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Sat, 12 Jun 2021
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US: Massachusetts Dentist Who Used Paper Clips Instead of Stainless Steel in Root Canals Admits to Fraud


A former dentist in Massachusetts has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud for using paper clips instead of stainless steel posts in root canals.

Michael Clair is scheduled to be sentenced next week. He has pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid of $130,000, assault and battery, illegally prescribing prescription drugs and witness intimidation charges.

Prosecutors say the 53-year-old Clair was suspended by Medicaid in 2002 but continued filing by using the names of other dentists in his Fall River practice.

Top Secret

US: Last of Secret Kennedy Tapes Released


Image
© Reuters/JFK Presidential Library and Museum
The final 45 hours of White House recordings secretly taped during John F. Kennedy's time in office were released on Tuesday, offering researchers unique perspective into the last three months of his administration.

The recordings are part of a collection of more than 248 hours of taped meetings and 12 hours of phone conversations that have been reviewed and released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum since 1993.

"The president's intelligence really comes across," said Maura Porter, declassification archivist with the presidential library who worked on the tapes for a decade.

Kennedy can be heard stumping experts with his questions in areas that were not necessarily his forte, she said.

The recorded conversations were made deliberately by the president, often captured in the Oval Office or Cabinet Room, but were kept secret from even Kennedy's top aides, the library said in a statement.

Dollar

Fake Support: Romney Campaign Pays People to Support Candidate

On camera, a Romney "supporter" at an early voting location says he was paid by the South Florida Romney campaign effort to wear a shirt and maintain a presence. Having a handful of Romney supporters at the site likely helped make the impression on potential voters who lack the capacity to think for themselves that they, because of Romney's large "support", they should vote for him. Makes perfect sense...


Handcuffs

US: Marine denies firing at Iraqi women and children

Image
© AP/Gregory Bull
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich arrives for a court-martial session at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Wuterich, accused of killing unarmed Iraqi women and children in the Iraqi town of Haditha in 2005, pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty Monday, Jan. 23, 2012
Camp Pendleton, California - A Marine facing sentencing over one of the worst attacks on civilians by U.S. troops during the Iraq War told a judge Tuesday in a surprise development that he never fired his weapon at any women or children.

The statement by Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich came a day after he pleaded guilty to a minor charge of negligent dereliction of duty as part of a deal that will mean little or no jail time.

"The truth is: I never fired any weapon at any women or children that day," Wuterich said in a statement during his sentencing hearing.

Wuterich also said in his statement that his guilty plea should not suggest that he believes his men behaved badly or that they acted in any way that was dishonorable to their country.

Wuterich, 31, led the squad that killed 24 unarmed Iraqis in assaults in the town of Haditha in 2005. As part of a deal that stopped his manslaughter trial Monday, Wuterich faces no more than three months in confinement for the lesser charge.

Bomb

Car bombs kill 14, wound 75 in Iraq capital

Image
© Reuters/Kareem Raheem
A soldier inspects a damaged vehicle at the site of a bomb attack in Sadr city in northeastern Baghdad January 24, 2012.
Baghdad - Four car bombs exploded in mainly Shi'ite Muslim areas of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing 14 people and wounding 75, underlining a political crisis that threatens to revive sectarian strife in Iraq.

The first blast hit a group of day laborers gathering for jobs in the poor northeastern Sadr City area of the capital, leaving a chaotic scene of scattered shoes and food, and pools of blood. The bomb killed at least eight people and wounded 24, police and hospital sources said.

"We were all standing waiting to earn our living and all of a sudden it was like a black storm and I felt myself thrown on the ground," said Ahmed Ali, a 40-year-old laborer whose face and hair were burned by the explosion.

"I fainted for a while then I woke up and hurried to one of the cars to take me to the hospital," said Ali, lying on a bed in the emergency room at Imam Ali hospital in Sadr City.

The second blast near a traffic roundabout in Sadr City killed three people and wounded 26 others, the sources said.

Comment: Who benefits if the Iraqi people go to civil war with one another?


Nuke

US: Court to Vermont: "Drop Dead"

Vermont Yankee plant
© n/a
The Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant.
A federal judge has told the people of Vermont that a solemn contract between them and the reactor owner Entergy need not be honored.

The fight will almost certainly now go to the US Supreme Court. At stake is not only the future of atomic power, but the legitimacy of all deals signed between corporations and the public. Chief Justice John Roberts' conservative court will soon decide whether a private corporation can sign what should be an enforceable contract with a public entity and then flat-out ignore it.

