There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.[more inside]
That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”
In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.
A three-part series looking at the history of France's black community and their long struggle for recognition. French President Francois Hollande ran on a platform promising to eliminate the word 'race' from France’s constitution. But critics were quick to point out the disparity between constitutional reform and actual practice. [more inside]
Brazil has spared no expense for the upcoming World Cup. The month-long competition will feature 64 matches in 12 cities across the country. Refurbishing old stadiums and building new ones has cost Brazil $3.6bn. Several of the new stadiums will seldom be used after the World Cup, and Brasilia's World Cup stadium is estimated to have cost taxpayers $900m. [more inside]
Today is World Philosophy Day. Celebrate by reading the Euthyphro, Al Jazeera's Defense of Philosophy, or the first chapter of the new book Why We Argue? (And How We Should.) But don't just sit there interpreting the world! The point is to change it, so maybe spend some time advocating for early-childhood philosophy education.
'Damned if you do, doomed if you don't' - When it comes to violating welfare rules, recipients sometimes do so after suggestions from caseworkers. Published by Al Jazeera America (previously), which opened for business just this month. Consider it a sequel piece to Planet Money's controversial report on dissability fraud (previously).
Al Jazeera has purchased Al Gore's Current TV, giving them a much wider American audience. However, the deal suffered an immediate casualty when Time Warner Cable Inc., the nation's second-largest cable TV operator, announced it is dropping Current TV due to the deal. "Our agreement with Current has been terminated and we will no longer be carrying the service. We are removing the service as quickly as possible," the company said in a statement.
Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services? "Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside]
"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
The shady players in Myanmar's drugs trade: Drug exports from Myanmar continue to escalate, as distinctions between the illicit trade and the 'legal' economy blur.
'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside]
Al Jazeera: 'US admits ops in Yemen and Somalia: White House formally acknowledges "direct action", believed to mean drone strikes, against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.' [more inside]
"Several executives involved in the transaction have either abruptly decided to retire or been sacked."
Last month, JP Morgan Chase announced it had lost $2 billion dollars in a 'hedging' maneuver. Today, Jamie Dimon, Morgan's chairman and CEO, testified before the Senate banking committee. [more inside]
Al Jazeera is closing its Chinese bureau after the authorities have refused to renew its reporters' press credentials and visas [NYT]. The Chinese government's reasons for this aren't clear, but Al Jazeera's recent coverage of China's "black jails" has been less than flattering.
In the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Al Jazeera reports on large-scale deformities and mutations in the Gulf of Mexico seafood catch.
Lockerbie: Case Closed is a badly-titled* documentary following former police detective George Thompson and legal investigator John Ashton as they investigate and uncover new evidence in the Lockerbie bombing. Thompson was hired by Abdelbasset al-Magrahi's legal team to investigate the case. Another film "Pan Am: The Lockerbie bomber"covers similar ground, but uncovers some other issues. Both have been aired on Al-Jazeera. This evidence is the same evidence re-examined by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. Five years ago the SCCRC produced a still unreleased report saying there were 6 grounds for Magrahi to appeal his conviction, which he was planning to do before he was released on compassionate grounds. The report is so secret that even the Scottish Justice secretary has not been allowed to see the it. [more inside]
Shortly after his concert in December 2011 inaugurating Katara amphitheater in Doha, Qatar [facebook photoset, available to the public], Vangelis sat down with Al Jazeera English anchor Tony Harris to spend a half hour talking about music, philosophy, the state of the world, and his career. It was his first television interview in about 20 years. [more inside]
Al Jazeera English investigates political unrest in Puerto Rico with this episode of Fault Lines. This interesting look at the American commonwealth includes interviews with members of the Puerto Rican independence movement, people affected by high levels of unemployment, and centers around students involved in recent protests at the university. [NYT] [more inside]
In this episode of Al-Jazeera's 101 East, Lynn Lee and James Leong become the first foreigners to film inside Pyongyang's University of Cinematic and Dramatic Arts. [more inside]
This week Al Jazeera's excellent roundtable series Empire tackles the issue of social networks and the blogosphere after Egypt. (SLYT) Featuring guests Amy Goodman, Clay Shirky, and Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame), among others. Previously. [more inside]
The show Empire on Al Jazeera collects experts on various subjects and holds a roundtable discussion. This week was Obama 2.0, on the President's first two years, with focus on foreign policy. Guests this week are Ralph Nader, Roger Hodge, Stefan Halper, and As'ad Abu Khalil. Earlier weeks include: [more inside]
Al Jazeera's top 10 stories of 2010.
