By Alan Duke
Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after police saw the pop star street racing early Thursday morning, Miami Beach police said.
"What the f*** did I do? Why did you stop me?" Bieber asked the police officer who pulled him over just after 4 a.m., according to the arrest report.
Bieber, 19, was released from a Miami jail an hour after he made a brief appearance through a video link before a Miami judge, who set a "standard" $2,500 bond Thursday afternoon.
He strutted out of the jail dressed in black, with a baggy hoodie covering his head. His pants appeared to be baggy leather. Bieber briefly sat on top of a black Cadillac Escalade, where he waved to screaming fans, before he was chauffeured away.
At the bail hearing, the singer, dressed in an orange jail uniform, stood silently with his lips sometimes pursed as attorney Roy Black represented him in the hearing earlier.
Black told Judge Joseph Farina that he had been retained by Bieber's manager. He said his partner had been denied access to Bieber in jail before the hearing.
Bieber was booked into a Miami jail after failing a sobriety test, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters Thursday.
Bieber "made some statements that he had consumed some alcohol, and that he had been smoking marijuana and consumed some prescription medication," Martinez said.
A Miami Beach officer saw Bieber driving a yellow Lamborghini in a race against a red Ferrari in a residential area of Miami Beach, Martinez said. The cars were speeding at about 55 to 60 mph in a 30 mph zone, he said.
Police report details Bieber arrest
The officer pulled Bieber's car over, but the singer was "was not cooperating with the officer's instructions," Martinez said.
"At first, he was a little belligerent, using some choice words questioning why he was being stopped and why the officer was even questioning him," he said.
He allegedly ignored a police officer's request to keep his hands on the car while he did "a cursory patdown for weapons," the report said.
"I ain't got no f***ing weapons," the arresting officer quoted Bieber as saying. "Why do you have to search me? What the f*** is this about?"
The arrest report describes Bieber as having a "flushed face, bloodshot eyes, and the odor of alcohol on his breath."
Bieber failed a field sobriety test, Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez told CNN.
Two black SUVs blocked the traffic at 26th and Pine Tree Drive, which "facilitated an open road" for the two cars to race on Pine Tree, the report said.
The Ferrari's driver, identified as 19-year-old Def Jam recording artist Khalil Sharieff, was also arrested on a drunken driving charge, police said.
Sharieff posted a photo on his Instagram account of Bieber in the yellow Lamborghini with a woman behind the wheel early Thursday. "U know bizzle brought that lambo out," he wrote in the caption.
Another posting showed a photo of a Ferrari steering wheel with the caption: "Miami nights ridin thru yo city in that hot wheel."
A tweet posted Wednesday evening on Sharieff's verfied Twitter account linked to a video of him playing basketball with Bieber.
Bieber flew to Miami on Monday.
Another police department in the Miami area is investigating a report that some of its officers escorted Bieber's caravan between Miami strip clubs this week without authorization.
Opa-Locka Assistant City Manager David Chiverton toldCNN affiliate WSVN-TV that "at some point, the escort took them at least to two locations that we know of."
"The police administration had no knowledge of this escort, and it is not the norm for those things to occur without the chief and his administration authorizing such escorts," Chiverton told the TV station.
Thursday's incident marks the first time the teen singer has been arrested, although he is under investigation on allegations of egging his California neighbor's home.
Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies used a felony search warrant last week to raid Bieber's mansion in the felony vandalism investigation. They seized Bieber's iPhone and the security camera system, which detectives have been examining for clues about who tossed eggs over a fence that splattered onto the next-door house, causing an estimated $20,000 in damage.
Bieber is having some issues
Deputies have also investigated reports by Bieber's neighbors that he raced his expensive sports car down the streets of the exclusive Oaks community of Calabasas, California, but no charges ever resulted.
One neighbor accused Bieber of spitting in his face during a heated confrontation last March. Deputies have responded to complaints about loud parties at Bieber's place.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office concluded it couldn't prove the spitting or speeding cases in court, so it declined to prosecute.
Prosecutors also rejected a misdemeanor battery complaint from a photographer who accused Bieber of attacking him in the parking lot of a Calabasas shopping center as he was taking photos of Bieber and his then-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, in May 2012.
"We didn't do this search warrant to send a message," Sheriff's Lt. David Thompson said last week. "That's not what we do, but we hope maybe that understanding the gravity of this will change some of the behavior."
