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Nest Thermostat Goes From 'Internet Of Things' Darling To Cautionary Tale

Back when the Nest thermostat was announced in 2011, it was met with waves of gushing adoration from an utterly uncritical technology press. Much of that gushing was certainly warranted; Nest was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both former Apple engineers, who indisputably designed an absolutely gorgeous device after decades of treating the thermostat as an afterthought. But the company also leaned heavily on the same media acupressure techniques Apple historically relies on to generate a sound wall of hype potentially untethered from real life.
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War on Drugs Lunacy: Woman Facing 19 Years in Prison for Selling Dog Food to Police Informant

In a relatively free and reasonable society, heroin addiction would be treated as a medical problem, not as an excuse to put people in cages. The perverted priorities of prohibition, however, dictate that people struggling with addiction not only be punished as criminals, but be manipulated into an obscene inverted pyramid scheme in which they are offered a reduction in punishment for informing on their friends. This helps explain how 22-year-old Megan Meyer of Plymouth, Wisconsin faces up to 19 years in prison for selling fake heroin to a police informant.
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The U.S. Intervention in Libya Was Such a Smashing Success That a Sequel Is Coming

The immediate aftermath of the NATO bombing of Libya was a time of high gloating. Just as Iraq War advocates pointed to the capture and killing of Saddam Hussein as proof that their war was a success, Libya war advocates pointed to the capture and brutal killing of Muammar el-Qaddafi as proof of their vindication. War advocates such as Anne-Marie Slaughter and Nicholas Kristof were writing columns celebrating their prescience and mocking war opponents as discredited, and the New York Times published a front-page article declaring: “U.S. Tactics in Libya May be a Model for Other Efforts.” It was widely expected that Hillary Clinton, one of the leading advocates for and architects of the bombing campaign, would be regarded as a Foreign Policy Visionary for the grand Libya success: “We came, we saw, he died,” Clinton sociopathically boasted about the mob rape and murder of Qaddafi while guffawing on 60 Minutes.
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Rebuilding and Expanding the North American Relationship

A major priority for Canada’s new prime minister is to reset the relationships with both the U.S. and Mexico. There is a real opportunity for all three countries to recommit to building a North American community. This includes expanding political, security and economic cooperation, as well as greater coordination on issues such as energy and the environment. Further deepening Canada-Mexico ties is one of the keys to strengthening continental relations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which builds on the commitments of NAFTA could also help take North American trilateral integration to the next level.
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FBI Stages Weapons Purchase, Then Arrests Milwaukee Man for Allegedly Planning Temple Attack

A Milwaukee man was arrested Tuesday on charges that he sought machine guns in order to carry out a terror attack on a Masonic temple, federal prosecutors said. Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, 23, was charged with unlawfully possessing a machine gun and unlawfully receiving and possessing firearms not registered to him.
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Video: Senator Warns AUMF Bill is “Declaration Of International Martial Law”

The bill currently has four co-sponsors, Sen. Daniel Coats, Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Sen Orrin Hatch. A new bill making its way through Congress contains “dangerous and unprecedented” language that could be considered a “declaration of international martial law,” a US senator warned last Thursday.
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Oregon stand-off militiaman killed in shootout with the FBI: Traffic stop turns into deadly gunfight, ending with militia's spokesman dead and leader Ammon Bundy arrested along with seven others

Oregon militia spokesman LaVoy Finicum has been shot dead after a traffic stop escalated into a shoot-out that saw Ryan Bundy wounded and eight leaders of the occupation movement arrested. The group's leader Ammon Bundy was among the militiamen arrested during the encounter on Tuesday afternoon as they drove to attend a community meeting in the neighboring town.
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EU seeks new powers to vet member state energy deals

The European Commission wants the power to review energy deals between member states and countries such as Russia before they are signed, the bloc's top energy official said on Tuesday (26 January) - a move opposed by some states reluctant to cede control to Brussels. European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said the new powers for Brussels were a key part of draft energy security rules he intends to propose next month.
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Cash Is King as Europe Adapts to Negative Interest Rates

Europe’s ATMs worked overtime in 2015. A record 1.08 trillion euros ($1.17 trillion) of banknotes were in circulation, almost double the value 10 years ago, according to data compiled by the European Central Bank. That’s a counterargument to some bankers who say that electronic forms of cash will replace paper money sooner rather than later.
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China warns George Soros against going to 'war' on its currency

China has officially issued a warning to George Soros: Beware of going to "war on the renminbi." The message comes in a piece published in China's People's Daily titled "Declaring war on China's currency? Ha ha." People's Daily is the Communist Party's mouthpiece.
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BOMBSHELL: Declassified Memo Proves the Pentagon had ZERO Evidence of WMDs in Iraq

