The Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual Year in Hate and Extremism report, which tallied 939 active hate groups and 1,096 patriot groups in 2013, for a total of 2,035, which the organization said remained a relatively high number historically. The drop came as mainstream politicians began co-opting more right-wing ideas into state legislation which face constitutional challenges, Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the center, said in a teleconference with reporters. The Southern Poverty Law Center defines hate groups as those with "beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics." Race or skin color, religion and sexual orientation top the agenda for many of the groups. Among the best-known hate groups are the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, the anti-gay Liberty Counsel based in Orlando, the black separatist Nation of Islam, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, and the American Front racist skinheads.
By Joseph Menn SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency blurred its spying and cybersecurity missions, and that led to a broad collapse in trust between the private security industry, its customers and the government, the head of security pioneer RSA said on Tuesday. RSA has come under criticism after a Reuters report in December revealed the company had secretly accepted a $10 million contract from the NSA to make a now-discredited cryptography system the default in software used by all manner of Internet and computer security programs. The system was based on a formula for generating random numbers that was created by the NSA to embed "back doors" in encryption products that the spy agency could then crack, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — He owns a castle and gives generously to charities. Friends and acquaintances say he has done more anonymous good deeds than anyone they know. He also has donated hundreds of thousands to political candidates and counts a retired U.S. senator as a friend. And he was embroiled in a controversy that led to the downfall of a police commissioner.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Obama administration raced to meet its self-imposed deadline for online health insurance markets, security experts working for the government worried that state computer systems could become a back door for hackers.
By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A House of Representatives committee with broad investigative jurisdiction has turned up the heat on Target Corp, demanding that the No. 3 U.S. retailer turn over internal documents and messages describing how and when it learned of a recent massive consumer data breach. In a letter made available on Tuesday to Reuters, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform requested that Target turn over all documents or communications generated between November 1 and December 13, in which Target employees or "agents" discuss "any suspicion" that a data breach had occurred. The committee set a deadline of March 10 for Target to turn over the materials. Several analysts expect Target to slash its share buybacks as it copes with costs tied to the breach, which some estimate will cost the company $500 million to $1.1 billion.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The city's former police chief was sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to create an unauthorized slush fund, with a federal judge saying she was sending a message that the seriousness of his crimes outweighed his supporters' calls for leniency.
LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. (AP) — In the marshes along the western edge of Florida's largest freshwater lake, the water is clear, wading birds burst into the sky ahead of an approaching airboat, and there's no sign of the turmoil that elevated water levels caused last summer.
By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner met for about an hour on Tuesday in a rare, one-on-one Oval Office discussion between two leaders who have fought bitterly during fiscal crises over the past several years. "They agreed that there is a lot of work to do the rest of the year, and it is important to work together wherever we can find common ground," a Boehner aide said. The two leaders talked about immigration reform, which Obama wants the House to pass, but which Boehner has hinted is unlikely to get through Congress this year. Obama had spoken with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai ahead of his meeting with Boehner, warning him that he would pull all U.S. troops from the country this year unless a security agreement is signed soon.