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Source: CBS News
Study: More than 11,000 children killed in Syrian war
November 24, 2013, 10:37 PM ET
Syria's bloody civil war has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 children, the vast majority killed by bombs or shells in their own neighborhoods, according to a report released Sunday.
The report, Stolen Futures: The Hidden Toll of Child Casualties in Syria, was released by the Oxford Research Group, an independent think tank based in Britain. It used figures provided by Syrian civil society groups that have been recording casualties.
The study found that from the start of the conflict in March 2011 through the month of August 2013, a total of 11,420 children age 17 or under had been killed, out of 113,735 civilians and combatants.
Of the child deaths, boys outnumbered girls more than 2 to 1 overall. The highest number of child deaths occurred in the governorate of Aleppo, where 2,223 were reported killed.
"What is most disturbing about the findings of this report is not only the sheer numbers of children killed in this conflict, but the way they are being killed," said co-author Hana Salama. "Bombed in their homes, in their communities, during day-to-day activities such as waiting in bread lines or attending school; shot by bullets in crossfire, targeted by snipers, summarily executed, even gassed and tortured."
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-more-than-11000-children-killed-in-syrian-war
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Nov 24, 2013, 06:22 PM (5 replies)
@AP: BREAKING: Afghan president says he won't sign security deal with US immediately, despite council request.
Loya Jirga assembly votes for U.S.-Afghan security deal
Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:11am EST
KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's Loya Jirga assembly voted on Sunday in favor of a crucial security deal with the United States, a deputy speaker said, a deal that would pave the way for U.S. troops to remain in the country after 2014.
The verdict was read out after 50 committees made up of about 2,500 elders, tribal leaders and other influential people had made their final address to the gathering. Not one objected to signing the deal.
Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE9AN04X20131124
Posted by Hissyspit | Sun Nov 24, 2013, 03:46 AM (9 replies)
BREAKING: Nuclear Deal Reached Between Iran, 6 Powers (Obama: 'New Path Toward a World More Secure')
Source: Associated Press / Reuters / CBS News
@AP: BREAKING: French foreign minister: Iran, 6 world powers reach deal on Iranian nuclear program
@AP: BREAKING: Obama to make statement Saturday night on Iran nuclear deal from the White House
Nuclear deal reached between Iran, 6 powers
November 23, 2013, 10:56 PM ET
GENEVA - Iran and six world powers have reached an agreement on curbing Iran's nuclear program in exchange for limited sanctions relief, several delegations in the talks said early Sunday.
"We have reached an agreement," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced on his Twitter feed.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also confirmed the deal.
No details of the agreement reached were immediately available.
Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/iran-digs-in-heels-on-nuclear-enrichment
@ajam: Obama on Iran nuclear deal: "While today's announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal." http://t.co/4V1QKpk8zJ
World powers reach nuclear deal with Iran at Geneva talks
November 23, 2013 9:18PM ET
Negotiators say they have reached a deal on Iran's nuclear program and sanctions
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The deal – struck after negotiations in Geneva that stretched into the early hours of Sunday (late Saturday in the U.S.) – has "opened a new path toward a world that is more secure," President Barack Obama said in an address broadcast live on television networks.
"While today's announcement is just a first step, it achieves a great deal," Obama said.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif echoed Obama's point that the deal is just the beginning of a political rapprochement.
"We need to start moving in the direction of restoring confidence, a direction in which we have managed to move against in the past," Zarif said.
Obama said the deal includes "substantial limitations which will prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon."
MORE AT LINK
@AP: MORE: The discussions between the US and Iran were kept hidden even from America's closest friends: http://t.co/3YG56LXPhH -RAS
@rezamarashi: Kerry slams the Bush administrain for rejecting #Iran's 2003 offer! Says we're in a worse place now because of their mistake. #Beautiful
CNN Breaking News - Deal with Iran halts progress on its nuclear program and provides for intrusive inspections, U.S. official says. Reply STOP 2 unsub
CNN Breaking News - President Obama said 6-month deal includes limitations to "help prevent Iran from creating a nuclear weapon." Reply STOP 2 unsub
CNN Breaking News - The deal with Iran does not roll back the "vast majority of sanctions," U.S. Secretary of State Kerry said. Reply STOP 2 unsub
@AP: Key players in the US, Iran secret talks that helped lead to nuclear deal: http://t.co/FGbG34JQ73 -RAS
Posted by Hissyspit | Sat Nov 23, 2013, 09:07 PM (91 replies)
Source: NBC News
@BreakingNews: Illinois legalizes same-sex marriage as Gov. Pat Quinn signs bill into law - @nbcchicago broadcast http://t.co/Qet5Pu2kJG
Sweet 16: Illinois Gov. Signs Gay Marriage Bill
"We welcome in a new proud chapter in our state's history of progress."
