Archive for February, 2013

Feb 27 2013

People’s Blog: Clapper vs. Amnesty Int’l is a constitutional travesty of the highest order

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 11:21 am | Comments Off on People’s Blog: Clapper vs. Amnesty Int’l is a constitutional travesty of the highest order -

Tuesday’s decision by the Supreme Court in Clapper vs Amnesty Int’l reflects judicial formalism at its worst. The decision abandons fundamental rights and the courts’ constitutional mandate, while placing government agencies above the law, so long as they commit their abuses in secret.

Clapper is a constitutional travesty of the highest order, reflecting the erosion of privacy, judicial independence, and constitutional government all at once. By allowing executive secrecy to insulate violations from review, five Justices …

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Feb 27 2013

Guardian: US drugs prosecutors switch sides to defend accused Colombian traffickers

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 10:28 am | Comments Off on Guardian: US drugs prosecutors switch sides to defend accused Colombian traffickers -

US prosecutors and other senior officials who spearheaded the war against drug cartels have quit their jobs to defend Colombian cocaine traffickers, saying their clients are not bad people and that United States drug policy is wrong.

Senior former assistant US attorneys and Drug Enforcement Administration agents are turning years of experience in investigating, indicting and extraditing narcos to the advantage of the alleged traffickers they now represent.

“I’m not embarrassed about the fact that I changed …

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Feb 27 2013

Guardian: Manning prosecution may call Navy Seal to testify about WikiLeaks damage

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 10:19 am | Comments Off on Guardian: Manning prosecution may call Navy Seal to testify about WikiLeaks damage -

The US government is planning to call an American, possibly one of the 22 Navy Seals involved in the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to give evidence at the trial of Bradley Manning about how he discovered digital material later revealed to contain WikiLeaks disclosures, a military court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutors intend to bring to the witness stand an anonymous man they are calling “John Doe” who would testify how he entered a …

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Feb 27 2013

Alternet: God’s Racket: Why It’s High Time to Shut Down the Vatican Bank

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 10:09 am | Comments Off on Alternet: God’s Racket: Why It’s High Time to Shut Down the Vatican Bank -

It’s a place where angels fear to tread; where criminals, frauds and mysterious corpses turn up as regularly as rats in the metro. The Institute for Works of Religion, commonly known as the Vatican bank, was set up in 1942 by Pope Pius XII to manage the vast Vatican finances. Often referred to as the world’s most secret bank, the operation is run by a CEO and overseen by five cardinals who report directly to …

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Feb 27 2013

HuffPost: Elba Esther Gordillo, Head Of Mexico’s Teachers’ Union, Jailed On Accusations Of Embezzlement

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 8:40 am | Comments Off on HuffPost: Elba Esther Gordillo, Head Of Mexico’s Teachers’ Union, Jailed On Accusations Of Embezzlement -

MEXICO CITY — One of Mexico’s biggest political kingfish sits in a women’s prison in the capital, accused of embezzling millions in funds from her teachers’ union to pay for property, private planes, plastic surgery and her Neiman Marcus bill.

Elba Esther Gordillo, 68, leader of the 1.5 million-member National Union of Education Workers, was arrested late Tuesday afternoon as she landed at the Toluca airport near Mexico City on a private flight from San Diego. …

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Feb 27 2013

GlobalPost: 100 Chinese dissidents call for freedom of speech, political reform

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 8:34 am | Comments Off on GlobalPost: 100 Chinese dissidents call for freedom of speech, political reform -

More than 100 people, including prominent academics, journalists, lawyers and activists, have signed an open letter to the Chinese government calling for freedom of speech and political reform.

The letter, posted on several Chinese websites, calls on Beijing to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is part of the UN’s International Bill of Human Rights, the BBC reported.

China signed the bill in 1998, but the parliament never ratified it.

GlobalPost’s senior correspondent Benjamin …

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Feb 27 2013

LATimes: Garcetti holds potential interest in Beverly Hills oil drilling

Newswire | Published 27 Feb 2013, 8:29 am | Comments Off on LATimes: Garcetti holds potential interest in Beverly Hills oil drilling -

In his bid for Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti has promoted himself as the greenest of candidates.

The city councilman from Silver Lake has pushed for an expansion of L.A.’s rooftop solar-panel program and the creation of thousands of clean-energy jobs, all to reduce the region’s dependence on oil. Those positions helped Garcetti win the Sierra Club’s endorsement.

Missing from Garcetti’s environmental platform, however, is any hint that he has long stood to profit from a lease …

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Feb 26 2013

InTheNameOfTheLaw: What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct

Newswire | Published 26 Feb 2013, 2:16 pm | Comments Off on InTheNameOfTheLaw: What the Public Isn’t Being Told About Police Misconduct -

In 1997, Honolulu police officer Russell Won went to federal prison for his involvement in beating an inmate at the Pearl City police station.

A year later, he was back in Honolulu — and back in police work. The federal prison sentence didn’t cause the Honolulu Police Department to fire him. Instead, he was put on leave without pay while he did his time.

When his sentence was over he was assigned to train new recruits at …

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Feb 26 2013

MotherJones: Land Grab Cheats North Dakota Tribes Out of $1 Billion, Suits Allege

Newswire | Published 26 Feb 2013, 12:18 pm | Comments Off on MotherJones: Land Grab Cheats North Dakota Tribes Out of $1 Billion, Suits Allege -

Native Americans on an oil-rich North Dakota reservation have been cheated out of more than $1 billion by schemes to buy drilling rights for lowball prices, a flurry of recent lawsuits assert. And, the suits claim, the federal government facilitated the alleged swindle by failing in its legal obligation to ensure the tribes got a fair deal.

This is a story as old as America itself, given a new twist by fracking and the boom that …

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Feb 26 2013

Opposing Views: LAPD Guns are Being Sold to Civilians and Dealers?

Newswire | Published 26 Feb 2013, 11:23 am | Comments Off on Opposing Views: LAPD Guns are Being Sold to Civilians and Dealers? -

Los Angeles police officers bought and sold guns from the police armory for profit, and told the lieutenant in charge of the armory to “watch his back” after he reported it, the 25-year LAPD veteran in court.

Armando Perez sued the City of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Police Department in Superior Court.

Perez, who joined the LAPD in 1987, claims he was retaliated against, suspended and threatened after he discovered, through his …

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