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Wednesday, Aug 27th

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NTSB Doesn’t Think the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Is Safe Enough to Fly

Dreamliner unsafeThere are 140 Boeing 787 Dreamliners now flying with airlines across the world. Passengers love the 787’s airy, spacious cabin, its large windows and its cutting-edge entertainment technology. Last year’s problems with battery fires that caused the entire fleet of 787s to be grounded for three months seem well behind it. Or are they?

The National Transportation Safety Board is at odds with the Federal Aviation Administration over the way the 787 was cleared to fly again. The Board has raised new concerns about the way that the lithium-ion batteries used to supply power to critical systems on the 787 are tested to ensure their safety—even suggesting that more rigorous testing is needed.

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Edward Snowden: I was a CIA and NSA spy, not a systems administrator

Edward SnowdenAmerican fugitive Edward Snowden is claiming he was a trained spy when he leaked classified documents about U.S. surveillance practices, not a contracted systems administrator as he has been consistently portrayed.

"I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas -- pretending to work in a job that I'm not -- and even being assigned a name that was not mine," Snowden told NBC News' Brian Williams.

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Secrets, lies and Snowden's email: why I was forced to shut down Lavabit

Snowden secretsMy legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network.

My company, Lavabit, provided email services to 410,000 people – including Edward Snowden, according to news reports – and thrived by offering features specifically designed to protect the privacy and security of its customers. I had no choice but to consent to the installation of their device, which would hand the US government access to all of the messages – to and from all of my customers – as they travelled between their email accounts other providers on the Internet.

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Investigators race to find victims of child pornography

Investigating child pornThe expansion of the "Dark Web," where pedophiles hide using websites that encrypt their computers' identifying information, has fueled an explosion of child pornography that has law enforcement in a race against time to find victims before they are abused again.

Investigators follow the trail of images around the world any way they can. They rely on traditional detective techniques, such as interviewing suspects, but they also use modern-day digital methods. They enhance blurry backgrounds for clues to a photo's location. They monitor websites popular with pedophiles. They use social media to blast photos of suspected child pornographers in the hope that someone will recognize them.

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DEA settles suit alleging government lie-detector abuses

DEA settles lie detector law suitThe Drug Enforcement Administration has agreed to pay 14 contractors $500,000 to settle a lawsuit that accuses the agency of illegally requiring them to undergo highly intrusive lie detector tests to keep their jobs as translators.

The settlement appears to be the first time that a federal government agency has settled allegations involving contractors’ lie detector tests since a 1988 law banned the use of polygraph screening for most private employees, said a lawyer for the group.

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Strong earthquake of 6.4 magnitude hits Mexico

Mexico earthquakeAn earthquake of 6.4 magnitude has shaken parts of Mexico, causing buildings to sway in the capital.

The US Geological Survey said it was centred near the town of Tecpan de Galeana in southern Guerrero state, about 190 miles (300km) south-west of Mexico City.

It was also felt in the resort city of Acapulco, the Associated Press says. There are no reports of any damage or injuries but frightened office workers ran into the streets in the capital.
Tremors

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The Next Frontier In The GOP War Over Science

National science foundationThe Obama administration and the scientific community at large are expressing serious alarm at a House Republican bill that they argue would dramatically undermine way research is conducted in America.

Titled the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act of 2014," the bill would put a variety of new restrictions on how funds are doled out by the National Science Foundation. The goal, per its Republican supporters on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, would be to weed out projects whose cost can't be justified or whose sociological purpose is not apparent.

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