Saturday, May 23rd

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Patriot Act is on life support

Patriot Act on life supportA stalemate in the Senate would leave the FBI and National Security Agency (NSA) without powers they have used to track terrorists for years, say supporters of the Patriot Act.

Without action by the end of the month, key provisions of the Patriot Act will expire, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) argues would put the United States at a pre September 11, 2001-footing.

Yet McConnell has no definite path to extend those provisions.


Texas Biker Gang Shooting Leaves Nine Dead, Several Injured

Biker gang deathsThree rival motorcycle gangs turned a local restaurant into a shooting gallery Sunday afternoon and when the gunfire was over, nine people were dead and several were injured.

Waco police Sunday afternoon, assisted by Department of Public Safety troopers, police officers from several cities and deputies from the McLennan County Sheriff's Office were surrounding the Twin Peaks Restaurant, in the Central Texas Market Place after several people were reported shot during a rival motorcycle gang fight, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.


IS jihadists take Ramadi but pinned back in Palmyra

Ramadi falls to ISISThe Islamic State group sealed its capture of Ramadi Sunday after a dramatic pullout by Iraqi forces but was prevented by Syrian troops from taking the heritage site of Palmyra.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi urged government forces to hold fast in Ramadi and prevent IS from making further gains, saying they would have air cover and Shiite militia reinforcements.


How three Miami stoners scored a deal to arm the Afghan army

Stoners who armed Afghani army"Arms and the Dudes" is the extraordinary true story of how three twentysomething Miami stoners turned gunrunners and scored a mega-$300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm the Afghan Army.

Call it sex, drugs ’n’ munitions.

Investigative reporter Guy Lawson subtitled the book “How Three Stoners from Miami Beach Became the Most Unlikely Gunrunners in History,” which makes the point but only suggests how unbelievable, though entirely credible, this account is.


Asia selected China India SE Asia migrants 'killed in fight for food' on boat

Migrants die over food Migrants rescued from a sinking boat off Indonesia have told the BBC that about 100 people died after a fight broke out over the last remaining food.

Survivors told of horrific conditions. Three men separately said people were stabbed, hanged or thrown overboard.

The 700 rescued migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are being processed by the Indonesian authorities.


Seattle 'Kayaktivists' Protest Shell's Arctic Drilling Endeavor

kayactivistsHundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay on Saturday to protest plans by Royal Dutch Shell to resume oil exploration in the Arctic and keep two of its drilling rigs stored in the city's port.

Environmental groups have vowed to disrupt the Anglo-Dutch oil company's efforts to use the Seattle as a home base as it outfits the rigs to return to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, saying drilling in the remote Arctic waters could lead to an ecological catastrophe.


Tornado Alley earns its name: Storms roar in

Tornado alley earns its nameLittle relief was in sight Sunday for nine states where violent storms and tornadoes damaged and destroyed homes, flipped cars and downed power lines this weekend.

The storms, including 28 reported tornadoes, and flash flooding raked across parts of Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Iowa and Louisiana on Saturday and early Sunday, The Weather Channel reported.


Hacker took control of United flight and flew jet sideways, FBI affidavit says

Hacker made United jet fly sidewaysA security researcher suspected of hacking into computerized systems aboard a United Airlines Boeing 737 from Denver to Chicago last month told federal authorities that he once manipulated a jetliner's flight controls to steer the plane sideways, an FBI agent's affidavit states.

Chris Roberts, a security researcher with One World Labs, was met by FBI agents after exiting a United flight in Syracuse, N.Y., on April 15 for a tweet posted on his account that suggested he may have hacked into a flight's entertainment system -- activity that he'd supposedly told agents previously that he would stop doing.


Anti-nuclear activist nun Megan Rice to be freed from prison

megan riceA federal appeals court has ordered the immediate release of an 85-year-old nun and two fellow Catholic anti-nuclear proliferation activists who vandalized a uranium storage bunker, their attorney said Friday.

The order came a week after the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overturned the 2013 sabotage convictions of Sister Megan Rice, 66-year-old Michael Walli, and 59-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed, and ordered resentencing on their remaining conviction for injuring government property. The activists have spent two years in prison, and the court said they likely already have served more time than they will receive for the lesser charge.


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