Quiet Skies: TSA Says It No Longer Tracks Passengers Bathroom Use, Sleeping Preferences

1 day 4 hours ago

The Transportation Security Administration has curtailed its controversial “Quiet Skies” domestic surveillance program, following widespread criticism that federal air marshals were spying on thousands of unwitting fliers who are not suspected of any crime or on any terrorist watch list.

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FBI Swept Up Info About Aaron Swartz While Pursuing An Al-Qaeda Investigation

1 day 4 hours ago

The FBI has the power to collect massive amounts of data and communications during its investigations. This power periodically ingests NATSEC steroids, pumping the FBI's data stores full of stuff not relevant to the NSA's work, but possibly relevant to the FBI's crime-fighting duties.

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Who Exactly Mopped up $1.33 Trillion of New US Government Debt over the Past 12 months?

1 day 4 hours ago

The US gross national debt has ballooned by $1.33 trillion over the past 12 months to $21.8 trillion as of December 14, according to Treasury Department data. Over the past six months alone, this debt has ballooned by $740 billion, despite a strong economy: Fueled by a stupendous spending binge and big-fat tax cuts, the government has been increasing its debt at a rate of $123 billion a month on average over the past six months.

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Fukushima nuclear reactor room dripping with radiation UNSEALED 7 years after tsunami

1 day 4 hours ago

The room in the Fukushima nuclear disaster zone controlled the power plant’s crippled third and fourth reactors.Shockingly, it has radiation levels more than 160 times higher than the Tokyo average.Stepping inside, the first journalists to enter since the 2011 meltdown found it frozen in time.

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African leaders in Austria for Africa-Europe High Level Forum

1 day 10 hours ago

A high-level meeting between Europe and Africa is due to open in Austria today as leaders from the continent gather in Vienna. The event will be hosted by Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz.

The Africa – Europe High Level Forum has in attendance leaders of the two continental blocs, the African Union, AU, and the European Union, EU.

For Africa, AU President Paul Kagame is in Vienna along with his soon to be successor, Egyptian president Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi. The AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat is also present.

Kagame will co-chair the forum with the host who currently holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council.

Some African heads of state who are in Vienna for the forum include Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, Nigerian vice president Yemi Osinbajo is representing Buhari, Ethiopia’s Sahle-Work Zewde is also in attendance.

The Forum is basically focused on Digital Cooperation between the two blocs. It will focus on areas such as connectivity & infrastructure, skills, entrepreneurship and e-services.

President Kagame begins remarks: The presence of so many leaders from Europe and Africa is going to be productive and is very meaningful. We have all been working hard to inject a new tone and energy into the Africa-Europe relationship #Africaeurope2018— Presidency | Rwanda (@UrugwiroVillage) December 17, 2018

????Upon invitation of PaulKagame, President of Rwanda and the Chairperson of the _AfricanUnion for 2018, and Austrian Federal Chancellor sebastiankurz the High-Level Forum Africa-Europe takes place in Vienna next week. ?That's on the agenda ?#eu2018at #africaeurope2018 pic.twitter.com/XJRPgF0Lzv

— EU2018AT (EU2018AT) December 13, 2018

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DRC election hub: Top opposition candidate calls for debate

1 day 11 hours ago

Martin Fayulu, leader of the Lamuka coalition in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC, has called for a national debate between contestants in the December 23 elections.

His call comes four days to the end of campaigning, December 21, and under a week to the opening of voting centers. According to Fayulu, the occasion will help candidates share their ideas with voters.

He made the call via a Twitter post on Monday. “I propose a live broadcast debate on national television and Radio + private media between presidential candidates.

“This will be an opportunity to demonstrate that (for) on the ground ideas and their implementation, our coalition brings concrete proposals,” his tweet read.

Fayulu’s challenge comes at a time when candidates are busily campaigning across the country as they canvass votes to replace outgoing Joseph Kabila. The DRC is hoping for its first ever peaceful transition of power.

The Lamuka coalition comprises three aspirants and two banned hopefuls. The two are former vice president Jean Pierre Bemba and ex-governor of Katanga province, Moise Katumbi.

