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 [...]

Puerto Ricans flock to U.S. mainland as island’s political and economic crisis worsens

AFP, August 23

The island of Puerto Rico is depopulating, as residents stream to the US mainland fleeing the island’s economic crisis and political gridlock in search of jobs.

Since 2009, more Puerto Ricans have been living pn the American mainland than on the northeastern Caribbean US-territory, a trend that has accelerated in the years [...]

Give Up Your Domestic Empire or Live Under It

AntiWar.com, By Dan Sanchez, August 20

In the recent film X-men: Days of Future Past, the “Sentinels” are robots programmed by non-mutant humans in the government to hunt and keep down the feared and marginalized population of “mutants.” Eventually, however, their programming undergoes major “mission creep,” and according to Wikipedia, the Sentinels, “expand their targets [...]

The simple policy that led America’s biggest drop in teen birth rates

The lessons and stories from Colorado’s surprisingly effective approach.

Washington Post, By Tina Griego, August 20

She was 15 and adrift. Her mother long dead. Her father otherwise occupied — he did not seem to notice when one of the young men who hung out in his corner market playing Street Fighter took an interest [...]

Oakland: Protesters march against police brutality Friday evening

Inside Bay Area, August 15

Oakland, CA – A group of about 200 protesters marched from downtown into West Oakland on Friday evening, denouncing police violence in the wake of the shooting of an unarmed man in the Midwest that has set off protests nationwide.

The marchers met up around 6 p.m. near Frank Ogawa [...]

U.S. firm helped the spyware industry build a potent digital weapon for sale overseas

Washington Post, By Barton Gellman, August 15

CloudShield Technologies, a California defense contractor, dispatched a senior engineer to Munich in the early fall of 2009. His instructions were unusually opaque.

As he boarded the flight, the engineer told confidants later, he knew only that he should visit a German national who awaited him with an [...]

Reporters Arrested!!!

How many exclamation points should be added to the headline above? I sure hope three is enough to reflect the shock of the news that reporters from both The Huffington Post and The Washington Post were arrested last night in Ferguson, Missouri. Worse – they were just doing their job, sitting at a McDonald’s, writing [...]

Protesters clash with police in Ferguson, Missouri

AP, By Jim Suhr & Jim Salterillam, August 14

Ferguson, MO — Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer fatally shot a young, unarmed black man turned violent last night, with people lobbing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, who responded with smoke bombs and tear [...]

Who The Fck Is Campbell Brown?

Esquire, By Charlie Pierce, August 6

To paraphrase from my grandmother, the former shepherd lass from the hills and hollows of north Kerry, who the fck is Campbell Brown when she’s at home?

Well, on the basics, she’s from Ferriday, Louisiana, the hometown of Jerry Lee Lewis, and she graduated from Regis University in Denver [...]

Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’

USA Today, August 1

President Obama said Friday that some CIA officials who interrogated suspects after the 9/11 attacks “crossed a line” into torture.

“We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks,” Obama said while discussing a forthcoming Senate report on enhanced interrogation techniques.

“We did some things [...]

Virginia Is for Gay Lovers

On Monday, a federal court ruled the state’s same-sex-marriage ban unconstitutional—the latest to be overturned. What makes the decision in the Old Dominion different?

The Atlantic, By Emma Green, July 29

“[T]he freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free [...]

US military asked to help fight wildfires in the West

Reuters, July 26

Wildfire managers have turned to the U.S. Department of Defense for immediate access to two military C-130 aircraft retrofitted to carry retardant, boosting their forces to face the largest blaze in Washington state history.

The U.S. Forest Service has its own fleet of more than 20 air tankers, but has in the [...]

Ex-Chief of C.I.A. Shapes Response to Detention Report

New York Times, By Mark Mazzetti, July 25

Washington — Just after the Senate Intelligence Committee voted in April to declassify hundreds of pages of a withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and interrogation program, C.I.A. Director John O. Brennan convened a meeting of the men who had played a role overseeing the [...]

Report: All But Four Of The High-Profile Domestic Terrorism Plots In The Last Decade Were Crafted From The Ground Up By The FBI

TechDirt, By Tim Cushing, July 23

Human Rights Watch has just published a report containing the facts needed to back up everyone’s suspicions that the FBI counterterrorism efforts are almost solely composed of breaking up “plots” of its own design. And the bigger and more high-profile the “bust” was, the better the chance that FBI [...]

The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

The Intercept, By Jeremy Scahill & Ryan Devereaux, July 23

The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept.

[...]

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