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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 42,699

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U.S. to Sue Standard & Poor's Over Mortgage Bond Ratings

Source: Reuters

U.S. to sue S&P over mortgage bond ratings

Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:34pm EST

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department plans to sue Standard & Poor's over its ratings in 2007 of some mortgage bond deals, the ratings agency said on Monday.

The unit of McGraw-Hill Cos Inc said the lawsuit "would be entirely without factual or legal merit."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N0B49LR20130204

Milan Court Convicts 3 Americans in CIA Kidnapping

Source: Politico

Milan court convicts 3 Americans in CIA kidnapping


MILAN — A Milan appeals court on Friday vacated acquittals for a former CIA station chief and two other Americans, and instead convicted them in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

The decision means that all 26 Americans tried in absentia for the abduction now have been found guilty.

The ongoing trials, which have dragged on for years, brought the first convictions anywhere in the world against CIA agents involved in a practice alleged to have led to torture. The case has been the source of diplomatic tensions, although three successive Italian leaders, including the technical government of Premier Mario Monti, have invoked state secrets, which has had the impact of limiting evidence in the successive trials and led to the acquittals of five Italians, including two spy chiefs.

- snip -

None of the Americans have ever been in Italian custody or have ever appeared in court, but they risk arrest if they travel to Europe. Only two have had any contact with their lawyers, both of whom expressly requested their own counsel late in the first trial phase, in the face of U.S. official silence on the case and citing special personal and legal circumstances. A number of the names listed on the official docket are believed to be aliases.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/milan-court-convicts-3-americans-in-cia-kidnapping-87090.html

Thirty-One Killed as Militants Attack Pakistan Checkpoint

Source: Reuters

Thirty-one killed as militants attack Pakistan checkpoint

at Feb 2, 2013 1:18am EST

By Saud Mehsud

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Militants attacked an isolated army checkpoint in Pakistan's restive northwest on Saturday, with at least 31 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to a U.S. drone strike in neighboring North Waziristan last month in which two commanders were killed.

The Pakistani military and pro-government militias have since 2009 regained territory from the Pakistan Taliban, who once controlled land a few hours' drive from the capital of Islamabad.

- snip -

Security sources said at least 12 militants and nine officials and civilians were killed in the clash. Two bodies had suicide bomb belts on them, an official said.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE91103G20130202?irpc=932

Explosion in Front of U.S. Embassy in Ankara (Two Killed)

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: Update: Suicide bomber detonates bomb at US Embassy in Turkish capital; 2 killed, police say - @AP

Fri Feb 1, 2013 6:44am EST

ANKARA (Reuters) - An explosion in front of the U.S. embassy in the Turkish capital Ankara on Friday wounded several people, Turkish media reported.

A Reuters witness reported a loud explosion in the area and the Dogan news agency said ambulances and fire engines went the to the site.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9100I620130201

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch Dead at 88

Source: CBS News

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch dead at 88

February 01, 2013

NEW YORK Former New York Mayor Ed Koch, the combative politician who rescued the city from near-financial ruin during three City Hall terms, has died at age 88.

Spokesman George Arzt says Koch died Friday morning of congestive heart failure.

In City Hall, Koch embodied New York for the rest of the world. He won a national reputation with his feisty style and his trademark question, "How'm I doing?"

During his years as mayor, from 1978 to 1989, his tight fiscal policies pulled the city out of severe financial difficulties. But homelessness and racial tensions soared and critics charged that

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57567063/former-new-york-mayor-ed-koch-dead-at-88

Shooting reported at Phoenix workplace, reports of four people shot

Source: Reuters

At least 3 hurt in Phoenix shooting

By Jane Lednovich
The Arizona Republic-12 News Breaking News Team
Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:29 AM

At least three people are injured after a shooting occurred in Phoenix Wednesday morning, officials said.

Around 10:30 a.m., officials reported that three people had suffered gunshot wounds in a building on the 7300 block of 16th Street, near Glendale Avenue, officials said. It is unknown if the shooter is in custody.

An employee of a law office in the area said four people were seen removed from the scene in stretchers.

Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20130130phoenix-multiple-injuries-shooting-abrk.html

Exclusive: CIA Nominee Had Detailed Knowledge of "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"

Source: Reuters

Exclusive: CIA nominee had detailed knowledge of "enhanced interrogation techniques"

WASHINGTON | Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:13am EST

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Brennan, President Barack Obama's nominee to head the CIA, had detailed, contemporaneous knowledge of the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" on captured terrorism suspects during an earlier stint as a top spy agency official, according to multiple sources familiar with official records.

Those records, the sources said, show that Brennan was a regular recipient of CIA message traffic about controversial aspects of the agency's counter-terrorism program after September 2001, including the use of "waterboarding."

How deeply involved Brennan was in the program, and whether he vigorously objected to it at the time, as he has said he did, are likely to be central questions lawmakers raise at his Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing, scheduled for February 7.

After Brennan temporarily left government service in 2005, he publicly disavowed waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning, and other physically painful techniques that are often described as torture.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE90T07I20130130

Gore Says Tough U.S. Network Competition Forced Sale of Current TV

Source: Reuters

Gore says tough U.S. network competition forced sale of Current TV

WASHINGTON | Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:09am EST

By Susan Heavey

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Al Gore said on Tuesday that tough competition from major U.S. television networks forced him to sell Current TV, a struggling progressive cable channel, to Al Jazeera, and he praised the Arabic news broadcaster's coverage of climate change.

Gore, a former vice president who won a Nobel Peace Prize for raising awareness about the problems with climate change, said on NBC's "Today" show that he was proud of the channel and had never thought of it as simply a monetary investment.

"As an independent network ... we found it difficult to compete in this age of conglomerates," he said.

Earlier this month, Qatar-based Al Jazeera announced it was buying Current TV, a move that could enable it to better compete with American news networks like CNN, MSNBC and Fox.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE90S0N920130129

Gun Rights Advocates Shout at Newtown Victim's Dad

Source: CBS News

Gun rights advocates shout at Newtown victim's dad

January 29, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. Parents of children killed in the Newtown school shooting called for better enforcement of gun laws and tougher penalties for violators Monday at a hearing that revealed the divide in the gun-control debate, with advocates for gun rights shouting at the father of one 6-year-old victim.

Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed in last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, asked people in the room to put themselves in his position as he questioned the need for any civilian to own semiautomatic, military-style weapons.

"It's not a good feeling. Not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. It's a real sad thing," said Heslin, who held up a large framed photograph of himself and his son.

A handful of people at the packed legislative hearing then shouted about their Second Amendment rights when Heslin asked if anyone could provide a reason for a civilian to own an assault-style weapon.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57566406/gun-rights-advocates-shout-at-newtown-victims-dad

NBC News: Boy Scouts Close to Ending Ban on Gay Members, Leaders

Source: NBC News

Exclusive: Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders

By Pete Williams, Justice Correspondent, NBC News

The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.

If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial -- one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

Read more: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/28/16739587-exclusive-boy-scouts-close-to-ending-ban-on-gay-members-leaders?lite
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