By Associated Press,
The world knows Nelson Mandela as a man who forever changed the course of modern history and who will surely continue to leave his mark long after his death Thursday at the age of 95.
You may know that he spent 27 years in prison, that he led South Africa out of apartheid and that he served as his nation’s first black president.
But did you know about the role of rugby in his legacy? His musings on Valentine’s Day? The lessons he taught sympathetic prison guards during his time behind bars?
Here are some details from Mandela’s life that you might not have known.
FATHER OF THE NATION
Nelson Mandela’s place as South Africa’s premier hero is so secure that the central bank released new banknotes in 2012 showing his face. Busts and statues in his likeness dot the country and buildings, squares and other places are named after him. At Soweto’s Regina Mundi Catholic church, a center of protests and funeral services for activists during the apartheid years, there is a stained glass image of Mandela with arms raised. South African Airways even emblazoned his silhouetted image on planes.
A $1.25 million project to digitally preserve a record of Mandela’s life went online last year at http://archive.nelsonmandela.org. The project by Google and Mandela’s archivists gives researchers — and anyone else — access to hundreds of documents, photographs and videos. In one 1995 note, written in lines of neat handwriting in blue ink, Mandela muses on Valentine’s day. It appears to be a draft of a letter to a young admirer, in which Mandela said his rural upbringing by illiterate parents left him “colossally ignorant” about simple things like a holiday devoted to romance.
At his inauguration, Mandela stood hand on heart, saluted by white generals as he sang along to two anthems: the apartheid-era Afrikaans “Die Stem” (”The Voice”) and the African “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika” (”Lord Bless Africa”).
A NEW LIFE
When Mandela went free after 27 years, he walked hand-in-hand with his wife Winnie out of a prison on the South African mainland, and raised his right fist in triumph. In his autobiography, “Long Walk to Freedom,” he would write: “As I finally walked through those gates ... I felt — even at the age of seventy-one — that my life was beginning anew.”
A WAYS TO GO
Mandela is widely credited with helping to avert race-driven chaos as South Africa emerged from apartheid. But he could not forge lasting solutions to poverty, unemployment and other social ills that still plague his country. Though relatively stable, it has struggled to live up to its rosy depiction as the “Rainbow Nation.”
Since apartheid ended, the country has peacefully held four parliamentary elections and elected three presidents, and Mandela’s African National Congress said in 2013 the economy had expanded 83 percent since 1994. But corruption in the party has undercut some of its early promise, and the white minority is far wealthier than the black majority, partly fueling violent crime.
Mandela’s last public appearance was in 2010. Bundled up against the cold, he smiled broadly and waved to the crowd at the Soccer City stadium during the closing ceremony of the World Cup, an event that allowed his country to take the world spotlight. Mandela had kept a low profile during the monthlong tournament, deciding against attending the opening ceremony after the death of his great-grand daughter in a traffic accident following a World Cup concert.
MANDELA THE RECONCILER
Mandela was born the son of a tribal chief in Transkei, a Xhosa homeland. Many South Africans of all races call him by his clan name, Madiba, which means “reconciler,” as a token of affection and respect.
THE HARSHER SIDE
Despite his saintly image, Mandela could be harsh. When black journalists mildly criticized his government, he painted them as stooges of the whites who owned the media. Whites with complaints were sometimes dismissed as pining for their old privileges. To critics of his closeness to Fidel Castro and Moammar Gadhafi, Mandela insisted he wouldn’t forsake supporters of the anti-apartheid struggle.
Mandela eventually turned to fighting AIDS, publicly acknowledging in 2005 that his son, Makgatho, had died of the disease. The nation, which has the most people living with HIV in the world at 5.6 million, still faces stigma and high rates of infection.
Mandela celebrated holidays and hosted dignitaries among the huts of rural Qunu in a replica of the prison guard’s home where he lived during his final days of confinement. Ever self-deprecating, Mandela maintained he chose to recreate the home from Victor Verster prison because he was already familiar with it and wouldn’t “have to wander at night looking for the kitchen.” But his fellow South Africans saw the decision as an inspiring way to transform the old structure of imprisonment into one of freedom. Many of Mandela’s close relatives live in Qunu, and the family burial plot is just yards from the home.
