Spy chief says U.S. will publish transparency report this fall


James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence for the Obama administration, says his office will publish its first annual transparency report later this year in order to show how often America’s spy services are requesting data from tech and phone companies.

In a statement reported by the Washington Post, Clapper says the government will for the first time disclose how many requests it makes. It will also break the requests into categories like National Security Letters (used by the FBI and other agencies use to obtain information on American) and so-called FISA-letters, which are targeted at foreigners.

Clapper’s decision to reveal stats related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is particularly significant because, until now, all FISA requests — some of which ensnare Americans — are overseen by a controversial secret court. And while companies like Google(s goog) have been asking the secret court for permission to disclose how many…

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Kerry: “We Know” Syrian Government Used Chemical Weapons


Secretary of State John Kerry revealed Friday the highlights of an unclassified intelligence assessment into last weeks reported chemical weapons attack that killed more than 1,000 outside Damascus, saying it is clear to the United States that the Syrian government was responsible.

“We know that a senior regime official confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime,” Kerry said from the State Department, offering the bluntest rationale yet for military engagement in Syria in a blistering 19 minute statement. “We know this.”

According to Kerry, the United States also knows that at least 1,429 Syrians were killed in the attack, including at least 426 children. He said the U.S. has been able to confirm the source of the Syrian chemical weapons in last week’s attack, and that Syrian government weapons technicians were known to be preparing their use. Kerry said this assessment was “fact.”

“The intelligence community has high confidence,” Kerry…

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2013 IFAP Grand Prix Juror Award Of Merit – Enter Skógafoss

Mabry Campbell Photo Blog

2013 Grand Prix Juror Award of Merit ⎮ IFAP (International Fine Art Photography Awards) ⎮ Grand Prix de la Découverte ⎮ Landscape/Seascape/Nature Category

I am very honored to have received a Juror Award of Merit in the landscape/seascape/nature category of the 2013 IFAP Awards for my image “Enter Skógafoss”, a black and white image of one of the most famous waterfalls in the world. This award is recognition that at least one juror had my image in the Top 10 images in the category for 2013.

Gallery Of Winning Images
IFAP 2013 Juror Award Of Merit - Enter Skogafoss

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The Protein Tied to Memory Loss and Other Fascinating News on the Web


  1. Remember This Protein

    RbAp48. It’s not an easy name to remember. But it is a single protein that could help explain why you don’t remember where you left your keys. Researchers have tied a shortage of RbAp48 to the kind of memory loss associated with getting older. In recent studies, reducing the protein made mice more forgetful. According to one researcher: “What was remarkable is that if you just manipulate this one molecule in this particular area of the brain, you now have a young mouse that looks very much like an old mouse.” And amazingly, boosting the protein in older mice brought back memory skills.

  2. Flying Solo?

    While Great Britain has backed out of possible coalition to strike Syria and the U.N. is deadlocked, the U.S. still seems to be moving forward and plans to release information regarding Syria’s use of chemical weapons. Here’s the latest from CNN.

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