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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Escaped Bronx Zoo Cobra Found in Reptile House

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NEW YORK (AP) - The missing Bronx Zoo cobra has been found.
Zoo officials say the snake was found Thursday morning in the zoo's Reptile House, nearly a week after it went missing. The Egyptian cobra was found coiled in a dark corner of the reptile house and zoo director Jim Breheny says she is in good health.

The zoo's Reptile House had closed last Friday after the snake disappeared and zoo workers couldn't find it.

In less than a week, the snake has become the stuff of urban legend. Someone even started pretending to be the cobra on Twitter and sent fake updates to legions of followers.

Zoo officials have said they were confident the snake was hiding in the Reptile House but conceded that finding it would be difficult.


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Shelby Winkelmann Selected First Team Class 3 All-State Team girls basketball by Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association

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The all-state girls basketball teams as selected by the Missouri Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.

CLASS 3
Coach of the year: Richard Driscoll, Stockton

First team
Tiera Baker, 5-5, sr., Cardinal Ritter
Kaitlan Cramer, 5-11, sr., Stockton
Taylor Gadbois, 5-10, sr., Maryville
Lauren McCurry, 5-8, sr., Pleasant Hope
Kayla Kepler, 5-9, sr., Fair Grove
Lindsay Vollmer, 5-10, sr., Hamilton
Chayla Rutledge, 5-11, sr., Stockton
Kenzie Williams, 5-9, sr., Mount Vernon
Shelby Winkelmann, 5-9, sr., Hermann
Jackie Ziesel, 5-9, sr., Bishop LeBlond

Second team
Bekah Bade, 5-7, jr., Springfield Catholic
Rachelle Butner, 5-9, sr., Macon
Rebekah Capeder, 6-0, sr., Trenton
Liz Gilman, 5-9, jr., Principia
Danielle Goodman, 5-7, jr., Mount Vernon
Brittany Harris-Conway, 5-9, jr., St. James
Jaaron Kassanavoid, 5-9, sr., Lawson
Haeley Kriesel, 5-10, sr., Warsaw
Lauren Little, 5-11, jr., Hallsville
Lexie Oak, 5-11, jr., KC St. Pius X
Yelena Rosado, 5-8, sr., North Tech
Janelle Saling, 5-8, sr., Lathrop
Jerica Wheeler, 5-5, sr., Kennett
Kaile Weinreis, 5-9, sr., Ash Grove
Brittany Yost, 6-1, sr., South Shelby
 
. Click Here to Read More.

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Judge Rules Missouri Ethics Law Unconstitutional, passed by Legislature last year

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Judge declares Missouri ethics law unconstitutional

BY VIRGINIA YOUNG
post-dispatch.com
March 31, 2011
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JEFFERSON CITY • A Cole County judge today threw out an ethics law passed by the Missouri Legislature last year.
Circuit Judge Daniel R. Green ruled that the law is unconstitutional because it covers multiple subjects. The state constitution requires that bills contain only one subject.
The state attorney general's office could not immediately be reached on whether the state will appeal the decision. An official at the Missouri Ethics Commission said the agency was reviewing the decision.
The law was passed on the last day of the 2010 legislative session. At the time, legislators ballyhooed it as a crackdown on politicians who launder money through several political action committees.
But Green said the bill "contains matters that do not fairly relate to ethics, have a natural connection to ethics or are a means to accomplish the law's purpose as enacted."
Those multiple subjects include changes in state purchasing rules and a requirement that each legislator be provided a key to the dome of the state Capitol.
Green halted enforcement of all provisions except those dealing with purchasing, the original purpose of the bill.
He also threw out a provision barring state-chartered banks from making contributions to political action committees, saying that provision violated banks' First Amendment rights.
Chuck Hatfield, a Jefferson City attorney, brought the suit on behalf of Legends Bank and its president, John Klebba, who is also president of the Missouri Bankers Association.
The bankers contended they were being illegally singled out and barred from participating in the political process. Legislators attributed that provision to a drafting error.
Though Green's ruling immediately opens up the possibility of money transfers among political action committees, Hatfield said he expected people to be cautious because the case is likely to wind up in the Missouri Supreme Court.
"I think we probably need to wait and see what the Supreme Court does before anybody takes action," he said.
The law, known as SB844, began as a simple purchasing bill in the Senate but was transformed into the ethics law after House members repealed 29 sections of law and inserted 49 new sections.
In its final form, the bill limited committee-to-committee money transfers; made it a crime to obstruct a Missouri Ethics Commission investigation; allowed the commission to initiate its own investigations; required donations of $500 or more during the legislative session to be reported within 48 hours; and made it a crime for a governor to offer a lawmaker a job in exchange for a vote.

