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Hr 2: The Pink Panther – Larry Pinkney is back
The United States has concluded the Malaysian airline was shot down, a senior U.S. official told CNN’s Barbara Starr. One radar system saw a surface-to-air missile system turn on and track an aircraft right before the plane went down Thursday, according to the official. A second system saw a heat signature at the time the airliner was hit, the official said. The United States is analyzing the trajectory of the missile to try to learn where the attack came from.
Airlines Warned About Ukrainian Airspace Before MH17 ‘Attack’ But Continued As It Was ‘Cheaper’
Airlines had been warned to avoid the route over Ukraine because of the violence below, however many carriers continued to use it because it was shorter and therefore cheaper, according to aviation experts.
Almost 300 people have died including up to 10 Britons after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was apparently shot down near the Russia – Ukraine border.
Flight MH17 – a Boeing 777-200ER travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – was in transit over the war-torn region when it disappeared from radar screens.
Just hours after members of Congress grilled the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about his agency’s mistakes with anthrax and bird flu, another federal health agency provided an update on its mistakes with vials of deadly smallpox virus.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration revealed that more than 300 other sealed vials containing biological materials such as dengue, influzena, Q fever, ricksettsia and other possible unknown viruses were found alongside the six forgotten smallpox vials in the storage room on the National Institutes of Health campus.
The FDA commissioner has asked for a sweep of all cold storage facilities under FDA jurisdiction, said Karen Midthun, director of FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
“The fact that these materials were not discovered until now is unacceptable,” Midthun said. “We take this matter very seriously and we’re working to make sure it won’t happen again.”
A federal judge ruled on Wednesday that California’s death penalty is unconstitutional, saying the system is arbitrary, unfair, and that because the process is plagued with lengthy and unpredictable delays it amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney, a conservative Republican judge appointed by President George W. Bush, is a major victory for California’s opponents of capital punishment in the state, and comes after a similar decision that halted executions in the state eight years ago.
In a case brought by a death row inmate against the warden of San Quentin state prison, Carney called the death penalty an empty promise that violates the Eighth Amendment’s protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
“Inordinate and unpredictable delay has resulted in a death penalty system in which very few of the hundreds of individuals sentenced to death have been, or even will be, executed by the State,” the ruling read.
A death penalty appeal can last decades, Carney said, resulting in most condemned inmates dying of natural causes.
Four out of every five Palestinians killed during Israel’s ongoing military offensive in Gaza have been civilians, including dozens of women and children, the United Nations said on Monday.
The statistic was disclosed by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) amid mounting international concern over non-combatant casualties during an operation Israeli officials have said is aimed solely at rooting out militants and stopping rockets being fired into Israel.
It came as pressure intensified for a ceasefire to a conflict that entered a seventh day on Monday, with the latest death toll climbing to 172, as Israel continued its bombardment and Hamas resumed its rocket fire after a brief pause.
A couple months ago, a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information even if they were stored overseas. The decision came about as part of an effort to dig up a Microsoft user’s account information stored on a server in Dublin, Ireland. Microsoft responded to the ruling and challenged it, stating that the government’s longstanding views of digital content on foreign servers are wrong, and that the protections applied to physical materials should be extended to digital content. In briefs filed last week, however, the US government countered. It states that according to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), content stored online simply do not have the same Fourth Amendment protections as physical data:
Overseas records must be disclosed domestically when a valid subpoena, order, or warrant compels their production. The disclosure of records under such circumstances has never been considered tantamount to a physical search under Fourth Amendment principles, and Microsoft is mistaken to argue that the SCA provides for an overseas search here. As there is no overseas search or seizure, Microsoft’s reliance on principles of extra-territoriality and comity falls wide of the mark.
From the Justice Department’s point of view, this law is necessary in an age where “fraudsters” and “hackers” use electronic communications in not just the U.S. but abroad as well. Indeed, the Microsoft account in this case is in relation to a drug-trafficking investigation.
A militia has set up a command center south of San Antonio to prepare for what they say is a mission to protect the United States from the influx of illegal immigrants.
The militia, operating via the website PatriotsInformationHotline.com, founded by Barbie Rogers, said members at the command center in Von Ormy will deploy to Laredo first and spread to other parts of the border, a local ABC affiliate reported.
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An Uzbekistan refugee charged with conspiring with foreign terrorists accuses U.S. intelligence agents of using a “backdoor” strategy to violate his privacy rights and those of millions of people, including virtually every U.S. citizen who corresponds with anyone overseas.
Defendant Jamshid Muhtorov of Aurora filed a motion seeking to toss out evidence collected against him through warrantless wiretaps. He is also seeking to view wiretap evidence collected against him that has been sealed for national security reasons.
Muhtorov’s arguments could have far-reaching consequences, if, as he claims, federal intelligence agents are routinely violating Fourth Amendment privacy rights on a massive scale. Documents released by the government in Muhtorov’s case have, piece by piece, defined a previously secretive intelligence-gathering strategy.
Intelligence agents have routinely scanned millions of e-mail and phone communications of U.S. citizens, even though it is illegal to directly tap those contacts without a warrant, his motion says.
After potentially serious back-to-back laboratory accidents, federal health officials announced Friday that they had temporarily closed the flu and anthrax laboratories at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and halted shipments of all infectious agents from the agency’s highest-security labs.
The accidents, and the C.D.C.’s emphatic response to them, could have important consequences for the many laboratories that store high-risk agents and the few that, even more controversially, specialize in making them more dangerous for research purposes.
If the C.D.C. — which the agency’s director, Dr. Thomas Frieden, called “the reference laboratory to the world” — had multiple accidents that could, in theory, have killed both staff members and people outside, there will undoubtedly be calls for stricter controls on other university, military and private laboratories.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK -
The world’s authority on Yellowstone’s Super Volcano says it’s more than twice as big as scientists once thought. Does that mean it’s more likely to blow up soon? Penny Preston found Dr. Robert Smith at his home near Grand Teton, and found the answer.
Millions of people visit Yellowstone each year to see its geysers, fumeroles, hot springs, and mud pots. It’s the largest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park sits on top of the world’s largest active volcano. The Super Volcano. Its most recent eruption was more than 600,000 years ago. All that remains is the top, or caldera.
When you come into the Park they’ll give you a map and it has an overlay of the caldera. It’s huge.
The scientist who knows more about the Super Volcano than anyone, Dr. Robert Smith of the University of Utah, said, “Anytime you come to Yellowstone you have to drive uphill. And the reason is this giant plume of magma, is very hot, therefore it’s bullient, low density and it just lifts the surface up.”
Dr. Smith has been studying Yellowstone’s earthquakes and it’s Super Volcanos for almost sixty years.
He pointed out, “And these giant eruptions, supervolcanos if you wish, probably last many, many months, maybe even years.”