Los Angeles Police to Reopen Case Against Officer 10 Feb 2013 The Los Angeles Police Department will reopen its investigation into the 2007 episode that led to the firing of Christopher J. Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer who is wanted in three killings, department officials said Saturday night. Mr. Dorner pledged revenge against Los Angeles police officers in a manifesto he posted online, in which he also claimed that racism in the department had led to his dismissal. The killings and Mr. Dorner’s his online manifesto have reopened old wounds for some black residents here, even as they condemned the violence.
Mega barf alert: FDA approves new flu vaccines made with dog kidney cells, insects 09 Feb 2013 Some researchers are focusing on the as-yet-unattainable ideal: a vaccine that would protect against all forms of the virus, with just one immunization every 10 years or so... In November, the Food and Drug Administration approved Flucelvax, manufactured by Novartis, the first U.S.-licensed flu vaccine that uses cell culture technology. The virus is grown in dog kidney cells, instead of eggs. The cells can be frozen, ready to go quickly into vaccine production if a new virus is discovered created. In January, the FDA approved Flublok, by Protein Sciences. It is made in insect cells using a protein from the virus -- hemagglutinin, instead of a live virus.
US military leader plays down 'zero option' for troop levels in Afghanistan 09 Feb 2013 The top US military officer said on Saturday he was confident that enough American troops would remain in Afghanistan after 2014 to accomplish the three-part 'mission' agreed to by allies at last year's Nato summit in Chicago. Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he did not know whether President Barack Obama would announce the size of the post-2014 US force for Afghanistan during his upcoming State of the Union address. But he said an announcement on the management of forces in 2013 "has to come fairly soon, simply because we're two months in" the year.
Snowstorm shuts down Massachusetts nuclear plant 09 Feb 2013 A nuclear power plant in Massachusetts lost power and automatically shut down late on Friday during a massive blizzard across the northeastern United States, the nuclear regulator said. The reactor at the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth closed down with no problems and there was no threat to public safety, an official at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.
Afghanistan confirms UN report on child killings by US-led troops 09 Feb 2013 Afghanistan has confirmed a United Nations report that accuses US-led forces of killing hundreds of Afghan children over the last four years. "We agree with the UN report and confirm that innocent kids have been killed during coalition forces operations specifically US troops operations during the past ten years," Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for the Afghan government, said Saturday. On February 5, the Geneva-based UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said in a report that the "attacks by US military forces in Afghanistan, including air strikes, have reportedly killed hundreds of children over the last four years." [Oops! MSNBC 'forgot' to cover this one...]
US-led helicopter crashes in Afghanistan 07 Feb 2013 A helicopter belonging to the US-led forces in Afghanistan has crashed in the east of the Asian country, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) says. An ISAF spokesman said on Thursday that the NATO helicopter crashed in the eastern province of Kapisa. "I can confirm an International Security Assistance Force helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan today," the ISAF spokesman stated.
Teacher Shot at Sandy Hook Elementary to Attend State of the Union 08 Feb 2013 Natalie Hammond, the lead teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who survived being shot on Dec. 14, will listen to the President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday from the gallery of the House of the Representatives. U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, invited Hammond to be her guest. Hammond was [allegedly] shot by Adam Lanza, who killed 20 students and six adults at the school.
Libor Accords Leave Banks Facing 'Massive' State Claims 06 Feb 2013 A multistate probe of alleged manipulation of interest rates threatens to leave banks liable for billions of dollars in estimated state and local losses from the scandal, even as they settle with national regulators. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is helping lead a probe into claims that banks rigged global benchmarks for borrowing, adding to investigations by other authorities, including the U.S. Justice Department. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc agreed yesterday to pay about $612 million to U.S. and U.K. regulators to resolve their claims. States have joined forces as banks reach settlements to resolve liability tied to Libor, or the London interbank offered rate. Barclays Plc in June agreed to pay 290 million pounds ($454 million), and in December, UBS AG agreed to pay 1.4 billion Swiss francs ($1.5 billion).
Support grows for U.S. 'drone tribunal' to review CIA kill lists 08 Feb 2013 Some lawmakers have proposed a special federal "drone court" that would approve suspected militants for targeting. While the idea of a judicial review of such operations may be gaining political currency, multiple U.S. officials said on Friday that imminent action by the U.S. Congress or the White House to create one is unlikely. The idea is being actively considered, however, according to a White House official. At Thursday's confirmation hearing for CIA director nominee John Brennan, senators discussed establishing a secret court or tribunal to rule on the validity of cases that U.S. intelligence agencies draw up for killing suspected militants using drones.
Doctors to review Guantanamo prisoner's CIA detention records 08 Feb 2013 CIA records documenting the waterboarding and interrogation of an alleged al Qaeda [al-CIAduh] chieftain must be shown to the doctors who will decide whether he is mentally competent for trial on charges of conspiring to bomb a U.S. warship, a judge ordered. The order, dated Thursday, ensures that the mental competency board will consider allegations that Saudi defendant Abd al Rahim al Nashiri was tortured during the four years he spent in secret CIA prisons, among other criteria. Nashiri, 48, faces murder and attempted murder charges in the war crimes tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba and could be executed if convicted.
