Thursday, January 30, 2014

Russia Arrests Two in Volgograd Blasts - VOA

Russia Arrests Two in Volgograd Blasts 

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Russian police have identified the two suicide bombers responsible for last month's deadly railway station and trolleybus attacks in the southern city of Volgograd and arrested two of their suspectedaccomplices. The National Anti-Terrorism Committee identified the bombers as Asker Samedov and Suleiman Magomedov, and said they were members “Buinaksk Terrorist Group” in Dagestan, the restive North Caucasus in southern Russia. Police said that two brothers...

Russian TV channel takes flak just for asking: ‘Should Leningrad have surrendered?’ 

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MOSCOW — A lesson for Russian media: Be careful what you ask for.
Someone at Dozhd TV, a popular, independent television channel, thought that the 70th anniversary this week of the lifting of the siege of Leningrad would be a good time to get its viewers’ opinions on a simple question.
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Inside New York City's Water Towers 

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Subscribe on YouTube: Rooftop water towers are the primary source of drinking water for many New Yorkers, yet frequently they are poorly...
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US blasts Syria for "seriously languished and stalled" removal of chemical ... - CBS News

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US blasts Syria for "seriously languished and stalled" removal of chemical ...
CBS News
In a blistering statement delivered Thursday at a meeting of the international chemical weapons watchdog agency, U.S. Ambassador Robert Mikulak said the effort to remove Syria's toxic agents had "seriously languished and stalled," and blamed the... 
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UK's Cameron unhappy newspapers still printing Snowden data leaks

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LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday he was unhappy that newspapers were still publishing sensitive information leaked by former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden and urged them to stop.

Analysts: Rich, Poor Far Apart in US

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Many analysts agree there is a wide economic divide in the United States between the destitute and the wealthy.  And they say it's not getting any better.  But there are differing opinions about what led the country to this divide, and whether President Obama can do anything to close the gap, as he suggested in his State of the Union address Tuesday. Ameyah doesn’t understand why her mother has to pay bills. But Tiffany Beroid can think of little else as she struggles to...

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Russian cable news channel TV Rain under threat after 'political attack' 

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Backlash over online poll on Leningrad siege leads to channel being axed from networks amid claims of Kremlin interference
Editors at a Russian cable news channel fear the station faces imminent closure after a "political attack" on one of the few remaining sources of objective reporting in the country.
Three cable providers say they will cut TV Rain, a privately run channel, from its packages, after the channel ran an online poll asking whether the Soviets should have surrendered Leningrad during the second world war in order to save hundreds of thousands of lives.
Two providers have already stopped showing the channel, and a third is planning to pull the plug on Thursday.
The poll appeared on the station's website on Monday – the 70th anniversary of the end of the siege of Leningrad. Around 800,000 people died of starvation in one of the most horrific chapters of the war as the city was besieged by the Nazis for two and a half years. The poll was later removed and editors issued an apology for offence caused.
Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday he did not know whether the channel had broken any laws, but was certain it had crossed a moral red line. "As soon as we become tolerant to this kind of survey, we will see the start of the erosion of the nation, and of our genetic memory," he said.
Irina Yarovaya, an MP from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party, said earlier in the week the poll should be seen as a "crime aimed at rehabilitating Nazism" and was "directly insulting to the sacred memory of the war".
The cable provider NTV Plus, which plans to stop broadcasting TV Rain on Thursday, said in a statement the poll about Leningrad had been so offensive it had to act: "This is not about breaking the law … When we distribute a channel, we have to take into account the opinion of our subscribers. People's opinions are just as important as the law on media."
TV Rain's director-general, Mikhail Zygar, said network operators had privately admitted they had made their decisions after receiving phonecalls from the presidential administration.
"We have heard that some people in the Kremlin are unhappy with some of our investigations, and I'm absolutely certain that the Leningrad poll is just an excuse," he said.
While so far there is no talk of fully closing down the channel, Zygar said it could become impossible to continue if cable operators refused to carry it. Advertising revenues would decline both because of lower viewing figures and because people would be scared to be associated with the channel, he said.
TV Rain was initially an internet-only channel but was picked up by a number of cable providers and is the favourite source of news for the so-called "creative class", who were at the centre of anti-Putin protests that swept Russia two years ago.
Ksenia Sobchak, a socialite turned journalist with opposition sympathies, said during her programme on Wednesday night that it was clear this was a "politicised assault" on the channel, and appealed to viewers to come to the rescue.
"Today was the first big attack on TV Rain since it opened," she said. "I want to appeal to our viewers, because we have no one else to rely on. Call your operators and ask them that they don't remove us. If you don't support us, nobody will." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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Michael Grimm: former FBI agent and marine with history of fiery behaviour 

