America, #Ferguson is NOT an isolated incident. Stop asking, “Let’s go back to normal.” No. Normal got us in this mess in the first place! - @rolandsmartin


What You Need to Know About the FISA Court—and How it Needs to Change


As a society, we imagine courts are places where adversarial proceedings take place. In television, literature, and movies, we see each side taking responsible for gathering the evidence and witnesses that will be most helpful to their argument­. They put forth their evidence and argue the law where applicable. And each side has the opportunity to know and take apart the other side’s evidence.

Of course some court situations are not adversarial. The most commonly known situation is when a judge signs a warrant so law enforcement can conduct a search after hearing only from the cops. But when those warrants result in evidence that is used in court, there’s still a chance to challenge the validity of the warrant and the search—and if they were done incorrectly, that evidence can often be suppressed.

The FISA Court is very different. Created by Section 103 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the purpose of the FISC is to “hear applications for and grant orders approving electronic surveillance anywhere within the United States.”

The court makes its own rules and operates in secret. It decides matters like the now infamous Verizon order leaked by Edward Snowden, which allowed for the collection of call detail records for millions of innocent Verizon customers. It relies on a general “heightened duty of candor,” meaning that the government is supposed to go to extreme lengths to tell the court everything it ought to know to make the right decision.   

Now, if this was just a simple process of approving applications for surveillance, and if the evidence could later be challenged in court, this might make sense. But, as we’ve learned, this process is not so simple and can involve critical issues of constitutional law and interpretations what Congress meant in FISA. The court must rely on one-sided information from the government and has to trust that that information is complete. And the data collected by the NSA and FBI under those applications often remains secret, even when it, or information derived from it, is used in criminal proceedings.  

Why the FISA Court Needs to Change

State Sen Tweets 'F--K You' At Missouri Gov Over Ferguson Response


She continued her online criticism of Nixon on Thursday afternoon.

Image via MSNBC.

Source: Dylan Scott for Talking Points Memo

BREAKING: A possible violation of the current Hamas/Israel ceasefire has been violated by Israel.


 : Israeli navy has broken the ceasefire by shooting at Palestinian boats W of - @IssamSammour


Ending Child Marriage Starts by Knowing What Works

When she was 12, Chimwemwe, from a rural village in southern Malawi, married a 17-year-old boy. She had started having sex with him when she was 10 because, she said, he gave her money and small gifts, while her parents could not afford to feed her or buy her clothes.

Chimwemwe, not her real name, became pregnant, and their families forced them to marry. When I interviewed her in September 2013, two years into her marriage, she said: “I’ve never experienced happiness in my marriage. I’ve never seen the benefit of being married.” Her husband beat her, she often went without food and she had almost died giving birth.

Chimwemwe dropped out of school in standard four (equivalent to fourth grade) but said she does not want to go back because “I feel I was not good with books.”

Read more.

Photo: A 14-year-old girl holds her baby at her sister’s home in a village in Kanduku, in Malawi’s Mwanza district. She married in September 2013, but her husband chased her away. Her 15-year-old sister, in the background, married when she was 12. Both sisters said they married to escape poverty. © 2014 Human Rights Watch

BREAKING: 3 Journalists Injured In Gaza: Israeli Army Makes Journalists Sign Death Liability Waiver Before Entering Gaza


IDF is reportedly requiring journalists entering Gaza to fill out a form that absolves the Israeli army of all responsibility in the event of injury or death.

The form, tweeted by The Huffington Post’s Sophia Jones, was given to reporters in a convoy of press entering Gaza’s Erez Crossing.

At erez crossing, reporters crossing into #gaza are made to sign form absolving IDF of any responsibility if press gets hurt/worse.

— Sophia Jones (@Sophia_MJones) July 18, 2014

Reporters entering Gaza today made to sign a disclaimer saying that Israeli MOD & IDF bear no responsibility for their injury/death.

— Louisa Loveluck (@leloveluck) July 18, 2014

The form reads:

I am aware that neither the MOD nor the IDF shall bear any liability whatsoever for damage or [unreadable] resulting from military operations in and around Gaza or otherwise caused to my person or [p…] during, or as a result of, my presence in or entrance to Gaza.

The form continues to state that the signee shall no sue the MOD or IDF for damage sustained during, or as a result of, their presence or entrance to Gaza.

Additionally, the form says the signee agrees to compensate the IDF should any individual or company sue the IDF on their behalf.

Forms like this are common for reporters stationed in conflict zones. The U.S. military required all journalists to sign a similar form when they were reporting in Iraq.

Louisa Loveluck, a Cairo-based correspondent for CS Monitor and the Telegraph, says it’s been standard practice on some crossings since 2012, she tweeted on Friday in discussing the document.

Mashable has reached out to the IDF for comment and will update if and when we hear back. We’ve also reached out to the Committee to Protect Journalists for further insight and will add that here once we have it.

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