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U.S. names schools under federal sexual assault investigation
NBC News: Fifty-five colleges and universities are under a federal investigation for their handling of sexual violence and harassment complaints. 
The U.S. released a list on Thursday naming the schools with open probes, which included Harvard and Princeton. The list is part of the Obama administration’s push to bring greater transparency to sexual assault cases in higher education.
The Education Department says it will continue to update the list and make it available upon request.
Photo: People walk around the Princeton University campus in New Jersey. (Eduardo Munoz / Reuters file)
A legendary 1960s battle over the urban design of New York City is getting its dramatic due. The struggle between urban planner Robert Moses and journalist/activist Jane Jacobs over Moses’s proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway will become an opera, thanks to composer Judd Greenstein and director Joshua Frankel.
Moses and Jacobs had deeply divergent visions of New York City’s future. Moses was the powerful planner behind a swath of New York City expressways that displaced half a million people during his reign as the city’s master builder. He envisioned a city built for easy driving. Jacobs, who popularized the idea of eyes on the street—the notion that streets are safer and more vibrant when there are pedestrians on them—vehemently opposed Moses’s plans to raze Washington Square Park and much of Greenwich Village, where she lived, to build yet more miles of highway.
Robert Moses Vs. Jane Jacobs, The Central Drama Of Urban Planning, Will Be An Opera design
A Lawsuit Charges That the FBI Used Stasi Tactics Against Muslims
A complaint filed this week in a Manhattan federal court alleges that the FBI is cornering innocent people, insisting that they act as informants for the federal government, and preventing them from leaving the country if they refuse to collaborate. Those are the tactics of the Stasi. Spy on other members of society or else.
If you refuse? Forget about the ability to travel freely or visit family abroad.
If Tanvir v. Holder is decided on the merits, rather than suppressed in the name of state secrets, we’ll find out if the FBI has turned those tactics against Muslim Americans.
That’s what four plaintiffs allege. The stories they tell are chilling.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
On Friday, an Afghan policeman opened fire on a car carrying the journalists Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon, of the Associated Press, in Khost province. Niedringhaus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, was killed in the attack. These pictures, all taken in the past few weeks, showcase some of her work from Afghanistan: http://nyr.kr/1i8EQWk
Above: An Afghan girl helps her brother down from a security barrier set up outside the Independent Election Commission office in Khost.
Flight MH370: search teams racing against the clock to find black box
Search teams are racing against the clock to find the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as the window for finding one of the black boxes with an active power source gets progressively smaller.
Australia’s defence minister, David Johnston, said on Tuesday that a spell of “reasonable” weather in the Indian Ocean search area meant the sea and air search teams would be stepping up their efforts in the next few days.
On Monday the Australian vessel Ocean Shield detected two separate pulses in the Indian ocean search area consistent with signals emitted by a black box. Full story 
Pictured: David Johnston, right, and Angus Houston address the media in Perth on Tuesday. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers
Whistleblower says NSA deliberately listened in on groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and their staff
Apr. 8 2014

The US has targeted prominent human rights organisations and has spied on their staff, Edward Snowden said on Tuesday, giving evidence to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe’s top human rights body.
Speaking via a video connection from Moscow, Snowden said that the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberatly snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
He told MEPs: “The NSA has targeted leaders and staff members of these sorts of organisations, including domestically within the borders of the United States.” Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged.
But in live testimony, Snowden gave a forensic account of how the NSA's powerful surveilllance programs violate the EU’s privacy laws.
He said programs such as XKeyscore, revealed by the Guardian last July, use sophisticated data mining techniques to track “trillions” of private communications. “This technology offers the most significant new threat to civil liberties in the modern era,” he declared.
XKeyscore allows analysts to search with no prior authorisation through vast databases containing emails, online chats, and the browsing histories of millions of individuals.
Snowden said on Tuesday that he and other analysts were able to use the tool to select an individual’s metadata and content “without judicial approval or prior review”.
In practical terms, this meant the agency was targeting citizens not involved in any nefarious activities, he stressed. The NSA operated a “de facto policy of guilt by association”, he added.
