Trending In Our News Feeds – Snowden hands hacking info to China. NSA leaker Edward Snowden claimed the U.S. hacks data from countries around the world, including China, in an interview yesterday with the South China Morning Post. The Post says Snowden handed over documents to support his claim. Snowden said he plans to stay Hong Kong and vowed to fight any attempts to send him to the U.S.
Meanwhile, NSA Director Keith Alexander told the Senate Intelligence committee NSA surveillance programs have prevented “dozens of terrorist events.” He maintained his officers balance privacy rights with the need for security: “They do this lawfully. They take compliance, oversight, protecting civil liberties and privacy and the security of this nation to their heart every day.” Alexander will privately brief the Senate later today.
The internet has buzzed with praise and blame for Snowden since he leaked the NSA’s secret programs; Talking Points Memo has an excellent post about why Snowden divides us.
Turkey to vote on park development project. Protest leaders in Turkey met with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan yesterday, despite widespread anger over a police crackdown that scattered demonstrations on Tuesday. After the meeting, Erdogan announced he will hold a public referendum on the development of Taksim Square. However, he refused to soften his rhetoric against protesters: He demanded an end to all demonstrations within 24 hours. Back in the square, protesters recuperated from this week’s clashes with an impromptu piano concert.
Representative offends with comment on rape. Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has officially joined the list of Republicans who have let slip unsavory comments about rape. “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” he claimed at a committee hearing yesterday on a new abortion bill. He later said he meant pregnancies resulting from rape are usually terminated before the 20th week, the deadline the bill sets for abortions. The Washington Post runs Franks’ comments through its fact checker and finds there is no scientific evidence to support his claim.
Judge rules in favor of unpaid interns. A federal judge ruled Fox Pictures broke minimum wage laws by not paying two interns who worked on the movie Black Swan in a ruling issued Tuesday. The judge said Fox failed to provide an educational environment for the interns, and noted they had duties similar to paid employees. He decided unpaid internships should only be legal when they closely follow the six guidelines provided by the Department of Labor. The interns’ lawyer predicts the verdict “will have a much broader impact in terms of making corporations reexamine their internship programs.”
Kanye drops some knowledge. Kanye West took some time out of his busy schedule yesterday to interview with the New York Times. At this point, we’ve come to expect Yeezy to drop some crazy, narcissistic pearls of wisdom in his interviews, and he didn’t let us down. Here are some of his best lines, as collected by our friend Delia Paunescu:
– “I will be the leader of a company that ends up being worth billions of dollars, because I got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”
– “I am undoubtedly, you know, Steve of Internet, downtown, fashion, culture. Period. By a long jump. I honestly feel that because Steve has passed, you know, it’s like when Biggie passed and Jay-Z was allowed to become Jay-Z.”
– “It’s only led me to complete awesomeness at all times. It’s only led me to awesome truth and awesomeness. Beauty, truth, awesomeness. That’s all it is.”
Still haven’t gotten your Kanye Fix? Check out the craziest things he’s said in 10 years of interviews.
Must Reads From PolicyMic – Joe Biden’s Inbox Revealed By NSA PRISM Program (Michael Luciano, @policymike) – An exclusive screenshot of Vice President Joe Biden’s inbox, uncovered by the NSA’s PRISM program.
[71 Mics, 22 Comments, 361 Shares]
50 Overlooked But Beautiful Places to Visit in New York City (Catherina Gioino, @Cat_Gio) – A look at some of New York City’s best spots. You can rest assured you won’t find many others to ruin your fun at these out-of-the-way destinations.
[23 Mics, 13 Comments, 119 Shares]
It’s Time to Admit Obama is a Disappointment (Benjamin Cosman, @bencosman) – PRISM is just the latest straw on the camel’s back. At this point, Obama has utterly let down the Americans he is supposed to serve.
[9 Mics, 6 Comments, 37 Shares]
How the Hell Did Bonnaroo Become So Mainstream? (Chloe Stillwell, @chloekillwell) – It’s not Woodstock anymore when ATMs and phone charging stations line the muraled walls of Bonnaroo. We’ve lost the last frontier of festivals.
[6 Mics, 0 Comments, 21 Shares]
Meet the California Students Who Stormed the State Capitol to Demand Funding For Their Futures (Johnathen Duran, @johnathendd) – 22 students from colleges across California staged a silent protest on Monday to lobby for legislation that could help local schools fund their futures. This is their story.
[5 Mics, 21 Comments, 107 Shares]
What We’re Sharing – If Edward Snowden is a traitor, then so is the man who helped end the Vietnam War (Slate).
– A new study examines what happens to women who are denied abortions (NY Times).
– Learn about the dark business model behind the world’s most addictive magazine (Atlantic).
– Google has surprisingly low-tech methods for delivering data to the NSA (WaPo).
– The greatest books of all time, according to 125 famous authors (Brain Pickings).
– Check out these crazy photos of the flooding in Europe (InFocus).
– 16 illustrated truths about adulthood (BuzzFeed).
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