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Congressman under fire for telling a reporter he would break him 'in half' has brought elements of his colourful past to Capitol Hill

Humanity could still carry up to 20 percent of the Neanderthal genome, say ... - Christian Science Monitor

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Humanity could still carry up to 20 percent of the Neanderthal genome, say ...
Christian Science Monitor
At least one-fifth of the Neanderthal genome may lurk within modern humans, influencing the skin, hair and diseases people have today, researchers say. Skip to next paragraph. In Pictures Becoming Human. Related stories. Are you scientifically literate?
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Christian Science Monitor

Billionaire's daughter happy as a married lesbian, even if he is offering $100M for a man to marry her

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US Congressman Michael Grimm threatens reporter: "I'll break you in half" 

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US Congressman Michael Grimm threatens reporter: "I'll break you in
Subscribe to ITN News:
US Representative Michael Grimm threatens to throw a journalist off a balcony after being asked about his recent ...
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Sources: US Drone Strike Nearly Hit Al-Shabab Leader

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Sources in Somalia say a U.S. drone strike on Sunday nearly hit the leader of militant group al-Shabab.A militant source and sources close to the African Union mission in Somalia tell VOA that Ahmed Abdi Godane was in the vicinity of the drone attack, which took place north of Barawe, in the Lower Shabelle region.The Pentagon on Wednesday said its analysts are still assessing the results of what a spokesman called "a coordinated operation" in southern Somalia.The Somali militant...
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Neanderthal DNA Influences Modern Humans: Study -

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Neanderthal DNA Influences Modern Humans: Study
WEDNESDAY, Jan. 29, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Comparisons between modern humans and Neanderthals are usually meant as either an insult or a joke. But a new study suggests that many people today still harbor bits of Neanderthal DNA that affect their ...

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Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin - Northwest Public Radio

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Neanderthal Genes Live On In Our Hair And Skin
Northwest Public Radio
Neanderthals died out long ago, but their genes live on in us. Scientists studying human chromosomes say they've discovered a surprising amount of Neanderthal DNA in our genes. And these aren't just random fragments; they help shape what we look like ...

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U.S. intelligence head wants Snowden, 'accomplices' to return documents - GlobalPost

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U.S. intelligence head wants Snowden, 'accomplices' to return documents
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. intelligence official called on Wednesday for Edward Snowden and journalists who obtained documents the former contractor took without authorization from the National Security Agency to return the materials to ...

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Congress axes $8.6bn from food stamps in farm bill - The Guardian

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The Guardian

Congress axes $8.6bn from food stamps in farm bill
The Guardian
... iPad edition · Kindle · Guardian Weekly · Digital edition · The Guardian home · News · US ·World · Sports · Comment · Culture · Business · Money · Environment · Science · Travel · Tech · Media · Life & style · Data · News · World news · Obama ...

