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Threat Assessment: January 17th-20th

threat assessment occupy

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AGAINST US

Occupy Wall Street strapped for cash


During its peak days in Zuccotti Park in October 2011, Occupy Wall Street had a considerable war chest, with around $700,000 in donations. Reports now put the total value of the movement's funds between $170,000 and $300,000, with less than $30,000 in donations received in January. The first half of October saw around $330,000 coming in from supporters. In response to the decreased cash flow, the group has instituted a temporary spending freeze. [New York Magazine]

threat assessment mitt romney

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AGAINST US

SC evangelical pastors slam Romney for "homophilia"


Rev. Huey Mills, an influential evangelical pastor in South Carolina, has released a statement backing Rick Santorum and declaring Mitt Romney to be "hopelessly left-wing on homosexuality." "In obedience to the Judeo-Christian Scriptures," Mills wrote, "most South Carolinans and I have a sane and healthy homophobia, while Mitt Romney has a very bad case of homophilia; the man very clearly endorses dangerous, unhealthy homosexual conduct." [Talking Points Memo]

threat samantha garvey

AP Photo/John Dunn

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WITH US

Homeless teen up for science award, now going to State of the Union


Samantha Garvey, a 17-year-old high school student whose family was evicted from its Long Island, NY homeon New Year's Eve, recently found out that she's one of 300 national semi-finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search. [CUT: and her luck continues to get better.] Not only did her story inspire donations and a search to find a rent-controlled home for her family, but Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has invited her to be his guest at the State of the Union address Tuesday. "She can't wait," her father told reporters. "She deserves it. She needs to meet people like that." [NPR]

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AGAINST US

Captain of sunken ship didn't abandon ship‚ he "fell off"


Capt. Francesco Schettino's newest explanation for why he abandoned the sinking Costa Concorda cruise liner? He tripped fell into a life boat. "I was trying to get people to get into the boats in an orderly fashion," he told Italian investigators. "Suddenly, since the ship was at a 60 to 70 degree angle, I tripped and I ended up in one of the boats. That's how I found myself there." Schettino has been placed under house arrest; he is expected to be charged with leaving the ship prematurely and manslaughter. [New York Times]

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WITH US

Colbert super PAC runs negative campaign ad – against negative campaign ads


Jon Stewart's Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert super PAC is rolling out its third hilarious ad Wednesday, attacking the negative attack ads of super PACs supporting Newt Gingrich and Romney. "Donate today and we'll destroy both these guys [Gingrich and Romney] and their super PACs with the merciless ad torrent so fierce they'll wish they'd never been incorporated" the ad says. "An orgy of pure distortion leaving nothing behind but the clean campaign we all deserve." The ad will run Wednesday in South Carolina, with a new ad about Colbert himself set to debut Thursday. [ABC News]

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WITH US

Obama demands to see Betty White's birth certificate


President Obama recorded a special video message for 90-year-old actress Betty White, wishing her a happy birthday and cracking wise about a formerly hot topic. "You look so fantastic and full of energy, I can't believe you're 90 years old," Obama says in the message. "In fact, I don't believe it. That's why I'm writing to ask if you will be willing to produce a copy of your long-form birth certificate." The video aired on NBC Monday during a birthday tribute to White. [Politico]

threat assessment mitt romney

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AGAINST US

Romney's tax rate: just 15 percent


At a Tuesday campaign event in South Carolina, Republican presidential front-runner – and former private equity exec – Mitt Romney admitted to paying a paltry 15 percent effective tax rate. Most of his Bain Capital profits are classified as capital gains, and taxed at a lower rate than regular income. [Washington Post]

threat assessment maddow

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WITH US

Maddow's mea culpa for Ron Paul graphic snafu


Rachel Maddow made an "honest mistake" on her show last Friday, leaving Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul out of a graphic about the 2012 candidates. To compensate for her error, Maddow displayed a floating Ron Paul head for the duration of her Monday show. "In penance," Maddow told viewers, "I hope you have enjoyed a little extra time with this tiny Ron Paul head throughout tonight's show." [Huffington Post ]

threat assessment cruise ship sinking

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AGAINST US

Cruise ship captain abandoned sinking ship after being ordered to return


Francesco Schettino, captain of the sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship, refused to return to his imperiled ship Friday night after being ordered to do so by the Italian coast guard, according to audio from their exchange. Schettino has been held in custody after being charged with manslaughter – the death toll is 11 as of Tuesday – causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before passengers had evacuated. [ABC News]

threat assessment muhammad ali

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WITH US

Muhammad Ali turns 70


Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali turns 70 years old Tuesday, despite having battled his toughest opponent, Parkinson's Disease, for decades. His life and legendary career will be celebrated at a February party at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Arena, with former rivals like George Foreman turning out to raise money for brain research. [Washington Post]

threat assessment drones

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AGAINST US

Iran to send White House toy drone in place of real thing


The Iranian government won't return an American Sentinel drone that was shot down in December 2011‚ or at least not the full-sized version. Iranian Radio Payam reported Tuesday that the government has commissioned a local toy company to create one-eightieth size replicas of the drone to send back to the U.S. The toy will also be sold to the public in "a variety of colors," bearing the inscription "We will trample the U.S." [The Atlantic Wire]

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WITH US

U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest rate since April 2008


In a sign that the job market is regaining strength, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell to 352,000 last week , its lowest since April 2008. The four-week average for jobless applications is now 379,000; the Department of Labor said that, when weekly applications consistently drop below 375,000, the unemployment rate will likely fall as a result. [New York Times]

threat assessment kodak

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AGAINST US

Kodak files for bankruptcy protection


Iconic American camera company Eastman Kodak Co. filed for bankruptcy protection Thursday, after struggling to maintain its footing in film and photography and failing to expand into selling printers. Kodak has 19,000 employees on its payroll, in addition to retirees to whom it has pension and health-care obligations. [Wall Street Journal]

threat assessment greece

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AGAINST US

Greece may open ancient sites for rent in effort to raise cash


Greece's culture ministry announced Tuesday that it plans to open some of the country's most prized archaeological sites for rent by advertising firms, photographers, and other companies willing to hand over the cash. The ministry says its intention is to "facilitate" access to places like the Acropolis, and that money made would go towards their upkeep. [AP]

threat assessment newt gingrich

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AGAINST US

Gingrich's ex-wife says GOP candidate wanted "open marriage"


In an interview airing Thursday on ABC News' Nightline, Marianne Gingrich said her ex-husband Newt wanted an "open marriage." “I said to him, ‘Newt, we’ve been married a long time’ and he said, ‘Yes, but you want me all to yourself. Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” she told ABC, referring to Gingrich's former staffer and current third wife. [Politico]

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