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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would shut off the water spigot to the massive data center operated by the National Security Agency in Bluffdale, Utah. The legislation, proposed by Utah lawmaker Marc Roberts, is due to go to the floor of the Utah House of Representatives early next year. Nate Carlisle, a reporter with the Salt Lake Tribune who has waged a fight with the NSA and Bluffdale officials to determine how much water the data center is actually using, said, "What's noteworthy is no one on the panel said: 'Hey, wait a minute, we can't do this. They had some specific concerns about the language of the bill, but there was no outright opposition."


Last week police in Cleveland shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, claiming the boy tried to pull a (fake) gun out of his pants when ordered to put his hands up. The interaction was instigated by a 911 caller who said he saw someone with what was a "probably fake" gun.

Now surveillance video appears to contradict police claims, as it shows the police officer shooting Rice immediately after getting out of a moving patrol car.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A new analysis of the data available to the public about drone strikes, conducted by the human-rights group Reprieve, indicates that even when operators target specific individuals -- the most focused effort of what Barack Obama calls "targeted killing" -- they kill vastly more people than their targets, often needing to strike multiple times. Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of November 24. read more


Along with temporary deportation relief for millions, President Obama's executive action will increase the number of U.S. college graduates from abroad who can temporarily be hired by U.S. corporations. That hasn't satisfied tech companies and trade groups, which contend more green cards or guest worker visas are needed to keep tech industries growing because of a shortage of qualified American workers. But scholars say there's a problem with that argument: The tech worker shortage doesn't actually exist.

"There's no evidence of any way, shape, or form that there's a shortage in the conventional sense," says Hal Salzman, a professor of planning and public policy at Rutgers University. "They may not be able to find them at the price they want. But I'm not sure that qualifies as a shortage, any more than my not being able to find a half-priced TV." read more


Monday, November 24, 2014

A 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun was shot by police at a Cleveland city recreation center Sunday and later died from his injuries. According to a 911 recording, a witness at the Cudell Recreation Center park told the police dispatcher that he saw somebody waving a "probably fake" pistol at people. "The suspect did not comply with the officers' orders and reached to his waistband for the gun. Shots were fired and the suspect was struck in the torso," a police statement said. The boy had an airsoft-type replica gun resembling a semi-automatic pistol and the orange safety indicator indicating it is a toy had been removed, police said.


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