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U.S. court rules on WikiLeaks probe

A US federal appeals court has ruled that prosecutors can demand Twitter account information of certain users in their criminal probe into the disclosure of classified documents on WikiLeaks.

The three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals also said the government's reasons as to why it is seeking the information can remain sealed.

The case involves three Twitter account holders with some connection to the secret-busting WikiLeaks website. They had argued that forcing Twitter to cooperate with the investigation by turning over data amounts to an invasion of privacy and has a chilling effect on the free speech rights of Twitter users.

The federal panel in Richmond rejected their appeal and affirmed a magistrate's court order that Twitter must turn over limited account information to prosecutors. The court said it weighed the right of public access against the need to keep an investigation secret. The appeals court agreed with the magistrate that the government's interest in keeping the documents secret outweigh the right to public access.


Anonymous threatens Justice Department over hacktivist death

A screenshot at 3:35 a.m. ET on January 26, 2013, of the homepage of the United States federal sentencing website after it had been hacked by a group that identified itself as "Anonymous."
In anger over the recent death of an Internet activist who faced federal charges, hackers claiming to be from the group Anonymous threatened early Saturday to release sensitive information about the U.S. Department of Justice.

They claimed to have one such file on multiple servers ready for immediate release.

The hackers apparently hijacked the website of the U.S. government agency responsible for federal sentencing guidelines, where they posted a message demanding the United States reform its justice system or face incriminating leaks to select news outlets.

The lengthy, eloquently written letter was signed "Anonymous."

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French forces in Mali seize airport, bridge at rebel-held Gao

© REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier French soldiers, who prepare for their departure for Mali, walk past armoured vehicles during a visit of the French Defence Minister at the military base of Miramas, southern France, January 25, 2013.
French special forces in Mali with air support on Saturday seized the airport and a key bridge over the Niger River at the Islamist rebel-held stronghold of Gao as France accelerated its ground offensive against al Qaeda-allied fighters.

"The rebels have melted in to the local population. There is harassment. The operation is still under way. It is a bit complicated," a French officer in Mali, who asked not to be named, told Reuters, referring to the assault on Gao.

France's Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the seizure of the airport and bridge at Gao, the largest town in Mali's Saharan north which was occupied last year by a coalition of Islamist groups including al Qaeda's North African wing AQIM.


Sibel Edmonds: U.S. govt uses classification as excuse to silence whistleblowers

John Kiriakou, an ex-CIA agent, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for revealing the torture program at Guantanamo. Activist Sibel Edmonds told RT he became a victim of witch-hunt while hundreds of intentional leaks are not prosecuted.

Needless amounts of information are classified in the US and in some cases documents are criminally classified to cover up the state's own illegal actions, Sibel Edmonds, founder of the National Security Whistleblower Corporation, told RT. Congress, the courts and the executive act together as a tool to silence whistleblowers getting the truth out, she added.

RT: John Kiriakou says he's being sentenced not for what he did, but for being a CIA officer who believed torture was wrong. What's your take on that?

Sibel Edmonds: This certainly appears to be the case. Every single day we have hundreds of intentional leaks, some of them classified from various intelligence and law enforcement agencies to the media, to the press and we do not see prosecution of those cases, we don't see any actions on those cases. However, we do see this type of witch-hunt action against those who leak information that exposes either government criminality or government waste, fraud, abuse. So this is a selective hunt and just because of that, that makes Mr. Kiriakou's statement accurate.

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27 dead, army deployed in Egypt as crowd storms Port Said prison after stadium stampede death sentences

© AFP PhotoRelatives and friends of Egyptian protesters who were killed in Suez during clashes with riot police yesterday, load a body onto an ambulance outside the morgue in Suez on January 26, 2013
Twenty-seven people have been killed, including two police, and 250 injured during clashes in Egypt's Port Said. The army has been deployed in the canal city, where a crowd attempted to storm a prison after stadium riot death sentences were issued.

The deadly assault follows the sentencing of 21 people to death for the riot and stampede in Port Said in which dozens were killed last February.

As the verdict was issued in Port Said, the families of the condemned attempted to storm the city prison, Egyptian state TV reported. Several sources reported that automatic rifles using live ammunition have been shot from the crowd at the scene.


