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"Just when we thought some surveillance reforms might stick, the administration announced it was expanding law enforcement access to NSA data hauls."

Just when we thought some surveillance reforms might stick, the administration announced it was expanding law enforcement access to NSA data hauls. This prompted expressions of disbelief and dismay, along with a letter from Congressional representatives demanding the NSA cease this expanded information sharing immediately. Share | Comment

Crime Spike in St. Louis Traced to Cheap Heroin and Mexican Cartels

Clara Walker, a mother of nine and grandmother of eight, was peering out the window of her home three years ago after hearing what she initially thought were gunshots from a television crime show. Share | Comment

U.S. To "Greatly Increase" Special Forces Deployed In Syria

Last week, Reuters reported a development which should have surprised precisely nobody: while the Kremlin announced one month ago that it would begin withdrawing military forces from Syria at once, Putin was doing the opposite. Share | Comment

Sempra CEO Gets Biggest Bonus Ever, After Biggest Gas Leak Ever

The same year a broken Sempra Energy storage well created the biggest natural gas leak in U.S. history, Chief Executive Officer Debra Reed earned her largest bonus yet. Share | Comment

US Ally, Saudi Arabia Will Start Exterminating People for Being Gay, Blames Gayness on Facebook

Saudi Arabian prosecutors would like to impose the death penalty for homosexuality — because, apparently, Facebook and other social media are turning people gay. According to Okaz, a daily newspaper located in Jeddah, dozens of men have been prosecuted for cross-dressing, sodomy, and various other “crimes.” One doctor was arrested for the act of raising an LGBT pride flag over his house, though he claimed he was unaware of its meaning and his children thought the flag was “pretty.” Such behavior, even acts between consenting adults of the same sex, is considered by Saudi Arabia to be legally similar to pedophilia or rape. Share | Comment

Saudi Ambassador FAIL: Attempt To Push “Elections” In Syria Falls Flat In Absence Of Elections In Saudi Arabia

If there was ever any question what hypocrisy looks like in the flesh, Abdallah al-Mouallimi, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United Nations, put on a live display when he agreed to an interview with journalist Mehdi Hasan. Hasan merely asked Mouallimi a simple question – why elections were being demanded for Syria when the same is not tolerated in Saudi Arabia. Mouallimi’s attempt to dodge the question were rebuffed by Hasan and what resulted was Mouallimi not only admitting his country’s lack of respect for the right of Saudi citizens to choose their own leaders but also that Saudi Arabia has ulterior motives for its attempt to destroy the secular Syrian government. Share | Comment

“You gonna pay for this Boy” Cops Mistake Hemorrhoid for Drugs, Sodomize Innocent Man in Public

On Oct. 2, 2014, Lakeya Hicks and Elijah Pontoon had broken no law, violated no traffic code and were simply driving down the road when they were targeted and pulled over by Aiken police officer Chris Medlin. Medlin explained to the couple that he stopped them because they had temporary tags on the car. According to South Carolina law, there is nothing wrong with temp tags, so long as they aren’t expired. Hicks explained that she had recently purchased the car, and that is the reason for the tags. Medlin even tells the couple that the tags check out. The stop, which never should have happened in the first place, should have ended right then. However, Medlin, working on a hunch, just knew that this couple was up to no good. Medlin orders Pontoon out of the car and handcuffs him — for no reason. Share | Comment

LA's new rule: homeless people are only allowed to own one trashcan's worth of things

A new law passed by the LA city council prohibits homeless people from owning more belongings than can fit in a 60-gallon trashcan with the lid on, and allows police to summarily confiscate any tents that are still standing on public property during daylight hours. The law is a response to Los Angeles's epidemic of homelessness -- a rise in homelessness that's clocked in at 20% of two years. Share | Comment

America's teachers are being trained in a harsh interrogation technique that produces false confessions

The Reid Technique is the go-to method for coercing false confessions in America's police interrogation rooms, and now it's being taught to America's schoolteachers, just as schools are using "zero-tolerance" policies and on-site cops to re-characterize school discipline problems as criminal matters, creating a school-to-prison pipeline. John E. Reid and Associates originated the technique, which involves "minimization" (the interrogator downplays the seriousness of the offense) and "maximization" (the interrogator threatens the accused with terrible, lasting punishment for failing to confess). Share | Comment

