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S Korea: North's torpedo sank ship

S Korea: North's torpedo sank ship 18 May 2010 Months after a warship belonging to South Korea sank near a disputed sea border, South Korean investigators say there is evidence that a North Korean torpedo caused the incident. Military experts told Seoul-based Yonhap news agency on Tuesday that chemical traces found on the ship's wreckage were similar to substances used in North Korean torpedoes.

US Sends Iran Sanctions Draft to UN

US Sends Iran Sanctions Draft to UN 18 May 2010 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the United States and other major world powers [nutjobs] have agreed on a draft resolution that could impose a fourth round of United Nations sanctions on Iran. Clinton made the announcement in testimony to a Senate committee Tuesday, a day after Iran announced a plan to send some of its enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for nuclear fuel.

Two U.S. senators in jeopardy on big day of voting

Two U.S. senators in jeopardy on big day of voting 18 May 2010 With voter anger running high, two veteran U.S. senators face potential career-ending challenges on Tuesday in primary contests that could measure the anti-Washington mood before November's midterm elections. Democrats Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and [corporate-owned] Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas face strong tests from the left. Also, a U.S. Senate race in Kentucky between a Republican establishment favorite and a conservative "Tea Party" activist will test the strength of that loosely organized movement.

Secret Prison Discovered At Bagram Air Force Base

Secret Prison Discovered At Bagram Air Force Base 15 May 2010 A secret prison has recently been discovered at Bagram Air Force Base located in Afghanistan. The Red Cross has recently confirmed this information and released a statement saying a "Black Jail" is hidden within the air force base. Surprisingly, several prisoners claim to have been abused and tortured while being held captive at the jail during the Obama administration despite the fact that Obama has stated that he would end torture. In a BBC interview with Sher Agha, a citizen who spent six days inside the prison, has said that it is known to insiders as "The Black Hole". Agha and other prisoners have stated that they were subject to sleep deprivation and various other kinds of abuse.

West to continue working on sanctions

West to continue working on sanctions --Diplomats in Washington and New York unimpressed by Iranian fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil, tell Ynet that Security Council discussions will go on. 18 May 2010 Western powers unimpressed by Iranian gesture: Although Iran has agreed to ship 1,200 kilograms of its low-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for fuel rods to power a research reactor in Tehran, most permanent Security Council members are continuing their efforts to impose fresh sanctions against the Islamic Republic. The American administration -- with the support of France, Britain and apparently also Russia -- is continuing to push for a Security Council resolution. Western diplomats in Washington and New York told Ynet on Monday night that "the discussions on sanctions continue".

Afghan Car Bomb Kills 20 Civilians, Army Doctor Says

Afghan Car Bomb Kills 20 Civilians, Army Doctor Says 18 May 2010 A suicide car bomber struck in the Afghan capital today, killing as many as 20 civilians in an attack that witnesses and police officials said targeted a U.S. military convoy. A military doctor, Nesar Ahmad, said in an interview near the scene of the bombing that he evacuated 15 dead and five wounded civilians close to the center of Kabul. The bomber struck at about 8 a.m. this morning, badly damaging a passenger bus. Associated Press cited a police officer who confirmed three deaths.

ISAF: 2 troops killed in Afghanistan

ISAF: 2 troops killed in Afghanistan 17 May 2010 Two members of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force were killed Monday in two separate improvised explosive device attacks, ISAF said in a statement. One of the service members died in western Afghanistan, while the second died in southern Afghanistan, ISAF said.

NATO needs hundreds of trainers in Afghanistan

NATO needs hundreds of trainers in Afghanistan 18 May 2010 International troops in Afghanistan face a shortfall of hundreds of trainers who are supposed to train the Afghan security forces, James Stavridis, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe said Monday in Washington. Stavridis said Afghanistan needs about 5,200 trainers, and roughly 3,600 are on the ground. NATO's share of the overall training mission is 1,600. "Right now, I've got on the ground or committed 1,150" trainers, he said. "So, I need 450" more. [Or, NATO could just *leave,* which is what *everyone* needs.]

