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BOSTON WRONGED: The Tsarnaev Takedown Goes To Hollywood by Joanne Potter
Hollywood has never let the truth get in the way of a good story. One cop’s tale about Boston Marathon Bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture is a sterling example. Joanne Potter points out the plot holes.
Appeals Court Will Hear Tsarnaev’s Change of Venue Request by The WhoWhatWhy Team
The First Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Boston Marathon Bombing defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s argument that he can’t get a fair trial in Boston. Don’t hold your breath for any revelations though: the appellate court has forbidden lawyers for either side to talk about the details at the heart of the argument.
Obama’s War on Leaks Skirts the Constitution
Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi examines the “kangaroo court conditions” faced by CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. The key issue, according to Giraldi, is that the prosecution never established Sterling as the source of leaks to New York Times reporter James Risen about Operation Merlin—the Agency’s hamhanded attempt to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. Because Merlin is still classified, he could not testify on his own behalf. Rather, he was convicted based on “suspicious” activity, including “suspicious” phone calls and e-mails. Classification also meant the prosecution couldn’t prove Sterling actually compromised Merlin. But he was convicted nonetheless … all under the dark blanket of suspicion that typifies the national security state.
CIA Scales Back in Yemen After Government Collapses
Yemen is in freefall. Just last year Obama touted it as a “success” in his counterterrorism strategy. But now Western governments are pulling embassy staff, the Yemenis are facing a “humanitarian disaster,” and even the CIA is curtailing its effort in one of America’s favorite drone zones. Unnamed officials told the Washington Post that the Agency “pulled dozens of operatives, analysts and other staffers from Yemen,” including key senior officers. However, some operatives will remain there in an attempt to salvage an intelligence network that worked closely with the Saudis and “built an air base in Saudi Arabia for a fleet of armed drones that have carried out dozens of strikes” inside Yemen.
Twitter Handles Information Requests from 58 National Governments, but 56% are from U.S.
In its latest “Transparency Report,” Twitter details the attempts by governments around the world to access information about users. A total of 58 nations requested Twitter turn over users’ records, but the United States was far and away the world leader in trying to pry open Twitter’s accounts. Although Americans make up 22% of Twitter users, the U.S. Government submitted 56% of the requests. Overall requests were up 40% over the previous year.
CBS News Correspondent Bob Simon, 1941-2015
Bob Simon, perhaps the last of the great network correspondents to emerge from the maelstrom of Vietnam, died in a car accident on Wednesday night. Simon’s five-decade career is worth reviewing. And his relentless coverage of the Middle East—regarded as both balanced and nuanced—set him apart from his less intrepid colleagues.
Here’s What You Could Buy with Apple’s $700 Billion Market Cap
Apple is now the world’s biggest company. A recent spike in stock prices has sent its market capitalization to record highs and made it the “most-valued company ever.” The folks at Engadget wanted to figure what $700 billion really means—beyond being “a-lotta money.” So what could you buy with 700 big ones? How about … the 20 richest soccer clubs in the world ($20.95b) plus the 10 costliest baseball clubs ($9.14b)? Chump change. You could easily afford to put 10 million students through their first year of Harvard. Or you could make up the difference in America’s trade deficit by forking over $505 billion. Or you could invest $850 million in solar power. Actually, Apple is doing that.
Portugal Cut Addiction Rates in Half by Connecting Drug Users With Communities Instead of Jailing Them
While America debates the War on Drugs, the tiny European nation of Portugal is enjoying a “miracle.” Fifteen years ago, the Portuguese struggled to deal with one of Europe’s worst drug addiction problems. Faced with a crisis and a failed strategy, the Portuguese decriminalized drugs. Then they stopped warehousing addicts in costly prisons. They took that money and put it into rehabilitation. And finally they emphasized reintegration of addicts and users into society with social programs. Surprise! By removing expensive punishments and emphasizing social integration, Portugal cut addiction rates in half.
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