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08.18.15

Links 18/8/2015: Linux 4.2 RC7, IBM’s LinuxOne

Posted in News Roundup at 6:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Ransomware goes OPEN SOURCE in the name of education

    Turkish security bod Utku Sen has published what appears to be the first open source ransomware that anyone can download and spread.

    The “Hidden Tear” ransomware, available to GitHub, is a functional version of the malware the world has come to hate; it uses AES encryption to lock down files and can display a scare warning or ransom message to get users to pay up.

  • Chinese, Russian, tech giants join global open source efforts

    Alibaba and Yandex joining these open source efforts confounds their home nations’ occasionally-expressed intentions to build technology ecosystems less dependent on US companies. Both China and Russia have cited post-Snowden security concerns as the reason they’re keen to rely on indigenous technologies. With their tech giants now participating in global efforts alongside US entities, technological isolation looks rather harder to achieve.

  • Keen IO open-sources its Data Explorer tool for making quick queries

    Keen IO, a startup with a cloud-based data analytics tool, is announcing today that it’s releasing one of its tools for customers, the Data Explorer, under an open-source license.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla tests a true stealth mode for Firefox

        Mozilla wants to make private browsing truly private.

        The company is testing enhancements to private browsing in Firefox designed to block website elements that could be used by third parties to track browsing behavior across sites. Most major browsers, Firefox included, have a “Do Not Track” option, though many companies do not honor it.

      • Mozilla defaults Tracking Protection for Firefox developer builds, but only for private browsing

        Pre-beta versions of Firefox will block domains known to track users by default when a private browser window is opened.

      • Rust in 2016

        This week marks three months since Rust 1.0 was released. As we’re starting to hit our post-1.0 stride, we’d like to talk about what 1.0 meant in hindsight, and where we see Rust going in the next year.

      • Rust Language Focusing On Infrastructure Improvements, Features & More
      • Firefox Security Exploit Targets Linux Users and Web Developers

        Through the years, Firefox has enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure Web browsers on any platform, and it’s the default browser for many Linux distros. However, a security exploit appeared this week that has shown users they can’t afford to be complacent about security. Mozilla has rushed to patch the flaw, and a new release has closed the hole (39.0.3). But, plenty of users still haven’t updated their browsers.

      • Mozilla Experiments with True Private Browsing

        Mozilla has a long history of experimenting with new features in pre-beta and developer versions of the Firefox browser, and one of the current experiments could shake up notions about private browsing. The company is experimenting with an approach to private browsing where Firefox could block any and all website elements used by third parties to track browsing behavior. Effectively, the new approach would defy the many organizations that don’t honor “Do Not Track” features in browsers.

  • SaaS/Big Data

    • LinkedIn Open Sources Highly Useful Hadoop Tools

      LinkedIn has already adopted Gradle as itsprimary build system. “With Gradle, developers can easily extend the build system by defining their own plugins,” the company claims. “We developed the Hadoop Plugin to help our Hadoop application developers more effectively build, test and deploy Hadoop applications. The Plugin includes the Hadoop DSL, a domain-specific language for specifying jobs and workflows for Hadoop workflow managers like Azkaban and Apache Oozie.”

  • Databases

    • Open Source First Starting to Converge with Cloud First

      Of course, PostgeSQL is only one instance where open source and the cloud are starting to converge. The same argument could also be applied to everything from Node.js to Docker containers. The point is that as the critical mass of open source software in the cloud continues to build, it’s only a matter of time before that same software starts showing up on premise in much greater numbers than it already has.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • First LibreOffice 5.0 Maintenance Release on Its Way to Fix Middle-Click Paste on X11

      After releasing the huge LibreOffice 5.0 update, The Document Foundation announced that the hard team of developers behind the most powerful open-source office suite in the world is hard at work on the first maintenance release of LibreOffice 5.0.0.