. . Click Here to Read More.

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Wisconsin Judge Halts Anti-Union Law Likley Headed for State Supreme Court

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Wis. judge halts gov's union law, at least for now

Associated Press
Thursday, March 31, 2011
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A Wisconsin judge on Thursday did what thousands of pro-union protesters and boycotting Democratic lawmakers couldn't, halting Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plans _ at least temporarily _ to cut most public workers' pay and strip them of most of their union rights.
Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi issued a declaration stating in no uncertain terms that the collective bargaining law that led to weeks of large protests at the state Capitol had not taken effect, contradicting Republican arguments that it had because a state office published it online. Hours later, Walker said his administration would comply, despite misgivings about the order.
"In my mind it's not a matter of if the law goes back (into effect), it's just a matter of when," Walker said.
Democrats and union leaders said Sumi's declaration showed the arrogance that Walker and his allies, including top aide, Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, have shown in trying to push through the polarizing law.
"Mr. Walker and Mr. Huebsch chose to ignore her warning that they were jeopardizing the finances and stability of state government, apparently believing they are above the law. This morning with her added order she has taken away their last excuse," Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca said.
Republicans had bulldozed through every attempt to stop the law, including the ear-splitting protests, the Senate Democrats' attempt to prevent a vote by fleeing the state, and an earlier order from Sumi meant to stop its implementation while she considered a challenge to its legitimacy. But Sumi's declaration on Thursday put Walker and his legislative allies on the defensive, leaving them to decide between waiting for the legal challenge to be resolved and trying to pass the measure again.
The Republican leaders of the Senate and Assembly have said they don't plan to try passing the bill again after the Legislature resumes its session on Tuesday, but in a saga that has already included several strange twists, a change of heart wouldn't be surprising.
Re-introducing the measure would almost certainly lead to more demonstrations and Democratic filibusters.
Andrew Welhouse, a spokesman for Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, said in a statement Thursday that the Republicans believe the bill was properly passed and that it did take effect after it was published online. He echoed Fitzgerald's claim earlier this week that Sumi is improperly interfering with state lawmakers' business.
Both sides expect that the law will ultimately end up before the conservative-leaning state Supreme Court, where Republicans are confident they will prevail.
The law would require almost all public sector workers to contribute more to their pensions and health care, changes that amount to an average 8 percent pay cut. It would also eliminate their ability to collectively bargain almost all their work conditions, from hours to vacations. They would still be allowed to negotiate on wages.
Walker has said the bill is needed to help shore up a $137 million shortfall in the state's current budget and, down the road, give local governments the flexibility to deal with their workers while absorbing deep cuts in state aid.
Democrats, though, see the attack on collective bargaining as a political attempt to severely weaken the unions, which have traditionally backed their party.
There are three pending lawsuits challenging the statute, including the one before Sumi that was brought by Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne. He contends that Republican legislative leaders violated the state's open meetings law in the run-up to a vote on the plan.
Sumi issued an order blocking Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing the law, typically the last step before it can take effect, while she considered the case.
But Republicans persuaded the Legislative Reference Bureau to post the law online last Friday. They argued the law took effect as a result and began preparations to start deducting money from state workers' salaries, beginning with their April 21 paychecks.
Sumi is expected to take more testimony during a hearing in Ozanne's lawsuit on Friday.
Under the contested law, the higher pension and health plan deductions would cost affected workers $30 million between its implementation and June 30, even if the law is delayed. Walker's administration planned to impose the deductions during the current pay period for paychecks that go out April 21.