‘A DEMOCRATIC AND FREE SOCIETY’
A statement Mandela made during his 1964 sabotage trial revealed his resolve in the fight to end white racist rule. “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people,” Mandela said. “I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”
Two months later, he and seven other defendants were sentenced to life in prison.
UNITED BY RUGBY
In 1995, Mandela strode onto the field at the Rugby World Cup final in Johannesburg wearing South African colors and bringing the overwhelmingly white crowd of more than 60,000 to its feet. “Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!” they chanted as the president congratulated the victorious home team. Mandela’s decision to wear the Springbok emblem, the symbol once hated by blacks, conveyed the message that rugby, so long shunned by the black population, was now for all South Africans.
Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994. At the close of his inauguration speech, he said: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.”
“Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement! God bless Africa!”
Mandela was confined to the harsh Robben Island prison off the coast of Cape Town for most of his time behind bars. He and others quarried limestone there, working seven hours a day nearly every day for 12 years, until forced labor was abolished on the island. In secret, Mandela — inmate No. 46664 — wrote at night in his tiny concrete-floored cell.
It was forbidden to quote him or publish his photo, but go-betweens ferried messages from prisoners to anti-apartheid leaders in exile. Prisoners gathered in small groups for Socratic seminars, and Mandela offered lessons on the movement to guards he thought would be open to persuasion. All the guards were white; all the prisoners were black, mixed race, or Asian.
‘LOOK INTO YOURSELF’
“People tend to measure themselves by external accomplishments, but jail allows a person to focus on internal ones; such as honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, generosity and an absence of variety,” Mandela says in one of the many quotations displayed at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. “You learn to look into yourself.”
NELSON AND WINNIE
Nelson Mandela divorced Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 1996, ending a powerful political partnership that had lasted through decades of struggle. As he remained behind bars, she became an activist leader in her own right, leading marches with a fist raised and building a base among the radical wing of the African National Congress. Madikizela-Mandela lost influence as Mandela pushed the ANC along a moderate course.
They had grown apart politically by the time he emerged from prison, and soon the personal toll of the years of physical separation became apparent. But after Mandela retired from public life and focused on the family that had been relegated to second place during his struggle against apartheid, the mother of two of his daughters was welcome alongside his third wife at Christmases and birthdays.
After his retirement from the presidency, Mandela regularly worked from an office in the recently refurbished Johannesburg building that houses the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory. The office includes framed photographs of Mandela in healthier times with his wife, Graca Machel, former U.N. chief Kofi Annan, fellow activist Walter Sisulu, and others.
A boxing glove, cricket bat and a British police helmet are among the gifts on display. Glass cases show penned messages in books given to Mandela from people including Nadine Gordimer, the South African author and winner of the Nobel literature prize in 1991. Cornel West, an American civil rights activist, addressed his book, “Democracy Matters,” to: “Bro’ Nelson Mandela.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
By Lauren Hockenson, Giga Om
Facebook on Thursday announced the final phase of removing an old privacy feature from the social media platform. The feature, which allows users to be hidden from search, will finally be taken away for users who have it enabled.
The feature, called "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" was removed from Privacy settings last year (noted in a December blog post) for those who didn't have it enabled. When enabled, the setting removes the ability for users to access a Timeline profile via search, even when a user puts in the exact name of the person he or she is locating. Now, users that still have that feature enabled will begin to see removal notices from Facebook, indicating that they will be present and visible in Graph Search along with the rest of the Facebook user base.
Facebook says in the blog post that the feature is a vestigial precaution that reaches back before the platform had a sophisticated search algorithm. When Facebook search acted as a mere directory, removing oneself from search made it more difficult for strangers to access a given profile. But now, as Open Graph opens up to search more settings and there is greater visibility of Timelines for friends of friends, the importance of finding a person through search has diminished while controlling the content on any given Timeline has become more important. Facebook says that the feature also caused hiccups in the user experience:
"People told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn't find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn't find each other through search."Of course, the sunsetting of this feature for those who care about it the most only stresses the importance of checking and updating Facebook privacy settings often. Now, it's more important to consider the content of the Timeline itself: a "private Timeline" is only such when content is marked explicitly "Friends Only." As Facebook continues to make search easier, it's important to keep in mind how these changes impact social media privacy at large.
by Chelsey Wilkins in Beauty
Our royal highness, King Beyonce Knowles-Carter, found herself in quite a hairy (heh) situation while on stage during last night’s stop on the Mrs. Carter World Tour. In the middle of her performance for "Halo," Bey's GLORIOUS blonde wavy tendrils were snatched up by a fan! If you’re anything like us, you’re saying to yourself, "Who dare approach the throne to commit such a maleficence!?!" But Beyhive, before you go summoning Jay-Z and the rest of “La Familia” to initiate a manhunt for this audacious audience member, note that the offender was only a stage fan—as in, an inanimate object.
