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WEEKLY NEWS DIGEST Circulated Weekly To Cities In Georgia
In The News This Week HITTING THE DEBT LIMIT: WHAT BILLS WOULD BE PAID? Barack Obama warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks unless there was a deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit. Page 1
NEW CORVETTE BURSTS ONTO THE ROAD AFTER 9 YEARS To many fans, the new Corvette symbolizes the rebirth of America's auto industry after its near death in 2009. Page 2
REDDIT CO-FOUNDER DIES IN NY WEEKS BEFORE TRIAL Swartz's family in Chicago expressed not only grief over his death but also bitterness toward federal prosecutors pursuing the case against him in Massachusetts. Page 3
GEORGIA ACCIDENT STATISTICS Accident Statistics from Georgia Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Page 4
GEORGIA ACCIDENT REPORTS This Weeks Accident Reports from Various countys in Georgia. Page 5
FRENCH JETS BOMB MAJOR MALIAN CITY IN NORTH French fighter jets bombed rebel targets in a major city in Mali's north Sunday, Page 6
NRA SAYS CONGRESS WILL NOT PASS WEAPONS BAN The powerful gun lobby is gauging enough support in Congress to block a law that would ban assault weapons,. Page 7
FEDERAL JUDGE LIFTS BAN ON NEVADA HORSE ROUNDUP The Bureau of Land Management can resume its roundup of dozens of wild mustangs in northern Nevada, but wranglers must limit their use of electric cattle prods. Page 8
GETTY MUSEUM TO RETURN ANCIENT ARTIFACT TO SICILY The J. Paul Getty Museum said Thursday it plans to return to Sicily a terra-cotta head depicting the Greek god Hades Page 8
Volume 731 Issue 454
January 14, 2013
H I T T I N G T H E D E B T L I M I T: W H AT B I L L S W O U L D B E PA I D ? WASHINGTON (AP) -- In the summer of 2011, when a debt crisis like the current one loomed, President Barack Obama warned Republicans that older Americans might not get their Social Security checks unless there was a deal to raise the nation's borrowing l i m i t .
"There are only two options to deal with the debt limit: Congress can pay its bills or they can fail to act and put the nation into default," White House press secretary Jay Carney said. "Congress needs to do its job." So what's left if Congress does not act in time?
After weeks of President Barack Obama discusses the continuing budget talks in the briefing Technically, the b r i n k m a n s h i p , room of the White House in Washington. government hit the debt Republicans consented and Obama agreed to a deficit- ceiling at the end of December. Since then, Treasury reduction plan the GOP wanted. Crisis averted, for a time. Secretary Timothy Geithner has halted full payments into the retirement and disability fund for government workers Now that there's a fresh showdown, the possibility of and to the health benefits fund of Postal Service retirees. Social Security cuts -and more - is back on the table. The Treasury can stop payments to a special fund that The government could run out of cash to pay all its bills purchases or sells foreign currencies to stabilize world in full as early as Feb. 15, according to one authoritative financial markets. estimate, and congressional Republicans want significant spending cuts in exchange for raising the borrowing limit. Past administrations have taken such steps to buy Obama, forced to negotiate an increase in 2011, has time awaiting a debt ceiling increase. That happened under pledged not to negotiate again. Presidents Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. The government restored those funds after Congress raised the Without an agreement, every option facing his admin- debt ceiling. istration would be unprecedented. Those measures and others could keep the governIt would require a degree of financial creativity that ment solvent, perhaps as far as early March, according to could test the law, perhaps even the Constitution. an analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center. It could shortchange Social Security recipients and other people, including veteran and the poor, who rely on government programs.
There are other extreme possibilities as well. The federal government could sell some of its assets, from its gold stockpile to its student loan portfolio.
It could force the Treasury to contemplate selling government assets, a step considered but rejected in 2011. In short, the Treasury would have to create its own form of triage, creating a priority list of its most crucial obligations, from interest payments to debtors to benefits to vulnerable Americans.