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2.5 million Sardines Dead Fish Test Positive For Neurotoxin UPDATE: Millions Dead Fish Kill Redondo Beach California, King Harbor Marina, Mostly Anchovies, Sardines, Mackerel


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VIDEO: Marine biologists say samples of dead fish found in Redondo's King Harbor have tested positive for domoic acid. Domoic acid is a neuro toxin that can cause neurological damage in birds and marine mammals that consume the tainted fish. The toxic effects can be passed up the food chain and scientists are now concerned about the health of the hundreds of gulls, pelicans and sea lions that were seen gorging on the dead fish.
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175 tons of dead sardines scooped from CA marina

Associated Press
Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three weeks after a huge fish die-off in Southern California, officials said Thursday they have a body count but still can't say what drove 175 tons of sardines into the marina where they died.
As many as 2.5 million sardines created a silvery blanket on the surface and floor of King Harbor Marina on March 8, said Dave Caron, professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California.
Several theories have been offered about the unusual behavior. Some said the sardines were lost. Others suggested the fish had been chased by marine predators or ingested toxins that confused them.
Redondo Beach City Manager Bill Workman said he even heard from people who believed the sardines may have sensed the coming earthquake in Japan and fled.
Once in the marina, the sardines used up all the oxygen and died. Residents who live on boats reported hearing what sounded like hail but was really fish coming to the surface gasping for oxygen.
Boats were temporarily trapped by the fish carcasses in the south Santa Monica Bay harbor that shelters about 1,400 boats.
Hundreds of volunteers and city workers scrambled to remove the remains to ease the pungent smell and the potential threat to other sea life.
They may have gotten some unexpected help from the tsunami in Japan, which caused tidal surges and helped to flush fish out of rocks and crevices, Workman said.
Oxygen levels were slowly returning to normal in the harbor in large part because the city was able to clean up the mess in less than a week. Officials estimated the effort cost between $300,000 and $500,000.
"If you go around the banks you can still see some of the fish," said councilman Bill Brand. "The water is still murky and smells, but I bet you won't be able to tell anything happened in a month."
Kathi Lefebvre, a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who tested samples of the dead fish, determined the toxin domoic acid was not a factor.
"There were low levels of an algal bloom toxin detected in fish," she said. "Toxin levels were lower than we've seen in many other events, and in those events fish were not behaviorally impacted."
That left scientist struggling to explain the strange behavior in other ways.
"The only question that remains is why the fish jammed themselves into such a little spot?" Caron said.

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Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com
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Millions of Dead Fish Appear in California Marina

March 8, 2011

Millions of dead fish in Redondo Beach, California have suddenly appeared and no one knows why - perhaps another sign of the apocalypse?

BY PAUL ROLFE

 You're watching multisource environment news analysis from Newsy


Is it a fish apocalypse? Millions of dead fish suddenly appeared in a marina in Redondo Beach, California.

KTLA has the video.

“You can see that shot right there, just fish everywhere that we look down here. And it is all, not only through the channel way here, but all up against the boats... these fish are everywhere here and again these fish are all dead for reasons we just don’t know here so that will be investigated certainly by oceanography folks and other people down here.”

The anchovies, sardines, mackerel and other species showed up Tuesday morning in King Harbor Marina. No one is sure why the fish died, but USA Today reports there is a theory. A coordinator at the marina says they may have suffocated.

“...the fish apparently swam into the harbor to escape a red tide, a naturally occurring event that can poison fish or starve them of oxygen... [H]igh winds apparently kept the fish from leaving the harbor and they all crushed up against the harbor wall, where they used up the oxygen and suffocated.”

And Contra Costa Times and ABC report - the clean up has become somewhat of a challenge.

