Showing posts with label Espionage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Espionage. Show all posts

12 May 2021

[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller

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[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
'The Assassins' - Audio Blog Tour Banner

The Book:

'The Assassins' 
By Alan Bardos
Audiobook narrated by Jack Bennett
  • Series: Johnny Swift Thrillers
  • Publication Date: (current edition) 15th February 2021
  • Publisher: Sharpe Books
  • Page Length: 376 Pages
  • Genre: Historical Thriller

The Blurb:

1914.

Tensions are reaching boiling point in Europe and the threat of war is imminent.

Johnny Swift, a young and brash diplomatic clerk employed by the British embassy is sent to infiltrate the ‘Young Bosnians’, a group of idealistic conspirators planning to murder Franz Ferdinand. The heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in a bid to liberate their country from the monarchy’s grip.

Swift has been having an affair with his employer’s wife, Lady Elizabeth Smyth. Sir George Smyth dispatches the agent on the dangerous mission, believing that it will be the last he will see of his young rival.

The agent manages to infiltrate the Young Bosnian conspirators’ cell, helped by Lazlo Breitner, a Hungarian Civil Servant.

However, Swift soon realises that he may be in over his head. His gambling debts and taste for beautiful women prove the least of his problems as he struggles to survive on his wits in the increasingly complex - and perilous - world of politics and espionage.

Desperate to advance himself and with the lives of a royal couple unexpectedly in his hands, Swift tries to avert catastrophe.
[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos - Front Cover

Praise for 'Assassins':

A cracking read, highly recommended’ - Roger A Price
Written with polished panache, it kept me gripped from the first to last. Five stars from me!’ - A.A. Chaudhuri
Part historical fiction, part thriller and part love story, this is a compelling and entertaining read’ - Gary Haynes
Buy Links: Amazon UK ✔  Amazon US 
 ✔ 
  • This book is available to read for free with #KindleUnlimited subscription.

Audiobook Excerpt:


Audiobook Buy Links: 
US Audible ✔ UK Audible ✔ US Amazon ✔ UK Amazon 

[Audio Blog Tour] 'The Assassins' By Alan Bardos (Audiobook Narrated By Jack Bennett) #HistoricalFiction #Thriller
Alan Bardos

Author Bio:

Alan Bardos is a graduate of the MA in TV Script Writing at De Montfort University, he also has a degree in Politics and History from Brunel University. Writing historical fiction combines the first great love of his life, making up stories, with the second, researching historical events and characters. Alan currently lives in Oxfordshire with his wife… the other great love of his life.

Despite the amount of material that has been written about the twentieth century there is still a great deal of mystery and debate surrounding many of its events, which Alan explores in his historical fiction series using a certain amount of artistic license to fill in the gaps, while remaining historically accurate. The series will chronicle the first half of the twentieth century from the perspective of Johnny Swift, a disgraced and degenerate diplomat and soldier; starting with the pivotal event of the twentieth century, the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, in ‘The Assassins’.

Connect with Alan Bardos:

The Assassins Tour Schedule Banner
'The Assassins' - Tour Schedule Banner

26 December 2019

Tempest in a Teapot: 5 Cybersecurity Storms Brewing [Infographic]

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Top Cybersecurity Threats of 2020
Top Cybersecurity Threats of 2020
Blockchain, 5G data networks, Amazon Echo's. Is there anything that technology doesn't control in our daily lives? As the number of new platforms and enhanced capabilities surges, so too does the risk of attacks. 

This new "digital industrial revolution" turned the global economy into a treasure trove of personal data ripe for the hackers' picking. Recently, the U.S. has experienced cyberattacks that target healthcare companies, social media platforms, and even political organizations. According to IBM, cybercrime has become 'the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world." The most frustrating part? The hacker's tactics are constantly evolving and adapting.

With all of this in mind, the editorial staff at FitSmallBusiness evaluated the 5 most dangerous cybersecurity threats to watch for in 2020. The digital business publication assessed a wide range of research and data - and considered the following industries: government, healthcare, telecom, and social media. In this way, they were able to determine which sectors are most vulnerable to hackers.


