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James Dolan, Co-Creator of SecureDrop, Dead at 36

James Dolan, former Marine and co-creator of the whistleblower submission system SecureDrop alongside Aaron Swartz and Wired editor Kevin Poulsen, has died. The Freedom of the Press Foundation, which took over SecureDrop, reports that Dolan, age 36, took his own life.

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GCHQ tried to ‘bury’ evidence as it sought direct communication with its own watchdog

The UK'S intelligence security agency GCHQ sought to open a special communication channel with its own watchdog, court letters have revealed, sparking claims it is seeking to “bury embarrassing evidence” of its own activities. It comes as the investigatory powers tribunal hears legal challenges brought up by civil rights groups – Privacy International, Liberty, and others – against the intelligence agency. It is a blatant attempt to bury embarrassing evidence and claims against them.

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Common Cause Prevails in Federal Court Challenge to North Carolina's Partisan Gerrymander

Today, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina unanimously struck down North Carolina’s partisan gerrymander of congressional districts by the state’s legislature in a challenge originally brought by Common Cause.

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Iranian Oil Tanker Explodes, Could Continue To Burn For A Month

An Iranian tanker carrying condensate that collided with a Chinese freight ship on Saturday is still burning and could burn for a month, the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said, as quoted by Reuters. There were fears the tanker could explode, making it even harder to clean up any spilled condensate and find the missing members of the tanker’s crew: one body was found on Monday, but 31 crew members remain missing.

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CEO of JP Morgan Chase: ALL Cryptocurrency Will Be Under Government Control

Late last year the Chairman & CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon became the laughing stock of the crypto world when he came out railing against bitcoin and the blockchain. On Tuesday, however, he seems to have changed his mind and during an interview with Fox Business, he left viewers with an ominously cryptic message—punn intended—on how the government will control bitcoin. In September of last year, Dimon not only came out swinging against bitcoin, but he threatened to fire all bank employees who dared to trade in bitcoin—for being “stupid.” If a JPMorgan trader began trading in bitcoin, he said, “I’d fire them in a second.

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New Analysis Shows Federal Marijuana Legalization Could Raise $130 Billion, Add 1 Million Jobs by 2025

Though a key argument for legalizing marijuana in the United States is that it would put a tremendous and necessary dent in the domestic and global failure known as "the War on Drugs," a new analysis out Wednesday reveals that federal legalization could also raise more than $130 billion in tax revenue by 2025 while also creating more than 1.1 million new jobs.

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US spy plane reportedly circled between Russian airbase & port facility during Syria drone attack

Moscow has noted “strange coincidences” surrounding a terrorist attack on a Russian airbase and port facility in Syria, in which guided combat drones were deployed by militants. These include a US spy plane spotted in the area. The Russian Ministry of Defense consciously didn’t point any fingers when talking about the January 6 attack on Russia’s airbase and port facility in Syria, the Tuesday statement said, but added that technology used in the attack was telling.

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US to loosen nuclear weapons constraints and develop more 'usable' warheads

The Trump administration plans to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop a new low-yield nuclear warhead for US Trident missiles, according to a former official who has seen the most recent draft of a policy review.

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Tunisia rocked by second night of protests over price rises

One person has died, 50 policemen injured and more than 200 people arrested in two nights of widespread and violent protests in Tunisia, driven by anger over steep price rises resulting from austerity measures. It is reported the protests broke out after activists and politicians denounced increases in VAT and the introduction of social contributions at the start of the year as a tough new budget was implemented.

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Buffett: "I Would Buy A Five-Year Put On Every Cryptocurrency"

Warren Buffett doubled down on his criticism of bitcoin Wednesday during an interview with CNBC, where he said he's almost certain the cryptocurrency craze "will end badly" and that the current runup in value will be fleeting. But paradoxically, he also admitted that he "doesn't know anything" about digital currencies after saying he would eagerly buy five-year puts on "every one of the cryptocurrencies."

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US study reports that Human muscle tissue can be grown from stem cells

Working human muscle has been grown from stem cells in the lab in a breakthrough that holds promise for sufferers of degenerative muscular diseases, scientists said on Tuesday. The team from Duke University in North Carolina said they were the first to achieve this feat using adult skin or blood cells which were "reprogrammed" into a juvenile, versatile state. In this case, the iPSCs were coaxed into becoming skeletal muscle cells, which grew into "functioning human skeletal muscle," the team reported in the science journal Nature Communications.