Ex-CIA officer: Torture great way to get false confessions

Torture brings forth unreliable information and false confessions, apart from the fact that it is a serious violation of all manner of international agreements, former CIA officer Ray McGovern told RT.

"You can't get reliable information from torture. But torture works beautifully if you want unreliable information" says McGovern.

His comments come amid the trial of John Kiriakou, a CIA veteran sentenced to two years in prison, after leaking sensitive information about Washington's torture program.

Kiriakou, the man who oversaw the capture of Al-Qaeda's third-in-command, blew the lid on America's torture program, revealing the name of an alleged torturer at Guantanamo Bay.

Kiriakou came out against Washington's torture program supporting the notion that torture is illegal, says McGovern adding that the accusations against Kiriakou are political and he is being punished out due to rank-hypocrisy.


Thought Crime: UK MP David Ward could be kicked out after suggesting 'the Jews' had not learned the lessons of the Holocaust

David Ward
© UnknownLib Dem MP David Ward
A Liberal Democrat MP faces expulsion from the party for saying 'the Jews' had not learned from the murder of six million in the Holocaust, in their treatment of the Palestinian people.

David Ward, MP for Bradford East, wrote on his own website that he was 'saddened' that they 'could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians...on a daily basis.'

He defended his comments in interviews saying they were a 'just a statement of fact' and said 'it appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated.'

His remarks were made ahead of Holocaust Memorial Day on Sunday, although Mr Ward who said he had attended events to remember its victims and had visited Auschwitz twice.

Comment: But as we have seen over and over again, facts and the truth not permissible when it comes to any discussion of the Zionist regime in Isreal. Mr Ward's words have been selectively edited; what he actually said was:
The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history of man's inhumanity to man. When faced with examples of atrocious behaviour, we must learn from them. It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated.


British man claims he was tortured and forced to sign confessions by CIA

© Reuters / Mohammed Ameen
A British man who was handed over to the CIA under the suspicion of being an Islamist terrorist says he was severely tortured by collaborators of the intelligence agency and forced to sign a confession.

Mahdi Hashi, a 23-year-old from London with a Somali background, was stripped of his British citizenship last year for being a suspected terrorist. After disappearing from England and spending months in a prison in the African country of Djibouti, he has turned up in a New York City courtroom, charged with terrorism offenses, the Daily Mail reports.

The young man told his British lawyers that he was severely abused and tortured while imprisoned in Africa, where CIA interrogators questioned him between the months of August and November. Although secret police in Djibouti were responsible for much of the torture, he says they worked in collaboration with US interrogators from the CIA and FBI.

Hashi says that Djibouti interrogators stripped him down to his underwear and threatened him with rape and sexual abuse while he was blindfolded, threatened to beat and electrocute him, and forced him to watch the torture that other prisoners endured.


Homeland Security's Napolitano invokes 9/11 to push for Internet control

© Reuters / Baz RatnerU.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
In an attempt to scare the public with a looming cyber attack on US infrastructure, US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is once again pushing Congress to pass legislation allowing the government to have greater control over the Internet.

Napolitano issued the warnings Thursday, claiming that inaction could result in a "cyber 9/11" attack that could knock out water, electricity and gas, causing destruction similar to that left behind by Hurricane Sandy.

Napolitano said that in order to prevent such an attack, Congress must pass legislation that gives the US government greater access to the Internet and cybersecurity information from the private sector. Such a bill, known as CISPA or Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, was already introduced last year, but failed to pass in Congress due to concerns expressed by businesses and privacy advocates.

"We shouldn't wait until there is a 9/11 in the cyber world. There are things we can and should be doing right now that, if not prevent, would mitigate the extent of the damage," Napolitano said in a speech at the Wilson Center, a Washington, DC think tank.


Mississippi bill aims to 'neutralize' some federal laws and protect 'sovereignty'

© Shutterstock
Two legislators in Mississippi are tired of what they claim is the federal government's overreach on states' rights - and want to take legislative action to stop it.

House Bill 490 seeks to nullify federal laws "outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government in the United States Constitution" and that the state repudiates "this unauthorized and excessive abuse of power," reported the Clarion-Ledger.

The bill, if passed, would create a committee to look at federal laws and executive orders and decide which constitute overreach and should be "neutralized."