Other major candidates in the official pool of 21 include a former minister of interior Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, running on the ticket of the ruling coalition and Felix Tshisekedi, a son of a deceased veteran opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi.

Je propose un débat retransmis en direct à la télévision et radio nationale + médias privés entre les candidats à la présidentielle. Ce sera l’occasion de démontrer que sur le terrain des idées et leur mise en application notre coalition apporte des propositions concrètes. #RDC— Martin Fayulu (@MartinFayulu) December 17, 2018

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Eritrea president Isaias Afwerki returns to UAE for bilateral talks

1 day 11 hours ago

Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki is in the United Arab Emirates where he met the Crown Prince for talks on bilateral ties of cooperation and matters of mutual interest.

Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed posted a photo on Twitter where he is seen with the Eritrean leader along with other Emirati officials.

Mohamed bin Zayed receives the President of Eritrea to discuss cooperation and friendship as well as issues of mutual interest, he wrote.

Afwerki left Asmara on Monday morning, the Eritrea’s Information Minister, Yemane Meskel wrote on Twitter. He had just returned on a historic visit to Somalia and Kenya from last week through to the weekend.

This is the latest round of visits Afwerki has made to the country this year. On one such visits, he was joined by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, with the two being awarded gold medals for their respective roles in the Ethio-Eritrea peace deal agreed in July 2018.

The deal brought an end to decades of hostilities following a deadly and costly border war after Eritrea refused to respect an international border ruling.

Abiy agreed to implement the ruling and flew to Asmara where the two leaders signed a deal. Since then till now, relations have normalized on all fronts with the most recent being the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops from the former militarized areas.

Mohamed bin Zayed receives the President of Eritrea to discuss cooperation and friendship as well as issues of mutual interest pic.twitter.com/4MjjaHfT4E— محمد بن زايد (@MohamedBinZayed) December 17, 2018

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Ethiopia army op kills civilians in Moyale hotel, violence persists

1 day 11 hours ago

A deadly shooting incident involving the Ethiopian army has claimed the lives of a dozen civilians in a hotel located in Moyale, a border town with Kenya.

Local news portals cited sources that confirmed that the incident took place as federal forces were holding talks with ethnic militia groups – Oromo and Somali – to hand over the security of Moyale.

Since his coming into office in April 2018, the biggest headache to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been the subject of internal insecurity. It has led to record displacements across the country.

Incidentally the worsening crisis has been in or connected to his home region, Oromia, which is also Ethiopia’s largest regional state. Abiy leads the ruling party in the region, the Oromo Democratic Party, ODP.

Reports from late last week through to the weekend indicated that heavy fighting between the two ethnic groups had killed at least 21 people and wounded 61.

The situation had also led to an escalation of violence that has sent hundreds fleeing across the border to neighbouring Kenya.

Outbreaks of violence in the south between the Oromos and especially the Somalis have escalated in recent times. The two groups have been engaged in prolonged conflict which has however intensified in recent months.

Early this year at least 5,000 Ethiopians were forced to seek refuge in Kenya after several civilians were killed in what the Ethiopian military said was a botched security operation targeting militants in the country’s south.

“People have been killed, business premises bombed and torched, houses have also been set ablaze in the fight between Oromo and Somali Garre fighters,” said Wario Sora, a human rights activist from Moyale on the Kenyan side.

Patrick Mumali, Moyale sub-county deputy commissioner, confirmed late on Friday that hundreds of Ethiopians have crossed the border to Kenya.

An internal U.N. report dated Dec. 13 and reviewed by Reuters also confirmed the fighting, with heavy artillery being used, and said there was likelihood the conflict could spill over into Kenya.

An Ethiopian source in the capital in touch with people in Moyale said at least several dozen people had so far died in the fighting, which was more intense than previous clashes in the same area earlier in the year.

In the Oromiya region, the largest in the country and home to the largest ethnic group, the Oromo, there are at least four separate conflicts along ethnic lines in addition to a border dispute that risks erupting into new violence, aid groups say.

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