    • An Open Letter to Apache Foundation and Apache OpenOffice team

      So I realize that the Apache Foundation took a lot of pride in and has invested a lot of effort trying to create an Apache Licensed Office suite based on the old OpenOffice codebase, but I hope that now that it is clear that this effort has failed that you would be willing to re-direct people who go to the openoffice.org website to the LibreOffice website instead. Letting users believe that OpenOffice is still alive and evolving is only damaging the general reputation of open source Office software among non-technical users and thus I truly believe that it would be in everyones interest to help the remaining OpenOffice users over to LibreOffice.

  • CMS

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

  • Openness/Sharing

    • The Focal Camera: An Open Source Modular Camera

      Over the past year, Dutch artist Mathijs van Oosterhoudt has been developing a new camera system. No, it’s not a high-tech digital system that’s intended to go up against the major camera companies. Instead, it’s an open-modular camera system that’s intended to teach people how to build complex cameras. Its name is The Focal Camera.

  • Programming

    • Perl Weekly

      Yesterday was CPAN day: the 20th(!) anniversary of the day CPAN appeared online. A few articles of this week’s edition celebrate the event, and promote the kind of interaction that keeps it alive.

Leftovers

  • Former Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Bribe Panamanian Officials

    A former regional director of SAP International Inc. pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a scheme to bribe Panamanian officials to secure the award of government technology contracts for SAP.

    Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag of the Northern District of California, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Division and Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas McMahon of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

  • Author shows off the real Jamaica through Bob Marley shooting

    Marlon James is the first Jamaican-born novelist nominated for the Man Booker prize. A Brief History of Seven Killings uses the true story of an attempt on the life of Bob Marley to explore the turbulent politics of Jamaica in the 1970s.

  • Science

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

  • Defence/Police/Secrecy/Aggression

    • Jeb’s New Iraq Stance: My Brother’s ‘Mission Was Accomplished’

      In the early months of his candidacy, Jeb Bush fumbled whenever he faced extremely predictable questions about his brother’s foreign policy. When asked about Iraq again at last week’s debate, he said that, knowing what we know now, “it was a mistake,” then inelegantly pivoted from praising veterans to blaming Obama for the current situation in the Middle East. This week Bush debuted a new stance: Whatever mistakes President George W. Bush made along the way, the Iraq War ultimately turned out for the best (at least until President Obama and Hillary Clinton messed it all up).

    • AP EXCLUSIVE: Top secret Clinton emails include drone talk
    • New Generation of Cuban-Americans Want Embargo Lifted – Former CIA Officer

      Former CIA counterterrorism officer John Kiriacou claims that a new generation of Cuban Americans is willing to lift the trade embargo on Cuba and end the half-century-long boycott of the island nation.

    • ‘We Wanted to Cut Off Che Guevara’s Head’ – Ex-CIA Agent

      He said that he told the General he could not do it because, being the country’s military chief of staff, Candia just wouldn’t be able to present a severed human head as material proof.

    • Point Person: Our Q&A with Michael Hayden

      Twenty-nine scientists with nuclear specialties signed a letter this month supporting the accord. Are they to be completely dismissed?

    • The Iran Gambit II

      Gambit I was the start of false accusations by the then Bush Administration in 2007 that Iran was preparing a nuclear weapon, when in fact Iran had no such ambitions at all, but a plan to open an Iranian Oil Bourse (IOB) in Teheran, an international hydrocarbon exchange, where all countries, hydrocarbon producers or not, could trade this (still) principal energy source in euros, as an alternative to the US dollar. This would have devastated the dollar as a hegemonic fiat currency – still used on false trust as the main world reserve currency.

    • Neocons to Americans: Trust Us Again

      Marching in lockstep with Israeli hardliners, American neocons are aiming their heavy media artillery at the Iran nuclear deal as a necessary first step toward another “regime change” war in the Mideast – and they are furious when anyone mentions the Iraq War disaster and the deceptions that surrounded it, writes Robert Parry.

