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02.14.14

Boycott of Slashdot is Protesting Against Dice Policies

Posted in Action at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A Slashdot boycott is happening this week because Dice is asked to stop messing about with Slashdot

The new owner of Slashdot has been treating the Slashdot community like an enemy. People hate what’s being done to the interface and some are disgusted by the editorial choices. While I no longer read Slashdot myself, several people in our IRC channels (and our IRC bots) are following Slashdot. They say that the FOSS-hostile bias is increasing (we wrote about that yesterday) and Microsoft lobbyists regularly get placements there. A site called Slashcott says that boycotts against the site began some days ago and will last for at least a week in order to demonstrate to Slashdot’s owner that a Slashdot without community is just another Web site on the Web. Some of our readers have said that they are running out of FOSS-friendly sites that they can visit.

01.31.14

Empire Watch: Human Rights Violations, Bogus Figures, and a ‘Silent Coup’

Posted in Action at 5:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This week’s news about torture, assassination, and endless wars of conquest

  • Amanda Knox and the Wages of American Imperialism

    By the fall of 2007, Italy was in a significant state of conflict with the US over the Bush administration’s policy of extraordinary rendition. Of specific note were Italian kidnapping charges against nearly two dozen CIA agents for the kidnapping of Muslim cleric Abu Omar, resulting in 23 convictions. The New York Times reported, “Judge Oscar Magi handed an eight-year sentence to Robert Seldon Lady, a former C.I.A. base chief in Milan, and five-year sentences to the 22 other Americans, including an Air Force colonel and 21 C.I.A. operatives.”

    [...]

    It’s not clear if Amanda Knox will foot the bill for the 23 convicted CIA agents, but what is clear is that Italy and many other countries view America’s policy of rendition as indeed extraordinary, and they have a point to make.

  • Lithuanian Court’s ruling on CIA rendition case, a breakthrough for justice

    A decision by a court in Lithuania ruling that a Saudi Arabian national has a right to an investigation into his alleged torture in a secret CIA detention centre in the country is a breakthrough for justice, said Amnesty International.

  • Lithuanian prosecutor’s refusal to reopen CIA prison investigation found ungrounded

    Vilnius Regional Court has ruled prosecutors unfoundedly refused to launch a pre-trial investigation into claims a Saudi Arabian citizen was kept in a secret CIA detention center in Lithuania in 2004-2006.

  • Lithuanian prosecutor accused in Guantanamo Bay case
  • CIA Director Grilled On Domestic Surveillance, Torture At Senate Hearing

    Three senators pummeled CIA Director John Brennan at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday, peppering him with tough questions on torture and domestic surveillance that he has refused to answer in public.

    Brennan defended the CIA against accusations that it is double-dealing with the Intelligence committee about a report on agency torture, and he also received surprisingly pointed questions about whether the CIA spies on Americans. Such public hearings offer senators critical of the intelligence agencies the chance to telegraph their private concerns about classified programs — and these questions could suggest there is something the public isn’t being told about what the CIA does at home.

  • The Pentagon’s route out of Afghanistan passes through a former CIA black site

    The Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania is a short drive from the Black Sea and the port city of Constanta, a sprawling metropolis with beach resorts, museums, and nightclubs. It’s also about to become the main transit point for the tens of thousands of U.S. troops flowing out of Afghanistan. It won’t be the first time Washington has used the base for a sensitive mission, however: If human rights groups are correct, the facility also used to house one of the CIA’s notorious “black site” detention facilities.

  • Chuck Hagel: ‘Polish-US relationship can withstand CIA prison allegations’

    US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has said in Warsaw that the US-Polish partnership can “withstand testing and questioning” over allegations of a secret CIA prison in Poland.

  • Polish ex-intelligence official says time for truth on CIA jail

    Poland’s official stance of denying it hosted a secret CIA jail is harming its reputation and it needs to be frank about what really happened, a senior intelligence official at the time the alleged prison was operating told Reuters.

  • Investigators ask for CIA prison probe deadline extension

    Prosecutors leading Poland’s investigation into an alleged CIA prison where terrorist suspects were held and tortured have asked for another extension to the probe.

  • Arabian Gulf energy still vital to the US, says former CIA director

    David Petraeus, the chairman of the KKR Global Institute and former commander of the US Central Command, said that while the energy boom had extended to Canada and Mexico, the Arabian Gulf’s oil and gas still fuelled the US’s trade partners and would for the foreseeable future.

