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Anti-Whistleblower 'Ag-Gag' Law Ruled Unconstitutional

We've written a few times about the ridiculousness of so-called ag-gag laws, that prohibit photographing or videotaping farms (sometimes even from public land). These laws were pushed for heavily by large industrial farmers who were sick of animal rights advocates getting images and videos of the conditions in farms and slaughterhouses that were questionable. Whatever you might think of the practices of those advocates, banning taking photographs or videos seemed like a really questionable move -- which would have a chilling effect on whistleblowers of all kinds. It seemed like it had to be unconstitutional -- and a court in Idaho agrees, declaring that state's law unconstitutional.
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Russia Ready To Send Paratroopers To Syria

As Syria’s civil war enters its fourth year, it’s become something of an open secret that ISIS, for all their bluster and Hollywood-level video editing capabilities, are at best an unhappy side effect of efforts to train and arm the Syrian resistance and at worst, are a "strategic asset" funded and supported by coalition governments. In other words, there is indeed a geopolitical chess match going on here that will have far-reaching consequences when the blood and dust settle, but it has nothing to do with ISIS’ far-fetched quest to establish a Medieval caliphate and everything to do with installing a government in Syria that will be more friendly to the interests of the West and its Middle Eastern allies.
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Dramatic Footage Of Saudi Tanks Invading Yemen

In any event, we suppose the real question is whether Iran is willing to stand by and watch as the Houthis are dismantled by Saudi Arabia, or whether Tehran decides it's time to provide more than just "logistical support", at which point Yemen's proxy "conflict" will officially morph into a regional sectarian war. There are competing accounts as to exactly what happened at the Al Anad airbase in Yemen on Monday, where Saudi-backed forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi reportedly routed Houthi rebels, marking the latest in a series of setbacks for the Iran-backed group which forced Hadi to flee to Riyadh earlier this year, plunging Yemen into a bloody civil war.
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Why the TSA lawsuit against whole body imagers concerns everyone

The Rutherford Institute has filed a lawsuit against the TSA over its unregulated use of whole body imagers, which have been likened to virtual strip searches, in the nation’s airports. Security experts have described whole body scanners as the equivalent of "a physically invasive strip-search."
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Movie Studios Seek SOPA Power Through Broad Site-Blocking Order

Major movie studios are again trying to make a website they don’t like disappear without a trial. This time, the studios are asking for one court order to bind every domain name registrar, registry, hosting provider, payment processor, caching service, advertising network, social network, and bulletin board—in short, the entire Internet—to block and filter a site called Movietube. If they succeed, the studios could set a dangerous precedent for quick website blocking with little or no court supervision, and with Internet service and infrastructure companies conscripted as enforcers. That precedent would create a powerful tool of censorship—which we think should be called SOPApower, given its similarity to the ill-fated SOPA bill. It will be abused, which is why it’s important to stop it from being created in the first place.
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Cops Hold Little Girl at Gunpoint While Raiding Wrong House Over “Internet Threat”

Evansville, Ind. police cannot claim immunity after sending a SWAT team to search an elderly mother’s home when evidence suggested she had nothing to do with threats made against them, the Seventh Circuit ruled. On June 21, 2012, the Evansville, Ind. police conducted a search of Louise Milan’s home, one day after they found out that someone had been posting threats against police online using the home’s IP address.
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City To Appoint Two Illegal Immigrants As Commissioners

City Councilman Jhonny Pineda has picked Francisco Medina to join the health and education commission and Julian Zatarain for the parks and recreation commission. The 32-year-old lawmaker told CBSLA online producer Deborah Meron that he promised voters while running for office that he would create more opportunities for undocumented residents.
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A fifth video has been released that features a Planned Parenthood official haggling with potential ‘buyers’ (undercover reporters) about the sale of fetal body parts. This time the official discusses selling INTACT specimens – that is whole bodies of babies.
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Privatized, for-profit immigration detention centers force detainees to work for $1-3/day

"We have a name for locking people up and forcing them to do real work without wages. It's called slavery." So says Carl Takei, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Prison Project, speaking of the privately run detention centers for undocumented immigrants who're facing deportation. These centers are not meant to be punitive, and many of the people in them will have their immigration claims upheld.
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Calls for boycott over G4S profiteering from Israeli apartheid

G4S, the controversial British-Danish private security firm, has come under fire for its long-term contracts with the Israeli government, which allows the company to profiteer from the Israeli apartheid, occupation and imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners.Many of these prisoners are held without trial and subjected to torture at interrogation centres. G4S also provides equipment and services for illegal Israeli settlements, including screening equipment at military checkpoints.
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UK Police Force Being Investigated Over Allegation They Helped Cover Up Pedophile Claims Against Former Prime Minister

