased

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: The US will proceed with plan to arm Syrian rebels after congressional concerns were eased, officials tell @Reuters http://t.co/KgWHCyrEcN

Exclusive: U.S. congressional hurdles lifted on arming Syrian rebels

By Tabassum Zakaria and Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON | Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:03pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will move forward with a plan for the United States to arm the struggling Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, officials said on Monday.

"We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward," House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers told Reuters.

The White House announced in June that it would offer military aid to vetted groups of Syrian rebels after two years of balking at directly sending arms to the opposition.

"We have been working with Congress to overcome some of the concerns that they initially had, and we believe that those concerns have been addressed and that we will now be able to proceed," a source familiar with the administration's thinking told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE96L0W520130723

"The Drone That Killed My Grandson" - Nasser al-Awlaki Op/Ed in NYT


The Drone That Killed My Grandson
Published: July 17, 2013 2 Comments

SANA, Yemen — I LEARNED that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.

The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.

- snip -

Nearly two years later, I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdulrahman was killed. It was not until May of this year that the Obama administration, in a supposed effort to be more transparent, publicly acknowledged what the world already knew — that it was responsible for his death.

The attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., said only that Abdulrahman was not “specifically targeted,” raising more questions than he answered.

My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that.

- snip -

The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar — who was also an American citizen — but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the government’s claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.

Early one morning in September 2011, Abdulrahman set out from our home in Sana by himself. He went to look for his father, whom he hadn’t seen for years. He left a note for his mother explaining that he missed his father and wanted to find him, and asking her to forgive him for leaving without permission.

- snip -

That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.

A country that believes it does not even need to answer for killing its own is not the America I once knew. From 1966 to 1977, I fulfilled a childhood dream and studied in the United States as a Fulbright scholar, earning my doctorate and then working as a researcher and assistant professor at universities in New Mexico, Nebraska and Minnesota.


ACLU: Digital Dragnet Ensnares Millions of Innocent Drivers

Source: NBC News

ACLU: Digital dragnet ensnares millions of innocent drivers

Bob Sullivan, Columnist, NBC News
13 minutes ago

Drive down many highways, boulevards or small side streets in America, and your movements are being noted by electronic cameras. Eyes in the sky controlled by local police departments snap photos of every passing license plate and store the data, sometimes forever. Even the smallest of agencies now deploys these high-tech voyeuristic machines, creating massive databases where more than 99 percent of the entries represent innocent people.

All, warned the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday, for a one-in-a-million chance that the cameras might aid in the apprehension of a serious criminal.

"Plate readers are the most pervasive system of location tracking that people haven't heard of," said Catherine Crump, a privacy lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union. She wrote the ACLU report released Wednesday questioning the way such cameras are being used. "Even though virtually all of us have had our cars logged into these databases, few know this technology exists."

Plate-reading cameras differ from speed cameras, red light cameras, or even parking enforcement cameras, which are designed to catch violators and criminals. Plate readers simply capture every car that goes by in a digital dragnet, then check the plate number against “hit lists” of cars associated with criminal activity.

The ACLU does not object to the use of so-called LPR (License Plate Reader) technologies, Crump said. Checking license plates can be an effective way to spot a stolen car or a fugitive. She objects to the long-term retention of that data, and what she argues is an out-of-whack balancing act between civil liberties and investigative tools.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/aclu-digital-dragnet-ensnares-millions-innocent-drivers-6C10654018

Video Surfaces of Woman Attacking Musician Lester Chambers After Trayvon Martin Dedication


Video has now surfaced of the actual attack, at very close of video:

4 Zimmerman Jurors Issue Statement Saying Juror B37's CNN Interview Does Not Reflect Their Views

CNN (1of2)-Four jurors in the George Zimmerman trial issue statement saying Juror B37's CNN interview does not reflect their views. Reply STOP 2 unsub

LBN Thread Here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014539652


4 Zimmerman Trial Jurors Release Statement: Anonymous Juror On CNN Does Not Speak For Us

by Josh Feldman | 10:29 pm, July 16th, 2013 » comments

Anonymous juror B37 in the George Zimmerman trial became the first to break her silence and talk to Anderson Cooper on CNN in an interview that aired Monday and Tuesday nights. She made a number of claims about what she and her fellow jurors believed and agreed on, but four other jurors released a statement today in which they denied that this one juror was speaking for all of them.

This particular juror had been looking to write a book, but after tons of social media backlash, she and her literary agent reneged on the idea. She told Cooper that she thought Zimmerman’s heart was in the right place, while CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin concluded that this juror was “sympathetic” to the defense from the beginning.

And, so, today four other jurors released a joint statement requesting their individual privacy and insisting that anything the anonymous juror on CNN said was not representative of the views of the undersigned.

Here is their statement in FULL:

We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives. We also wish to point out that the opinions of Juror B-37, expressed on the Anderson Cooper show were her own, and not in any way representative of the jurors listed below.

Serving on this jury has been a highly emotional and physically draining experience for each of us. The death of a teenager weighed heavily on our hearts but in the end we did what the law required us to do.

We appeal to the highest standards of your profession and ask the media to respect our privacy and give us time to process what we have been through.

AP Exclusive: Former Ind. Gov. Tried to Censor Opponents, Ban Howard Zinn from Univ. Classrooms

Source: Associated Press


— Jul. 16 7:27 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels pledged to promote academic freedom when he became president of Purdue University in January, but newly released emails show he attempted while governor to eliminate what he considered liberal "propaganda" at Indiana's public universities.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request show Daniels requested that historian and anti-war activist Howard Zinn's writings be banned from classrooms and asked for a "cleanup" of college courses. In another exchange, the Republican talks about cutting funding for a program run by a local university professor who was one of his sharpest critics.

