- The White House says there's no cover up in the administration's refusal to surrender documents related to the Fast and Furious fiasco, and that Eric Holder retains Obama's confidence. (Well … he does know where the documents are buried.) The parents of Brian Terry, a Border Patrol agent slain by a gunwalked weapon, aren't buying it.
- To show just how potentially dangerous bird flu can be, scientists induced five genetic changes in the virus, making it transmittable through the air. Jeez, people, have none of you seen any made-for SyFy movies? This ends badly.
- Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain promises a warm welcome for any French citizens who flee across the Channel to escape pending tax hikes in their home country. "When France sets a 75 percent top income tax rate we will roll out the red carpet, and we will welcome more French businesses which will pay their taxes in Britain."
- Singapore is happily exploiting its tax-haven status to attract businesses from Europe — even under-cutting traditionally low-tax Switzerland, which has become reticent about negotiating rates under pressure from the EU.
- The trumped-up arrest of a motorcyclist to cover a deputy's grab for the rider's helmet-cam footage sparked a Dallas Sheriff's Office internal affairs investigation. A former Dallas County prosecutor says the deputy clearly stepped over the line because "you did need a warrant to get that piece of evidence."
- Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom met with Steve Wozniak as he develops a new service intended to help artists sell directly to consumers. Despite his legal troubles, he may have reason to return to business matters — a retired federal judge has called U.S. government conduct in the case "outrageous" and the FBI concedes it could take years to extradite him from New Zealand, even assuming the feds stop pissing off the judges in that country.
- Your tykes may not be stoners after all. New research shows that baby soap and shampoo can trigger false-positive test results for marijuana — a bit of an issue in an era when newborns are often screened for drugs.
- A Secret Service agent and a Massachusetts state policeman, both assigned to the vice president's protective detail, violently assaulted three Air Force officers, also assigned to that detail, during a vacation stay on Nantucket last Thanksgiving. President Camacho had no comment. (HT Karl Hungus)
- The NSA tells Senators Wyden and Udall that counting the number of Americans spied upon without a warrant under FISA is "beyond the capacity" of the agency. If that answer sounds familiar, it should — they've been using it for two administrations. (HT juris imprudent)
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