Featured Story

U.S. Psychologists Group, Linked to Bush-Era Torture Program, May Prohibit Role in Future Interrogations

Saturday, August 01, 2015
The new standard could get in the way of the Obama administration’s interrogations of detainees that still involve the use of psychologists, such as the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which has been sent overseas to interrogate terror suspects or those associated with them. The administration also uses psychologists at the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where they oversee voluntary interrogations requested by a detainee.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Facebook Expands Political Footprint, Eyeing Major Role in 2016 Presidential Campaigns

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    "Most users really have no idea how much information Facebook collects about them or how Facebook is able to infer from even a post...what their political orientation might be,” said EPIC's Rotenberg. “Facebook knows everything you’ve said, everything you’ve posted, everything you’ve clicked on.” Said Rand Paul strategist Vincent Harris: “Think about how powerful this is. It’s a fundraising tool [and] a persuasion tool... Facebook is actually everything. And this is what scares people.”   read more
  • More Problems for the Trillion-Dollar F-35: It’s not Good at Close Combat

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    A test pilot who flew an F-35 said 17 dogfights demonstrated that the plane could not compete with the F-16, which was introduced in the 1970s and is the plane the F-35 is supposed to replace. The F-35 program, which will cost more than $1 trillion if fully produced, has had other serious problems exposed: vulnerability to lightning strikes, and an inaccurate and unstable software system   read more
  • Justice Dept. Refuses to Release---or even Talk About—Secret 12-Year-Old Memo on Cybersecurity

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    The Senate may be about to take up cybersecurity legislation and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) wants to make sure his colleagues put the subject in the proper context. To do that, Wyden wants a memo produced by the George W. Bush administration on the subject to be made public. So far, Wyden has been unsuccessful in getting the memo released before the Senate considers the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).   read more

Unusual News

  • The U.S. Dentist who Lured a Famous Lion out of its Sanctuary and Killed Him

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer has come in for severe criticism since it became known that he killed Cecil, a 13-year-old lion who was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe by local guides. Palmer reportedly paid about $54,000 for the chance to kill Cecil.   read more
  • 27% of People Killed in Police Car Chases are Innocent Bystanders

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    One of these innocent bystanders was Dillan Harris, a 13-month-old child who was fatally struck earlier this month near a Chicago bus stop by a man fleeing police. The suspect led police on a 3.5-mile chase that included running four red lights and driving at speeds up to 70 mph in an area with a speed limit of 30 mph. Watkins lost control of his car, jumped a curb and struck the stroller Dillan was sitting in, dragging it and the infant into a vacant lot.   read more
  • Loneliness and Too Much TV are Bad for the Brains of the Elderly

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    “Loneliness is a form of suffering in older people that is prevalent but undetected and untreated in medical practice,” said researcher Donovan. "Our work shows that loneliness, like depression, is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older Americans." Other researchers found watching too much TV might also lower cognitive function. People who watch four or more hours of TV had a 1.5% higher risk of performing worse on cognitive tests compared with those who watched less TV.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Fracking Billionaires Give Record-Setting Donation to Ted Cruz

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Children are “being taught the other ideas, the gay agenda, every day out in the world so we have to stand up and explain to them that that’s not real, that’s not proper, it’s not right,” said Farris Wilks. He and brother Dan, who made their fortunes in the West Texas fracking boom, have reportedly contributed $15 million to a super PAC supporting Cruz. The $15 million is the largest contribution so far in the 2016 race, and represents nearly half of the $38 million raised by Keep the Promise.   read more
  • Senate Pulls a Fast One on Banks by Trying to Eliminate 102-Year-Old Freebie

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    In 2012, the Fed handed $1.637 billion in dividends to banks. It’s “a risk-free entitlement program,” wrote David Dayen. “It’s one of the many unknown ways the Fed extends special benefits to Wall Street.” But senators have now turned to the banks’ 6% dividend for a source of funding. Without any advance notice to the banking industry, they included a provision in the highway bill that would reduce the dividend to 1.5% for banks. The reduction would reap about $17 billion for the government.   read more
  • House Members who Voted to Stop States from Mandating GMO Labeling Received $30 Million from Agribusiness and Food Industries

    Monday, July 27, 2015
    According to information at Opensecrets.org, those supporting the bill got about $30 million to do so from Big Ag. The 275 representatives of both parties who voted to keep consumers in the dark about the food they’re consuming averaged $108,900 in contributions from agricultural interests such as Monsanto and food lobbyists such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the 2014 election cycle.   read more