Thirteen years after the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it is common knowledge that this war of choice was based on fabrications and slick propaganda. There were no weapons of mass destruction, the country posed no real threat to the U.S., and it was not a hotbed of terrorism until after Saddam was deposed. Now, a bombshell has dropped in the form of a leaked classified report—a “smoking gun” if you will—that confirms the utter deception carried out on the American people to support the invasion. It demonstrates just how far the cabal under George W. Bush, making up a group known as the Project for a New American Century, would go to prey upon fear in pursuit of global hegemony.
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Virginia House Votes Unanimously To Legalize Hemp Farming, Nullifying Federal Law

Today, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill to authorize the farming, and production of industrial hemp in the state for commercial purposes, setting the foundation to nullify in practice the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same. The vote was 98-0. Introduced by Del. Brenda Pogge (R-Norge), House Bill 699 (HB699) would amend current state law on hemp by removing a provision that authorized the licensing of hemp farming only upon approval of the federal government.
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"No Cost" License Plate Readers Are Turning Texas Police into Mobile Debt Collectors and Data Miners

Vigilant Solutions, one of the country’s largest brokers of vehicle surveillance technology, is offering a hell of a deal to law enforcement agencies in Texas: a whole suite of automated license plate reader (ALPR) equipment and access to the company’s massive databases and analytical tools—and it won’t cost the agency a dime. Even though the technology is marketed as budget neutral, that doesn’t mean no one has to pay. Instead, Texas police fund it by gouging people who have outstanding court fines and handing Vigilant all of the data they gather on drivers for nearly unlimited commercial use.
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Phoenix Cop Only Gets Two Months In Jail For Raping Teen

Before he raped an underage girl, Officer Justin LaClere asked her “Want a baby in ya?” As disturbing as this story is, the most troubling thing is the fact that this rapist cop just received a slap on the wrist – only two months behind bars. The Phoenix police officer was sentenced last Friday to 60 days in jail even though it was acknowledged that he lured a minor into sex. The charges of sexual exploitation and sexual conduct with a minor – both felonies – notwithstanding, he received a sentence that in no way reflected the severity of what he did.
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First case of Zika virus detected in Arkansas

The US Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) told the department late yesterday afternoon that the infected resident recently traveled out of the country and had “a mild case of Zika”. Originally discovered in Africa in the 1940s, the relatively-new disease first appeared in Brazil in May 2005.
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Prosecutors Say Cops Don't Need Warrants For Stingrays Because 'Everyone Knows' Cell Phones Generate Location Data

Up in Baltimore, where law enforcement Stingray device use hit critical mass faster and more furiously than anywhere else in the country (to date...) with the exposure of 4,300 deployments in seven years, the government is still arguing there's no reason to bring search warrants into this. The state's Attorney General apparently would like the Baltimore PD's use of pen register orders to remain standard operating procedure. According to a brief filed in a criminal case relying on the warrantless deployment of an IMSI catcher (in this case a Hailstorm), the state believes there's no reason for police to seek a warrant because everyone "knows" cell phones generate data when they're turned on or in use. (h/t Brad Heath of USA Today)
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10 Syngenta Employees Sent to Hospital in Kauai Following Pesticide Use

The Kauai agricultural workers were exposed to the insecticide chlorpyrifos, used on corn, which is currently under consideration for a ban by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). More than 3.5 tons of the pesticide were used in Hawaii in 2014 despite concerns over its environmental effects, as well as adverse health implications. The insecticide was also recently found in what were once considered protected water sources. Joshua Uyehara, Syngenta Hawaii’s continuous nursery site manager, said in a phone interview that a field supervisor realized that the employees shouldn’t have been in the field within a few minutes after they entered it. Syngenta would not tell anyone what symptoms the 10 workers endured, but they were severe enough that after taking them to Syngenta’s offices and ‘cleaning them up,’ they still needed to go to the hospital.
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Government goes after man who told NYT about Bush’s warrantless wiretapping

Don’t ever say the government doesn’t hold officials accountable for their acts in office. Whenever someone does something that upsets the national security state, they get hammered! As the National Law Journal reports, someone is finally going to be held accountable for the shocking 2005 disclosure of the Bush administration’s unconstitutional, warrantless wiretapping program. But it’s not the people who authorized that illegal surveillance. It’s the guy who told the public about it.
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Denmark approves controversial migrant assets bill

The Danish parliament has backed a controversial proposal to confiscate asylum seekers' valuables to pay for their upkeep. Denmark says the policy brings migrants in line with jobless Danes, who must sell assets above a certain level to claim benefits. MPs also approved plans to delay family reunions for asylum seekers.
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IRA terrorist behind 1993 Belfast bombing was ‘MI5 informant’ – leaked documents

Northern Ireland’s police watchdog is investigating allegations that the IRA operative who planned the 1993 Shankhill Road bombing was an MI5 informant who gave intelligence that could have helped security forces stop the atrocity. Nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the attack on a fish shop in Belfast’s loyalist heartland in 1993. The bombing became one of the most notorious atrocities of The Troubles, prompting a wave of sectarian revenge murders in its wake. Inside job?
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BlackListed News 2006-2015