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AT&T, Huawei Phone Partnership Killed At Last Second By More Unproven Accusations Of Huawei Spying

If you remember a few years ago, there was ample hysteria and hand-wringing in Congress regarding Huawei's plan to compete in the American cell phone and network hardware business. But despite near-constant claims by certain lawmakers that Huawei was an intelligence proxy for the Chinese government, numerous, multi-year investigations found absolutely no evidence to support this conclusion. While Huawei phones are available unlocked in the States (and Huawei has helped Google build its own smartphones already), the deal would have marked the first major partnership between the company and a major cellular provider.

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Drone attack on Russian bases in Syria reported to come from Turkish-backed rebels

The recent drone attack on Russian bases in Syria was launched from an area near Idlib, which is controlled by Turkish-backed rebel forces, the Russian military said. The assault last Saturday involved 13 primitive unmanned aircraft and was thwarted by the defenses of the two bases, an airfield near Latakia and a port site in Tartus. According to a report published Wednesday by a newspaper of the Russian Defense Ministry, the area is controlled by “moderate opposition” backed by the Turkish government.

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MGM in talks with LVMPD to donate Las Vegas shooting site for new SWAT H.Q.

MGM Resorts International is currently in negotiation with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) over the donation of the infamous 15-acre Las Vegas Village. According to a former LVMPD police detective familiar with the talks, the police department plans on converting the concert grounds into a headquarters facility for their SWAT division. The source, who spoke with Loomer on condition of anonymity, detailed that in a meeting at the beginning of January, Captain Christopher Tomaino, Bureau Commander of LVMPD SWAT, briefed team members that MGM Resorts International, the parent company of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was in active discussion with police officials over the transfer of the land for a new headquarters complex for the Las Vegas SWAT division.

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New York City's Right to Know Act requires cops to record people's explicit consent to warrantless stop-and-frisks

You could write books about the evils of "broken windows" policing and its handmaiden, stop-and-frisk searches (this is a rather good one, in fact), and few places have been more prolific in the racist pursuit of this policy than New York City, where walking-while-brown is a one-way ticket to being stopped, searched, even stripped, all without a warrant or any particularized suspicion. The NYPD's legal justification for these searches is to claim that their victims "consented" to being searched, and voluntarily unlocked their devices to let the cops trawl through their address books, personal messages, browsing history and other sensitive, personal information. The City Council’s passage of the measures comes in spite of fear-mongering and falsehoods promoted by police unions.

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Ecuador seeks mediator to resolve ‘unsustainable’ Assange ordeal

Ecuador is exploring options to secure safe passage for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange from its London embassy, the country’s FM said. The situation has become “unsustainable” and a person cannot live in such conditions. Ecuador's Foreign Minister emphasized that besides possible international assistance, cooperation will also be required from UK authorities, which are looking to arrest Assange for violating the terms of his 2012 bail.

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Netanyahu hints Israel has thwarted plots to crash hijacked planes into European cities

Israel’s prime minister tells NATO ambassadors that Israeli intelligence has thwarted “several dozen major terrorist attacks” against countries in Europe — some involving crashing highjacked planes into urban centers.

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Community Horrified as Cops Kill Upstanding, Unarmed Citizen Traveling to Spiritual Retreat

Community members are horrified and searching for answers after a beloved citizen of Hutchinson, Kansas, was shot and killed by a federal officer while traveling to a spiritual retreat. Tyler Miller, 51, was driving on a curvy, mountain road in the Coconino National Forest in Arizona when he lost control of his pickup truck and hit a large rock, according to a report from KWCH News. However, the details regarding what happened between the time Miller crashed and the time a federal officer opened fire on him, are still largely unknown.

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Iran's mass protests were triggered by publication of a budget that revealed the costs of Shia evangelism

It seems that the protests were sparked by the unprecedented publication of the full national budget, which revealed increased spending for Revolutionary Guards and especially their secret wings and affiliates who work to shore up Shia groups abroad, especially in Syria and Iraq; it also revealed the funds allocated to backing Shia causes in Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza.

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Jury Awards Couple No Damages For Bungled Marijuana Raid Predicated On Wet Tea Leaves

A jury has shrugged its shoulders in response to a farcical effort by local publicity hounds/drug warriors to score a 4/20 marijuana bust, only to end up with a handful of garden supplies and violated rights. The lead-up to the bungled raid of Robert and Addie Harte's house included a law enforcement agency hoping to bury the previous year's 4/20 raid failure (in which tomatoes were seized), a state trooper compiling a freelance database of garden store visitors, two field drug tests that identified tea leaves as marijuana, and a whole lot of might-makes-right drug warrioring. By the time it was over, the Hartes had been held at gunpoint for two hours while the sheriff's department desperately tried to find something illegal in their home.

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