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Hedge funds buy swathes of foreclosed subprimes, force up rents, float rent-bonds

When a giant hedge fund is bidding on all the foreclosed houses in a poor neighborhood, living humans don't stand a chance -- but that's OK, because rapacious investors make great landlords. Wall Street investors have bought more than 200,000 foreclosed houses in the past two years, bundling together the rents they generate into bonds that are just like subprime mortgage bonds, only without the pretense that the poor people who generate their payments have a hope of ever getting out from under their obligation to enrich the richest people in the world.
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Senator Explodes When Questioned About His Vaccine Bill

By now, vaccine skeptics are generally familiar with the faces of Congressmen who are attempting to take away their natural rights to determine whether or not they and their children are vaccinated. Congressional parasites like Dianne Feinstein, as well as Presidential hopefuls like Hillary Clinton and Ben Carson, are now regular appearances in the “remove parents’ rights” theatre.
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Paralyzed man drinks first beer in 12 years by moving robotic arm with his brain

There haven’t been any huge advances in brain computer interfaces (BCIs) since quadriplegic Jan Scheuermann helped herself to a cup of coffee a few years ago using a robotic arm. Today, Science magazinebrings us a fantastic new first. Not only did quadriplegic Erik Sorto just drink himself his first beer in twelve years, he demonstrated the ability to control the precise activity of single neurons in his brain with specific thoughts.
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Under Shadow of Trade Deal, US Pesticide Lobby Pressured EU to Dump Toxic Pesticide Rules

Report details how corporate lobbyists mobilized to stop the EU from regulating hormone disrupting chemicals known to have significant health and environmental impacts
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Amy Berg’s Hollywood Sex Abuse Documentary ‘An Open Secret’ Finally Lands Distribution, Goes to Cannes

When “An Open Secret” premiered at DOC NYC, audiences and critics worried that no distributor would touch it. But the film has finally been picked up, by Rocky Mountain Pictures, for a 20-city US theatrical release beginning June 5. The film will also play exclusively at the Cannes Market in an invite-only screening on May 19.
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Media Executives Are Salivating Over Big Money Flooding the 2016 Election Cycle

"Media watchdog groups," notes Fang, "worry that news outlets won’t investigate the special interests buying advertisements if their companies become dependent upon the same groups for revenue." (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty) At least one small slice of the American public looks forward to the non-stop, sleazy political advertisements set to inundate viewers during the 2016 elections: media executives and their investors.
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Israel Seeks International Law Rewrite

The promulgation of International law addressing crimes against humanity was one of the major legal achievements resulting from World War II. As Robert Jackson, the lead American prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials put it, the crimes bred by that conflict were “so malignant, and so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored, because it cannot survive their being repeated.” Crimes against humanity include government-initiated or -assisted policies or practices resulting in massacre, dehumanization, unjust imprisonment, extrajudicial punishments, torture, racial/ethnic persecution, and other such acts. In reference to the last-cited crime, in 1976 the United Nations General Assembly declared the systematic persecution of one racial group by another (for instance, the practice of apartheid) to be a crime against humanity.
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Google Patents ‘Creepy’ Cuddly Toys to Run Your Home

Would you let Ted run your home? Google is thinking you just might and has patented some Internet-connected toys that can do just that, per BBC News: Google’s R&D team has looked into making internet-connected toys that control smart home appliances.
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Senate approves Obama's secret fast-track 'trade' bill, includes sharia law nation of Brunei

— President Obama's trade agenda received a critical boost from the U.S. Senate late Friday with a bipartisan vote in favor of a "fast track" trade bill. "It's important to President Obama, and it's important to a lot of us here in the chamber," said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a lead sponsor of the bill. The Senate voted, 62-37, to approve a six-year renewal of trade promotion authority (TPA), which provides an expedited process to submit trade pacts to Congress.
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EU signs new €1.8bn bailout for Ukraine

The European Union and Ukraine have signed a third loan agreement for Ukraine worth 1.8 billion. The EU says helping Ukraine’s ailing economy is now one of the biggest challenges for Europe. The bailout is part of a broader package for Ukraine, which includes $2.5 billion from the IMF and €1.5 billion from the EU, according to the European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.
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Google a step closer to developing machines with human-like intelligence

Algorithms developed by Google designed to encode thoughts, could lead to computers with ‘common sense’ within a decade, says leading AI scientist Computers will have developed “common sense” within a decade and we could be counting them among our friends not long afterwards, one of the world’s leading AI scientists has predicted.
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Dragnet surveillance is about power and social control, not public safety

Lynch said Friday the country would be “less safe” if Congress fails to renew surveillance programs included in the Patriot Act. Lynch joined other top Obama administration officials, who are urging the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act, which would reform the National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk phone records collection program while renewing other key parts of the post-Sept. 11 law.
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If U.S. Military Spending Returned to 2001 Level

The House of Representatives has headed out of town to memorialize wars without managing to achieve agreement with the Senate on reauthorizing some of the most abusive “temporary” measures of the PATRIOT Act. Three cheers for Congressional vacations! What if not just our civil liberties but our budget got a little bit of 2001 back?
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David Cameron’s New Thought Police

Shortly after the election victory that probably surprised no-one more than himself, David Cameron launched into explaining to the hoi-polloi what further transmogrification of the State is in store now that he’s got a free hand. He inter alia elated the audience with the following zinger: “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone. It’s often meant we have stood neutral between different values. And that’s helped foster a narrative of extremism and grievance. This government will conclusively turn the page on this failed approach.”
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FBI admits no major cases cracked with Patriot Act snooping powers

FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows government agents to compel businesses to turn over records and documents, and increasingly scooped up records of Americans who had no ties to official terrorism investigations.
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Indiana Cops Arrest Man for Asking for Their Badge Number

An Indiana man unhappy with cops parking in the fire lane of his local Walmart was arrested after he asked a cop for his name and badge number. Cody Clark was walking into the store in Logansport when he spotted a pair of cops standing by a patrol car parked in the emergency lane. “You’re parked in a fire lane, used for emergency purposes,” he said. “Can you please move the vehicle?”
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Video: Man Holds Carjacker at Gunpoint Until Cops Arrive

“You picked the wrong mother fu*ker to try to rob today”
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Obama gives $1.9 billion in weapons as welcome gift to Israel

Rumors of a deterioration in US-Israel relations are very much exaggerated. (Pete Souza/Official White House photo). The Obama administration approved a $1.9 billion arms sale to Israel in recent days as “compensation” for the US nuclear deal with Iran, which the Israeli regime staunchly opposes. Among the tens of thousands of bombs included in the weapons package are 3,000 Hellfire missiles, 12,000 general purpose bombs and 750 bunker buster bombs that can penetrate up to twenty feet, or six meters, of reinforced concrete.
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George Soros Warns "No Exaggeration" That China-US On "Threshold Of World War 3"

While admitting that reaching agreement between the two countries will be difficult to achieve, George Soros - speaking at The World Bank's Bretton Woods conference this week - warned that unless the U.S. makes 'major concessions' and allows China's currency to join the IMF's basket of currencies, "there is a real danger China will align itself with Russia politically and militarily, and then the threat of world war becomes real."
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