Three Brits 'dead' in Afghan plane crash

Three Brits 'dead' in Afghan plane crash 18 May 2010 Three Brits were feared dead after a passenger plane crashed in Afghanistan yesterday. David Taylor, Chris Carter and Daniel Saville were among 44 people on the Pamir Airways flight that went down in the Hindu Kush mountains. There were six foreigners, including one American, on the flight from northern city Kunduz to capital Kabul.

Pentagon Issues Regulations on Taping Detainee Interrogations

Pentagon Issues Regulations on Taping Detainee Interrogations 17 May 2010 The Pentagon last week ordered the videotaping of all detainee interrogations conducted by military and defense personnel if the questioning is aimed at gathering "strategic intelligence" and is conducted on major U.S. military bases. The new regulations, contained in a memo issued May 10 by the Defense Department's second-ranking official, specifically exclude interrogations by soldiers engaged in combat or those involved in gathering information on ground-level enemy tactics from the videotaping requirement. The memo, posted late last week on a Defense Department website and confirmed by U.S. officials, would apply to the military's detention centers at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

Army Recall of 44,000 Helmets Triggered by Justice Department Probe

Army Recall of 44,000 Helmets Triggered by Justice Department Probe --Faulty Helmets May Have Been Sent to Combat Zones 17 May 2010 The U.S. Army's recall of 44,000 helmets that do not meet quality control standards was triggered by a Justice Department investigation of the helmet maker, ArmorSource. The Army says it is doing all it can to ensure the replacement of the faulty helmets, some of which may have been sent to soldiers overseas in combat zones. The Army was first informed by the Justice Department in January that it was investigating ArmorSource. That notification led the Army to conduct new ballistics testing of Advanced Combat Helmets already in stock that had been produced by ArmorSource.

Israeli border officials stop Noam Chomsky entring the West Bank

Israeli border officials stop Noam Chomsky entring the West Bank 18 May 2010 A leading left-wing political thinker who was denied entry to the West Bank by Israeli border guards has accused the Jewish state of acting in a "paranoid" fashion reminiscent of South Africa during the apartheid era. Noam Chomsky, the Jewish American professor famed for his ground-breaking work on linguistics as well as his critical studies on the media and politics around the world, was trying to cross the Israeli-controlled border from Jordan to the West Bank on Sunday when he was detained for prolonged questioning and then told that he could not enter.

Engineer accuses BP of ignoring damaged oil well safety gear

Engineer accuses BP of ignoring damaged oil well safety gear 18 May 2010 The critical piece of safety equipment that failed to shut down the oil well after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded last month was damaged before the accident, it emerged yesterday. According to a survivor’s account that could prove devastating to BP as it struggles to stop millions of gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, the safety device -- known as a blowout preventer -- was punctured in the weeks before the blast but nothing was done to fix it. Mike Williams, the rig’s chief electronics technician, also said that in the lead-up to the disaster BP officials, concerned that the project was behind schedule and costing the company $1 million (£680,000) a day, ordered a faster pace of drilling.

Baghdad to enclose city with 15ft wall to keep suicide bombers out

Baghdad to enclose city with 15ft wall to keep suicide bombers out --Every man, beast and vehicle entering will be searched at one of only eight gates along the main highways. 18 May 2010 Baghdad is to resort to one of the oldest forms of defence by building a massive wall around the capital to keep out insurgents [?], The Times has learnt. A series of recent suicide bombings has driven the governor of the Iraqi capital to propose the concrete barrier, which will be 15ft (4.5m) high and 70 miles (112km) long.  Baghdad, roughly the same size as London and with approximately five million inhabitants, will face severe disruption as a result. Freedom of movement will be limited and workers and visitors alike will probably have to wait for at least an hour to enter.

Israel plays wargame assuming Iran has nuclear bomb

Israel plays wargame assuming Iran has nuclear bomb 17 May 2010 A nuclear-armed Iran would blunt Israel's military autonomy, a wargame involving former Israeli generals and diplomats has concluded, though some players predicted Tehran would also exercise restraint. Sunday's event at a campus north of Tel Aviv followed other high-profile Iran simulations in Israel and the United States in recent months. But it broke new ground by assuming the existence of what both countries have pledged to prevent: an Iranian bomb.

