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Christie police friend under review in GW Bridge probe

ChristieA police lieutenant close to Gov. Chris Christie is being probed for allegedly driving to a gridlocked New Jersey bridge with the official who closed the lanes.

Lt. Thomas "Chip" Michaels' status at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is "under review," said a Port Authority spokesman quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye ordered the agency's police chief to investigate the Michaels' actions during the Sept. 9-13 closures of lanes leading to the New York-bound toll plaza entrance to the George Washington Bridge after MSNBC reported David Wildstein, who ordered the lanes closed, exchanged text messages with Michaels about when Michaels would pick him up to take him to see the traffic congestion on the first day of the closures.


Immigration protest sparks arrests outside White House

Immigration protestAround 30 religious leaders, immigrants, and supporters holding signs and singing songs in protest to President Obama’s deportation policy were arrested outside the north gate of the White House Monday.

The President’s Day protest was organized by the United Methodist Church and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. The UMC reported on its website Monday afternoon that more than 50 people attended the protest.


Union leaders condemn 'despicable' GOP effort to influence UAW vote

Unions blame GOP tacticsA failed attempt to extend union recognition into southern manufacturing states erupted in bitter recriminations on Monday as labour leaders across the US accused Republican opponents of “extortion”.

Employees at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga factory in Tennessee voted narrowly against joining the United Auto Workers union despite support from the German company’s largely unionised workforce in the rest of the world.


Former Congressman Ron Paul starts Snowden clemency petition

Ron PaulFormer Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) has started a petition demanding clemency for the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who revealed its metadata surveillance program.

“Edward Snowden sacrificed his livelihood, citizenship, and freedom by exposing the disturbing scope of the NSA’s worldwide spying program. Thanks to one man’s courageous actions, Americans know about the truly egregious ways their government is spying on them,” Paul says in a video on his Ron Paul Channel website, which he started last summer.


Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin Found Guilty Of Corruption

Ray Nagin indictedA federal jury has found Ray Nagin guilty of bribery and fraud. The former New Orleans mayor, 57, was accused of taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, in an indictment that included 21 counts. He was found guilty on 20 of those counts.

Prosecutors also said such as free travel and played a role in funneling money and granite to Stone Age, a company run by his sons. The counts cover a large portion of Nagin's two terms as mayor from 2002-2010, a tenure that included the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005.


‘Soft lobbying’ war between sugar, corn syrup shows new tactics in Washington influence

high fructose corn syrupA group called Citizens for Health recently launched a campaign to encourage consumers to reduce high-fructose corn syrup in their diet — filing a petition with the Food and Drug Administration demanding stricter labeling on food items containing the sweetener.

Yet the petition did not disclose that the organization, which bills itself as the “voice of the natural-health consumer,” has received the bulk of its funding in the year it launched the effort from sugar companies, which see corn syrup as a threat to their profits.


More subpoenas in Chris Christie case as helicopter travel is probed

Chris Christie helicopter dataThe New Jersey state committee investigating the George Washington Bridge traffic jam wants to see Gov. Chris Christie’s helicopter flight records, trying to determine if one flight took him over the scene of the epic mess created by Christie’s aides.

Continuing an aggressive hunt for records, the joint investigative committee on Monday authorized 18 new subpoenas for information, including one to the New Jersey State Police aviation unit, which operates the helicopters, according to a source familiar with the committee.  A spokesman for Christie confirmed one flight in that vicinity during the four-day traffic jam: a trip from Sept. 11 ceremony at the World Trade Center site back to Trenton, the New Jersey capital.


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