      America’s neocons insist that their only mistake was falling for some false intelligence about Iraq’s WMD and that they shouldn’t be stripped of their powerful positions of influence for just one little boo-boo. That’s the point of view taken by Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt as he whines about the unfairness of applying “a single-interest litmus test,” i.e., the Iraq War debacle, to judge him and his fellow war boosters.

      After noting that many other important people were on the same pro-war bandwagon with him, Hiatt criticizes President Barack Obama for citing the Iraq War as an argument not to listen to many of the same neocons who now are trying to sabotage the Iran nuclear agreement. Hiatt thinks it’s the height of unfairness for Obama or anyone else to suggest that people who want to kill the Iran deal — and thus keep alive the option to bomb-bomb-bomb Iran — “are lusting for another war.”

    • Iran carpet industry set for revival after deal
    • Iran Gives UN Information About Past Nuclear Activities

      But Iran and the United Nations agency agreed last month to wrap up the investigation by December, when the IAEA plans to issue a final assessment on the allegations.

      On the sidelines of the deal between Iran and the world powers in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14, Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog signed an agreement to resolve outstanding issue about PMD of its past nuclear activities.

    • Guest commentary: Should get own house in order before bullying others

      Our unelected military ruler, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, tried to stem the backlash, asking Thais to stop blaming the U.S. government for awarding Thailand a low ranking in its annual report.

      But as an American columnist living in Thailand, I have the same question many Thais have, namely: Shouldn’t the U.S. get its own moral house in order before policing the rest of the world?

    • Havana Sells US Diplomatic Ties as Victory
    • US Raises Flag in Cuba After 54 Years (Video)

      The United States and Cuba are taking the next step in restoring diplomatic relations with each other as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Havana Friday to attend a ceremony marking the reopening of the U.S. Embassy there. This comes after former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote in a newspaper column that the U.S. owes the island country “millions of dollars” as reparations for its decades-long embargo.

    • The US-Cuba thaw

      Secretary of State John Kerry had the honor of reopening the US embassy in Cuba 54 years after it was closed. But it was the pair of presidents, Barack Obama and Raul Castro, who made it happen, and each in his own way.

    • Cold War thaw: Re-establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba was the right move

      In the 54 years since the United States ended diplomatic ties with Cuba, we’ve learned a lot about our Caribbean adversaries.

    • The Crisis In Ukraine: War Or Rumors Of War?

      The early reports of the demise of the Soviet Union and the end of the communist threat now appear at best, to have been greatly exaggerated, or at worst, an intentional deception. Although the intelligence service of the Soviet Era, the KGB, was renamed the Federal Security Service (FSB), it facilitated the rise of Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, proving the security service is still very much in power within the “new” Russia.

    • Neocons Falsify Iraq War ‘Lessons’

      Having escaped accountability for the Iraq War disaster, U.S. neocons are urging the use of more military force in the Mideast, in line with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand to block the Iran nuclear deal. From their important perches of power, these war hawks also twist the history of their catastrophic misjudgments, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Analysts concerned over possible civilian casualties from US airstrikes from Turkey

      Speaking to Sunday’s Zaman, Professor Celalettin Yavuz, an expert on foreign policy and security, mentioned the likelihood that US armed drones known as Predators, which have been deployed to İncirlik Air Base, will mistakenly kill civilians in Syria and Iraq as the US-led collation steps up operations against ISIL.

    • Washington Threatens Ecuadorian Democracy

      Rule by powerful monied interests is longstanding US policy.

    • Montagnards: Green Beret’s secret weapon during Vietnam War

      Smokey Stover Theater, onboard the retired USS Yorktown in Charleston Harbor, filled up quickly last night with aging veterans, their spouses, and civilians curious to know more about secret weapons, specifically those employed by U.S. Special Forces Soldiers. That “secret weapon” for the Vietnam-era Green Berets was the indigenous mountain people of Southeast Asia; the Montagnards.

    • AP Interview: Jordan says Syria militants try to sneak in

      Militants have tried to sneak into Jordan from Syria by blending in with Syrian refugees, and attempts to smuggle weapons and drugs into Jordan have increased, the commander of Jordan’s Border Guard said in an interview Sunday.

