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How the Patriot Act debate became about library records instead of phone records

By Justin Elliott, ProPublica In the months following the October 2001, passage of the Patriot Act, there was a heated public debate about the very provision of the law that we now know the government is using to vacuum up phone records of American citizens on a massive scale. “A…

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell billed taxpayers for detox cleanse, dog vitamins

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife used taxpayer money to pay for sunscreen and dog vitamins, the Washington Post reported on Monday, a disclosure that comes as the Republican leader is said to be under scrutiny by the FBI. The newspaper, citing spending records it obtained…

Edward Snowden: ‘Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped’

In live chat with Guardian readers, NSA whistleblower says US leaders cannot ‘cover this up by jailing or murdering me’ The NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has warned that the “truth” about the extent of surveillance carried out by US authorities would emerge, even if he is jailed or murdered. In…

Netflix partners with Dreamworks to offer original animated shows

Netflix inks a deal with Dreamworks for exclusive animated TV programming (via The Inquirer) VIDEO STREAMING SERVICE Netflix has revealed a multi-year deal with motion picture house Dreamworks to bring a raft of original animated TV shows to its internet service. The deal between Netflix and Dreamworks is said to…

New U.S. astronaut class is half female

The US space agency announced the appointment of eight new astronauts on Monday, and a record half of NASA’s first astronaut class since 2009 are women. The astronauts will earn between $64,000 and $141,000 per year, and will be part of the team that lays the groundwork for NASA missions…

Four-legged robot that runs like a cat unveiled in Switzerland

Swiss researchers said Monday they have created a small four-legged, high-speed robot that runs like a cat in a bid to create a new breed of robots for use in search and rescue operations. Researchers added that the “cheetah-cub robot,” the size of a small house cat or cheetah cub,…

IRS official worried targeting tea party groups would be perceived to have ‘some bias’

By Kim Dixon and Kevin Drawbaugh (Reuters) – Internal Revenue Service employees in Ohio, who singled out conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny, likely did not consider the political implications, an IRS official in Washington has told congressional investigators. Providing additional details about the worst crisis to…

Cancer breakthroughs clear way for drugs that block tumor growth

A series of cancer breakthroughs in the last week have stunned the medical world and cleared the way for development of drugs that stop cancerous growths in their tracks and prevent them from spreading, giving hope to millions of people around the world suffering from the disease in all its…

50 years after Supreme Court banned school-sponsored prayer, students still pray

School prayer: 50 years after the ban, God and faith more present than ever (via The Christian Science Monitor) At the adolescent-unfriendly hour of 7:10 on this rainy spring morning in tiny Loachapoka, Ala., classes won’t start for another half hour in the public school. But already the science lab…

Antarctic could become home to world’s largest marine sanctuary

Proposals will go before a commission next month to help protect thousands of species in Antarctic waters An extraordinarily big thing might happen in the world of marine conservation next month at a meeting in Germany of a little known international commission. And while you probably haven’t read much about…

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