The probe was launched after a retired ‘very senior’ officer raised concerns that a criminal trial was derailed in the 1990s to protect the former Tory leader. As a result, it is alleged, he was never interviewed by police – let alone arrested – and his home was not searched.
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Second Recall at Kraft After Consumers Choke on Plastic

Three consumers choked and ten complaints were filed after some sections of the plastic remained connected to the cheese after it was unwrapped. “If the film sticks to the slice and is not removed, it could potentially cause a choking hazard,” according the company’s statement.
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U.S. Renews Push for Trans-Pacific Partnership

After fierce resistance from Australia and several Asian countries, the United States is again making an aggressive move to get the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) approved in all member states. American Secretary of State John Kerry has flown to Singapore, where he will meet with several Asian dignitaries to hammer out a deal on the TPP. A few sticking points, such as Americans’ insistence on strict regulations of patented prescription drugs, have caused other states to balk at the agreement, with Australia making the loudest protests over the lack of free trade agreements within the agreement.
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How US Allies Aid Al Qaeda in Syria

The dirty secret about the Obama administration’s “regime change” strategy in Syria is that it amounts to a de facto alliance with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front which is driving toward a possible victory with direct and indirect aid from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel, as Daniel Lazare explains.
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The Future Will Be Full of Lab Grown Meat

In 2013, the world’s first lab-grown burger was unveiled to the world. It carried a $330,000 price tag, and apparently, it wasn’t all that tasty. But the scientists behind the idea have been hard at work, and artificial meat that’s both cost-effective and palatable may arrive sooner than we think.
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Army Has Plans For Real, Live Killer Robot Swarms

Leading scientists including Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, and Steve Wozniak penned an open letter last week demanding a ban on autonomous weapons (i.e. killer robots). If the smartest minds of our time are demanding this, shouldn’t we think about it? On top of that, new information has come forward that the military is planning to have killer robots that act in swarms by 2050. They would be devoid of human oversight and act as judge, jury, and execution. This video by RedactedTonight puts a little comedy into the subject – but that doesn’t mean this is a joke!
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Saudi Arabia on track to beat annual record of 192 executions

Mugrib al-Thanyan was executed after he was found guilty and sentenced to death for shooting and killing a fellow citizen following a dispute, a statement from the Interior Ministry read. The man was sentenced to death according to the nation's strict version of Sharia law, under which such crimes as murder, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death. Public executions are mostly conducted by decapitating the accused with a sword.
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Government Seizes Vehicles Worth $1 Million; Brings No Charges, Keeps The Cars

Asset forfeiture: drop the charges, keep the property. I guess the person behind Saeki Co., Ltd. should feel appreciative he actually was graced with charges, rather than just had his purchased vehicles seized and spirited away with a mumbled explanation and some dodgy paperwork. Saeki Co. bought several luxury vehicles from a place called Texas Motors (which, oddly enough, is located in Florida) with the intent to sell them for a significant markup to wealthy Japanese citizens. This is possibly illegal, but not because of any explicit export ban. The only reason it verges on illegal is because resellers like Saeki ever-so-lightly tread on the toes of major manufacturers and their authorized dealers who do the same thing.
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The information war in Mexico: journalists murdered, citizens monitored

On July 31, 2015, assassins broke into an apartment in Mexico City and executed five people: photojournalist Ruben Espinosa, 31, community organizer and human rights activist Nadia Vera, 32, student Yesenia Quiróz, 18, and two unnamed women. Their bodies showed signs of torture. Espinosa and Vera had fled to Mexico City from the state of Veracruz, 200 miles east the capital, on the Gulf of Mexico. According to the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ), Veracruz is not only one of the most dangerous states in Mexico for journalists, but one of the most dangerous regions in the world.
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Finally, One Banker Gets Sizable Jail Term. But Will Others Follow?

“A message needs to be sent to the world of banking,” said UK Judge Jeremy Cooke on Monday as he handed down a 14-year sentence to former Citibank and UBS trader Tom Hayes, convicted in a London court on eight counts of conspiring to manipulate a global benchmark interest rate known as LIBOR. While many of the world’s leading banks have paid heavy financial penalties for tampering with the key benchmark, 35-year-old Hayes is the first individual to face a jury trial for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate, which is used by the world’s biggest banks for trillions of dollars of global borrowing and lending.
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