The same stage fan that helps create Bey’s signature hair-blowing-in-the-wind moments turned its back on its fearless leader, leaving her stuck and unable to whip her hair back and forth in true Sasha Fierce fashion. We’re sure audience members refrained from breathing during this frightening ordeal, praying Beyonce’s mane remained intact and unscathed. All the while, Bey continued performing like the boss chick she is, as body guards and concerned stans standing by removed B’s luxurious locks from the metal hands of this unapologetic machine. The show must go on, right?!
Beyonce, aware of the effects of social media and the hundreds of video cameras in the arena, took to Instagram early this morning to make fun of the situation before anyone else could (of course WE’d never poke fun at the Queen!). After uploading an Insta-video of the near disastrous hair experience, she posted a picture with reworked lyrics for her smash hit “Halo”. The remixed version goes something like this:
“Gravity can’t begiiiiiiiin
To pull me out of the fan again.
I felt my hair was yankiiiiiiiin
From the fan that’s always hatiiiiiiiin
Virgin remy & malasiiiiiaaaaaan”
HILARIOUS, right?! She signed her witty note with the message, “I got snatched ‘2 snaps.’ Goodnight all, B.” Well said, Beyonce. Well said.
By: Fox News
Paula Deen’s story is being turned into a comic book.
The former Food Network star, who lost many of her business deals in June when news broke that she had used the N-word in the past, will be made into a comic book character for a biographical project by Bluewater Productions.
The book was in production for several months before Deen was thrust into the news for her past racist remarks, and the company said despite the controversy they are going ahead with plans to illustrate her story.
“We do not condone her use of racial insensitivities, and think that intolerance has no place in a just society,” said Bluewater’s president Darren G. Davis in a statement sent to FOX411. “But despite her recent failings, we also strongly believe she still has a powerful story to tell; one that fits the female empowerment model of our books.”
Davis added that the recent developments in Deen’s life would be added to the comic book, but it will not be the main focus of the project.
“Female Force: Paula Deen” writer Michael Troy explained that the book portrays Deen as a strong, hard-working female.
“Paula Deen is still an inspirational woman who has suffered much adversity in her life and overcome many obstacles,” Troy said. “Her story is fascinating and it's easy to see why Bluewater would consider her for their Female Force line of Biography comic books that on powerful women.”
Women like Angelina Jolie, Hillary Clinton, Cher and Gabrielle Giffords have all been featured in the “Female Force” biographical comic series.
Deen’s comic book is set to be released in October.
Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/07/11/paula-deen-comic-book-to-be-released-in-october/#ixzz2YndI8ZwU
By Fox News
Mariah Carey returned to the set of her new music video on Sunday just hours after she was hospitalized with a dislocated shoulder and cracked rib in a desperate attempt to finish the shoot.
The pop superstar was filming a promo for a remix of her track #Beautiful with rapper Young Jeezy when she took a tumble and had to be treated at a New York medical centre for her injuries.
Her husband Nick Cannon, who had been directing the project, offered to abandon his duties to be by his wife's side, but Carey refused to let her pain stand in the way of her work and ordered the TV personality to continue on in her absence.
During an appearance on U.S. breakfast show Today on Tuesday, he said, "It was pretty serious. Not only did she dislocate her shoulder, she actually cracked her rib. She chipped her shoulder bone during the video shoot. She was in this nice, beautiful gown, heels on and everything, it was kinda on this platform, she kinda slipped and fell on her whole side. She's such a trooper, like I was gonna rush to the hospital, she was like, 'You get back in there and finish the video'.
"Then, after they put the shoulder back in place, bandaged her all up, she came back to the video early in the morning and finished out everything. She's like, 'This better be a good video after all this pain I went through!...' I would be crying and passed out if something like that happened to me. She was right back to work!"
The Hero hitmaker is now recovering at home and resting up for her performance at a Hurricane Sandy benefit concert on Saturday.
