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Book Excerpt: “Syria Burning”
By Charles Glass
If you want to know the who, what, why of how things got so bad in the Syria (and, in some ways, the rest of the Middle East)—read this excerpt from Syria Burning by Charles Glass, a book so beautifully written you will hardly know you are reading. It is more like seeing.
NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications
Here’s the latest bombshell from the treasure trove of Snowden documents. This time, The Intercept has fully explained and diagramed XKEYSCORE, which is a wide-reaching catch-all for internet traffic, a sharply-refined data mining tool, a powerful bulk data collector and a uniquely effective way to engage in the surveillance of entire populations. The Intercept also published 48 top-secret and classified XKS documents.
NSA Can Track Everyone’s Phone Calls Again—For A While
The question isn’t whether or not the FISA court was justified in letting the NSA flip the switch back on. The question is whether or not anyone actually believes they turned it off in the first place.
Police Can Arrest You for Calling them Names, but They’ll Lose in Court
Cops seem to have a limited understanding of the First Amendment. At least, that’s how it plays out in courtrooms after they arrest people who dare to use colorful language when under arrest, often offering “creative” descriptions of the officers themselves. In spite of what cops may think, you are in fact well within your right to use any variety of expletives. But you cannot use “fighting words” that threaten violence. So, speak up… but forever hold out peacefully.
Cuba is the First Country to End Mother-to-Child HIV and Syphilis Transmission
In yet another stunning, rapid change… the US and Cuba made diplomatic ties official with the impending re-opening of embassies in both nations. And while the benefits to Cuba are fairly obvious, the benefit to the US may be in gaining access to one of the world’s greatest healthcare success stories. Cuba’s famously innovative medical system is being celebrated by the World Health Organization for short-circuiting a common transmission point for HIV and syphilis.
The Importance of the Iran Pivot
Quite unlike the rest of the right-wing press, The American Conservative strongly advocates a deal. Unlike most on the right side of the spectrum, they see President Obama’s Iran negotiations as vital to the future of American foreign policy and the region. Unlike many in the war party, they see a breakdown of negotiations as “a genuine tragedy” that would begin a countdown to a war. Unlike many, they don’t like the war option. And like many Iranians, they see a lot of upside to cutting a deal.
Africa’s Vultures Are Collapsing to Extinction
Vultures are a top-of-the-pyramid species. Despite negative perceptions of the carrion-consuming birds, they play a vital role in ecosystems. But it also makes them targets of poachers who poison the carcasses they leave behind to keep majestic, high-flying vultures from circling overhead and giving away their position. Now they’re dying off. And Darcy Ogada of The Peregrine Fund needs your help to stop it.
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