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A January 6 rioter is leading an armed national militia from prison

A January 6 rioter is leading an armed national militia from prison

Wired reports: Years after being accused of swinging a baseball bat at police officers during the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, Edward “Jake” Lang is now using encrypted messaging channels to create a nationwide network of armed militias in all 50 states. Though he has been in prison for over 1,200 days, Lang is working with a network of election deniers and conspiracists to promote the North American Patriot and Liberty Militia, or Napalm for short. The…

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Modern revenge culture, explained by Mrs. and Mr. Alito

Modern revenge culture, explained by Mrs. and Mr. Alito

Timothy Snyder writes: We have the rule of law so as not to have a culture of revenge. For much of human history, it was an eye for an eye, as we read in the Bible. In a revenge culture, a chieftain decides who is to blame, and the shamans explain how the blood and chaos is just and necessary. In the Greek tragedies of Aeschylus and Euripides, the grand problem is escaping from reciprocal violence within and among families….

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Senate Democrats launch probe of foreign payments to Jared Kushner’s firm

Senate Democrats launch probe of foreign payments to Jared Kushner’s firm

HuffPost reports: Democrats are increasing their scrutiny of Jared Kushner’s business activities. Senate Finance Committee chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Kushner’s firm, Affinity Partners, for details about its investors on Wednesday, including the $2 billion it received from the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund in 2021. “Mr. Kushner’s limited track record as an investor, including his nonexistent experience in private equity or hedge funds, raise questions regarding the investment strategy behind the seeding investments and lucrative compensation that Affinity…

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Why the Southern Baptists’ vote opposing IVF could change national politics

Why the Southern Baptists’ vote opposing IVF could change national politics

Politico reports: The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest and most politically powerful Protestant denomination, voted Wednesday to oppose in vitro fertilization. The move may signal the beginning of a broad turn on the right against IVF, an issue that many evangelicals, anti-abortion advocates and other social conservatives see as the “pro-life” movement’s next frontier — one they hope will eventually lead to restrictions, or outright bans, on IVF at the state and federal levels. The vote comes as Democrats…

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U.S. scrambling to prevent Israel-Hezbollah war amid Gaza ceasefire push

U.S. scrambling to prevent Israel-Hezbollah war amid Gaza ceasefire push

Barak Ravid reports: The Biden administration has grown extremely concerned that escalating violence between Israel and Hezbollah in recent days will deteriorate into an all-out war — and is scrambling to prevent it, according to U.S. officials. Why it matters: Amid the highly sensitive push to reach a ceasefire deal in Gaza, a full-blown war with the Lebanese militant group would dramatically exacerbate the regional crisis and draw the U.S. deeper into the conflict. Behind the scenes: The Biden administration has cautioned Israel in recent weeks against the…

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The suppression of dissent inside Israel: A Palestinian professor arrested for opposing genocide

The suppression of dissent inside Israel: A Palestinian professor arrested for opposing genocide

The New York Times reports: Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, a Palestinian professor at a prominent Israeli university, first waded into the debate over the Gaza war by joining academics worldwide in signing a letter that called for a cease-fire. It branded Israel’s assault on the territory a “genocide” and the leaders of her university responded by urging her to resign. That was soon after the war began on Oct. 7. Months later, the professor drew even more scrutiny for saying it was…

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Do plants have minds?

Do plants have minds?