The Greatest Cybersecurity Threats Targeting Your Business in 2020:

  1. Corrupting Government
  2. Exposing Healthcare
  3. Breaching Social
  4. Targeting New Tech
  5. Hacking Your Home

The Infographic:

Cybersecurity Threats for 2020 - Infographic
Cybersecurity Threats for 2020
"With this study, we wanted to be as people-focused as possible," says Michael De Medeiros, Special Projects Editor, FitSmallBusiness. "Cybercriminal tactics evolve with the technology that they target. It's imperative for individuals and small business owners, alike, to be wary of what's changing and how to stay ahead of the curve."

28 September 2019

Intelligence Whistleblowers Often Pay A Severe Price

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Blowing the whistle carries major risks.
Blowing the whistle carries major risks. (BlueSkyImage/Shutterstock.com)
When President Donald Trump likened a whistleblower’s White House sources to spies and made a lightly veiled reference to execution, he highlighted a longstanding peril facing those who come forward to alert the public to governmental wrongdoing.

In many instances, whistleblowers find the abusive power they have revealed turned against them, both ending their careers and harming their personal lives.

In the private sector, whistleblowers are often ignored and told their concern is not part of their job description – and are commonly retaliated against by being demoted or fired.

When a whistleblower is in the U.S. intelligence and national security sphere, they’re often speaking out about misdeeds by powerful figures – and, as a result, have frequently faced death threats, physical attacks, prosecution and prison.

The new whistleblower report that alleges wrongdoing by the president is a reminder of the vital importance of holding wrongdoers accountable, regardless of their level of power. When those acts affect national security, whistleblowing is even more important. But as I’ve found in my whistleblowing research, whistleblowers in this arena have far fewer legal protections from retaliation than those in corporate settings or elsewhere in government.
From left, NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney and Kirk Wiebe, who all alleged retaliation from the government.
From left, NSA whistleblowers Thomas Drake, William Binney and Kirk Wiebe, who all alleged retaliation from the government. (Rob Kall/Flickr, CC BY)

Targets of retaliation

The consequences for government whistleblowers in the last 20 years have been harsh, in part because laws about classified information have made it difficult for people to publicize wrongdoing on sensitive issues.

After William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe alleged in 2002 that their employer, the National Security Agency, mismanaged intelligence-gathering software that potentially could have prevented 9/11, their homes were raided and ransacked by the FBI as their families watched. Ultimately, the NSA revoked their security clearances and they were forced to sue to recover the confiscated personal property.

Another NSA whistleblower, Thomas Drake, alleged in 2002 that the agency’s mass-surveillance programs after 9/11 involved fraud, waste and violations of citizens’ rights. He became the subject of one of the biggest government leak investigations of all time and was prosecuted for espionage, which he ultimately settled through a plea agreement.

A third NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden has spent years in exile, fearing an unfair trial should he return to the U.S.

Former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning has spent years in federal prison for releasing classified documents regarding U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Difficult consequences can come not just from the government but also from the public and the media. The New York Times has come under criticism for revealing identifying details about the current whistleblower’s position.
Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning
Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. (Composite from Laura Poitras and Tim Travers Hawkins/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)

Few protections

Most laws governing federal whistleblowers lay out a procedure for coming forward with concerns, offer protections for confidentiality, and prevent recipients of information from harassing, threatening, demoting, firing or discriminating against the person raising the complaint.

Whistleblowers reporting securities law violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission have those protections. So do whistleblowers who report on fraudulent billing or claims against the government, such as Medicare or Medicaid fraud.

It can be difficult to find a balance between the government’s need to protect highly sensitive classified information and the public’s interest in uncovering wrongdoing. As a result, protections for whistleblowers in the intelligence community lack robust protections. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 outlines a process for whistleblowers in the intelligence community to raise concerns, but doesn’t explicitly protect the whistleblower from retaliation or being publicly identified. Two executive-branch directives, created during the Obama administration, do bar retaliation against whistleblowers. However, they create a conflict of interest, because the person who determines whether there has been retaliation may be the person doing the retaliating.

Those Obama-era directives also prevent the whistleblower from seeking an independent court’s review. They do not specify whether and exactly how aggrieved whistleblowers are entitled to back pay or reinstatement of employment, which are common whistleblower remedies.

It’s no surprise, then, that in the first 10 years after the Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act was enacted, no intelligence whistleblower was compensated for retaliation. While there have been no subsequent inquiries or information to determine whether intelligence whistleblowers have fared better since 2009, the law as it stands makes it nearly impossible for them to be protected.