By Mary Ann Ahern
Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 • Updated 4:41 PM CST
With the stroke of the governor's pen, Illinois on Wednesday became the 16th state in the nation to allow same sex couples to marry.
Hundreds packed the University of Illinois at Chicago Forum to witness Gov. Pat Quinn sign the legislation -- SB10 -- on the desk Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address.
"I am a proud Illinoisan today," Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said Wednesday, kicking off a line of speakers celebrating the signing. "Thanks to everyone in the state of Illinois for making this a land we can all be proud of. It's time to stop planning rallies and start planning weddings."
"We understand in our state that part of our unfinished business is to help other states in the United States achieve marriage equality," Quinn said. "We want to have a new birth of freedom across America, and love is not relegated to second-class citizen status."
Read more: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/232663461.html
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Nov 20, 2013, 05:42 PM (10 replies)
Source: The Guardian
@BreakingNews: US, UK reportedly struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data - @GuardianUS http://t.co/KWwmHJzotx
US and UK struck secret deal to allow NSA to 'unmask' Britons' personal data
• 2007 deal allows NSA to store previously restricted material
• UK citizens not suspected of wrongdoing caught up in dragnet
• Separate draft memo proposes US spying on 'Five-Eyes' allies
Wednesday 20 November 2013 14.00 EST 2 comments
The phone, internet and email records of UK citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing have been analysed and stored by America's National Security Agency under a secret deal that was approved by British intelligence officials, according to documents from the whistleblower Edward Snowden.
In the first explicit confirmation that UK citizens have been caught up in US mass surveillance programs, an NSA memo describes how in 2007 an agreement was reached that allowed the agency to "unmask" and hold on to personal data about Britons that had previously been off limits.
The memo, published in a joint investigation by the Guardian and Britain's Channel 4 News, says the material is being put in databases where it can be made available to other members of the US intelligence and military community.
Britain and the US are the main two partners in the 'Five-Eyes' intelligence-sharing alliance, which also includes Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Until now, it had been generally understood that the citizens of each country were protected from surveillance by any of the others.
But the Snowden material reveals that:
• In 2007, the rules were changed to allow the NSA to analyse and retain any British citizens' mobile phone and fax numbers, emails and IP addresses swept up by its dragnet. Previously, this data had been stripped out of NSA databases – "minimized", in intelligence agency parlance – under rules agreed between the two countries.
• These communications were "incidentally collected" by the NSA, meaning the individuals were not the initial targets of surveillance operations and therefore were not suspected of wrongdoing.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/nov/20/us-uk-secret-deal-surveillance-personal-data
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Nov 20, 2013, 02:11 PM (26 replies)
Source: Ars Technica
@trevortimm Newly released FISA court opinion shows NSA violated or ignored court orders in at least three different ways arstechnica.com/tech-policy/20…
2:07pm - 19 Nov 13
Judge: “NSA exceeded the scope of authorized acquisition continuously”
New declassifed documents show legal arguments over bulk metadata collection.
by Cyrus Farivar - Nov 19 2013, 1:36am EST
Yet another Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge has blasted United States intelligence officials for disregarding the court’s guidelines for domestic surveillance of American e-mail metadata traffic, a program that ran for around a decade before ending in 2011.
“(National Security Agency’s) record of compliance with these rules has been poor,” wrote Judge John D. Bates in a 117-page opinion (PDF) whose date was redacted. The opinion is just one of a series of documents released and declassified late Monday evening by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).
“Most notably, NSA generally disregarded the special rules for disseminating United States person information outside of NSA until it was ordered to report such disseminations and certify to the FISC that the required approval had been approved. The government has provided no meaningful explanation why these violations occurred, but it seems likely that widespread ignorance of the rules was a contributing factor.”
This set of documents, which include annual reports from the Attorney General to Congress, memos, presentations, and training documents, were released in relation to an Electronic Frontier Foundation and American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit. Earlier batches were released in September 2013 in August 2013. In total, ODNI says it has now released nearly 2,000 new documents in recent months.
Read more: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/11/judge-nsa-exceeded-the-scope-of-authorized-acquisition-continuously
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Nov 19, 2013, 02:12 PM (15 replies)
Source: NBC News
@BreakingNews: Draft of US-Afghan security deal shows US would maintain military presence in Afghanistan for years, @NBCNews reports http://t.co/s7T53ypIds
Endless Afghanistan? US-Afghan agreement would keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely
By Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent
KABUL – While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key US-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC NEWS shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces.
The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of US taxpayer dollars.
