Cost of global war on terror reaches $1.2 trillion
"As of March 2011, Congress had approved a total of more than $1.2 trillion dollars for costs associated with the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 ‘war on terror’ operations, the Congressional Research Service said in its most recent update on the subject." - via Secrecy News
Congressional Research Service reports are not readily made available to the public. But the Federation of American Scientists, which hosts Secrecy News, regularly posts them. Below, find the full report.
“And I said, R.J., which is my older son, get up, son. And right when I said get up and I put my hands on him, the walls went, and he went. He just - he left. The tornado took him right then. I held onto what I have which is James Peter, and my wife held onto my other son, which I could hear her praying to my left. And I was praying over my boy, and I said -and I could see his little face (unintelligible) I could see him. He was looking up. I said it’s OK. It’s OK. And I was getting hit, you know? I was just shielding him. And my wife yells - she said: Do you have R.J.? I said no. I said I don’t. And then, I heard her get louder praying. And then, I started - I kept going, and I look up, and my oldest son come walking right through the rubble.”—Reginald Eppes, a survivor of the deadly tornado that has already claimed nearly 300 lives, tells NPR how his oldest son was pulled from their home by the tornado. His son survived and found his way back home with minimal injuries. Read full segment
How can you tell a terrorist? By their Casio F-91 W watches. Leaked documents say that the possession of this watch in the silver model is an indicator of al-Qaeda training in IED manufacturing. Spencer Ackerman reports to The World.
Will Bunk and McNulty abandon 'The Wire' for your instant messages?
Police surveillance expert Christopher Soghoian of Indiana University says the popular Hollywood image of investigators hiding in an unmarked van as they listen to wiretapped conversations is a relic of the past. Today, eavesdropping is far more sophisticated. Now police and the FBI can learn virtually anything they want “from the comfort of their own desks.” Much of this work isn’t actually done by police themselves, but by businesses you rely on every day to communicate.
Consider the extraordinarily detailed data captured by tools we all use: instant messages, stored emails, web-browsing history, geo-location from mobile phones and much more. Soghoian says little is known about how police exploit these technologies, because few statistics are available. That means the breadth of police surveillance is hidden from public scrutiny, raising questions about accountability, privacy and civil liberties in the United States. In the U.S., laws were specially created decades ago to regulate traditional surveillance techniques like wiretapping after years of abuse.
"Over the last decade, law enforcement agencies have enthusiastically embraced many new sources of investigative and surveillance data for which there are no mandatory reporting requirements. As a result, most modern surveillance now takes place entirely off the books and the true scale of such activities, which vastly outnumber traditional wiretaps and pen registers, remains unknown."
The Price of Sex: An Investigation of Sex Trafficking
The Price of Sex is a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who’ve been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse. Intimate, harrowing and revealing, it is a story told by the young women who were supposed to be silenced by shame, fear and violence. Photojournalist Mimi Chakarova, who grew up in Bulgaria, takes us on a personal investigative journey, exposing the shadowy world of sex trafficking from Eastern Europe to the Middle East and Western Europe. Filming undercover and gaining extraordinary access, Chakarova illuminates how even though some women escape to tell their stories, sex trafficking thrives.
Earthquakes in California have been recorded since at least 1769, when an estimated magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck in the Los Angeles Basin. Since the mid-1800s, quakes have been much more systematically logged. This map shows the locations and magnitudes of 189 earthquakes that registered at least 5.0 in California or just offshore since 1865.
As you celebrate Earth Day, take a look at how climate change is affecting people around the world. In East Africa, for example, as temperatures rise and water supplies dry up, semi-nomadic tribes along the Kenyan-Ethiopian border increasingly are coming into conflict with each other. When the Water Ends focuses on how worsening drought will pit groups and nations against one another.
CIR’s Executive Director Robert Rosenthal’s father, Irving, started the journalism program at CCNY in the 1930’s. When his father passed away, Robert found these two quotes together among his father’s papers.
"Why should freedom of speech and freedom of press be allowed? Why should a government which is doing what it believes to be right allow itself to be criticized? It would not allow opposition by lethal weapons. Ideas are much more fatal things than guns. Why should any man be allowed to buy a printing press and disseminate pernicious opinions calculated to embarrass the government?" - Nikolai Lenin, 1920
"The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right, and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to choose the latter." - Thomas Jefferson, 1787
When will sites like Twitter, Facebook, PayPal and others – with their hundreds of millions of users and massive caches of everything from cell-phone numbers to unique computer IDs – begin handing personal information over to the government? Available documents shed light on such questions.
The Civil Rights Cold Case Project is an unprecedented collaboration bringing together the power of investigative reporting to reveal the long-neglected truth behind unsolved civil rights murders, and to facilitate reconciliation and healing.
To date, every civil rights murder case that has been reopened and successfully prosecuted was the direct result of an investigation initiated by a journalist.
In the below video from the project, Arthur Leonard Spencer of Richland Parish, Louisiana describes Ku Klux Klan “wrecking crews” that were dispatched across Louisiana to commit crimes against Blacks.
Diary (2010) - Last video produced by killed photojournalist
A film by Tim Hetherington, who was killed today while reporting in Libya. In his own words:
‘Diary’ is a highly personal and experimental film that expresses the subjective experience of my work, and was made as an attempt to locate myself after ten years of reporting. It’s a kaleidoscope of images that link our western reality to the seemingly distant worlds we see in the media.
Staying alive: Russian reporters turn to entertainment
Check out this video portrait of what’s happening to journalists in the age of Putin. Instead of becoming investigative reporters, some young journalists are turning to entertainment journalism as a way of avoiding violence.
CIA announced today that they are declassifying six of their oldest documents - dated from 1917-1918.
From their press release:
One document outlines the chemicals and techniques necessary for developing certain types of secret writing ink and a method for opening sealed letters without detection. Another memorandum dated June 14, 1918 – written in French – reveals the formula used for German secret ink.
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