“I just thought, This will freak everyone out. It’ll be so funny. I’ll announce that I am running. I told Leno I was running. And two months later I was governor.”—Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an interview with Vanity Fair. (via californiawatch)
“I really think that I’ve thought over a lot of cases I’ve written over the years. And I really wouldn’t want to do any one of them over…With one exception. My vote in the Texas death case. And I think I do mention that in that case, I think that I came out wrong on that.”—Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News.
Federal records show that Facebook has more than tripled its federal lobbying spending since 2009, from about $200,000 to more than $730,000 this year. Much of Facebook’s recent lobbying activity has focused on net neutrality and privacy issues. Read more.
California marijuana shipment tracked to NFL player's home
An operation by state narcotics agents that tracked a shipment of high-grade marijuana from Northern California led police to a suburban Kentucky house and two National Football League players, law enforcement authorities said.
Cincinnati Bengals teammates Jerome Simpson and Anthony Collins, both 25, were at Simpson’s home in Crestview Hills, Ky., yesterday when a package allegedly containing 2.5 pounds of marijuana arrived at the house in what authorities called a controlled delivery.
A third person, Aleen Smith, allegedly signed for the package, which was sent from Eureka, Calif., and intercepted in Sacramento, authorities said.All three were questioned at the residence, but no arrests were made at the time.
Inside the home, police allegedly found six more pounds of marijuana, other empty parcels, scales and packaging material.
“The house was set up as a potential distribution network,” said Tommy LaNier, head of the National Marijuana Initiative, a group that is funded by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and helps coordinate marijuana enforcement operations around the United States.
“They had it all set up to receive supplies of high-grade marijuana from Northern California, and from there, it was being distributed from that residence,” he said.
“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft. I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”—Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney talked to the Washington Post about her experience on Sept. 11, 2001, when she was a F-16 combat pilot at Andrews Air Force Base. After the attack on the World Trade Center, she was ordered into the air. However, her jet did not have live ammunition in it. Penney and her supervisor made a pact to bring down United Airlines Flight 93, on its way to Washington, using their own planes as weapons.
Programs aimed at keeping a lookout for potential terrorists are not about profiling, government officials stress. But an analysis of suspicious activity reports of incidents at the Mall of America near Minneapolis, by NPR News Investigations and the Center for Investigative Reporting, suggests that the Mall of America may be questioning people based partly on their appearance.
From the more than 1,000 pages of suspicious activity reports examined, the documents suggest almost two-thirds of the “suspicious” people whom the Mall reported to local police were minorities. Compare that with the U.S. population, which is more than 70 percent white. And whites account for 85 percent of the population in Minnesota. Read more of this story.
New document library: Homeland Security audits and reports
After 9/11, money flowed into the newly created Department of Homeland Security. But from its inception, the department has struggled to tame bureaucratic disorganization, mismanagement and waste.
Our new document library contains nearly 2,000 internal audits and government reports from the past 10 years completed by the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Research Service and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General. They highlight problems facing the still-fledgling department.
Search the library to find how your area has handled federal homeland security grants, how prepared the government is for the next major catastrophe and where security gaps still exist that could leave the United States vulnerable to future attacks.
Via The New York Times: “The United Nations announced on Monday that Somalia’s famine had spread to a sixth area within the country, with officials warning that 750,000 people could die in the next few months unless aid efforts were scaled up.”
Photo by Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency: Fatuma Hassan Yarow, a 12-year-old Somali girl, laid on a grass mat in her shelter at Ifo camp in Dadaab town, northeastern Kenya, on Monday.
Ten years ago, Americans watched in horror as their nation came under attack. In the hours that followed, NPR reporters and hosts scrambled to report on the tragic news of the day. We asked several of them to look back on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and describe what stands out to them now, a decade later.
In the days after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the White House and Congress demanded the government find better ways to “connect the dots” of terror threats to prevent a repeat of the carnage.
A year later, a new bureaucracy was created to gather, analyze and share intelligence related to terrorism inside the United States. Now called the Office of Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security, it was envisioned as the center of gravity in a new era of domestic security.
But despite a clear mandate from Congress and hundreds of millions spent on personnel and technology, the office has fallen far short of its mission and done little to improve the accuracy and quality of the nation’s intelligence data, according to an examination by the Center for Investigative Reporting. Read our full investigation.
Here it is, folks — one of the more unpleasant statistics you’ll hear this summer. First, the good news. In Iraq, August marked the first time there were no troop fatalities. Now for the bad news. In Afghanistan, August marked the deadliest month since the war began with 66 troops killed.
Airline pilots are widely seen as having some of the best jobs in America. In reality, pay for pilots has been on the decline for years.
Recent salary records show that a rookie first officer on a regional airline flying out of San Francisco International Airport may be paid less than the worker who washes the airport’s windows.
First officers, sometimes called co-pilots, are second in command on commercial aircraft.
On regional airlines, their starting salaries range from about $20.50 to $29 per hour. That is significantly less than the skipper of a passenger ferry on San Francisco Bay, records compiled by California Watch show. Some earn less than toll takers on the Golden Gate Bridge or California state prison nurses.
Pilots for regional airlines “are paid considerably less to work more hours,” says Brandon Macsata, executive director of the Association for Airline Passenger Rights, an independent organization of air travelers. “And it brings up safety concerns.”