Monday, April 25, 2016

US exploring ways to disclose number of Americans caught in data grabs: spy chief - Reuters Monday April 25th, 2016 at 3:33 PM

US exploring ways to disclose number of Americans caught in data grabs: spy chief - Reuters

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Reuters

US exploring ways to disclose number of Americans caught in data grabs: spy chief
Reuters
WASHINGTON Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday his office was looking at “several options” to publicly disclose an estimate of the number of U.S. persons caught incidentally in Internet surveillance intended for foreign targets.
Sleeper terrorist cells exist in Germany, Italy and UK, intel chief saysUSA TODAY
US weighs disclosure of number of surveilled Americans -spy chiefDaily Mail
Congress to US spy chief: Tell us how many Americans were ensnared by PRISMZDNet

all 13 news articles »

Republican pact 'desperate' says Trump

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Donald Trump says a pact formed by his two rivals for the Republican presidential crown is a desperate act, a day before five states cast votes.

Iraqis Starve as U.S.-Aided Gains Against ISIS Fail to Bring Stability 

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Civilians have been trapped in Falluja, where the Islamic State is under siege, and Shiite militias have stoked tensions elsewhere in Anbar Province.

Rail strike to disrupt French train traffic on Tuesday

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France’s six rail unions have issued a joint call for a one-day strike that is set to disrupt local and national train traffic, but not international lines.

Gay Rights Activist Killed In Bangladesh

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The killings are the latest in a series of brutal attacks on minorities, atheists and liberals in the Muslim-majority nation.

23 Die After Eating Contaminated Desserts in Pakistan - TIME

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The Express Tribune

23 Die After Eating Contaminated Desserts in Pakistan
TIME
Twenty-three people have died in Pakistan after consuming pastries that may have been contaminated with pesticide, according to reports. A man is believed to have bought the desserts to celebrate a birth—reports conflict over whether it was his son or ...
24 killed after eating poison sweets in Pakistan, official saysCNN
Pakistan contaminated sweets kill 23BBC News
Dozens killed after eating poisonous sweets in PakistanUPI.com
Wortfm -Farraguter -Daily Mail -The Sun
all 19 news articles »
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23 Die After Eating Contaminated Desserts in Pakistan

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Twenty-three people have died in Pakistan after consuming pastries that may have been contaminated with pesticide, according to reports.
A man is believed to have bought the desserts to celebrate a birth—reports conflict over whether it was his son or his grandson—only to die after he and several others consumed them. More than 70 people have been sickened, the BBC reports. Twelve of the 23 who have died were members of the same family. Among those dead are the man who purchased the sweets, seven of his brothers, two of his nieces and one of his nephews. Fifty-two people are still being treated.
The sweets were purchased from a bakery in the Punjab province, AFP reports. A pesticide shop near the bakery was reportedly undergoing renovations and the bakery owner had housed some pesticide in his shop.”A baker may have used a small packet in the sweet mixture,” a local official toldAFP.

VIDEO: Obama urges EU for 'unity' on security

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President Obama has urged European leaders to pay more towards international security, to tackle threats, like those posed by the self-declared Islamic State group.

The Imperial Security State 

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Title:                      The Imperial Security State
Author:                 James Hevia
Hevia, James Louis (2012). The Imperial Security State: British Colonial Knowledge And Empire-Building In Asia. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press
LCCN:    2012013668

Summary

  • “The Imperial Security State explores an important but under-explored dimension of British imperialism – its information system and the close links between military knowledge and the maintenance of empire. James Hevia’s innovative study focuses on route books and military reports produced by the British Indian Army military intelligence between 1880 and 1940. He shows that together these formed a renewable and authoritative archive that was used to train intelligence officers, to inform civilian policy makers and to provide vital information to commanders as they approached the battlefield. The strategic, geographical, political and ethnographical knowledge that was gathered not only framed imperial strategies towards colonised areas to the east but also produced the very object of intervention: Asia itself. Finally, the book addresses the long-term impact of the security regime, revealing how elements of British colonial knowledge have continued to influence contemporary tactics of counterinsurgency in twenty-first-century Iraq and Afghanistan”– Provided by publisher.