Whistleblowers bring much-needed attention to matters of interest and importance to the public. Their courage – and willingness to face professional and personal peril – helps bring to light information that others would prefer to keep secret. That helps society as a whole fight injustice, waste, corruption and abuse of power, rather than passively and blindly accepting it.The Conversation

About Today's Contributor:
Jennifer M. Pacella, Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics, Indiana University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

26 April 2019

Announcing "Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES" with Author Events Nationwide

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Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette
Chooseco, publisher of the world-famous Choose Your Own Adventure interactive book series announced the release of Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES, a new sub-series that lets readers experience life as an actual spy from history. 

The sub-series launches with two May 1st titles written by debut authors Kyandreia Jones and Katherine Factor. 


Each book explores the life of an iconic figure: the young Margaretha Zelle, best known as Mata Hari, and James Armistead Lafayette, a true hero and spy from the Revolutionary War whose amazing story is rarely included in history books.

Advance Praise For Choose Your Own Adventure Spies

"…bringing the life of an enslaved person within reach for modern young readers is a feat. For fans of Choose Your Own Adventure books, this historical drama is worth having on the shelf." 
Kirkus Reviews
"History gets a makeover in the new Choose Your Own Adventure Spies series, which plunks readers into exciting scenarios, based on real events, and lets them call the shots…This book will get kids excited about history, but it's imperative that they read the end note on James Armistead Lafayette's life to learn what choices he actually made." 
Booklist Reviews
  • Debut authors Katherine Factor (Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari) and Kyandreia Jones (Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette) will be visiting bookstores, schools, and libraries nationwide.

See below for the current Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES event calendar:

May 1: Reading and Q&A with Kyandreia Jones at Hamilton College (Clinton, NY)
May 3: Reading and Q&A with Katherine Factor at NW Academy (Portland, OR)
May 9: Reading and writing workshop with Katherine Factor at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy (Chicago, IL)
May 18: Reading and Q&A with Katherine Factor at Powell's Books (Portland, OR)
May 19: Reading and Q&A with Katherine Factor at Rose City Book Pub (Portland, OR)
June 1: Reading and Q&A with Kyandreia Jones at Books & Books (Coral Gables, FL)
July 16: Reading and writing workshop with Katherine Factor at Traverse Area District Library (Traverse City, MI)
July & August: Readings and writing workshops with Katherine Factor at Saturday Academy (Portland, OR)



Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari

About Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari

YOU are young Margaretha Zelle, a world-famous dancer from the Netherlands. You have just arrived in Bali with your dance troupe when your best friend Althea goes missing. As a master of tongues and disguises, who better to save her? But if you leave now, you will miss your chance to audition for the performance of a lifetime.


Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette

About Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: James Armistead Lafayette

The year is 1781. YOU are James Armistead, a brave, literate enslaved person living in Virginia. General Lafayette approaches you with the most critical choice of your life: do you join the Revolutionary Army or find freedom on your own terms? As a spy for the revolution, you might change the course of history. But whose liberty will you really be fighting for?

  • Chooseco is a purpose-built publishing house which brought the groundbreaking Choose Your Own Adventure series back to print. Since the series relaunch, Chooseco has sold over 15 million copies. Chooseco is based in Vermont. It boasts a creative team dedicated to promoting literacy through immersive interactive stories.
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari
Choose Your Own Adventure SPIES: Mata Hari


SOURCE: Chooseco

1 October 2018

McClelland & Stewart to Publish the Explosive Thriller "The Kingfisher Secret" in October

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The Kingfisher Secret
The Kingfisher Secret (CNW Group/McClelland and Stewart)
McClelland & Stewart has announced that it will publish the political thriller The Kingfisher Secret by Anonymous. 

Ripped from the headlines and inspired by tales, speculation and whispers from within the intelligence community, the highly charged novel of intrigue and deception will be published simultaneously by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and the United States, Heyne in Germany and Century in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2018. 

In addition, rights have been sold to Longanesi in Italy and Planeta in Spain who will publish The Kingfisher Secret in 2019.
On the eve of the 2016 American election, journalist Grace Elliott has been working tirelessly on a story involving the controversial and wealthy tycoon who is running for President of the United States and a former porn star who is ready to go public with details of their affair. Yet, for political reasons, the publication that Grace works for decides to bury the story.