    He was speaking at a lecture on the forthcoming North American decades at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research last night.

    “According to projections, the US is set to become a leading oil producer by 2020,” he said. “Crude oil production is expected to reach 9.5 million barrels a day by only 2016, and this situation is dramatically changed since 2008-2009, when many experts said oil production had peaked and wasn’t ready to climb. They couldn’t have been more wrong.”

  • A Manufactured Nuclear Crisis

    The subtitle of Gareth Porter’s new book, “The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare,” is well-chosen. Large parts of “A Manufactured Crisis” are indeed untold till now. They amount to what the author terms an “alternative narrative”.

  • C.I.A. Drone Bases

    The Central Intelligence Agency should not be launching deadly military strikes. We would be better off if the C.I.A. returned to being an agency that collected and analyzed intelligence and stopped being a secretive paramilitary organization.

  • Leaked official document records 330 drone strikes in Pakistan
  • US agencies might lose drone bases in Afghanistan
  • Block, First and Hawkeness: Stop training drone pilots in Wisconsin

    Dozens of Wisconsin residents phoned or visited the district offices of our senators and representatives to call for an end to drone warfare. The visits and calls were timed for Jan. 15-21 when our nation commemorated its prophet of peace and nonviolence, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • “Dirty Wars” Filmmaker Jeremy Scahill on the “Drone President” & Obama’s Whitewashing of NSA Spying

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on the United States to “move off a permanent war footing,” citing his recent limits on the use of drones, his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and his effort to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Obama also vowed to reform National Security Agency surveillance programs to ensure that “the privacy of ordinary people is not being violated.” Jeremy Scahill, whose Oscar-nominated film “Dirty Wars” tackles the U.S. drone war and targeted killings abroad, says Obama has been a “drone president” whose operations have killed large numbers of civilians. On NSA reform, Scahill says “the parameters of the debate in Washington are: Should we figure out a way to streamline this and sell it to the American people, or should we do more surveillance?”

  • “A Silent Coup”: Jeremy Scahill & Bob Herbert on Corporate, Military Interests Shaping Obama’s SOTU

    On issues from domestic inequality to foreign policy, President Obama delivered the fifth State of the Union with a vow to take action on his own should Congress stonewall progress on his agenda. But will Obama’s policies go far enough? We host a roundtable with three guests: Jeremy Scahill, producer and writer of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield;” and senior investigative reporter at First Look Media, which will launch in the coming months; Bob Herbert, Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos; and Lorella Praeli, Director of Advocacy and Policy at the United We Dream Coalition.

  • Arizona lawmaker pushing NSA data mining restrictions may also go after drones

    An Arizona lawmaker who wants to prohibit police departments, prosecutors and state courts from helping the National Security Agency with its data mining and surveillance plans on adding anti-drone language to the measure.

  • ‘Drone warfare helps sell wars to a domestic audience’

    Development of modern drone technologies will never eliminate civilian collateral damage in conflict deployment, Michael Raddie, antiwar activist told RT, arguing that investing in drones makes warfare more acceptable for general public.

  • Leaked Pakistani document contradicts US accounts of drone strikes

    It is the fullest official record of the covert campaign yet to emerge, providing the dates, precise times and exact locations of drone strikes, as well as casualty estimates. The document abruptly stops routinely recording civilian casualties after the start of 2009, but overall casualty estimates continue to be comparable to independent estimates such as those compiled by the Bureau.

  • Are GCHQ workers in danger of becoming accessories to murder?

    I am not a lawyer but I am certain that the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, needs to take very seriously a legal opinion which was handed to Parliament this week.

    It comes from Jemima Stratford QC. She has given a judgment on whether GCHQ can pass information onto the US, which is later used to facilitate drone strikes.

  • 8 Films That Reveal the Shifting American Bias Towards the Middle East

    It’s been over 10 years since the United States entered Iraq. Though the war in Iraq has officially been over since 2011, our involvement in the Middle East is stronger than ever. And from 9/11 until now, popular opinion in favor of or against the war in Afghanistan has ebbed and flowed.

