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Confirmed: Union-Bashing Right-Wing Media Stars Hannity, Limbaugh and O'Reilly Are AFL-CIO Union-Affiliated Members

In spite of their criticism of unions in Wisconsin, AlterNet has confirmed that leading right-wing pundits are American Federation Television and Radio Artists union members.
right wing pundits
© Unknown

When it comes to the Wisconsin union fights, right-wing pundits Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have a couple of things in common. For starters, have all voiced their opposition to the plight of public employee unions in the state.

On Feb. 18, Limbaugh said on his radio program, "We are either on the side of the Wisconsin protesters or we are on the side of our country." Hannity has featured several guests critical of the union and its supporters, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, on his Fox News television and radio shows.

Eye 1

The Spies in the Skies: How Big Brother Britain Could See Unmanned Drones Watching Over the Streets

Image

Future: Britain's skies could be filled with devices such as the Pentagon's 'nano-hummingbird'
The skies could soon be filled with the buzzing of thousands of tiny spy drones trained to snoop on British streets, the Home Office has warned.

They are one of a number of futuristic snooping techniques that could become reality including CCTV that recognises faces and cameras in the back of taxis.

The warning comes as the Pentagon revealed it is pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into new drone technology such as the 'nano-hummingbird' - a tiny remote helicopter equipped with video and audio equipment that can record sights and sounds.

Heart - Black

Rejected lover slit his throat before driving at 80mph into ex-girlfriend's front room

Image
© Unknown
Wreckage: The scene after a 30-year-old man crashed his car into the house of his ex-girlfriend Tara Lavery in Caversham, near Reading, Berks. He had texted and phoned the house minutes before the crash to make sure his former lover and her children were all there

A man slit his throat before crashing his car into his ex-girlfriend's house.

It is understood he had texted and phoned the house minutes before the crash to make sure his former lover and her children were all at home.

He then drove the black Peugeot through the front wall at 80mph, injuring three young children who were playing in the sitting room.

Neighbours said the man had been distraught at being rejected by his girlfriend.

Witnesses told how he was found in the wreckage of his car with blood pouring from his throat. He had also suffered neck and chest injuries.

Remarkably, the 30-year-old man survived but was on a life support machine and in a 'critical' condition.

Pistol

Gaddafi unleashes warplanes to bomb his own cities as U.S. warns that Libya is spiralling towards full-blown civil war

  • 'It's a conspiracy to take our oil,' Gaddafi says on state TV
  • Forces re-take Gharyan, Sabratha and Brega
  • Most brutal crackdown yet a day after world urged him to step down
  • Fuel tanker explosion in Tripoli today sparks panic among residents
  • Hillary Clinton warns 'the stakes are high' as country faces civil war
  • Rebels resist attacks on Misrata, Zawiya and Zintan

As Libya teeters on the brink of full-scale civil war Colonel Gaddafi today said there was a conspiracy to the country's oil.

The Libyan leader said he was willing to discuss constitutional and legal change without arms or chaos and was ready to talk with Al Qaeda - who he blamed for the turmoil - if they had demands.

'There is a conspiracy to control the Libyan oil and to control the Libyan land, to colonise Libya once again,' he said in a televised speech before a loyal audience.

'This is impossible, impossible. We will fight until the last man and last woman to defend Libya from east to west, north to south,' Gaddafi told his supporters who punctuated the address with cheers of support and declarations of loyalty.
Image
© AFP/Getty Images
Ranting: Gaddafi on TV, left, where he told assembled supporters of his regime that the world 'does not understand' Libya's system; right, Gaddafi leaving the hall in Tripoli

X

Romanian MPs Vote Against Witchcraft Bill

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© Agence France-Presse
A policeman patrols in front of the Parliament Palace in Bucharest in 2008. Romanian lawmakers on Tuesday voted against a bill aiming to counter the pernicious effects of witchcraft, a text which had angered many fortune-tellers ans clairvoyants
Romanian lawmakers on Tuesday voted against a bill aiming to counter the pernicious effects of witchcraft, a text which had angered many fortune-tellers ans clairvoyants.

"I am very disappointed, the bill was meant to prevent people from being deceived by so-called witches," Liberal-Democrat MP Alin Popoviciu, who initiated the bill, told AFP.

Under the text, fortune-tellers and clairvoyants were to be licensed, pay taxes and set up professional associations.

