by Allison Wisk

Days after footage of a South Carolina police shooting refueled a national conversation, a Texas bill that would limit filming of police activity met its demise.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, R-Dallas, confirmed Friday that he will not seek a public hearing for his bill, which would have made it illegal for a resident to film within 25 feet of police activity. Those carrying handguns would have been kept from photographing or recording police within 100 feet. The bill contains an exception for the news media.

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by Colin Campbell

Vice President Joe Biden seems to have taken a liking to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s grandson.

Bloomberg’s daughter, Georgina Bloomberg, posted a Facebook photo on Wednesday of Biden and a young child. In the photo, Biden appears to have a pacifier in his mouth.

“What’s a boy to do when the Vice President steals your pacifier?” Georgina Bloomberg wrote next to the photo.

Her son, Jasper Michael Brown Quintana, was born at the end of last year.

The elder Bloomberg was in Washington on Wednesday, where he was recognized as an honorary knight by the United Kingdom. Biden also attended the ceremony, according to a press release from the British ambassador’s office.

The Facebook post was first flagged on Thursday by the Independent Journal Review and by the Jewish Insider newsletter.

Biden’s office did not respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

Last updated 6:31 p.m.

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by Jeremy B. White

California lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill barring most parents from opting out of vaccinations for children enrolled in school, voting after a nearly four-hour emotional hearing that saw multiple people ejected for shouting over legislators.

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by Andy Campbell

A bill introduced in the Texas House of Representatives would make it illegal for private citizens to record police within 25 feet.

House Bill 2918, introduced by state Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) on Tuesday, would make the offense a misdemeanor. Citizens who are armed would not be permitted to record police activity within 100 feet of an officer, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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FBI’s AMERITHRAX Case just unravelled. Ex-FBI agent who directed investigation suing FBI, turns whistleblower!!!

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On the whistleblower’s firing:

Former Agent Says FBI Memo Cost Him New Job

by Kevin Lessmiller

A former FBI agent claims in a lawsuit that he was fired by his new employer because the agency published a legal opinion falsely accusing him of breaking the law.

Richard Lambert sued Attorney General Eric Holder, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Justice Department, the FBI, FBI employee Patrick Kelley and unknown Justice Department and FBI employees for legal malpractice and violations of the Federal Tort Claims Act and Privacy Act.

 

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Former F.B.I. Agent Sues, Claiming Retaliation Over Misgivings in Anthrax Case

by Scott Shane

WASHINGTON — When Bruce E. Ivins, an Army microbiologist, took a fatal overdose of Tylenol in 2008, the government declared that he had been responsible for the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, which killed five people and set off a nationwide panic, and closed the case.

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by Nadia Prupis

As California Governor Jerry Brown this week instituted the state’s first-ever mandatory restrictions on water usage to combat its historic four-year drought, environmental activists are pointing out two glaring exemptions from the order: the fossil fuel and agriculture industries.

Brown’s mandate, announced Wednesday, directs cities and communities to cut down their water consumption by 25 percent, but does not make any requirements of the state’s numerous oil companies, including those which practice the water-heavy fracking method of extraction, nor of large-scale farming operations.

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Californians Outraged As Oil Producers & Frackers Excluded From Emergency Water Restrictions

California’s oil and gas industry is estimated (with official data due to be released in coming days) to use more than 2 million gallons of fresh water per day; so it is hardly surprising that, as Reuters reports, Californians are outraged after discovering that these firms are excluded from Governor Jerry Brown’s mandatory water restrictions, “forcing ordinary Californians to shoulder the burden of the drought.”

From Reuters,

California should require oil producers to cut their water usage as part of the administration’s efforts to conserve water in the drought-ravaged state, environmentalists said on Wednesday.

Governor Jerry Brown ordered the first statewide mandatory water restrictions on Wednesday, directing cities and communities to cut their consumption by 25 percent. But the order does not require oil producers to cut their usage nor does it place a temporary halt on the water intensive practice of hydraulic fracturing.

California’s oil and gas industry uses more than 2 million gallons of fresh water a day to produce oil through well stimulation practices including fracking, acidizing and steam injection, according to estimates by environmentalists. The state is expected to release official numbers on the industry’s water consumption in the coming days.

“Governor Brown is forcing ordinary Californians to shoulder the burden of the drought by cutting their personal water use while giving the oil industry a continuing license to break the law and poison our water,” said Zack Malitz of environmental group Credo.

“Fracking and toxic injection wells may not be the largest uses of water in California, but they are undoubtedly some of the stupidest,” he said.

The industry has received scrutiny for how it disposes of undrinkable water produced during oil drilling. Last month the state ordered the operators of 12 wells to halt injections of the water out of fear that it could contaminate fresh drinking water supplies.

In an interview with the PBS Newshour on Wednesday, Brown indicated that curbing oil industry water use would not help a state so dependent on petroleum products such as gasoline and diesel.

“If we don’t take it out of our ground, we’ll take it out of someone else’s,” Brown said.
Suck it up, or well don’t as the case may be, serfs.

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By Nafeez Ahmed

Last month, the Washington DC-based Physicians for Social Responsibility (PRS) released a landmark study concluding that the death toll from 10 years of the “War on Terror” since the 9/11 attacks is at least 1.3 million, and could be as high as 2 million.

The 97-page report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning doctors’ group is the first to tally up the total number of civilian casualties from US-led counter-terrorism interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The PSR report is authored by an interdisciplinary team of leading public health experts, including Dr. Robert Gould, director of health professional outreach and education at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, and Professor Tim Takaro of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University.

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By Michael Nevradakis

Longtime ABC News and NPR correspondent Kati Marton talks about her best-selling book, The Polk Conspiracy: Murder and Cover-Up in the Case of CBS News Correspondent George Polk, its recent re-release as part of the Forbidden Bookshelf series of e-books, and about the murder of US journalist George Polk in Greece during the country’s civil war in 1948 and the alleged conspiracy behind his killing.

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By Frances Stonor Saunders

On 25 January 1933, the 16-year-old Eric Hobsbawm marched with thousands of comrades through central Berlin to the headquarters of the German Communist Party (KPD). When they arrived at Karl Liebknecht Haus, on the Bülowplatz, the temperature was –18°C. They shuffled and waited in the bone-numbing cold for four hours to hear the podium speeches of the party cadres. As Hobsbawm would recall much later, there was singing – ‘The Internationale’, peasant war songs, the ‘Soviet Airmen’s Song’ – with intervals of heavy silence. The red flags and banners could not dispel the greyness – of the shadowy buildings, the sky, the crowd – or the realisation that ‘the inevitability of world revolution’ had been postponed, that what faced the beleaguered movement in the short term was a reckoning: ‘danger, capture, resistance to interrogation, defiance in defeat’.​[Unless otherwise stated, all Hobsbawm quotations are from his autobiography, Interesting Times: A 20th-Century Life (2002).] Not the New Jerusalem, then, but a new circle of hell.

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By EA Dyson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, WikiLeaks released draft text of the all-important investment chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. A Friends of the Earth analysis of the leaked TPP investment chapter text shows that the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the White House have been misrepresenting the implications of TPP investment provisions, saying that the TPP provisions for investor-state dispute resolution are similar to U.S. constitutional standards (as when the state highway department takes a family’s backyard for a road expansion and must pay them just compensation).  In fact, the TPP investment chapter text exposed by WikiLeaks departs significantly from U.S. constitutional standards.

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