Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cellphone location being tracked without warrant

A federal appeals court on Tuesday said that government authorities could extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant.  The closely watched case, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is the first ruling that squarely addresses the constitutionality of warrantless searches of historical location data stored […]

Who was Aaron Swartz? Why is he dead?

Mr. Swartz was arrested in January 2011 after downloading more than four million scholarly articles from the fee-based online archive JSTOR to gain access, he evaded multiple efforts to block him, and even entered an unlocked closet in the basement of a campus building to plug directly into the network. in 1995 JSTOR met […]

Food stamps and SNAP to be completely cut by Congress

Nearly half a million people who receive food stamps but still do not get enough to eat would lose their eligibility for the program under proposed cuts that are expected to be taken up again by Congress. An additional 160,000 to 305,000 recipients who do get enough to eat would also lose their eligibility and […]

Civilian deaths still rising in Afganistan

The number of civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan rose by 23 percent in the first six months of 2013. From January to June, the number of civilians killed in war-related violence rose to 1,319 from 1,158 a year earlier. In the same period, 2,533 civilians were injured, compared with 1,976 in 2012. The […]

Mind Control: Erasing memories and implanting fear

False memories have been implanted into mice. A team was able to make the mice wrongly associate a benign environment with a previous unpleasant experience from different surroundings.  The brains of genetically engineered mice were implanted with optic fibres in order to deliver pulses of light to their brain. Known as optogenetics, this technique […]

The elite’s war on the low-wage worker

Relegated to the background, America’s low-wage workers have been making considerable noise lately by deploying an unusual weapon — one-day strikes — to make their message heard: they’re sick and tired of earning just $8, $9, $10 an hour.  Their anger has been stoked by what they see as a glaring disconnect: their wages […]

International carbon taxes unfairly target citizenry

Australia has not abandoned its commitment to reducing climate-warming emissions. And carbon tax systems, while rare and rife with controversy, retain a firm foothold in a number of advanced economies.  In Australia, the government’s decision entails a change of methodology. By next July, the country will shift from its controversial carbon tax system to […]

Hacker of medical devices mysteriously dies before Black Hat

An elite hacker who was due to demonstrate how heart implants could be hacked has died unexpectedly in San Francisco.  Barnaby Jack died on Thursday, the city’s medical examiner’s office told Reuters, but did not give more details.  He had been due to give a presentation into medical device vulnerabilities at the Black Hat […]

Chief Justice Roberts assigned judges to subvert Fourth Amendment

In making assignments to the court, Chief Justice Roberts, more than his predecessors, has chosen judges with conservative and executive branch backgrounds that critics say make the court more likely to defer to government arguments that domestic spying programs are necessary. Ten of the court’s 11 judges — all assigned by Chief Justice Roberts […]

US state agrees to pay victims in forced sterilization suit

The US state of North Carolina has adopted a budget that includes $10m (£6.5m) to compensate victims of forced sterilisation. About 7,600 people were sterilised in North Carolina from 1929 to 1974. Many were poor black women. Those sterilised were picked out for such reasons as being deemed promiscuous, or because they were unpopular […]

Cohen escapes indictment, while SAC “edge” sacrafices little

SAC “a veritable magnet of market cheaters,” the firm and its units permitted a “systematic” insider trading scheme to unfold from 1999 to 2010, activity that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in profit for the firm, owned by its founder, the billionaire stock picker Steven A. Cohen. The indictment cites SAC’s inner workings, citing […]

Halliburton pleads guilty and receives slap on the wrist

Halliburton has agreed to plead guilty to destruction of critical evidence after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. The oil services company said it would pay the maximum allowable fine of $200,000 and will be subject to three years of probation.  Halliburton , BP and Transocean, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon […]

Christie foreshadows false flag attack in New Jersey

Invoking 9/11, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday heatedly denounced the growing libertarian drift on national security in the Republican Party that is favored by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, and others in the party. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey on Thursday heatedly said “The next attack that comes, that […]

Some lawmakers vow to fight on after NSA limit vote

Obama administration got a hard-fought victory in the first Congressional showdown over the N.S.A.’s surveillance activities since Edward J. Snowden’s security breaches last month. Conservative Republicans leery of what they see as Obama administration abuses of power teamed up with liberal Democrats long opposed to intrusive intelligence programs.  The Obama administration made common cause […]

Responsibility to Protect (R2P) creeps into lexicon on Syria

Senate Foreign Relations Committee is captured in the awkward place that “responsibility to protect” occupies in the Obama administration. A 2005 United Nations initiative that calls on countries to intervene to prevent genocide and other mass atrocities, R2P, as it is known, has been endorsed by the United States and many other countries.   […]

Like Brazil, Bulgarian people rule with protest

More than 100 legislators, government ministers, journalists and officials were blockaded inside the Bulgarian Parliament building late Tuesday night and into Wednesday, as the 40th day of largely peaceful street protests in Sofia, the capital, turned confrontational. Police tried to clear the crowd to make way for a bus exiting Parliament under heavy guard. […]

Turkish police state goes after journalists again

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday of cowing local news media into self-censorship after a journalists’ group said dozens of reporters had been fired for their coverage of antigovernment protests.  The Turkish Journalists Union said at least 72 journalists had been fired or forced to take leave or had resigned in the past […]

The Justice Dept and intelligence apparatus war on journalism

An egregious appeals court ruling on Friday has dealt a major setback to press freedoms by requiring the author of a 2006 book to testify in the criminal trial of a former Central Intelligence Agency official charged with leaking classified information.   The ruling and the Justice Department’s misplaced zeal in subpoenaing James Risen, the […]

ACLU calls for further investigation in Chechen’s murder by FBI

The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday urged local law enforcement officials in Florida and Massachusetts to open investigations into how an F.B.I. agent killed a man who was being interrogated in his Orlando apartment about the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.  The A.C.L.U. said the public had little faith in the F.B.I.’s ability to […]

Big Pharma commits “mortal sin” research in China

Executives at the British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline were warned nearly two years ago about critical problems with the way the company conducted research at its drug development center in China.  Researchers did not report the results of animal studies in a drug that was already being tested in humans, a breach that one medical […]