Monthly Archives: November 2015

US engages in predatory college lending

The American student loan crisis is often seen as a problem of  predation. Colleges raise tuition every year even as middle-class wages stagnate and unscrupulous for-profit colleges bilk the unwary. The result is mounting unmanageable debt. There is much truth in this diagnosis. But it does not explain the plight of Liz Kelley, a […]

Political hope comes from Citizens party in Spain

The splintering of politics in Europe has spawned the rise of numerous upstart parties, usually on the extremes, be they left or right. But in Spain’s shifting political landscape one new party, surprisingly, is managing to attack from the center, challenging conservatives and Socialists alike, and is now poised to be the potential king […]

FDA refuses consumer calls to label GMO salmon

Consumers wanting to avoid genetically engineered salmon, if it eventually reaches grocery stores, might have a hard time being sure. That is because the Food and Drug Administration said on Thursday that the salmon would not have to be labeled as genetically engineered. That is consistent with the F.D.A. stance on the widely eaten […]

US intelligence assets flown out of Yemen

Three Americans have been flown out of Yemen to Oman, the Omani Foreign Ministry said Thursday, according to a report by the state-run Oman News Agency. The three were flown out of Yemen’s capital, Sana, which is controlled by the Houthi rebels, on an Omani Air Force flight late on Wednesday, the news agency […]

NSA flouts 4th amendment with domestic spying

When the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of records about Americans’ emails came to light in 2013, the government conceded the program’s existence but said it had shut down the effort in December 2011 for “operational and resource reasons.” While that particular secret program stopped, newly disclosed documents show that the N.S.A. had found […]

Saudi Arabia to host ISIS, Al Qaeda next month

Saudi Arabia will host a conference in mid-December aimed at unifying the Syrian opposition , Saudi-owned television station Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath said on Thursday. The conference comes after an international agreement to launch talks between government and opposition by Jan.1 A Saudi government official said the conference is expected to take place on December 15. […]

US allows grocery sale of GMO salmon

Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, clearing the last major obstacle for the first genetically altered animal to reach American supermarkets and dinner tables. The approval by the Food and Drug Administration caps a long struggle for AquaBounty Technologies, the small company that first applied for approval […]

China will continue to take prisoners organs

‘‘Once organs from willing death-row prisoners are included in our national distribution system, they will be considered voluntary citizen donations, and the expression ‘death-row donations’ won’t exist any more.’’ That statement, reported by The Beijing Times last year, by Huang Jiefu, a former deputy minister of health and China’s leading organ transplant official, makes […]

AMA calls for ban on pharmaceutical TV ads

The American Medical Association on Tuesday called for a ban on advertising prescription drugs and medical devices directly to consumers, saying the ads drive patients to demand expensive treatments over less costly ones that are also effective. The influential doctors’ group said the new policy reflects physicians’ concerns that marketing spending on a proliferation […]

US to use Paris attacks to further police state

It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low. Speaking less than three days after […]

Police use of lethal force bridges racial divide

A black man shot by police in an incident that sparked large protests in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has died. Jamar Clark, 24, had been on life support in hospital since the shooting on Sunday morning. Police say that he was the suspect in an assault case and was interfering with medics who were working on […]

Facebook begins tracking non-users

A court has given Facebook 48 hours to stop tracking people in who are not members of its social network. Facebook says it will appeal against the decision and that the order relates to a cookie it has used for five years. The cookie is installed when an internet user visits a Facebook page […]

Smartphones relay behavioral and health data

Apps on Apple and Android smartphones leak lots of users’ information to third parties, research has suggested. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard, and Carnegie-Mellon universities studied 110 apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. They found 73% of the Android apps shared users’ email addresses, and 47% […]

Political ads that can read viewer emotions

In the lobby of a Mexico City office building, people scurrying to and fro gazed briefly at the digital billboard backing a candidate for Congress in June.  They probably did not know that the sign was reading them, too. Inside the ad, a camera captured their facial expressions and fed them through an algorithm, […]

US can kidnap, torture American citizens abroad

United States citizen Amir Mohamed Meshal of Tinton Falls, N.J.,  alleges that he was illegally taken to Ethiopia, where he was threatened with torture by American officials. Eight years after Mr. Meshal’s rendition, his case ended up before a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The […]