Breaking news:Shots fired at Los Angeles International Airport; evacuations underway – TSA official reported shot at Los Angeles airport –evacuations are under way at Los Angeles International Airport after reports of shots fired there, police said.
Threat Diverts United Express Flight to Phoenix 31 Oct 2013 A United Express flight from San Francisco to San Antonio was diverted to Phoenix on Thursday because of a threat that authorities said came from aboard the plane. Officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport said Flight 5573 landed at 4:45 p.m. Thursday and the 43 passengers, two pilots and two flight attendants aboard the regional jet were evacuated. Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Steve Martos said “the reported threat was on the plane” but he couldn’t provide any details.
Senate Committee Votes in Favor of NSA Phone-Records Snooping — Committee approves measure in private 31 Oct 2013 A key Senate committee approved today a measure that would give congressional blessing to the NSA’s bulk collection of domestic telephone metadata, and bolster the legal underpinnings of the controversial snooping program. Sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the proposal sets the stage for a major legislative battle with a competing measure unveiled Tuesday prohibiting the data collection that began in 2006 and was first disclosed by whistle blower Edward Snowden in June.
GCHQ and European spy agencies worked together on mass surveillance – Edward Snowden papers unmask close technical cooperation and loose alliance between British, German, French, Spanish and Swedish spy agencies 01 Nov 2013 The German, French, Spanish and Swedish intelligence services have all developed methods of mass surveillance of internet and phone traffic over the past five years in close partnership with Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency. The bulk monitoring is carried out through direct taps into fibre optic cables and the development of covert relationships with telecommunications companies. A loose but growing eavesdropping alliance has allowed intelligence agencies from one country to cultivate ties with corporations from another to facilitate the trawling of the web, according to GCHQ documents leaked by the former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Australia Said to Play Part in N.S.A. Effort 01 Nov 2013 Australia, a close ally of the United States, has used its embassies in Asia to collect intelligence as part of the National Security Agency’s global surveillance efforts, according to a document leaked by the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden and published this week in the German news magazine Der Spiegel. The N.S.A. program was called Stateroom, and was operated by the Australian Defense Signals Directorate, Der Spiegel quoted the N.S.A. document as saying.
Exposed: Australia’s Asia spy network 31 Oct 2013 Australian embassies are being secretly used to intercept phone calls and data across Asia as part of a US-led global spying network, according to whistle blower Edward Snowden and a former Australian intelligence officer. The top secret Defense Signals Directorate operates the clandestine surveillance facilities at embassies without the knowledge of most Australian diplomats. Codenamed STATEROOM, the program involves the interception of radio, telecommunications and internet traffic.
Homeland Security workers routinely boost pay with unearned overtime, report says 31 Oct 2013 Federal employees at the Department of Homeland Security call it the “candy bowl,” a pot of overtime money they have long dipped into to pad their pay even if they haven’t earned it, whistle blowers say. This practice, which can add up to 25 percent to a p*ycheck, has become so routine over the last generation that it’s often held out as a perk when government managers try to recruit new employees, according to these accounts. In a report submitted to the White House and Congress on Thursday, the federal Office of Special Counsel (OSC) details what it calls a “profound and entrenched problem” at DHS and a “gross waste of government funds.”
Japan lawmaker breaks taboo with Fukushima nuclear fears letter for emperor 31 Oct 2013 A Japanese lawmaker handed Emperor Akihito a letter on Thursday expressing fear about the health impact of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, breaking a taboo by trying to involve the emperor in politics. Taro Yamamoto, who is also an anti-nuclear activist, gave Akihito the letter during a garden party. “I wanted to directly tell the emperor of the current situation,” Yamamoto told reporters, referring to the crisis at the Fukushima nuclear plant north of Tokyo, which has been leaking radioactivity since March 2011.
GOP, Obama’s war on poor continues:47M Americans hit by food stamp cuts starting today–Cutbacks amount to loss of 21 meals per month for family of four 01 Nov 2013 Food stamp benefits will be cut to more than 47 million Americans starting Friday as a temporary boost to the federal program comes to an end without a new budget from a deadlocked Congress to replace it. Under the program, known formally as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program, or SNAP, a family of four that gets $668 per month in benefits will find that amount cut by *36. SNAP, which benefits one in seven Americans, is administered by the Department of Agriculture and is authorized in a five-year omnibus farm bill covering all agricultural programs.
Texas court reinstates controversial abortion law three days after it was ruled unconstitutional 31 Oct 2013 Texas appeals court has reinstated most of the state’s new abortion rules today only three days after a judge ruled part of the measures was unnecessary. The federal appeals court ruling means up to 12 clinics will be unable to perform terminations as soon as Friday. A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling just days after District Judge Lee Yeakel said one provision served no medical purpose.
Breaking news:Gunfire, chaos erupt at LAX –TSA agent shot, gunman arrested; flights grounded –A man armed with a rifle opens fire at the airport leaving several wounded. Police are flooding the airport and Terminals 2 and 3 are being evacuated. 01 Nov 2013
The Lobster and Steak Welfare Queen
More than 40 million Americans rely on food stamps given to them by the U.S. government, with the intention of the program being to fulfill gaps in earning wages. However, controversy has recently been stirred over the “Lobster and Steak Welfare Queen”, food stamps users who buy luxury items instead of grocery staples.
In 1976 and on his presidential campaign, Ronald Reagan scorned what he called the “welfare queen”, saying “She has 80 names, 30 addresses, 12 Social Security cards and is collecting veterans’ benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands.” And forty years later, there is still an uproar about people on welfare and those using food stamps as either abusing the system or tweaking it for their own benefits.
Almost forty years later, the image of the welfare queen is still very much alive, but she’s changed into someone who drives a Cadillac Escalade, has the latest iPhone and, yes, still fills up her grocery cart with lobster and steak and pays for it with an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card. But how well founded is the idea of the welfare queen?
Some form or shape of her will always exist, especially when people like Jason Greenslate proudly espouse the jobless life and go on welfare to literally buy steak and lobster. The 29-year-old Californian has no fixed address, as he sleeps on the couches of friends and families and uses the $200 he gets per month on buying gourmet food.