New documentary on Snowden released

Award-winning documentarian Laura Poitras has just released her new film Citizenfour about Edward Snowden. (The title of the film is taken from one of the aliases he used in his initial communications with her.) Spencer Ackerman provides a review of the film while George Packer provides a lengthy profile of the notoriously publicity-shy Poitras and also discusses the film which he saw in Berlin before its release.
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Gamergate

As one who is not a fan of video games (but have played a few, badly, with my daughters) I initially avoided stories about the so-called ‘Gamergate’, partly because I thought it dealt with some inside-baseball stuff about video games and the community of players that I was not particularly interested in and partly because I have grown weary of issues that have the suffix ‘gate’ added to them, which nowadays almost always signifies some trivial issue that is being artificially inflated in importance.
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Texas voting rights case update

Last Thursday, a federal judge in Texas threw out that state’s new voting ID requirements enshrined in the law SB 14, the strictest in the nation, on the grounds that it imposed undue hardship on voters, was discriminatory, and the costs involved amounted to a poll tax. It was a sweeping judgment that Texas immediately appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is one of the most conservative of the Appeals Courts and on Tuesday, they reversed the judge’s ruling, allowing the rules to remain in place.
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Voter suppression efforts receive two setbacks

It has been clear for some time that, since their actual policies and practices are so unpopular with key demographics, the GOP strategy for winning elections is to try and reduce voting by likely Democratic voters by enacting strict voter ID laws under the pretext of preventing fraud, a problem that does not exist in any significant way to matter. But yesterday, these measures received two significant setbacks.
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