"All these things are in principle marketable, and in a crisis you'd get huge discounts on them," said Holtz-Eakin, now head of the American Action Forum, a conservative public policy institute. "They wouldn't be good ordinary business, but you would be in extraordinary times."
"It may be that somewhere down the line someone will challenge what the administration did in that moment, but in the moment, who's going to stop them?" asked Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. "I pray we never have to find out how imaginative they are."
According to a treasury inspector general report last year, department officials in 2011 considered and rejected the idea, concluding that gold sales would destabilize the international financial system, that selling off the student loan portfolio was not feasible and that such "fire sales" would buy only limited time.
In such a debt crisis, the president would have to decide what laws he wants to break. Does he breach the borrowing limit without a congressional OK? Does he ignore spending commitments required by law?
An idea pushed by some liberals would take advantage of a legal loophole meant for coin collectors and have the Treasury mint platinum coins that could be deposited at the Federal Reserve and used to pay the nation's bills. But the Treasury issued a statement Saturday putting the idea to rest, saying neither the department nor the Federal Reserve believes the law "can or should be used to facilitate the production of platinum coins for the purpose of avoiding an increase in the debt limit."
In a letter to Obama on Friday, Senate Democratic leaders urged him to consider taking any "lawful steps that ensure that America does not break its promises and trigger a global economic crisis - without congressional approval, if necessary." The White House has resisted that path. It has rejected recommendations that it invoke a provision in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution that states that "the validity of the public debt of the United States ... shall not be questioned."
Once all efforts are exhausted, then the government would be in uncharted territory. At that point, the government would continue to get tax revenue, but hardly enough to keep up with the bills.
Continued on page 3
Legal Street News Monday January 14, 2013
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N E W C O R V E T T E B U R S T S O N T O T H E R O A D A F T E R 9 Y E A R S DETROIT (AP) -When General Motors engineers and designers started work on the next-generation Corvette, they drew up the usual requirements for the star of American cars. muscle
notice dramatic changes on the outside of the two-seat car. The hood slopes low to slice through the wind. All the vents and scoops have functional purposes like cooling the brakes or transmission.
Killer looks. Big engine. Handles like a race car.
On the back, designers took cues from the1963 Corvette, with a sloping roof that tapers toward the bottom. The car has a small Stingray badge on each side, complete with gills. And there's a more modern rendition of the Corvette's
But topping the list back was something at odds with the roar of the car's big V-8: Gas m i l e a g e .
CORRECTS MONTH - The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray debuts in Detroit, Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013. The C7 Corvette debuted before the start of the media previews at the North American International Auto Show
The new Corvette could not be a gas guzzler. Stricter government rules were forcing a leap in fuel economy. If the car burned too much gas, it would trigger fines from regulators and never get built. "There won't be a Corvette if we don't care about fuel economy," said Tadge Juechter, the car's chief engineer. But the 2014 Corvette is here, the first all-new version in nine years. The king of American sports cars, driven by astronauts and celebrated in a Prince song, rolled out Sunday night in Detroit. It will arrive in showrooms this fall.
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To many fans, the new Corvette symbolizes the rebirth of America's auto industry after its near death in 2009, showing the world that it again can lead in technology, styling and performance - at a lower cost that European competitors. Getting there was tough for the 1,000-member Corvette team, which gave the car the code name "C7." GM's bankruptcy slowed development twice. With each delay, new safety and gas mileage regulations forced changes. The Corvette team overhauled the car: aluminum replaced steel, super-light rivets held parts together, and the V-8 engine kicked down to four cylinders at highway speeds, saving fuel. All the changes helped it overcome nine years of government crash safety requirements that could have bloated the car. But even with the lighter materials, the regulations have pushed its weight to a little more than the current base model's 3,200 pounds. Still, it's an engineering achievement. The Corvette is so new that it only shares two parts with the current model. GM said testing is still being done on the car's fuel economy, but it'll be better than the current base model's 16 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway. Juechter said the window sticker highway mileage won't reach 30 mpg, but he wouldn't be surprised to see some drivers get that or more.
