Private prison corporations are taking advantage of the economic crisis to buy state prisons; the French right wing is, unsurprisingly, falling apart; meanwhile, Obama goes back on his word and cracks down on medical marijuana dispensaries. 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 links below open in a new window. Newer ones are on top.

Private Prison Corporations Are Modern Day Slave Traders The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree.

Noam Chomsky on America’s Economic Suicide Noam Chomsky has not just been watching the Occupy movement. A veteran of the civil rights, anti-war, and anti-intervention movements of the 1960s through the 1980s, he’s given lectures at Occupy Boston and talked with occupiers across the US.

Obama assembling de facto propaganda ministry The U.S. State Department is planning to “buy” media broadcasts, as the Obama administration assembles a de facto propaganda machine, according to documents that reveal the president’s plans moving closer to the 2012 election.

“Who Needs Newspapers?” It’s fewer people than publishers seem to believe A George Washington professor argues small newspaper publishers are hanging on to false optimism that the importance of their work will save their business.

So Many Bones in the Desert: US-Mexico politics, violence, and journalism On April 16th, the skeletons of 12 teenage girls were found in a desert field east of Ciudad Juárez.

The implosion of the French right To understand the state of the right wing in France, start by considering the name of Nicolas Sarkozy’s political party, the country’s major conservative political force.

Homeland Security Documents Show Massive Nationwide Monitoring of Occupy Movement Documents just obtained by the PCJF from its FOIA request show massive nationwide monitoring, surveillance and information sharing between the Department of Homeland Security and local authorities in response to Occupy.

New Docs: Osama Bin Laden Was A Horrible Boss A trove of documents found in Osama bin Laden’s house was posted online Thursday morning by the U.S. Army’s Combating Terrorism Center.

The Truth Behind the Official Story of Finding Bin Laden A few days after US Navy Seals killed Osama bin Laden in a raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a “senior intelligence official” briefing reporters on the materials seized from bin Laden’s compound said the materials revealed that bin Laden had “continued to direct even tactical details of the group’s management.”

Stephen King: Tax Me, for [email protected]%&’s Sake! The iconic writer scolds the superrich (including himself—and Mitt Romney) for not giving back, and warns of a Kingsian apocalyptic scenario if inequality is not addressed in America.

GOPers flock to Ailes’s Fox office When politicians head to New York, it’s often to fill their campaign coffers with Wall Street cash. But there’s another important stop for Republicans in the Big Apple: the second floor office of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Obama Justice and medical marijuana The president’s justification for his crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries has to be heard to be believed.

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