News in Brief: Manning Supporter Silent Before Grand Jury, and More

Manning Supporter Silent Before Grand Jury

David House, a computer expert and Bradley Manning supporter, evoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to answer any questions beyond providing his name and address before a federal grand jury in Arlington, Virginia, yesterday, according to Bloomberg. Manning is a former US Army intelligence officer accused of leaking classified military information to WikiLeaks, and a small group of the whistleblower's supporters gathered outside the grand jury in protest. The grand jury is investigating a possible conspiracy and violations of espionage laws. “I think the government is trying to go after Bradley Manning and Julian Assange and casting a wide net to do so,” House said.

Lawmakers Challenge Obama's Efforts in Libya

A group of ten members of Congress filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration yesterday over US military activities in Libya, according to The Plan Dealer. The lawmakers want an injunction to prevent US forces from going to war without the consent of Congress. The Obama administration is providing air and intelligence support to NATO operations in Libya. Among the plaintiffs are Rep. Dennis Kucinich, an anti-war Democrat from Ohio, and Texas Republican Ron Paul. Kucinich slammed Obama's taking action in Libya without asking Congress, saying even President George Bush approached lawmakers before starting the war in Iraq, according to The Hill. Kucinich was also opposed to the Iraq war. Another Ohio politician, House Speaker John Boehner (R), also criticized the Obama administration's approach to Libya, saying today that the administration violated the War Powers Resolution by acting without Congressional authorization, according to The Associated Press.

Activists Halt Massive Dam in Peru

After years of community and activist opposition, the government of Peru has revoked a permit for a massive dam in a major Amazonian tributary, according to the Environment News Service. For more than a month, thousands of people have held protests and blockaded roads in the area of the planned 2,000 megawatt dam, forcing government officials to review the permit and, ultimately, cancel the project. The dam would have flooded a large amount of forest and left 15,000 people without the agricultural lands upon which they depend.

Walker's Budget Targets Craft Brewers

Much has been said about how Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) budget would make things tough for the little guy, and, now, ThinkProgress reports the budget will make things tough for small craft breweries as well. Wisconsin loves beer and has a growing microbrew industry, but provisions in Walker's budget will prevent small brewers from selling directly to liquor stores, restaurants and their own customers. The budget will treat craft breweries like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to middleman their beer through distributors. Mega-brewer MillerCoors donated more than $22,000 to Walker's campaign.