Rand Paul to Deliver 'Tea Party Response' to State of the Union 08 Feb 2013 President Obama will once again face two rebuttals, after his State of the Union address on Tuesday. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will deliver the "tea party response" to Obama from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night. Paul’s speech will be staged by the [corporate-run] national tea-party election group Tea Party Express, the same group that sponsored the 2011 and 2012 rebuttals. Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the official Republican Party response.
NY gov declares state of emergency as winter storm hits region 08 Feb 2013 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is declaring a state of emergency as a big winter storm hits the region. Cuomo said Friday afternoon that the storm won't be nearly as bad as Sandy. He says so far, 2,300 flights have been canceled and the state's airports are expected to close early.
Keystone XL pipeline protester arrested in Oklahoma 05 Feb 2013 Norman resident Elisabeth Leja went to jail Monday to show her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Leja, 74, was arrested Monday morning at a construction site between Paden and Boley in Okfuskee County, where TransCanada crews are working on the pipeline. The retired teacher locked herself to a piece of equipment being used to build the 485-mile pipeline between the oil storage hub at Cushing and refineries on the Gulf Coast. Leja is part of a coalition working to stop the transportation of diluted bitumen from Canada's oil sands through the Great Plains, organizers said.
Why we can't 'afford' Saturday mail delivery: More Marines to Japan; Vietnam, Cambodia next 05 Feb 2013 The Marine Corps' shift to the Pacific will ramp up considerably this year, with more personnel and aircraft rotating to Japan and other destinations throughout the region. As of late January, there are two infantry battalions rotating through Okinawa for six months at a time, with a third scheduled to start this summer. The Corps also intends to send a contingent of electronic warfare aircraft to its air station in mainland Japan, and a group of explosives experts will undertake a humanitarian mission in Vietnam. Future engagement with Cambodia is on the horizon, too.
US newspapers accused of complicity as drone report reopens security debate --New York Times and Washington Post knew about secret drone base in Saudi Arabia but agreed not to disclose it to the public 06 Feb 2013 US news organisations are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence of a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year. Amid renewed scrutiny over the Obama administration's secrecy over its targeted killing programme, media analysts and national security experts said the revelation that some newspapers had co-operated over the drone base had reopened the debate over the balance between freedom of information and national security. On Tuesday, following Monday's disclosure by NBC of a leaked Justice Department white paper on the case for its controversial targeted killing programme, the Washington Post revealed it had previously refrained from publishing the base's location at the behest of the Obama administration over national security concerns. The New York Times followed with its own story on the drone programme on Wednesday, and an op-ed explaining why it felt the time to publish was now.
Manhunt: Lawyer says LA police shot women without warning --'There were no warnings and no orders. Just gunshots.' 08 Feb 2013 A lawyer says two women delivering newspapers had no warning before they were mistakenly shot by Los Angeles police officers searching for triple murder suspect Christopher Dorner. Investigators say 47-year-old Maggie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother Emma Hernandez were in a Toyota Tundra pickup truck similar to Dorner's vehicle. They were delivering newspapers in Torrance when LAPD officers guarding a target named in Dorner's manifesto peppered the pickup with bullets, wounding the women, before dawn on Thursday.
Former LAPD cop Christopher Dorner visited San Diego Navy base 06 Feb 2013 A Navy base was briefly locked down and Mexican authorities kept a watch on the border Thursday in a spreading manhunt for a former Los Angeles policeman who is believed to have killed three people and vowed war on law enforcement. Navy Base Point Loma was sealed off Thursday morning after an employee reported seeing someone who resembled Christopher Dorner, Cmdr. Brad Fagan said. Dorner checked into a hotel at the base on Tuesday but left the next day, Fagan said.
Mayor grounds Seattle police drone program 07 Feb 2013 Seattle's mayor on Thursday ordered the police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. Mayor Mike McGinn said the department will not use two small drones it obtained through a federal grant. The unmanned aerial vehicles will be returned to the vendor, he said. The department had not yet begun using the drones but received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration.
US assassination drone attack kills 9 in NW Pakistan 08 Feb 2013 Nine people are killed after a US assassination drone pounded a village on the border of North and South Waziristan tribal regions in Pakistan's northwest. Missiles fired from the US drones on Friday leveled a compound in the village, some 50 kilometers south of Miranshah, a major town in North Waziristan. "Six drones were hovering in the sky at the time of the attack. One drone fired two missiles at a house," a Miranshah security official said.
36 killed, 100 injured in Iraq car bomb attacks targeting Shias 08 Feb 2013 At least 36 people have been killed and nearly 100 others injured in a series of car bombings in mainly Shia areas of Iraq. According to Iraqi sources, a car bomb at a stand for taxi vans in the southern city of Karbala killed five people and injured 16 others on Friday, the deadliest day in Iraq in two months. Fourteen people were also killed and 36 others injured after two car bombs exploded simultaneously at a vegetable market in Hillah Province, south of the Iraqi capital.