Massachusetts’ U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann must be held accountable for their actions during their prosecution of the late Internet activist Aaron Swartz; in China, a father hired online “assassins” to kill his son’s avatar in an attempt to save his real life; meanwhile, the U.S. is giving the Afghan government a fleet of drones. 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.

Carmen Ortiz And Stephen Heymann: Accountability For Prosecutorial Abuse Imposing real consequences on these federal prosecutors in the Aaron Swartz case is vital for both justice and reform.

Aaron’s Law: Violating a Site’s Terms of Service Should Not Land You in Jail A week ago, Aaron Swartz — social activist, geek genius — took his own life.

Has Nate Silver Forever Changed Statistics? 2012 was a good year for numbers in American presidential politics, but it also highlighted a collective squeamishness about statistics.

How ‘The Simpsons’ Explains the Manti Te’o Fake-Girlfriend Saga “For people my age, this is unfathomable,” Notre Dame University athletic director Jack Swarbrick told the media during a press conference just hours after Deadspin revealed that star linebacker Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, who had supposedly died of cancer in September, had been a fabrication .

Pauline Phillips, Flinty Adviser to Millions as Dear Abby, Dies at 94 Pauline Phillips, a California housewife who nearly 60 years ago, seeking something more meaningful than mah-jongg, transformed herself into the syndicated columnist Dear Abby — and in so doing became a trusted, tart-tongued adviser to tens of millions — died on Wednesday in Minneapolis.

‘Dead Girlfriend’ Hoax Has People Asking If Linebacker Manti Te’o Is Gay Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o had one of the most heartbreaking stories in sports: In the span of six hours, he learned about the death of his grandmother, Annette Santiago, and then of the death of his girlfriend, Lennay Kekua. After getting the terrible news, though, he went out and led his team to a surprise 20-3 victory against Michigan State.

US to Give Afghanistan Its Very Own Fleet of Drones In his first media appearance since visiting President Obama in Washington, Hamid Karzai announced that the United States had agreed to give his country a fleet of drones.

Gamers Hired by Father to ‘Kill’ Son in Online Games A man in China hired virtual “assassins” to hunt down his son in online video games and kill off his avatar, according to local media.

The Hyper-Efficient TWIKE Human-Electric Hybrid Vehicle Search the internet for “human-electric hybrid” and you will see some prototypes of cars, and many attempts at powered bikes or enclosed scooters.

Top Five Crazy Conspiracy Theories Coming from … The GOP-Controlled House Committee on Science In the 50 year history of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, its members have set into legislation some lofty initiatives, such as putting a man on the moon and mapping global atmospheric patterns.

Colleges Lose Pricing Power The demand for four-year college degrees is softening, the result of a perfect storm of economic and demographic forces that is sapping pricing power at a growing number of U.S. colleges and universities, according to a new survey by Moody’s Investors Service.

The Atlantic Is ‘Of No Party or Clique.’ Especially Not Scientology! An article appeared on The Atlantic’s website headlined, “David Miscavige Leads Scientology to Milestone Year.”

Why Jodie Foster’s Golden Globes Speech Was So Infuriating Watching Hollywood award shows is something of a habit, during which Karen Ocamb always hope to find some nugget of meaning.

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