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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Good Morning, News

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Jun 18, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Lots of potential progress in Afghanistan today . The US is handing the reins in its 12 year fight against the Taliban to Afghan forces, and the Taliban's saying it wants to talk peace.

Protesting multitudes have taken to the streets of Brazil, as anger over bus fare hikes gave way to outrage over the country's widespread inequity. As is the drill with these things, recordings show police beating unarmed protestors, firing rubber bullets and tear gas, etc. It's ugly. Just imagine if the government had tried to snatch away their Free Rail Zone.

President Obama took to PBS yesterday to explain why PRISM program and other government data meddling are nothing to worry about, and we should be thankful for them. Obama says we're not getting a true picture of the situation, and that he's asked intelligence officials to look at just what else the government might be able to release about the program. Glen Greenwald, who broke the story on the programs, called interviewer Charlie Rose's questions "vapid and obsequious" on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the National Security Agency's giving out hard numbers it says demonstrate the success of the programs. NSA Director Keith Alexander says they've disrupted 50 terror threats, including plots to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and the city's subway system. "I would much rather be here today debating this,'' Alexander reportedly told lawmakers, "than explaining why we were unable to prevent another 9/11'' attack.

The new president of Iran, Hassan Rowhani, says he's open to smoothing things out with the US. He's not so sure about direct talks.

Is the body of famously disappeared Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa in a field outside of Detroit? The son of a late mob boss claims so, saying Hoffa was buried alive after he was hit with a shovel. By the way, as a Michigan native, I both revel in and cringe at the nasal Michigan perfection that narrates the video with this story.

Everybody wants peace talks to end the nasty conflict in Syria except Vladimir Putin. Or, wait. Maybe he does?

Remember the Seattle man who planned to dribble a soccer ball to Brazil but instead was struck by a truck outside of Lincoln City? Charges have been filed in the deeply depressing case.

Horses being used as bloodhounds. Sign me up.

The bleak dampness of late June approaches. Let the Weather Widget tell it.

weather2.jpg

This guy makes it look easy.

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