The police could be controlling your self-driving car

One of the biggest issues will be the rules under which public infrastructures and public safety officers may be empowered to override how autonomous vehicles are controlled. It is not hard to imagine why they might want such override power. One is for traffic control. As AVs proliferate there are many advantages to having them talk with intelligent roadways, the better to use scarce freeway space. Controls may also be imposed to leave lanes clear for emergency vehicles or crowded busses. Road conditions that are hard to detect by AV sensors, like weather-related lane closures, may also be more efficiently and fairly handled by having roadways or emergency crews redirect AVs away from problematic lanes, as well as around police, fire, and EMS activity. Overrides could be used to restrict certain vehicles from sensitive locations, like military sites. Share | Comment

Another Win! Kellogg’s and Mars to Label GMOs Nationwide

First General Mills announced its plans to label GMOs, and now 2 more Big Food companies are following the companys lead. Both Kelloggs and Mars will now label many of their products with the words, produced with genetic engineering if they contain GMOingredients, starting in mid-April. Just as General Mills will be doing, Mars and Kelloggs are complying with Vermonts first-in-the-nation mandatory GMO labeling requirements that take effect in July. Share | Comment

Turkey: Gulen ‘Islamic Cult’ May Be Coming to U.S. Military Bases

The allegations come from lawyer Robert R. Amsterdam, founder of international law firm Amsterdam and Partners LLP, writing at The Hill. As Amsterdam forthrightly discloses early in the piece, his firm has been “engaged by the Republic of Turkey – a key NATO ally in a hotbed region – to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into the operations and geopolitical influence of the Gülen organization, which is behind the Coral Academy of Science and over 140 other public charter schools scattered across 26 American states.” Share | Comment

Tax authorities to monitor Greeks’ bank accounts across the EU

Greece’s tax authorities will soon be able to monitor all bank accounts that Greek taxpayers have within the European Union, according to a draft law currently being discussed by Parliament’s Financial Affairs Committee. Finance Ministry officials are introducing the clauses on the automatic exchange of bank account information, which will effectively allow them direct access to all deposits of local taxpayers within the bloc, with the aim of combating cross-border fraud and tax evasion. Share | Comment

$15 minimum wage passes; Gov. Brown plans to sign

In votes that drew cheers from low-wage workers inside and outside the state Capitol on Thursday, Democratsswiftly pushed a bill through the Legislature to raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. Almost immediately, Gov. Jerry Brown announced he would sign it at a ceremony Monday in Los Angeles. The bill, SB3 by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, drew opposition from Republicans — not one of whom voted for it in the Senate or Assembly — and business-group leaders who said it will force job cuts and higher prices for consumers. Share | Comment

New British Empire? UK to re-establish military bases east of Suez

Flush military chiefs have been handed an £800-million budget boost as they consider new bases in the former British protectorate of Oman and beyond to re-establish its power east of the Suez Canal. In a statement issued on Friday, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon lauded his department’s bolstered £35.1 billion budget. It is the first increase in six years. Share | Comment

America’s Million-Doctor Shortage Is Right Around the Corner

The doctor is disappearing in America. And by most projections, it’s only going to get worse — the U.S. could lose as many as 1 million doctors by 2025, according to a Association of American Medical Colleges report. Share | Comment

Citibank And HSBC Worked With Firm At Center Of International Bribery Scandal

British financial giant HSBC and American bailout kingpin Citibank processed transactions, managed money and vouched for Unaoil, a once-obscure firm that is now at the center of a massive international corruption scandal. Police raided Unaoil’s Monaco offices and interviewed its executives on Thursday, a day after The Huffington Post and Fairfax Media first exposed the company’s practices. Law enforcement agencies in at least four nations are involved in a wide-ranging probe of the company and its partners. Share | Comment

Austin’s Regulations for Kid Lemonade Stands are Unintentionally Hilarious

Unfortunately, the city’s friendliness to budding entrepreneurs ends there. Lemonade stands run by kids must comply with Austin’s “temporary food service guidelines.” Some of the rules include: “NO HOME PREPARED FOODS ALLOWED. ALL FOODS MUST BE OBTAINED FROM AN APPROVED SOURCE.” Share | Comment

Swedish politician found dead in 'burnt-out car'

Alexander Bengtsson, a centre-right local politician and high-profile anti-racism campaigner is reported to have died, with Swedish media suggesting that he was found in a burnt-out car. Share | Comment




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