Friday, March 22, 2019

New Study Shows Mass Surveillance Breeds Meekness, Fear and Self-Censorship

A newly published study from Oxford’s Jon Penney provides empirical evidence for a key argument long made by privacy advocates: that the mere existence of a surveillance state breeds fear and conformity and stifles free expression. Reporting on the study, the Washington Post this morning described this phenomenon: “If we think that...

United States Made Corruption in Afghanistan Pervasive and Entrenched

Afghanistan has long been a corrupt place. The United States has nothing to make it better. In fact, it’s made it worse, according to new findings released Wednesday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. In its first “Lessons Learned” report, the watchdog agency concluded that the American presence...

New Nation, Long War

I met a few of them in the town of Pibor last year. These battle-tested veterans had just completed two or three years of military service. They told me about the rigors of a soldier’s life, about toting AK-47s, about the circumstances that led them to take up arms. In the United States, not one of these soldiers would have met the age requirements to enlist in the Army. None were older than 16.

Congress Demands War in Ukraine!

Just weeks after a European-brokered ceasefire greatly reduced the violence in Ukraine, the US House of Representatives today takes a big step toward re-igniting -- and expanding -- the bloody civil war. A Resolution, "Calling on the President to provide Ukraine with military assistance to defend its sovereignty and territorial...

What Drives Crude Oil Prices?

An analysis of 7 factors that influence oil markets, with chart data updated monthly and quarterly Crude oil production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is an important factor that affects oil prices. This organization seeks to actively manage oil production in its member countries by setting...

Documents Show U.S. Military Expands Reach of Special Operations Programs

The United States is spending more money on more missions to send more elite U.S. forces to train alongside more foreign counterparts in more countries around the world, according to documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act. Under the Joint Combined Exchange Training program, which is...

UK Parliament report details how NATO’s 2011 war in Libya was based on lies

British investigation: Gaddafi was not going to massacre civilians; Western bombing made Islamist extremism worse. A new report by the British Parliament shows that the 2011 NATO war in Libya was based on an array of lies. “Libya: Examination of intervention and collapse and the UK's future policy options,” an investigation...

Memo Sheds New Light on CIA’s Network of Journalists

Most people with an interest in the history of CIA will have heard of “Operation Mockingbird” (an unofficial name), sometimes known as Frank Wisner’s “Mighty Wurlitzer,” which used a network of journalists for propaganda purposes. While the elements of Mockingbird that most people are familiar with were run through CIA’s Office...

In Odyssey for Chinese, Greece Sells Its Fabled Port of Piraeus

With the sale, China’s state-owned COSCO aims to turn a once-sleepy port into the “dragon’s head” of the New Silk Road. Beijing’s ambitions to build a modern-day “Silk Road” connecting China, Central Asia, and Europe took a big step forward Friday when Chinese state-owned shipping giant COSCO finally sealed a...

Obama Unlikely to Vow No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

President Obama, who has weighed ruling out a first use of a nuclear weapon in a conflict, appears likely to abandon the proposal after top national security advisers argued that it could undermine allies and embolden Russia and China, according to several senior administration officials. Mr. Obama considers a reduction...

Chilcot Report: Tony Blair Told George W. Bush, If We Win Quickly, Everyone Will...

The Chilcot report, the U.K.’s official inquiry into its participation in the Iraq War, has finally been released after seven years of investigation. Its executive summary certainly makes former Prime Minister Tony Blair, who led the British push for war, look terrible. According to the report, Blair made statements about Iraq’s nonexistent chemical, biological, and...

U.S.-Saudi Relations

The U.S.-Saudi Arabia alliance, which survived the oil embargo in 1973 and the attacks of September 11, 2001, in which fifteen of the nineteen passenger jet hijackers were Saudi citizens, is coming under new strains. A new generation of Saudi Arabian leaders is adjusting to what it sees as...

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecasts on Brexit, Warns of Risks to Outlook

Brexit causes ‘substantial’ increase in economic, political, institutional uncertainty Global forecast for 2017 cut by 0.1 percentage point, to 3.4 percent If not for Brexit, global forecast would have been slightly higher The International Monetary Fund cut its forecasts for global economic growth this year and next as the unexpected U.K. vote...

The CIA’s Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication

A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously...

