Newscast Media — Gil Kerlikowske, the White House drug czar, said police stumbled across industrial-sized plantations of marijuana in the foothills of Sierra Nevada, in California. Over the past three weeks, 97 people have been arrested, most of them Mexican nationals believed to have ties with Mexican drug cartels.
Margaret Mims, Fresno County Sherrif said, “They (the crime gangs) continue their criminal conduct during their off-season with other illegal drug and violent activities in our local communities.”
Experts say Mexican cartels are increasingly growing marijuana in the US, rather than smuggling it here.
Newscast Media Las Vegas — The Hip Hop International descended upon Red Rock Casino in Vegas bringing over 1,500 dancers from 30 different countries. On August 6 and 7, eight of the world’s most respected B-boy crews will battle in the inaugural Ultimate B-Boy Championship in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Cirque du Soleil has also announced plans to create a Michael Jackson-themed show, which will tour next fall and settle in Vegas in 2012. http://newscastmedia.com/popculture.htm
Newscast Media Washington DC– Senator Lindsay Graham is considering introducing legislation that would overturn the 14th amendment and end birthright citizenship of people who come to America illegally. Graham said, “I would like to deal with the 12 million (illegals) firmly and squarely. You can’t stay here on your own terms. You have to learn English. You have to pay fines, you have to get in the back of lines if you want to be a citizen.”
Graham says he might introduce a constitutional amendment that changes these rules. Right now if a non-citizen has a child in America, the child automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.
“Birth-right citizenship, I think is a mistake, we should change our constitution and say that if you come here illegally and have a child, that child is not automatically a citizen,” said Graham.
Newscast Media — Former Agriculture Department staffer Shirley Sherrod has said she will sue Andrew Breitbart for posting a video she said was doctored. Sherrod told the National Association of Black Journalists said, “I will definitely do it. I knew it was racism, and no one had to tell me that,” she said. “Right will win the end.” Sherrod said Breitbart still hasn’t apologized to her.
Even though Breitbart received an invitation by the NABJ to tell his side of the story, they still couldn’t reach a compromise regarding the final details. Sherrod was fired after the video in which she gave a speech to the NAACP was released.
“I wish he (Breitbart) had come here because I would really like to talk to him,” Sherrod said. He has to know that he was targeting me.”
At the National Urban League conference, Obama said, “We were reminded this past week that we’ve still got work to do when it comes to promoting the values of fairness and equality and mutual understanding that must bind us together as a nation.”
Sherrod is still pondering whether to accept the offer made to her by the agency which offered to re-employ her. http://newscastmedia.com/breitbart.htm
Newscast Media New York — HarperCollins has released the book cover of Sarah Palin’s new book through the Associated Press. The cover photo for the book is a portrait in red, white, blue and gray.
Her book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,” comes out in November. This will be the second book by Sarah Palin published HarperCollins, which also published Palin’s million-selling “Going Rogue.”
Newscast Media Washington DC –The FBI may soon have access to Internet activity and records of Web users without a court order if a proposal by the Obama administration is approved.
The four missing words that the Obama administration would like to add in order to make this possible are -”Electronic Communication Transactional Records.” Once these words are added, the FBI may demand and seize records without the approval of a judge. Many Internet service providers have resisted the government’s demands to turn over electronic records, arguing that surveillance law as written does not allow them to do so.
Officials say the type of information would include the addresses to which a user sends e-mail, the times and dates e-mail was sent and received, and most likely the user’s browser history. Administration officials say the information would not include the contents of the e-mail or other Internet connection. This would seem to imply that government lawyers aren’t interested in what the e-mail says, which defeats the whole purpose of seizing the emails to begin with.
Government lawyers say this practice would protect us from terrorists and would also help them retrieve information relevant to intelligence investigations. Michelle Richardson, a critic and lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union said, “The proposal is “incredibly bold, given the amount of electronic data the government is already getting.” http://newscastmedia.com/fbi.htm
Newscast Media Phoenix Arizona — An Arizona judge has responded to a lawsuit filed by the U.S Department of Justice by nullifying certain aspects of the immigration law. Even though the law will still be effective, U.S. district judge Susan Bolton struck a provision that requires police officers to determine the immigration status of people they detain. She also nullified a provision that requires immigrants to carry identification papers at all times.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Bolton said, “There is a substantial likelihood that officers will wrongfully arrest legal resident aliens under the new law. By enforcing this statute, Arizona would impose a ‘distinct, unusual and extraordinary’ burden on legal resident aliens.”
