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Who Would Win A Conflict In The South China Sea: The Infographic

As a recent Pentagon review of China’s military modernization drive noted, “China is investing in capabilities designed to defeat adversary power projection and counter third-party—including U.S.—intervention during a crisis or conflict.” In practice, that means hundreds of ballistic and cruise missiles positioned near the coast to deter Japanese or American warships from coming anywhere near Chinese territory. China has a substantial submarine fleet as well, piling on more risk for enemy ships.
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Who Would Win A Conflict In The South China Sea: The Infographic

There are no longer words to summarize the utter devastation taking place in Venezuela's 'socialist paradise' economy, but one can try. Unfortunately for residents of the Latin American country, what had been predicted on these pages for the past several years is finally coming to pass, as is Venezuela's official currency: the bolivar fell 25 percent on the black market last week to 423 per dollar. As the unofficial Venezuela currency has weakened 80% in street markets in the past year, it is now worth about 66 times less than the primary official rate of 6.3 bolivars per dollar.
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Here's how much corporations paid US senators to fast-track the TPP bill

Using data from the Federal Election Commission, this chart shows all donations that corporate members of the US Business Coalition for TPP made to US Senate campaigns between January and March 2015, when fast-tracking the TPP was being debated in the Senate: Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 “yea” votes. The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters. The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.
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Surplus Repression and the Self-Defeating Deep State

The nation is wallowing self-piteously in a fetid trough of denial and adolescent rage/magical thinking now that the nation’s bogus, debt-based “prosperity” has crashed and cannot be restored. If you type Deep State into the custom search window in the right sidebar, the search results fill 10 pages. I think it is fair to say I have long had a deep interest in the Deep State.
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Pentagon Report Predicted West’s Support for Islamist Rebels Would Create ISIS

A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.
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Top Bush Era CIA Official Just Confirmed the Iraq War Was Based On Lies

Twelve years after George W Bush initiated the illegal invasion of Iraq, ostensibly under the premise of preemptive self-defense, a stark majority — as many as 75% in 2014 — feel the so-called war was a mistake. As evidence rapidly accumulates that Bush’s yearning to launch an aggressive attack was likelier due to a personal grudge than anything else, that number will surely swell. This past Tuesday, the former president’s intelligence briefer lent yet more plausibility to that theory in an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball, making an admission that the Bush White House misrepresented intelligence reports to the public on key issues.
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Boston Bombing Core Mystery: Why are Feds Not Interested in this Man?

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing, though important FBI statements were never heard at trial. Photo adapted from: ZaldyImg / Flickr Now that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been sentenced to death for his involvement in the Boston Marathon Bombing, and the lengthy inevitable Death Row appeals process begins, the investigative work for conscientious journalists continues as well.
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VIDEO: Secret Recording Reveals How Malcolm X Reacted When FBI Attempted to Recruit Him

It is well known and widely-documented that Malcolm X was under heavy FBI surveillance. But did you know that the FBI had approached him, hoping that he would turn on his former allies in the Nation of Islam?
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Police agencies and politicians fight body camera recommendations

The 'fix' is in police agencies and politicians don't want police accountability and will fight it tooth and nail!
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Got a wearable? Almost anybody can track you using simple technology

Wearable products need to transmit data to function. Many don’t work without a connection to a smartphone. And because it would be silly to walk around with a cord between the devices, that connection is made via Bluetooth Low Energy. Context Information Security has found that these connections can be used to identify smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other products that rely on BLE. And they’ve released an Android app that can track these signals to prove it.
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Thought Crime: Israeli Soldier Sentenced to Prison for Criticizing Occupation

Israeli soldier Shachar Berrin was sentenced to a week in prison after he attended the taping of an international TV program, during which he stood up and expressed his opinion of the occupation. Corporal Shachar Berrin, an immigrant from Australia and a religiously observant lone soldier is waiting to be sent to military prison. Berrin is a member of the rescue unit of the Home Front Command, and is stationed in the Jordan Valley.
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Wood-Based Computer Chips Could Make Electronics Biodegradable

Good old wood. It's everywhere! And soon it may be in your computing devices as the newest, most cutting-edge semiconductor material.
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Chinese trend sees new billionaire every week - report

The center of great wealth creation has shifted from the United States east to Asia, a joint report from UBS and PwC shows. China, the most outstanding example, produced new billionaire almost every week in the first quarter of 2015. Billionaires have generated $3.6 trillion over the past 19 years, according to the 2015 Billionaire report released on Tuesday. Asia accounted for 36 percent, pushing Europe into third place.
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Why Is The U.S. Desperate To OK Slavery In Malaysia?

America’s First Black President Throwing Slaves Under the Bus on TPP ign Relations
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UK Psychiatrist Is Calling for Psychedelic Drugs to Be Reclassified

In the UK, psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin are more legally restricted than heroin and cocaine. In an editorial in the BMJ medical journal, one psychiatrist writes that it’s time that changed. James J H Rucker of Kings College London calls for psychedelics to be reclassified, so that researchers can more easily conduct trials with the drugs as potential treatments for psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.
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Humiliated McDonalds To Stop Reporting Monthly Sales

McDonald’s Corp. plans to stop reporting monthly same-store sales results. The company will provide same-store sales for June with its second-quarter earnings report, then cease providing the data, Heidi Barker, a spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
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The End Game Continues: Austria Repatriates Gold

After increasing pressure from the Austrian people on the government and the central bank to increase the ratio of the gold effectively held in the Austrian Central Bank in Vienna, the central bank has finally made the decision to effectively do so. Less than 20% of Austria’s (relatively) sizeable gold reserves were held in its own vaults with the remainder being stored in Switzerland and London. Austria will now remove 63% of the gold from London and transport it to both Switzerland and Austria. This will be an interesting test case to see how long it will take the Bank of England to ship the 140 tonnes of gold (4.5 million ounces) to Vienna, and we dare to bet this will either take much longer than anticipated, or we’ll suddenly see another gold withdrawal from the Federal Reserve which will very likely be the magical 125-150 tonnes number.
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Drug War Fail: Doctors Now Creating More Heroin Addicts than Drug Dealers

A recently released Drug Enforcement Administration report reveals not only that heroin use has exploded, but that 4 out of 5 new users have previously abused prescription drugs. The details of the analysis, titled the “National Heroin Threat Assessment,” unwittingly demonstrate that the Drug War has failed to curb drug use and has actually exacerbated the problem.
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Saudi Arabia Breaks Record for Number of Beheadings In Only 5 Months

Human rights activists are unsure of the specific reason for the recent uptick in beheadings. However, what is known is that the increase is related to the Saudi’s new king. After the death of King Abdullah and his almost decade-long reign on January 23, King Salman ascended to power with a much more assertive policy regarding executions.
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How Corporate Sovereignty Undermines Democracy By Irrevocably Binding Future Governments

Techdirt has been at the forefront of pointing out the dangers of including investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) in so-called trade agreements. Indeed, we even helped come up with a new term -- corporate sovereignty -- to make clear that ISDS is really about placing corporations on the same level as entire nations, and giving them a unique power to sue a country for alleged harms before special tribunals. But there's an additional aspect to this, which is explored in an insightful article by Sam Fowles on The Conversation.
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