Info

US: Leading Republican Claims Barack Obama Grew up in Kenya

Obama
© Reuters
Barack Obama is seen playing in the ocean as a child in an undated family snapshot from the 1960's

A possible Republican presidential candidate suggested in a radio interview that President Barack Obama's childhood in Kenya shaped his world-view - even though Mr Obama did not visit Kenya until he was in his 20s.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee told a New York radio station on Monday that Mr Obama's youth led him to resent the West, which he said explains why Mr Obama's foreign policy differs so greatly from that of his predecessors.

"One thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, (is) very different than the average American," Mr Huckabee said, pointing to Mr Obama's decision in 2009 to return a bust of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

He failed to note that the bust was on loan from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who offered it to President George W. Bush in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a symbol of trans-Atlantic solidarity. Mr Huckabee also did not mention that Mr Obama replaced the Oval Office fixture with a bust of one of his American heroes, President Abraham Lincoln.

"The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British," Mr Huckabee said. "But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather. He probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

Mr Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was detained in a 1952 uprising against British colonial rule in Kenya. Mr Huckabee said childhood stories of the Mau Mau rebellion would lead President Obama to want to return the bust of Churchill, who ordered a crackdown against that uprising.

Info

German Minister's Resignation Puts Merkel Under Pressure

German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg
© The Associated Press
German Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg

The head of the German Socialist Party "Die Linke", Gesine Loetzsch, claimed that it would have "irritated" the German citizens, had Guttenberg remained in office.

Members of the federal government, on the other hand, tried to understate the resignation. The Minister of Development, Free Democrat (FDP) member Dirk Niebel, called it "a consistent and respectable" decision. Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), Minister of Justice, denied that it would have serious effects on the stability of the government.

However, those supporters of Merkels' party, the CDU, who were upset by Guttenberg's scientific transgressions from the beginning, will keenly take note of her inactivity - not least, because the allegations of plagiarism directly tackle the core-values of the CDU's conservative support-base, such as truthfulness and responsibility.

At the same time, polls showed that a majority of the general population stuck by Guttenberg, who remained Germany's most popular politician even during the height of this crisis.

That is why his resignation comes at the worst possible time for the CDU and Merkel. Six regional elections are coming up in the next couple of months, the most important of them in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, where the CDU has reigned for 58 years.

Laptop

HBGary chief exec resigns over Anon hack

Barr falls on sword

HBGary Federal chief exec Aaron Barr has resigned in a bid to allow the firm to draw a line under the continuing revelations from the Anonymous hack attack.

Barr was the prime mover in plans to out senior members of Anonymous at the B-Sides security conference last month. But hunter became hunted after the more skilled members of Anonymous hacked into HBGary Federal's computer network before publishing its email database.

The emails included the revelation that Morgan Stanley, a HBGary client, was hit by the Operation Aurora attacks of late 2009, as well as messages that purported to show HBGary was planning a dirty tricks campaign against WikiLeaks.

HBGary, while admitting it was hacked and not denying the authenticity of any particular message, has said that the notorious mischief maker at Anonymous had plenty of opportunity to alter the published emails. Nonetheless the hack itself, to say nothing of the range of circumstances that allowed the breach (insecure web apps, weak passwords and social engineering) would be hugely embarrassing for any firm, much less a small outfit that sells its white hat hacker expertise to government agencies and banks.

Wolf

BP fund lawyer to refuse 100,000 Gulf spill disaster claims

Ken Feinberg
© Saul Loeb/AFP
Ken Feinberg has come under pressure from the Obama administration and BP over his handling of the oil spill compensation fund.

Upwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company's compensation fund has acknowledged.

A defensive Ken Feinberg, under fire from the Obama administration, Gulf leaders and local business for the slow pace of payouts for losses due to the BP spill, said the vast majority of the 130,000 unsettled claims did not have adequate documentation.

"Here is the problem that I continually have to address ... roughly 80% of the claims that we now have in the queue lack proof," Feinberg told foreign reporters in Washington. "That is a huge number."

Bizarro Earth

First deep-water drilling permit issued for gulf since BP oil spill

oiled sperm whale
© earthprotect.com
Juvenile sperm whale found 77 miles from the well

The Obama administration issued the first new deep-water drilling permit for the Gulf of Mexico since the BP oil spill, stoking cautious optimism Monday among some industry executives and Gulf Coast politicians about local oil and gas exploration.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement approved a permit for the Houston-based company Noble Energy to drill a so-called bypass well in 6,500 feet of water about 70 miles southeast of Venice, La.

The new well would track one started in April 2010 but plugged two months later, when the government established a moratorium on deep-water drilling in response to BP's well blowout. Noble's new drilling would go around the plugs to reach the oil.