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, said the state will probably appeal the ruling. She said, “It is a temporary bump in the road, we will move forward, and I’m sure that after consultation with our counsel we will appeal. The bottom line is that we’ve known all along that it is the responsibility of the feds, and they haven’t done their job, so we were going to help them do that.”
Thousands of activists have planned a demonstration against the law in Arizona on Thursday, despite the court’s ruling. http://newscastmedia.com/arizon-immigration-law.htm
Newscast Media Houston, TX– Spearheaded by Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Chris Christie of New Jersey, the Republican Governors Association has released its first major attack ad on the Obama administration called 14 Weeks.
The narrator says, “For too long, our nation has been governed by politicians in Washington DC, detached from the people. Out of touch with our concerns. Dictating how we are supposed to live our lives. Eliminating our freedoms…and binding our children and grandchildren to lives buried in debt. America, we can do better.
Through the governors alliance, the Republican Governors Association is looking to humanity’s best asset…the individual citizen, for the answers to the great challenges, of our generation.
Believing in the strength, not of Washington, but of the states, our local communities, and one another, to lead our country forward… from the team that helped bring back New Jersey, Virginia. Join us, as America once again…triumphs.”
The ad also features former president Ronald Reagan who speaks at the end saying, “We must act today, in order to preserve tomorrow.” The 14 weeks, I assume, is in reference to the amount of time left before the November elections. http://newscastmedia.com/rga.htm
Newscast Media Battle Creek Mich– The Lakehead System Oil line carrying oil Sarnia, Ontario has leaked over 800,000 gallons of oil, endangering wildlife and birds in southwestern Michigan. The pipe belongs to Calgary-based Enbridge Inc., and carries crude oil from Griffith, Ind., to Sarnia.
Gina Jordan an Enbridge spokeswoman said,”We know that leak has had a major impact on people in that community and on the environment and on wildlife. Our crews are currently working on containment using booms and oil skimmers and vacuum trucks.”
Enbridge does not know yet what caused the leak, but are working closely with the U.S. Fishing and Wildlife Services. The leak started Monday and residents in the Battle Creek and Emmett Townships have been warned by authorities about the strong odor in the area.
“There are confirmed reports of birds impacted by the oil … we’re also working with Focus Wildlife, a rehabilitation contractor who is on site and they are setting up a decontamination and handling site for any affected wildlife. We’re very much focused on the cleanup of the spill. There will be a thorough investigation of the incident,” said Jordan.
This is the second major oil spill this year. It comes right after BP is said to have contained the first one that occurred in the Gulf coast area. http://newscastmedia.com/michiganoilspill.htm
Newscast Media — A new shelter system called the STATIM (Storm, Tornado And Tsunami Interconnected Modules) Shelter System, has been unveiled by a U.S inventor. Miguel A. Serrano, a land development consultant from Puerto Rico has brandished what could become the first line of defense for governments against two of the most devastating natural events on the planet, tsunamis and major floods.
Serrano said, “After watching the devastation and aftermath of the 2004 Indonesian tsunami and hurricane Katrina events, I committed myself to designing a preparedness tool capable of offering an effective level of protection against such catastrophic events. The end result is a revolutionary shelter system that is both highly effective, and cost efficient.”
The new system, for which a US patent has been allowed, is an enclosable hull comprised of a series of pre-cast concrete modules, similar to large diameter concrete drainage pipes. Once assembled via gasketed joints, and a post-tensioned cables technique, it provides a water-tight environment with positive buoyancy and self-righting capability. Inside, the shelters are equipped with secure seating arrangements for as many as 50 occupants, ventilation, and various options of survival gear and supplies capable of sustaining the occupants during and after the actual event, until available rescue resources can assist. The STATIM Shelter can be considered the equivalent of an “inland” life boat.
Serrano explained, “Concrete is a low cost material readily available worldwide, doesn’t require skilled labor, and has a long life cycle. Additionally, it is strong and provides the necessary mass and inertia for the shelters to safely handle the initial event forces. The modular concept and post-tensioning technique allows for off-site mass manufacturing, ease of transportability, and rapid final assembly once the modules arrive to the final installation sites.”