  • CIA and Saudis cooperate on Chinese missile purchase

    Undoubtedly, the role of the Saudi Arabia and its influence on the Middle East has long been under the discussion. Now with Iran and the West trying to reach an agreement on the nuclear matter, the monarchy is trying to amend the situation to their favor, with the Washington’s support, according to recent reports.

  • Heads of Killing, Lying, and Spying Under Fire

    Before the hearing began, activists from CODEPINK stood up holding signs reading ‘Stop – Killing, Lying, Spying’ and called for the firing of James Clapper, Director of Central Intelligence, John Brennan, Director of the CIA, and James Comey, Director of the FBI.

01.28.14

NSA Watch: GCHQ/NSA Gang Up Against Servers, Hide Violations, Face Blowback

Posted in Action, Law at 3:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from Monday and Tuesday, covering a range of development in the NSA saga and beyond

Corporate Servers

Crimes Concealed

  • The NSA, CIA, and the Promise of Industrial Espionage

    In a weekend interview with German ARD public television network, Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. government uses its broad electronic surveillance capabilities to engage in industrial espionage. Snowden told ARD TV that, “I will say is there is no question that the U.S. is engaged in economic spying,” Snowden gave the example that, “If there is information at Siemens that they think would be beneficial to the national interests, not the national security, of the United States, they will go after that information and they’ll take it.” Snowden left hanging what exactly is done with such potentially useful economic intelligence, and he provided little additional information on this subject beyond indicated the news outlets holding copies of yet published NSA leaked documents could provide more specific information.

  • U.S. Eyes Ways to Keep NSA Snooping Hidden

    At the same time that the Obama administration publicly mulls over how to end its controversial storage of millions of Americans’ phone records swept up by the National Security Agency, the government is also reportedly exploring ways to prevent other spies from seeing what it’s spying on.

Police/FBI (Domestic Spying)

US Political Reaction

  • Issa, Five Other Congressmen Call For DNI Clapper’s Removal

    A group of six Congressmen have asked President Barack Obama to remove James Clapper as director of national intelligence as a result of his misstatements to Congress about the NSA’s dragnet data-collection programs. The group, led by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), said that Clapper’s role as DNI “is incompatible with the goal of restoring trust in our security programs”.

  • NSA Surveillance Divides the Republican Party

    The RNC has declared domestic spying illegal. A faction led by George W. Bush-era bureaucrats is pushing back.

  • Cut Off the NSA’s Juice

    The National Security Agency depends on huge computers that guzzle electricity in the service of the surveillance state. For the NSA’s top executives, maintaining a vast flow of juice to keep Big Brother nourished is essential — and any interference with that flow is unthinkable.

European Reaction

People’s Voice

  • Prominent cryptography and security researchers deplore NSA’s surveillance activities
  • February 11, 2014: The Day We Fight Back Against the NSA

    It only makes sense that the NSA be confronted online. After all, it’s the Internet the agency uses to spy on us. They’re not following us down dark streets or steaming open our snail mail. Instead, they’re monitoring our emails to discover who is in our circle and stalking us on Facebook and Google Plus. Especially if we use Windows, there’s no need for them to dirty their hands sifting through our garbage when they can enter through a virtual trap door on our computer to rifle through our word processor and spreadsheet files. Phone tapping? How old school in a world where every call we make, even from a land line, becomes VoIP somewhere along the line. When we use VoIP or Skype, they can easily listen. If we visit a website located in a country on their hit list, they sit-up and take notice.

Corporations’ Voice

  • Tech giants reach White House deal on NSA surveillance of customer data

    The Obama administration has reached a deal with a number of technology giants, allowing the companies to disclose more information on customer data they are compelled to share with the government.

  • Google’s Drummond calls for new NSA reforms
  • Google to acquire AI firm for $400 million

    For quite some time there have been rumours of Google wanting to take AI to the next level. Popular Android-based game, ‘Ingress‘ presents an artificial layer on top of real world landmarks and allows players to claim territories while the interact with their surroundings. Although it’s not what the public expected initially, it did represent the future that Google envisioned for gaming.

  • You Say NSA Has Hurt U.S. Tech Sector

    72% of you said that you thought the NSA’s actions would have an effect on the entire U.S. software industry, with 20% of you expressing the opinion that proprietary software developers only would be effected. Taken together, this means that 92% of you are of the opinion that the NSA’s dirty tricks will have a negative effect on the U.S. tech sector. 7% of you answered “maybe a little but not much” with only 1% choosing “not at all.”