BY FABIOLA SANTIAGO
It’s too early in the George Zimmerman murder trial to make any predictions.
But at least one of the prevailing questions arising before the six-woman jury was seated and sequestered — can Zimmerman get a fair trial, given the high-profile status of the case and the excessive publicity surrounding it? — has been answered with a resounding “Yes.”
For one, the neighborhood watchman’s defense team has been exhaustingly aggressive in its cross-examination of every state witness, with enough success, it seems, to plant doubt and drive observers to question the prosecution’s strategy and speculate that a second-degree murder conviction will be impossible for a jury to reach.
On Tuesday, defense attorney Mark O’Mara tried to keep out evidence that portrays Zimmerman as a wannabe cop whose zealotry led him to profile 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was returning on a rainy night from a trip to a 7-Eleven, as a potential criminal.
The evidence — college documents and a request to ride along with police officers — shows that Zimmerman was a criminal justice major who knew enough about Florida law to quickly come up with a self-defense story that would justify his use of deadly force against the unarmed Miami Gardens teen, who was staying with his father in the Sanford gated community where Zimmerman lived.
Judge Debra Nelson is scheduled to rule Wednesday about whether the jury will see the documents, which bolster the prosecution’s contention that Zimmerman acted as a vigilante who profiled and followed Trayvon, provoking the altercation that led to his killing.
But regardless, the star witness against Zimmerman the past two days has been Zimmerman himself.
Not that he has said anything in court — but prosecutors put him on the stand on tape Monday being interviewed by police investigators and again on Tuesday being interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity. The television celebrity may have asked softball questions, but along with police interviews Zimmerman’s statements have significant inconsistencies.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only person puzzled by Zimmerman’s account to Sanford Police investigator Doris Singleton the night of the killing. He seemed to have a clear recollection of how everything occurred, but when asked out of the blue about the position of Trayvon Martin’s body, the way Travyon went down when he was shot, Zimmerman said he couldn’t remember.
In another interview, Zimmerman claimed he spread out Trayvon’s arms after the shooting, but a photo taken immediately after the shooting shows Martin face down with his arms under his body.
Zimmerman told Singleton that Trayvon jumped out at him from bushes, but during the scene walk-through and re-creation the next day, there are only spare bushes and Zimmerman doesn’t mention them. He says Trayvon came up from behind buildings.
None of these are small inconsistencies.
“The truth about the murder of Trayvon Martin is going to come directly from his mouth,” prosecutor John Guy predicted in opening statements.
And so, on Day 17 of a trial expected to last a while longer, the one question that remains unanswered is, will Trayvon Martin get any justice?
It may be difficult, but not impossible.
By: MARGARET EBY / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Kim Kardashian has issued her first verdict on her newfound motherhood.
The reality star, who gave birth to her first child on Saturday, e-mailed a quick note to Ryan Seacrest after the television host sent his congratulations to her and boyfriend Kanye West.
"Can't believe it! It's so crazy!" Kardashian, 32, wrote to Seacrest, who then read aloud her note on his radio show Tuesday.
Seacrest also spoke to E! News correspondent Ken Baker, who confirmed that Kardashian and her as-yet-unnamed little girl are healthy and doing well.
According to E! News sources, the baby weighed "just under five pounds" and was delivered five weeks before Kardashian's due date.
Though E! News claims that the childbirth was natural, other witnesses said that Kardashian was recovering in a room reserved for mothers who gave birth by C-section.
West was reportedly by Kardashian's side for the birth, but other members of the clan were caught off-guard.
"This was not planned," the insider said. "This came on very quickly. The whole family was dispersed all over the place."
The usually public Kardashian has been quiet since the birth of her child, taking some time out to recover.
"Kim is in love with her baby girl," a source told the Daily News' Confidenti@l.
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/kim-kardashian-motherhood-crazy-article-1.1376185#ixzz2WnaKMae4
By and in Washington The Guardian
Senior politicians reveal that US counter-terrorism efforts have swept up personal data from American citizens for years
The scale of America's surveillance state was laid bare on Thursday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.
After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.
A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders "are something that have been in place for a number of years now" and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. "People want the homeland kept safe," Feinstein said.
But as the implications of the blanket approval for obtaining phone data reverberated around Washington and beyond, anger grew among other politicians.