The system is already receiving rave reviews from governments and other prospective users, such as coastal resorts and industrial facilities operators. http://newscastmedia.com/statim.htm
Newscast Media — Tony Hayward, the BP chief executive, will receive a pension of $930,000 which will be effective immediately after he leaves the company in October.
Because Mr Hayward was leaving by mutual agreement rather than being fired, the BP board felt it had to honor the terms of its contract with him. The contract stipulates that that those who joined before April 2006 can take the pension at any point from age 50. Mr Hayward is 53.
U.S. politicians along with residents of the Gulf coast critisized Mr. Hayward for his handling of the spill, including saying that he “just wanted his life back” and that the Gulf of Mexico was a “big ocean” following the leak. Either way, the size of his pension is sure to ruffle some feathers among casual observers.
Newscast Media — An estimated 200 women are killed every year in India on allegations of witchcraft. Most of the deaths occur in poverty-stricken villages in the northern Indian state of Jharkhand, and other states like Haryana and Orissa.
Chairman of the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra, Avdhash Kaushal said that most victims were either single or widowed and were usually targeted for their money. These women are forced to drink urine or eat excrement in public and are then paraded naked through the village. Many of the women commit suicide after such humiliation and shame.
Kaushal said, “During our legal literacy program in tribal villages, we came across these incidents of women being called witches and then being killed.” More than 2,500 women have been killed for being witches in the past 15 years Kausal said.
Kausal emphasized, “A law against killing in the name of witchcraft has been passed in the states of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chattisgarh, but it is rarely implemented and the highest punishment for committing such a barbaric act is only three months.”
Newscast Media — Under the Obama administration record numbers of illegal immigrants are being deported and businesses that hire undocumented workers are being audited too.
Roughly 400,000 people are expected to be deported by The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which is nearly 10 percent more than in 2007 under George W. Bush. The pace of auditing companies has also quadrupled since Bush’s final year as president.
A June 30 memorandum from ICE director John Morton instructed officers to focus their “principal attention” on felons and repeat lawbreakers. The policy, influenced by a series of sometimes-heated White House meetings, also targets repeat border crossers and declares that parents caring for children or the infirm should be detained only in unusual cases.
Morton said, “We’re trying to put our money where our mouth is. You’ve got to have aggressive enforcement against criminal offenders. You have to have a secure border. You have to have some integrity in the system.”
According to DHS figures 240,000 illegals have been identified by The Secure Communities as having been convicted of crimes. Of those, about 30,000 have been deported, including 8,600 convicted of what the agency calls “the most egregious offenses.” http://www.newscastmedia.com/illegal-immigrants.htm
Newscast Media Tehran – Gen. Morteza Saffari says Iran is militarily ready to diffuse any U.S. navy assault. The former naval chief for Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said, “We have set aside 100 military vessels for each U.S. warship to attack at the time of necessity.”
The conservative weekly Panjereh newspaper reported that Saffari said more than 100 foreign warships were currently in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, adding that their sailors were morsels for Iran’s military to target.
Based on the general’s numbers of the 100 foreign ships, he implies that Iran has 10,000 war vessels to counter the foreign ships. Iran has threatened to seal off the Gulf’s strategic Strait of Hormuz — through which 40 percent of the world’s oil passes — in response to any military attack.
“Any moment the exalted supreme leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) orders — or should the enemy carry out the smallest threat against (Iran’s ruling) Islamic system — the Guard is ready for quick reaction. We believe the enemy, through extensive psychological warfare, wants to coerce us, but Iran … is ready,” Saffari said. http://www.newscastmedia.com/iran-navy.htm
Newscast Media Toronto, Canada — The Anglican Church in Canada is trying to contain the fallout after it was reported that one of the female priests Rev. Marguerite Rea, gave Communion to a man and his dog. One of the congregants quit St. Peter’s Anglican Church in downtown Toronto immediately, in protest over the incident that happened June 27.
Donald Keith, the dog owner said, “This happened a month ago. One church parishioner had a problem with it. This morning I wake up and see it on the news that some guy’s dog received communion. Then I go to the dog park and people were talking about it being on the radio.”
Peggy Needham, a lay official said, “I am sure for Rea that was a surprise, like it was for all of us. But nobody felt like it was a big deal, because it wasn’t a big deal.”
Bishop Patrick Yu said he wrote to the parishioner that “It is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give Communion to animals. I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.”
Rev. Marguerite Rea says she served Trapper the Shepherd mix rescue dog and the owner Donald Keith Communion, to make them both feel welcome. Keith said, “This has blown me away. The church is even getting e-mails from Catholics.”