Global Wealth 2016: Navigating the New Client Landscape

The growth of global private wealth hit a speed bump in 2015, especially in the developed markets, with all regions other than Japan experiencing a slowdown relative to last year. This development, combined with the ongoing decline of revenue and profit margins—all amid shifting client needs in both traditional...

Saudi Arabia field report: Another potential oil crisis in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia is the biggest oil exporter in the world. However, this status may be threatened as a result of domestic oil consumption. Several recent studies predict that Saudi Arabia will be a net oil importer by 2030 or 2038. Other regional energy exporters such as the United Arab...

Short – Term Energy Outlook

Market Prices and Uncertainty Report Crude Oil Prices: Crude oil futures prices reached the lowest level in 12 years in December and early January. The North Sea Brent front month futures price settled at $33.75 per barrel (b) on January 7, $10.69/b lower than the close on December 1 (Figure 1)....

The good, bad, and the ugly of pending congressional surveillance bills

Heat is on: Bulk phone metadata collection program Snowden exposed expires June 1. On June 1 the legal authority enabling the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program expires. The expiration date of Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act comes two years after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed...

Oman Gas Projects Could Undermine U.S. LNG Market Ambitions

Two separate projects in the sultanate of Oman are about to turn the tiny Gulf country into an important international liquefied natural gas (LNG) player that the U.S. will have to contend with in its ambition to become the leader of this market. The first one is an agreement with...

House Intel Panel Blasts Snowden In New Report, One Day Before Movie Release

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence urged President Barack Obama on Thursday not to pardon Edward Snowden, concluding in an unclassified summary of a two-year investigation that the former NSA contractor was “not a whistleblower” — echoing what White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a press briefing...

In Political Fights Over Chilcot Report, Iraqi Lives Don’t Matter

The bitter political debate over the 2003 Iraq War resumed once again on Wednesday in the United Kingdom and the United States, thanks to the release of a report on the British role in the invasion and occupation. Parsing the report, prepared by a committee of Privy Counsellors chaired by...

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Remarks on the US Defense Department’s Report 2015

Q: The US Department of Defense issued a report of Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China 2015, which once again plays up "China's military threat and the lack of transparency in military strength", and expresses concerns about China's military development. It also accuses China of...

US Army report calls for ‘military support’ of Israeli energy grab

US military strategists are contemplating the threat of war to redraw the Middle East’s energy architecture around Israel. A new report by the US Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute emphasises the need for “US security and military support” to its key allies in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly Israel, over...

Why the EFF is pulling its support for the USA Freedom Act

Congress must embrace recent landmark opinion on phone metadata collection limits. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has determined in American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) v. Clapper that the National Security Agency’s telephone records program went far beyond what Congress authorized when it passed Section 215 of the Patriot Act...

The CIA Is Investing in Firms That Mine Your Tweets and Instagram Photos

SOFT ROBOTS THAT can grasp delicate objects, computer algorithms designed to spot an “insider threat,” and artificial intelligence that will sift through large data sets — these are just a few of the technologies being pursued by companies with investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture capital firm, according to...

Abadi says we are ready if Turkey wants war

What is Turkey up to? The question gained fresh urgency today as Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik and Land Forces Commander Gen. Zeki Colak inspected troops in Hatay near the Syrian border a day after Turkish forces backed by tanks and other combat vehicles massed near the town of Silopi on Turkey's border...

Turkey’s Next Military Coup

How Empowering the Generals Could Backfire. Before Turkey took an authoritarian turn under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many thought that the former head of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) would go down in history as the leader who finally tamed Turkey's military and resolved the country’s decades-long conflict with...

Syria’s Refugee Children Have Lost All Hope

Young Syrians living in Lebanon are attempting suicide in ever greater numbers. TRIPOLI, Lebanon — At a makeshift refugee camp just south of this northern city, a 12-year-old Syrian girl named Khowla sits on a dirty mattress in her tent. The roof is made of blue plastic tarp that does...

Iran’s Hollow Threats to Close the Strait of Hormuz

Tehran is again trying to use its hold over a key global choke point to pressure Washington and others. But it’s much easier said than done. This week, Iran has escalated a war of words over American access to the Persian Gulf and threatened to close the vital waterway to...

IGU: Global LNG industry gearing up for growth

International Gas Union’s 2016 World LNG Report released on Tuesday reveals the global liquefied natural gas industry is set to grow along with playing a key role in expanding access to natural gas in the world’s future energy mix. LNG trade in total reached 244.8 million tons in 2015, up 4.7 million tons...

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