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Iranian Plot to Kidnap American Journalist Exposed

WOW!

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You can tell a lot about a nation by the way it treats its journalists.

Sure, I may be a little bit biased; I am an American, after all, and have lived with free speech as a daily right for my entire existence.

But for many in other parts of the world, journalism is a dangerous profession.  Russia and Saudi Arabia almost immediately come to mind, along with the tragic stories of Alexei Navalny and Jamal Khashoggi, respectively.

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This week, federal authorities have uncovered yet another targeting of the free press, and the incident hit a lot closer to home for Americans.

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Feds say they intervened in an international scheme to abduct an Iranian-American journalist who is now a citizen and resident of the US. Though prosecutors didn’t name the target, Masih Alinejad confirmed to the New York Times that it was her. Known for criticizing the Iranian government, Alinejad said last August that the government was calling for her kidnapping in a social media campaign. She fled the country in 2009 after threats and other troubles related to articles criticizing then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and currently lives in Brooklyn. She tells Reuters she was in a state of shock after learning of the plot eight months ago, and that she doesn’t feel safe even in the US.

The would-be kidnappers all had serious connections to Iran.

Prosecutors charged four Iranians with conspiring to kidnap the journalist, author, and activist, in what the authorities say was a plan orchestrated by an Iranian intelligence network. One suspect, Alireza Shavaroghi Farahani, is an Iranian intelligence official and the other three are described as Iranian intelligence assets.

The incident is a powerful reminder of just how lucky Americans are when it comes to free speech.

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Swastika Found Engraved at State Department Draws Condemnation

The Secretary of State was LIVID.

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There’s nothing funny about the Nazi regime, and everyone knows it, except for a certain breed of adolescent dolt who’s simply looking to appear edgy and dangerous as some hormonal ploy to attract a mate. These are the kids that would draw toothbrush mustaches on the faces in the magazines, or throw up a sig heil behind the teacher’s back for a laugh. But this phase almost always fades as the years climb on, and most of these young idiots looks back at themselves in a perpetual state of cringe. This leaves us to assume that anyone continuing to exude such Hitleresque nonsense into adulthood is doing so very purposefully, and not with the naïveté of their younger years. At the State Department, this reality is causing a bit of concern. A swastika carved into an elevator car has been discovered at the State Department in Washington—in a location within the building’s security perimeter. The elevator is close to the office of the special envoy charged with monitoring and opposing anti-semitism, Axios reports. Secretary of State Antony Blinken emailed all employees Tuesday about the discovery. Blinken was livid. “The hateful graffiti has been removed and this incident will be investigated,” he wrote. Blinken is the stepson of a Holocaust survivor, per the Washington Post, and has emphasized the threat of anti-semitism, which he wrote “isn’t a relic of the past.” Officials have said President Biden will nominate an ambassador-at-large to deal with the problem; the Jerusalem Post called for such a position in an editorial this month. Hate has been on the rise in America in recent years, as white supremacist groups continue to recruit and spread their message online, and then, often violently, in real life.

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International Athletic Authorities Set to Review Marijuana Use Policies

The marijuana revolution is going global.

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Things are changing rapidly within society here in the 21st century, as our governing bodies finally begin to take a look at some long-held, but naive beliefs about certain medical plants. In the United States, for instance, the marijuana revolution is happening right before our eyes, as more than half the states in the nation now allow citizens to indulge in some form of legal, medicinal, or decriminalized use of the plant.  About a third of the states even allow for recreational use, and those locales have been enjoying both incredible tax revenues from the highly-regulated sale of legal weed, as well as the societal benefits that come along with – including a sharp decrease in the use of more dangerous drugs. Now it appears as though this sentiment is going global. Sebastian Coe wants to ensure what happened this month to American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson won’t knock another athlete out of the Olympics in the future. Richardson, who won the 100 meters at the U.S. trials last month, didn’t travel to Japan for the Tokyo Games after being caught smoking marijuana. Coe, the president of international track body World Athletics, said Tuesday the absence of the 21-year-old Richardson is “a loss to the competition” and added he supports a review of marijuana’s status as a doping substance in light of her case. And he wasn’t mincing his words. “It should be. It’s sensible,” Coe said when asked if a rethink was needed about marijuana being on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited list. “Nothing is set in tablets of stone,” said Coe, who has asked track’s independent Athletics Integrity Unit to work with WADA. “You adapt and occasionally reassess.” Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle have expressed optimism that a new bill meant to decriminalize marijuana at the…

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