Contents

  • Machine generated contents note: 1. Introduction; 2. The military revolution of the nineteenth century; 3. Imperial state formation, the professionalization of the army, and the making of experts; 4. Forming intelligence, making an archive; 5. Disciplining the space of Asia: triangulation and route books; 6. Regulating the facts of Asia: military reports and handbooks; 7. The uses of intelligence; 8. The effects of the imperial security regime in Asia and Great Britain; 9. Imperial security and the transformation of Asia; Bibliography.

Subjects

Date Posted:      April 25, 2016
Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake[1]
If asked about the components of modem day intelligence, most people would be likely to think of recruiting and handling agents, SIGINT, satellites, cybersecurity, and analysts briefing policymakers. In The Imperial Security State, James Hevia, professor of international history at the University of Chicago, examines an earlier era, when intelligence informed the imperial state on different topics and in different ways. His focus is on the origins and evolution of British and Indian Army intelligence organizations in the so-called “Great Game” era in South Asia. His objective is to convey how both contributed to shaping contemporary Asia and modem intelligence practices.
Hevia begins by demolishing a familiar, if not cherished, metaphor: the term “Great Game.” The “Anglo-Russian rivalry,” he points out, was not the romantic adventure characterized by Kipling. During the 19th century, the British fought two bloody wars with Afghanistan, in addition to “repeated clashes on the Northwest Frontier of India,” (p. 9) He also makes a strong case that the term was not coined, as Peter Hopkirk and others have suggested, by Arthur Conolly shortly before his execution.[2] (pp. 10-11) It evolved as a metaphor as historians wrote about the era.
Early in the 19th century, intelligence needs concerned terrain, security of supply lines, and statistics about the enemy. Initially, the requirements were met by officers leading small groups to map terrain and collect data about people and conditions in regions they visited. Sometimes they were charged with negotiating agreements with local chieftains. By the late 1870s, the British army was responsible for providing intelligence for India’s defense.
Hevia discusses the gradual reforms in intelligence organization, training, collection, and reporting that occurred and gives examples of their application in Afghanistan, India, and China. Espionage is not forgotten, and the need to weigh carefully information from spies is stressed. At the same time, he shows how local culture gradually became an important factor in collection and assessment.
In the chapter on the “uses of intelligence,” Hevia describes a well-organized intelligence system whose products—route books, maps, intelligence reports, and area handbooks—were considered by leaders in India and London during planning and war games. Sometimes the conclusions drawn by different staff elements were not the same, and disputes arose. In one example, strength figures and other statistics were challenged, as was the failure to adequately address military capabilities. (pp. 155-56) In other instances, there were political disagreements and challenges from the press. Hevia deals at length with the impact both had on public opinion and military intelligence.
Many of the intelligence and geopolitical issues dealt with in The Imperial Security State have a contemporary resonance, and Hevia concludes with a discussion of the parallels for Britain and the United States. He also recognizes the new aspects of modem insurgency, including “social network analysis,” which is an extension of the need for cultural awareness. (p. 263) On this point, the book ends with an Afghan poem that shows another side of the culture. This book is thoroughly documented and will be of value to military historians, analysts, and contemporary critics alike.
[1] Peake, Hayden B. in The Intelligencer: Journal of U. S. Intelligence Studies (20, 2, Fall/Winter, 2013, p. 132). Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations. Most of these reviews appeared in recent unclassified editions of CIA’s Studies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found online at http://www.cia.gov.
[2] Hopkirk, Peter (1992). The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia. New York: Kodansha International [LCCN: 92016925]

 
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The Uses of Terror 

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Title:                      The Uses of Terror
Author:                 Boris Levytsky
Lewytzkyj, Borys (1972). The Uses of Terror: The Soviet Secret Police, 1917-1970. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan
LCCN:    74180724

