CIA Neglects To Call Over 400 Dead Via Drones ‘Civilians’

US Drones

The Article: Leaked report shows high civilian death toll from CIA drone strikes by Chris Woods in Salon.

The Text: A secret document obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals for the first time the Pakistan government’s internal assessment of dozens of drone strikes, and shows scores of civilian casualties.

The United States has consistently claimed only a tiny number of non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan – despite research by the Bureau and others suggesting that over 400 civilians may have died in the nine-year campaign.

The internal document shows Pakistani officials too found that CIA drone strikes were killing a significant number of civilians – and have been aware of those deaths for many years.

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The Real Lives Of Fast Food Workers

McDonalds Budget 1

As we showed you guys last week, McDonalds paid labor advocates an inadvertent favor recently via an unveiling of their benevolent, Visa-partnered employee budgeting exercise, where they proved that a full-time minimum wage employee simply cannot make ends meet with only one job. Translating the paperwork to a person, the five people below present a pretty sobering image of the lives of the men and women who ask “Would you like fries with that?”

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McDonalds Budget 5

Tyree Johnson works at two separate McDonald's restaurants in Chicago to get enough hours to make ends meet. He's worked at the fast food chain for 21 years, but said he still struggles to pay for a monthly bus pass and his prescription drugs. "I pray to God that I can come out of this situation and try to better myself," he said.

McDonalds Budget 4

Each month, Kyle Steele gives half his paycheck to his daughter's mother. What's left is not enough to pay his gas and car insurance bills. He tries to keeps his food costs down by eating most of his meals at McDonald's. His gas bill, at $160 each month, eats up a big portion of his budget. He said he often borrows money from friends and family to get by.

McDonalds Budget 3

It's been near impossible for Christopher Drumgold to raise two kids while making $7.40 an hour at McDonald's. His kids attend a Detroit charter school that doesn't have a bus. So he has to pay for bus or cab fare for them to get to school everyday. What's more, Drumgold said his 12-year-old son is "as big as Shaquille O'Neal," with a size-13 shoe. He constantly outgrows his clothes or needs a haircut, all of which adds to expenses. "I had to find a bootleg barber to get him an affordable haircut," he said. He pays about $15 a month for haircuts, another $100 on childcare and another $100 on prescription drugs.

McDonalds Budget 2

Devonte Yates, 21, is working to get an Associate's Degree in criminal justice and logs in about 25 hours a week at a McDonald's in Milwaukee. To cut down on costs, he lives with his mom and little sister. Still, he struggles to pay his $180 tuition bill each month. He's only able to pay about $90. He said that the school is more forgiving of him not paying his bill in full while he is still taking classes. But when he graduates next semester, he is worried about how he's going to pay it back. Besides tuition, some of Yates' expenses that fall under the "other" category are $40 per month for contact lenses and $50 on clothes. Food, at $300, is his biggest monthly expense, as it is for most of the other workers interviewed.

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The Article: The real budgets of McDonald’s workers by Emily Jane Fox in CNN Money.



Gender Discrimination’s Not Real? Add “Mr.” To Your CV And See What Happens

Workplace Discrimination

The Article: I understood gender discrimination once I added “Mr.” to my resume and landed a job by Kim O’Grady in Quartz.

The Text: It was the late 90s and I was at an interesting phase of my career. For the first time in my life I possessed relevant qualifications, experience and could also show a successful track record in my chosen career path. I had the job seeker’s trifecta. It was also summer and my current employer was pissing me off with its penny-pinching ways, so after three years of ball-busting effort I decided a break and a job change was in order. Displaying characteristic overconfidence in myself, I quit my job (without burning any bridges) and set about applying for others.

I was experienced in managing technical and trade supply businesses. I also had engineering and sales experience, and had demonstrably excelled at accomplishing every sales and profit target I had ever been given. I started applying for roles that would stretch me and lift my career up a notch. There were plenty of opportunities around, and I usually had a few applications on the go at any one time. I was an experienced guy in an experienced guy’s world; This wouldn’t be hard.

Then the rejection letters trickled in. I could take rejection—it goes hand in hand with business—but after the first few months I was frankly confused. I hadn’t had a single interview. Instead of aiming high, I lowered my sights and started applying for jobs where there was no career advancement. Now I had everything these employers could possibly want. It would be a shoe in. But still not one interview came my way—not even a phone inquiry.

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How The War On Terror Is America’s Mania

War On Terror American Mania

The Article: NSA Snooping: The War on Terror Is America’s Mania by Klaus Brinkbäumer in Der Spiegel.

The Text: America is sick. September 11 left it wounded and unsettled — that’s been obvious for nearly 12 years — but we are only now finding out just how grave the illness really is. The actions of the NSA exposed more than just the telephone conversations and digital lives of many millions of people. The global spying scandal shows that the US has become manic, that it is behaving pathologically, invasively. Its actions are entirely out of proportion to the danger.

Since 2005, an average of 23 Americans per year have been killed through terrorism, mostly outside of the US. “More Americans die of falling televisions and other appliances than from terrorism,” writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, and “15 times as many die by falling off ladders.” The US has spent $8 trillion on the military and homeland security since 2001.

America has other threats. The true short-term danger is homegrown: More than 30,000 Americans are killed by firearms every year. An American child is 13 times more likely to be shot than a child in another industrialized country. When it comes to combating the problem, President Barack Obama and Congress are doing very little — or, to be fair, nothing at all. They talk about it every now and then, after every killing spree. The gun lobby, incurably ill, counters that the weapons are necessary for self-defense.

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One Man Risks Life To Pay Off Over $100,000 In Student Loans


The Article: I risked my life to pay off $108,000 in student loans by Jennifer Liberto in CNN Money.

The Text: Thomas McGregor risked his life to pay off his student loans.

McGregor graduated in 2008 from the University of St. Thomas law school in Minnesota with $108,000 in student loans.

After several months of job hunting, and with the threat of a deeper recession looming, McGregor decided to enlist in the Army.

“I paid off $108,000 of law school loan debt,” said McGregor, 31. “All I had to do was put my life on the line.”

McGregor knew what he was getting into. When he joined, he was told there was a “100% chance” he’d be deployed overseas.

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