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May 22, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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VIDEO: Scheer and Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State (Part 3/7)

Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer continue their conversation for The Real News Network about Scheer's latest book, "They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy." In this segment, they discuss whether there is room for optimism vis-à-vis the surveillance of American citizens and the plunder of personal data by the fused corporate-political state.
 

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If Trade Is War, It’s Time We Fought Back

For decades we have heard that free trade would result in prosperity for all. But in fact, the rich have gotten richer, the poor poorer, and the planet has been thrown into peril.
 
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As Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points out to Chris Hedges in this interview for The Real News Network, the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

The “Daily Show” host combs through every one of Jeb Bush’s answers to the simple question posed by Fox News’ Megyn Kelly: Knowing what we know now, would you have gone to Iraq? What he finds is both ridiculous and hilarious.

 
 
 
 
Amtrak’s Spectrum Gap

While Amtrak officials may have been devastated, they could not have been surprised: The accident confirmed clear vulnerabilities in the safety system, shortcomings that the rail company’s internal watchdog had been warning about for more than two years.

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Chasing Miracles in Iraq

The Islamic State was supposed to be reeling from U.S.-led airstrikes. Yet the group was able to capture Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and is now consolidating control over that strategically important city.

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VIDEO: All Six Officers Indicted in Freddie Gray Case

A grand jury in Baltimore has indicted all six police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, setting the basis for a criminal trial.

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On the Move

Since the 1985 publication of “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” neurologist Oliver Sacks has been enlightening readers with sharply observed, generously humane medical case studies. In his latest book, “On the Move: A Life,” Sacks presents an extended study of the patient he knows best: himself.

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Economy of Gaza on ‘Verge of Collapse’ With World’s Highest Unemployment

Unemployment rates of 43 percent for Gaza’s general population and 60 percent for young people suggest a bleak future for Israel as well as Gaza.

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Cutting Warming to 1.5°C Could Endanger Food Supply

Scientists say meeting the tougher demands of many countries on limiting global temperature rise may be technically feasible, but would risk worsening world hunger.

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The U.S. and Israel Have the Worst Income Inequality in the Developed World

A new report finds that the gap between rich and poor in the developed world is at its highest level in 30 years in most countries—and that the U.S. and Israel are leading the trend.

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Saudi Arabia Seeking to Head the U.N. Human Rights Council (Yes, Really)

This surprising news comes just days after the kingdom posted a job advertisement for eight new executioners amid a soaring execution rate.

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An Act of Protest, Not Sabotage, at the Birthplace of the Bomb

There is a vast military complex deep in the hills of eastern Tennessee called “Y-12.” This is where all of the highly enriched uranium is produced and stored for the production of the U.S. nuclear-warhead arsenal.

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VIDEO: Former CIA Deputy Director Grilled on Falsehoods That Led to Iraq War

In a heated 10-minute exchange, MSNBC host Chris Matthews confronts CIA Deputy Director Mike Morrell with the question of why, during the run-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, he let Vice President Dick Cheney get away with saying Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was building nuclear weapons.

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Where Does Israel Get the Right to Lock Thousands of Civilians Behind a Gate?

For weeks, Israeli forces have shut a village of 6,000 people out from entering Jerusalem from the occupied West Bank; scientists find that when it comes to fighting bacteria that resist antibiotics, viruses may come in handy; meanwhile, one writer explains why Elizabeth Warren is right about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. These discoveries and more after the jump.

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The New York Times Vows to Do Better on National Security

Nearly 14 years after its uncritical reporting helped enable the “war on terror,” the paper’s public editor Margaret Sullivan admits to a mixed performance on its coverage of all things related to war and security.

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How the U.S. Navy Plans to War-Game the Arctic

The Navy is increasingly focused on possible future climate-change conflicts in the melting waters of the north and, in that context, has little or no intention of caretaking the environment when it comes to military exercises.

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Stone Tool Discovery Shows Culture Evolved Much Earlier Than Previously Believed

The major discovery in Africa of tools dating around 3.3 million years old has forced scientists to push back the standard dating of the dawn of culture by 700,000 years.

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Up to 105,000 Gallons of Oil Spilled on California Coast; Gov. Jerry Brown Declares Emergency

“We will do everything necessary to protect California’s coastline,” the governor said in a statement Wednesday, after news broke that the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara that began on Tuesday may be far greater in magnitude than originally expected.

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Apple, Facebook, Google Missing From Tech Lineup Against TPP

More than 250 tech companies signed a letter demanding greater transparency from Congress and denouncing regulatory language that appears in leaked parts of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

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Pakistan Turns Desert Into a Sea of Solar Panels

Economic links with China help Pakistan tap into enormous solar energy potential that can provide clean power to boost production and reduce poverty.

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VIDEO: Glenn Greenwald Explains How to Keep Your Data Away From the NSA

In an April interview with acTVism Munich, Intercept reporter Glenn Greenwald explains how tech giants were “eager” to cooperate with the National Security Agency and offers important advice that individuals can follow to make it harder for the NSA to collect private data.

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Washington Asks, ‘Who Lost Ramadi?’ But Washington Never Had Ramadi

The inside-the-Beltway debate set off by the fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to the Islamic State group on Sunday is, as usual, Dadaistic in its disconnection from reality.

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Scheer Article Found Among Reading Materials in Osama bin Laden’s Last Hideout

On Wednesday the White House released a list of English-language documents found among the al-Qaida founder’s belongings in 2011, after U.S. Navy SEALs killed him in a compound in Pakistan, to which he had been traced.

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Bernie Sanders Is No Gun Nut

When the Vermont senator votes or speaks about gun control, he’s representing his people, many of whom are responsible gun owners. Painting him as a rabid gun fanatic is disingenuous.

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Historic Syrian City of Palmyra Falls to Islamic State

The ancient city is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and best-preserved ruins, which now may face destruction at the hand of the extremist group.

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AUDIO: Henry Giroux: Liberalism Fails Against Racism, Inequality and State Terrorism

In two far-reaching interviews on the “Soap Box” with Eric Poulin, the social philosopher Henry Giroux defines establishment liberals by their persistent failure to address the obvious—that capitalism and democracy are not the same thing.

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85-Year-Old Nun Imprisoned for Protesting Nuclear Weapons Is Released for Surprising Reasons

Sister Megan Rice and two Christian pacifists have spent the past few years of their lives in a federal prison for peacefully demonstrating at Tennesee’s Y-12 National Security Complex in 2012. But as The New Yorker puts it, “the legal decisions that freed them [on May 16] were as unprecedented and surprising as the break-in that put them behind bars.”

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Hillary Clinton Aides Blocked the Release of Public Records

During her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton’s staff “scrutinized politically sensitive documents requested [by members of the public] under public-records [disclosure] law” and chose not to release them when they felt like it, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing “people with direct knowledge of the activities.”

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The Suicide Rate Among Black Children Has Doubled Since the ’90s

Although the rate of suicides among black Americans is typically lower than that of whites, researchers have recently discovered alarming findings regarding black children ages 5 to 11.

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Obama Drills a Hole in His Climate Policy

Here are two facts that cannot be reconciled: The planet has experienced the warmest January-through-March on record, and the Obama administration has authorized massive new oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

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