She is then sent to Europe to resume her work as a ghostwriter for the candidate's ex-wife, a no-nonsense Czech businesswoman who "writes" a column for the publication. Grace soon stumbles on a shocking story about how the man who is about to be president has made it as far as he has, and the threat his election victory poses to the western world.
"It is a pleasure to publish this provocative book, which manages to be a great deal of fun while also asking important questions about how power and politics are shaping our global future," says Jared Bland, Publisher of McClelland & Stewart. "We hope readers around the world find the story as exhilarating as we do."
The author is a bestselling novelist and respected journalist. 

Late last year, the author was introduced to a successful international businessman who became a source for insights into the world of espionage. The author learned that the businessman had worked as an operative for intelligence organizations to infiltrate spy networks. Through his activities within the intelligence community, the businessman heard stories about Donald Trump and his ex-wife, Ivana. 

Some had speculated that Ivana might have been part of the "swallow" program; a documented Cold War tactic used to entrap and compromise men of influence and power, not only to gather information but to encourage behaviour that would fit the long-term goals of the Russian government. 

With that background, the businessman suggested the following premise for a novel to the author: There's a spy in the White House

Intrigued by the idea, the author travelled to Prague to visit the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes and other archives to research Ivana Trump and her family, only to learn that many of the files had been stolen or destroyed. 

At that point, the author's imagination took over and The Kingfisher Secret came to life.
In publishing The Kingfisher Secret, the author has decided to remain anonymous in order to protect the source's identity.

SOURCE: McClelland and Stewart

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7 September 2018

SPYSCAPE Announces Launch Of Content Division At Toronto International Film Festival

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Screengrab from the Spyscape's "Content Division" page
Screengrab from the Spyscape's "Content Division" page
SPYSCAPE, the innovative consumer brand that's fast becoming the home of the secret intelligence genre, today announced the launch of its Content Division, and the appointment of former Miramax Films, Focus Features and FilmNation executive, Allison Silver, as Chief Content Officer.
SPYSCAPE's new division will have a unique focus on a single genre across multiple platforms including film, television and video-games. It will develop and produce its own content and partner on high quality productions with others.
In addition to providing finance and great secret intelligence stories, SPYSCAPE offers major added-value to its production and distribution partners through four unique advantages:
  • A passionate, fast growing audience of 'superfans' of the spy genre
  • An unrivaled expert network of spies, hackers and investigative journalists
  • State of the art galleries and experiences to bring spy stories to life
  • Glamorous spy-themed locations for premieres, parties and press events
With 75 staff across offices in Los AngelesNew York and London, SPYSCAPE's creative, commercial and technology teams have unrivaled knowledge of the spy genre, including special relationships across the secret intelligence world - from station chiefs and former heads of major international spy agencies, to top investigative journalists and renowned hackers and activists.
Additionally, SPYSCAPE will continue to build upon its existing investments in high-quality, spy-themed productions (including three John Le Carre stories: A Most Wanted ManThe Night Manager; and Our Kind of Traitor) through equity investments in Ink Factory Films and others.
SPYSCAPE announces the launch of its Content Division, and the appointment of former Miramax Films, Focus Features and FilmNation executive, Allison Silver, as Chief Content Officer
SPYSCAPE announces the launch of its Content Division, and the appointment of former Miramax Films, Focus Features and FilmNation executive, Allison Silver, as Chief Content Officer.
Chief Content Officer, Allison Silver brings over 20 years experience on high-quality feature films including: Academy Award and Golden Globes winner "Brokeback Mountain", Cannes Grand Prix winner "Broken Flowers" and four Pedro Almodovar films including "Talk to Her" (winner of an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film) and "Volver". 
Most recently, Silver was EVP, Worldwide Production for FilmNation in New York City working on Academy Award winner "The King's Speech" and Academy Award nominees "The Imitation Game", "Nebraska", "The Bling Ring" and "Room" plus Pedro Almodovar's "The Skin I Live in", winner of the BAFTA for Best Foreign Language Film.

About SPYSCAPE:
SPYSCAPE is an innovative consumer brand which creates education, entertainment, products and experiences that help you see the world and yourself more clearly, through the lens of spying.

SPYSCAPE was created by top architects, authors, curators, designers, developers, gamers, hackers, imagineers, investigative journalists, psychologists, spies and storytellers.

SPYSCAPE's HQ in New York City is the world's most high-tech museum, described by the New York Times as the "headquarters of our cultural fascination with the art of deception".