Subjects

Notes

  • Translation of: Die rote Inquisition, by H. A. Piehler
Date Posted:      April 25, 2016
Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[1]
English translation of a serious history of the evolution of Soviet political police from the revolution to mid-1970.[In German the book is] Die rote Inquisition: die Geschichte der sowjetischen Sicherheitsdienste. Frankfurt/Main: Societats-Verlag, 1967

[1] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 100

 

Senator says FBI could leak details on Hillary as Dems face possible 'indictment AFTER nomination' scenario - BizPac Review

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BizPac Review

Senator says FBI could leak details on Hillary as Dems face possible 'indictment AFTER nomination' scenario
BizPac Review
What happens if Hillary Clinton gets indicted after she wins the Democratic nomination for president? FBI Director James Comey has democrats pondering that question more seriously this week. The FBI's investigation surrounds Clinton's use of a private ...

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Harper Lee's article for FBI magazine on infamous killings found - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Harper Lee's article for FBI magazine on infamous killings found
The Guardian
The piece was written for the March 1960 issue of the Grapevine, a magazine for FBIprofessionals, just months before she was to publish her classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was unsigned, but Shields's detective work uncovered evidence which ...

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FBI Hides Its Surveillance Techniques From Federal Prosecutors Because It's Afraid They'll Become Defense Lawyers - Techdirt

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FBI Hides Its Surveillance Techniques From Federal Prosecutors Because It's Afraid They'll Become Defense Lawyers
Techdirt
We know the FBI isn't willing to share its investigative techniques with judges. Or defendants. Or the general public. Or Congress. The severely restrictive NDAs it forced law enforcement agencies to sign before allowing them to obtain IMSI catchers is ...

The CIA Waterboarded the Wrong Man 83 Times in 1 Month - The Nation.

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The Nation.

The CIA Waterboarded the Wrong Man 83 Times in 1 Month
The Nation.
George W. Bush would use his case to justify the CIA's “enhanced interrogation program,” claiming that “he had run a terrorist camp in Afghanistan where some of the 9/11 hijackers trained” and that “he helped smuggle al-Qaeda leaders out of Afghanistan ...

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German orchestra accuses Turkey of trying to censor 'Armenian genocide' performance 

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Armenia says 1.5 million people were massacred by Ottoman forces starting in 1915 - but Turkey disputes their claim

At Least Five Killed In 'IS Attack' On Syrian Army Checkpoint

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Syrian state media say at least five people were killed and 20 others wounded in a car-bomb attack an army checkpoint on the southern outskirts of the capital, Damascus.