“Workers were using skimmers and nets to clean the harbor, and wheelbarrows to cart them out. It is unclear how the fish, typically used as bait for fisherman in the harbor, will be disposed.”

“They are treating the dead fish as a hazardous waste situation. As you can imagine, the stench along the beaches is getting worse by the hour.”

. Click Here to Read More.


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Colorado Springs 'birther' Sends Internet Abuzz Claims to Have Obtained Obama Personal Records

Retired Air Force Col. Gregory Hollister
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Springs man's claim to have Obama records starts buzz

THE GAZETTE
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A Colorado Springs “birther,” retired Air Force Col. Gregory Hollister, has Internet blogs abuzz with what may be an illegal foray into an online Social Security data base and how he obtained a copy of President Barack Obama’s draft registration from 1980.
“Col. Greg Hollister, USAF (Ret.) contacted the Selective Service, falsely impersonated President Obama, improperly registered his own address as President Obama’s address, and by this false impersonation and identity theft he managed to obtain a duplicate registration acknowledgement card with President Obama’s Selective Service information on it,” a blogger posted on gratewire.com last week. “This may violate several federal criminal statutes, and apparently caused the federal record of President Obama’s address with the Selective Service to be altered to show that he lives in Colorado Springs, CO.”
Hollister said Tuesday a private investigator, Susan Daniels of Ohio, gave him what is purported to be the president’s Social Security number. He then accessed the Social Security Number Verification Service to find out to whom it was issued and to access Selective Service documents.
The site allows registered users to verify names and Social Security numbers for employment purposes and warns that using it under false pretenses is a violation of federal law.
“According to the Social Security Administration, that number was never issued,” said Hollister, who challenged whether the president is an American citizen in a lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Jan. 18 without requiring a response from the White House.
However, that’s the Social Security number that appears on the Selective Service documents Hollister obtained.
Hollister and others in the birther movement claim Obama was born in either Kenya or Indonesia and that his birth certificate showing he was born in Honolulu in 1961 is a forgery.
Being born outside the U.S. makes him ineligible to be president, they claim, because the Constitution requires the president to be a natural born citizen.
Hollister said the Social Security number on what he says is Obama’s draft registration begins with the numbers 042, which would be issued to someone born in Connecticut, not Hawaii.
Last week, California attorney Orly Taitz, who has led the legal challenges to Obama’s citizenship, filed an amended complaint in her latest lawsuit demanding Obama’s Social Security records, attaching as an exhibit the draft registration mailed to an address in Colorado Springs, according to the Reality Check Radio Blog.
It is unknown if the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver is investigating Hollister’s use of the data bases and obtaining Obama’s draft records.
Hollister denied breaking any laws.
“I was very meticulous and made sure everything I did was compliant with the law,” Hollister said, noting that he sent Obama an 1099 tax form.Read more:

Editor’s note: See Bombshell: Barack Obama conclusively outed as CIA creation. If the man above has the correct information on Obama, it is beginning to look more and more like he is indeed an creation of the intelligence world.
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Tornado Hits Central Florida Many Injuries


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7 hurt as tornadoes, storms batter central Fla.

March 31, 2011

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Windy, rainy weather furiously swept through central Florida Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands of people, flooding roads and toppling trucks and small planes.