SOURCE: SPYSCAPE

Related Video:


Related Pictures:
SPYSCAPE
SPYSCAPE (Credit: Scott Frances) 
SPYSCAPE Credit: Scott Frances
SPYSCAPE (Credit: Scott Frances) 
SPYSCAPE
SPYSCAPE (Credit: Scott Frances) 
SPYSCAPE
SPYSCAPE (Credit: Scott Frances)

15 November 2016

How Brexit And Trump Will Affect James Bond

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Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/EPA
By Klaus Dodds, Royal Holloway and Lisa Funnell, University of Oklahoma

James Bond will likely next grace cinema screens towards the end of 2018. Whether he will inhabit a filmic world in which the UK is no longer a member of the European Union and Donald Trump is the US president is yet to be seen – but if so, what a different world it will be. Bond’s mission is likely to involve the navigation of an increasingly porous Europe, vulnerable to malign influences from a resurgent Russia. The UK’s cyber-security defences face further challenges as industrial espionage and military and intelligence hacking intensifies. Bond is going to have his work cut out for him.

So it’s interesting to consider how these changes might effect Britain’s premier super-spy. As we explore in our new book, The Geographies, Genders and Geopolitics of James Bond, Bond’s geographical mobility is pivotal to mission success. And however good he is, he needs allies and access to the resources that they are able to mobilise. Take away those “assets” and Bond’s agency is degraded. So do these tumultuous times – with the possible end of the Anglo-American special relationship and UK-European co-operation – also mean the end of Bond as we know it?

Since Bond is British, Brexit and the contemporary backlash against globalisation seem the most obvious things to consider. The ramifications of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and the disillusionment with neo-liberal globalisation will certainly alter the way in which he is able to move and execute his secret missions in both subtle and not so subtle ways.


Brexit Bond
Brexit will certainly have an impact on his mobility. In most of the films featuring airports, including the earliest Dr No (1962), Bond is depicted as walking through them with brio, as a man untroubled by the “petty sovereigns” (as literary critic Judith Butler might have it) who administer and police airports. Travel could become more complicated for a post-Brexit Bond. His ability to glide through customs and border inspections airports and seaports would certainly diminish.

So new storylines might place further emphasis on Bond’s ability to circumvent conventional state controls and offer up further evidence of MI6 investing in multiple passports. As the Jason Bourne series suggested, an assassin needs, among other things, a decent selection of passports, including those of close allies such as Canada and New Zealand and adversaries such as Russia.

But M will likely have bigger concerns than passport problems, because the UK may suffer when it comes to cooperation with EU intelligence agencies. In Spectre (2015), we learned of the “Nine Eyes” intelligence network that included traditional working partners such as the United States and newer members like South Africa. But this network would likely be compromised in this emerging nationalistic world. European partners might react badly to Brexit and tell the UK to rely on the United States. Disillusionment with globalisation more generally might make partners less likely to share information and secrets – every state for itself could become the new rallying cry even for the closest of allies.


The ‘special relationship’
Working with the United States might be tricky, though. Recent Bond films have suggested a more ambivalent relationship with the former “special partner”. The CIA’s Felix Leiter was helpful in Casino Royale (2006) and Quantum of Solace (2008) but did not feature in the two most recent films. The warm relationship that Bond enjoyed with earlier incarnations of Leiter has long gone. In recent years, other spy films like M1-5 (2015) and Eye in the Sky (2015) have also raised concerns about the role, viability, and morality of British intelligence, particularly when collaborating with US military and intelligence agencies.

This sense of unease with the UK-US relationship is sure to only increase with Trump as president. He may prime his administration to insulate and isolate the United States from forms of globalisation that are antithetical America’s recovery to “greatness”. America (as represented through the CIA) may well not want to work with Bond/M16 and share its resources and intelligence as part of a new directive to #MakeAmericaGreatAgain. Leiter could be told in the future not to share intelligence with Bond because America needs to protect its interests first and foremost.

So in a world without the security of an Anglo-American connection in addition to the degradation of European partnerships, Bond’s role is likely to look very different. Will Bond still fight for global security or be repositioned more and more as a lone hero who fights for Britain and its safety in a post-globalised world? It might be too much to think that Bond could make Britain “great” again but he could help to stop a further “slide” down the international pecking order.

