The French constitutional council upheld a law that bans hydraulic fracturing in the European country; a report claims Syrian rebels committed war crimes, killing and abducting hundreds of civilians; and data analytics are being used to discriminate against the poor. 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.

France’s Highest Legal Body Upholds Ban On Fracking France’s constitutional council rejected on Friday a challenge to a law banning hydraulic fracturing for exploration and production of the country’s shale gas and oil.

The Forest Mafia: How Scammers Steal Millions Through Carbon Markets When the product is invisible, the cons are endless.

The Perils of Premature Deindustrialization Most of today’s advanced economies became what they are by traveling the well-worn path of industrialization.

Israeli Left Sociologist Rejects Two-State Solution For many years, sociologist Yehouda Shenhav has rejected the two-state solution that became, in his eyes, the only paradigm of the Israeli left.

Broadcast News Attracts the Biggest Audiences, but Viewers Spend More Time with Cable Television is still the primary way Americans get news at home, with the largest audiences watching network and local news, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Nielsen data.

New Report Accuses Syrian Rebel Groups of War Crimes A new report accuses Syrian rebel forces of systematically killing at least 190 unarmed civilians and abducting over 200 in a series of attacks along the western coastal province of Latakia on August 4.

Obama’s Crackdown on Leaks Won’t Stop Secrets From Coming Out The Obama administration is engaged in an unprecedented campaign to control the flow of information to the press, characterized by “legal policies . . . that disrupt relationships between journalists and government sources,” surveillance programs that “cast doubt on journalists’ ability to protect those sources,” and restrictive information disclosure practices “that make it more difficult to hold the government accountable for its actions and decision-making.”

On Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair On October 9, 2013, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen, current vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, as the new Fed chair, to replace Ben Bernanke expected to retire at year’s end.

Martin O’Malley And Poisoning Baltimore’s Children Baltimore’s poorer neighborhoods have been dealing with Martin O’Malley for years and years, as I can recall from when I worked in ACORN’s national office and heard all about the trouble this man was from our Maryland chapter.

Harvard Business School Will Venture Into Online Teaching The famously cloistered Harvard Business School will soon offer online courses, although it has not quite decided how.

Where Are The Secular Egyptian Revolutionaries? In coffee shops and apartment basements in the Cairo night, activists from the Third Square movement are at work.

In the Developing World, a Renaissance in Christian Higher Education As the economies of the developing world have grown, they have created a nearly insatiable demand for higher education, especially in the Global South.

In Print, Newspapers Cut Opinion Much has been written about newspapers cutting staffs, news pages and bureaus in response to financial pressures in recent years.

Data Discrimination Means the Poor May Experience a Different Internet Data analytics are being used to implement a subtle form of discrimination, while anonymous data sets can be mined to reveal health data and other private information, a Microsoft researcher warned at MIT Technology Review’s EmTech conference.

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