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EU justice chief accuses bloc of hypocrisy in data privacy debates 

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The EU needs to start protecting its own citizens from the American global spying initiatives and quit being “hypocritical” when it comes to reforming its own data protection system, said the EU’s Justice Commissioner.
Viviane Reding, a vocal critic of American cyber surveillance, lashed out against EU member states’ reaction in wake of Edward Snowden revelations, urging the bloc to protect citizens’ private information and seek more legal assurances from Washington.
“There’s been a lot of hypocrisy in the debate,” Reding said at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels on Tuesday. “If the EU wants to be credible in its efforts to rebuild trust, if it wants to act as an example for other continents, it also has to get its own house in order.”
“The EU itself should also look carefully at some of its [data protection] laws. Neither the Commission, the Council, nor the European Parliament can be proud of the Data Retention Directive.”
The Directive requires telecom companies to store all telephony metadata, including geo-location data. Criticizing some aspects of the Directive, Reding said that the data “is kept for too long, it is too easily accessed and the risk of abuse is too great.”
“One cannot simply use ‘national security’ as a trump card and disregard citizens’ rights. That is what others used to do. The European Data Retention law needs a health check. The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is the medicine,” she told the audience in Brussels.
EU member states are currently engaged in negotiations on a new data protection law which would require companies like Google, Facebook, or Twitter to ask for permission from authorities before using personal information. But governments have yet to agree on the wording as the EU Parliament threatens to block the law if privacy concerns are not properly addressed.
In particular, Reding criticized Britain over its role in helping the US spy overseas, warning that if allegations of the UK’s involvement in intercepting and storing personal data from fibre optic cables were true, she would launch “infringement proceedings”. While stating that EU has no power over its member’s national security operations, Reding called for a strong response.
“If I come across a single email, a single piece of evidence that the TEMPORA program [British spy agency GCHQ surveillance program] is not used purely for national security purposes, I will launch infringement proceedings. The mass collection of personal data is unacceptable.”
The European Commission wrote a letter to the UK government expressing its concerns about the scope of the TEMPORA program. The response was evidently not what Brussels had anticipated.
“The response was short: ‘Hands off, this is national security’,” Reding said.
At the same time, the EU’s justice chief urged the US to provide more legal safeguards to strengthen the Safe Harbour data privacy agreement. If such provisions were not met, Reding warned she would work to suspend the agreement that allows companies that gather consumer information in Europe to send it to the United States.
“For Safe Harbour to be fully roadworthy the US will have to service it,” she said. “Safe Harbour has to be strengthened or it will be suspended.”
Commenting on the latest leak that implicated the NSA and its UK counterpart, GCHQ, to have the ability to harvest sensitive personal data from phone apps that transmit users’ data across the web, such as the extremely popular Angry Birds game, Reding said:
“Now I know why the ‘Angry birds’ look so angry. Often with applications, the rule is ‘take it or leave it’. That’s when trust evaporates. That’s when people feel forced to part with their privacy.”
Reding also drew on the interconnected issues of data collection by private firms and spying activities by governments.
“Backdoors have been built, encryption has been weakened. Concerns about government surveillance drive consumers away from digital services.”
Private data should not be kept forever simply because storage has become cost-effective, Reding said. “Data should not be processed simply because algorithms are refined. Safeguards should apply and citizens should have rights.”
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Freak snowstorm, cold snap paralyze US South

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The usually balmy US South is paralyzed by a freak snowstorm that forced thousands of children to shelter in their schools overnight and left hundreds of tho...
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Dad Jailed For Starving Teen In Basement

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A doctor testified that the 15-year-old Wisconsin girl's weight was the equivalent of a nine-year-old's when she was found.

scientists find there's a little Neanderthal in most of us - The Seattle Times

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scientists find there's a little Neanderthal in most of us
The Seattle Times
Studies by the University of Washington and Harvard suggests genes passed down from our ancient relatives play an important role in our skin and hair. By Sandi Doughton. Seattle Times science reporter ...

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Maryland mall gunman wrote of killing...

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<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> - ‎30 minutes ago‎
COLUMBIA, Md. -- The gunman in a deadly attack at a Maryland shopping mall wrote in general terms about killing people in his journal and said that he was ready to die, police said Wednesday in releasing new details about writings the shooter left behind.

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