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Efforts to Prosecute Blackwater Collapse

BlackwaterNearly four years after the federal government began a string of investigations and criminal prosecutions against Blackwater Worldwide personnel accused of murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cases are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.

In the most recent and closely watched case, the Justice Department on Monday said that it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, a Blackwater armorer accused of killing a guard assigned to the Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24, 2006.


Right to photograph federal buildings upheld

US Capitol BuildingThe federal agency responsible for protecting more than 9,000 federal facilities is reminding its security guards that the general public has the right to take photographs and shoot video outside the courthouses, office buildings and campuses they protect.

The reminder is part of a federal court settlement between the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Protective Service and the New York Civil Liberties Union. The group represented Antonio Musumeci, 29, of Edgewater, N.J., who sued after being arrested in November for videotaping a demonstrator outside a federal courthouse in Manhattan.


Death To Gang Members: The Feds' New Tactic

   Death To Gang Members: The Feds' New TacticAlejandro Enrique Ramirez Umana has an unfortunate claim on history. He is the first member of the MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, gang to be sentenced to death under the federal system of capital punishment, according to the Justice Department.

Prosecutors and FBI officials say the Umana investigation, which took them from North Carolina to California to El Salvador, is a model for how federal authorities will attack a growing gang threat that is leaching into smaller cities across America's heartland.


Spying and lying about the left

Spying and lying about the leftThe US peace group "Peace of the Action" has discovered documents showing that it and many other organisations have been under surveillance for many months by a private agency called the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR).

Founded by antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, Peace of the Action has focused on opposing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by pressuring legislators and organising demonstrations and civil disobedience actions at visible places around Washington DC.


Commentary: Incarceration's impact on society is shameful

US prisonsThe United States has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, with 2.3 million Americans behind bars, a 300 percent increase since 1980, the report states. This country has more inmates than the top 35 European countries combined.

While the costs of housing prisoners -- $50 billion annually for state correctional costs alone -- should be enough to cause us to rethink our way of doing things, the overall societal and human costs should be even more convincing.


BofA Extends Freeze on Foreclosures to All 50 States

BofA Extends Freeze on Foreclosures to All 50 StatesBank of America Corp., the biggest U.S. lender, extended a freeze on foreclosures to all 50 states as concern spread among federal and local officials that homes are being seized based on false data.

“We will stop foreclosure sales until our assessment has been satisfactorily completed,” the Charlotte, North Carolina- based company said today in a statement. “Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for foreclosure decisions is accurate.”


FBI’s ‘unprecedented’ Puerto Rico invasion

FBIIt was more like Normandy than Puerto Rico. Boarding planes in the middle of the night, hundreds of FBI agents, analysts and examiners flew into Puerto Rico before dawn Wednesday and took down about 130 local police and law enforcement personnel on corruption charges, in what the Justice Department called an “unprecedented” bust.

In all, as many as a thousand FBI personnel took part in Operation Guard Shack, according to FBI and Justice Department officials.


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