CLG News

Previous edition: Supreme Court rejects hearing on military indefinite detention case NSAssociate Google Relegated 01 May 2014 CLG Newsletter to the Spam Bin. (Google subscribers: Google Filter Instructions for CLG Newsletter.)

First U.S. case of deadly MERS virus confirmed – CDC 02 May 2014 The first U.S. case of Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS), a viral respiratory illness, has been confirmed within U.S. borders, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. A SARS-like virus, MERS was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Dr Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said on a conference call the first U.S. case of the virus was "of great concern because of its virulence," noting that it has proven fatal in about a third of the cases of infection.

Warning as Killer Flu Bug Lands in UK –Public Health England working with US authorities to trace any UK passengers on onward flight – American Airlines Flight 99 from London to Chicago 03 May 2014 Air travellers have been warned after a passenger who passed through Heathrow Airport was diagnosed with a potentially deadly Sars-like virus. The non-UK national was diagnosed with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) after being taken to hospital with respiratory symptoms in the US. The passenger had flown on a British Airways flight from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to Heathrow on April 24, before transferring to Chicago.

Missing Flight MH370 Recordings May Have Been Edited – Experts 01 May 2014 Audio recordings of the final conversations between pilots of the missing flight MH370 and teams of air traffic controllers on the ground were "edited" before they were made public, voice experts say. The tapes also appear to be recorded by at least two different audio sources, one of which may have been a digital recorder held up to a speaker, they said.

MH370 Hunt Began Four Hours After Jet Vanished 01 May 2014 Documents released by the Malaysian Government reveal that there was a four hour delay before the search for MH370 begun. According to one of a number of official documents, which form part of the preliminary report into the plane’s disappearance, it took authorities 17 minutes to realise the plane had disappeared from radar and a further four hours before a search was initiated. The document, entitled ‘Actions taken between 01:38 and 06:14 on Saturday 8th March’, shows how hours of confusion ensued before the Malaysian Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) was activated. The document details conversations between Malaysian Air Traffic Control, Vietnamese Air Traffic control and a ‘Watch Supervisor’ at Malaysia Airlines in the hours after the plane disappeared.

Over 10 shot dead by Right Sector ultra-nationalist group in eastern Ukraine – reports 03 May 2014 Over 10 people have died and around 40 have been injured after members of Right Sector opened fire on civilians in eastern Ukraine, the People’s Mayor of Slavyansk has said. Civilians had reportedly formed a human chain to protect their village from members of the right-wing group. According to the People’s Mayor, members of Right Sector would not allow anyone to move the wounded and opened fire on people who tried to approach them.

Ukrainian military storm Kramatorsk, 1 dead, 9 injured 03 May 2014 The Ukrainian army’s assault on Kramatorsk has finished, witnesses say, adding that the military did not enter the town. Preliminary reports say that one self-defense activist was killed and nine were injured. It is unclear whether there are any casualties on the army’s side. Meanwhile, coup-appointed interior minister Arsen Avakov said via social media that Kiev is not planning to stop the special military operation in Kramatorsk, adding that the military assault will continue at sunrise.

Ukrainian troops begin special operation in Slavyansk – reports 02 May 2014 The Ukrainian army has reportedly begun a special operation against pro-autonomy activists in the eastern town of Slavyansk. The city is blocked by the Ukrainian military, with 20 helicopters used to crack down on self-defense forces. A third helicopter has been shot down by self-defense forces, according to reports.

NATO’s second-in-command says Russia is now an enemy, not a partner 01 May 2014 NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow now says that the allied group has been compelled to treat Russia "as more of an enemy than a partner," according to an Associated Press report published Thursday. The former United States ambassador to Russia reportedly told journalists this week that Moscow’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine has forced NATO to reconsider the alliance’s opinion on Russia, and that additional troops may soon be mobilized to the region as tensions worsen. AP journalist Robert Burns wrote on Thursday that Vershbow said the Kremlin’s perceived part in the recent events in Ukraine "marks a turning point in decades of effort by NATO to draw Moscow closer."

British Fighters Filmed in Syria ‘War Crime’ –Sky News has obtained footage implicating British fighters in a killing in Syria – an act that could constitute a war crime. 02 May 2014 Video has emerged implicating British fighters in Syria in an apparent war crime. Footage uncovered by researchers at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) shows jihadist rebels killing a prisoner, said to be a loyalist of President Bashar al Assad. The incident is thought to have happened in the last two weeks near Raqqa in northern Syria…Researchers say one of the executioners is a Briton seen in other videos.