In Lakeland, where several hundred people had gathered for the annual Sun 'n Fun aviation festival, a tent collapsed and injured seven people, authorities said. Authorities said all of the injuries were minor and six were taken to a local hospital.
"The worst injury was a fractured hip," said Polk County Sheriff's spokesman Scott Wilder. He added that 70 people were under the tent when it collapsed and that some crawled out.
"It wasn't like a mass of people trapped in a building or anything like that," he said.
It was the second day of bad weather in the central Florida region. For hours Thursday morning, strong storms swept across Florida, starting in the Gulf of Mexico and traveling east over the I-4 corridor towards Orlando.
By 2 p.m., about 88,000 Tampa Electric Company customers were without power. Downed power lines were spotted in several counties and in the city of Tampa.
Wind gusts of up to 90 mph were felt in Tampa, and emergency crews were responding to a report of a commercial building collapse with no injuries.
A janitor at an elementary school in a suburb northwest of downtown Tampa was taken to a hospital after he was nearly struck by lightning.
"He was dazed and confused," said Gulfside Elementary principal Chris Clayton, who added that many parents kept their children home from school because of the bad weather. At least one community college cancelled classes.
A few small planes had flipped over at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater Airport. Large traffic jams happened on a bridge when a tractor-trailer truck flipped onto two cars — people in all the vehicles refused medical treatment.
There have been multiple reports of small tornadoes across the region. Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour were reported in St. Petersburg, where skies turned dark around 11:15 a.m.
On Wednesday, strong winds blew a Carnival cruise ship from its dock at Cape Canaveral and flipped a tractor-trailer on its side while it drove on Interstate 95 in Brevard County. The truck driver suffered minor injuries and was treated at a Titusville hospital.
In Tarpon Springs on the Gulf, officials were handing out sand bags because of fears about flooding at high tide.


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Senator Wants Grilling of Libyan Defector about 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103

March 7: Libya's Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa speaks to the media at a hotel in Tripoli, Libya.
AP
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Senator Wants Libyan Official to Tell What He Knows About Lockerbie Bombing

March 31, 2011
FoxNews.com 
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Pressure built Thursday for the U.S. government to leverage the unrest in Libya to investigate the deadly 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, with one senator looking at whether a defecting foreign minister who fled to Britain might be able to provide vital information about Muammar al-Qaddafi's role. 
Rebels have accused the Libyan official, Moussa Koussa, of helping devise the bombing that killed 270 people over Lockerbie, Scotland, most of them Americans. Britain refused to grant Koussa immunity, and Scottish officials have already said they want to interview him about the Lockerbie bombing. 
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., is adding to the call to mine Koussa for information. The senator's office said he views the ex-minister as a potential source of information about the bombing and is "considering ways for U.S. investigators to understand his and Muammar Qaddafi's specific role" in the bombing. 
Menendez and other senators representing New Jersey and New York, where the bulk of the victims were from, have long spoken out about the bombing -- particularly after convicted bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi was released to Libya by Scottish officials in 2009. 
New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer said in a letter Thursday that the Obama administration should hold off on formally recognizing the rebel movement until they commit to turning Megrahi over to the United States, "so that he may be tried and convicted in an American criminal court." 


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Obama Sends CIA Kill Teams to Libya

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Obama Sends Murder Incorporated to Libya
Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 31, 2011
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CIA Sends Teams to Libya; US Considers Rebel Aid

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Earlier this week, government officials released information about Obama’s order instructing the CIA to meddle in Libya’s internal affairs and violate that country’s national sovereignty.