Why IS Western Recruits Are Less Visible on Internet

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“Half of jihad is media,” Islamic State propagandists used to stress to activists and foreign recruits, urging them to win hearts and minds in cyber space. Since the latter part of 2015, there has been a noticeable drop in the presence online of IS members based in Syria and Iraq, including some of the most celebrated fixtures in the terror group’s propaganda campaign, say researchers with an online monitoring group. “IS members were more visible and vocal across a plethora of social media platforms than they are today,” according to a study by the Middle East Media Research Institute, MEMRI, which monitors jihadist activity on the Web. “Actual ISIS members were eagerly followed by legions of adoring supporters who aided in the dissemination of propaganda. Within these pro-jihad online enclaves, they were celebrated media fixtures,” MEMRI researchers say. Now supporters overseas “are most crucial in disseminating the group's message.” Female IS members That is particularly the case for female IS members at the forefront of the terror group’s effort to wage psychological warfare, lure Western women to the marriage beds of IS ‘holy warriors’ and market the group online, posting personal photos on social media accounts and offering a stylized glimpse of life in the self-proclaimed caliphate. “Toward the latter part of 2015 and early 2016, there has been a noticeable void online amongst female ISIS members in the Islamic State,” says Anat Agron, research fellow at MEMRI and the author of the study, “Online Women Activists of the Islamic State - Where are They Now?” Some notorious foreign jihadist women propagandists have faded from the online scene, including Aqsa Mahmood, who was brought up in a prosperous Glasgow suburb and attended an exclusive Scottish girls’ school. Mahmood fled her successful family in Scotland to join IS in northern Syria. Now 21 years old, she emerged quickly as a fixture in the online jihadist campaign to recruit Western girls, telling them their main role in the Islamic revolution would be matrimony and childbearing, rather than martyrdom. She used the Twitter handle Umm Layth and posted a blog to try to persuade would-be “sisters” in Europe and the United States to travel to the Middle East to help IS establish its extremist vision of a militant Islamic utopia. She appears to have posted nothing online since mid-2015. Disappeared Another once-prominent online voice was Australian teen Umm ("mother of") Istishhadi ("martyrdom seeker, aka suicide bomber"). She was a prolific tweeter who returned immediately after each suspension of her Twitter account. Another woman who has faded from online view is a Bosnian IS member calling herself Sumaya Umm Dojana. She contributed daily to her Instagram account with videos featuring her singing and showing her heavily made up eyes in her burqa. Sally Jones, the widow of a prominent British IS fighter, has also disappeared. Jones was an unlikely jihadist candidate, a one-time member of a small-time girl punk rock band, she led a chaotic life and was in and out of relationships and dead-end jobs. She was 45 years old and a mother of two when recruited in late 2013 after an online romance with a young British hacker-turned-militant. She became infamous for tweeting threats such as,“You Christians all need beheading with a nice blunt knife and stuck on the railings at Raqqa. Come here; I’ll do it for you!” Gory threats and organized hashtag campaigns by Raqqa-based IS women have been replaced by more disguised messaging from supporters and sympathizers outside Syria and Iraq. “Some supporters are trying to disguise their agenda by appearing to comment on current events from Western media sources,” say MEMRI analysts. “This may be partially an attempt to appear more sophisticated,” they say. Only a handful of Western women inside the caliphate appears to be active online now. MEMRI argues several factors may be behind the online silence of women IS members. They include the possibility that some women may have been killed in U.S.-led coalition and Russian airstrikes, or that IS has imposed restrictions on Internet use for security reasons due to concerns about dissent or betrayal. Wi-Fi ban In 2015, IS banned Wi-Fi usage in private homes, restricting access only to Internet cafes overseen by the jihadists. Some Internet cafes were closed down too. This was done, according to activists with the anti-IS network Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, to reduce the opportunities for public dissent and complaint by IS members, and to hinder political opponents from supplying information to journalists outside Syria. Analysts cite the killing of British hacker Junaid Hussain in a British drone strike last August in Raqqa. It was reported by The Times of London his online activity helped British and U.S. intelligence agencies pinpoint his location. In February, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the National Security Agency and the Pentagon were pursuing a cyber war against Islamic State. A month earlier, the widow of an IS fighter voiced open criticism of the terror group's leaders, complaining about the treatment of the widows and the families of dead fighters. Her online protest letter was circulated widely on pro-IS social media sites.

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Barack Obama uses Germany visit to call for stronger Europe in face of Isis threat 

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President reiterates his plea for European NATO allies to increase their defence spending

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Boy’s Family in US Police Shooting Settles for $6M

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The family of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African American boy whose fatal shooting in 2014 by a white Cleveland, Ohio, police officer sparked national outrage and unrest, will receive a $6 million settlement. Family attorney Subodh Chandra said the settlement "is nothing to celebrate, because a 12-year-old boy lost his life." The suit alleged police acted recklessly when officer Timothy Loehmann shot Rice within two seconds of arriving at the scene in a car. The Rice family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Cleveland and the police officers and other personnel involved in the response to a 911 phone call from a man near a recreation center.  The caller reported a man, "probably a juvenile, was pointing a weapon at people that was probably fake." Police were only given a report of a male with a weapon.  Rice had a plastic Airsoft gun that shoots nonlethal plastic pellets. In an order filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, the city does not admit to any wrongdoing. Loehmann and the other officers had asked the court to drop the lawsuit.  Loehmann's lawyer maintained his client is burdened with having to live with the shooting.    During the investigation, it was revealed Loehmann had resigned from another Ohio police department after displaying "loss of composure" during gun-training exercises. Rice's shooting death is one of several fatal shootings of African Americans by white police officers in recent years that have sparked protests across the United States.

