TPM News

Updated 12:52 pm ET, Monday, October 3

Another week, another legal headache for the world's largest social network. Make that at least two legal headaches, to be exact: One regarding the name of Facebook's new crown-jewel feature, "Timeline," and the other more serious allegation about its tracking habits.

Facebook's buzzed-about new profile design, "Timeline," unveiled at the f8 developers conference on September 22, has come under fire from a Chicago company with the same name.

Timelines.com, which bills itself as "the first web site that enables people like you to collaboratively record, discover and share history," filed a trademark infringement suit against Facebook on Thursday in the Chicago office of the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent Facebook from rolling out its new feature.

Read More →

For a CIA operative, Raymond Davis sure has trouble keeping a low profile.

Earlier this year Davis sparked a diplomatic standoff after shooting two men dead on the streets of Lahore, Pakistan.

Now Davis -- who was freed in March after two months in Pakistani custody only after a deal was reached to pay $2.34 million in 'blood money' to the victims' families -- on Saturday was arrested after a scuffle outside an Einstein Bagels south of Denver, the Associated Press reports.

Read More →

By Kim Barker and Habiba Nosheen, ProPublica, and Raheel Khursheed, Special to ProPublica

The night should have been a coup for Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai. Once a poor villager from halfway around the world, Fai had become the go-to man in Washington, D.C., for his cause, Kashmir, the Himalayan region long caught in a tug of war between Pakistan and India.

And there he was on March 4, 2010, hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Dan Burton, the Indiana Republican who had been the chief supporter in Congress of Fai's Kashmiri American Council for 20 years. In some ways, the event inside Fai's home in Fairfax, Va., symbolized everything that Fai had become, featuring speeches in the living room and kebabs and curries in the basement.

But it barely camouflaged how Fai's carefully built world was collapsing.

The FBI was monitoring almost every move Fai made, every email he sent, every call he received. Investigators believed Fai's main donors were not well-meaning idealists but members of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, the most powerful of Pakistan's spy agencies.

Read More →

President Obama told ABC News on Monday that he is “still working' on his views of gay marriage, the AP reports.

Over the weekend, Obama criticized his Republican rivals for staying silent after a gay soldier was booed at a GOP presidential debate, saying the commander in chief must support gay troops even when it’s not politically convenient.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the rest of the House GOP leadership team sent a letter to President Barack Obama Monday morning, touting what they say are two areas of common ground between themselves and Obama's jobs package.

Boehner et al are bringing the EPA Regulatory Relief Act and the Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act, bills that would slash regulations on businesses, to the House floor for votes this week. The EPA bill, which would lift restrictions on boilers used by hospitals, factories and colleges, is likely a non-starter for the administration, which is already under fire from environmental activists for easing new clean air restrictions nearly a month ago.

Read More →

A lawyer for Kevin Ring, a congressional staffer turned lobbyist caught up in the Jack Abramoff scandal, is arguing he should stay out of jail and get five years probation for his conviction in a scheme to corrupt public officials by providing a stream of gifts.

Prosecutors had been seeking an extremely harsh sentence of 17 years for Ring, but Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled that a range of 46 to 57 months would be more appropriate. He's set to be sentenced on Oct. 26.

"While we recognize that such a sentence may appear lenient at first blush, a comprehensive review demonstrates that such a sentence is not only comparatively fair, it is reasonable and proper in consideration of Mr. Ring's circumstances, the nature of his individual actions, and the significant sanctions this unique prosecution has already visited upon him and his family," Andrew T. Wise argues.

"While the offenses of conviction are serious in nature, Mr. Ring's role in those offenses was comparatively minor and the circumstances of his conduct are less blameworthy than other, more egregious public corruption offenses," he writes. "And Mr. Ring's personal history and actions, especially during the seven years since the events that led to his indictment, demonstrate a depth and sincerity of character diametrically opposed to the caricature of the man presented through two trials."

Ring also wrote a 12-page letter to the judge asking for leniency, writing that the "toll has been great," but that he has "kept the two most important things that I had within my control: the opportunity to love and be loved by my two daughters, and my integrity."

Read More →

Appearing on CNN’s “American Morning” on Monday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) artfully dodged the question of whether Obama owes the Bush administration an apology for criticizing their war on terror tactics. Former Vice President Dick Cheney asked for just such an apology during a morning show appearance on Sunday.

“And no apology necessary from the Obama administration to the Bush administration?” Carol Costello asked the senator?

“About what?” McCain responded. “Well, it was 90-6 in the United States senate to prohibit cruel and inhumane mistreatment. It was an amendment in a peaceful legislation that I was the sponsor of. The Senate has spoken. The American people have spoken. The people of the world have spoken. Torturing people in violation of international agreements such as the Geneva conventions is prohibited, and frankly very harmful to the image of the United States of America,” he said.

An article published by the LA Times on Sunday examines Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s (R-MN) rapidly fizzling Iowa campaign. Stuck amongst the reports of dwindling crowds, questionable campaign decisions, and dropping poll numbers, there’s this little gem of an exchange.



"And she continues to make gaffes. On the radio show, a caller told her he would vote for serial killer Charles Manson over President Obama. 'Hey, thank you for saying that,' she replied."


This isn’t the first time Bachmann has made a gaffe concerning notorious serial killers. In June, the candidate confused Western star John Wayne with the notorious mass murderer John Wayne Gacy.

LiveWire