The car's usual buyers - men in their mid-50s - will also
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crossed-flag logo. A 6.2-liter small-block V-8 with 450 horsepower takes the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. That's at least a few tenths of a second faster than the current base model. Engineers also redesigned the somewhat-chintzy interior, giving it a jet cockpit look with leather, carbon fiber and soft plastics. GM hopes the styling, performance and updated dashboard electronics will expand the car's appeal to younger buyers. The Corvette's been a favorite of adrenaline junkies for 60 years. Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard owned one from the first year - 1953. The company won't quote a price on the 2014 model. But Juechter said someone who bought the current version can afford the new one. The Corvette starts at $49,600. That is more than $30,000 below what GM considers its chief competitor, the Porsche 911. The car makes a decent profit for GM despite relatively low sales, Juechter said. GM wouldn't give sales targets for the new car. Last year it sold only 14,000 of the aging Corvettes, down from over 30,000 the first few years after the current version was rolled out. Porsche sold about 8,500 911s last year. The prospect of a new `Vette has fans waiting anxiously, browsing the Internet for unauthorized photos or drawings. Thousands of aficionados live in the U.S., and even Europe and the Middle East. John Browning, 70, president of the Renegade Corvette Club of Hollywood, Fla., one of 600 such clubs in the U.S, said some Corvette lovers can't contain themselves. "I've got one member, he just sold his '13 in anticipation, to wait for the '14," said Browning. "I think the Corvette is the icon. As far as I'm concerned you can't get a better deal."
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R E D D I T C O - F O U N D E R D I E S I N N Y W E E K S B E F O R E T R I A L Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, faculty director of the Safra Center for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, wrote: "We need a better sense of justice. ... The question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a `felon.'"
NEW YORK (AP) -- The family of a Reddit co-founder is blaming prosecutors for his suicide just weeks before he was to go on trial on federal charges that he stole millions of scholarly articles. Aaron Swartz hanged himself in his Brooklyn apartment Friday night, his family and authorities said. The 26-yearold had fought to make online content free to the public and as a teenager helped create RSS, a family of Web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users.
Before the Massachusetts' case, Swartz aided Malamud in his effort to post federal court documents for free online, rather than the few cents per page that the government charges through its electronic archive, PACER. Swartz wrote a program in 2008 to legally download the files using free access via public libraries, according to The New York Times. About 20 percent of all the court papers were made available until the government shut down the library access.
In 2011, he was charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available.
The FBI investigated but didn't charge Swartz, he wrote on his website.
He had pleaded not guilty, and his federal trial was to begin next month. If convicted, he faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.
Three years later, Swartz was arrested in Boston. The federal government accused Swartz of using MIT's computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles from JSTOR.
In a statement released Saturday, Swartz's family in Chicago expressed not only grief over his death but also bitterness toward federal prosecutors pursuing the case against him in Massachusetts. "Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's Office and at MIT contributed to his death," they said. Elliot Peters, Swartz's California-based defense attorney and a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the case "was horribly overblown" because Swartz had "the right" to download from JSTOR, a subscription service used by MIT that offers digitized copies of articles from more than 1,000 academic journals. Peters said even the company took the stand that the computer crimes section of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston had overreached in seeking prison time for Swartz and insisting - two days before his suicide - that he plead guilty to all 13 felony counts. Peters said JSTOR's attorney, Mary Jo White - the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan - had called Stephen Heymann, the lead Boston prosecutor in the case. "She asked that they not pursue the case," Peters said. Reached at his home in Winchester, Mass., Heymann referred all questions to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston, Christina DiIorio-Sterling. She did not immediately respond to an email and phone message from the AP seeking comment. A zealous advocate of public online access, Swartz was extolled Saturday by those who believed as he did. He was "an extraordinary hacker and activist," the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an international nonprofit digital rights group based in California wrote in a tribute on its home page. "Playing Mozart's Requiem in honor of a brave and bril-
W HContinued O fromPpage A 1Y S According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the federal government between Feb. 15 and March 15 will get $277 billion in revenue and face $452 billion in obligations. The Treasury would have to decide whether to pay some obligations and not others or to simply pay for one day's bills as it tax revenue rolls in, exponentially delaying payments the longer the debt ceiling is not raised. Under virtually every scenario contemplated, payment of interest on the debt takes precedence to put off a calamitous default. "I happen to think the triage would be chosen to create the maximum amount of political pressure to break the impasse right away, which would be withholding Social
Prosecutors said Swartz hacked into MIT's system in November 2010 after breaking into a computer wiring closet on campus. Prosecutors said he intended to distribute the articles on file-sharing websites.
