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Monday, Nov 24th

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Phoning 'home': what your mobile may be giving away

what your ohone gives awayWhen popular Chinese handset maker Xiaomi Inc admitted that its devices were sending users' personal information back to a server in China, it prompted howls of protest and an investigation by Taiwan's government.

The affair has also drawn attention to just how little we know about what happens between our smartphone and the outside world. In short: it might be in your pocket, but you don't call the shots.

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New York scientists unveil 'invisibility cloak' to rival Harry Potter's

Invisibility cloakWatch out Harry Potter, you are not the only wizard with an invisibility cloak.

Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered a way to hide large objects from sight using inexpensive and readily available lenses, a technology that seems to have sprung from the pages of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter fantasy series.

Cloaking is the process by which an object becomes hidden from view, while everything else around the cloaked object appears undisturbed.

"A lot of people have worked on a lot of different aspects of optical cloaking for years," John Howell, a professor of physics at the upstate New York school, said on Friday.

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Deported Vets: Life in ‘the bunker’in downtown Tijuana

Deported vetsHector Barajas carried suitcases, crates and trash bags filled with appliances, donated goods and clothes to the curb. He and a half dozen other men loaded up a silver Nissan pickup truck, tightly packing the items with the precision of gamers playing Tetris.

The men were moving from their rented apartment in downtown Tijuana, a 500-square foot room nicknamed "the bunker," to their new home in Otay Centenario, on the east side of the city. “Feels like taking down a base,” said Marco Rodriguez, a former U.S. Marine, as he packed.

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Why Voting Machines Are About To Wreak Havoc On Another Election

voting machineIn 2012, hundreds of thousands of people across the U.S. waited, at first patiently and then with growing frustration, in lines that ventured out the doors and wrapped around street corners. They weren’t waiting more than seven hours in line to buy the new iPhone — they were waiting to vote on an electronic touch-screen machine.

Technology has made life easier, simplifying common tasks such as banking, publishing a book, talking to friends and paying for things online. But when it comes to voting, technology is stuck in 2002. And with the decade-old electronic voting machines that states use falling apart — creating long lines that cause some not vote at all — voters are slowly losing access to their voting rights.

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CIA and the National Archives Thwart The JFK Act and Obstruct Democratic Accountability

top secret JFKAll records related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy ("JFK") are already supposed to be public. That's what Congress intended when it unanimously passed the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 ("JFK Act"). It hasn't happened. The National Archives and the CIA are still withholding thousands of pages of JFK Act records in their entirety, even though it has been more than a half century since the Warren Commission issued its Report on the murder of the President.

NARA's actions violate the law and its intent, and severely erode the principle of democratic accountability, on which America's government is based. This violation directly raises the issue of who writes the law, who rules in the United States: the elected representatives of the people in Congress or the intelligence agencies?

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Warren Commission Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Conference

warren Commission exposedWashington, DC — Forty-four prominent authors, medical doctors, academics, lawyers and other research experts convene from Sept. 26 to 28 to reveal recent findings undercutting the Warren Commission’s 1964 report ascribing President Kennedy’s murder to a sole assassin.

On the unique, historic occasion of the Warren report’s 50th anniversary, experts and surviving witnesses will examine evidence showing the commission was wrong about its core finding, that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president with three shots from behind. Polls for decades have shown that most Americans – sometimes more than 70 percent – disbelieve the commission, which was chaired by the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren.

“Few serious scholars believe the Warren Report any longer,” said Assassinations Archives and Record Center President James Lesar, whose non-profit group AARC has organized what he called, “one of the most important JFK assassination conferences in history.”

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Beheadings remain integral part of Saudi justice system

Saudi rulerThe beheading of Pakistani national Izzat Gul for drug trafficking was Saudi Arabia's 46th such execution for 2014, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). In August alone, Saudi Arabia decapitated 19 people, eight of them for nonviolent offenses, including sorcery, the rights group added.

While the beheading of ISIS captives James Foley and Steven Sotloff provoked global outrage, human rights groups decry the limited international attention given to Saudi Arabia's use of decapitation even for nonviolent crimes — a punishment so routine that Deera Square in Riyadh is sometimes referred to as “Chop Chop Square.”

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