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  2. China; Iraq; Iran; Saudi Arabia
     


  3. The mafia that invests, that launders money, that therefore has the real power, is the mafia which has got rich for years from its connivance with the church. These are the people who are getting nervous.
    — 

    Italian prosecutor Nicola Gratteri

    Is Pope Francis on the Mafia’s hit list?

     

  4. Sweetie is 10 years old.  She’s from the Philippines.  She’s helped Interpol track 1,000 suspected child predators.  Oh yeah, and she’s computer-generated.

     

  5. The Justice Department indicted Reuters social media editor Matthew Keys on Thursday for allegedly conspiring with the hacktivist collective Anonymous to deface the website of The Los Angeles Times and other Tribune Co. newspapers. According to the indictment (read it here), Keys, using the handle AESCracked, gave Anonymous hackers access to Tribune servers. Keys had recently been fired from Tribune-owned TV station KTXL FOX 40 and still had valid login credentials — so he allegedly unleashed Anonymous, urging the group to “go f**k some s**t up.”

    They did, kind of. The above headline ran on LATimes.com for roughly a half hour on Dec. 14, 2010

    "Keys is being charged under the general federal conspiracy statute and under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the same act under which Aaron Swartz was charged," says Justin Peters at Slate. Swartz, the co-founder of Reddit, committed suicide in January before he was to face charges for allegedly downloading millions of files illegally from MIT computers. He, like Keys, was threatened with jail time, of up to 35 years. And the similarities don’t end there. The vagueness of the CFAA — passed in 1984, to nab “sophisticated, malicious hackers” targeting the only entities networked at the time: Banks, universities, and the federal government — allows prosecutors to push for “outrageously severe” punishments like this, for whatever reasons. In this case, “just like with the Swartz case, the feds are going to use the threat of a huge maximum sentence to intimidate Keys into accepting a plea bargain.”

    Peters goes on:

    "The DOJ doesn’t want to lock Keys up for 25 years, but they’ll be more than happy to pretend they do in order to get the outcome they really want — likely for Keys to spend no more than a few months in jail and provide information about members of Anonymous…. The government wants Anonymous pretty badly, but I’m not sure what their actual game is here. Do they think Keys will roll over and lead them to other Anonymous members in exchange for a reduced sentence? Are they trying to make an example out of Keys so that other people will think twice before cooperating with Anonymous? Or are they simply being disproportionate and unreasonable out of habit? Apparently, they didn’t take away any lessons from the Aaron Swartz case." 

     25 years for “providing login information that resulted in a joke headline which lasted 30 minutes” is “enormously steep, given the alleged crime,” says Sam Biddle at Gizmodo

    More info…

     

  6. "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius breaks down at his bail hearing in Pretoria, South Africa. The Paralympic superstar is accused of fatally shooting his 30-year-old girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp

    (AP Photo/Antione de Ras - Independent Newspapers Ltd South Africa)

     

  7. CBS News captured exclusive footage of the firefight between alleged cop-killer Christopher Dorner and law enforcement officials. After the shootout, which killed one deputy and injured another, Dorner fled to the woods and barricaded himself inside a cabin, refusing to surrender. Officials believe Dorner then shot himself and burned the cabin down.

     

  8. Wrenching new photos from Iran appear to show a thief having four of his fingers severed by a “finger-chopping machine.” The court-ordered public amputation reportedly took place on Jan. 24 in  the southern Iranian city of Shiraz after the 29-year-old man was convicted of burglary and adultery. In the photos, the prisoner is blindfolded and surrounded by three masked officials who hold his hand under the device. His face shows no pain, indicating that perhaps he was drugged before the procedure. 

    Iran’s brutal new ‘finger-chopping machine’ 

    Photo: AP Photo/Mohsen Tavarro

     

  9. She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop … This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.”

    Self-described Indian “spiritual guru” Asaram Bapu told his followers that “guilt is not one-sided” in the case of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey who was brutally gang raped on a bus last month. She later died from her injuries. 

    Unfortunately, Bapu is not alone in his mindset. Here, 6 examples of politicians blaming the victim

    Photo: AP/Saurabh Das

     


  10. American politicians need to get off their butts. So far, most, including the president, have abdicated a moral responsibility to talk frankly about guns and rights, ironically, they say, because the issue is “complicated.” Goddamn right it’s complicated. That’s why we ought to talk about. Democrats still adhere to the fear that if they mention common-sense gun rules, their party will lose the backing forever of gun owners and those who see gun ownership as a stand-in for checking government power. For the most part, though, that coalition isn’t the Democratic Party’s coalition, and it becomes less so with every election.

    The gun rights lobby could lead the charge here, but they won’t, because they’re afraid they’d lose the chance to demagogue politicians who rise up against them. The NRA’s opponents are as central to the NRA’s successes as anything else.

    So: Ball’s in your court, Mr. President.

    — Marc Ambinder: How to prevent more mass killings
     

  11. "We’re shifting from biologists being out there in these parks to military people being out there."Lee White, head of the national park system in Gabon, Africa

    In 2011, at least 25,000 elephants were slaughtered for their ivory, which can fetch thousands of dollars apiece thanks to growing demand in Asia. But there’s also a human toll to this violent conflict: Hundreds of rangers and poachers have died in what’s become an increasingly gruesome anti-poaching war.

    Take a look inside Africa’s bloody elephant-poaching war

    PHOTO: Ding Haitao/Xinhua Press/Corbis

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  12. In a stinging report, the Los Angeles Times charges that the Boy Scouts of America concealed the crimes of hundreds of child molesters in its ranks from 1970 to 1991.

    In one 1982 case, a Michigan Boy Scout camp director said his bosses, learning of an abuse charge, told him to "keep it quiet" to protect the reputations of the Scouts and the staff member accused of the crime.

    In a 1987 casein Milwaukee, local Scout leaders got the help of an influential board leader, a newspaper publisher, to keep the news quiet.

    How extensive was the alleged cover-up, and what, if anything, should be done about it now? Read more.

    (Source: theweek.com)

     

  13. "An anonymous post on Pastebin asking for Bitcoins? That’s basically a parody of hackers."  says Julia La Roche at Business Insider

    As if the pressure of a presidential campaign isn’t enough, Mitt Romney now faces a blackmail threat from hackers who claim to have stolen the Republican’s tax returns. They are demanding a cool $1 million, paid in Bitcoins, “an untraceable online currency popular in the criminal underworld,” says Chris Taylor at Mashable

    Is this theft even plausible?