  • Transparency Reporting

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Why A Democrat Is Now Blocking An Obama Nominee

      Sen. Sherrod Brown has a new tactic in the fight to access secretive trade deal documents.

    • Count finds 40 percent increase in Marin homeless population

      A one-day count of Marin County’s homeless population in January found 1,309 homeless people ­— a 40 percent increase from the 933 homeless reported in 2013.

    • Show Me a Hero: Fear and Loathing in Yonkers

      Show Me a Hero concentrates on the most volatile five years of the clash between Yonkers and U.S. District Court Judge Leonard B. Sand. In 1987, the judge, weary of the city’s stalling in the face of his order to build 200 units of public housing on its predominantly white and middle-class west side, ordered the Yonkers City Council to get the project under way or face escalating fines that would quickly reach $1 million a day and bankrupt the city within three weeks. Making it clear that the case had gone beyond politics or policy wonkery, the judge also fined any council member who voted against the housing.

    • Why is Bitcoin forking?

      So this is it. Here we are. The community is divided and Bitcoin is forking: both the software and, perhaps, the block chain too. The two sides of the split are Bitcoin Core and a slight variant of the same program, called Bitcoin XT. As of August 15th, there is now a full release available.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Jeremy Corbyn and the SNP

      I was impressed by Jeremy’s talk and by the energy in the room. Jeremy was at his strongest when referring to the need for basic human decency and respect in our treatment of those in need for aid from the state, including the homeless and refugees. His basic human empathy and compassion really shone through. He was contemptuous of austerity, marketisation and the neoliberal consensus. His denunciation of Iraq and of Trident galvanised the room. He can talk with a genuine moral authority. He is certainly not a great orator, but sincere and fluent.

    • Kezia Dugdale Got Just 5,217 Votes

      The Labour Party is being remarkably coy about releasing the actual result of its Scottish accounting unit leadership election, giving only a percentage. The entirely complacent unionist media is complicit in what amounts to a deception.

    • Fox Nation Promotes Absurd Conspiracy Theory That EPA “Foul[ed] Up” Animas River “On Purpose”

      On August 12, FoxNation.com republished portions of a post by The Gateway Pundit headlined, “Letter to Editor PREDICTED COLORADO EPA SPILL One Week Before Catastrophe So EPA Could Secure Control of Area.” Fox Nation highlighted the portion of the Gateway Pundit post in which author Jim Hoft wrote: “The letter detailed verbatim, how EPA officials would foul up the Animas River on purpose in order to secure superfund money. If the Gold King mine was declared a superfund site it would essentially kill future development for the mining industry in the area. The Obama EPA is vehemently opposed to mining and development.”

    • Investigative Journalist Slams The Big Media Tycoons’ Public Mind Control

      This has been obvious since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to manage the media came into operation. Most people feel that almost everything we see in the media is just “brainwashing”. A lot of blatant lies are splashing over the TV screen, especially on issues related to “health, food, war (“terrorism”), poverty and more”.

    • ‘Hitler was an Anglo-American stooge’: the tall tales in a Moscow bookshop

      Adolf Hitler was installed in power in Germany as part of an Anglo-American plot, the CIA is planning a full-scale land invasion of Russia from Ukrainian territory within the next five years, and the world has become so dominated by women that they have evolved to be capable of reproducing without the need for male sperm.

    • ABC’s Martha Raddatz Debunks Ben Carson’s Claim That Planned Parenthood Targets Black Communities For Abortion

      ABC’s Martha Raddatz debunked GOP presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson’s claim that Planned Parenthood engages in racist population control by targeting black communities.

  • Censorship

    • Scott DeSmit: Willingly surrendering our freedom

      Put away the tinfoil hats.

      The government spies on us and we can do nothing about it.

      They know. Everything.

      This may be a revelation to most people because it was not reported by most major media outlets, but the government now has access to almost everything we do.

      They know what we ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

      Going to a movie? They know which one and at what time.