01.23.14

Privacy Watch: Today’s Stories of Interest

Posted in Action at 4:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

01.22.14

Snowden’s Defence, Snowden Q & A, Privacy Advantage in Industry, The Coming End of Facebook

Posted in Action at 4:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Bits of news about privacy (mostly from today but also slightly older)

Libel Against Snowden

Snowden Q & A

NSA

  • Obama’s NSA smoke and mirrors

    He is quite blatantly playing to public ignorance when he says that he is doing these essentially unnecessary things, as Wittes points out, to “maintain the trust of the American people, and people around the world.” It is an odd way to build trust when you find public concerns unfounded but try to sound like you’re all for reform. Conservatives are hoping all of this is atmospheric nonsense to calm his base, while the intelligence community goes along its way and all that follow-up — like the Trayvon Martin civil rights investigation by the Justice Department — goes nowhere.

  • NSA Surveillance Program Still Unconstitutional Despite Proposed Changes

    Freedom is the great deity of the west, the goddess central to American identity; the idea being that individuals have autonomy—good or bad, wise or foolish, controversial or conventional—to live their lives with minimal interference from the government.

  • Ex-CIA Director And Current Surveillance Task Force Member Mike Morell Parrots Talking Points To Defend Bulk Collections

    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    This “theory” that the NSA was hamstrung by its lack of access to millions of irrelevant call records practically debunks itself at this point. The defenders of these programs can’t seem to find a better rhetorical device than this one, which has been completely eviscerated by dozens of intelligence experts and the 9/11 Commission itself.

    Morell’s position on the surveillance review task force seems to be as a “devil’s advocate” — someone placed on the board by the president to ensure no one gets too carried away trying to protect Americans’ rights or limit the NSA’s power.

  • Gov’t used Surveillance of MLK in Bid to Destroy Him: Now they want us to just Trust Them

    Among the ironies of Barack Obama trying to sell us the gargantuan NSA domestic spying program is that such techniques of telephone surveillance were used against the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in an attempt to destroy him and stop the Civil Rights movement. Had the republic’s most notorious peeping tom, J. Edgar Hoover, succeeded in that quest, Obama might never have been president, or even been served in Virginia restaurants.

  • Some States Have a Sneaky Plan to Stop the NSA

    So far, six states (Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Kansas, Washington, and Indiana) have introduced bills that target the NSA.

International

  • One Planet, One Internet: A Call To the International Community to Fight Against Mass Surveillance

    The Snowden revelations have confirmed our worst fears about online spying. They show that the NSA and its allies have been building a global surveillance infrastructure to “master the internet” and spy on the world’s communications. These shady groups have undermined basic encryption standards, and riddled the Internet’s backbone with surveillance equipment. They have collected the phone records of hundreds of millions of people none of whom are suspected of any crime. They have swept up the electronic communications of millions of people at home and overseas indiscriminately, exploiting the digital technologies we use to connect and inform. They spy on the population of allies, and share that data with other organizations, all outside the rule of law.

  • Germany’s Privacy Stance Boosts Berlin’s Tech Startups

    CEO Felix Langhof insists that corporations formed during the internet era have a systemic blind spot towards this new market, simply because the practice of attaching their ID to their customers’ actions is now so deeply engrained.

  • TrustyCon vs. RSA and NSA: New conference pushes trustworthy agenda (but Microsoft-funded, i.e. NSA)

    Who do you trust? That’s a question asked increasingly by a security industry with a growing sense that the National Security Agency (NSA) has sought to weaken encryption or get backdoors into computers, based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden to the media. Now, trust is also the theme of a new conference called TrustyCon that will vie for attention on Feb. 27 in San Francisco while the big RSA Conference for security pros is also taking place in that city.

  • Davos Dispatch: Tech Titans On Life-Changing Gadgets And NSA Reform

    Benioff said the discussion about the NSA and data privacy over the last 6 months is “way overdue… Only through transparency will we get back to trust… Trust will drive customer choice because the customer has to have the choice about exactly where they want their data and how to manage it and see it and it cannot be anonymous. I think our model is closest to where we need to go: customers can choose what country their data is run out of. They can go into the data center, see it and monitor it. Tech vendors have to provide this kind of transparency and can’t pin it on the government.”

