The location of a former training camp where Stasi operatives were taught to retrieve secrets through sex now houses a free-love commune; filibuster reform was blocked and now, for the first time in history, a secretary of defense nomination has been filibustered; meanwhile, Al-Jazeera has been accused of developing a political agenda since the Arab Spring. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

The Honey Trap The training camp where Stasi once learned to catch secrets with sex is a now free-love commune. But even free love isn’t easy.

Ben Zygier Planned to Expose Mossad’s Use of Australian Passports ‘Prisoner X’ was reportedly in contact with Australian intelligence, and may have been about to spill the beans on Mossad methods.

The Enduring Power of Radio in the Digital Age Despite the evolution of high-speed Internet and television’s prevalence in today’s culture, radio is still a very important and relevant medium — especially in developing nations.

Filibuster: Hate To Say It But We Told You So Many of us fought hard to reform the filibuster and fight the Republican obstruction that is blocking everything the country needs to get done. And I do mean everything.

A Phenomenon That Revived Cities Can Also Make Them Monotonous A funny thing happened in the half century since Jane Jacobs published her classic treatise excoriating the planning establishment for clear-cutting American cities and replacing eclectic neighborhoods with sterile housing towers: Her vision of urban change won the day.

Is civics in crisis? Or just changing its shape? In late January of 2012, Austin Oberbillig and Evan Ricks, students at Olympia High School in Olympia, Washington made a video called “Lunch Scholars“.

After the Arab Spring: Al-Jazeera Losing Battle for Independence For over a decade, the Arab television broadcaster Al-Jazeera was widely respected for providing an independent voice from the Middle East.

Corporations Advise School Closings, While Private Charters Suck Public Schools Away On Dec. 13, 2012, Philadelphia became the latest major American city to recommend sweeping school closures for the next academic year.

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