This Dec. 8, 2012 photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Aaron Swartz, in New York. Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit, hanged himself Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, in New York City. In 2011, he was charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available. He had pleaded not guilty, and his federal trial was to begin next month.
liant man," tweeted Carl Malamud, an Internet public domain advocate who believes in free access to legally obtained files. Swartz co-founded the social news website Reddit, which was later sold to Conde Nast, as well as the political action group Demand Progress, which campaigns against Internet censorship. He apparently struggled at times with depression, writing in a 2007 blog post: "Surely there have been times when you've been sad. Perhaps a loved one has abandoned you or a plan has gone horribly awry. ... You feel worthless. ... depressed mood is like that, only it doesn't come for any reason and it doesn't go for any either."
Experts puzzled over the arrest and argued that the result of the actions Swartz was accused of was the same as his PACER program: more information publicly available. The prosecution "makes no sense," Demand Progress Executive Director David Segal said at the time. "It's like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library." Swartz faced 13 felony charges, including breaching site terms and intending to share downloaded files through peer-to-peer networks, computer fraud, wire fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer, and criminal forfeiture. JSTOR announced this week that it would make more than 4.5 million articles publicly available for free.
AP INTERVIEW: GEORGE P. BUSH WEIGHING RUN IN TEXAS AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on power Republicans have enjoyed for two decades. The 36-year-old Fort Worth attorney says he is close to settling on campaigning for Texas land commissioner next year. He doesn't expect to make up his mind until he knows what Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Republican, decides to do. "We for sure are running, the question is the office," Bush told The Associated Press during the first interview about his political future since filing paperwork in November to seek elected office in Texas. Bush's father is former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, his grandfather is former President George H.W. Bush
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JSTOR didn't press charges once it reclaimed the articles from Swartz, and some legal experts considered the case unfounded, saying that MIT allows guests access to the articles and Swartz, a fellow at Harvard's Safra Center for Ethics, was a guest.
and his uncle is former President and Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Perry has been governor since George W. left for the White House. Land commissioner traditionally has been a steppingstone to higher office, but Bush said little about any plans to eventually become a national political force. Instead, he spoke of how his past experience as an asset manager would help him manage the Permanent Schools Fund, which pays for public education and is managed by the land commissioner. He also said his perspective as an Afghanistan war veteran will help him use the post to become a leader in veterans' affairs. Bush said he would announce his final decision after the Texas Legislature adjourns in May but added that his choice will depend "where the gov-
Continued on page 7
4 Legal Street News Monday January 14, 2013
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FRENCH JETS BOMB MAJOR M A L I A N C I T Y I N N O R T H BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- French fighter jets bombed rebel targets in a major city in Mali's north Sunday, pounding the airport as well as training camps, warehouses and buildings used by the al-Qaida-linked Islamists controlling the area, officials and residents said. The three-day-old French-led effort to take back Mali's north from the extremists began with airstrikes by combat helicopters in the small town of Konna. It has grown to a coordinated attack by state-of-the-art fighter jets which have bombarded at least five towns, of which Gao, which was attacked Sunday afternoon, is the largest. More than 400 French troops have been deployed to the country in the all-out effort to win back the territory from the well-armed rebels, who seized control of an area larger than France nine months ago. What began as a French offensive has now grown to include seven other countries, including logistical support from the U.S. and Europe. The United States is providing communications and transport help, while Britain is sending C17 aircrafts to help Mali's allies transport troops to the frontlines. French President Francois Hollande authorized the intervention after it became clear the swiftly advancing rebels could break Mali's military defenses in Mopti, the first town on the government-controlled side, located in the center of this African country. The move catapulted the world into a fight that diplomats had earlier said would not take place until at least September. "French fighter jets have identified and destroyed this Sunday, Jan. 13, numerous targets in northern Mali near Gao, in particular training camps, infrastructure and logistical depots which served as bases for terrorist groups," the French defense ministry said in a statement. French officials have acknowledged that the rebels are better armed than they expected, and one of the first fatalities was a 41-year-old French pilot, whose helicopter was downed by rebel fire near the town of Konna. The Islamists, including three separate rebel groups, all of which have either direct or indirect ties to al-Qaida, are armed with weapons stolen from the abandoned arsenal of exLibyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. They are also in possession of the weapons left behind by Mali's army, which abandoned the north in the face of the rebel advance last April. The fighters managed to seize the territory in the north after a military coup led to political turmoil in the once-stable nation of 15.8 million last March.
