Most apples in the US drenched with chemical banned in Europe

A chemical used on most non-organic American apples that preserves the fruit’s color after harvest was banned by the European Union in 2012 because its makers could not prove it did not put human health at risk, according to a new study.

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) found in 2010 that 80 percent of apples harvested in the United States are coated with diphenylamine, or DPA, a “growth regulator” that works to stave off darkening of the fruit’s skin during months of cold storage.

DPA, regulated as a pesticide, has been used in the US since 1962. The USDA has reported that DPA residue is found more often and at greater concentrations that most other pesticide residues. The chemical has been detected in apple juice and applesauce, as well as pears and pear baby food. In fact, the USDA has consistently found that apples are one of the most pesticide-treated products in the American produce market.

NYT retracts proof of “Russian involvement” in Ukraine 

WI strips cops of right to investigate police-involved shootings

New leaks expose how the FBI directed Anonymous’ hacks

Dozens of pages of previously unreleased documents pertaining to the prosecution of hacktivist Jeremy Hammond were leaked to the web on Thursday, further linking the United States government to a gamut of cyberattacks waged against foreign nations.

Hammond, 29, made waves last November when he defied a US federal judge’s order and told a packed New York City courtroom on the day of his sentencing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had relied on an undercover informant to direct members of the amorphous hacking collective Anonymous to target the websites of adversarial nations.

Bureaucratic mess complicates prisoner exchange deal with Taliban

Although the Taliban is looking to restart negotiations with the United States over an American soldier captured five years ago, US bureaucracy and poor communication is reportedly keeping the talks from taking off.

According to the Associated Press, two US military officials claim the Taliban is willing to return US Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, whom it has held since 2009. However, the militant group does not know which part of the US government or military to reach out to, since it is “unclear which U.S. government officials have the authority to make a deal.”

Costa Rica demands explanation over US-created ‘Cuban Twitter’

Outraged Costa Rican officials are demanding that the White House explain why the controversial so-called “Cuban Twitter” project revealed earlier this month was facilitated by the United States Embassy in San José.

When the Associated Press reported earlier this month that the US State Department had spearheaded a social media platform in Cuba with the intent of stirring political unrest, the Obama administration quickly came under attack and promptly denounced allegations that it covertly plotted to disrupt Cuban politics. Just weeks later, however, condemnation is continuing to emerge — this time from the Costa Rican capital where the “ZunZuneo” platform was reportedly silently developed by American officials.

FCC denies plans to kill net neutrality

The chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission is attempting to refute recent reports that suggest that the FCC is on track to terminate the basic principle of net neutrality.

News articles first emerged on Wednesday evening this week indicating that a draft FCC document includes new rules that would allow Internet Service Providers, or ISPs, to give preferential treatment to content producers willing to pay more money for better access to consumers.