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Archive for December 11th, 2014

Congress Is About to Block the Feds from Cracking Down on Medical Marijuana

By Tim Burger
Vice

WASHINGTON –– On the eve of the deadline to pass spending legislation that will avoid another government shutdown debacle, Congress appears poised to send a bill to President Obama that would ban the Department of Justice from meddling with state medical marijuana laws.

Tucked at the bottom of page 213 o​f the latest omnibus appropriations bill, a provision states that “[n]one of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used… to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana,” listing 32 states, as well as the District of Columbia, where the amendment would apply.

To read the full story click here. 

Hacking Attack on Sony Pictures Was Alarmingly Sophisticated, FBI Said

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The hacking attack on Sony Pictures was so sophisticated and unprecedented that most governments and companies could not have defended against it, Variety reports.

An FBI official gave an alarming assessment of the attack to a Senate Committee on Wednesday.

“The malware that was used would have slipped, probably would have gotten past 90% of the net defenses that are out there today in private industry, and I would challenge to even say government,” Joseph Demarest, assistant director of the FBI’s cyberdivision, told members of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Federal officials are investigating whether there is a link to North Korea, where officials had been arguing against the release of the comedy “The Interview.”

 

Federal Judge Sets Deadline on DOJ’s Decision to Subpoena NYT Reporter

Reporter James Risen

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge has given the Justice Department until Tuesday to decide whether to subpoena New York Times reporter James Risen to testify against a CIA operative who allegedly leaked classified information to the journalist, the Huffington Post reports.

U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema issued the order Tuesday.

Former CIA operative Jeffrey Sterling is accused of supplying Risen with classified information that was used for the journalist’s book, “State of War: The Secret History of the Cia and the Bush Administration.”

The book sparked the legal battle.

But now the judge is growing impatient and wants a decision on whether Risen will be ordered to testify.

“Since June 2, 2014, the United States has had over six months to decide whether it will subpoena James Risen to testify at this trial, which is scheduled to begin Monday, January 12, 2015,” the order read. “Because Mr. Risen’s presence or absence at the trial will have a significant impact on how the parties present their case, a decision about Mr. Risen must be made sufficiently before trial to enable the parties to prepare adequately.”

Border Patrol Agent Accused of Fatally Shooting Man over Argument Pleads Not Guilty

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Border Patrol agent accused of fatally shooting a 27-year-old man following an argument last month pleaded not guilty Wednesday, CBSLA.com reports.

John Richard Demery, 40, is charged in the killing of Adam Thomas in an early morning dispute.

Demery was off-duty at the time.

Prosecutors said the confrontation may have been prompted by a speeding or racing incident.

Demery is in jail on a $1 million bond.

 

Border Patrol Agents Intercept Invasive Insects from Latin American Cargo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents aren’t just worried about illegal immigrants and terrorists entering the U.S.

Fox News reports that CBP agriculture specialists intercepted invasive insects coming from in on container ships.

“Keeping these insect pests out of the United States is of grave concern for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and our agriculture specialists take their job very seriously,” Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia, said in a press release. “Holding the line against destructive insects at our nation’s borders protects America’s varied agricultural industries, and saves our nation’s economy the expense associated with eradicating and recovering from new invasive species.”

Because many bugs can be dangerous to humans, livestock and ecosystems, the U.S. has stringent rules on the types of bugs allowed into the country.

One of the recent seizures involved a seed bug that came from a shipment in Costa Rica. It poses serious risks to crops, shrubs, grains and trees.

Suspected Drug Smuggler Sues U.S. After Border Patrol Dog Mauls Him

istock photo

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A drug smuggler mauled by a Border Patrol dog while trying to bring drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border is suing the federal government, The Week reports.

Jose Manual Marino-Najera, 31, said he crossed the border into Arizona and fell asleep under a tree when the dog mauled him.

The lawsuit claims the agents “ignored his cries for help.”

Marino’s attorney said the lawsuit is possible, even though the defendant was in the country illegally, because he was in the U.S. at the time of incident.

The suit seeks lost income and compensation for severe pain and suffering.

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