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Russia Hews Closer To Zhirinovsky's Wacky Vision Than You Might Have Expected 

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He has ridden seemingly crackpot ideas to prominence for nearly three decades. But is 70-year-old ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky really fringe anymore?

Putin Now Experiencing ‘Impotence of Omnipotence,’ Shevtsova Says 

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Many of the apparent contradictions in Russia today, Lilia Shevtsova says, can be explained by the fact that Vladimir Putin and his regime have entered what Argentinian political scientist Guilliermo O’Donnell once called “the impotence of omnipotence,” the gradual loss of power by leaders who remain in office for a long time.

'Invisible' Women Brick-kiln Workers in Punjab Demand Their Rights 

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Hundreds of women brick-kiln workers from India's Punjab state have come together in a rare gathering to demand equal pay and better accommodation, as the country's often invisible women laborers become increasingly vocal in their fight for rights. More than a thousand workers, most belonging to India's so-called lower castes and tribes, met in the city of Bathinda last week in perhaps the first such gathering in the country. "The women workers in brick kilns are invisible -- they are not recognized as workers, they don't get paid for their work, and they have no rights or benefits," said Gangambika Sekhar, an advocate with Volunteers for Social Justice, that organized the event. "We wanted to send a message to the government: 'you say there are no women workers in the state's brick kilns. Well, here they are'," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Unknown number of workers There are no official figures for the number of people employed to cut, shape and bake clay-fired bricks, mostly by hand, in tens of thousands of brick kilns in India. According to the Center for Science and Environment, at least 10 million people work in these kilns. Exploitation of workers, many of them poor migrants from other states, is common as brickmaking is largely unregulated, experts say. Most of the workers are illiterate, paid a pittance, and held in debt bondage. The wealthy state of Punjab is home to more than 600,000 workers in brick kilns, by some estimates. About half are women, who are not included in the kiln's records and are not paid a separate wage from their husbands. Many of the women workers are sexually abused, and conditions for pregnant women are particularly bad, as they do not have access to medical facilities, and are forced to work well into their pregnancy, activists say. "Women are enslaved by the patriarchal system, they are enslaved by the caste system, and they are enslaved by the minimum wage, which is such a pittance that they are forced to live in abject conditions," said Manjit Singh, a retired professor of sociology at Panjab University. Better conditions A signature campaign was launched last week in Bathinda to appeal to President Pranab Mukherjee for better conditions for the state's women brick-kiln workers. Activists are also trying to organize the women into unions, similar to efforts in Maharashtra state. There are signs that women workers elsewhere are heeding the call to unionise and fight for their rights. Last week, protests in the southern states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by garment workers, mostly women, forced the government to scrap a controversial proposal to change the rule on pension withdrawals. "Women workers – from teachers to textile workers and daily-wage workers – are so desperate, they are demanding their rights," Singh said. "They are learning the benefits of a collective voice, and of coming out on the streets and protesting, rather than doing so within the confines of their workplace. We will see more of this," he said.

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Turkey Fines Journalist For 'Insulting' President

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Can Dundar, editor in chief of Turkey's leading opposition daily, Cumhuriyet, has been fined some $10,000 for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the journalist and his lawyer say.

American journalist says Turkey bars him from re-entry

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An American reporter living and working in Turkey was barred from re-entering the country and forced to fly home on Monday in the latest incident in which a foreign journalist has been denied entry or accreditation.
  