Intelligence committee member Mark Udall, who has previously warned in broad terms about the scale of government snooping, said: "This sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I've said Americans would find shocking." Former vice-president Al Gore described the "secret blanket surveillance" as "obscenely outrageous".
The Verizon order was made under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) as amended by the Patriot Act of 2001, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, said he was troubled by the Guardian revelations. He said that he had written to the attorney general, Eric Holder, questioning whether "US constitutional rights were secure".
He said: "I do not believe the broadly drafted Fisa order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American."
The White House sought to defend what it called "a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats". White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Fisa orders were used to "support important and highly sensitive intelligence collection operations" on which members of Congress were fully briefed.
"The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to a public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress and the intelligence community in both houses of Congress," Earnest said.
He pointed out that the order only relates to the so-called metadata surrounding phone calls rather than the content of the calls themselves. "The order reprinted overnight does not allow the government to listen in on anyone's telephone calls," Earnest said.
"The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to call details, such as a telephone number or the length of a telephone call."
But such metadata can provide authorities with vast knowledge about a caller's identity. Particularly when cross-checked against other public records, the metadata can reveal someone's name, address, driver's licence, credit history, social security number and more. Government analysts would be able to work out whether the relationship between two people was ongoing, occasional or a one-off.
The disclosure has reignited longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government's domestic spying powers.
Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who, along with Udell, has expressed concern about the extent of US government surveillance, warned of "sweeping, dragnet surveillance". He said: "I am barred by Senate rules from commenting on some of the details at this time, However, I believe that when law-abiding Americans call their friends, who they call, when they call, and where they call from is private information.
"Collecting this data about every single phone call that every American makes every day would be a massive invasion of Americans' privacy."
'Beyond Orwellian'Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It's a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents.
"It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies."
Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice under President Obama.
The order names Verizon Business Services, a division of Verizon Communications. In its first-quarter earnings report, published in April, Verizon Communications listed about 10 million commercial lines out of a total of 121 million customers. The court order, which lasts for three months from 25 April, does not specify what type of lines are being tracked. It is not clear whether any additional orders exist to cover Verizon's wireless and residential customers, or those of other phone carriers.
Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific, named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual.
Feinstein said she believed the order had been in place for some time. She said: "As far as I know this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the [foreign intelligence surveillance] court under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress."
The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement that the secret court order was unprecedented. "As far as we know this order from the Fisa court is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued: it requires no level of suspicion and applies to all Verizon [business services] subscribers anywhere in the US.
"The Patriot Act's incredibly broad surveillance provision purportedly authorizes an order of this sort, though its constitutionality is in question and several senators have complained about it."
Russell Tice, a retired National Security Agency intelligence analyst and whistleblower, said: "What is going on is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined."
Although an anonymous senior Obama administration official said that "on its face" the court order revealed by the Guardian did not authorise the government to listen in on people's phone calls, Tice now believes the NSA has constructed such a capability.
"I figured it would probably be about 2015" before the NSA had "the computer capacity … to collect all digital communications word for word," Tice said. "But I think I'm wrong. I think they have it right now."
Rescue workers went building to building Tuesday in search of victims and thousands of survivors were left homeless a day after a massive tornado tore through a suburb of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people.
After a long day of searching - emergency crews lifted broken doors, moved sections of shattered walls and tossed aside bricks looking for survivors as cadaver dogs sniffed through the rubble - Moore Mayor Glenn Lewis said he believed all the dead and missing had been accounted for.
"We've checked the area with thermal imagers, as well as gone door to door, so we feel like we're fixing to go from rescue and searching to recovery," Lewis told CNN.
The death toll of 24 was lower than initially feared, but nine children were among the dead, including seven who died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which took a direct hit on Monday in the deadliest tornado to strike theUnited States in two years. About 240 people were injured.
Emergency workers pulled more than 100 survivors from the debris of homes, schools and a hospital after the tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City region with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour, leaving a trail of destruction 17 miles long by 1.3 miles wide.
"Can you imagine a lion, like a huge lion? You mix it with a freight train and that's what it was like. Scariest thing I've ever heard in my life," said Kim Limke, 40, inOklahoma City's Westmoor subdivision. "It was like a freight train came out of a lion's mouth."
Limke rode out the tornado at her daughter's school and was surrounded by its destruction on Tuesday at her rented Westmoor home. For blocks around, houses were reduced to heaps of rubble and trees were stripped of their leaves. The air was tinged with the smell of wet pine from wrecked homes.
