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Cash, Weapons and Surveillance: the U.S. is a Key Party to Every Israeli Attack

US behind every attack in GazaThe U.S. government has long lavished overwhelming aid on Israel, providing cash, weapons and surveillance technology that play a crucial role in Israel’s attacks on its neighbors. But top secret documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden shed substantial new light on how the U.S. and its partners directly enable Israel’s military assaults – such as the one on Gaza.

Over the last decade, the NSA has significantly increased the surveillance assistance it provides to its Israeli counterpart, the Israeli SIGINT National Unit (ISNU; also known as Unit 8200), including data used to monitor and target Palestinians. In many cases, the NSA and ISNU work cooperatively with the British and Canadian spy agencies, the GCHQ and CSEC.

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U.S. Inquiry Finds a ‘Culture of Violence’ Against Teenage Inmates at Rikers

Riker's island abuse of teensIn an extraordinary rebuke of the New York City Department of Correction, the federal government said on Monday the department had systematically violated the civil rights of male teenagers at Rikers Island by failing to protect them from the rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force by correction officers.

The office of Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, released its findings in a graphic 79-page report that described a “deep-seated culture of violence” against youthful inmates at Rikers, perpetrated by guards who operated with little fear of punishment.

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Leading Sierra Leone doctor is second med worker to die of Ebola

Secind dictor dies if ebolaSierra Leone is in mourning after a leading virologist who risked his life to treat dozens of Ebola patients became the latest health care worker to die from the lethal virus, which has now killed more than 670 people across West Africa.

Dr. Sheik Humarr Khan was working at the Kenema Government Hospital in eastern Sierra Leone when Ebola broke out in the country for the first time this spring.

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Bowe Bergdahl Thanks Obama for ‘Saving His Life’

Bow BergdahlU.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has a new lawyer to defend him as the Army investigates the circumstances surrounding his kidnapping by the Taliban in 2009. And the former hostage wants President Obama to know that he is grateful the U.S. government traded five Taliban commanders in exchange for his release in May.

“Sergeant Bergdahl is deeply grateful to President Obama for saving his life,” Bergdahl’s new lead counsel Eugene Fidell told The Daily Beast in an interview Wednesday, adding that the former Taliban prisoner had personally authorized him to say that.

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Mexico restricts soft drink TV ads to fight obesity

Mexico bans soda adsMexico is restricting television advertising for high-calorie food and soft drinks, as part of its campaign against obesity, the government says.

Such ads will be banned with immediate effect on terrestrial and cable TV between 14:30 and 19:30 on weekdays and between 07:30 and 19:30 at weekends.

Restrictions will also be imposed on similar ads shown at the cinema.

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Mo. governor vetoes three-day abortion waiting period

Jay NixonMissouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have required a 72-hour wait for women seeking abortions, asserting that legislators showed a "callous disregard for women" by granting no exception for rape and incest victims.

Republican legislators quickly vowed to override the governor's decision, and they may have the numbers to do so. The GOP-led legislature approved the plan earlier this year only one vote shy of the supermajority needed to undo a veto.

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Report: Obama drone policy destabilizing for world, US democracy

Obama drones destabilize the worldDrone technology and the way the United States uses it has the potential to destabilize battlefields, governments and even American democracy, according to a new report by a task force that includes former U.S. military officials.

The report, released by the Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank, surveyed the Obama administration’s use of drones and concluded that while they can be a powerful and effective force in wars, they can also interfere with the sovereignty of other nations and cause unnecessary conflict abroad. The report also suggested that the Obama administration’s secrecy surrounding U.S. drone programs is to blame for the public’s current misconceptions and fears about the aircraft, which are also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

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