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Dutch newspaper publishes cartoon depicting Turkey's Erdogan as an ape crushing free speech 

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The cartoon appeared on the front page after a Dutch journalist was detained in Turkey.





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Bangladesh police say assailants have stabbed two men to death, including a gay rights activist who worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development 

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Bangladesh police say assailants have stabbed two men to death, including a gay rights activist who worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

LGBT Magazine Editor Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

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A gay rights activist who edited the only LGBT magazine in Bangladesh was hacked to death on Monday.
Xulhaz Mannan, 35, who edited the magazine Roopbaan, was killed along with another person when attackers entered an apartment in the capital city of Dhaka, BBC reports. The murder is the latest in a string of brutal attacks on writers and members of religious minority groups by suspected Islamist militants in the country.
Before the most recent attack on Monday, a group of people arrived at the apartment building andidentified themselves as couriers to gain entrance, according to reports. The murder comes two days after an English professor was killed in a similar attack.
[BBC]

With its retreat in New York, the FBI has lost the encryption fight - The Verge

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The Verge

With its retreat in New York, the FBI has lost the encryption fight
The Verge
As 2015 drew to a close, you might be forgiven for thinking the encryption debate was all talk. There had been a lot of speeches and it was clear the FBI didn't like Apple's default encryption system — but what could they actually do about it? They ...
FBI paid at least $1.7 million for tool to hack terrorist iPhoneSydney Morning Herald
iPhone hack cost FBI about $1MSan Jose Mercury News
FBI Drops NY iPhone Unlock Case, Fails to get Precedent AgainThe Mac Observer
Fortune -Financial Times -LEX18 Lexington KY News
all 377 news articles »

World powers keep leaning on economic sanctions that seldom work

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To rein in countries from North Korea to Sudan, global powers are boosting their reliance on United Nations sanctions aimed at forcing recalcitrant governments to drop weapons programs, stop attacking their civilians or respect the results of elections. They usually fail.
     

Obama and the end of the Anglosphere

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The crucial point is that he is America’s first Pacific president
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Saudi Reform Plans Call for Shift Away from Oil

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Saudi Arabia has unveiled a long-term plan that could result in its most significant economic change in decades by proposing a shift away from oil, the country's most valuable asset. The economic reform plan is part of an effort to revive Saudi Arabia's economy, which has been hard hit by sharp drops in crude oil prices, forcing the world's largest exporter of crude to find new sources of income. The reforms are intended to eliminate housing and unemployment issues and ensure the most needy citizens get water and energy subsidies. The plan will focus on privatizations, subsidy cuts, the sale of five percent of oil giant Saudi Aramco and the creation of a $2 trillion fund to develop cities. The plan, named "Saudi Vision 2030," was approved Monday by the Saudi Cabinet. "I think by 2020, if oil stops, we can survive," said Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a nationally televised interview. Implementation of the plan may not come without challenges. In a country where 70 percent of revenues come from oil, the Saudi government has for decades spent enormous amounts of money on its citizens without requiring them to pay taxes. Saudi Arabia's plans follow other long-term economic reform plans announced by neighboring Persian Gulf countries, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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LGBT Activist Among Victims Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

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Two people have been hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka. One of the victims of Monday's attack has been identified as Xulhaz Mannan, the editor of a transgender magazine "Rupban". Local media reported that he was a USAID official who had also worked as a protocol officer in the U.S. embassy in Dhaka. There has been no immediate comment from U.S. officials. A police official told Reuters that three attackers came to Mannan's apartment posing as couriers. The attack just two days after a liberal and free-thinking professor was hacked to death in the northwestern city of Rajshahi, is the latest in a series of murders of secular bloggers and liberal activists. No group has yet claimed responsibility for Monday's attacks, though Islamic State claimed the attack on the 58-year-old professor, saying he had been murdered for "calling for atheism." Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan rejected this claim, insisting the murder was the work of "local militants". Though activists in recent years have tried to increase awareness and rights, the LGBT community has been heavily persecuted in the Muslim-majority country.