The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight al-Qaeda. The war in Afghanistan doesn’t seem to be ending, but renewed under new, scaled-down US-Afghan terms.
“The Parties acknowledge that continued US military operations to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates may be appropriate and agree to continue their close cooperation and coordination toward that end,” the draft states.
The 25-page “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” is a sweeping document, vague in places, highly specific in others, defining everything from the types of future missions US troops would be allowed to conduct in Afghanistan, to the use of radios and the taxation of American soldiers and contractors.
Read more: http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/11/19/21534305-endless-afghanistan-us-afghan-agreement-would-keep-troops-in-place-and-funds-flowing-perhaps-indefinitely
Posted by Hissyspit | Tue Nov 19, 2013, 12:36 PM (6 replies)
David Miranda Is Nobody’s Errand Boy
When Glenn Greenwald’s 28-year-old Brazilian partner was detained in London this summer while transporting documents related to the bombshell Edward Snowden story, many assumed he was unfairly roped into a situation he didn’t understand. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
posted on November 14, 2013 at 10:40pm EST
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One of those theories posited that the gaping social chasm between Miranda's and Greenwald's backgrounds suggested that the highly educated American lawyer turned whistle-blowing journalist with a background in the ruthless world of New York corporate law had cynically manipulated his younger, slum-raised, hunky, ostensibly ignorant boyfriend into being an unwitting human courier dispatched on a highly dangerous mission.
"I don't mean to be unkind, but he was a mule," Jeffrey Toobin, chief legal analyst for CNN, told Anderson Cooper in the days following Miranda's detention. "He was given something — he didn't know what it was — from one person to another at the other end of an airport." Toobin said he believed the U.K. government was totally justified in detaining Miranda and that the Brazilian native "was lucky that they used the terrorism law" because he was ultimately not arrested.
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Miranda knew very well that he was traveling from Rio to Berlin to see Greenwald's reporting partner, documentarian Laura Poitras, and that he would be returning through the U.K., all the time carrying a heavily encrypted flash drive directly related to the trove of documents that former and now notorious CIA employee Edward Snowden had vacuumed from the National Security Agency and had given to Greenwald earlier in the year.
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"I have been involved in every aspect of Glenn's life, why wouldn't I be a part of this?" Miranda asserts over lunch at a fashion mall in Rio's São Conrado neighborhood the next afternoon. "I think what Snowden did was heroic. Glenn and Laura's reporting is so important. It caused a serious debate about privacy and internet freedom in my country and around the world. I'm so proud to be able to play any role at all in that. I'd go to jail for that."
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"Glenn and I have talked all the time about what doing these stories would do to our lives. Since we met, I've pushed him and supported him..."
Posted by Hissyspit | Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:24 PM (12 replies)
@BreakingNews: RT @breakingpol: President Obama to deliver a statement on Obamacare at 11:35 a.m. ET - @mikememoli
Posted by Hissyspit | Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:51 AM (0 replies)
NOVEMBER 13, 2013 | BY MAIRA SUTTON AND PARKER HIGGINS
TPP Leak Confirms the Worst: US Negotiators Still Trying to Trade Away Internet Freedoms
After years of secret trade negotiations over the future of intellectual property rights (and limits on those rights), the public gets a chance to looks at the results. For those of us who care about free speech and a balanced intellectual property system that encourages innovation, creativity, and access to knowledge, it’s not a pretty picture.
Today Wikileaks published a complete draft of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement’s chapter on “intellectual property rights.” The leaked text, from August 2013, confirms long-standing suspicions about the harm the agreement could do to users’ rights and a free and open Internet. From locking in excessive copyright term limits to further entrenching failed policies that give legal teeth to Digital Rights Management (DRM) tools, the TPP text we’ve seen today reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.
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The leaked chapter features proposals for setting a new “floor” for copyright duration, ranging from the already problematic U.S. term of life of the author plus 70 years to an incredible life of the author plus 100 years, proposed by Mexico. Such bloated term lengths benefit only a vanishingly small portion of available works, and impoverish the public domain of our collective history. The U.S. is also pushing for countries to embrace terms lengths of 95 years for corporate and 120 years for unpublished works.
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The leaked draft includes controversial language calling for laws prohibiting the circumvention of “technological protection measures,” also known as DRM. The U.S. has had such a law in place for over 15 years, and it’s been a disaster for free speech and competition, chilling the legitimate speech of innovators, filmmakers, security researchers, and many others. In fact, it’s so bad that President Obama and many in Congress have said it must be reformed. Just as much of the U.S. public is realizing our anti-circumvention law was a mistake in the first place, we’re not only trying to export it but also potentially impeding our own ability to fix it.
Posted by Hissyspit | Wed Nov 13, 2013, 06:55 PM (5 replies)