triangle-shaped jets screaming across the sky between noon and 1 p.m. local time. "We saw the war planes circling. They were targeting the camps used by the Islamists. They only hit their bases. They didn't shoot at the population," he said. But the intervention has come with a cost to civilians. In the city of Konna, the first to be bombed, 11 Malians were killed, Mali presidential spokesman Ousmane Sy said. The town's mayor, Sory Diakite, said the dead included three children who threw themThis undated publicity image provided by Sony shows an ultra-HD 4K TV set. selves into a river and At the biggest trade show in the Americas, which kicks off next week in Las drowned while trying to avoid Vegas, TV makers will be doing their best to convince you that HDTVs are old the falling bombs.
hat, and should make room for "Ultra HDTV."
A French presidential aide who was not authorized to be publicly named said that the insurgents are "well-equipped, well-armed and welltrained," and are using high-end equipment. "They obtained from Libya modern, sophisticated equipment, much stronger and more efficient than we had imagined," he said. One of the commanders controlling Gao confirmed that the French had flattened a building at the northern entrance to the town used by his fighters as a checkpoint and that three of his men died, crushed under the structure's falling roof. Oumar Ould Hamaha further confirmed that fighter jets had hit training camps and depots. He egged on the French, calling them cowards and saying that their attack has only heightened the rebels' desire for jihad. "Our jihadists are not a bunch of sheep waiting to be slaughtered inside a closed pen," said Hamaha. "Listen closely to me. Our elements are constantly on the move. What they hit is a bunch of cement. France is going to reap the worst consequences possible from this. Now no French person can feel safe anywhere in the world. Every French national is a target." Hamaha said he and his fighters drove to a spot around 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) outside the city to try to lure the jets away from the population center and into a direct confrontation. He claims the jets flying at an altitude of 13,000 meters made a U-turn after seeing the anti-aircraft missiles and weaponry mounted on the rebel trucks. In Gao, Abderahmane Dicko, a public school teacher, said he and his neighbors heard the
In addition to Gao and Konna, other targets have included Douentza, Lere and, late Sunday, the small locality of Agharous Kayoune, as well as Alatona, a rice growing region on the strategic route to the military camp of Diabaly, residents and officials said. Residents are streaming out of the towns that have been hit. In Lere, people were heading across the nearby border to Mauritania, adding to the hundreds of thousands of refugees already displaced by the crisis in Mali. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed Sunday that the United States is providing communications and transport assistance. Over the weekend, a U.S. official confirmed that America will be sending drones. Britain has dispatched two, C17 aircrafts to France to help Mali's allies transport troops. Four nations in West Africa have pledged to send hundreds of soldiers, including 500 each from Niger, Burkina Faso and Senegal, as well as from Nigeria. Additionally, Fabius said Denmark and other European countries are also helping, according to an interview with RTL radio. On Monday, the United Nations Security Council will meet to discuss the crisis in Mali, said Brieuc Pont, a spokesman for the French U.N. Mission said. French and Malian officials say the lightning offensive has halted the rebels' advance. "The Islamist offensive has been stopped," Fabius said. "Blocking the terrorists ... we've done it." However, the rebels still control the northern half of Mali, representing the largest area under the grip of al-Qaida and its allies in the world. The region is larger than Afghanistan, and throughout it, the bearded and turbaned fighters have imposed their unyielding form of Islam. Music is banned, as are cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol. Women are regularly flogged in public for offenses ranging from not covering their ankles to wearing perfume or make-up.
