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Archive for October 4th, 2009

APF spokesperson holds emotional press conference; lawyer quits project

Billings Gazette

TOM LUTEY Of The Gazette Staff October 2, 2009 7:40 pm

A sobbing spokeswoman for the secretive company occupying the Hardin jail welcomed an investigation by Montana’s attorney general Friday and expressed concerns for her own safety amid rumors about her company.

Becky Shay, in a 45-minute, wide-ranging press conference during which she occasionally broke into tears, said the California-based American Police Force welcomed an information request made Thursday by Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock.

Meanwhile, an attorney involved in the project cut ties with APF Friday and a second company, once named as a subcontractor, denied any involvement.

Shay said she hadn’t been formally served papers by the attorney general, who said he is concerned that APF might be violating the Montana Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act. APF has reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with Hardin’s economic development arm, Two Rivers Authority, to run the empty Hardin jail, built two years ago to house inmates under contract. She said she had read of Bullock’s request in the news media.

Shay mentioned the attorney general’s request almost as a two-minute side note in a press conference that revealed that the former Billings Gazette reporter and new face of APF fears for her safety.

“A lot of work I’ve done has been to calm down or at least try to counteract comments from people I consider to be fear mongers,” Shay said. “What has happened in the interim, however, is those people’s friends around the nation have been in contact with me or tried to access me. I realize I’m being pretty vague so that we don’t support or incite these people. I don’t want my words to be taken out of context to further inflame the tensions that I’m working under.”

At that point, Shay began to cry. She asked TV media at the conference to turn their cameras off because, she said, “it’s important to me that I do not appear as vulnerable as I feel.”

APF officials, who rolled into Hardin last week in three black, Mercedes sport utility vehicles bearing faux police insignia and no license plates, have since departed, leaving Shay as the company’s lone point of contact for all comers, including those reading dire motives into APF’s insistent secrecy.

Shay said APF front man Michael Hilton plans to return to Hardin for a two-day job fair beginning Oct. 12.

Specifically, Shay mentioned Internet radio personality Alex Jones, of Austin, Texas. Jones, of infowars.com, was in Hardin on Thursday reporting on APF. Government and corporate takeovers of society are hot topics on Infowars. Jones indicated the Hardin situation was an example of the possibility of government or corporate takeover of a rural area.

Jones said Hardin’s story involved a convicted felon, Hilton, landing in the middle of nowhere and taking over a large jail capable of serving a city of several hundred thousand people. The facility, empty since it was constructed roughly two years ago, has room for more than 464 beds.

More from Billings

More Legal Issues for APF: Kulr8.com

Video from Billings Gazette

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John Nichols, The Nation, Oct 2, 2009

The U.S. occupation of Afghanistan has reached its “sell-by…” date.

A majority of Americans now tell pollsters the mission was a mistake. Ninety-eight members of the House – including liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans – have cosponsored Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern’s resolution asking the Pentagon to develop an exit strategy.

Unfortunately, the generals who run wars, and the defense contractors who profit from them, want to keep U.S. troops on the ground in that distant land. And President Obama is under pressure to surge tens of thousands of additional U.S. troops into “the graveyard of empires.”

Continues >>

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SNL Vs. Obama: Sketch Details All The President’s Failures Since Taking Office (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |  Alex Leo First Posted: 10- 4-09 08:50 AM   |   Updated: 10- 4-09 10:11 AM

“Saturday Night Live” opened its show with a particularly harsh send-up of President Obama last night. The critique focused on failed promises, as a checklist repeatedly appeared to the right of the screen that had “NOT DONE” checked off next to the following categories: global warming, immigration reform, gays in the military, limits on executive powers, torture prosecutions, closing Gitmo, withdrawing from Iraq, improving the status of the fight in Afghanistan, health care reform, etc.

“There are those on the right who are angry. They think that I’m turning this great country into something that resembles the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany, but that’s just not the case. But when you look at my record it’s very clear what I’ve done so far and that is nothing. Nada. Almost one year and nothing to show for it.”

While the president is three and a half months shy of his one year mark, we get the point. The sketch made clear that this is a critique of Obama from the left: “I just don’t see why the right is so riled up, I mean how do you think the left feels. They’re the ones who should be mad.” And the writers pointed out that with a super majority in the Senate, getting his agenda through shouldn’t be a particularly difficult undertaking.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

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Sat, Oct 03 2009 | Sofia Echo | Clive Leviev-Sawyer

EU-TREATY/IRELAND

Irish voters have approved the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty, in a repeat referendum on the issue, the Voice of America reported.

Election officials announced on October 3 2009 that more than 67 per cent of voters supported the treaty in the referendum held the day before.

Irish prime minister Brian Cowen welcomed what he called a “resounding yes” to the treaty, which is aimed at streamlining the decision making in the 27-nation bloc.

Cowen called the vote a good day for Ireland and for Europe.

Several leaders inside and outside the EU welcomed the result.

European Commission President Jose Barroso told an October 3 news conference: “Thank you Ireland: It’s a great day, for Ireland and for Europe”

“The Irish people have spoken. They have said a resounding yes to Europe,” said Barroso.

Read more…

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Germany and France aim to be kingmakers as revitalised European Union prepares to give former PM Blair the top job

Toby Helm
The Observer, Sunday 4 October 2009

Tony Blair has emerged as a clear favourite to become the first permanent EU president. Photograph: Rex features

Tony Blair has emerged as a clear favourite to become the first permanent EU president. Photograph: Rex features

European leaders led by Angela Merkel of Germany and Nicolas Sarkozy of France will act swiftly to make the EU’s reform charter a reality after Ireland’s Yes vote, despite the lone resistance of Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic.

The strong endorsement of the Lisbon treaty by the Irish after eight years of divisive attempts to rewrite the EU’s rule book, has sparked the jockeying for position over the plum jobs that it creates, with Tony Blair now a clear favourite to become the first permanent EU president.

The posts of president of the council and that of a new foreign policy chief with enhanced powers are among the biggest changes under the treaty. But the appointments will not be made in isolation. Who gets what will be intricately linked to the share-out of portfolios in the new European Commission, which will be strongly debated in the coming weeks.

“In the end, it will be one large package which attempts to give every member state something to boast about,” said an EU official.

Read more…

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