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Saturday, May 06, 2017

The U.S. National Security Agency collected more than 151 million records of Americans' phone calls last year, even after Congress limited its ability to collect bulk phone records, according to an annual report issued on Tuesday by the top U.S. intelligence officer. The report from the office of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was the first measure of the effects of the 2015 USA Freedom Act, which limited the NSA to collecting phone records and contacts of people U.S. and allied intelligence agencies suspect may have ties to terrorism. It found that the NSA collected the 151 million records even though it had warrants from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to spy on only 42 terrorism suspects in 2016, in addition to a handful identified the previous year.


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Former Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar returned to Kabul on Thursday after two decades in hiding, calling for peace with Taliban insurgents and criticizing the Western-backed government, which he said was not working.

Hekmatyar's comments in a ceremony at the presidential palace highlighted the complications likely to face President Ashraf Ghani, who signed a peace deal with Hekmatyar last year that brought his Hizb-i-Islami party into the government fold.

Even before the ceremony, Hekmatyar's arrival in Kabul, the city his forces bombarded ruthlessly during the 1990s civil war, appeared aimed at reinforcing his status as a major new force on the political scene. read more


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

How many Americans, for example, are aware of the fact that U.S. planes dropped on the Korean peninsula more bombs -- 635,000 tons -- and napalm -- 32,557 tons -- than during the entire Pacific campaign against the Japanese during World War II?

How many Americans know that "over a period of three years or so," to quote Air Force General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, "we killed off ... 20 percent of the population"? read more


Hillary Clinton delivered her most forceful critique of President Donald Trump's 2016 victory on Tuesday, taking personal responsibility for her failed campaign but also pointed to the timing of a letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian interference as factors. "I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," Clinton said, before adding that she was "on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off."


Tuesday, May 02, 2017

New York (CNN)Hillary Clinton, speaking at the 100th anniversary gala honoring Planned Parenthood on Tuesday, slammed "groups of men" in Washington, DC who are deciding the future of women's health protections -- a not-so-subtle reference to the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump's White House drew the ire of groups like Planned Parenthood this year when it tweeted a photo of a meeting on health care between Vice President Mike Pence and more than a dozen male politicians from the House Freedom Caucus. Among the topics that they discussed: Health care reform, including a provision to remove a federal law that requires insurance companies to cover maternity leave and pregnancy care. read more


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