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N R A S AY S C O N G R E S S W I L L N O T P A S S W E A P O N S B A N $16.8 million through its political action committee and nearly $7.5 million through its affiliated Institute for Legislative Action. Separately, the NRA spent some $4.4 million through July 1 to lobby Congress. Keene insists the group represents its members and not just the gun manufacturers, though he said the NRA would like industry to contribute more money to the association.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The powerful gun lobby is gauging enough support in Congress to block a law that would ban assault weapons, despite promises from the White House and senior lawmakers to make such a measure a reality. Senators plan to introduce a bill that would ban assault weapons and limit the size of ammunition magazines, like the one used in the December shooting massacre that killed 27 people, most of them children, in Newtown, Conn. Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has promised to push for a renewal of expired legislation. The National Rifle Association has so far prevented passage of another assault weapons ban like the one that expired in 2004. But some lawmakers say the Newtown tragedy has transformed the country, and Americans are ready for stricter gun laws. President Barack Obama has made gun control a top priority. And on Tuesday Vice President Joe Biden is expected to give Obama a comprehensive package of recommendations for curbing gun violence. Still, the NRA has faith that Congress would prevent a new weapons ban. "When a president takes all the power of his office, if he's willing to expend political capital, you don't want to make predictions. You don't want to bet your house on the outcome. But I would say that the likelihood is that they are not
Continued from page 3 ernor's thinking is." Perry, who flamed out as a presidential candidate but remains popular in Texas, says he'll reveal this summer if he will seek another term. Some have speculated that Bush could challenge Perry for governor - and even if he doesn't, what Perry decides will trigger political dominos falling. Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson plans to run for lieutenant governor next year, creating a vacancy in his office. But Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, may himself run for governor in 2014, meaning his post could be open too. Bush suggested he'd be willing to wait his turn politically rather than immediately seeking top positions coveted by others in the state GOP. "We've said that we want to be team players in the party, providing a younger, fresher vision for our values," he said in the interview Friday. Bush speaks Spanish, and his mother Columba is from Mexico. Conservatives view George P. Bush on the ballot as a way to solidify support among
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"We know what works and what doesn't work. And we're not willing to compromise on people's rights when there is no evidence that doing so is going to accomplish the purpose," Keene said. going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," NRA president David Keene told CNN's "State of the Union." Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded with a flat out "no" when asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" whether Congress would pass a ban on assault weapons. Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a lifelong member of the NRA has said everything should be on the table to prevent another tragedy like Newtown. But he assured gun owners he would fight for gun rights at the same time. "I would tell all of my friends in NRA, I will work extremely hard and I will guarantee you there will not be an encroachment on your Second Amendment rights," Manchin said on ABC's "This Week."
The NRA, instead, is pushing for measures that would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, until a person gets better. "If they are cured, there ought to be a way out of it," Keene said. Currently, a person is banned from buying a gun from a licensed dealer if the person is a fugitive, a felon, convicted of substance abuse, convicted of domestic violence, living in the U.S. illegally or someone who "has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution."
The NRA's deep pockets help bolster allies and punish lawmakers who buck them. The group spent at least $24 million in the 2012 elections -
States, however, are inconsistent in providing information about mentally ill residents to the federal government for background checks. And, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said some 40 percent of gun sales happen with no background checks, such as at gun shows and by private sellers over the Internet or through classified ads.
gy. It's more of an informal advice."
A Democrat has not won statewide office in Texas since 1994, but Hispanics tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic and accounted for two-thirds of Texas' population growth over the last decade. Bush noted: "We'll be majority Hispanic in six years."