In 2003 Entergy made a deal with the state of Vermont. The Louisiana-based nuke speculator said that if it could buy and operate the decrepit Vermont Yankee reactor under certain terms and conditions, the company would then agree to shut it down if the state denied it a permit to continue. The drop dead date: March 21, 2012.

In the interim, VY has been found leaking radioactive tritium and much more into the ground and the nearby Connecticut River. Under oath, in public testimony, the company had denied that the pipes that leaked even existed.

Che Guevara

US: Bruins' Tim Thomas Refuses to Meet with Obama

Tim Thomas
© unknown
Tim Thomas
The Boston Bruins' Stanley Cup hero, Tim Thomas, refused to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama during the team's meet-and-greet with the Commander-in-Chief Monday, saying the U.S. government is "out of control."

Thomas, who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP during the Bruins' 2011 Stanley Cup victory, issued a statement Monday night after skipping out on the White House event. He is one of two Americans on Boston's roster.

"I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People," Thomas said in a written statement. "This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers' vision for the Federal government.

"Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL."

Eye 1

Shades of an American Kristallnacht?

Berlin synagogue after Kristallnacht
© Wikipedia
1938: Interior of a Berlin synagogue after Kristallnacht.
Watching the spectacle of the Republican primaries evokes deep sadness over the unavoidable truth that now, in the wake of Citizens United, it has become totally legal for rich people to run politicians the same way they might run horses or greyhounds. Just like that.

Maybe that's what provides the eerie, zombie-like atmosphere in politics these days. You really have the sense that most politicians, especially the ones at the top echelons of power, are like old-fashioned Kabbalistic golems, animated out of clay by skilled magicians who can control them from afar.

Of course, that's been going on for a long time. Remember George Bush, a wind-up man getting remote control instructions through his earphone in the 2004 Presidential debates?

But it's getting worse and worse. That's why I can't stand to watch Gingrich and Santorum and all the other Republican wax model men mouth their lines on the stage these days. You know they'll say whatever they're told...whatever they think it will take to win.

Camcorder

60 Hours of Video a Minute Uploaded to YouTube

You Tube web page
© AFP
YouTube said Monday that 60 hours of video are being uploaded every minute to the video-sharing site and it is attracting more than four billion views a day.

"In 2007 we started at six hours, then in 2010 we were at 24 hours, then 35, then 48," the Google-owned YouTube said in a blog post.

"And now... 60 hours of video every minute, an increase of more than 30 percent in the last eight months," YouTube said.

"In other words, you're uploading one hour of video to YouTube every second," it said.

YouTube also said it has exceeded four billion video views a day, up 25 percent in the last eight months.

Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion.

The Mountain View, California-based Internet search and advertising giant has not yet announced a profit for the video-sharing site despite its massive global popularity.

YouTube has been gradually adding professional content such as full-length television shows and movies to its vast trove of amateur video offerings in a bid to attract advertisers.

Source: Agence France Presse

Handcuffs

Former CIA officer charged in alleged leaks

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former CIA officer with repeatedly leaking classified information, including the identities of agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of alleged terrorists.

 John Kiriakou
© ABC News/AP
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou, who told reporters he participated in the interrogation of terrorist Abu Zubaydah, has been charged with leaking classified secrets about CIA operatives and other information to reporters.
The case against John Kiriakou, who also served as a senior Senate aide, extends the Obama administration's crackdown on disclosures of national security secrets. Kiriakou, 47, is the sixth target of a leaks-related prosecution since President Obama took office, exceeding the total number of comparable prosecutions under all previous administrations combined, legal experts said.

Kiriakou, who was among the first to go public with details about the CIA's use of water-boarding and other harsh interrogation measures, was charged with disclosing classified information to reporters and lying to the agency about the origin of other sensitive material he published in a book. He faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

In its criminal filing, the Justice Department obscured many of the details of Kiriakou's alleged disclosures. But the document suggests that Kiriakou, 47, was a source for stories by The New York Times and other news organizations in 2008 and 2009 about some of the agency's most sensitive operations after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. These include the capture of alleged al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaida and the interrogation of the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The Justice Department said that the information Kiriakou supplied to journalists also contributed to a subsequent security breach at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, enabling defense attorneys there to obtain photographs of CIA operatives suspected of being involved in harsh interrogations. Some of the pictures were subsequently discovered in the cells of high-value detainees.