Obama signed the “finding” two or three weeks ago. It is characterized as a presidential directive and authorizes the CIA to overthrow the Libyan government.
As we remind readers today, British intelligence and U.S. Special Forces have been on the ground inside Libya for some time. Obama’s action is considered necessary because the so-called rebels – consisting in large part of al-Qaeda and CIA spawned jihadists – are losing the battle against Gaddafi and his trained military force.
CIA involvement in Libya is nothing new. As I noted on March 29, the CIA has meddled in Libyan internal affairs for decades. Documents reveal that the CIA supported and funded an anti-Gaddafi opposition group based in Chad, an African nation on Libya’s southern border. Support for this group also came from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Israel and Iraq.
The group suffered a setback when a plot to assassinate Gaddafi and take over the government failed. In 1985, the U.S. instructed Egypt to invade Libya and overthrow Gaddafi but then president Mubarak refused. Mubarak, who served as a dutiful client for decades, was overthrown earlier this year in a color revolution that installed the Egyptian military.
Following the failed attempt to assassinate Gaddafi, the U.S. bombed Libya, killing Gaddafi’s young daughter and putting other members of his family in the hospital. Reagan’s bombing resulted in the death of 40 to 100 civilians and the destruction of the French Embassy. The attack was said to be a response to a disco bombing that killed two U.S. servicemen in Berlin. German TV later exposed CIA and Mossad links to the bombing.
The CIA plan to kill Gaddafi is hardly new or revelatory. The rogue agency was most likely behind the attempt to kill Chou En-Lai of China in 1955. The 1975 Senate Committee investigating the CIA reported that it had “received some evidence” of CIA involvement in plans to assassinate President Sukarno of Indonesia. It wanted to assassinate president Nasser of Egypt. In 1975, the Senate’s Church Committee said that Allen Dulles had ordered the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the prime minister of Congo. The CIA’s numerous attempts to kill Cuban dictator Fidel Castro are legendary. In 1982 and 1983, the CIA was involved in the murder of General Ahmed Dlimi, a Moroccan officer who sought to overthrow the Moroccan monarchy. (See William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II.)
As Philip Agee has noted, CIA operations constitute the usually unseen efforts to shore up unjust, unpopular, minority governments. In the past, these operations were usually secret, but are now revealed with corporate media fanfare as part of the establishment’s propaganda effort. The CIA has played a very public role since Bush the Lesser dispatched it to kill al-Qaeda and associated patsies in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Obama has continued and increased this activity, usually carried out remotely by way of Predator drone and Hellfire missiles.
“Covert action should not be confused with missionary work,” quipped the prized asset of the global elite – and notorious war criminal – Henry Kissinger.
Indeed, the CIA has, since its inception under the National Security Act of 1947, been responsible for overthrowing numerous governments or meddling seriously in their internal affairs – countries on the list include Indonesia, Chile, Greece, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Angola, El Salvador, Haiti and dozens of others. This orchestrated overthrow of governments is usually accompanied by considerable violence. The CIA’s involvement in the Indonesia coup – resulting in the murder of more than a million people – is well documented.
John Stockwell, former CIA Station Chief in Angola in 1976, working for then director of the CIA, George Bush Senior, in 1987 put the agency’s murder tally at more than six million people, a number that puts it up there with Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. But then this makes perfect sense since the agency had a close relationship with Nazi intelligence at the end of the Second World War and imported Hitler’s best and brightest into the United States to work for the CIA, the Pentagon, and the aerospace program.
The CIA will continue its disreputable and criminal record of mass murder, assassination, and torture in Libya. The overthrow of Gaddafi has nothing to do with democracy or humanitarianism – it is simply another blow orchestrated by the globalists against recalcitrant Arabs who must be brought to heel.
Gaddafi is the new Saddam Hussein, who served as a pretext to invade Iraq and kill well over a million Iraqis. Hussein, who began his career as a CIA sponsored assassin, had funny ideas about pan-Arab nationalism and saw himself as the reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar. Gaddafi’s eccentric blend of Marxism, Arab nationalism, and Islam make him ill-suited for the globalist plans for the Middle East and their designs on the world’s oil resources. The CIA will make sure he is disposed of, most likely in much the same way Hussein was eliminated.
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John Stockwell: The Third World War


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Air Strikes Kill 40 Civilians Dead in Tripoli: Vatican Official Pleads Diplomatic Solution

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At least 40 civilians dead in Tripoli strikes: Vatican official

