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Major Foreign Policy Shift: Turkey Abandoning EU for SCO

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on November 20 that Turkey did not need to join the European Union «at all costs». Instead, it could become part of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact. The Turkish leader said he had already discussed the idea with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev. The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic, and military organization founded in 2001 in Shanghai. Its members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak Turkic languages.

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Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with MANPADs

The House voted for the first time today to explicitly authorize the incoming Donald Trump administration to arm vetted Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles. While the language in the annual defense bill also creates restrictions on the provision of the controversial weapons, it represents a win for Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., a fervent advocate of helping the rebels resist President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.

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While You Were Distracted By The US Election, The Senate Outlawed GMO Labeling Nationwide

While attention was diverted to the US election for much of this year, the Senate quietly made null and void state laws that require that GMO foods be labeled. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a concern for a number of reasons. When consumed, GMOs have been shown to cause gastrointestinal problems, increase cancer risk, and even silence human genes, not to mention their harmful effects on the environment and endangered species such as bees. Within the US, there is also a dearth of safety testing as most tests that show that GMOs are “safe” are short-term studies, lasting only a matter of months

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At Least Nine Killed, 13 Missing After Massive Fire Breaks Out At Oakland Warehouse Party

At least nine people were dead and 13 others missing after a fire broke out during a party in a warehouse in Oakland, California, local media reported on Saturday, according to city fire officials.

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Student suspect arrested in fatal stabbing of USC professor on campus

USC psychology professor was stabbed to death inside a campus building Friday, allegedly by a student who was taken into custody, Los Angeles police said. Bosco Tjan, a co-director of the Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center who joined the faculty in 2001, was identified as the victim by USC President C.L. Max Nikias. “As the Trojan family mourns professor Tjan’s untimely passing, we will keep his family in our thoughts,” Nikias said in a prepared statement. He said counseling would be available for students.

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The Race to Erase “Fake News”

Early Collections partners have been told that content they create will be inserted into the News Feed by Facebook, effectively giving them direct — and potentially much broader — access to the social network’s vast audience of 1.8 billion users. Currently, publishers must either garner likes from users for their content to be seen in the News Feed or pay to boost their exposure through Facebook’s sponsored-post program.

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Anthony Weiner too broke to stay in sex rehab

Anthony Weiner is apparently so broke that he had to cut short his rehabilitation for sexting addiction at a Tennessee ranch. “His family wanted him to stay 90 days, but he had to leave because he ran out of money,” one source told me.

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Wikileaks bombshell could DESTROY Merkel's plans for EU domination, Julian Assange warns

A TROVE of WikiLeaks documents revealing the true scale of cooperation between the German and US spy agencies risks derailing Angela Merkel's hopes of dominating the EU, Julian Assange has warned.

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UK: Outrage as school starts grading PARENTS on how well they are supporting their kids

Adults are marked A to D based on how well they are supporting their kids and even get called into the headmistress’ office if they are falling behind. Greasley Beauvale Primary School in Nottinghamshire say the controversial move has helped to push up educational standards. But some furious parents have slammed the concept as “ludicrous” and said teachers should be focusing on their children instead of judging them.

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Congress Approves Measure for Crusade Against “Fake News” — Using DoD Funding

The effort grew out of the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act and would supposedly stick to foreign targets. However, the Snowden revelations made us well aware that government is ready and willing to turn its powers on domestic targets — without notification. The fact that this $160 million, two-year authorization is being advanced through the annual military budget makes it all the more disconcerting. Under the guise of the war on terror, the NDAA has been used to increase Executive authority, and the 2012 version went so far as to authorize the indefinite military detention of U.S. civilians without habeus corpus.

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Researchers Incorporate Silicon into a Living Organism: is this the Building of a Bridge between Man and Machine?

Silicon is the second most common element in the Earth's crust, after oxygen. However, aside from its non-organic use by certain sea sponges and microorganisms, very little silicon is used by Earth's biology, despite making heavy use of other common elements, such as carbon, hydrogen, iron, magnesium and oxygen.

