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Venezuela troops to use lethal force at protests

As Venezuelans face chronic food shortages and their country’s economic crisis deepens, its government has authorised its armed forces to use lethal force against protesters if they believe their lives are at risk during demonstrations. Ordinary people have been angry for months at having to wait in long queues and pay increasingly higher prices for basic goods and food such as meat, rice, butter, wheat flour and sugar. If the shortages persist, the government fears people may become more desperate, more violent.
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Dublin Anti-Water Tax Protests Bring City To A Halt

Around 15,000 protesters brought Dublin to a standstill and thousands more marched around the country yesterday - dashing Government hopes that anti-water charge anger has gone away.
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3D Printed Invisibility Cloaks Now Shields People from Sight

Invisibility cloaks began in the microwave regime using arrays of metamaterials to bend light around an object, thereby rendering it invisible to microwaves. While useful for hiding missiles and the like from radar, no one -- until now -- has successfully made one work like Harry Potter's to cloak people in the visible spectrum of light.
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Wisconsin Judge Orders Cops To Snatch People Off The Street, Force Them Into Jury Duty

A judge in Eau Claire County, Wisconsin ran out of potential candidates for jury duty, so he sent the sheriff to randomly pick up people off the street and force them into jury duty. And under Wisconsin law, it’s perfectly legal.
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China’s Louisiana Purchase: Environmental concerns in ‘Cancer Alley’

No one asked Lawrence “Palo” Ambrose if he wanted a Chinese company with a controversial environmental record to build a methanol plant in his neighborhood. But if they had, the 74-year-old Vietnam War vet would have said no. A town hall meeting about it in July at St. James High School, which is close to the site of the plant, in a sparsely populated area with mobile homes and a few farms, took place only after the St. James Parish Council approved the project.
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Did German companies assist Syria to make chemical weapons?

A list of German companies that may have assisted Syria build up the country’s chemical weapons arsenal over several decades is reportedly collecting dust. According to Der Spiegel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has been in possession of this list for 16 months but no investigation has been launched yet.
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Rise of the robots at AOL lead to job cuts

Media company AOL laid off roughly 150 employees Friday, or 3% of its staff. The bulk of the layoffs, or close to 100, were in sales, a result of the company’s surging growth in so-called programmatic ad sales, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak on the record.
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Bankers Are Becoming An Endangered Species

Who is killing the Great Bankers of Europe? This was almost the name of a good Ted Kotcheff movie about a jealous chef (spoiler alert) who poisoned all his competitors in order to become the best. The person or persons behind the litany of mysterious deaths of bankers worldwide in the last two years must have their motives, but I doubt they are philanthropic. It has been said that the best way to clean up the legal system, as Shakespeare wrote in Henry VI, is to "Let's kill all the lawyers".
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Libya's Rebel General Haftar confirms military support for Operation Dignity from Egypt and UAE

Many international observers have now pledged support for a political solution in Libya. However, Libya’s former renegade general Khalifa Haftar confirmed this week that his forces had received military assistance from the UAE and Egypt.
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BND collects 220 million phone records a day

According to BND documents seen by journalists, five locations around Germany are used to collect the millions of so-called 'metadata' about foreigners' phone calls. It is not yet clear where the BND obtains this much data. But the parliamentary committee at the Bundestag (German parliament) investigating surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) has established that the BND taps satellite communications and internet cables.
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Canada Unveils New Anti-Terrorism Bill That Moves for 'Unprecedented Expansion of Powers'

Canada introduced on Friday new anti-terrorism legislation critics say gives spy agencies sweeping powers that threaten the public's civil liberties. The legislation is the Anti-terrorism Act 2015, which Ottawa Citizen reporter Ian MacLeod described as "the most dramatic package of new laws since the Anti-terrorism Act of 2001."
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Plague Outbreak kills dozens in Madagascar

An outbreak of the plague has killed dozens in Madagascar, and experts fear those numbers could go up. At least 119 cases were confirmed by late last year, including 40 deaths, the World Health Organization said in a statement. And the disease is taking an alarming turn.
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The Future of Medicine? Forget Private Doctor Appointments, Group Medical Visits are Coming

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, around 10 percent of family doctors already offer shared medical appointments, sessions that bring together a dozen or more patients with similar medical conditions to meet with a doctor for 90 minutes. With pressure from the government and insurers to bring down the cost of care while treating the increasing number of people with health insurance, patients can expect group visits to become more common. “It’s efficient. It’s economical."
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When FDR made gold illegal to own for everyday people – At the point of a gun (A short video)

FDR, the man who studied Mussolini, who birthed the current intrusive state, who started the drug war in earnest, who put Japanese Americans into concentration camps, who extended the Depression years longer than it needed to be and thereby contributed to the genesis of the Second World War, who tried to pack the Supreme Court, who gave away half of Europe to the Soviets at Yalta, and who confiscated the gold – the real wealth – of the American people.
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UK: Army sets up new psychological operations and social media brigade

The Army is setting up a new unit that will use psychological operations and social media to help fight wars "in the information age". Head of the Army General Sir Nick Carter said the move was about trying to operate "smarter". The 77th Brigade, made up of reservists and regular troops and based in Hermitage, Berkshire, will be formally created in April.
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‘Group-Thinking’ the World into a New War

If you wonder how the lethal “group think” on Iraq took shape in 2002, you might want to study what’s happening today with Ukraine. A misguided consensus has grabbed hold of Official Washington and has pulled in everyone who “matters” and tossed out almost anyone who disagrees. Part of the problem, in both cases, has been that neocon propagandists understand that in the modern American media the personal is the political, that is, you don’t deal with the larger context of a dispute, you make it about some easily demonized figure. So, instead of understanding the complexities of Iraq, you focus on the unsavory Saddam Hussein.
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NYPD Hyper Militarization Escalates with Bratton's "SRG" for Advanced Disorder Control

NY Post. Bratton Escalates and/or Formalizes Militarization of NYPD to deal with "counter terrorism protection" and "advanced disorder control." There will be "vehicles equipped with machine guns." This unit will be "operational by summer" (how conveninent!) and will be housed in NYPD's very own Counterterrorism Bureau. I had not known that one existed.
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Scientists create customized soap bubbles for vaccine and drug delivery

Soap bubbles filling our warm bath give us great pleasure. But scientists with the University of Maryland has taken bubbles to new heights, by discovering a way of coating them with biomolecules, making them a delivery system for drugs and vaccines.
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Margaret Thatcher warned of paedophile scandal, secret documents reveal

New dossier shows Mrs Thatcher was briefed on Sir Peter Hayman paedophile scandal when she had been in Downing Street only a year, and officials feared the diplomat's offending went back to at least 1966
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Argentina Prosecutor Who Accused Kirchner Had Steady Contact With US Embassy, Leaked Cables Show

Alberto Nisman, the prosecutor who accused Argentina's president of a cover-up plot over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center before being found shot to death, met repeatedly with the US embassy in Buenos Aires during his investigation, leaked diplomatic cables show. Nisman gave US officials advanced notice on his procedural moves and was apparently coached by the embassy in "improving" his requests for arrest warrants for Iranians that Nisman suspected of carrying out the deadly attack against the Argentine Israeli Mutual Association, or AIMA, according to cables published by Wikileaks.
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