Controversies

  • 50 Years since Passage of Voting Rights Act … and Birth of the Campaign to Reverse It

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The law, signed in 1965 by President Johnson, was established to prevent attempts to keep blacks from voting. But in recent years, Republican-led legislatures have used the excuse of voter fraud to adopt laws that have instituted new ID requirements, rolled back early voting, and eliminated same-day registration. Conservatives on the Supreme Court have also participated by gutting the law's Section 5, which required certain jurisdictions to clear election law changes with the Justice Dept,   read more
  • To Bar Abortion, Alabama Appoints Lawyer for Fetus, Strips Incarcerated Mother of Parental Rights

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The local district attorney, Chris Connolly, is fighting the woman's request and has even gone so far as to ask the juvenile court hearing the case to strip Doe of her parental rights, which would legally bar her from ending her pregnancy. “It appears to me that what the state is attempting to do is turn Jane Doe into a vessel, and control every aspect of her life, forcing her to give birth to a baby, which she has decided she does not want to do,” said one of Doe's attorneys, Randall Marshall.   read more
  • Bostonians Torn Over Olympics that Might Have Been: Deep Regret or Sigh of Relief?

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung says the decision came down to a tussle between the Old and New sides of Boston, with the former having “smothered” the latter. “Here’s the issue: New Boston acts a lot like Old Boston. We still put up a fierce fight when someone tries something novel. Given the chance to think big about our future, we tied ourselves up in the minutiae of tax breaks and traffic studies. Accusations quickly replaced ambitions,” she wrote.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Maneuver on Malaysia Human Rights Rating and Big Pharma Terms among Concerns in TPP Trade Talks

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The Malaysian government wants in on the TPP, but that couldn’t happen unless the U.S. upgraded its rating on the country’s human rights record. So the State Dept. under President Obama improved its ranking from Tier 3 to Tier 2. The change angered human rights advocates who say Malaysian officials have done little to stop sex slavery. Mass graves holding more than 130 human trafficking victims were discovered in April, yet now Malaysia’s human rights record has improved, says the State Dept.   read more
  • Which Dictatorship will Host the 2022 Winter Olympics?

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    On Friday, the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will vote to decide which city will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Originally, there were three finalists, but in October, the favorite, Oslo, withdrew. With the withdrawal of Oslo, the Olympic Movement has found itself in a crisis. Both of the cities left in the running, Beijing and Almaty, are located in countries that are ruled by repressive dictatorships: China and Kazakhstan.   read more
  • Pet Food Sold in U.S. is Produced by Slave Labor in Thailand

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Fishermen revealed horror stories of crew members being dumped overboard and defiant ones being killed, sometimes by having their heads cut off. “Life at sea is cheap,” said Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch, Asia. The FDA had found Songkla’s Thailand facilities to have unsanitary conditions that produced “adulterated” seafood that is potentially “injurious to health.” The U.S. is the biggest customer of Thai fish, totaling more than $190 million last year.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Nepal: Who Is Alaina Teplitz?

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    Much of her work was with information technology systems, getting IT policies in international outposts to mesh with those prescribed by Washington, and other efforts at standardization to make the systems more efficient. Part of her mandate was also to look for cost-savings by contracting out some jobs and ensuring that missions were not overstaffed.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Croatia: Who Is Julieta Valls Noyes?

    Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Noyes went overseas again in 2008 as the deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in the U.S. mission to the Holy See. She made some news when some cables she had sent concerning the Vatican were released through WikiLeaks. Among the subjects covered in her pithy cables were the Catholic priests’ sex abuse scandal in Ireland and the Vatican’s assistance in releasing U.S. citizens being held by Iran.   read more
  • Ecuador’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Francisco Borja Cevallos?

