Monthly Archives: November 2014

UK expands powers in new anti-terror legislation

The British government said Monday that it would introduce legislation giving the police the power to seize the passports of British and foreign citizens suspected of traveling to participate in terrorism-related activities and would make it easier for security services to track suspects online. The home secretary, Theresa May, announced the legislation on Monday […]

MI5 drops investigation a month before murder

Two suspects, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were jailed in February for an attack, in which British soldier Lee Rigby was run over by a car in broad daylight and then stabbed to death in the Woolwich area of southeast London. A report Tuesday conceded that the two attackers had, between them, appeared in […]

NYC police shoot and kill innocent unarmed man

A rookie New York City police officer shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old man in a darkened stairwell in Brooklyn late Thursday night, according to the police. Mayor Bill de Blasio said the shooting appeared to be unprovoked. “We don’t know enough yet, but it does appear to be an accident,” the mayor said […]

Artist admits CIA sculpture has hidden meaning

The artist who created the enigmatic Kryptos, a puzzle-in-a-sculpture that has driven code breakers to distraction since it was installed 24 years ago in a courtyard at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., has decided that it is time for a new clue. By 1999, nine years after it went up, Kryptos fans had deciphered […]

Federal agencies entrapping would-be criminals

Three men who were caught in a federal sting operation had gathered in a Los Angeles warehouse, bringing a 12-gauge shotgun, a .38 revolver, zip ties for handcuffs and a duffel bag to carry the 20 to 25 kilograms of cocaine, worth more than $500,000 wholesale, they expected to steal. The men had criminal […]

Obama hides details of torture from Senate

In a tense confrontation with President Obama’s closest adviser on Thursday, a group of Senate Democrats accused the White House of trying to censor significant details in a voluminous report on the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency. During a closed-door meeting on Capitol Hill with Denis R. McDonough, the White House […]

Protesters use data in the face of police brutality

One month after a Latino youth died from a gunshot as he sat handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser here last year, 150 demonstrators converged on Police Headquarters, some shouting “murderers” as baton-wielding officers in riot gear fired tear gas. The police say the youth shot himself with a hidden gun. But […]

Protesters detained for Hunger Games salute

A Thai theater chain has withdrawn the latest “Hunger Games” movie after several student protesters were detained for using a gesture taken from the films, a three-finger salute of resistance to authoritarian government. The salute, which in the movies is a daring act of silent rebellion, began to appear here in the weeks after […]

Employers: affordable healthcare to get skimpier

Despite years of rising medical costs and pressure from the health care overhaul, employers consider employee health insurance a priority. But new surveys suggest coverage may grow skimpier in the coming years. A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that companies that offer health insurance see it as a […]

Goldman Sachs, The Fed, and the US Government

From his desk in Lower Manhattan, a banker at Goldman Sachs thumbed through confidential documents — courtesy of a source inside the United States government. The banker came to Goldman through the so-called revolving door, the symbolic portal that connects financial regulators to Wall Street. He joined in July after spending seven years as […]

Patriot Act allows for mass surveillance powers

A little-known provision of the Patriot Act, overlooked by lawmakers and administration officials alike, appears to give President Obama a possible way to keep the National Security Agency’s bulk phone records program going indefinitely — even if Congress allows the law on which it is based to expire next year. Senate Republicans on Tuesday […]

NSA official warned of all out spying backlash

Dissenters within the National Security Agency, led by a senior agency executive, warned in 2009 that the program to secretly collect American phone records wasn’t providing enough intelligence to justify the backlash it would cause if revealed, current and former intelligence officials say. The NSA took the concerns seriously, and many senior officials shared […]

Google’s AI will decide what a photograph says

Scientists at Google have created artificial intelligence software that can describe the contents of photographs far more accurately than ever before. The machine-learning software developed by Google used two neural networks – one which deals with image recognition, the other with natural language processing. Neural networking is a computational model that mimics some of […]

Corporations like Uber plan to target dissident press

A row between Uber and the press has escalated after a senior executive at the lift-sharing company suggested it may hire a team to dig dirt on reporters who had written negatively about it. Emil Michael’s comments followed a series of articles questioning the ethics of Uber. The company’s rapid expansion in cities across […]

Mental slavery for all, physical slavery for some

36 million people are living as physical slaves across the globe, according to a human rights group, and an index released on Monday lists Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Haiti, Qatar and India as the nations where modern-day slavery is most prevalent, with India having the largest number overall and Mauritania the highest percentage of its population (4 […]

US agencies significantly expand infiltration techniques

The federal government has significantly expanded undercover operations in recent years, with officers from at least 40 agencies posing as business people, welfare recipients, political protesters and even doctors or ministers, records and interviews show. At the Supreme Court, small teams of undercover officers dress as students at large demonstrations outside the courthouse and […]

Russia: Photo shows Ukrainian jet shooting down MH-17

Russian state-controlled TV has broadcast what it called “sensational” photographs, which it said supported Moscow’s theory that Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet. The photographs, said to be taken by a Western satellite, appear to show a fighter jet firing a missile at a passenger plane over eastern […]

US to start using drones to patrol Canadian border

The US government is using drones to patrol half of its border with Mexico, a report by the Associated Press says. The strategy means that the US is increasingly able to move away from using large numbers of border patrol agents along the entire frontier. The drones allow border control agents to focus on […]

FBI threatened Martin Luther King before assassination

The note is just a single sheet gone yellow with age, typewritten and tightly spaced. It’s rife with typos and misspellings and sprinkled with attempts at emending them. Clearly, some effort went into perfecting the tone, that of a disappointed admirer, appalled by the discovery of “hidious [sic] abnormalities” in someone he once viewed as […]

US psychologists helped develop torture techniques

For years, questions about the role of American psychologists and behavioral scientists in the development and implementation of the Bush-era interrogation program have been raised by human rights advocates as well as by critics within the psychological profession itself.  Psychologists were involved in developing the enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects by the […]