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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Verrazano Bridge toll to increase as MTA plans fare hikes | SILive.com

"The authority has some leeway on just how to do this. For instance, the last hike in 2013 jacked up the cash toll of the Verrazano from $13 to $15 and the E-ZPass toll from $5.76 to $6.36 (with the toll rolling back to $6 per trip after the third trip). The base fare for bus and subway rides, as well as the Staten Island Railway, rose a quarter to $2.50, and express bus rides increased 50 cents to an even $6."

NYTimes: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Crashes in New Setback for Commercial Spaceflight

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Report Reveals Wider Tracking of Mail in U.S. - NYTimes.com

"WASHINGTON — In a rare public accounting of its mass surveillance program, the United States Postal Service reported that it approved nearly 50,000 requests last year from law enforcement agencies and its own internal inspection unit to secretly monitor the mail of Americans for use in criminal and national security investigations.

The number of requests, contained in a 2014 audit of the surveillance program by the Postal Service’s inspector general, shows that the surveillance program is more extensive than previously disclosed and that oversight protecting Americans from potential abuses is lax."

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Blackwater Guards Found Guilty in 2007 Iraq Killings - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON — Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

The convictions on murder, manslaughter and weapons charges represented a legal and diplomatic victory for the United States government, which had urged Iraqis to put their faith in the American court system. That faith was tested repeatedly over seven years as the investigation had repeated setbacks, leaving Iraqis deeply suspicious that anyone would be held responsible for the deaths.

Jurors’ Note Hints at Conviction in Blackwater Case OCT. 1, 2014
As Blackwater Trial Closes, Focus Turns to Moments Before Chaos AUG. 28, 2014


Blackwater Guards Found Guilty in 2007 Iraq Killings - NYTimes.com

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Liberian Leader: Ebola May Cause 'Lost Generation'

"DAKAR, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The Ebola outbreak in West Africa risks unleashing an economic catastrophe that will leave a "lost generation" of young West Africans, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said on Sunday, urging stronger international action.

The worst epidemic on record of the deadly virus has now killed more than 4,500 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Eight people have also died in Nigeria and cases have been reported in the United States and Spain.

Johnson Sirleaf said the international reaction to the outbreak, detected in March deep in the forests of southern Guinea, was initially "inconsistent and lacking in clear direction or urgency."

She said the international community had woken up to the global health risk posed by the epidemic but called for help from every nation with the capacity to do so, either in funding or medical staff and supplies."