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April 1, 2015
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
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Terrorism, Violence, and the Culture of Madness

So-called free market policies, values, and practices with their emphasis on the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of social protections, and the deregulation of economic activity now shape practically every commanding political and economic institution in the United States.

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Palestinian Authority Becomes Member of International Criminal Court

The Palestinian Authority became a formal member of the intergovernmental justice organization on Wednesday in a move that could open the way for Israelis and Palestinian militants—including those from Hamas—to be prosecuted for war crimes.

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The Great Game in Afghanistan (Twenty-First-Century Update)

As the chances for peace talks between the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the unbeaten Taliban brighten, the Obama administration finds itself gradually but unmistakably reduced to the status of bystander.

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Changing Climate Causes Weather Chaos in Chile

What is being described as an environmental catastrophe is hitting Chile as torrential rains batter the north while the south suffers prolonged drought and wildfires.

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As Iran Talks Progress, American and Iranian Forces Cooperate in Taking Tikrit (Video)

By now the Iraqi government has a long history of claiming areas are “liberated” when the local picture remained mixed.

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Vladimir Putin and the Neoconservatives

Russia and the United States are engaged in a profound ideological confrontation—one that isn’t widely understood in Western Europe or even at the White House.

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Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah Slams Saudi Attack on Yemen (Video)

Hasan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hizbullah, Lebanese Shiite party-militia, weighed in on Friday on the Saudi intervention in Yemen.

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Arkansas Defies Widespread Outrage by Passing Its Own ‘Religious Freedom’ Act

Arkansas, following Indiana’s lead, has adopted a hugely controversial, “anti-gay” Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 READ MORE



The Romanticization of Elizabeth Warren

The fervor for an Elizabeth Warren presidential candidacy stems from a dearth of women politicians and shows how much American politics is about ticking off boxes.

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April Fools’ Day Will Be No Joke at the International Criminal Court

Palestine, as a new member state, will be able to ask for a probe into alleged war crimes in last summer’s Gaza war as well as into Israel’s West Bank settlement policy—whether Israel likes it or not.

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Ted Cruz Inaugural

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Rep. Schock Moves Out of Downton Abbey Office

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Mandatory Church Attendance

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Scientology

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Trevor Noah Chosen to Replace Jon Stewart on ‘The Daily Show’ Despite Calls for Female Host

Sure, Trevor Noah has proved he can make Americans laugh at themselves during his recent segments on “The Daily Show,” but what happened to all the great female comedians who were up for the job?

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War With Iran, by the Numbers

Iran is 2.5 times more populous than Iraq and much bigger geographically. It is likely that Iran war numbers would be three times those of Iraq, at least.

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How the Rise of the Working Poor and Nonworking Rich Is Challenging Core American Assumptions

Many believe that poor people deserve to be poor because they’re lazy and that the rich deserve their wealth because they work harder than others. The reality is very different.

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Don’t Make a Bad Situation in the Middle East Worse

As gung-ho “experts” press President Obama to do this, that or the other in the Middle East, keep a simple rule in mind: Whatever the avid interventionists suggest probably won’t work—and surely will have unintended consequences.

Posted on Mar 31, 2015 READ MORE



A Game-Changer in Syrian War? (Video)

The provincial capital Idlib appears to have fallen completely to a Muslim fundamentalist coalition spearheaded by Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaida affiliate, the Support Front.

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Harry Reid vs. the Smooth Deal

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is an acquired taste. But there are upsides to his approach, including his candor and his capacity as a listener who understands his colleagues and their needs.

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Information-Sharing Bill Would Extend NSA’s Reach, Opponents Argue

The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which includes no data-protection provisions, would set up a new network for private corporations to share customer data with nearly all levels of law enforcement and intelligence, including the National Security Agency.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE



The Church of Scientology’s Vitriolic Reaction to ‘Going Clear’

The organization has hit back furiously at filmmaker Alex Gibney’s exposé “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief,” which aired Sunday night on HBO.

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A Forceful Call to Rescue Democracy: Peter Richardson on Robert Scheer’s New Book

The Truthdig editor-in-chief’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” continues the important work on the abuse of power he began five decades ago, writes Peter Richardson at The National Memo.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE


Exposed: Secret TSA Checklist of ‘Suspicious’ Behavior

A Transportation Security Administration checklist obtained by The Intercept lists throat clearing, whistling and “exaggerated yawning” in airports as suspicious behavior. “Democracy Now!” speaks to The Intercept’s Cora Currier about the revelation.

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Spending Caps

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On Women Who Refused to Live in Silence and Be Consigned to Oblivion

In 1919 Rosa Luxemburg, the revolutionary, was murdered in Berlin. Her killers bludgeoned her with rifle blows and tossed her into the waters of a canal. Along the way, she lost a shoe.

