Espionage and politics in the headlines

"Would we know this without people like Snowden? Let the leaks flow," urges ​Gintautas Dumcius with State House News, after Guardian's James Ball reported that more Snowden documents reveal the British intelligence agency GCHQ intercepted emails of journalists from top international media, even as the government "faces intense pressure to protect the confidential communications of reporters, MPs and lawyers from snooping" (12,700+ shares). 

"The craziest part: GCHQ listed 'investigative journalists' as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers," observes Trevor Timm with Guardian US and Freedom of the Press."Shocking. Keep out of our &*^% email GCHQ. Snooping on journalists undermines critical part of our society," reacts The Economist's Natasha Loder"Awake all night wondering if in November 2008 emails I bad-mouthed anybody important at the BBC," confesses colleague Jason Palmer.

Not to be outdone, in the U.S. new police radars can "see" inside homes (30,000+ shares). "You know what happens when police officers ignore the highest law of the land? Absolutely nothing," points out freelance journalist Quinn Norton. "llegal search and seizure just got easier," realizes Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko.

In lighter reads, a profile on the chief White House speechwriter Obama has dubbed "Hemingway" reveals he draws on friends, empathy and a little whisky for State of the Union. "Best detail in great story: Ben Rhodes reads "To Kill a Mockingbird" to 4-week-old baby," notes Carolyn Ryan with the New York Times. In another pleasant offering from the Times, the Knicks won a basketball game yesterday, and Andrew Keh was there to write about it. The correction alone should make it worth the read.

Turning our eyes back to the dark side of news, ISIS is now threatening to kill two Japanese hostages unless Tokyo pays $200 million (18,000+ shares). "#ISIS is running out of money and hostages, major reason why ransom is so exorbitant for Japanese captives," Jamie Tarabay with Al Jazeera America theorizes. In Yemen, shots were reportedly fired at a U.S. Embassy vehicle after a day of fighting around the presidential palace. Michael Moss reports that animal welfare is at risk in experiments for the meat industry while 50,000 gallons of oil were spilled in the Yellowstone River, with residents being told not to drink the water. In Ohio, one person has been confirmed dead and one injured in an I-75 overpass collapse.

Filed under poor optics, the UK just rejected a visa plea for a five-year-old’s funeral and Jeb Bush apparently kept key roles in Florida firm amid signs of trouble

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