Goodbye Britain? Geoff Caddick/EPA

Bond’s Britain
And what might Brexit do to Bond’s relationship with the country itself? In Skyfall we see Bond’s ancestral home in Scotland and his retreat to his family estate is critical to luring the villainous Raoul Silva away from a chaos-ridden London. While M dies in Scotland, Bond’s return to London is foregrounded by his pose on top of a government building in the centre of the city. Large Union Jack flags are fluttering away on top of the structure while others serve as part of an official tribute to the late M.

Skyfall is overwhelmingly a celebration of a United Kingdom. Bond’s Anglo-Scottish heritage is integral to his movement from London to Scotland and back again. But given a divisive Brexit vote in June, might Bond’s identity shift and become a more English in the wake of Scotland’s overwhelming vote to remain in the European Union?

And if the process of Brexit proves troubling and time consuming as we expect, leading to heated discussions about parliamentary scrutiny, MI6 may be the victim of a blowback as parliamentarians seek to reclaim their authority from the executive. The late M was very vexed about such scrutiny; she patently did not care for it. Bond will have to hope that he and MI6 are still “trusted” and permitted to operate in the “shadows”, and allowed to do so in a world where nations find it harder than ever to trust each other, let alone the global political and economic system.
The Conversation

About Today Contributors 
Klaus Dodds, Professor of Geopolitics, Royal Holloway and Lisa Funnell, Assistant Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Oklahoma


This article was originally published on The Conversation

18 July 2014

'A Most Wanted Man' - The Official Movie Trailer [HD]

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A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror...



Storyline
"When a half-Chechen, half-Russian, brutally tortured immigrant turns up in Hamburg's Islamic community, laying claim to his father's ill gotten fortune, both German and US security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity - oppressed victim or destruction-bent extremist? Based on John le Carr├ę's novel, A MOST WANTED MAN is a contemporary, cerebral tale of intrigue, love, rivalry, and politics that prickles with tension right through to its last heart-stopping scene"

20 August 2013

Britain Faces Furore Over Snowden-Linked Detention

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Britain faces furore over Snowden-linked detention (via AFP)
British authorities are facing increasing pressure to explain why they used anti-terror laws to detain the partner of a journalist who worked with US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. David Miranda -- the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, an American…

29 June 2013

Snowden: The Geek Turned Deep Throat

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Snowden: The geek turned Deep Throat (via AFP)
Hunted as a US traitor and at the center of a diplomatic row, Edward Snowden got off to a less spectacular start in life: he is a self-confessed geek and high school dropout. Snowden, 30, came out of nowhere to trigger one of the biggest intelligence…

16 June 2013

Julian Assange: A Year In The Ecuador's London Embassy

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Julian Assange: a year in the embassy (via AFP)
It is an odd sight: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is wearing a jacket and tie, but no shoes. Then again, if you have not stepped outside Ecuador's London embassy for a year, shoes are largely pointless. In an interview with AFP to mark this strange anniversary, the man behind the whistleblowing…

Ten Of The Best Ever Movie Car Chases

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Bullitt Car Chase GoogleMapped
Bullitt Car Chase GoogleMapped (Photo credit: Podknox)
If, like me, you think even the most lacklustre, uninspired film can be redeemed instantly by slipping in a fast-paced car chase scene, then no doubt you will already have in your own head a list of the greatest chases ever put to film.

Here’s my list, most of which come out for a viewing at least once a year. In fact, often I will skip straight to the chase sequence, disregarding the rest of the film, just for a ten-minute pick-me-up of joyful mayhem.

8 June 2013

Julian Assange: US rule of law suffering 'calamitous collapse'

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Assange: US rule of law suffering 'calamitous collapse' (via AFP)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Friday that the US justice system was suffering from a "calamitous collapse in the rule of law", as Washington reeled from the sensational exposure of vast spy agency surveillance programmes. Speaking in an interview with AFP at Ecuador's London embassy, where…

5 June 2013

Bradley Manning Said To Be 'Very Political' But Effective In Iraq

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Manning said to be 'very political' but effective in Iraq (via AFP)
Bradley Manning, the soldier who passed a trove of secret US files to WikiLeaks, was politically outspoken but excelled in computers and did his job well, his army commanders said Wednesday. On day three of Manning's court-martial, it became clear the prosecution will seek to prove that he was trained…


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