Bush said his grandfather inspired him to join the military, and he was deployed to Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He said that before enlisting, he knew politics was in his blood but felt he was too inexperienced to run for office.
"I don't necessarily agree with the idea that having a candidate of Hispanic origin, or someone who can speak Spanish, can automatically obtain these votes," Bush said of Hispanics. "Having said that, it's important tactically to have candidates that understand issues of the community."
It wasn't until the last few months, however, that "I felt it was time for my generation to step forward in state politics," Bush said.
Bush's mother has said that one of the reasons she and Jeb Bush left Texas for Florida in the 1970s was because she felt like she had experienced racism here. But George P. Bush said, "the way I view it, rather than an issue of discomfort, is economic opportunity." "This has been, at least for our generation, the best place to be economically," he said of Texas and its record of strong job creation. He said he didn't think there was more intolerance toward Hispanics in Texas. "Obviously, I think that issue exists wherever you go," he said. "I don't think it's just unique here." Bush said of trying to stand out among his famous political family, "It's always been the thing of my grandmother to say, `Go out and make a name for yourself' and that's something that I've followed." "But who better to ask for advice on politics than two former presidents and a former governor?" he said. "They're not involved in the day-to-day operations. They're not involved in formulating my ideolo-
Bush now spends his time crisscrossing Texas and the country, raising money and meeting with supporters. He was in Austin on Monday and posed for pictures outside the state Capitol before disappearing into meetings with legislators. Someone he didn't see, however, was Perry. The governor said Bush's seeking elected office is a good thing for Texas and the Republican Party, and that he would like to speak to him about it adding: "He knows my phone number." But then, Bush has his uncle to turn to for Texas gubernatorial perspective. "It's much like starting a business," Bush said, "and having people who have been there and done it and run statewide, it's definitely been helpful."
Legal Street News Monday, January 14, 2013
F E D E R A L J U D G E L I F T S B A N O N N E V A D A H O R S E R O U N D U P language in the order addressing concerns about the allegations of abuse, including repeated shocking of mustangs and running animals to the point of exhaustion.
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- The Bureau of Land Management can resume its roundup of dozens of wild mustangs in northern Nevada, but wranglers must limit their use of electric cattle prods and take other steps to ensure the animals are treated humanely, a federal judge said Thursday.
"If I were to allow the gather to continue, I would want to ensure the horses were gathered in a humane way, as the BLM is required to do by statute," she told Justice Department lawyer Erik Petersen, referring to the Wild FreeRoaming Horse and Burros Act of 1971.
U.S. District Judge Miranda Du's formal order lifted an injunction she issued last week blocking the roundup of 50 horses near the Idaho-Nevada line. Although disappointed that the roundup was set to resume Friday, horse protection advocates were pleased that Du's order outlined specific conduct for the BLM. "The judge has begun what the BLM has failed to do, and that is to establish humane standards for roundups," said Deniz Bolbol, spokeswoman for the American Wild Horse Preservation
BLM argues the herd in the Owyhee Horse Management Area is too large to be sustained given lingering drought. The agency has warned that some of the animals could die if they aren't removed before spring.
The judge prohibited the routine use of "hot shot/electric prod treatments" to expedite movement of horses through gathering and loading chutes, allowing their use only "as necessary to ensure the safety and security of the horses." Also, BLM contract helicopter pilots who chase the horses toward the gathering traps must make sure that slower young foals aren't separated from the herd. And the judge specifically forbade the agency from driving horses into barbed-wire fences, as they did with several earlier in the roundup at the Owyhee complex about 90 miles northwest of Elko. Laura Leigh, a photographer and director of Wild Horse Education who has been battling BLM over a series of roundups for years, captured that incident on video.
It was among the evidence she submitted in obtaining last week's emergency injunction, along with footage of wranglers repeatedly shocking horses in a loading chute on Nov. 30. She hailed the ruling as a significant victory. "Three years of running this grueling marathon from range to courtroom to gain an honest conversation about the inhumane handling of an American treasure and we now have the very first specific language toward actually gaining the first humane care standard," Leigh said in an email to The Associated Press late Thursday. During a hearing in her Las Vegas courtroom earlier Thursday, Du said she intended to grant the government's request to lift the injunction because opponents had failed to prove the agency lacked authority to remove the mustangs from the high desert.