Snowden said the agency, for example, monitored the travel patterns of innocent EU citizens not involved in terrorism or any wrongdoing.
The 30-year-old whistleblower- who began his intelligence career working for the CIA in Geneva – said the NSA also routinely monitored the communications of Swiss nationals “across specific routes”.
Others who fell under its purview included people who accidentally clicked on the wrong link, downloaded the wrong file, or who visited a sex forum.
The Council of Europe invited the White House to give evidence but it declined. The EU body defended its decision to invite Snowden to testify.
In a statement on Monday, it said: “Edward Snowden has triggered a massive public debate on privacy in the internet age. We hope to ask him what his revelations mean for ordinary users and how they should protect their privacy and what kind of restrictions Europe should impose on state surveillance.”
Pro-Russian militia killed in attempt to storm Ukrainian military base
Three pro-Russian militia were killed and 13 injured in clashes with Ukrainian troops in the south-east city of Mariupol on Wednesday night, according to Ukraine’s interior ministry.
Interior minister Arsen Avakov said on Thursday that the separatists were killed during an attempt to storm a Ukrainian base by some 300 people, armed with guns and petrol bombs. None of the interior ministry troops defending the base on the Sea of Azov were injured, Avakov said on his Facebook page. Full story
Pictured: People carry a man injured during pro-Russian protests near the Ukrainian military base in Mariupol. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters
South Korea ferry disaster: captain and crew accused of abandoning passengers
The parents of hundreds of children missing after Wednesday’s ferry accident off the coast of South Korea have accused the captain of the vessel of abandoning passengers after it emerged that he and six other crew members were among the first to leave the ship after it started to sink.
The captain, Lee Joon-seok, who is reportedly in his 60s, escaped from the 6,835-ton Sewol at about 9:30am on Wednesday, just 40 minutes after the vessel apparently ran aground and started to list severely. Full story
Pictured: Lee Joon-Seok (centre), captain of the South Korean ferry that sank at sea off Jindo, is questioned by reporters. Photograph: Yonhap/Reuters Photograph: Yonhap/Reuters
Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982, died Thursday. He was 87. Garcia Marquez, the master of a style known as magic realism, was and remains Latin America’s best-known writer.
His novels were filled with miraculous and enchanting events and characters; love and madness; wars, politics, dreams and death. And everything he had written, Garcia Marquez once said, he knew or heard before he was 8 years old.
Chilean novelist Ariel Dorfman says Marquez’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech was one of the author’s most important messages to the world.
"Garcia Marquez is speaking about all the people who are marginal to history, who have not had a voice," Dorfman says. "He gives a voice to all those who died. He gives a voice to all those who are not born yet. He gives a voice to Latin America."
Read our full appreciation here.
Image via See Colombia
Let’s say you’re a family making $50,000, married with one child. Let’s also say you put 2 percent of your wages toward a 401(k), don’t itemize, and claim the Saver’s Credit and Child Tax Credit. This is what your tax receipt might look like. You’re paying $440 to have the finest military on the planet. You’re paying $9.59 on unemployment insurance. You’re paying $15.98 to ensure that the federal government can help you out if there’s a natural disaster that takes out your town. You’re also paying about $4,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes.
The Details, plus more charts: How America Pays Taxes—in 10 Not-Entirely-Depressing Charts)
A complaint filed this week in a Manhattan federal court alleges that the FBI is cornering innocent people, insisting that they act as informants for the federal government, and preventing them from leaving the country if they refuse to collaborate. Those are the tactics of the Stasi. Spy on other members of society or else.
If you refuse? Forget about the ability to travel freely or visit family abroad.
If Tanvir v. Holder is decided on the merits, rather than suppressed in the name of state secrets, we’ll find out if the FBI has turned those tactics against Muslim Americans.
That’s what four plaintiffs allege. The stories they tell are chilling.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
A pro-Russian armed man lends his weapon to a boy posing for a picture for his father in front of the seized town administration building in Kostyantynivka, April 28, 2014. http://bit.ly/1kdBSST
Photo: Marko Djurica/Reuters
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