The announcement that Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, had been awarded a huge contract to produce up to 450 million rounds of .40 S&W caliber jacketed hollow point ammunition for the Departments of Homeland Security (HSA) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made gun owners nervous.
The State Department held a classified briefing for members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on April 26 regarding the administration’s handling of the reported attempt in February by a high level Chinese official to defect to the United States. As reported here previously, Wang Lijun, the famous “crime fighter” and chief of police for Chonqing City (where he was also vice mayor) made a dramatic, secret visit to the United States Consulate General in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, provoking a major armed standoff between police and military forces representing Chonqing, who had been sent to capture him, and forces from Sichuan, who were ordered to take Wang into custody and stop the Chonqing police from arresting him.
The judge presiding in the case against Army Private Bradley Manning has ruled that all 22 charges against him will stand, including the charge of "aiding the enemy." However, he also warned the military attorneys prosecuting the case that they must prove that Manning knew he was helping the enemy or that particular charge could be thrown out.
As turmoil in the Middle East endures, and as gas prices linger just below the $4-a-gallon mark, one U.S. oil company is offering a rather ambitious guarantee: "There is no Mideast oil in our products." The United Refining Company, based out of Warren, Pennsylvania, pledges that 100 percent of the gas it sells is refined from North American crude — meaning, the oil comes only from the U.S. and Canada.
"We think Americans feel good about it," says John Catsimatidis, CEO and chairman of the United Refining Company. "People drive by, and every time they get annoyed at... (Hugo) Chavez, every time they get annoyed at BP Petroleum, every time they get annoyed at the Middle East, you know what they say? ‘Why don't I buy American oil and buy American-made gasoline?’ "
The gasoline is sold at more than 300 stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York under the Keystone, Country Fair, and Kwik Fill brand names. The company, which brands its products as "American Made Gasoline Driving America!," pumps out approximately 70,000 barrels of oil per day through its facilities in Warren, Pennsylvania, one of the destinations that a 35-year-old Canadian pipeline runs through.
United Refining Company has enjoyed groundbreaking profits since it launched its "Made in America" marketing campaign, which heavily advertises its no-Mideast-oil guarantee. Television commercials tout the benefit, Kwik Fill stations have "Driving America" signs strung across their stores, and the slogan is even branded on some of the gas pumps. The Kwik Fill website highlights the company’s "buy American" approach:
NATO will be holding its 25th summit in President Obama’s hometown of Chicago, United States, on 20-21 May 2012,” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has announced.
According to NATO’s website, the Chicago conference is expected to “deliver on decisions that were taken at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, driving forward key Alliance policies and reaffirming the transatlantic link.”
Among the many significant achievements announced by the heads of state and government in the 2010 Lisbon Declaration referenced above is their claim that “we have ... invited Russia to deepen its cooperation with us on the areas where we have common interests.”
A dramatic move toward closer ties between NATO and Russia has played out over the past several years while, on the surface, at least, relations between Brussels and Moscow have appeared to deteriorate. President-elect Vladimir Putin, who has been noted for bashing the United States and NATO, stepped up the harsh rhetoric during his recent presidential campaign, no doubt gaging much of his forensic attack to appeal to Russian nationalism. How much of this was theatrics for domestic and international consumption is open to debate. However, in his role as prime minister, Putin approved of NATO's use of Russian territory for air supply convoys for the Afghanistan War.
Padilla (left) is a citizen of the United States and a convicted terrorist. On Monday, he filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court requesting that the nation's highest court review the decision of an appeals court to dismiss his suit alleging torture at the hands of U.S. government officials.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia upheld a lower court's dismissal of the complaint. In his suit, Padilla claimed that, as an American citizen captured within the United States, he was unconstitutionally designated as an "enemy combatant," and alleged a range of other constitutional violations arising from his detention at a military prison in South Carolina.
Additionally, Padilla said that he was denied access to legal counsel in contravention of his civil rights as guaranteed by the First, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Padilla also asserted that he was denied access to the courts in violation of his constitutional rights as set out in Article III, the First Amendment, the Fifth Amendment, and that the government of the United States refused to permit his writ of habeas corpus in violation of the the Habeas Corpus Suspension Clause of Article I.
Russian “Airborne Assault Forces” will be arriving in Colorado this May for joint terror-war exercises with U.S. soldiers, according to U.S. officials and Russian military personnel cited in media reports. The Kremlin’s Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense both said it would be the first time in history that American and Russian airborne special operations troops would be training together on U.S. soil.
Analysts and commentators across the alternative media expressed alarm about the controversial announcement, likening it to a scene out of the movieRed Dawn or the predictions made by the late radio host Bill Cooper. It was not immediately clear exactly why the Obama administration decided to allow the scheme.
“The Russian soldiers are here as invited guests of the U.S. government; this is part of a formal bilateral exchange program between the U.S. and Russia that seeks to develop transparency and promote defense reform,” Cmdr. Wendy L. Snyder, U.S. Defense Press Officer for policy, told The New American in an e-mail. “This is the first time that American and Russian special operations troops have participated in a bilateral exercise.”
Perhaps prodded by Virginia’s success in passing a law preventing the federal government from apprehending and indefinitely detaining citizens of that state, the state legislature of Arizona on Tuesday passed its own anti-NDAA bill.
Candidate for Senate Dan Liljenquist pledged to The New American that should he be elected to the U.S. Senate he will offer legislation explicitly repealing the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Over the weekend, President Barack Obama signed an executive order granting himself power to impose sanctions against companies that are suspected of assisting the Syrian and Iranian regimes of employing information technology to carry out human rights abuses.