According to Israeli government documents, the former leader of South Africa was trained by Israel’s intelligence agency in the 1960s; there are many parallels to be drawn between the Sochi and Berlin Olympics; meanwhile, a White House review panel member expresses his “surprise” in finding that the NSA’s data collection has not stopped a single act of terrorism. 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.

Mandela Received Mossad Training Nelson Mandela received training from Israel’s Mossad in the 1960s, an Israeli government document has revealed.

Langston Hughes on Santa: ‘He’s Just a Old White Man’ Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s comments about Santa (who, in her view, “just is white”) is a reminder of Langston Hughes’s short story, “One Christmas Eve.”

In Sochi Olympic Games, Shades Of 1936 So who will be the Jesse Owens of the Sochi Winter Olympics?

Big Government for Dummies: Food-Stamp Cuts, Bloated Military Budgets, and State-Cartel Capitalism It’s hardly a surprise that the coalition of social-justice groups that held a press conference in Washington, DC, on December 10 had no influence on the latest lurch into austerity.

Time to Make the Federal Reserve a Public Utility The Federal Reserve Act was passed in 1913 in response to a wave of bank crises, which had hit on average every six years over a period of 80 years.

Thinking in Silicon Picture a person reading these words on a laptop in a coffee shop.

NSA Program Stopped No Terror Attacks, Says White House Panel Member A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks.

The ASA’s Boycott of Israel Is Not as Troubling As It Seems The American Studies Association’s decision to boycott Israel has made front-page news.

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