America

NATO Crosses Into Pakistan, Completes Two Airstrikes

From NATO:

ANSF (the Afghan National Security force) received direct and indirect fire at Combat Outpost Narizah near the Pakistan border. An air weapons team in the area observed the enemy fire, and following International Security Assistance Force rules of engagement, crossed into the area of enemy fire.

These aren't unmanned drones. The first fighting occurred Friday, followed by a second incident on Saturday. The AP says a third strike may have occurred today. NPR's Quil Lawrence tells Morning Edition US and coalition troops are allowed to pursue insurgents into Pakistan in 'hot pursuit' or in self-defense. NATO says dozens of insurgents were killed while the Taliban claims all the dead are civilians.

LIMITED FREEZE ON JEWISH SETTLEMENT BUILDING EXPIRES

Builders broke ground in two occupied West Bank Jewish settlements right after the freeze lapsed on Sunday, an action Palestinians had warned would prompt them to quit the latest Mideast peace talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend the suspension but urged Palestinians to remain at the negotiating table.  One Palestinian negotiator said the matter will be taken up Oct. 4 by an Arab League committee. That gives the Obama Administration about a week to save the talks but the State Department repeated its opposition to the settlement building.

RAIN AND DROUGHT

A weak levee broke Sunday in Portage, Wisc. sending floodwater from the Wisconsin River into the central Wisconsin town. Some 300 residents were asked to evacuate and there are no reports of injuries. The breach is symbolic of Wisconsin's rainiest year ever and the saturated ground can't absorb more. The governors of Wisconsin and Minnesota declared states of emergency and Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he'll ask his state's legislature for a special session to deal with aid for flood victims.

In the Mid-Atlantic, it's drought. There's even a natural disaster/drought declaration for Pennsylvania; western Maryland is feeling parched, too and some farmers say they'll lose their corn and soybean crops.

NOW THEY'LL WATCH YOU ON FB

The New York Times reports today the Obama Administration is preparing legislation allowing agents to eavesdrop or read communication on social networking sites and places that offer encrypted mail (that's for you Blackberry users). The FBI's General Counsel says these would be lawfully authorized intercepts. But the problem is more nuanced than it appears. It's not just getting a judge's okay to listen in on phone conversations. Sometimes mobile or web communication is encrypted and the provider doesn't have a way to unscramble it; the proposed law would require providers to have technology to do so. The Times report cites an Internet policy researcher who says the government wants to make the decentralized web function the way the old phone system used to work.


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