News Briefs – March 29, 2011

Amber Sandlin / Sun Star Reporter
March 29, 2011

Right to sue – wiretapping

On Monday, March, 21, civil libertarians made a breakthrough after an appellate court reinstated a lawsuit that was thrown out in 2008. American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other groups have opposed the government’s expanded wiretapping powers, claiming that the expanded surveillance powers granted by Congress were unconstitutional and illegal. In 2008, the Bush administration passed a law allowing the government to legally tap wires without a warrant. It permitted the government to listen to the international phone calls of Americans who are not engaged in criminal activity, and to read their e-mail messages. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit disagreed on Monday, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.

New York Times

Alaska oil taxes attempt to be cut

Gov. Sean Parnell’s attempt to cut Alaska oil taxes to encourage more development appears frozen in the State Senate. Senate leaders have said that since the start of the legislative session in January, there was not justification for what could be a tax cut of $2 billion a year for North Slope oil producers. The bill remains in the Senate Resources Committee. “We can’t let legislators do nothing,” Parnell told the Anchorage Daily News on Thursday, March 24. “I’m asking the Senate to move the bill and get moving on creating more jobs.” Senators said they do not want to cut oil taxes before receiving studies on how Alaska’s tax system compares with other oil producing regions worldwide. The studies will not be ready until next year.

Anchorage Daily News

U.S. and allies launch on Libya

The U.S. and its allies attacked Libya Saturday, March 26, attempting to take out air defense sites and clear the way for a campaign against Moammar Gadhafi. 112 cruise missiles were launched from U.S. and British warships hit more than 20 targets in Libya, most targets located along the Mediterranean coast and near the capital. President Barack Obama, not eager to launch the third U.S. war in a Muslim nation after Afghanistan and Iraq, stressed that the U.S. action will be limited. Obama pledged anew that he would not send any U.S. ground forces into Libya, and that he came reluctantly accept to even a limited air-only role.

Miami Herald

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