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WASHINGTON – The government does not need a search warrant when it taps the phones or checks the e-mails of suspected terrorists who are outside the United States, even if Americans might be overheard on these calls, a special intelligence court ruled in an opinion released Thursday. The decision confirms what the Bush administration officials and some legal experts have long said. While the Constitution protects the privacy rights of Americans against “unreasonable searches and seizures,” this principle does not bar U.S. spy agencies from conducting surveillance aimed at foreign targets abroad.
WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama pledged Thursday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare “bargain” with the American people, saying that the nation’s long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs. That discussion will begin next month, Obama said, when he convenes a “fiscal responsibility summit” before delivering his first budget to Congress. He said his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security will collect millions of new electronic records about private planes, imported cargo, foreign visitors and federal contractors as part of an array of controversial last-minute security policies imposed by the Bush administration. Businesses say the policies are costly and worry that sensitive information could be released if a database is lost or stolen. Some charge the Homeland Security Department with rushing to impose policies and ignoring business concerns.
WENATCHEE – Washington tree fruit companies are anxiously awaiting a new Homeland Security rule that they say could disrupt about $60 million worth of cherry exports next season. The new rule from the Transportation Security Administration will detail how boxes of cherries must be screened for security threats.
Six bullets fired into a second-story window at Spokane City Hall over the weekend prompted the mayor to immediately enact new security measures already planned at the historic building. The shots were fired into a second-story window where engineering services, city projects and public works administration employees spend their days. No one was working there over the weekend, officials said.
Six bullets fired into a second-story window at Spokane City Hall over the weekend prompted the mayor to immediately enact new security measures already planned at the historic building.
The region’s fired Homeland Security coordinator – arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in October – was given a deferred prosecution, approved last week by Stevens County District Court Judge Pamela Payne. The deal puts David L. Byrnes on probation for five years. If he violates his probation, he’d face a fine and a sentencing from the judge, likely of at least 30 days in jail.
The region’s fired Homeland Security czar — arrested for drunken driving in October — was given a deferred prosecution, approved last week by Stevens County District Court Judge Pamela Payne.
David L. Byrnes, the Homeland Security coordinator for 10 Eastern Washington counties, was fired from his $87,000-a-year job last week, three weeks after being arrested for drunk driving in Stevens County. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezvoich confirmed Friday that he fired Byrnes Oct. 30 “for violating Sheriff’s Office rules and regulations.”
The unemployment rate in Washington climbed to its highest level in almost four years last month, and the State Employment Security Department’s top economist Tuesday predicted harder times ahead as layoffs mount. The rate also climbed in Spokane County, even as employment increased. As was the case for all of Washington, employment numbers just didn’t rise as fast as the the number of those looking for work.
A former federal security guard avoided jail time Friday when he was placed on community supervision after pleading guilty in state court to a felony voyeurism charge. Darin Earl Wanless confessed to using computer-linked security cameras in the U.S. Courthouse complex in downtown Spokane to watch women undress in the West 809 condominiums at Main and Lincoln and in the Davenport Hotel at Sprague and Lincoln.
Slowing home construction and a weakened retail sector last month pushed Washington's unemployment rate above 5 percent for the first time since October 2005. The 0.6 percent increase to 5.3 percent, seasonally adjusted, was also worse than the 0.5 percent jump to 5.5 percent reported earlier this month for the nation as a whole. Much of the damage was done in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area, where the rate climbed 0.7 percent to 4.1 percent.
The new year has dawned, and we baby boomers have officially begun our mission to ruin the nation. It's about time. We tried hard to wreck the country back in the '60s. But by 1969 there was so much marijuana being smoked and acid being dropped that the plan was lost in a purple haze of confusion.
Two Spokane Valley security company employees were arrested Wednesday on charges of setting a company car on fire and reporting it stolen to cover up a crash that occurred in an area one employee was not authorized to patrol. Daniel N. Hulse was driving the State Protection Services Taurus on Nov. 21 when he crashed it while driving in an area where the company has no properties to protect, Spokane County sheriff's Sgt. Dave Reagan said. Worried about getting in trouble, the 27-year-old called fellow State Protection Services employee Jeremy W. Valliere for help, Reagan said.
Four felony voyeurism charges were filed Tuesday against a former guard accused of using high-power security cameras on top of the U.S. Courthouse complex in downtown Spokane to peep inside bedrooms of a condominium and hotel. Darin Earl Wanless used the government-owned rooftop cameras to watch women undress in the West 809 condominiums at Main and Lincoln and the Davenport Hotel, a block away from the courthouse at Sprague and Lincoln, court documents say.
An interview with a widow who was cut off her Social Security benefits.
Brandon Elder says he was told by security that he can't loiter on sidewalks near the STA Plaza.
1. Children dance their praise during a Sunday service at the Zion Temple Church of God in Christ in the East Central neighborhood. From left are Terrynce and Tierra Duke, and Corrina and Sequenna Peterson. Photo by Kristy MacDonald/The Spokesman-Review 2. Lydia Carlton, left, and Pauline South, right, help Rose Allen outside Zion Temple Church of God in Christ. Photo by Kristy MacDonald/The Spokesman-Review