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January 20, 2012—Breaking News and Commentary from Citizens for Legitimate Government

January 20, 2012

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Breaking news from the multi-partisan activist group.

By arrangement with LegitGov.org.

Jan-20-575.jpgPhotograph via Flickr by Bert Kaufmann.

Two British soldiers arrested over allegations of sex abuse with 10-year-old children while they served in Afghanistan

January 19, 2012—Two British soldiers are being investigated over claims they sexually abused two Afghan children. A sergeant and a private are alleged to have encouraged a boy and a girl aged about ten to touch them inappropriately. The uniformed servicemen were accused of filming the separate incidents before showing the footage to shocked colleagues on their laptop computers. Military police are said to have arrested the pair after complaints from their comrades.

Iraq’s Maliki accused of detaining hundreds of political opponents, using torture

January 19, 2012—Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s security services have locked up more than 1,000 members of other political parties over the past several months, detaining many of them in secret locations with no access to legal counsel and using “brutal torture” to extract confessions, his chief political rival has charged. Ayad Allawi, the secular Shiite Muslim leader of the mainly Sunni Muslim Iraqiya bloc in parliament, who served as prime minister of the first Iraqi government after the Americans toppled Saddam Hussein, has laid out his allegations in written submissions to Iraq’s supreme judicial council.

Ex-UK official: Spies did use fake rock in Moscow

January 19, 2012—It was the spy saga that sounded too implausible to be true—British intelligence officers communicating with Russian agents using equipment hidden inside a fake rock left in a Moscow park. Now Tony Blair’s ex-chief of staff Jonathan Powell has acknowledged that Russia’s accusations against Britain over the 2006 affair were correct, the first official acknowledgment of the espionage plot that soured ties between London and the Kremlin. At the time, Russian state television broadcast footage which appeared to show four British officials placing or retrieving the fake rock, and exposed the sophisticated communications equipment inside the plastic boulder.

U.S., Filipino forces plan drills near disputed area

January 19, 2012—U.S. and Philippine marines plan to hold combat drills at an oil rig in the South China Sea to bolster the defense of such sensitive facilities in a bold move that may provoke protests from China, which claims waters in or near the location. Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, commander of the Philippine military’s Western Command, said Thursday the exercises will be held in March or April off western Palawan province and should not alarm China because these will be done within Philippine territorial waters. The drills involve U.S. Marines training their Philippine counterparts in defending and retaking oil and gas rigs captured by security threats like terrorists, Sabban said.

Pakistan to reopen NATO routes to Afghanistan: Official

January 19, 2012—Pakistan expects to [insanely] reopen supply routes to Nato forces in Afghanistan, halted after a Nato cross-border air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November, but will impose tariffs, a senior security official told Reuters on Thursday. The official said the fees were designed to both express continued anger over the November 26 incident, and raise more funds for the state to fight Taliban militants. No date was given for reopening the supply routes.

Federal panel faults Idaho lab for radiation exposure mishap

January 18, 2012—The radiation exposure of 16 workers at a nuclear research lab in Idaho stemmed from a failure to properly assess the risks posed by the handling of decades-old plutonium fuel cells, federal investigators concluded on Wednesday. In its report on the November 8 accident at the Idaho National Laboratory, the U.S. Energy Department’s Office of Health, Safety and Security also found the lab erred in not activating its emergency plan sooner after the accident, a delay that may have compromised medical treatment of the workers.

TransCanada open to building Keystone in segments

January 19, 2012—TransCanada Corp may build a $2 billion southern portion of its Keystone XL oil pipeline first following the initial rejection of the full-blown project, which would mesh with one of U.S. President Barack Obama’s goals but put it in direct competition with another major proposal. TransCanada had broached the idea of constructing the Gulf Coast expansion part of the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline before as a way to help alleviate an oil glut at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub and get more crude to Texas refineries, but Chief Executive Russ Girling said it has now gained in priority.

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This link roundup originally appeared at LegitGov.org.

  Tom Engelhardt: Superpower Adrift in an Alien World: It’s time for us to realize that none of the crucial problems on this planet are amenable to military solutions. More
 
  Michael T. Klare: Danger Waters: When the U.S. faces a problem in the world, the first thing that’s done is to militarize the problem. It’s the only way Washington now knows how to think. More
     
  Philip Warburg: Wind Power: America’s New Harvest: Unlike the battering that U.S. solar equipment producers have suffered, America is well on its way to building a robust domestic manufacturing platform for wind. More
 
  Robert Reich: The Decline of the Public Good: Even Margaret Thatcher would be appalled by the privatization of American society. More

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