TPM News

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said on Monday at least 2,600 people had been killed in Syria since the uprising against the Assad regime began in March.

The BBC reports that more than 100 people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.

The cause of the blast is currently unknown.

The steady move toward panic for Democrats in Tuesday's NY-09 special election coming from some poor poll numbers leading to a $500,000 TV buy by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee seems to be well placed: a new Public Policy Polling (D) survey of the district shows they have every reason to be concerned.

Retired cable television executive and Republican candidate Bob Turner is at 47 percent in the PPP poll, against 41 percent for Democratic New York State Assemblyman David Weprin with the election only two days away. Socialist Workers Party candidate Christopher Hoeppner gets 4 percent of the vote. The New York City District of former Rep. Anthony Weiner has been solidly Democratic for decades, and should Turner win he would be the first Republican since 1923 to occupy the seat. The race has seen Weprin falter as Turner has sought to capitalize on extreme voter dissatisfaction with Washington.

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The United States is still conducting a delicate balancing act between security and freedom a decade after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Meanwhile, security companies have benefitted in the growth in security spending, although that spending is likely to cut back in the 2012 budget.

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NASA is shooting for the moon again, this time with two tandem satellites that will work together to create the first full map of lunar gravity and the most comprehensive survey yet of lunar geology.

And in a twist, the satellites are also each carrying a MoonKAM, NASA's first-ever equipment dedicated to solely to educational outreach, which will allow middle school students around the country to make special requests of which areas on the moon the satellites should photograph while they're up there.

After launch was postponed twice on Thursday and Friday morning due to weather delays, the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory mission (GRAIL) finally enjoyed a picture perfect launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 9:08 a.m. ET Saturday.

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Love it or hate it, Brian Williams' brief exchange with Rick Perry about the death penalty at this week's presidential debate certainly struck a nerve.

It's not a topic the country discusses very often these days, and Williams' raising of the Texas execution record has opened up a lot of old debates about the death penalty -- and, conservative critics say, shown that Williams has a pro-liberal bias.

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As TPM has reported, our website was knocked offline Friday at 4:43 p.m. by a distributed denial of service attack (DDos). Earlier in the day TPM posted a series of mugshots of suspected members of the hacking collective 'Anonymous.'

A noted web security expert recommended that to halt the attack, TPM should create a separate domain - just as Anonymous mirrored the Wikileaks website after it was taken down.

"You want to create a lot of targets as opposed to just one. Then there's really no incentive to go after you," preeminent denial of service security expert Barret Lyon said in a phone interview with TPM.

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The White House late Friday afternoon sent its request to Congress for $500 million in immediate relief to help the victims of Hurricane Irene and other recent disasters and avoid running out of response funds before the end of the month.

The request was just a small portion of the total $5.1 billion the President asked for in order to fill the coffers of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which has become so strained for funds that it has put longer-term building projects on hold in order to ensure enough money remains for victims of Irene.

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The Herman Cain campaign has produced a campaign video depicting graphic footage of the second plane striking the Twin Towers, screaming pedestrians, and the lifeless body of Father Mychael Judge, one of the most well known victims of the attacks, being pulled from the smoldering rubble. The audio features Cain singing his rendition of "God Bless America," intercut with the sounds of screaming pedestrians and sirens. Produced by his campaign's video editor, the ad ends with the typical image of Cain's face, his website's address affixed to campaign videos.

Traditionally, depictions of 9/11 have been highly sensitive areas for politicians and many candidates have pulled videos and ads that contained footage of the attacks, sometimes even only short glimpses, after complaints. Just recently, Republican Bob Turner took down a campaign video in New York's 9th district special election depicting the burning Twin Towers. Cain's lengthy web ad is likely unprecedented among major presidential candidates, however.

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