Including top 10 news, features, and opinion stories by reader hits.
Including top 10 news, features, and opinion stories by reader hits.
"Is the US heading toward a future of greater diversity and racial tolerance, or of racially-motivated violence and separation?" Al Jazeera takes a look at the White Power movement in the United States.
Iranian kids brush off the government's approved hair cuts. For shame! A video at Al Jazeera's channel about hair drama in Iran. Read the Youtube comments if you have an intolerance-tolerant stomach.
Al Jazeera releases a new (as of yet unauthenticated) tape in which the terrorist leader accuses the US and other large nations of inaction. Osama suggests boycotting the American dollar and quotes Noam Chomsky. [more inside]
Introducing the blog of Tarot author Mary K. Greer. This week she posted a gentle takedown of Whoopi's psychic reading on The View. She recently initiated a discussion about the potentially exploitative practices of modern gypsy fortunetellers, based on a report by Al Jazeera. She's also begun posting examples of cartomancy in art and literature, including a wonderful interpretation of this unforgettable Gustave Doré painting (see the comments).
Former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage: - declined to work with Al Jazeera English.
The interview was conducted by Avi Lewis for his program "Fault Lines".
The interview was conducted by Avi Lewis for his program "Fault Lines".
Dear Israel: you picked wrong boat to mess with. Israeli patrol boats have rammed into and nearly capsized a relief vesssel sailing in international waters, bearing humanitarian medical aid to Gaza. Accompanying the international doctors and aid workers who comprised the heart of the mssion were several politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as well as several international journalists, such as Karl Penhaul of CNN and Othman Abu Battiri of Al Jazeera, who have used mobile video reporting to refute Israel's claims that the damage was somehow caused by those leading the relief mission. Shades of the USS Liberty... or Whale Wars?
Sami al-Haj, The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. There is the worrying fact of medical complicity in his torture. (previously 1, 2) [more inside]
Al Jazeera English, the English-language sister network to Al Jazeera, launched worldwide this week. Familiar faces include Lt. Josh Rushing, who figured prominently in the documentary Control Room. Unfortunately, no cable system or satellite broadcaster in the U.S. is carrying the channel, but you can watch it online.
"Massive misinformation" from Arab news networks such as Al-Jazeera is hampering the US effort in Iraq, Rumsfeld told the troops during his Christmas Eve visit to Mosul: "Everything we do here is harder because of television stations like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah." In remarks that were not quoted in the American press, the defense secretary went on to tell the troops, "We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening" (which is itself meta-misinformation.) Meanwhile, the Pentagon's multimillion-dollar solution -- the CIA-funded Iraqi news network, Al-Iraqiya (featuring "Iraqi programs that make you laugh, cry, and learn") -- has become "an irrelevant mouthpiece for [coalition] propaganda" according to one of its own former correspondents, veteran news reporter Don North.
Criticize Iran? Obviously, you're with the Mossad. As it turns out, Al Jazeera is run by Americans and Zionists bent on discrediting Islam in the West, heightening tensions among Islamic countries, and obstructing President Khatami's Dialogue Among Civilizations initiative. Tehran Times has the scoop.
The kidnap videos in Iraq are suspicious. Some say they are fake. Some make their own... what do you think of this one? A rare bit of humor from Al-Jazeera. [.wmv]
Sabra. Shatila. Falluja? At least 280 people killed. 400 more wounded. Many more buried in the rubble. A city with 300,000 civilians and no food. No water. Nowhere to bury the dead. No place to run. No end in sight. Only one camera crew is currently in Falluja. These are the pictures that are being broadcast across the entire Arab world. So... which is worse? Is it justifiable? An act of liberation? A horrific mistake? Or is it a war crime?!