The National Weather Service upgraded its calculation of the storm's strength on Tuesday, saying it was a rare EF5, the most powerful ranking on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour.
'A LOT OF CHAOS'
In the hours right after the storm, many more people had been feared dead. At one point, the Oklahoma state medical examiner's office said the toll could rise as high as 91, but on Tuesday officials said 24 bodies had been recovered, down from a previous tally of 51.
The earlier numbers likely reflected some double-counted deaths, said Amy Elliott, chief administrative officer for the medical examiner.
"There was a lot of chaos," she said.
Shelters were opened for families who lost their homes, and universities offered to house people. Albert Ashwood, director of Oklahoma's department of emergency management, said it was too early to say how many people were left homeless, but clearly it was thousands, given the extent of the damage.
The National Guard, firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments and rescuers from other states were involved in the search-and-rescue effort in Moore, a town of 55,000 people. Washington deployed 300 federal disaster workers to Oklahoma.
Plaza Towers Elementary School was one of five schools in the path of the tornado. "They literally were lifting walls up and kids were coming out," Oklahoma State Police Sergeant Jeremy Lewis said. "They pulled kids out from under cinder blocks without a scratch on them."
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak said the damage to property was likely to exceed that caused by the 2011 twister in Joplin, Missouri, which killed 161 people. Insured losses from the Joplin tornado exceeded $2 billion and are expected to rise as claims are settled.
Disaster modeling company AIR Worldwide estimated the replacement value of the properties within a mile of each side of the tornado's track at around $6 billion. The figure represents a rough estimate of the potential upper limit of losses, not an actual loss estimate, it said.
'AS LONG AS IT TAKES'
President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in Oklahoma, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local efforts.
"The people of Moore should know that their country will remain on the ground, there for them, beside them, as long as it takes," Obama said at the White House.
Lewis, the Moore mayor, warned residents of the danger of electrocution and fire from downed power lines and broken natural gas lines. Thunderstorms and lightning slowed the search effort and made conditions tough for families left with nothing but their clothes.
At Moore's Eastwood Estates, Nicole Moore, 32, and her husband, Kelly Regouby, 43, picked through the wreckage of what had been the master bedroom of their home.
During the storm, the couple, their 9-month-old son, Regouby's 20-year-old daughter andMoore's mother huddled in a shelter built into the floor of their garage. The house came down over them, but they emerged with only scratches.
On Tuesday, they recovered rain-soaked family pictures and mementos.
"As long as we find stuff like this, I'll be happy," Mooresaid, her voice breaking. "We'd give up 10 of these houses to have our family safe."
In the neighborhood, brick walls were flattened and pink insulation was scattered everywhere. Hundreds of cars looked as if they had been shelled. In a sign of the tornado's strength, a bicycle wheel found in a sodden field had lost its rim and the spokes were wrapped around the hub.
Authorities warned the town 16 minutes before the tornado touched down just after 3 p.m. That amount of time is more than the average eight to 10 minutes of warning.
FIVE SCHOOLS HIT
U.S. Representative Tom Cole, who lives in Moore, said thePlaza Towers school was the most secure building in the area.
"And so people did the right thing, but if you're in front of an F4 or an F5 (in tornado strength), there is no good thing to do if you're above ground. It's just tragic," he said on MSNBC-TV.
Miguel Macias and his wife, Veronica, had two children at the Plaza Towers school. They found 8-year-old Ruby after workers rescued the girl but their son, 6-year-old Angel, was nowhere to be found, said Brenda Ramon, pastor of the Faith Latino Church where the family are members.
Ramon and several congregation members spent hours helping the family search for Angel. He was located at a medical center in Oklahoma City about five hours after the tornado hit.
"It was heart-breaking," Ramon said. "We couldn't find him for hours." The boy had wounds to his face and head, but was not badly hurt, Ramon said. "Their little bodies are so resilient," he said.
Witnesses said Monday's tornado appeared more fierce than a giant twister that was among the dozens that tore up the area on May 3, 1999, killing more than 40 people and destroying thousands of homes. That tornado ranked as an EF5.
The 1999 tornado ranks as the third-costliest in U.S. history, having caused more than $1 billion in damage at the time, or more than $1.3 billion in today's dollars. Only the devastating Joplin and Tuscaloosa tornadoes in 2011 were more costly.
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