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Pilots

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John Oliver Gives Several Good Reasons to Do Away With April Fools’ Day Pranks

HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” host released a Web exclusive Monday about the upcoming pseudo-holiday many of us are dreading.

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Shrinking of Ice Shelves Raises Sea Level Concerns

The rapid reduction of West Antarctica’s shelf ice has dangerous implications for sea levels in a warming world.

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Boots on the Ground

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How GOP Threats Against Iran Have Guaranteed the End of European Sanctions

The U.S. sanction regime on Iran has a unilateral dimension. Then there is a European dimension, which involves using the clout of the Department of Treasury as well as the persuasiveness of the Department of State’s diplomats to get European Union buy-in regarding their own sanctions.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE



Netanyahu Jumps the Shark With His ‘Iran-Lausanne-Yemen’ Axis Barb

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, no longer allowed to sit at the adult table because of his past food fights, has been reduced, as Haaretz observed, to whining from the sidelines.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE



A ‘Black Lives Matter’ Activist Faces Hard Time Under a Law Meant for Racist Killers

As Americans forget more and more of our nation’s troubling past, a misguided California prosecutor’s case against a young protester is turning the meaning of “lynching” inside out.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE



No One Is Free Until All Are Free

The fight to end male violence against women is crucial to the struggles of wider liberation. We cannot stand up for some of the oppressed and ignore others who are oppressed.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE



Carly Fiorina Sets Sights on White House, Slams Hillary Clinton (Updated)

She’s not looking to just be the GOP’s answer to Hillary Clinton for the span of the campaign season—Carly Fiorina would rather beat her in the 2016 election and claim the title of America’s next president.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE



The SEC Illustrates the Danger of Regulatory Capture

The phrase “regulatory capture” shrouds a serious problem in vaguely academic jargon, making it seem like unimportant esoterica rather than anything noteworthy.

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Nebraska Farmer Invites Pro-Fracking Commission Members to Drink Contaminated Water

Pro-fracking members of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission were silent when a farmer and former pipeline worker invited them to drink water contaminated with chemicals used in the petroleum and natural gas extraction process.

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As China Rises, What Game Is President Xi Jinping Playing?

During a late-March conference concerned with responding to China’s continued rise to global economic power, Western foreign policy and security experts sought to define the international statecraft being practiced by the country’s leadership.

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Egypt’s President Backs Proposal for United Arab Military Force

Egyptian president and former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has backed calls to create a unified Arab force capable of opposing regional security threats and called the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led intervention in Yemen the “inevitable” result of meddling by a foreign power, namely non-Arab Iran.

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE



Truthdigger of the Week: Carmen Aristegui

The highly regarded Mexican radio show host said that her recent firing was a case of repression of press liberties and that if privileged journalists can be attacked, “imagine the level of vulnerability for other journalists in Mexico.”

Posted on Mar 29, 2015 READ MORE


Germanwings

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Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE



Country Music, Tea Party ‘Populism’ and Ted Cruz

While Cruz cleverly seeks to highlight the tea party persona that appeals to many Republican primary voters, he exposes the fraudulence of his ultra-right brand of “populism.”

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE


Could Drones Put Out Forest Fires With This Sound Wave Device?

George Mason University engineering seniors Viet Tran and Seth Robertson have discovered a way to extinguish flames with low-frequency sound.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE


Robert Scheer Talks Privacy With Scholar Aleecia McDonald

The Peninsula Peace and Justice Center hosted Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and scholar Aleecia McDonald in a public conversation about the themes at the center of Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”

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Bibi and Boehner

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‘Left, Right & Center’: War in Yemen, President Cruz?, Harry Reid Will Retire (Video)

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss a new proxy war in the Middle East as the U.S. supports Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen. Also, Ted Cruz announces his run for president and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he will not seek re-election.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE


Obamacare

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Greece Submits Reform Proposals and Warnings to Eurozone Creditors

Their country would stop cooperating with creditors if negotiations failed and aid was not forthcoming, government leaders said as they submitted a long-awaited list of 18 policy reforms to eurozone administrators.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE


‘I Feel No Anger Toward Andreas Lubitz,’ Says One Crash Victim’s Father

The father of 37-year-old Robert Oliver Calvo, an American victim of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps, said he does not feel anger toward the copilot in the tragedy. Instead, he says, his thoughts are with Lubitz’s family.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE



China Ramps Up Rhetoric on Climate Change

A senior Chinese official warns that climate-related temperature rises could seriously affect the country’s harvests and major infrastructure projects.

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE


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