US and Afghanistan sign long-awaited security agreement

A deal signed Tuesday allows US forces to remain in Afghanistan after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw.

Al Jazeera, September 30

The United States and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed a long-awaited security pact to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw at the end [...]

Ted Cruz finds a core of support among social conservatives frustrated with GOP

Washington Post, By Sebastian Payne & Robert Costa, September 30

While there is not yet a front-runner in the early race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is quickly becoming the favored contender of social conservatives, riding a recent wave of fiery speeches and standing ovations at right-wing conferences.

Cruz’s core [...]

Fired financial regulator releases secret tapes of Goldman Sachs meetings

Carmen Segarra, 41, said she began recording meetings because she couldn’t believe how the regulators bowed and scraped to the behemoth investment bank. The tapes were released to ProPublica and This American Life.

New York Daily News, By Ginger Adams Otis, September 27

A fired financial regulator whose job was to oversee Goldman Sachs for [...]

The ‘bro hug’ goes very wrong …

NYT—credit: Mandel Ngan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The sexual threats against Emma Watson are an attack on every woman

Vox, By Amanda Taub, September 23

In her famous 1996 commencement address, writer Nora Ephron warned the new graduates of Wellesley college that they were entering a world that was hostile to women’s achievements and begged them to “take it personally.”

“Understand,” she said, “every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is [...]

US launches air strikes on Syria Islamic State militants

(BBC)- The US and allied nations have launched the first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon has said.

Spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and Tomahawk missiles were used in the attack.

The strikes were expected as part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to “degrade and [...]

Mysterious unidentified spying cell towers found across Washington, DC

RT, September 19

Washington, DC is littered with surveillance devices designed to trick surrounding mobile phones into logging onto signal-lifting networks, thereby allowing for tracking or call-monitoring purposes.

While traveling around the capital city with Washington Post reporters, a top executive using his company’s mobile-security technology detected as many as 18 such devices mimicking legitimate [...]

Air Force drops ‘so help me God’ requirement, will allow airman to re-enlist

Stars and Stripes, By Chris Carroll, September 17

Washington – The Air Force announced Wednesday it would drop a requirement for airmen to say “so help me God” in oaths, backtracking after an airman had been denied re-enlistment when he crossed it out on a form last month.

Air Force officials previously told the airman, [...]

US school districts given free machine guns and grenade launchers

Calls to hand back weapons and gear, from M16 rifles to mine-proof vehicles, obtained under Pentagon scheme

AP, September 18

Los Angeles – School police departments across the US have taken advantage of free military surplus gear, stocking up on mine-resistant armoured vehicles, grenade launchers and scores of M16 rifles.

At least 26 school districts [...]

Texas proposes rewriting school text books to deny man made climate change

Analysis of proposed 6th grade texts show they falsely claim scientific disagreement about global warming.

The Guardian, By Suzanne Goldenberg, September 16

Texas has proposed re-writing school text books to incorporate passages denying the existence of climate change and promoting the discredited views of an ultra-conservative think tank.

The proposed text books – which come [...]

U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa

Washington Post, By Lena H. Sun & Juliet Eilperin, September 16

President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that [...]

How Democracy Dies

Tocqueville taught that restless private obsessions would degrade civic commitments close to home.

The American Conservative, By Patrick J. Deneen, September 12

If there are two things that one is likely to hear from college faculty today, they are that 1. Students are too careerist, and 2. We need a more democratic society. They worry [...]

How Hillary Clinton’s State Department Sold Fracking to the World

A trove of secret documents details the US government’s global push for shale gas.

Mother Jones, By Mariah Blake, September/October ’14

One icy morning in February 2012, Hillary Clinton’s plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state [...]

A Climate of Unaccountability

They’re back! John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Bill Kristol, Dick Cheney – the people who pushed the U.S. into the devastating mistake that was the 2003 invasion of Iraq, have discovered yet another existential threat ready and able to destroy the world. Back then it was Saddam Hussein and his mythical cache of Weapons of Mass [...]

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google

The Intercept, By Ryan Gallagher, August 25

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide [...]

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