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F-22 Fighter Jets Arrive in Romania To Bolster Security

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The U.S. sent its most sophisticated aircraft to Romania on Monday for exercises aimed to enhance training with other Europe-based aircraft.
       

Russia and Syria sign deals worth $850 million to restore Syrian infrastructure - Business Insider

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Business Insider

Russia and Syria sign deals worth $850 million to restore Syrian infrastructure
Business Insider
Putin Assad Kremlin/ReutersRussian President Vladimir Putin (R) shakes hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2015. MOSCOW- Syria and Russia have signed agreements worth 850 ...

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US Flies F-22s to Romania as Show of Strength to Russia - ABC News

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Reuters

US Flies F-22s to Romania as Show of Strength to Russia
ABC News
Russia-backed separatists have been fighting government troops in Ukraine since April 2014, leaving at least 9,100 dead. The conflict has left many neighboring countries in Central and Eastern Europe jittery about Russia's intentions in the region.
US sends F-22 fighters to reassure NATO allies facing RussiaReuters
F-22 fighter jets are in Romania to keep tabs on Russia's Black Sea anticsAirForceTimes.com

all 9 news articles »

10:30 AM 4/25/2016 - Headlines Review: Obama's Hanover talks unlikely to yield new line on vexed issues | World news | The Guardian | Obama Calls For European Unity, NATO Defense, Continued Sanctions On Russia | Obama Says Russia Sanctions To Remain | Obama leaving liberal blueprint on armed forces - Washington Times

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Driven up the wall by Trump, Mexico looks to recast image in U.S.

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - At first, Mexico's government did its best to ignore Donald Trump. Then it likened him to Adolf Hitler. Now it has appointed a new ambassador to come up with a better plan.
  

How the CIA Writes History - The Intercept

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The Intercept

How the CIA Writes History
The Intercept
Last summer I paid a visit to Georgetown University's Lauinger Library as part of my research on legendary CIA counterspy James Jesus Angleton. I went there to investigate Angleton's famous mole hunt, one of the least flattering episodes of his ...

30 years after Chernobyl disaster, containment is nearing completion

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An international effort to seal the destroyed remains of the nuclear reactor that exploded in Ukraine 30 years ago is finally close to completion, and remarkably, considering the political revolution and armed conflict that have rocked the country since 2014, it's close to being on schedule.
     

Deadly Car Bomb Hits Crowded Commercial Area In Baghdad

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Iraqi police say a car bombing in a crowded commercial area in the capital, Baghdad, has killed at least six civilians and wounded nearly 20 others.