      The government has photographs of almost every person in America and photographs of your children, too.

      Your cat? Yes, they have photographs of your pets.

  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin?

      James Baldwin’s FBI file contains 1,884 pages of documents, collected from 1960 until the early 1970s. During that era of illegal surveillance of American writers, the FBI accumulated 276 pages on Richard Wright, 110 pages on Truman Capote, and just nine pages on Henry Miller. Baldwin’s file was closer in size to activists and radicals of the day — for example, it’s nearly half as thick as Malcolm X’s.

    • The FBI Agent Who Hunted N.W.A

      In the late ’80s, the bureau targeted the hip-hop group for their incendiary anthem ‘Fuck tha Police,’ and transformed the rappers into First Amendment crusaders.

    • [Old] Texas Bill to take on NDAA Indefinite Detention Passes House Committee, 4-2

      A Texas bill that would make indefinite detention, as purportedly authorized by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a criminal act – passed through a state House committee last week.

    • [Old] Anonymous Launches #Gitmo2Chicago to Shut Down NDAA Style Secret Detention Center By Chicago Police

      Various activist groups and concerned citizens are coming together to oppose the Chicago Police’s secret torture detention center also known as Homan Square.

    • Bush torture comments worry human rights groups over possible resurgence

      Activists lament political culture ‘where tolerating torture is the norm’ and fear potential of Republican successor to Barack Obama overturning his torture ban

    • Republican Presidential candidate Jeb Bush leaves door open for use of torture by government

      The former Florida governor on Thursday said that in general, he believes torture is inappropriate, and that he was glad his brother, former President George W Bush, largely ended the CIA’s use of the techniques before he left office. The CIA used water boarding, slapping, nudity, sleep deprivation, humiliation and other methods to coerce Al-Qaeda detainees, methods the military would be prohibited from using on prisoners of war. “I don’t want to make a definitive, blanket kind of statement,” Bush told an audience of Iowa Republicans, when asked whether he would keep in place or repeal President Barack Obama’s executive order banning so-called enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA.

    • CIA Mistakenly Releases Apology Letter It Wrote to Senate For Illegally Spying On It

      The documents of the US government that were expected to remain out of reach in the coming years have been got hold of by Jason Leopold of FOIA staffers. The CIA would have definitely thought that one of the documents would remain its little secret for the coming years.

    • Where psychologists went wrong

      Too late for Omar Khadr and thousands of other political prisoners tortured at Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and other CIA “black hole” sites where some APA psychologists may still be “interrogating” with CIA psychologists and psychiatrists.

    • Righting Governance Gone Rogue in the American Psychological Association: The Torture Scandal

      By a nearly unanimous vote and standing ovation, the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Council of Representatives voted August 7th, 2015, at their annual convention to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations and torture, including non-coercive interrogations now conducted by the Obama administration. The resolution states “psychologists shall not conduct, supervise or be in the presence of, or otherwise assist any national security interrogations for any military or intelligence entities.” The resolution places the APA on the side of international law by “barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites, and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights.”1

    • Psychologists contrite on ‘torture’ collusion

      Aside from the personal vindication, Reisner said, the resolution would help repair the APA’s badly damaged image.

      “The public is legitimately wary of the American Psychological Association as the representative of professional psychology,” he said. “And if it is the representative of professional psychology, the public will be wary of professional psychology.”

    • Pre-crime: DHS admits that it puts people on the no-fly list based on “predictive assessment”

      A DoJ filing in an ACLU lawsuit in Oregon admits that you can be put on a no-fly list based on “predictive assessments about potential threats,” as opposed to threatening or dangerous things you’ve actually said or done.

      It’s the first case in which a court is being asked to “review the basis for the government’s predictive model for blacklisting people who have never even been charged, let alone convicted, of a violent crime.”

