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Judge Orders DOJ To Release Files On Secret Spying Program, Project Hemisphere

In 2013, The New York Times reported on the existence of a previously unknown data-mining program known as Project Hemisphere. The project was developed in secret by telecommunications giant AT&T and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a tool to help with “drug-enforcement task-forces.” However, there is concern about mass surveillance of innocent individuals. Hemisphere searches trillions of phone records, identifies the name and location of each and individual on the phone, and then sends the data back to the DOJ.

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EU's Departing Internet Commissioner Leaves Behind Copyright Plan That Will Outlaw Basic Internet Functions

We've written quite a few times about EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, a bigoted luddite, who bizarrely was put in charge of internet regulations for no clear reason at all. His main focus seemed to be on putting in place policies whose sole goal was to harm the internet because many key internet companies are American. Oettinger, who seems to be magnetically connected to all sorts of scandals has failed upward to a new job as the EU's budget chief, but as EU Parliament Member Julia Reda notes, he's still leaving a trail of internet destruction in his wake. In particular, she highlights ten everyday internet activities that would be outlawed if Oettinger's copyright and internet proposals become law. It's a pretty eye-opening list, and should raise serious questions about why Oettinger was ever put in charge of anything having to do with the internet.

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FBI, DHS Russia Report Begins With Giant Disclaimer 'Providing No Warranties of Any Kind'

The FBI and DHS finally released a report on the alleged "Russian hacking" of our election and it reads like a whole lot of nothing.

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Governments around the world shut down the internet more than 50 times in 2016 – suppressing elections, slowing economies and limiting free speech

Internet shutdowns are just one way that internet access was limited in 2016. Credit: IPS Governments around the world shut down the internet more than 50 times in 2016 – suppressing elections, slowing economies and limiting free speech. In the worst cases internet shutdowns have been associated with human rights violations, Deji Olukotun, senior global advocacy manager at digital rights organisation Access Now told IPS.

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Clashes, air raids tarnish Russia and Turkey’s Syria truce

Clashes, shelling and air raids in western Syria marred a Russian- and Turkish-backed ceasefire that aims to end nearly six years of war and lead to peace talks between rebels and a government emboldened by recent battlefield success. Russian President Vladimir Putin, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the ceasefire on Thursday after forging the agreement with Turkey, a longtime backer of the opposition.

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Pentagon: US Airstrike on Hospital “May Have Killed Civilians”

Adding to concerns about the civilian toll of the US air war against ISIS targets, the Pentagon yesterday admitted that they carried out an airstrike against the parking lot of a Mosul hospital, conceding that they “may have killed civilians” in the attack.

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Man jailed for leaving a bacon sandwich outside a mosque is found dead in prison halfway through his 12-month sentence

A man jailed after leaving bacon sandwiches outside a mosque has been found dead in his cell. Kevin Crehan, 35, was halfway through a one-year prison sentence he received in July after admitting the racially-motivated attack on the Jamia Mosque in Bristol earlier this year.

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Veteran Dies With Maggots In Wounds, 4 VA Staff Members Resign Immediately Afterwards

A veteran died after live maggots were found in his infected wounds. A 73-year-old veteran, Owen Reese Peterson, died after being treated at a veterans’ hospital in rural Oklahoma for several weeks. The Talihina Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs confirmed that Peterson had live maggots in his wounds prior to his death in October

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America’s Secret Planned Conquest of Russia

The U.S. government’s plan to conquer Russia is based upon a belief in, and the fundamental plan to establish, “Nuclear Primacy” against Russia — an American ability to win a nuclear war against, and so conquer, Russia. This concept became respectable in U.S. academic and governmental policymaking circles when virtually simultaneously in 2006 a short-form and a long-form version of an article endorsing the concept, which the article’s two co-authors there named “nuclear primacy," were published respectively in the world’s two most influential journals of international affairs, Foreign Affairs from the Council on Foreign Relations, and International Security from Harvard. (CFR got the more popular short version, titled “The Rise of U.S. Nuclear Primacy”, and Harvard got the more scholarly long version, which was titled “The End of MAD?”.)

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How Americans spend their money in the last 75 years

Compared to 75 years ago, Americans spend less on reading, alcohol, tobacco, clothing, and food. They spend more on education, entertainment, and transportation, but the real bank-breaker is how much more Americans spend on housing, even adjusted for inflation.

