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Today's Links: May 25, 2012

OPINION NATE ANDERSON: "Senator Admits: SOPA "Really Did Pose Some Risk to the Internet" "Today, PIPA co-sponsor Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) admitted that the legislative approach considered by Congress had gotten the balance wrong. One of his sons woke him up and asked 'why I wanted to break the Internet and why Justin Bieber thought I should go to jail,' Coons said, as reported by The Hill. 'That was my first warning that we were not communicating effectively,' Coons added, but he went on the admit that the issues involved more than 'communications.' Some bits of the more radical SOPA, in particular, 'overreached' and 'really did pose some risk to the Internet.'" HELEN GAO: "The $630 Million Trees That Sparked a Social Media Revolt in China" "The new mayor of Qingdao, a major city in Shandong province, was pushing forward a massive tree-planting campaign to make his city a 'National Forest City' by 2014. It is an act that should have surprised no one in China, where more skyscrapers are shooting up than could be filled, and roads are being reconstructed faster than taxi drivers could keep track. Like these urban developments, the Qingdao tree-planting campaign is part of a Beijing-led surge in national infrastructure spending, a stimulus meant to restore the country's flagging economy." NEWS FRANKENFOOD MYTH - Battle Brewing Over Labeling of Genetically Modified Food "For more than a decade, almost all processed foods in the United States — cereals, snack foods, salad dressings — have contained ingredients from plants whose DNA was manipulated in a laboratory. Regulators and many scientists say these pose no danger. But as Americans ask more pointed questions about what they are eating, popular suspicions about the health and environmental effects of biotechnology are fueling a movement to require that food from genetically modified crops be labeled, if not eliminated." SURVEILLANCE - Students Will Be Tracked Via Chips in IDs "Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students." FDA - Senate Agrees on FDA Overhaul "In a momentary flash of bipartisanship, the Senate approved legislation that would allow Americans speedier access to generic drugs as well as breakthrough treatments for life-threatening diseases as part of a Food and Drug Administration revamping that now heads to the House."