The success of those efforts remains unclear; Zinn's book, for example, is still used in some courses for aspiring teachers. But Daniels did launch an expansive push while governor to change what courses those hopeful teachers could take for credit at Indiana colleges. That effort is ongoing.

Ken Paulson, president of the First Amendment Center, said it's not unusual for governors or mayors to denounce art, music or popular culture. But he said he couldn't find any other examples of governors trying to censor political opponents.

"What sets this apart is what appears to be a back-channel effort by the governor to limit access to ideas," said Paulson, also dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University. "Under the First Amendment, the government is prohibited from trying to suppress expression with which it disagrees."

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ap-exclusive-daniels-looked-censor-opponents

Gay Marriage to Be Legal in England as Law Clears Last Hurdle

Source: Reuters

Gay marriage to be legal in England as law clears last hurdle

Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:55pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Gay marriage is to become legal in England and Wales after the lower house of the British parliament approved the final changes on Tuesday to a law that had Prime Minister David Cameron's backing but split his ruling Conservative party.

The law had the support of both Labor and the Liberal Democrats, Britain's two other main political parties, but damaged Cameron's standing within his own party with many of his own lawmakers criticizing him for being too liberal.

His own MPs had previously twice voted against it.

After a two-hour debate, the House of Commons passed the bill, meaning it now only needs to be approved by Queen Elizabeth, a formality.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE96F17220130716

"Trayvon Martin Is My Son Too!"


AP / Capitol protests: In Washington today, hundreds gathered in Freedom Plaza demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.

Rallies Against Zimmerman Acquittal Held Across U.S. (PHOTOS)

Source: CBS News

Rallies against Zimmerman acquittal held across U.S.

July 14, 2013

Updated 8:00 p.m. ET

NEW YORK With chants and prayers, sermons and signs, outrage over a jury's decision to clear George Zimmerman in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager poured from street protests and church pulpits Sunday amid calls for federal civil rights charges to be filed in the case.

Hours after the verdict Saturday night, demonstrators gathered on U Street in Washington, D.C., chanting, "No justice, no peace." One protester carried a sign that read, "Stop criminalizing black men."

In Miami, more than 200 people gathered for a vigil. "You can't justify murder," read one poster. Another read "Don't worry about more riots. Worry about more Zimmermans."

Carol Reitner, 76, of Miami, said she heard about the vigil through an announcement at her church Sunday morning. "I was really devastated. It's really hard to believe that someone can take the life of someone else and walk out of court free," she said.

In Manhattan's Union Square, hundreds of people gathered to voice their passions over the verdict, hoisting placards with images of Martin, and marched down 6th Ave.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57593672/rallies-against-zimmerman-acquittal-held-across-u.s

@rdevro: This is what it looks like in Times Square. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a moving scene. #TrayvonMartin http://t.co/TEmE7OKaUK


Trayvon Protest in Times Square Tonight
Marches and skirmishes still going on, with reports of 20 arrests.



A protester held a sign during a rally in the Harlem neighborhood of New York in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman.

CAPTIONS HERE: http://news.yahoo.com/rallies-large-small-zimmerman-verdict-231947267.html


John Minchillo

Protestors converge on Union Square, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in New York, for a protest against the acquittal of volunteer neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested mostly peacefully in Florida, Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta and other cities overnight and into the early morning. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Phelan M. Ebenhack

Nichole Mitchell wipes away tears during the sermon at a youth service at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford, Fla., Sunday, July 14, 2013. Many in the congregation wore shirts in support of Trayvon Martin following the acquittal oif George Zimmerman, who had been charged in the 2012 shooting death of Martin.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

John Minchillo

Demonstrators converge on Union Square in New York Sunday, July 14, 2013 during a protest against the acquittal of neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida. Demonstrators upset with the verdict protested in Florida, Milwaukee, Washington, Atlanta and other cities overnight and into the early morning Sunday. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

David Goldman

Tabatha Holley, 19, of Dawson, Ga., chants as demonstrators march in protest as a police cruiser follows at right the day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

David Goldman

Demonstrators cross Marietta Street as they march in protest the day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

David Goldman

A bag of Skittles candies hangs out of the pocket of Latressa McVey, 35, of Atlanta, during a protest the day after George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the 2012 shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin, Sunday, July 14, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)


Jason Redmond / Reuters


Credit: Getty Images
SANFORD, FL - JULY 13: Supporters of Treyvon Martin wait in front of the Seminole County Criminal Justice Center for the verdict to be announced in the George Zimmerman murder trial on July 13, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. The jury found Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer, not guilty in the February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Treyvon Martin. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Credit: Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 14: People gather at a rally honoring Trayvon Martin with his photo standing (R) while being held by a man at Union Square in Manhattan on July 14, 2013 in New York City. George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the shooting death of Martin July 13 and many protesters questioned the verdict. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)


"Justice for Trayvon" is written on the ground as people gather at Union Square in New York on July 13.

People attend a rally in Los Angeles following the Zimmerman verdict on July 13.

People gather for a demonstration in Los Angeles on July 13.



Sam Hill, 11, wipes away tears during a youth service at the St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Sanford, Fla., Sunday, July 14, 2013. / AP PHOTO


Peta Lindsay (of the Party for Socialism and Liberation) posted this image from the scene in San Francisco shortly after the no-guilty verdict was read.


AP / Defiance: Protests have demanded that George Zimmerman be prosecuted over the shooting

AP / March: A seven-year-old protester eats Skittles at a demonstration in Washington, D.C. Trayvon Martin had gone to buy a bag of Skittles when he was shot by Zimmerman.

AP / Capitol protests: In Washington today, hundreds gathered in Freedom Plaza demanding justice for Trayvon Martin.
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