Germany blocks Edward Snowden from testifying in person in NSA inquiry 01 May 2014 The German government has blocked Edward Snowden from giving personal evidence in front of a parliamentary inquiry into NSA surveillance, it has emerged hours before Angela Merkel travels to Washington for a meeting with Barack Obama. In a letter to members of a parliamentary committee obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, government officials say a personal invitation for the US whistleblower would "run counter to the political interests of the Federal Republic", and "put a grave and permanent strain" on US-German relations.

NORAD to conduct flight exercises over Carolinas 02 May 2014 North American Aerospace Defense Command will conduct exercise flights today as they practice intercept and identification procedures. The exercise will occur over northeastern South Carolina and central North Carolina between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. The flights are scheduled to take place in the regions encompassing Columbia, Myrtle Beach and Jacksonville, N.C., as well as between Franklin, N.C., and Fayetteville, N.C.

Heads up! Officials to hold largest security drill in Boston’s history 01 May 2014 The largest security training exercise [Urban Shield] in Boston’s history is slated to kick off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with a simulated active school-shooter drill in Brookline. It will continue with other drills over a full 24 hours and involve about 2,000 state and local personnel. In addition to the school-shooter drill, participants will respond to drills involving an injured officer in Cambridge, a hospital evacuation in Boston, a hostage rescue of elected officials at Boston City Hall, an explosive device on a transit system in Boston, a structural collapse on Moon Island and a simulation of a terrorist takeover with hostages at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

Nineteen hurt in New York subway derailment 02 May 2014 A New York City subway train carrying 1,000 riders derailed on Friday morning while traveling through a tunnel in the borough of Queens, injuring 19 people, city fire officials said. Fifteen people escaped with minor injuries while four more were transported to a hospital with potentially serious injuries, officials said. The incident, at 10:24 a.m., involved six cars in an eight-car Manhattan-bound ‘F’ line subway, they said.

Oil-soaked snow removal continues at Prudhoe Bay –Crews removed 70 cubic yards of contaminated snow Wednesday night 01 May 2014 Crews responding to a pipeline leak at the Prudhoe Bay oil field have completed their freeze protection of the leaking line and moved onto the task of removing snow that was sprayed with crude oil and oil-laced produced water, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation said Thursday. The spill, discovered Monday at a flow line of a well pad in the western part of the Prudhoe Bay field, created a mist of oil and produced water that sprayed 33 acres of snow-covered tundra, DEC said.

U.S. to Store Gasoline for Crises in the Northeast 02 May 2014 The federal government will build its first gasoline storage reserves in the New York Harbor area and in New England in response to the shortages suffered after Hurricane Sandy, the secretary of energy, Ernest J. Moniz, is to announce on Friday. Together, the reserves will hold about a million barrels of gasoline…Energy Department officials envision the reserves as the first in a series that will be built in parts of the country vulnerable to extreme weather, believed to be caused by global warming.

US unemployment rate drops to lowest level in six years as 288,000 jobs added 02 May 2014 The US added 288,000 new jobs in April as the unemployment rate fell to 6.3%, its lowest level since 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said on Friday. The number of new jobs created was the largest monthly gain in more than two years. The BLS also revised its figures for February and March.

Five percent of Americans hover just above poverty 01 May 2014 Almost 5 percent of Americans struggle living just one step above poverty, according to a new report by the Census Bureau. The ranks of the near-poor, as they are called, are more likely to be women than men, and lack even a high school degree, the report said. The census report examining what has happened to the near-poor since the mid-1960s shone a spotlight on those whose incomes rise above poverty thresholds, but only by 25 percent or less.

.Mega barf alert!9 million pounds of bad meat recalled after federal marshals raid Petaluma plant –Criminal investigation was triggered 02 May 2014 Earlier this year, a dusty little slaughterhouse in Northern California was ground zero for one of the biggest meat recalls in years. Rancho Feeding Corp. had called back nearly 9 million pounds of bad meat from thousands of unsuspecting stores across the country. The story of how millions of pounds of bad meat — products the U.S. Department of Agriculture called "unfit for human food" — made it out into the world and triggered a criminal investigation is one of staggering deception and cancerous cows, federal officials familiar with the investigation tell CNN.

Oklahoma inmate Tasered by prison staff on day of botched execution –Timeline report from director of Oklahoma corrections department also recommends indefinite stay of executions in the state 01 May 2014 Clayton Lockett, the death-row inmate who was the subject of a botched execution by the state of Oklahoma, was Tasered by prison staff and had cut his own arm on the day of the failed procedure, according to a timeline released by the state’s corrections chief on Thursday.