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Secret Service agents seek immunity from suit over Cheney arrest

August 25, 2011—Two Secret Service agents on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to rule that they are immune from a lawsuit filed by a Colorado man who claims they violated his First Amendment rights when he was arrested for confronting then-Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Steven Howards was arrested in the resort town of Beaver Creek in 2006 after he touched Cheney on the arm and told him his Iraq War policies were “disgusting.” The lawsuit claims that agents Virgil D. “Gus” Reichle Jr. and Dan Doyle arrested him in retaliation for criticizing Cheney.

C.I.A. Demands Cuts in Book About 9/11 and Terror Fight

August 26, 2011—In what amounts to a fight over who gets to write the history of the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath, the Central Intelligence Agency is demanding extensive cuts from the memoir of a former F.B.I. agent who spent years near the center of the battle against al Qaeda [al-CIAduh]. The agent, Ali H. Soufan, argues in the book that the C.I.A. missed a chance to derail the 2001 plot by withholding from the F.B.I. information about two future 9/11 hijackers living in San Diego, according to several people who have read the manuscript. And he gives a detailed, firsthand account of the C.I.A.’s move toward brutal treatment in its interrogations, saying the harsh methods torture used on the agency’s first important captive, Abu Zubaydah, were unnecessary and counterproductive.

NYC mayor orders Zone A nursing homes to evacuate

August 25, 2011—Mayor Michael Bloomberg has ordered nursing, senior homes and hospitals in Zone A low-lying areas to evacuate beginning Friday. He asked these facilities and hospitals to coordinate evacuation efforts with health officials. The mayor at a press conference Thursday said Hurricane Irene appears to be heading toward eastern Queens, New York. Bloomberg says shelters will open for residents at 4 p.m. Friday. He also announced that the emergency command center had been activated.

Ex-Blackwater contractor seeks job in Afghanistan

August 26, 2011—A former Blackwater contractor convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian wants to take a new job—in Afghanistan. Chris Drotleff of Virginia Beach has asked a federal judge for permission to travel to Kandahar to pour concrete and lay cable for a government contractor. Federal prosecutors have opposed the request. Drotleff and co-defendant Justin Cannon were convicted by a federal jury of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an Afghan civilian in Kabul.

Hurricane Irene: 750,000 Told to Flee Homes

—More than 50m people potentially in path of the storm

August 26, 2011—Officials in New Jersey have ordered a mandatory evacuation which could affect 750,000 people as Hurricane Irene looms. The Philadelphia Inquirer said officials in Cape May county have told people to leave from 8am local time on Friday. The hurricane is expected to hit the north eastern seaboard of America this weekend.

Rick Perry Sought State Profits From Teacher Life Insurance Scheme

August 25, 2011—Two weeks before Thanksgiving in 2003, top officials from Texas Governor Rick Perry’s office pitched an unusual offer to the state’s retired teachers: Let’s get into the death business. Perry’s budget director, Mike Morrissey, laid out a pitch that was both ambitious and risky, according to notes summarizing the meeting provided to The Huffington Post. According to the notes, which were authenticated by a meeting participant, the Perry administration wanted to help Wall Street investors gamble on how long retired Texas teachers would live. Perry was promising the state big money in exchange for helping Swiss banking giant UBS set up a business of teacher death speculation.

WikiLeaks publishes tens of thousands more cables

August 25, 2011—The WikiLeaks organization said Thursday it was releasing tens of thousands of previously unpublished U.S. diplomatic cables, some of which are still classified. “We will have released over 100,000 U.S. embassy cables from around the world by the end of today,” said a message on WikiLeaks’ Twitter feed. The Twitter page is believed to be controlled by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ controversial Australian-born founder and chief.

Dedication of MLK Memorial postponed by hurricane

August 25, 2011—The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington has been postponed indefinitely as Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast. The memorial’s executive architect disclosed the postponement after a day of forecasts from the National Weather Service indicating Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the East Coast.


This link roundup originally appeared at

  Robin Yassin-Kassab: Victory in Tripoli: As rebels take control over Tripoli from Qaddafi, the question now lies in where the country shall go from here. More
  Robert Reich: Stock Tip: Be Worried. Workers Are Consumers: Corporate earnings are the highest they’ve been since just before the Great Depression. More
  Andy Kroll: The Badger State’s Bloody Stalemate: What Comes Next For Wisconsin’s Fledgling Uprising: Consider Kasich’s sudden concession gesture a straw in the wind. More
  Tom Engelhardt: Details of Secret Pact Emerge: Troops Stuck in Afghanistan Until 2024: If you thought President Obama was ending the war in Afghanistan, think again. More

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