Rachael Petersen writes: Gustav Theodor Fechner championed the idea that plants have souls – something we might call ‘consciousness’ today. I first learned of him in an interdisciplinary reading group on plant consciousness that I co-lead at Harvard University. We convene biologists, theologians, artists and ethologists to explore the burgeoning literature on plant life. We found Fechner covered in the New York Times bestselling book by Christopher Bird and Peter Tompkins titled The Secret Life of Plants (1973). Michael Pollan…

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Jewish U.S. army intel officer quits over Gaza. He says ‘impossible’ not to see echoes of Holocaust

Jewish U.S. army intel officer quits over Gaza. He says ‘impossible’ not to see echoes of Holocaust

  We speak with U.S. Army Major Harrison Mann, the first military and intelligence officer to publicly resign over the Biden administration’s support for Israel’s war on Gaza. Mann left his role at the Defense Intelligence Agency after a 13-year career, saying in a public letter explaining his resignation that “nearly unqualified support for the government of Israel … has enabled and empowered the killing and starvation of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.” Mann submitted his resignation on November…

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Israel’s war on Gaza takes record toll on journalists

Israel’s war on Gaza takes record toll on journalists

Committee to Protect Journalists: The Israel-Gaza war has taken an unprecedented toll on Gazan journalists since Israel declared war on Hamas following its attack against Israel on October 7, 2023. As of June 11, 2024, CPJ’s preliminary investigations showed at least 108 journalists and media workers were among the more than 38,000 killed since the war began, making it the deadliest period for journalists since CPJ began gathering data in 1992. Journalists in Gaza face particularly high risks as they try to cover the conflict during the Israeli ground assault, including…

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‘Worse than Guantanamo’: The prison holding suspected ISIS fighters

‘Worse than Guantanamo’: The prison holding suspected ISIS fighters

  More than 50,000 ISIS suspects and their families are being held in a constellation of some 27 detention facilities across Syria, by the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces. Officials warn the prisons and camps present a major security threat that needs to be dealt with. Human rights groups describe them as legal black holes and a stain on the world’s conscience. CNN’s Clarissa Ward travelled to Syria and gained unprecedented access to some of the detention centers.

Hunter Biden verdict throws ‘sand in the gears’ of GOP’s attacks on legal system

Hunter Biden verdict throws ‘sand in the gears’ of GOP’s attacks on legal system

Politico reports: Republicans are scrambling to prevent Hunter Biden’s conviction on felony gun charges from undermining their argument that the judicial system is being weaponized against Donald Trump. They just can’t agree on how. Trump’s campaign cast the conviction of his rival’s son on Tuesday as a “distraction from the real crimes of the Biden Crime Family,” while some hard-line supporters dismissed the proceedings as “fake.” House Speaker Mike Johnson argued that Hunter Biden’s conviction “doesn’t” undercut Republicans’ claims of…

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Chief Justice Roberts: The role of Supreme Court is for ‘deciding the cases,’ not giving moral guidance

Chief Justice Roberts: The role of Supreme Court is for ‘deciding the cases,’ not giving moral guidance

The New York Times reports: Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. told a woman posing as a Catholic conservative last week that compromise in America between the left and right might be impossible and then agreed with the view that the nation should return to a place of godliness. “One side or the other is going to win,” Justice Alito told the woman, Lauren Windsor, at an exclusive gala at the Supreme Court. “There can be a way of working, a…

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Frau Martha-Ann Alito: ‘You come after me, I’m going to give it back to you’

Frau Martha-Ann Alito: ‘You come after me, I’m going to give it back to you’

The Daily Beast reports: Justice Samuel Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann, once again unwitting made herself the internet’s Main Character on Tuesday after an undercover reporter released a secretly recorded conversation in which she nastily complained about her neighbor’s Pride flag and bizarrely declared “I’m German.” “Look at me. I’m German, from Germany. My heritage is German,” she told a documentary maker who was posing as a conservative activist. “You come after me, I’m going to give it back to you. And…

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The new math of how large-scale order emerges

The new math of how large-scale order emerges

Philip Ball writes: A few centuries ago, the swirling polychromatic chaos of Jupiter’s atmosphere spawned the immense vortex that we call the Great Red Spot. From the frantic firing of billions of neurons in your brain comes your unique and coherent experience of reading these words. As pedestrians each try to weave their path on a crowded sidewalk, they begin to follow one another, forming streams that no one ordained or consciously chose. The world is full of such emergent…

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