    Saturday, July 25, 2015
    In 1988, Borja’s brother, Rodrigo, was elected Ecuador’s president as a member of the Democratic Left Party and Francisco went into government as Rodrigo’s advisor, staying there until 1992 when the term was up. In 2007, Borja was named ambassador to Chile, a post he held for seven years.   read more

Featured Story

U.S. Psychologists Group, Linked to Bush-Era Torture Program, May Prohibit Role in Future Interrogations

Saturday, August 01, 2015
The new standard could get in the way of the Obama administration’s interrogations of detainees that still involve the use of psychologists, such as the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group, which has been sent overseas to interrogate terror suspects or those associated with them. The administration also uses psychologists at the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where they oversee voluntary interrogations requested by a detainee.   read more
Latest News

Top Stories

  • Facebook Expands Political Footprint, Eyeing Major Role in 2016 Presidential Campaigns

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    "Most users really have no idea how much information Facebook collects about them or how Facebook is able to infer from even a post...what their political orientation might be,” said EPIC's Rotenberg. “Facebook knows everything you’ve said, everything you’ve posted, everything you’ve clicked on.” Said Rand Paul strategist Vincent Harris: “Think about how powerful this is. It’s a fundraising tool [and] a persuasion tool... Facebook is actually everything. And this is what scares people.”   read more
  • More Problems for the Trillion-Dollar F-35: It’s not Good at Close Combat

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    A test pilot who flew an F-35 said 17 dogfights demonstrated that the plane could not compete with the F-16, which was introduced in the 1970s and is the plane the F-35 is supposed to replace. The F-35 program, which will cost more than $1 trillion if fully produced, has had other serious problems exposed: vulnerability to lightning strikes, and an inaccurate and unstable software system   read more
  • Justice Dept. Refuses to Release---or even Talk About—Secret 12-Year-Old Memo on Cybersecurity

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    The Senate may be about to take up cybersecurity legislation and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) wants to make sure his colleagues put the subject in the proper context. To do that, Wyden wants a memo produced by the George W. Bush administration on the subject to be made public. So far, Wyden has been unsuccessful in getting the memo released before the Senate considers the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).   read more

Unusual News

  • The U.S. Dentist who Lured a Famous Lion out of its Sanctuary and Killed Him

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer has come in for severe criticism since it became known that he killed Cecil, a 13-year-old lion who was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe by local guides. Palmer reportedly paid about $54,000 for the chance to kill Cecil.   read more
  • 27% of People Killed in Police Car Chases are Innocent Bystanders

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015
    One of these innocent bystanders was Dillan Harris, a 13-month-old child who was fatally struck earlier this month near a Chicago bus stop by a man fleeing police. The suspect led police on a 3.5-mile chase that included running four red lights and driving at speeds up to 70 mph in an area with a speed limit of 30 mph. Watkins lost control of his car, jumped a curb and struck the stroller Dillan was sitting in, dragging it and the infant into a vacant lot.   read more
  • Loneliness and Too Much TV are Bad for the Brains of the Elderly

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    “Loneliness is a form of suffering in older people that is prevalent but undetected and untreated in medical practice,” said researcher Donovan. "Our work shows that loneliness, like depression, is associated with accelerated cognitive decline in older Americans." Other researchers found watching too much TV might also lower cognitive function. People who watch four or more hours of TV had a 1.5% higher risk of performing worse on cognitive tests compared with those who watched less TV.   read more

Where is the Money Going?

  • Fracking Billionaires Give Record-Setting Donation to Ted Cruz

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Children are “being taught the other ideas, the gay agenda, every day out in the world so we have to stand up and explain to them that that’s not real, that’s not proper, it’s not right,” said Farris Wilks. He and brother Dan, who made their fortunes in the West Texas fracking boom, have reportedly contributed $15 million to a super PAC supporting Cruz. The $15 million is the largest contribution so far in the 2016 race, and represents nearly half of the $38 million raised by Keep the Promise.   read more
  • Senate Pulls a Fast One on Banks by Trying to Eliminate 102-Year-Old Freebie

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    In 2012, the Fed handed $1.637 billion in dividends to banks. It’s “a risk-free entitlement program,” wrote David Dayen. “It’s one of the many unknown ways the Fed extends special benefits to Wall Street.” But senators have now turned to the banks’ 6% dividend for a source of funding. Without any advance notice to the banking industry, they included a provision in the highway bill that would reduce the dividend to 1.5% for banks. The reduction would reap about $17 billion for the government.   read more
  • House Members who Voted to Stop States from Mandating GMO Labeling Received $30 Million from Agribusiness and Food Industries

    Monday, July 27, 2015
    According to information at Opensecrets.org, those supporting the bill got about $30 million to do so from Big Ag. The 275 representatives of both parties who voted to keep consumers in the dark about the food they’re consuming averaged $108,900 in contributions from agricultural interests such as Monsanto and food lobbyists such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association in the 2014 election cycle.   read more

