Monthly Archives: January 2015

French fear attacks clear way for Patriot Act laws

Dominique de Villepin, the former French prime minister, warned against the urge for “exceptional” measures. “The spiral of suspicion created in the United States by the Patriot Act and the enduring legitimization of torture or illegal detention has today caused that country to lose its moral compass,” he wrote in Le Monde, the French newspaper. […]

US sends ground troops to Syria to train jihadists

The U.S. military is planning to send more than 400 soldiers to train Syrians to supposedly fight Islamic State militants along with hundreds of U.S. support personnel, according to a Pentagon spokesman Thursday. The training mission is expected to begin in the spring at sites outside Syria, Colonel Steve Warren said. Turkey, Qatar […]

Malaysian contractor US Navy guilty of conspiracy

A Malaysian ship-supply contractor and a fourth Navy official pleaded guilty to federal charges on Thursday, in a decade-long conspiracy that the contractor said involved scores of Navy officials and millions of dollars in bribes and gifts. Leonard Glenn Francis, a contractor known as “Fat Leonard,” pleaded guilty in federal court in San Diego […]

NYPD under investigation for planting evidence

A Brooklyn man claiming police manufactured gun-possession charges against him had his case dismissed on Thursday, amid two investigations into the practices of a group of police officers in the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush. The man, Jeffrey Herring, had maintained his innocence ever since his arrest on June 4, 2013, asserting that officers […]

Surprise Surprise! CIA clears itself of wrongdoing

The panel investigating the Central Intelligence Agency’s search of a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee found that five agency officers had acted in good faith during an episode marked by confusion and poor communication, and should not be punished. The accountability board, whose findings were made public on Wednesday, overturned the […]

US releases suspected terrorists back to Yemen

The United States transferred five more detainees — all of them Yemenis — from the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on Wednesday, the Defense Department announced. Their release intensified the dispute between the Obama administration and several Republican senators over President Obama’s recent flurry of transfers as he seeks to empty the American-run prison. […]

Tainted intravenous bags sold to US health clinics

Hundreds of bags of intravenous saline solution meant for training health care workers have been given to real patients Health authorities were scrambling to answer this week after Wallcur, a San Diego-based company, recalled different-size bags of its saline solution and distilled water on Jan. 7. As of Thursday, 17 patients had fallen ill […]

US admits two tactics used to silence journalists

White House officials favor two primary tactics when they want to kill a news article, Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser, testified Thursday: They can essentially confirm the report by arguing that it is too important to national security to be published, or they can say that the reporter has it wrong. Sitting […]

Conjured threats to ensure legal cyber spying

US President Barack Obama has unveiled proposals to strengthen cyber security laws following a spate of attacks against high-profile US targets. Recent hacks of Sony Pictures and a Pentagon Twitter feed reflect the need for tighter legislation, the president said. The proposals are due to be sent to Congress immediately. Previous efforts on cyber […]

Weakening of US banking oversight continues

In the span of a month, the nation’s biggest banks and investment firms have twice won passage of measures to weaken regulations intended to help lessen the risk of another financial crisis, setting their sights on narrow, arcane provisions and greasing their efforts with a surge of lobbying and campaign contributions. The continuing assault […]

Opposition rises to Transatlantic Trade Pact

EU-US talks aimed at clinching a comprehensive free trade deal have run up against “huge scepticism” in Europe, the European Commission says. The Commission has published the results of a public consultation on investor protection – one of the most contentious areas under discussion. There were many objections to the idea of using independent […]

Intelligence Service LIHOP obvious in Paris attack

French intelligence and law enforcement agencies had conducted surveillance on one or both of the Kouachi brothers after Saïd returned from Yemen, but later reduced that monitoring or dropped it altogether to focus on what were believed to be bigger threats. “These guys were known to be bad, and the French had tabs on […]

US and UK use Paris attack to push surveillance

In recent months, intelligence services in Britain and the United States have publicly been campaigning against pressure to rein in their surveillance operations, notably pitting them against the American technology companies that dominate the Internet, like Google, Facebook and Apple. Robert Hannigan, the recently appointed director of GCHQ, Britain’s electronic intelligence agency, castigated Internet […]

UN spreads cholera in Haiti with impunity

A federal judge in Manhattan dealt a set back on Friday to victims of Haiti’s cholera epidemic who have been seeking to hold the United Nations responsible. Judge J. Paul Oetken dismissed a class-action lawsuit by Haitians against the United Nations, deeming the organization immune because of treaties. Lawyers for the plaintiffs vowed to […]

Socialized medicine forces chemo therapy on teen

Cassandra C., learned that she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma in September. Ever since, she and her mother have been entangled in a legal battle with the state of Connecticut over whether Cassandra, who is still a minor, can refuse the chemotherapy that doctors say is likely to save her life. Without it, the girl’s doctors say, […]

Plastic in food served at Japanese McDonald’s

McDonald’s Japan has apologized to customers and vowed to ensure product safety after objects including a tooth and plastic were found in its food. The chain has been grappling with falling sales that began long before a food safety scandal last summer undermined confidence in its products. In addition to sliding sales, it has […]

The chilling effect of open electronic surveillance

A survey of writers around the world by the PEN American Center has found that a significant majority said they were deeply concerned with government surveillance, with many reporting that they have avoided, or have considered avoiding, controversial topics in their work or in personal communications as a result. The findings show that writers […]

US FTC: Spying gadgets will build profiles on users

A “deeply personal” picture of every consumer could be grabbed by futuristic smart gadgets, the chair of the US Federal Trade Commission has warned. Speaking at CES, Edith Ramirez said a future full of smart gadgets that watch what we do posed a threat to privacy. The collated data could create a false impression […]

Western airstrikes killing civilians in Iraq and Syria

The United States military is investigating reports of civilian casualties that may have occurred as part of the American-led fight against the Sunni militancy known as the Islamic State, a senior Pentagon official said Tuesday. Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters during a news conference that investigators with the United […]

Rockefellers dumped oil holdings ahead of crash

In September heirs to the Rockefeller family, which made its vast fortune from oil, sold their investments in fossil fuels to reinvest in clean energy, reports say. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund joins a coalition of “philanthropists” pledging to rid themselves of more than $50bn (£31bn) in fossil fuel assets. The announcement was made on […]