Facebook

The following are a bit older:

01.21.14

NSA Watch: Latest News About Privacy

Posted in Action at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: New links about privacy violations and legal/Constitutional violations

New Leaks

  • New documents: NSA provided 2-3 daily “tips” to FBI for at least 3 years

    According to newly-declassified court orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the National Security Agency (NSA) was (and may still be) tipping off the FBI at least two to three times per day going back at least to 2006.

    Hours after President Barack Obama finished his speech last Friday on proposed intelligence and surveillance reforms, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) declassified a number of documents from the nation’s most secretive court.

Speech/PR

  • Obama’s “Big” Speech on NSA Delivers So Little

    I doubt whether many people had high expectations of President Obama’s “big” speech last week about NSA spying. After all not only has he showed few signs of being willing to admit the value of Snowden’s revelations, he has, in general, been an immense disappointment to many who had placed such great hopes in his election. But at least this time he did not disappoint us, because what he announced was as disappointing as everyone expected.

  • Obama’s Lies, NSA Spies, and the Sons of Liberty

    Remember, Obama is the chief executive of a super secretive surveillance state whose overarching purpose is to remain in power by any means available. As such, he and his surveillance state cohorts have far more in common with King George and the British government of his day than with the American colonists who worked hard to foment a rebellion and overthrow a despotic regime.

    Indeed, Obama and his speechwriters would do well to brush up on their history. In doing so, they will find that the Sons of Liberty, the “small, secret surveillance committee” they conveniently liken to the NSA, was in fact an underground, revolutionary movement that fought the established government of its day, whose members were considered agitators, traitors and terrorists not unlike Edward Snowden.

  • Half of Americans unaware of Obama’s proposed changes to NSA surveillance – poll

Germany

Human Rights Watch

Microsoft-Funded But ‘NSA-free’

  • F-Secure’s Hypponen leads RSA refuseniks to NSA-free infosec chatfest

    The one-day TrustyCon, to be held on 27 February at the AMC Metreon Theatre in San Francisco, has drawn Mikko Hypponen as its keynote, giving “The talk I was going to give at RSA”. So far, the only other confirmed speakers are ISEC Partners’ Alex Stamos; Marcia Hofmann (EFA) and Christopher Soghoian (American Civil Liberties Union) who dropped out of the RSA Conference; Google’s Chris Palmer; and Black Hat’s Jeff Moss.

Ed: Microsoft-funded means not NSA-free. Microsoft receives a lot of money from the NSA.

UK

  • Manchester ORG hosts second Crypto Party – 6th Feb

    Cryptoparties provide a great way for anyone to learn how to install and use encryption technology and other tips to keep you anonymous online. Tech facilitators will be there to help you with encryption of email, live chat and how to browse the web without being tracked. All are welcome to come learn and share skills in a fun environment.

Vietnam

  • Vietnamese hackers target EFF staffers, journalist in phishing attack

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published details of an attempted malware attack on two of its employees by a group of hackers associated with the Vietnamese government. The hacker group, known as Sinh Tử Lệnh, has targeted Vietnamese dissidents and bloggers in the past; it now appears that the campaign has been extended to attacks on US activists and journalists who publish information seen as critical of the Vietnamese government.

  • Vietnamese Malware Gets Very Personal

Facebook

01.17.14

Kill Lists Watch: End of This Week

Posted in Action at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: News from the past couple of days about the practice of spying on people and then killing some of them

01.16.14

Interventions Watch: January 2014

Posted in Action, Africa, Asia at 10:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Stories about military interventions (analysis of the present)

Syria and Libya (Weapons)

  • Whose sarin?

    The absence of immediate alarm inside the American intelligence community demonstrates that there was no intelligence about Syrian intentions in the days before the attack. And there are at least two ways the US could have known about it in advance: both were touched on in one of the top secret American intelligence documents that have been made public in recent months by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor.

    On 29 August, the Washington Post published excerpts from the annual budget for all national intelligence programmes, agency by agency, provided by Snowden. In consultation with the Obama administration, the newspaper chose to publish only a slim portion of the 178-page document, which has a classification higher than top secret, but it summarised and published a section dealing with problem areas. One problem area was the gap in coverage targeting Assad’s office. The document said that the NSA’s worldwide electronic eavesdropping facilities had been ‘able to monitor unencrypted communications among senior military officials at the outset of the civil war there’. But it was ‘a vulnerability that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces apparently later recognised’. In other words, the NSA no longer had access to the conversations of the top military leadership in Syria, which would have included crucial communications from Assad, such as orders for a nerve gas attack. (In its public statements since 21 August, the Obama administration has never claimed to have specific information connecting Assad himself to the attack.)