Controversies

  • 50 Years since Passage of Voting Rights Act … and Birth of the Campaign to Reverse It

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The law, signed in 1965 by President Johnson, was established to prevent attempts to keep blacks from voting. But in recent years, Republican-led legislatures have used the excuse of voter fraud to adopt laws that have instituted new ID requirements, rolled back early voting, and eliminated same-day registration. Conservatives on the Supreme Court have also participated by gutting the law's Section 5, which required certain jurisdictions to clear election law changes with the Justice Dept,   read more
  • To Bar Abortion, Alabama Appoints Lawyer for Fetus, Strips Incarcerated Mother of Parental Rights

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The local district attorney, Chris Connolly, is fighting the woman's request and has even gone so far as to ask the juvenile court hearing the case to strip Doe of her parental rights, which would legally bar her from ending her pregnancy. “It appears to me that what the state is attempting to do is turn Jane Doe into a vessel, and control every aspect of her life, forcing her to give birth to a baby, which she has decided she does not want to do,” said one of Doe's attorneys, Randall Marshall.   read more
  • Bostonians Torn Over Olympics that Might Have Been: Deep Regret or Sigh of Relief?

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung says the decision came down to a tussle between the Old and New sides of Boston, with the former having “smothered” the latter. “Here’s the issue: New Boston acts a lot like Old Boston. We still put up a fierce fight when someone tries something novel. Given the chance to think big about our future, we tied ourselves up in the minutiae of tax breaks and traffic studies. Accusations quickly replaced ambitions,” she wrote.   read more

U.S. and the World

  • U.S. Maneuver on Malaysia Human Rights Rating and Big Pharma Terms among Concerns in TPP Trade Talks

    Friday, July 31, 2015
    The Malaysian government wants in on the TPP, but that couldn’t happen unless the U.S. upgraded its rating on the country’s human rights record. So the State Dept. under President Obama improved its ranking from Tier 3 to Tier 2. The change angered human rights advocates who say Malaysian officials have done little to stop sex slavery. Mass graves holding more than 130 human trafficking victims were discovered in April, yet now Malaysia’s human rights record has improved, says the State Dept.   read more
  • Which Dictatorship will Host the 2022 Winter Olympics?

    Thursday, July 30, 2015
    On Friday, the members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will vote to decide which city will host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Originally, there were three finalists, but in October, the favorite, Oslo, withdrew. With the withdrawal of Oslo, the Olympic Movement has found itself in a crisis. Both of the cities left in the running, Beijing and Almaty, are located in countries that are ruled by repressive dictatorships: China and Kazakhstan.   read more
  • Pet Food Sold in U.S. is Produced by Slave Labor in Thailand

    Tuesday, July 28, 2015
    Fishermen revealed horror stories of crew members being dumped overboard and defiant ones being killed, sometimes by having their heads cut off. “Life at sea is cheap,” said Phil Robertson of Human Rights Watch, Asia. The FDA had found Songkla’s Thailand facilities to have unsanitary conditions that produced “adulterated” seafood that is potentially “injurious to health.” The U.S. is the biggest customer of Thai fish, totaling more than $190 million last year.   read more

Appointments and Resignations

  • U.S. Ambassador to Nepal: Who Is Alaina Teplitz?

    Sunday, July 26, 2015
    Much of her work was with information technology systems, getting IT policies in international outposts to mesh with those prescribed by Washington, and other efforts at standardization to make the systems more efficient. Part of her mandate was also to look for cost-savings by contracting out some jobs and ensuring that missions were not overstaffed.   read more
  • U.S. Ambassador to Croatia: Who Is Julieta Valls Noyes?

    Saturday, July 25, 2015
    Noyes went overseas again in 2008 as the deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires in the U.S. mission to the Holy See. She made some news when some cables she had sent concerning the Vatican were released through WikiLeaks. Among the subjects covered in her pithy cables were the Catholic priests’ sex abuse scandal in Ireland and the Vatican’s assistance in releasing U.S. citizens being held by Iran.   read more
  • Ecuador’s Ambassador to the United States: Who Is Francisco Borja Cevallos?

    Saturday, July 25, 2015
    In 1988, Borja’s brother, Rodrigo, was elected Ecuador’s president as a member of the Democratic Left Party and Francisco went into government as Rodrigo’s advisor, staying there until 1992 when the term was up. In 2007, Borja was named ambassador to Chile, a post he held for seven years.   read more