30 July 2015
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U.S. Navy investigates report of cancer cluster at Guantanamo | 27 July 2015 | The U.S. Navy is investigating a complaint that seeks the evacuation of civilian and military lawyers from parts of the U.S. base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, following reports of cancer cases among personnel working on the trials of detainees prisoners there. At least seven civilians and military members who worked on detainee trials [sic] at Guantanamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the complaint, which was filed with the U.S. Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General. The complaint calls on American military officials to remove personnel from court facilities on the base and test them and the base itself for carcinogens. The complaint claims that an unusually large number of relatively healthy and young people who worked at the base have been diagnosed with cancer. [As Shakespeare said--and the US government is apparently doing: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."]
At least 192 labs 'accidentally' received live anthrax - Pentagon | 29 July 2015 | The Pentagon has admitted that a US Army lab 'accidentally' shipped live anthrax to at least 192 laboratories over the past decade. The figure is more than double the number the agency reported in June. The agency said on Monday that the list now includes labs in all 50 states, as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and Washington, DC...Seven foreign countries also received the shipments, including Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the UK, according to the Department of Defense's Laboratory Review site.
U.S. military sees more use of laser, microwave weapons | 28 July 2015 | The U.S. military has made strides in developing lasers, microwaves and other directed energy weapons, and could soon use them more widely, top armed forces officials and U.S. lawmakers told an industry conference on Tuesday. The officials described weapons that are in various stages of development and testing by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army, but said more work was needed to scale up the technology for larger weapons, develop tactics for their use, and ensure sufficient funding. The military has been working on such weapons for decades, but says many technology challenges have finally been addressed.
Part of Pentagon email network taken down over suspicious activity | 28 July 2015 | An unclassified email network used by Army General Martin Dempsey and other members of the U.S. military's Joint Staff has been taken off line because of suspicious activity, a Pentagon spokeswoman said on Tuesday. Army Lieutenant Colonel Valerie Henderson said the unclassified email network for all users on the Joint Staff was taken offline by the Defense Department because of suspicious activity noted over the weekend and is "currently down."
U.S. to parole convicted Israeli spy Pollard on Nov. 21 | 28 July 2015 | Jonathan Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst convicted of spying for Israel, will be released on parole on Nov. 21 after 30 years in prison, a federal parole board ruled on Tuesday. Pollard's planned release, which was quickly welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would remove a longstanding irritant in U.S.-Israel relations at a time of increased friction between the two close allies over President Barack Obama's landmark nuclear deal with Iran. The U.S. Justice Department helped smooth the way for the freeing of Pollard, who was already eligible for mandatory parole in November, by declining to raise objections that could have delayed his release, Pollard's attorneys said.
Israel, Not Iran, Started Middle East Nuclear Arms Race | 29 July 2015 | The debate about the P5+1 agreement with Iran on its nuclear program has already produced a storm of angry rhetoric and a tsunami of opinion pieces. But one issue is notably absent from the debate: the fact that Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal and sophisticated delivery systems that are decades ahead of anything Iran could develop in the foreseeable future. Iran should be constrained by a global regime from getting the bomb, but the notion that Israel is a weak powerless state like Czechoslovakia in 1938 is ludicrous. The American intelligence community first detected the development of the Israeli nuclear weapons program through U-2 overhead imagery at the end of the 1950s.
Counter-terrorism police arrest woman at Birmingham airport on suspicion of 'travelling to Syria to engage in terrorism' | 29 July 2015 | A 30-year-old woman has been arrested at Birmingham Airport by Counter Terrorism police on suspicion of travelling to Syria to engage in terrorist acts. She was travelling with three children. The woman, from Leicester, was arrested by officers from the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit at 9:40am, police said. Her home and a second address she has been associated with is being searched by police.
Exhausted forest firefighters refuse to sing O Canada for Harper | 25 July 2015 | Prime Minister Stephen Harper is getting slammed on social media for having a group of front-line firefighters pulled out of the smoky hills near this bustling B.C. city so they could pose with him for a patriotic, pre-election picture. But things didn't go quite as planned for Harper's advance team of organizers. The selected firefighters were so tired and annoyed that they just silently watched Harper as he waved his arms around like a conductor and tried to get them to sing along with him in a rousing chorus of O Canada...And none of them accepted the "Canada's Better With Harper" t-shirts that the PM's bodyguards were handing out.
70 people vaccinated for whopping cough still contracted infection in Reno County, KS | 27 July 2015 | Reno County health officials are taking steps to help stall the spread of a whooping cough outbreak before school starts. The county has more than 70 suspected whooping cough cases. And The Hutchinson News reports that as of Friday, Reno County had 41 confirmed or probable cases of whooping cough, which accounts for 20 percent of all cases in the state. That was up from 18 onJune 29...The district tells us all of the people who've contracted it have been vaccinated.
Health Department: Legionnaires' Disease Outbreak in South Bronx Sickens 31 | 29 July 2015 | The New York City Department of Health is trying to get to the bottom of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx. There have been 31 cases reported there since July 10, officials said. Two people with the disease have died, but it's not clear if Legionnaires' was the cause of death, CBS2 reported.