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Putin says he won’t deport U.S. diplomats as he looks to cultivate relations with Trump

In a rare break from the diplomatic tradition of reciprocal punishment, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin said Friday he would not deport U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. hacking sanctions, as Russia looks to cultivate relations with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump.

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Fake News, Mass Hysteria and Induced Insanity

The "fake news" is that we've never been healthier, healthcare costs are under control and our economy has fully "recovered." We've heard a lot about "fake news" from those whose master narratives are threatened by alternative sources and analyses. We've heard less about the master narratives being threatened: the fomenting of mass hysteria, which turns the populace into an easily manipulated and managed herd, and induced insanity, a longer-term marketing-based narrative that causes the populace to ignore the self-destructive consequences of accepting the fad/ ideology/ mindset being pushed as "good" and "normal."

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Texas Parents Told They Will Be Charged & Arrested if They Walk Their Children to School

Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

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Anthony Bourdain Slams "Privileged" Liberals For Their "Utter Contempt" Of Working-Class America

Celebrity chef and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown Anthony Bourdain is no fan of Trump, and he made as much clear in today's interview with Reason. When asked what concerns him about Trump, he responded: "what I am not concerned about with Trump? Wherever one lives in the world right now I wouldn't feel too comfortable about the rise of authoritarianism. I think it's a global trend, and one that should be of concern to everyone."

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DAPL: arrests and protests continue

The Dakota Access Pipeline may be on hold, but the battles over it are far from over. Diehard protesters continue to clash with local police while an out-of-state city shows its solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux’s opposition to the pipeline. Following months of protests and fights to prevent construction of the Dakotas Access Pipeline (DAPL) on sacred Native American land and through Lake Oahe, the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux nation in North Dakota, a tenuous peace had been reached between law enforcement and protesters. It did not last long, however, as on Tuesday, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department arrested five protesters for criminal trespass.

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Charges Dropped for Man Who Operated Vehicle “While Under Caffeine”

Thanks in part to public exposure brought about by alternative media sites such as The Free Thought Project and others, Joseph Schwab of Fairfield, CA, will not face felony driving under the influence (DUI) charges for operating his vehicle while under the effects of caffeine. Yes. That’s right. Caffeine. However, police note that they are still charging him with reckless driving.

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Duterte Says US Ambassadors Are CIA "Spies" As Alleged US Plot To Overthrow Him Emerges

Coming at an awkward time, just as the US accused Russia of doing (once again, without a shred of valid proof as opposed to a report which the DHS was quick to disown) what the CIA has done to other nations for decades, earlier today everyone's favorite volatile, vulgar and outspoken Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte derided U.S. ambassadors as "spies", responding to a media report of an alleged American plot to destabilize his government, a job he said some envoys were appointed solely to do.

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“Guilty, But Not Punished”: Another Banking Criminal Let Off The Hook

It is a verdict which we see over and over when it comes to the crimes of the Big Banks, the central banks, and their minions. These felons are caught committing serious offenses, again and again, yet receive either no punishment, or at worst some token slap on the wrist. The banking felon to escape punishment this time is IMF criminal, Christine LaGarde . LaGarde’s criminal conviction came while she was still France’s Finance Minister. It involved a $400 million government pay-out authorized by LaGarde, against the advice of several other Finance Ministry officials, to “French tycoon” Bernard Tapie. LaGarde announced she wouldn’t appeal being let off the hook for her crime. How magnanimous.

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The One About Amazon’s Floating Warehouses

My guess about this one is that it’s a joke—something like Elon Musk’s tunnel boring tweets. Assuming that it would be physically possible to float hundreds of tons of merchandise over a city (forget about the FAA for a moment), what would the economics of that look like?

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Obama Gives Parting Shots To Israel, Russia On Way Out The Door

Outgoing United States presidents can be a bit petulant. The lame duck period is rarely a productive time for a president, and through the course of four to eight years they undoubtedly make some enemies they would like to payback. Sometimes this petulance is directed at a successor, the most trivial case being petty office vandalism of the out-going employees of the President Clinton administration and the most manifestly irresponsible case being the dumping of U.S. troops in Somalia by the out-going President George H.W. Bush to bolster his own image in the wake of electoral defeat and throw a live grenade into Clinton’s lap.

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