      The Obama administration is trying to prevent further disclosures about the program’s basis for denying Americans the right to travel based on secret evidence and an opaque process. FBI counter-terrorism assistant director Michael Steinbach defended the no-fly list’s dependence on security through obscurity: “If the Government were required to provide full notice of its reasons for placing an individual on the No Fly List and to turn over all evidence (both incriminating and exculpatory) supporting the No Fly determination, the No Fly redress process would place highly sensitive national security information directly in the hands of terrorist organizations and other adversaries.”

    • New York Times uses rape allegations to promote a wider war in the Middle East

      The New York Times led its Friday edition with a lengthy front-page article headlined “Enslaving Young Girls, the Islamic State Builds a Vast System of Rape.” The article, spread out over more than two pages, provides a lurid account of women and girls belonging to the Yazidi religious minority being systematically captured and sold as sex slaves by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighters.

      The author, Rukmini Callimachi, cites various US academics and think tanks to argue that ISIS has devised a religious justification for rape and “developed a detailed bureaucracy of sex slavery.” The prominence of the article, its sensationalist tone and presentation, and its timing—appearing in the midst of a US escalation of its military interventions and proxy wars in Iraq and Syria—make clear that the publication of the piece is calculated to inflame public opinion and build support for a wider war.

    • Kayla Mueller, American hostage, was raped repeatedly by ISIS leader, U.S. says

      American hostage Kayla Mueller was repeatedly forced to have sex with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group, U.S. intelligence officials told her family in June.

    • America’s despicable, hypocritical persecution of Chelsea Manning

      Chelsea Manning, the former U.S. Army private who was imprisoned for giving thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, was recently threatened with torture for supposedly violating the conditions of her detention.

    • Benghazi Case Focuses Attention on US Interrogation Strategy

      The case, still in its early stages, is focusing attention on an interrogation strategy that the Obama administration has used in just a few recent terrorism investigations and prosecutions. Abu Khattala’s lawyers already have signaled a challenge to the process, setting the stage for a rare court clash over a tactic that has riled civil liberties groups but is seen by the government as a vital and appropriate tool in prosecuting suspected terrorists captured overseas.

    • Decriminalising human suffering

      Rachel Moran is a victim of the sex slave industry, who went on to become a co-founder of the Space International Anti-Sex Trade Group. She made the following comments in her tweet about the 11th Aug 2015 decision by the AI:

      “Amnesty’s decision is ‘breathtakingly disgraceful’. When I first heard this proposal, I got very emotional, I have been through a lot and I am not a woman who usually gets emotional. But this is an insult, from the most publicly recognised human rights body in the world, who is saying everything that happened to me was completely normal, above board and ought to be legal.”

      Hundreds of anti-sex slave organisations around the globe have condemned this move by the Amnesty International UK.

    • Russian Muslims Face Challenges of Demography and Migration

      …Russian Muslims have constantly been at the centre of public attention and the mass media.

    • Torture, show trials common in neocolonial Libya

      A video released last week showing the beating and torture of Saadi Gadhafi is not an anomaly in contemporary Libya where the Pentagon and NATO waged a war of regime change in 2011.

    • The myth of presidential wisdom in foreign affairs

      President George W. Bush stupidly invaded Iraq to the benefit of our arch-enemy Iran and to avenge his family embarrassment at the hands of a gloating Saddam Hussein. He continued fighting a post-9/11 purposeless war in Afghanistan hoping to summon a democracy into being from an antedeluvian political culture.

    • Judith Miller and those Weapons of Mass Destruction

      Her critics said she was grandstanding, playing the journalism martyr to recapture the luster lost during her reporting of the Iraqi war. But she retorted she was standing on journalistic principles, that her sources at first refused to waive a confidentiality agreement, forcing her to go to jail, then relented, allowing her to go free and testify.

    • US government investigated journalists 14 times during 2014

      A Justice Department report says the US government questioned, arrested or subpoenaed journalists 14 times during 2014, including the high-profile subpoena issued to New York Times reporter James Risen.

      Former US attorney general Eric Holder said in February 2014 that the department would release information on how law enforcement officials use its tool to investigate the news media.

