Mic Check: Learn About the Surveillance Program That’s Scarier Than the NSA

1. Report Uncovers Secret DEA Surveillance Program
 
Reuters blew the lid off a surveillance unit within the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency with troubling practices in a report published on Monday. The Special Operations Division of the DEA uses intelligence from two-dozen partner agencies – including the FBI, CIA, and NSA – to launch investigations against everyday criminals in the U.S. DEA agents are told to recreate the intelligence they receive from SOD so they don’t have to report the existence of the program. These cover ups are one of the most disturbing aspects of the program: They prevent defendants from fully reviewing the prosecution’s case against them.
 
More from around the web:
Go inside the public-private surveillance partnership (Bloomberg).
 
More from PolicyMic:
• The NSA is Snitching On You to the Cops (David Tigabu)
 
 
2.  Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Buys the Washington Post
 
CEO of the Washington Post Company Donald Graham announced on Monday that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has bought the Post Company’s publishing businesses for $250 million. Jeff Bezos bought all of the Post Company’s print publications, including the Washington Post, while the Graham family will hold onto the company’s online outlets. Graham explained his family’s decision in a letter to the Post’s employees. “We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed,” he said.
 
More from around the web:
Get to know the man who just bought the Washington Post (NY Times).
 
Read Jeff Bezos’ letter to WaPo’s employees.
 
Why Jeff Bezos could be bad news for journalism (TNR).
 
More from PolicyMic:
10 Best Snarky Amazon Product Reviews (Amy Sterling Casil)
 
 
3. Turkish Court Convicts Hundreds in Plot Against Government
 
Tensions in Turkey continued to escalate on Monday when a court convicted all but 17 out of 275 defendants accused of plotting to overthrow the government. 17 of the defendants, including the former head of Turkey’s military, received life sentences. The government accused the suspects of planning killings to spark a military coup as part the rebel “Ergenekon” group. 10,000 protesters took to the streets in response to the decision: Opponents of the government say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is using a biased court system to crackdown on dissenters.
 
More from around the web:
Learn about Turkey’s history of conspiracy theories (Al Jazeera).
 
How Turkey’s prime minister undermines the freedom of the press (FT).
 
More from PolicyMic:
My Generation Is Clueless About Government Oppression (Sarp Yavuz)
 
 
4. Curiosity Rover Celebrates One Year On Mars
 
Space exploration reached a major milestone on Monday as NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated the one-year anniversary of its landing on Mars. In its first year on the Red Planet Curiosity found an ancient stream bed and provided scientists with evidence that Mars could have supported microbial life billions of years ago. “The time has gone by quickly, but we’re amazed at how much we were able to accomplish,” said Curiosity’s head scientist John Grotzinger. Curiosity will head to Mount Sharp next, where the rover hopes to discover secrets about Mars’ changing environmental conditions.
 
More from around the web:
• Check out the best pictures and videos from Curiosity’s first year on Mars (Wired).
 
• The NY Times has an incredible interactive feature on Curiosity.
 
More from PolicyMic:
The Curiosity Rover Gives Us a Reason to Send Humans to Mars (Adam Hogue)
 
 
5. Scientists Unveil World’s First Stem Cell Hamburger
 
Scientists unveiled the world’s first in vitro hamburger patty at a high-profile tasting event on Monday. It took three months and $330,000 for Dutch researcher Mark Post to create the 20,000 muscle strands necessary to make a single burger. Google co-founder Sergei Brin was unmasked as the anonymous donor behind the project. The tasters gave the stem cell burger a good review: “The texture… has a feel like meet… The bite feels like a conventional hamburger,” said journalist Josh Schonwald.
 
More from around the web:
What in vitro meat means for animal suffering (Guardian).
 
What does a stem cell burger taste like? (BBC)
 
More from PolicyMic:
This 14-Year-Old McDonald's Burger Looks No Older Than 14 Seconds (Christine Salek)
 
 
DESSERT
What can the U.S. learn from the South Korean teacher who makes $4 million? (WSJ)
 
What you can learn from the science of smarter spending (New Republic).
 
The chilling history of how Hollywood helped Hitler (Hollywood Reporter).
 
3 tips to help you build a career worth having (HBR).
 
• Researchers made a Mona Lisa replica that’s thinner than a human hair (PopSci).
 
 
Thanks for reading!
Nick
 
Want do you think about the topics in today’s Mic Check? Are you concerned about the DEA’s surveillance program? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter @nicholascbaker.
 
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