Wild horse protection advocates countered by accusing the agency of shamefully exaggerating the threat to the animals in an area. "I think it is fiction, your honor," said Gordon Cowan, a Reno lawyer for Leigh. "There's really no emergency out there. There's no proof of stress on the range."
GETTY MUSEUM TO RETURN ANCIENT ARTIFACT TO SICILY
But she also indicated she was inclined to include
WHEW! BIG ASTEROID NO L O N G E R T H R E AT T O E A RT H WASHINGTON (AP) -- Upon further review, a big scary-sounding asteroid is no longer even a remote threat to smash into Earth in about 20 years, NASA says. Astronomers got a much better look at the asteroid when it whizzed by Earth on Wednesday from a relative safe 9 million miles away. They recalculated the space rock's trajectory and determined it wasn't on a path to hit Earth on April 13, 2036 as once feared possible. At more than 1,060 feet wide, the rock called Apophis could do significant damage to a local area if it hit and perhaps even cause a tsunami. But it was not large enough to trigger worldwide extinctions. One prominent theory that explains the extinctions of dinosaurs and other species 65 million years ago says a six-mile-wide meteorite hit Earth and spewed vast amounts of dust into the air, cooling and darkening the planet. About nine years ago, when astronomers first saw Apophis (uh-PAH'-fihs), they thought there was a 2.7 percent chance that it would smack into our planet. Later, they lowered the chances to an even more unlikely 1 in 250,000.
than 19,400 miles. That's still the closest approach asteroid watchers have seen for a rock this large. And when astronomers got a closer look they noticed it was about 180 feet larger than they thought, but not a threat. Asteroids circle the sun as leftovers of failed attempts to form planets billions of years ago. When asteroids enter Earth's atmosphere, they become meteors and when they hit the ground they are meteorites. This is the second time in as many months the asteroid watchers have had good news for Earth. Last month, astronomers got a closer look at a smaller asteroid that they had previously calculated had a 1 in 500 chance of hitting Earth, this time in 2040. And they decided the 460-foot asteroid was no longer a threat. If you still want to see a space rock come cosmically close to Earth, there's always next month. On Feb. 15, a small asteroid, only 130-feet wide, will come close to Earth, about 17,000 miles above the equator. That's so close it will come between our planet and some of the more distant satellites that circle the globe. But it will miss Earth.
Now it's never mind. "Certainly 2036 is ruled out," said Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program. "It's why we track them so we can be assured that they won't get dangerously close." Yeomans said now the asteroid, named after an evil Egyptian mythical serpent, won't get closer
"This will be the closest passage of an object this size," Yeomans said. That asteroid, called 2012 DA14, should be visible with smaller telescopes and binoculars, but mostly in Eastern Europe, Asia and Australia, he said
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The J. Paul Getty Museum said Thursday it plans to return to Sicily a terra-cotta head depicting the Greek god Hades after determining it was clandestinely excavated from an archaeological site in the 1970s. The museum took the initiative to investigate the piece's origins after seeing fragments in a publication that could join to the head, which dates to about 300 or 400 B.C., according to Timothy Potts, the museum's director. The Getty acquired the piece in 1985, and Potts said it's believed it was taken from the Morgantina Archaeological Park in Italy in the 1970s. The original location of the head was the site of the sanctuary of Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest, whose daughter Persephone was married to Hades. The Getty purchased the piece from New York collector Maurice Tempelsman. It is among more than 40 pieces the museum has returned to Greece and Italy in recent years. The terra-cotta body of Hades is undergoing an extensive restoration at the Museo Archeologico in the Italian city of Aidone. The head will be on view at the Getty Villa from April 3 to Aug. 19. It then travels to the Cleveland Museum of Art for display from fall until January 2014 before appearing in February at the Palazzo Ajutamicristo in Palermo, Italy.