The Intercept is opening access to the Snowden archive — transparency our hypocrite government hates

From the time we began reporting on the archive provided to us in Hong Kong by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we sought to fulfill his two principal requests for how the materials should be handled: that they be released in conjunction with careful reporting that puts the documents in context and makes them digestible to the public, and that the welfare and reputations of innocent people be safeguarded. As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived.

Now, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. Both measures are designed to ensure that reporting on the archive continues in as expeditious and informative a manner as possible, in accordance with the agreements we entered into with our source about how these materials would be disclosed, a framework that he, and we, have publicly described on numerous occasions.

The first measure involves the publication of large batches of documents. We are, beginning today, publishing in installments the NSA’s internal SIDtoday newsletters, which span more than a decade beginning after 9/11. We are starting with the oldest SIDtoday articles, from 2003, and working our way through the most recent in our archive, from 2012…we will periodically release batches until we have made public the entire set

Accompanying the release of these documents are summaries of the content of each, along with a story about NSA’s role in Guantánamo interrogations, a lengthy roundup of other intriguing information gleaned from these files, and a profile of SIDtoday. We encourage other journalists, researchers, and interested parties to comb through these documents…to find additional material of interest.

The other innovation is our ability to invite outside journalists, including from foreign media outlets, to work with us to explore the full Snowden archive.

Here’s the link to the growing archive of NSA documents. Courtesy of Edward Snowden…and the editors of The Intercept.

Easier to demolish vacant house than to convince vultures to leave

If this keeps up, Philadelphians might want to consider renaming their football team.

The city’s Department of Licenses and Inspections was set to demolish a long-vacant home that residents say has become home to a committee of turkey vultures. Yes, a group of the birds — sometimes also called buzzards — is known as a “committee.”

Christina Ali-Bey says she lives next door to the home and can hear the vultures scratching and walking around all night long, “like a horror movie.”

She’s even afraid the birds will scoop up her tiny dog, Rocco, a teacup Yorkie. Other residents see the birds regularly picking through their trash.

The birds are a protected species, so it’s illegal to harm or kill them.

Perhaps this will serve as a lesson to the city about boarding up – checking to maintain access closed – abandoned housing. Or better yet, put it to temporary use housing the homeless.

Fed court orders Idaho to pay $250K attorney fees in ‘ag-gag’ case — First Amendment still rules


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A federal court has ordered the state of Idaho to pay $249,875 in attorney fees and costs to the groups that sued over the state’s “ag-gag” law, the law passed by the state Legislature making it a crime to surreptitiously videotape agricultural operations. Idaho lawmakers approved the law in 2014 after the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry complained that videos of cows being abused at a southern Idaho dairy filmed in 2012 unfairly hurt their business. The Los Angeles-based animal rights group Mercy For Animals released the videos, which showed workers at Bettencourt Dairy beating, stomping and otherwise abusing cows in 2012.

A federal judge overturned the law, ruling that it violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that the law’s “primary purpose is to protect agricultural facility owners by, in effect, suppressing speech critical of animal-agriculture practices.” He ruled that evidence indicated the law was “intended to silence animal welfare activists, or other whistleblowers who seek to publish speech critical of the agricultural production industry.”

The state appealed, but lost.

Over and over again, elected officials – federal, state and local – waste time and taxpayer dollar$ defending corporate interests. Not on the basis of legitimate needs; but, profits and protectionism.

Always nice to see a victory that defends the rights of the people over corporate/political corruption.

Are you ready for nutrition labels that are actually readable?!

new nutrition label
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Trying to understand how healthy your food is by reading the nutrition labels on packaging is like trying to complete an advanced math equation: It’s possible, but requires a lot of effort.

Now, deciphering the labels will finally get easier. The US Food and Drug Administration just announced their final ruling on a long-anticipated overhaul of calorie labels on packaged foods.

The new Nutrition Facts labels will appear on millions of food packages within two years, finally telling you more about what you really need to know about your food for health — especially how much sugar has been added.

The Sugar Association will probably sue the FDA over the new label. Surprise, surprise.