Reuters  
March 31, 2011

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ROME (Reuters) - At least 40 civilians have been killed in air strikes by Western forces on Tripoli, the top Vatican official in the Libyan capital told a Catholic news agency on Thursday, quoting witnesses.
"The so-called humanitarian raids have killed dozens of civilian victims in some neighborhoods of Tripoli," said Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli.
"I have collected several witness accounts from reliable people. In particular, in the Buslim neighborhood, due to the bombardments, a civilian building collapsed, causing the death of 40 people," he told Fides, the news agency of the Vatican missionary arm.
Libyan officials have taken foreign reporters to the sites of what they say were the aftermath of Western air strikes on Tripoli but evidence of civilian casualties has been inconclusive.
Western powers say they have no confirmed evidence of civilian casualties from air strikes, which they have carried out under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians caught in conflict between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces and rebels.
"It's true that the bombardments seem pretty much on target, but it is also true that when they hit military targets, which are in the middle of civilian neighborhoods, the population is also involved," Martinelli said.
"Yesterday I said that bombardments had hit, albeit indirectly, some hospitals. To be precise, one of these hospitals is in Mizda," he said, mentioning a town about 145 km (90 miles) southwest of the capital.
Martinelli said living conditions in the Libyan capital were getting more difficult by the day, while on the ground a military stalemate appeared to be taking hold.
"That is why I say that a diplomatic solution is the principal way to put an end to the spilling of blood among Libyans, offering Gaddafi a dignified exit," he said.



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Mississippi River on the Rise

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Mississippi on the Rise

March 31, 2011AP
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) — No significant problems are reported, but several Mississippi River towns in Missouri are at or near flood
stage.

The river has been high for months thanks to heavy winter precipitation and snow melt. By Wednesday, it was above technical flood stage at several spots. The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for towns that include Canton, Hannibal, Louisiana, Clarksville and Winfield.
Forecasters expect the river to get about 2 feet above flood stage in some of those communities by Monday. Because of buyouts and levees, few homes or businesses are threatened.



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Avian Flu Found in Missouri Poultry Farm Quarantined

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Missouri Poultry Farm Quarantined

March 31, 2011
AP
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) __ State agriculture officials have quarantined a poultry farm in southwest Missouri after a case of Avian flu was found.
The state agriculture department says in a news release Wednesday that the farm in Polk County was quarantined after the viral disease was found during routine testing.
The department says it’s rare for humans to be affected by the strain of Avian flu found at the farm.
The birds affected are quarantined and flocks within six miles of the farm are being tested for the disease.
State and federal agriculture officials are overseeing the care of the birds.


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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photos of Mercury Released By NASA Messenger Spacecraft First Close Up Images March 2011

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NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington
NASA's Messenger spacecraft has released its first image of Mercury -- the first ever glimpse of the innermost planet's dusty craters taken by a craft in orbit a mere 124 miles from the planet. 
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NASA's Messenger Spacecraft Releases First Close-Ups of Mercury

Published March 30, 2011

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NASA's Messenger spacecraft has released its first shots of Mercury -- the first ever taken by a craft in orbit around the innermost planet in our solar system.
The high-res glimpse of the myriad dusty craters on the distant planet is the first tantalizing offering from Messenger, which has sailed into orbit high above the planet’s south pole and reveals Mercury's previously unseen surfaces.
“The entire Messenger team is thrilled that spacecraft and instrument checkout has been proceeding according to plan,” said Sean Solomon, Messenger's principal investigator from the Carnegie Institution of Washington. 
“The first images from orbit and the first measurements from Messenger’s other payload instruments are only the opening trickle of the flood of new information that we can expect over the coming year. The orbital exploration of the Solar System’s innermost planet has begun,” he said.
The very first image taken by Messenger from orbit revealed a large rayed crater called Debussy, as well as a smaller crater called Matabei. The bottom portion of the image show Mercury's south pole and includes a region of Mercury's surface not previously seen by spacecraft.
Other pictures released by the space agency show a pock-marked planet remarkably similar to the moon, scarred by the impact of countless asteroids and other space rocks regularly pelting Mercury at high speeds, scientists said.
Mission chief scientist Sean Solomon said that what is surprising to scientists so far is that there are more secondary craters than expected. Those are craters created by the falling soil kicked up from space rock collisions.
Solomon said the craters look different from those on the moon because the space rocks are moving faster and hit Mercury harder.
On March 17, Messenger became the first spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury. In the course of the $446 million probe's one-year primary mission, the spacecraft's seven scientific instruments and radio science investigation will unravel the history and evolution of the Solar System's innermost planet.
The spacecraft is in an tight orbit that brings it within 124 miles of Mercury at the closest point -- and takes it out more than 9,300 miles away at the farthest point.
NASA and the Messenger team will release additional photos over the next few days -- the spacecraft is set to photograph 1,185 images over a three day period, the agency said.
While Messenger is the first mission ever to orbit around Mercury, it is not the first spacecraft to visit the planet. NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft flew by the planet three times in the mid-1970s.