Mers virus: two suspected cases discovered in Manchester | 27 July 2015 | (UK) Manchester Royal Infirmary temporarily closes its A&E department as it investigates two cases of suspected Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome (Mers). Manchester Royal Infirmary reopened its doors on Mondayafternoon, having closed it earlier in the day after two patients were suspected of carrying the potentially fatal Mers virus. A statement from the hospital said: "This afternoon, we confirmed that we are currently investigating two patients for suspected Middle Eastern Respiratory Virus Syndrome - Coronavirus Infection (MERS-COV).
Number on Reunion Island debris corresponds to Boeing 777 component | 30 July 2015 | Boeing investigators are confident that debris found on a remote island in the Indian Ocean comes from a 777 aircraft, according to a source close to the investigation. An international team of aviation experts is trying to determine if that airplane part comes from Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a Boeing 777 that disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board. A match might help solve the mystery of what happened to that that airplane, since no other 777s in the world are unaccounted for, according to the Aviation Safety Network, an online database of flight incidents. People cleaning a beach found the debris Wednesday on Reunion, a French overseas territory in the western Indian Ocean.
Debris looks like Boeing 777, could be MH370, says source | 29 July 2015 | Apparent airplane debris found off the coast of Reunion island, a French department in the western Indian Ocean, is being examined to see if it is connected to the 2014 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a member of the French air force in Reunion said Wednesday. The debris was found off the coast of St. Andre, a community on the island, according to Adjutant Christian Retournat. Officials from Boeing, which built the 777 that was MH370, conducted an initial assessment of the debris using photographs and their findings suggest the debris is consistent in appearance with a Boeing 777's flaperon, which is a piece of the plane's wing, a source close to the investigation told CNN.
Shell's profits fall as protests mount over Arctic drilling[Awesome!] | 30 July 2015 | Dozens of activists with Greenpeace and Rising Tide blockaded the mouth of Portland's Willamette River Thursday, dangling from a bridge and swarming the waters -- all in an effort to prevent Shell from launching a ship it needs to begin advanced drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic. The bold plan seems to working, too. As the sun bobbed up over the Pacific, one of the activists on the bridge shot footage of Shell's ice breaker appearing to turn back as cheers erupted from a group of supporters. Under the terms of Shell's drilling plan, [insanely]approved in May by the Obama administration, the company has to have the ship on site because it carries a special Arctic-ready spill containment system.
Activists Hang From Oregon's St. Johns Bridge to Protest Shell's Arctic Oil Drilling | 29 July 2015 | At least a dozen climbers with Greenpeace were dangling from a Portland, Oregon, bridge on Wednesday morning -- and threatened to do so for days -- in protest of Shell's scheduled launch of a ship for Arctic oil exploration. The stunt on the St. Johns Bridge comes after protesters gathered in a Portland park Tuesday evening, and planned to drop kayaks in the water in a bid to stop the Royal Dutch Shell from leaving port. The ship was scheduledWednesday to depart for Alaskan waters.
Cecil the lion's killer donated $5,000 to Mitt Romney [Well, knock me over with a medium-sized feather!] | 29 July 2015 | The Minnesota dentist who authorities say killed a beloved Zimbabwe lion named Cecil donated to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) forms show Walter James Palmer, a dentist in Eden Prairie, Minn., donated 5,000 to the Romney campaign in 2012. Palmer also donated 250 to former Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.) in 1990 and 250 to Ramstad in 1992.
American accused of killing African lion convicted in '06 bear hunt | 28 July 2015 | An avid Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe has a felony on his record related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin, according to federal court records. [Sociopath] Walter Palmer, 55, of the Minneapolis suburb of Eden Prairie, pleaded guilty in 2008 to making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear he fatally shot in western Wisconsin. Palmer had a permit to hunt but shot the animal outside the authorized zone in 2006, then tried to pass it off as being killed elsewhere, according to court documents.
American Hunter [Terrorist] Killed Cecil, Beloved Lion That Was Lured Out of Its Sanctuary --Walter Palmer was convicted in a 2006 black bear hunt, too. Too bad Cecil -- or anyone -- was unable to shoot this sociopath, *first.* | 28 July 2015 | Cecil, a 13-year-old lion, wandered out of his sanctuary in a national park in Zimbabwe this month, following the scent of a potential snack. At the other end of Cecil's search was a lure, placed there by hunters who, conservationists say, wanted their prey to cross into unprotected territory so they could kill him. Cecil, well known to those who visited the Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe for his jet black mane, was beheaded, according to conservation officials. His corpse was left to rot in the sun. Zimbabwean officials said that Dr. Walter J. Palmer, an American hunter known for killing big game with a bow and arrow, killed Cecil, and was being sought on poaching charges. [Sign petition: Demand Justice for 'Cecil the Lion' in Zimbabwe.]
Trump leads Republican presidential race with 25 percent: Reuters-Ipsos poll | 29 July 2015 | Billionaire Donald Trump has taken a commanding lead in the race for the 2016 U.S. Republican presidential nomination with the support of 25 percent in a Reuters/Ipsos poll, giving him a double-digit advantage over nearest rival Jeb Bush. The poll shows Bush, the former Florida governor, trailing at 12 percent. It is a huge jump for Trump, who announced his candidacy for the November 2016 election six weeks ago - and this despite the criticism political rivals leveled at him for remarks this month belittling the military service of Senator John McCain [after McCain belittled Trump's supporters, first], the party's candidate in 2008.
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