Man held in Times Square car bomb probe denies suspect link

Man held in Times Square car bomb probe denies suspect link 17 May 2010 One of three men arrested in the investigation of a failed car-bombing in New York's Times Square denies any connection to the primary suspect, Pakistan's consul general in Boston said. Consul General Barry Hoffman said Aftab Khan, a Pakistani gas station attendant who lives in Watertown, told him during a visit to his jail cell Monday that he does not know suspect Faisal Shahzad and had no contact with him.

Iraq court backs banned 'Baathists'

Iraq court backs banned 'Baathists' 17 May 2010 An Iraqi appeals court has reinstated nine winning candidates from the March 7 parliamentary election who had been disqualified for alleged links to the Baath party. Eight of the nine candidates were from the Iraqiya coalition of former prime minister Iyad Allawi, which won the highest number of seats in the election. The verdict means Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission is a step closer to officially certifying the results of the March election.

Despite Pentagon Claims, U.S. Antimissile Intercepts Have Low Success Rate

Despite Pentagon Claims, U.S. Antimissile Intercepts Have Low Success Rate 17 May 2010 ...A new analysis being published by two antimissile critics, at M.I.T. and Cornell, casts doubt on the reliability of the new weapon. President Obama’s announcement of his new antimissile plan in September was based on the Pentagon’s assessment that the SM-3, or Standard Missile 3, had intercepted 84 percent of incoming targets in tests. But a re-examination of results from 10 of those apparently successful tests by Theodore A. Postol and George N. Lewis, being published this month, finds only one or two successful intercepts -- for a success rate of 10 to 20 percent.

Air tests from the Louisiana coast reveal human health threats from the oil disaster

Air tests from the Louisiana coast reveal human health threats from the oil disaster By Sue Sturgis 10 May 2010 ...[T]he latest evaluation of air monitoring data shows a serious threat to human health from airborne chemicals emitted by the ongoing deepwater gusher. Today the Louisiana Environmental Action Network released its analysis of air monitoring test results by the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA's air testing data comes from Venice, a coastal community 75 miles south of New Orleans in Louisiana's Plaquemines Parish. The findings show that levels of airborne chemicals have far exceeded state standards and what's considered safe for human exposure.

Study: BP Refineries Account for Most Violations

Study: BP Refineries Account for Most Violations 17 May 2010 A Washington-based research group says two BP refineries in the U.S. account for 97 percent of "egregious willful" violations given by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The study by the Center for Public Integrity says the violations were found in the last three years in BP's Texas City refinery and another plant in Toledo, Ohio. In 2005, 15 people were killed in an explosion at the Texas City refinery. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Jordan Barab says BP has a "systemic safety problem."

Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns

Texas schools board rewrites US history with lessons promoting God and guns --US Christian conservatives drop references to slave trade and sideline Thomas Jefferson who backed church-state separation 16 May 2010 A clutch of Christian evangelists and social conservatives have grasped control of the Texas education board... Those corrections have prompted a blizzard of accusations of rewriting history and indoctrinating children by promoting rightwing views on religion, economics and guns while diminishing the science of evolution, the civil rights movement and the horrors of slavery. Several changes include sidelining Thomas Jefferson, who favoured separation of church and state, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the civil war... Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favour of examining scientific advances through military technology. There is also a suggestion that the anti-communist witch-hunt by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s may have been justified.

Presidential commission will 'investigate' oil spill

Presidential commission will 'investigate' oil spill 17 May 2010 President Obama will sign an executive order establishing a presidential commission to investigate [Yeah, right!] the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, an administration official said Monday. Eight U.S. senators called earlier Monday for an independent federal investigation of whether oil giant BP violated civil or criminal laws in connection with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Israeli scientist calls for nuclear disclosure

Israeli scientist calls for nuclear disclosure 10 May 2010 An Israeli scientist is calling for his country to end a decades-long silence over its reported nuclear weapons capability and open its nuclear reactor to inspection. Uzi Even, a Tel Aviv University chemistry professor and former worker at Israel's Dimona reactor, said US President Barack Obama's campaign for global nuclear arms reduction is a sign of changing times and Israel must get in step. "We could open Dimona to international inspection," the former member of parliament with the left-wing Meretz party told Israeli army radio on Monday.