  • Pentagon labeled Benghazi a terrorist attack as Obama administration wavered: newly declassified testimony
  • New York Times Report: CIA-Backed Militias Linked to Benghazi, Libya Attack

    The Times article, based on dozens of interviews in Benghazi, asserts that the attack that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was carried out by Libyans who had previously been allied with the US government in the 2011 war that overthrew and murdered Gaddafi. Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick writes that the attack was not organized by Al Qaeda or any other group from outside Libya, but “by fighters who had benefited directly from NATO’s extensive air power and logistics support during the uprising against Colonel Qaddafi.”

Ed: Reports from last year, which are based on leaks, indicated that Benghazi had been used to funnel weapons to Syria. The leak’s coverage started in CNN and as the British press put it, “The television network said that a CIA team was working in an annex near the consulate on a project to supply missiles from Libyan armouries to Syrian rebels.”

PJ Harvey Brings Guests to BBC

  • Julian Assange rails against surveillance on Today programme
  • John Pilger: ‘We Have Been Misled’

    January 05, 2014 “Information Clearing House – When I travelled in Iraq in the 1990s, the two principal Moslem groups, the Shia and Sunni, had their differences but they lived side by side, even intermarried and regarded themselves with pride as Iraqis. There was no Al Qaida, there were no jihadists. We blew all that to bits in 2003 with ‘shock and awe’. And today Sunni and Shia are fighting each other right across the Middle East.

Iraq

Africa

Eastern Tensions

  • China and Philippines: The reasons why a battle for Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island seems unavoidable

    Zhongye (Pag-asa) Island, the second largest in the South China Sea’s Spratly Islands, has an area of 0.33 square km, and is of great strategic significance for China if it wants to control a vast part of the South China Sea that it claims to be its territorial waters.

    As the Island is located roughly in the middle of the area, if China builds an air force and naval base there, it will more easily control the sky and sea in the claimed area.

The “Nazi” Smears and WW2 Recalled

  • Russian Human Rights Report Casts Europe as Land of Nazis and Gay Propaganda
  • Schools Have Become A Playground For Food And Beverage Marketing

    The vast majority of students are exposed to marketing campaigns by food and beverage companies at their schools, usually for unhealthy products, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Pediatrics.

  • ‘Hitler furious’ at Swedish minister’s satire mishap

    Sweden’s Justice Minister Beatrice Ask has been criticized for sharing a satirical article about legalized marijuana killing scores of people in the US and tying it to her anti-narcotics stand as a youth politician. Her critics did not hold back.

  • From Hollywood to the Headlines: Art Looted by the Nazis Comes to Light

    It is a story with deep roots: The chaos and destruction of World War II left a horribly fragmented cultural world: art lost forever in the confusion or destroyed in battle; art declared “degenerate” and destroyed by Hitler (whose opinions on racial purity were mirrored in his opinions on purity in art); art seized throughout the continent and carted back to Germany; and art stolen from or sold under duress by Jewish collectors. It’s now almost 70 years since the war’s end, but European authorities and the descendants of the original owners of looted art are still attempting to put the pieces back where they belong.

    Close to 1,400 of these missing pieces were found in the home of 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt, a recluse who has been painted by the media as tragic, bizarre and potentially culpable. He inherited the art from his father, one of only four art dealers licensed by Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, to purchase and sell “degenerate” art during the war.

  • Digging for their lives: Russia’s volunteer body hunters

    “There are so many unburied soldiers, it will take decades to find them. There will definitely be work for our grandchildren,” says Marina. “But nature is working against us. The remains are decomposing and it is getting harder to find the bones, ID tags and army kit.” The more years that go by. The less information there is.

  • Unseen Alfred Hitchcock Holocaust documentary ‘Memory of the Camps’ to be released

    An Alfred Hitchcock documentary about the Holocaust which was suppressed for political reasons is to be screened for the first time in the form its director intended after being restored by the Imperial War Museum, reports the Independent.

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