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OIL WAR - Libya Warning Will Sue Firms Over Rebel Oil Deals

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Libya threatens to sue firms over rebel oil deals 

March 30, 2011

Reuters 

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 ALGIERS - Libya's government warned on Wednesday that it would sue any international company that concluded energy deals with rebels who control some of the country's oil infrastructure, the state news agency reported.
The threat is likely to make it more complicated for the rebels based in eastern Libya to sell oil on the international market, a trade they had been counting on to finance their insurgency against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
"The National Oil Corporation ... is the entity authorized by law to deal with external parties. Because of the strategic importance of these goods -- oil and gas -- at the global level, no country can leave their management to armed gangs," said a government communique carried by the Jana news agency.
"The Libyan state will sue any party that seals deals regarding Libyan oil with parties other than the National Oil Corporation," it said.
A senior Libyan rebel official said on Sunday a Gulf oil producer, Qatar, had agreed to market oil produced from east Libyan fields that are no longer under Gaddafi's control.
On Monday, Qatar became the first Arab country to recognize the rebels. A U.S. official said crude oil sales by Libyan rebels would not be subject to U.S. sanctions if they were not connected to Gaddafi's government entities.
However, energy trading sources say shipping and legal risks mean it is unlikely the rebels will be able to market their oil abroad for several weeks.


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Scheduled Water Release Into Missouri River Canceled

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Corps Cancel Water Pulse Into Missouri River

March 30, 2011
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 A scheduled pulse of water into the Missouri River in March to benefit the endangered pallid sturgeon has been canceled. A natural pulse from the eastern South Dakota tributaries is occurring instead.

The melt of the extensive plains snowpack in eastern South Dakota has raised river levels well above the flow limits, eliminating the need for a two-day pulse.


Tributary streams in eastern South Dakota are well above flood stage and are forecast to remain high for the next several weeks. The magnitude of the March pulse was to be 5,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) minus the flow on the James River at just above its confluence with the Missouri River upstream of Sioux City.

Today's flow on the James River is nearly 25,000 cfs. It is expected to crest later this week, but remain high for the foreseeable future.

The Missouri River is above the downstream flow limits at all three locations: Omaha, Nebraska City and Kansas City.

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Obama's Approval Hits New Low Dropped 4 Percentage Points Since Early March

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Poll: Obama's approval hits new low

www.politico.com
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President Barack Obama’s approval rating and prospects for reelection have plunged to all-time lows in a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Half of the registered voters surveyed for the poll  think that the president does not deserve a second term in office, while 41 percent say he does. In another Quinnipiac poll released just four weeks ago, 45 percent said the president did not deserve reelection, while 47 percent said he did.

The decline in support for a second Obama term comes as his approval rating has dropped 4 percentage points since early March, landing at 42 percent – a record low – in the poll released Wednesday. His disapproval rating has risen from 46 percent to 48 percent.


The downward shift may in part be the result of dissatisfaction over U.S involvement in Libya, with 47 percent of those surveyed saying they oppose it. By a margin of 58 percent to 29 percent, registered voters said that Obama has not clearly stated U.S. goals for the mission.


The poll as conducted March 22-28 and surveyed 2,069 registered voters. The error margin is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

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Hockey Puck Splits in Half on Shot Off the Post WEB VIDEO


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Hockey Puck Splits in Half on Shot Off the Post in USHL SC vs SF 1 4 11


A strange occurance during a hockey game prompted refs to stop the game and confused fans.


A player for the Sioux Falls Stampede fired a slap shot from the blue that hit the goal post and splilt in half last Tuesday night.
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