Trump Ridicules Rivals' Joint Effort to Derail His Presidential Bid 

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U.S. billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, ridiculed his two rivals' joint effort to derail his campaign Monday, calling it a "horrible act of desperation." Trump's challengers, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, announced a plan late Sunday to try to deny the brash Trump, who has never held elective office, from winning the nomination on the first ballot at the party's July national convention, in hopes convention delegates will pick them on a subsequent ballot. Kasich said he would stop campaigning in the midwestern state of Indiana, where Republicans vote in a nominating contest May 3, to give Cruz a better shot of winning there against Trump. Meanwhile, Cruz agreed to halt his efforts in two western states, Oregon, which votes May 17, and New Mexico, with voting on June 7, to give Kasich more room to fight Trump for convention delegates in those states. Both Cruz and Kasich said they would continue to campaign against each other and Trump in other states. Trump derided the Cruz-Kasich effort, saying, "It is sad that two grown politicians have to collude against one person who has only been a politician for 10 months in order to try and stop that person from getting the Republican nomination."   'Act of desperation' He said the two candidates' coordination to block him "would often be illegal" in corporate transactions."This horrible act of desperation from two campaigns who have totally failed, makes me even more determined, for the good of the Republican Party and our country, to prevail," he said.   The Cruz-Kasich strategy signals a marked shift for Cruz, who has previously rejected overtures to join with Kasich to try to block Trump. The New York developer holds a commanding lead in convention delegates over both of his challengers, but is not yet assured of winning a majority of convention delegates before the quadrennial gathering starts. Cruz has repeatedly called for Kasich to drop out, saying he was a spoiler in the race, winning votes and a handful of delegates that were denying Cruz a chance for a head-to-head faceoff with Trump. Race for delegates Cruz, a conservative agitator against both Democratic and Republican leaders in Washington, has acknowledged that he cannot win the nomination on the first ballot, but says Trump, a one-time television reality show host, also won't reach the majority of 1,237 convention delegates needed to claim the nomination on the first round of voting. As its stands now, Trump has 845 pledged delegates on the first ballot, Cruz 559, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race a month ago, 171, and Kasich 148. Trump, if he does well in the 15 remaining state nominating contests, could reach the 1,237 figure. He swept to victory in his home state of New York last week and is a heavy favorite over Cruz and Kasich in all five primaries scheduled Tuesday in five northeastern states, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Trump leads pre-primary polls U.S. political analysts view the vote in Indiana, a conservative state with both rural expanses and industrial centers, as another crucial step in deciding the outcome of the Republican nomination race. Pre-election surveys show Trump with a single-digit percentage lead over Cruz, but the outcome could tip with Kasich's withdrawal from the state, assuming his supporters don't stay home and actually switch their votes to Cruz rather than Trump. Trump scoffed at both the Cruz and Kasich campaigns, saying that about 80 percent of the Republican voters have rejected Cruz and noting that Kasich has only won in Ohio, the Midwestern state he governs, while losing dozens of other contests. Democratic front-runner The eventual Republican nominee is likely to face the Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in the November national election to pick a successor to President Barack Obama, who leaves office in January. Clinton, seeking to become the first female U.S. president, holds a significant lead in Democratic convention delegates over her sole challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but has yet to seize a majority to claim the party's nomination. Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, is favored in the Tuesday voting in all five states.

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Iran May Sell Heavy Water To Russia - Report

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Under a nuclear deal with world powers, Tehran is responsible for reducing its stock of the nuclear weapons-making component.

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China Close to Passing Strict Law on Foreign Groups

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Critics said the proposed bill would curtail important work by nongovernmental organizations in China, such as legal assistance and programs promoting the rule of law.

US flies F-22s to Romania as show of strength to Russia

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The U.S. Air Force has flown in two F-22 Raptor fighter jets to Romania as a show of strength to deter Russian intervention in Ukraine.

Russian ambassador denies Moscow supporting Taliban

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KABUL (Reuters) - Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan denied on Monday that Moscow was giving its backing to the Taliban in its fight against Islamic State militants who have established a growing presence in the east of the country.
  

Cleveland settles lawsuit over Tamir Rice shooting for $6M

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- The city on Monday reached a $6 million settlement in a lawsuit over the death of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old black boy shot by a white police officer while playing with a pellet gun outside a recreation center....

The Chernobyl Disaster: How It Happened

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On April 26, 1986, a routine safety test at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine spiraled out of control. Follow the dramatic events that led to the world's worst civilian nuclear disaster. (RFE/RL's Denis Artamonov, Stuart Greer)

Rumors Swirl of Possible Sale of Independent News Site RBC by Prokhorov Due to Putin’s Anger 

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LIVE UPDATES: Rumors are circulating that oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov may be selling his independent news site RBC under pressure from the Kremlin, which is annoyed by its critical coverage.
Welcome to our column, Russia Update, where we will be closely following day-to-day developments in Russia, including the Russian government’s foreign and domestic policies.
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Obama to Send More Military Personnel to Syria

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While in Germany Monday, President Barack Obama said he will send as many as 250 additional military personnel to Syria, significantly increasing the U.S. presence there in an effort to help local forces and extend recent gains against Islamic State. Photo: Reuters