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Chiquita’s Terrorist Funding

A federal judge in Florida ruled that “victims of Colombian paramilitary death squads funded by Chiquita” have a right to have their case heard in the United States rather than Colombia, “clearing the way for the historic case to advance toward trial.” The ruling comes nearly a decade after Chiquita pled guilty in 2007 to charges of “engaging in unauthorized transactions” with the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), which was designated a global terrorist organization by the US State Department in 2001. “It’s an important win for the victims of violent groups funded by Chiquita,” said Michael Evans, director of the Archive’s Colombia documentation project, “and a big boost for groups seeking to hold multinational corporations accountable for human rights crimes in US courts.”

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Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites

Timberg and the Washington Post, which is owned by the billionaire CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, are being stridently called out as McCarthyites for an article published on Thanksgiving Day that cited unnamed “experts” at a shadowy group called PropOrNot to smear 200 alternative media sites as tools of Russia. The blacklist included some of the most informed and courageous voices on the Internet like Naked Capitalism, Truthout, CounterPunch, and Truthdig, where the brilliant Chris Hedges, part of a New York Times team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, regularly asks the uncomfortable questions — like this one: “When we look back on this sad, pathetic period in American history we will ask the questions all who have slid into despotism ask. Why were we asleep? How did we allow this to happen? Why didn’t we see it coming? Why didn’t we resist?”

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Saudi Arabia’s terrorist rehab actually ‘secret radicalisation programme’

Saudi Arabia‘s terrorist rehabilitation centre is actually a “hidden radicalisation programme,” an accused al-Qaeda bomb-maker detained at Guantanamo Bay has claimed. Saudi prisoner Ghassan Abdullah al-Sharbi told a Gitmo parole board: “You guys want to send me back to Saudi Arabia because you believe there is a de-radicalisation programme on the surface, true.

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Bill Targeting “Russian Propaganda” Passes in House

H.R.6393, Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, passed in the House of Representatives on November 30. The legislation deals with a number of intelligence related issues, including Russian propaganda, or what the government calls propaganda. Section 501 calls for the government to counter “measures by Russia to exert covert influence… carried out in coordination with, or at the behest of, political leaders or the security services of the Russian Federation and the role of the Russian Federation has been hidden or not acknowledged publicly.”

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UK Members of Parliament exempt themselves from spying law

British politicians exempt themselves from warrantless spying under the Snoopers Charter

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Uber Now Tracks Passengers’ Locations Even After They’re Dropped Off

Uber's latest update allows the ride-hailing app to track user location data even when the application is running in the background. The change in location data gathering is quite apparent — after the update is completed, Uber prompts users to accept the new policy by enabling their phones to make the change.

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Trump Confirms Retired Marine General "Mad-Dog" Mattis Will Be America's Next Secretary Of Defense

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen 66-year-old retired Marine General James N. "Mad-Dog" Mattis to be secretary of defense, according to The Washington Post. An announcement is likely by early next week, according to the people familiar with the decision. Mattis declined to comment. Spokespersons for Trump's transition team did not respond to requests for comment. Mattis, 66, retired as the chief of U.S. Central Command in spring 2013 after serving more than four decades in the Marine Corps. He is known as one of the most influential military leaders of his generation, serving as a strategic thinker while occasionally drawing rebukes for his aggressive talk. Since retiring, he has served as a consultant and as a visiting fellow with the Hoover Institution, a think tank at Stanford University.

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Virginia schools ban ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ ‘Huckleberry Finn’ for racial slurs

A Virginia school has temporarily banned two American classics after a parent said her high school-age son was negatively impacted by the racial slurs they contain. The decision to remove “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee came after a parent filed a complaint, WAVY reported. The parent cited excessive racial slurs as the reason for wanting the books banned, Superintendent Warren Holland told the news station.

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UK military will use artificially intelligent lasers to expand Britain’s economic empire

Oh, and he also mentioned that under the same plan, the Navy would be deploying an advanced laser weapon, along with autonomous, artificially intelligent weapons systems. To his credit, Admiral Sir Jones does mention the obligatory objective of ‘world peace’ and such like, but he is also quite candid about the pre-eminence of Britain’s economic interests.

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