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August 10, 2011—The NYPD has formed a new unit to track troublemakers who announce plans or brag about their crimes on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. Newly named Assistant Commissioner Kevin O’Connor, one of the department’s online and gang gurus, has been put in charge of the new juvenile justice unit. He and his staff will mine social media, looking for info about troublesome house parties, gang showdowns and other potential mayhem, sources said. London rioters have been using Twitter and BlackBerry messages to choose targets for looting or burning—and to alert one another about police positions.
—Police to have power to shut down social networks, remove hoodies and facial coverings, while looters could lose homes and benefits
August 12, 2011—Ministers and the security services are planning draconian powers to shut down or disrupt mobile phone messaging services and social networks in times of civil disorder. Downing Street sources said they were considering the “moral and technical” questions of how to grant new powers blocking all mobile communications to prevent rioters organizing through websites such as Twitter and the BlackBerry Messenger service. Mr Cameron, promising yesterday to do “whatever it takes” to restore order, outlined a series of new security measures, which included: Consider further powers of curfew. Investigate using the Army to free up police for “frontline” duties. Give individual police officers the power to force people to remove scarves, hoods or masks covering their faces or be arrested… The Government will also consult former New York Police commissioner Bill Bratton on further measures to tackle gang [?!?] culture.
August 12, 2011—A withering critique of President Obama’s handling of the economy was overshadowed by a burst of incivility among the Republican presidential candidates who, in a debate here Thursday night, fought to stay alive in the party’s increasingly competitive nominating race. The simmering animosity that has been building among some contenders broke into full view during the two-hour debate, with Representative Michele Bachmann defending her legislative accomplishments, her economic ideas and her experience to serve as president.
August 10, 2011—Few candidates in the Republican presidential primary field have decried the federal government with as much gusto as Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)… But a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Huffington Post with three separate federal agencies reveals that on at least 16 separate occasions, Bachmann petitioned the federal government for direct financial help or aid. A large chunk of those requests were for funds set aside through President Obama’s stimulus program, which Bachmann once labeled “fantasy economics.”
—Conservatives consider tough measures during emergency debate as Labour targets Coalition plans to cut police budgets
August 12, 2011—From detaining rioters in Wembley Stadium to spraying them with dye, MPs and peers queued up yesterday to spell out their solutions to this week’s unprecedented wave of criminality protests. The most unconventional suggestion came from the veteran Tory MP for Louth and Horncastle, Sir Peter Tapsell, who asked why the police were dispersing rioters rather than detaining them. He recalled that in 1971, the American police corralled 40,000 rioters into a stadium one morning, and he inquired whether Wembley Stadium could be put to the same use.
August 11, 2011—Several courts in England will stay open 24 hours a day to fast-track those already in custody for looting and disorder-related offences. Magistrates in London, Manchester and Solihull were processing some of those arrested over riot-related incidents. An 11-year-old girl and a primary school worker have already appeared in court. David Cameron said courts would continue to sit through the night. The total number of people arrested over the riots stands at more than 1,500.
August 11, 2011—UFO sightings of mysterious lights over Glastonbury and a “flying saucer” outside Retford town hall have been revealed in Ministry of Defence files. The images were sent to the Defence Geographic and Imagery Intelligence Agency (DGIA) in July 2004. Experts examined the photos, including the image of a “flying saucer” taken outside Retford town hall in Nottinghamshire.
—David Cameron told MPs the government is looking at whether people should be stopped from using social networks if they are known to be planning crime.
August 11, 2011—More people are being accused of using social media to incite disorder, following days of rioting and looting. On Thursday, an East Sussex man and two Lancashire men were among those charged with using Facebook to encourage or assist in the commission of crimes. In Guernsey, three men were accused of misusing a social network site.
Copyright 2011 Citizens for Legitimate Government
This link roundup originally appeared at LegitGov.org.