News Updates from CLG
20 September 2015

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Previous edition: U.S. government blocks release of new CIA torture details

MI5 chief demands more powers to snoop on Facebook and Twitter messages to ‘stop terrorists’ –Head of MI5 said social media companies have ‘duty’ to report terrorists | 17 Sept 2015 | MI5’s director general has said social media companies have an ‘ethical duty’ to expose and report terrorists to the security services as he backed the Government’s proposed Snoopers’ Charter. In the first ever interview by a serving MI5 chief Andrew Parker backed new Government legislation which would allow security services to monitor online communications by would-be terrorists. Under the Draft Communications Data Bill – known as the ‘Snoopers’ Charter’ – currently being considered by the Government, along with sweeping new surveillance powers internet firms could be forced to hand over sensitive messages sent on apps and other encrypted services to MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Pope’s visit will produce largest security operation in U.S. history –Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson designated Francis’s stops in each city a National Special Security Event | 18 Sept 2015 | Federal authorities are mobilizing one of the largest security operations in U.S. history ahead of Pope Francis’s arrival Tuesday, an effort that is straining law enforcement resources in Washington, New York and Philadelphia…The U.S. Secret Service is in charge of coordinating the massive intergovernmental operation on counterterrorism operations, crowd management, crisis response and air and vehicle traffic control. The FBI, Capitol Police, Coast Guard, Pentagon and Federal Emergency Management Agency are closely involved in the planning, along with local police departments.

Military air defense drill set for Philadelphia next week | 11 Sept 2015 | With Pope Francis due the city in two weeks, military aircraft will conduct an airspace protection exercise in the Philadelphia area next week, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) announced Friday. The "Falcon Virgo" training flights are slated to take place early Tuesday, from 12:01 a.m. to 2 a.m. The drill is part of series conducted by NORAD in response to the 9/11 terror attacks 14 years ago [when the command was given for NORAD to stand down, so the terror attacks could proceed, unimpeded].

Pope tells U.S. and Cuba to push detente further | 20 Sept 2015 | Pope Francis exhorted Cuba and the United States on Saturday to set an example for the world by deepening the recent rapprochement that he helped secretly broker between the former Cold War foes. His zucchetto skullcap flying off in the Caribbean breeze at the start of a nine-day tour of Cuba and the United States, the Argentine pope used his arrival speech at Havana airport to praise this year’s normalization of diplomatic relations. "I urge political leaders to persevere on this path and to develop all its potentialities…as an example of reconciliation for the entire world," he said before riding his open-sided Popemobile through roads thronged with well-wishers.

Saudi air raids kill dozens of Yemeni civilians amid humanitarian crisis | 20 Sept 2015 |The latest Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have left dozens of civilians dead and nearly 160 injured at a time that sees medical facilities struggling to provide even the most basic services. The country is suffering from a shortage of vital supplies due to the ongoing blockade. The coalition air raids against Houthi forces in Sanaa overnight on Friday killed at least 40 civilians and injured at least another 130 people, Yemen News Agency (SABA) reported. One strike leveled an apartment building in the center of the city killing a family of nine, while another strike killed a man who had been searching for his family in the rubble, AP reported.

Over 700 Fukushima radioactive waste bags swept away by floodwaters –At least 334 bags containing radioactive soil were swept into Kinugawa river tributary | 19 Sept 2015 | Extensive and destructive floods across eastern Japan have swept more than 700 bags containing Fukushima-contaminated soil and grass into Japan’s rivers, with many still unaccounted for and some spilling their radioactive content into the water system. Authorities in the small city of Nikko in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, some 175 km away from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, have said that at least 334 bags containing radioactive soil have been swept into a tributary of the Kinugawa river, The Asahi Shimbun reports. According to the city’s authorities, the washed-away waste was only part of hundreds of bags being stored at the Kobyakugawa Sakura Koen park alongside the river. Another 132 bags of waste reportedly rolled down the slopes.

TPP could have ‘catastrophic effects’ on Canada’s economy: Unifor president | 18 Sept 2015 | The president of Canada’s largest private sector union says the Trans-Pacific Partnership could have "catastrophic effects" on the nation’s economy. Unifor president Jerry Dias was responding to comments made by Conservative Leader Stephen Harper at the Globe and Mail debate on the economy Thursday. In the final segment of the debate, Harper said that Canada is entering the "final stages" of the 12-country trade negotiations… But Dias said: "If we look at history and you look at his…horrendous performance then you’ve got to know this TPP deal, which is bigger than any of them, is going to have catastrophic effects on our economy."

Obama sure of deal as ministers plan end-Sept talks on secret TPP | 18 Sept 2015 | Twelve Pacific Rim countries will hold a ministerial meeting later this month in Atlanta in the United States as they look to conclude years of negotiations on creating one of the world’s biggest free trade zones, negotiation sources said yesterday. A meeting of chief negotiators from the US, Japan, Canada and nine other member countries involved in the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) [corporate takeover] talks will begin from Sept 26, followed by a two-day meeting of ministers from Sept 30, one of the sources told Kyodo News. Mr Obama said he was "confident" that the member countries can get a TPP done this year.

Police Arrest Suspect in String of Phoenix Freeway Shootings | 18 Sept 2015 | A suspect has been arrested in a string of shootings along Phoenix-area freeways that have kept drivers on edge for weeks, state officials said Friday night. A spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey said a man was taken into custody around 7 p.m. at a Wal-Mart in Glendale, a suburb west of Phoenix. Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves confirmed that an arrest was made but declined to provide any details…However, it was unclear if authorities believe the suspect is responsible for all of the shootings.

Friend of Accused Charleston Church Shooter Arrested: Officials | 17 Sept 2015 | A friend of the alleged Charleston church shooter was arrested Thursday, more than a month after authorities told him he was under federal investigation for lying to them and failing to report a crime, an official close to the probe said. Joey Meek, 21, was arrested Thursday, the official told The Associated Press, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly talk about the case. The official didn’t immediately say what charges Meek faces.

Ahmed Mohamed did not invent, nor build a clock | 17 Sept 2015 | I have something in common with Ahmed Mohamed: as a youngster, I was also an electronics enthusiast. At his age and even earlier, I frequently took apart electronic devices…I found the highest resolution photograph of the clock I could. Instantly, I was disappointed. Somewhere in all of this — there has indeed been a hoax. Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent his own alarm clock. He didn’t even build a clock…For starters, one glance at the printed circuit board in the photo, and I knew we were looking at mid-to-late 1970s vintage electronics…So there you have it folks, Ahmed Mohamed did not invent, nor build a clock. He took apart an existing clock, and transplanted the guts into a pencil box, and claimed it was his own creation. It all seems really fishy to me.

More than 1,000 homes destroyed by 2 California fires | 19 Sept 2015 | The tally of homes destroyed by two massive Northern California wildfires topped 1,000 Saturday after authorities doing damage assessments in the Sierra Nevada foothills counted another 250 houses destroyed by flames still threatening thousands of more structures. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant said the count of 503 homes destroyed by the blaze burning for a week in Amador and Calaveras counties comes as firefighters make progress and damage inspection teams have access to affected areas. Cal Fire had reported 252 homes destroyed as of Friday night by the week-old fire that has charred 110 square miles.


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