In Christianity, the bread and wine are meant to represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ and are only to be given to those who have been baptized.
Newscast Media — Authorities discovered remains of at least 18 people that were scattered in trenches, at a suspected drug-gang damping site near Monterrey in northern Mexico a spokesperson from the state attorney general’s office in Nuevo Leon state, where Monterrey is located, said.
The bodies were badly decomposed to be identified, and photographs showed charred spots on the soil suggesting some bodies may have been partially burned. Drug cartel hit men have been known to use mass dumping sites to dispose of their victims. In late May, police in the central Mexico tourist town of Taxco discovered 55 bodies in an abandoned silver mine.
At a military academy graduation on Friday, Mexico’s president Felipe Calderon praised the army’s role in the drug fight and called the drug cartels and said, “Our determination is not only not to take a single step backward, but to carry on decisively with this fight, to persevere in the effort until we reach the victory that Mexico deserves.” http://www.newscastmedia.com/monterreymexico.htm
Newscast Media — Oil workers for BP are in the process of being evacuated as tropical storm Bonnie approaches the oil spill site. The U.S. National Hurricane Center reduced it to a tropical depression after crossing southern Florida. The storm is expected to strengthen as it moves further to the Gulf and could be at the site this weekend.
Adm Allen said, “The seismic survey vessels, the acoustic vessels and the vessels operating the ROVs will stay as long as possible, and if conditions allow it, they will remain through the passage of the storm.”
In Louisiana an emergency declaration by Governor Bobby Jindal is underway, and storm alerts are in effect in Alabama, Mississippi, southern Florida and Lousiana.
The storm has already caused flooding in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. BP has suspended relief work at all eight of its oil and gas platforms in the Gulf for the next 10-12 days.
Newscast Media — Facebook, the social media heavyweight, is investigating how a post written by Sarah Palin that was against the mosque about to be built at Ground Zero mysteriously deleted itself.
Facebook spokesperson Andrew Noyes said, “Facebook is looking into this incident to determine why and how the content in question was removed.” In the apology, Facebook said, “We’re always working to improve our processes and we apologize for any inconvenience this caused.”
Former Alaska Gov. Palin has since re-posted a new note. The original note was posted on July 20, and it is believed that somehow the original post that was against the Ground Zero mosque, went rogue and unintentionally deleted itself. http://www.newscastmedia.com/sarahpalinfacebook.htm
Newscast Media –After rumors circulated that President Hosni Mubarak, 82, might be having health problems, the Egyptian president gave a televised speech in which he stood for 10 minutes, as a way of reassuring his nation and world leaders that he was in good health.
Speaking in reference to the 58th anniversary of the “July Revolution” Mubarak said, “We celebrate today the anniversary of the revolution, remembering in admiration and respect those who led it.” Mubarak also said, “While I look forward to parliamentary elections that push forward our democratic experience, I call on all political parties to come up with ideas and visions to deal with these priorities – on which there is no disagreement.”
In regard to the economy he said, “Brother and sisters, economic growth and social justice are the goals we must aspire to today and tomorrow. We have made significant achievements on that front and we will achieve more.” The president appeared healthy but thinner than usual.
In March this year, Mubarak flew to Germany to have gallblader surgery at Heidelberg University Hospital. During his three week absence, Mubarak temporarily handed the political reigns to his prime minister, Ahmed Nazif.
If Mubarak chooses not to run for a sixth six-year term in 2011, it is speculated that his son Gamal, 46, will likely succeed him. Both Mubarak and his son deny the rumors and speculation.
The annual speech commemorates the Egyptian military coup of 1952 led by General Neguib, Colonel Abdel Nasser and Colonel Anwar Sadat that ended the reign of the former King Farouk and his son Fu’ad II. http://www.newscastmedia.com/mubarak.htm
Newscast Media — Shoppers have taken the 99 Cents store to court for unfair and deceptive business practices, after the chain store raised prices to 99.99 cents at 277 outlets in California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas in 2008.
Dan Callahan, the lawyer for the shoppers, said: “If they call themselves 99 Cents Only, it should be 99 cents. The people they’re taking advantage of are the ones least able to discern the difference and least able to afford it.”
The store denies deceiving its customers, even though the price raise has brought in an extra $12 million at the cash registers annually. http://www.newscastmedia.com/99centstore.htm