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.

I was only in North Korea for five days, but that was more than enough to make it clear that North Korea is every bit as weird as I always thought it was.

We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century.

It's great to see Africa starting to explore the benefits of open source not only as a way of rolling out software more cheaply than would be the case for proprietary programs, whose Western pricing makes them particularly costly for emerging nations, but also as an effective means of building up a vibrant indigenous software industry that is not based simply on shovelling lots of money to the US.

However, it's sad to see that Microsoft seems to have learned nothing from its earlier, unsuccessful attempts to spread FUD about open source, and seems intent on recapitulating that shabby and rather pathetic history in Africa too.

According to reports in the Associated Press, the setting up of China's Confucius Peace Prize was intended to protest the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize award to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

This year will witness the third Confucius Peace Prize since its setup. However, the previous two award ceremonies of this prize didn't go very well. The laureates selected never showed up nor even cared about receiving such a prize.

Some observers saw the affair as a complete farce. The award was given to a terrified small child, supposed to represent Kuomintang Honorary Chairman Lien Chan at the first ceremony and two Russian hotties, supposed to represent Russian President Vladimir Putin, at the second, which just added to the entertainment value.

The Tohoku 9.0 earthquake, fifth largest ever recorded, created a tsunami with large waves up to 40 meters, with walls of water swallowing coastal towns, has been one of the worst natural disasters in recent history with the death toll reaching just below 20,000 people, estimated damage $310 billion. The scale of the calamity is truly epic. Hence, the Fukushima nuclear accident should have been only a side show.

Not so, it immediately became the principal show. Coverage in the U.S. media replicated hysteria, sensationalism, scaremongering and disinformation that characterized coverage of the Three Mile Island (TMI) accident in 1979. It appears that coverage in Europe wasn’t much better. Initially the mainstream media paraded a stream of anti-nuclear activists who excelled in predicting an equivalent of Armageddon with cataclysmic consequences.

Här har vi alltså ett kontroversiellt avtal, med lagstiftningsliknande effekter. Utlåtandet om huruvida det är lagligt eller ej hemligstämplas. Diskussionen förs bakom stängda dörrar. Alla som kan ha invändningar luras att tro att frågan inte kommer att behandlas i dag. Och när det ändå sker, då tillåts utskottet inte ens rösta om huruvida mötet skall vara offentligt eller bakom stängda dörrar.

Sedan undrar våra ledare villrådigt och bekymrat vad de skall göra åt EU:s demokratiska underskott...

The movie industry claims that piracy is costing them billions of dollars a year.

Luckily for Hollywood, many Americans choose to consume their online media through legal services such as Netflix. In fact, there are now so many that the total Internet traffic generated by Netflix has outgrown that of BitTorrent.

This made us wonder – what would happen if all movie-downloading BitTorrent users made the switch to Netflix? What if movie piracy via BitTorrent disappeared?

Some neocon idiocrat has found a link between porn and terrorism. Or has she?

Pornography is not a necessary cause of terrorism. The abolition of pornography would not lead to the cessation of terrorism in the world. Terrorism existed well before graphic pornography and its mass spread via the internet.

Likewise, pornography is not a sufficient cause for terrorism. There are pornography users, even addicts, who do not become terrorists. [...]

Yet pornography now appears frequently in the possession of violent terrorists and their supporters, including Osama bin Laden. [...]

I wonder whether the pornography of today-now ubiquitous and increasingly grotesque-is one of the influences warping the mentality of those who aspire to or who actually go on to engage in ever more grotesque public violence.

In other words, she openly admits that porn doesn't actually have anything to do with terrorism. But they both make her angry so, surely, they must still be related somehow.

GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be.

The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend.

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