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Friday, Dec 19th

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Report: U.S. drone strikes kill 28 for every intended target

drones kill 28 for every targetU.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed 28 people for every intended target, a British human rights advocacy group said Tuesday.

A report by the London- and New York-headquartered group Reprieve said as many as 1,147 unidentified people have been killed in drone strikes since 2002 in failed attempts to kill 41 identified people. It provides an estimate of those killed each time the United States hunts what is regards as a "high value target," and notes 76 children and 29 adults were killed in drone strikes targeting al-Qaida leader Ayman al Zawahiri on two occasions, who survived.

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Canadian government computers hacked

Canadian gov't hackedGovernment websites in Toronto and the Canadian capital of Ottawa have been disrupted by a string of cyber attacks.

The websites of Canada's Parliament and Supreme Court, the city of Ottawa, and the Ottawa and Toronto police have occasionally, this week, been overtaken by the image of a cartoon banana or an error message. The disruptions were traced to an individual or group using the name "Aerith" on a Twitter account, in support of an Ottawa teenager, unidentified according to Canadian law, who was charged with 60 criminal counts pertaining to making hoax phone calls across North America.

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Twin blasts kill dozens in Nigeria

Nigeria blastsTwo explosions by suspected female suicide bombers hit a crowded market in Nigeria's northeastern city of Maiduguri on Monday, witnesses said, reportedly killing scores of people.

"There were two blasts, all suicide bombers," witness Sani Adamau told Reuters. "While the people were trying to help the injured the second bomb blasted, I saw lots of bodies."

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Why is Shaker Aamer still at Gitmo?

Shaker Aamer still jailedImagine being imprisoned, year after year, despite having been told that your captors had undertaken a high-level review process and no longer wanted to hold you?

At the United States’ detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Shaker Aamer, the last British resident in the prison, is facing just that situation. More than seven years ago, the George W. Bush administration approved Aamer for release from the detention facility.

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Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

Ferguson eruptsSmoke billowed from burned-out buildings and sidewalks were strewn with broken glass Tuesday morning after Ferguson erupted over a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Firefighters were dousing the blackened remains of some businesses and at least one was still ablaze. Some Ferguson stores that weren't burned had smashed display windows, but the streets of the St. Louis suburb were mostly clear.

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Bob Alexander: Greetings From Planet VeeGah

vegan dietIt’s been over a month since we watched Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and turned ourselves into veganistas. And It’s been … um … interesting.

On the culinary front it’s been a pretty easy ride. Y’see, right after we watched the movie we didn’t march into the kitchen, swing wide the doors to the refrigerator and freezer, and toss all our meat, dairy, and eggs into the garbage. That’d be crazy. We spent money on that stuff!

But soon … there went the last of the butter … hello, Earth Balance Buttery Spread. Not bad at all. After the last egg had been scrambled, I found a recipe for a great breakfast hash made from mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, garlic, fried potatoes and tofu. Yeah … tofu. I have been making fun of tofu for years. But when it works … it works.

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Prosecutor: No indictment in Ferguson case

No indictment in FergusonA white police officer will not face charges for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in a case that set off violent protests and racial unrest throughout the nation, an attorney close to the case said Monday night.

A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, said Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family. The decision had been long awaited and followed rioting that resembled war-zone news footage in this predominantly black suburb of St. Louis.

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Secret Malware in European Union Attack Linked to U.S. and British Intelligence

regin malwareComplex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept.

Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept.

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Anti-Fracking Activist Sandra Steingraber: Why I am in Jail

Sandra SteingraberBreakfast in the Chemung County Jail is served at 5 a.m. This morning—Friday, November 21, 2014—it was Cheerios and milk plus two slaps of universally-despised “breakfast cake.” Along with trays of food—which are passed through the bars—arrive the morning rounds of meds for the inmates who take them.

Now comes my favorite time of day in jail—the two quiet hours between breakfast and 7 a.m. before the television clicks on and we are ordered to make our beds and the loud day begins. Between the end of breakfast and 7 a.m., most women go back to sleep. Now I can hear only the sounds of their breathing—different rhythms all—and, on the far side of the steel door—the occasional voices of the C.O.s (correction officers, a.k.a. the guards) and the walkie-talkie orders they themselves are receiving.

Meanwhile, my bed is already made and I have repurposed my small laundry basket—by flipping it upside down—into a table on which I am writing. And because I am a writer who is writing, I am happy.

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