Volcanic ash grounds 1,000 European flights

Volcanic ash grounds 1,000 European flights 17 May 2010 Volcanic ash from Iceland grounded 1,000 flights and delayed hundreds of thousands of passengers in parts of northern Europe on Monday, although forecasters said the situation would improve during the week. Several of Europe's busiest airports, including London's Heathrow and Schiphol in Amsterdam, were closed for several hours due to fears the ash could damage jet engines and bring down aircraft.

Iraq says it uncovered al-Qaida plot on World Cup

Iraq says it uncovered al-Qaida plot on World Cup 17 May 2010 Iraqi security forces have detained an 'al-Qaida' militant suspected of planning an attack targeting the World Cup in South Africa next month, an official said Monday. Maj. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Baghdad security services, said Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani was an officer in the Saudi army. He is suspected of planning a "terrorist act" in South Africa during the World Cup beginning June 11, al-Moussawi told a news conference in Baghdad.

Bomb threat on Vancouver-bound plane

Bomb threat on Vancouver-bound plane 17 May 2010 A Cathay Pacific Airbus from Hong Kong was escorted by two CF18 Hornet fighter jets to Vancouver International Airport after a bomb threat Saturday. North American Aerospace Defence Command officials sent the fighter jets to intercept a Vancouver-bound Cathay Pacific flight after receiving reports of a security threat. Major Holly Apostoliuk, with the Canadian NORAD Region headquarters, said the two jets were scrambled under NORAD command from a forward operating base at Canadian Forces Base Comox as a precaution.

17,000 Japanese circle U.S. Marine base in peaceful protest

17,000 Japanese circle U.S. Marine base in peaceful protest 17 May 2010 Thousands of Japanese linked hands and encircled a Marine Corps base in Okinawa on Sunday to protest its presence on the island, putting more pressure on Tokyo to resolve an impasse over the base's future. About 17,000 residents surrounded the Futenma air base early in the afternoon, chanting slogans and completing a human chain twice for several minutes each time, city official Hitoshi Nakou said. The base covers about 1.9 square miles (4.92 square kilometers), and sits in the middle of Ginowan, a city of about 93,000.

Detroit police kill seven-year-old child

Detroit police kill seven-year-old child By Jerry White 17 May 2010 Detroit police shot and killed a seven-year-old girl during an early morning raid of a home on the city’s east side Sunday morning. The child, Aiyana Stanley Jones, was struck in the head and neck area while sleeping on a couch at the home on Lillibridge Street. In a Sunday morning press conference Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee said police were executing a "no-knock" search warrant for a homicide suspect in the two-apartment home. He said the police--members of the heavily armed Special Response Team--threw a flash grenade through an unopened window around 12:45 a.m. before charging in with guns drawn.

Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Considered 'Sexually Dangerous' May Be Held Indefinitely

Supreme Court Rules Prisoners Considered 'Sexually Dangerous' May Be Held Indefinitely  --'Justices' Vote 7-to-2, Rule 'Necessary and Proper' to Detain Some Sex Offenders Indefinitely 17 May 2010 A 7-to-2 majority of the Supreme Court ruled today that Congress has the authority to pass a law allowing federal prisoners who have been deemed "sexually dangerous" to be held beyond the date of their original sentence. The law allows confinement in a federal facility until either the person's mental condition improves to the point where he is no longer dangerous, or the state assumes responsibility for his care and treatment [or stops asserting that 9/11 was an inside job].

New terrorism defense: Parking attendants and garage workers

New terrorism defense: Parking attendants and garage workers --FEMA-backed TSA program teaches parking lot operators to watch for 'odd activities' 16 May 2010  Parking attendants could be the nation's latest line of defense against terrorist attacks. A new government program aims to train thousands of parking industry employees nationwide to watch for and report anything suspicious -- abandoned cars, for example, or people hanging around garages, taking photographs or asking unusual questions. Would-be terrorists may attempt to gain access to sensitive places or materials by applying for jobs [?!?] or asking employees strange questions, said Jeff Beatty, a former FBI and CIA agent who led the training in Las Vegas.

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