Star presenter wears hijab and apparently gets "a flood of calls". But, in an odd turn for the BBC, the piece doesn't say what those calls think. Are they all praising the traditional - and controversial - head-dress, or are they up in arms. The story skirts the issue. Islam 101 explains a bit about it.
Iraq's governing council bans Al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya TV stations. "US officials have accused Qatar-based Aljazeera and Dubai-based al-Arabiya of giving too much prominence to anti-US attacks and providing a forum for backers of ousted President Saddam Hussein." Wouldn't buying them be more American?
U.S. Kills Journalists. Three journalists in the Palestine Hotel -- which is known as many reporters' base in Baghdad -- have died after the building was bombed by U.S. forces. Simultaneously, U.S. forces hit Al-Jazeera's Abu Dhabi offices with a missle. Officials claim that they were responding to sniper fire, but journalists dispute the claim. Some journalists believe that this was a deliberate attack. Is the U.S. making good on their threat to "target down" journalists?
Hackers to the rescue! This is where the real war is being fought folks.... "Hacked by Patriot, Freedom Cyber Force Militia"
Al-Jazeera Banned From Nasdaq Floor. Despite having a history of questionable exclusives and recent debate over whether its imagery of POWs violates the Geneva Convention, the Arab news network still has a reputation for independent, outspoken viewpoints. Is this move a violation of free speech or a necessary security measure? Is Al-Jazeera a legitimate alternative to the Pentagon? Where makes an "embedded journalist" any different from an A-J reporter getting an "exclusive"?
You may not read Arabic, but do the pictures speak for themselves? [warning: graphic images] One big difference between Desert Storm and the current operation is the emergence of Gulf satellite news stations such as Al-Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV, beaming live into homes across the Arab world. Questions of access aside, it's a given that these news sources will be broadcasting materials that inflame opinion, and would never get past the 'taste and decency' rules of British or American stations. Trouble is, most westerners don't read Arabic: so, should we be bookmarking such sources for another perspective?
Bin Laden Unmasked? Robert Fisk [ducks] reviews a '215 page treasure trove' written by an Al Jazeera journalist and published in Beirut. It contains a 'wealth of information' about the elusive billionaire and his followers. He communicates over the Internet - no surprise there - but the book gives some clues as to the site used: al-Nidaa, 'The Calling'. Can you find it? The words of Mullah Omar are apparently distributed on site called the 'Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan', wild goose chase? You decide.
Is the US targeting al-Jazeera? In defense of al-Jazeera, they have interviewed Israeli officials and members of the Bush administration. They have also been critical of Arab dictatorships. In October of last year, Colin Powell tried to gag Al-Jazeera. Al-Jazeera's response? They did a story on the attempted censorship. Six weeks later, the al-Jazeera office in Kabul was demolished by a pair of 500 lb. bombs. Sami al-Haj, a cameraman for al-Jazeera, has been illegally imprisoned without charges by the US for nine months. His wife -- the mother of Sami's three-year old son -- assumed that he had been killed until she received a letter from him in April. Can we really say that their approach to journalism is biased and disrepectful, but ours is not?
Bin Ladin Alive and Promises New Attacks Al Jezeera received a new tape.
Bahrain bans Al Jazeera TV Help me out on this one. Al Jazeera is said in the West to be very pro-Arab in all things. Now it is banned in a country that says it is moving toward becoming democratic (even allowing women to vote). Is there a contradiction in banning media as you move toward democarcy, or am I perhaps spoiled by my highschool teachers. NOTE: this is NO troll.
Al-Jazeera Severs Ties With CNN: Does it strike anyone as particularly rich that Al Jazeera, the Arab television network, decided to sever ties with CNN after CNN broadcast portions of a video showing bin Laden making his least ambiguous statements yet on al Qaeda's alleged involvement in the terrorist attacks of 9/11? [more inside...]
Al Jazeera english language summary. Since the original al Jazeera site is in arabic, this wbur website, gives a summary of the stories covered by the network in english. Of course, one can try to translate automatically (ajeeb, registration required), but the results are usually comical.
Al Jazeera set to launch English language service Is that some late November 5th fireworks I can hear? No, the sound of Bush and Blair exploding with indignation.
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