This is the mission of the moment. Sharing an image such as this should not be an end in itself; it should be the start of an investigation into the story behind it. What led Aylan’s family to climb into a 15-foot boat and push off perilously for Greece? Why did they not acquire refugee status from the UN, exit visas from Turkey, and asylum in Canada? How could the situation they found themselves in, and that thousands of other migrants and refugees now find themselves in, have been avoided?

When it comes to preventing deaths at sea politicians posting photos of themselves with the hashtag "#refugeeswelcome" simply could not be doing less. To encourage more refugees to come to Europe without facilitating their transit across the Mediterranean is to push them into the arms of the human traffickers who operate with such impunity.

If Europe seriously wants to prevent more drownings then it either needs to tackle the scourge of human trafficking or conduct humanitarian evacuations itself. Given the lawless nature of certain states across the Mediterranean it cannot do the former, therefore the only option left is to deploy its own navies and expedite the evacuation of those refugees it is prepared to accept.

So yeah: if you’re into making hard strategic decisions, and aren’t put off by having to learn a huge array of acronyms and nuclear weapon names, Bravo Romeo Delta has a lot to offer, even if it is all wrapped up in one of the most impenetrable interfaces I’ve ever encountered. Playing it a few times will give you a new appreciation for how absurd the whole idea of “limited nuclear war” really was — how hard it would have been to stop such a war, once started, from snowballing into the end of the world. Which will make you thankful that nobody ever had to try.

In an expertly designed data visualization, the Times guided us through its own version of events, which boils down to: Hamas started it, and Israel responded in self-defense. Data from the last three flare-ups is included in the same way, gently suggesting to readers that this is a pattern.

What follows is a breakdown of some ways that design can be misused to tell a biased story.

US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan have killed as many as 1,147 unknown people in failed attempts to kill 41 named individuals, a report by human rights charity Reprieve has found.

The report looks at deaths resulting from US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan between November 2002 and November 2014. It identifies 41 men who appeared to have been killed multiple times – drawing into question the Obama administration’s repeated claims that the covert drone programme is ‘precise.’

While the US drone programme is shrouded in secrecy, security sources regularly brief the media on the names of those suspected militants targeted or killed in the strikes. Frequently, those individuals are reported to have been targeted or killed on multiple occasions.

Since the very first Snowden leak a year ago, one of the more common refrains from defenders of the program is "but it's just metadata, not actual content, so what's the big deal?" Beyond the fact that other programs do collect content, we've pointed out time and time again that the "just metadata, don't worry" argument only makes sense if you don't know what metadata reveals. Anyone with any knowledge of the subject knows that metadata reveals a ton of private info. Furthermore, we've even pointed out that the NSA regularly uses "just metadata" to pick targets for drone assassinations. As one person called it: "death by unreliable metadata."

The US and British militaries insist that this is such an expert program, but it's curious that they feel the need to deliver faulty information, few or no statistics about civilian deaths and twisted technology reports on the capabilities of our UAVs. These specific incidents are not isolated, and the civilian casualty rate has not changed, despite what our defense representatives might like to tell us.

The 342-page report warns of civil war, a humanitarian crisis or even war with China. That becomes an even more deadly concern because of the North’s chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

The news broke this morning that the NSA (US), the GCHQ (UK), and the FRA (Sweden) have been actively working to subvert the cryptography that makes our society tick, by planting backdoors in most if not all commercial cryptography software. This means that these agencies have deliberately made all of us vulnerable as we conduct our banking business, as we go to the hospital, and as we talk privately online. Our society depends on our ability to keep secrets, and the deliberate planting of backdoors, the deliberate subversion of our infrastructure, is nothing short of a declaration of war. Even according to U.S. Generals.

The Pentagon has concluded that the time has come to prepare for war with China, and in a manner well beyond crafting the sort of contingency plans that are expected for wide a range of possible confrontations. It is a momentous conclusion that will shape the United States’ defense systems, force posture, and overall strategy for dealing with the economically and militarily resurgent China. Thus far, however, the military’s assessment of and preparations for the threat posed by China have not received the high level of review from elected civilian officials that such developments require. The start of a second Obama administration provides an opportunity for civilian authorities to live up to their obligations in this matter and to conduct a proper review of the United States’ China strategy and the military’s role in it.

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