      The four-page annual report released on Friday includes 14 incidents, including the subpoena issued to Risen, who refused to divulge his CIA source for a chapter of his book about the Iran nuclear program. The informant, Jeffrey Sterling, was convicted on nine counts in January.

    • California legislators to eye police push for use of drones

      California law enforcement agencies are looking to fly drones as an affordable and efficient way to monitor crime scenes, pursue suspects and search for lost hikers.

    • Yemen In Meltdown: Domestic And Regional Competitions And Destruction Of Nationhood – Analysis

      The national ideal in North Yemen got corroded through the 1980s because of two main reasons. First, there was the natural attrition pertaining to the first generation of leaders and the accompanying reluctance of younger educated Yemenis to return to their country to replace them. The American authority on Yemen, Asher Orkaby, has noted that in 2014 at least 30,000 educated Yemenis were working abroad. This was mainly due to the second contributory factor: the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, first, from 1978 over North Yemen, and then from 1990 over united Yemen, after a short military campaign in which the communist forces were defeated.

    • Florida inmate serving life sentence killed in cell

      A Florida prison inmate serving a life sentence for his role in a 2011 Jacksonville murder was killed in his cell.

      The Florida Department of Corrections said 35-year-old Craig Eugene Roback died on Thursday after an altercation with his cellmate at the Columbia County Correctional Institution.

    • Emigration and war: Capitalist media suppress the obvious

      The reports about tens of thousands of desperate refugees scrambling out of the Middle East and North Africa, trying to reach some place in Europe, are excruciatingly painful. The number who have drowned along the way or died of thirst or hunger is unknown. Others survive these perilous journeys on overloaded boats only to be captured and either interned or turned back at the borders. Photographs show them to be thin, often to the point of emaciation, with few possessions other than the threadbare clothes on their backs.

      Most migrants are men searching for work. But there are women, too, and even children and infants. For every person whose story may be told, thousands remain unrecognized and anonymous. They are only statistics in one of the world’s most perilous mass migrations.

    • 2016 Candidates Must Talk Extrajudicial Drone Strikes

      As President Obama looks to legacy building during his remaining time in office, he’s leaving behind a troubling institution for the next commander in chief to inherit: A program permitting the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens abroad. Though President Bush and his administration were responsible for establishing these practices, the Obama White House has, in some respects, expanded some of them. As the 2016 election season heats up, it is worth looking at where the possible presidents-to-be stand on the issue.

      Despite the fact that targeted killings, whether by unmanned aerial drone or cruise missile, are not a new element of the U.S. military, a new, concerning threshold was crossed in 2011. In an unprecedented move, President Obama authorized a lethal drone strike which successfully targeted Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born citizen. It is unclear if Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen also killed in the strike, was meant to be hit as well. However, the decision to target Anwar al-Awlaki for death has drawn heat from human rights critics, as has the death of his U.S.-born, 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, with good reason.

    • Letter from America: Our Messy, messy world!

      Religious extremism is on the rise all over the globe. And it is as much an Islamic problem, as it is a Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh problem. Not a single religious tradition is impervious from its deadly embrace.

      All these religious extremist groups are abusing their religion to create a world of fitnah and fasad. I have chosen these two Arabic words because of the loaded meanings that each carry. The first word in Arabic means trials/tribulations/persecutions/misguidance and the second word: anarchy/confusion/corruption/mischief.

    • Amazon: Devastating expose accuses internet retailer of oppressive and callous attitude to staff

      Working four days in a row without sleep; a woman with breast cancer being put on “performance-improvement plans” together with another who had just had a stillborn child; staff routinely bursting into tears; continual monitoring; workers encouraged to turn on each other to keep their jobs.

      Life at Amazon sounds bleak, according to a devastating, 5,900-word expose by The New York Times.

      The global internet retailer founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, which paid just £11.9m in tax in Britain last year despite UK sales of £5.3bn, has previously been accused of treating warehouse staff in the UK “like cattle” as they are driven to work harder.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

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