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Kepler spacecraft finds a second life – and an important new exoplanet

Full ArticleSun Sentinel

20 Dec 2014
NASA‘s Kepler spacecraft should have been rendered useless by a 2013 hardware failure, but instead its secondary mission — called K2 — has just yielded its first major discovery in the form of a particularly exciting exoplanet. The limping spacecraft, which was designed to survey the galaxy for new planets, has been kept on the road because of

 

Kepler with distant solar system. Artist's rendition of Kepler spacecraft.



Palestinians hold their national and the Egyptian flag during a rally in front of the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on June 16, 2011, demanding it to be open permanently and without restrictions or conditions on the passengers. ( Photo By Ahmed Deeb/wn)

The Rafah crossing will be reopened on Sunday and Monday to allow those stranded on the Egyptian side to go to Gaza. Egypt is to reopen theRafah border crossing with Gaza on Sunday for the second time in two months

 

South Korea North Korea Party Anniversary

North Korea on Saturday called for a joint investigation with theUnited States into a crippling cyber attack on Sony Pictures, claiming it had means to prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with it. The proposal comes after US President Barack Obama

 

Palestinians take part in a rally in solidarity with al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem organised by Palestinian security forces, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Associated PressJERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military struck a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip early Saturday in its first airstrike on the Palestinianterritory since this summer’s war. The Israeli military said the airstrike on what it called a

 

Colombian soldiers stand in formation at the Military Fort in La Macarena, Colombia, Friday, Sept. 24, 2010. Colombia's military killed Jorge Briceno, also known as Mono Jojoy, the field marshal and No. 2 commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in bombing raids and combat targeting a major encampment at the edge of the country's eastern plains, in the hills near La Macarena.

Colombia‘s Farc rebels have killed five soldiers in an ambush, hours before they are meant to start an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, the army says. The leftist rebels attacked a patrol before dawn in Santander de Quilichao, a rural area of

 

Antarctic tourism may pose disease threat to penguins

For those who go, it’s the trip of a lifetime – and it wouldn’t be complete without a selfie with penguins. But growing tourism to the Antarctic, in combination with its warming climate, could be placing penguins at a risk of infectious diseases.

 

Alexei Navalny

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian prosecutors said on Friday Kremlin foe Alexei Navalny should be imprisoned for 10 years for stealing 30 million rubles ($500,000) in a case dismissed by critics of President Vladimir Putin as part of his campaign to stifle

 

 14th Nov 2007. Koya Iraqi Kurdistan. the Kurdish peshmarga military in Kurdistan. Jamal

At least 142 Iraqis were killed and eight more were wounded.The Pentagon reported the deaths of two senior Islamic State militant leaders and a third mid-level leader. About 100 militants were killed in an ongoing operation near Sinjar. That would

Silence of the sheikhs puts Washington’s Iraq strategy in doubt

Full ArticleCanberra Times

19 Dec 2014

Washington: The US plan to save Iraq from the advances of the so-called Islamic State was in trouble even before it was conceived – years before its unveiling in September, the marauding fundamentalists had systematically eliminated hundreds of the Iraqi tribal warriors who Washington believed would take up arms against the new threat posed by IS.

File - An elderly Iraqi man explains his community's situation to Soldiers in the city of Abu T-Shir, Iraq, Oct. 16, 2008.




 

 A K-9 unit is on stand by as members of the police and private security guards check cars going into the building housing the Australian embassy Thursday, Sept. 9, 2004 in Manila´s financial district of Makati. Philippine troops went on full alert

Eight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said.Police believe the 34-year-old woman with chest wounds is the mother of seven of the children, and the eighth

 

Obese man

VITNIJA SALDAV, Associated Press 9:10 p.m. EST December 18, 2014 CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE London – — Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday — a decision that could have widespread consequences across the

 

File - An FBI release shows one of the suspects, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wanted in connection with the Boston Marathon Bombings.

The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, in his first court appearance in more than a year, told a judge on Thursday that he was satisfied with his lawyers’ preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,

 

Central African Republic

Joe DeCapua A growing number of fighters in Central African Republic’s two year old civil war are children. It’s estimated there may be as many as 10-thousand child soldiers, four times more than when the conflict began. listen to De

 

A tunisian woman wrapped in her national flag makes her way through tombs while attending the funeral of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid at el Jallez cemetery near Tunis, Friday Feb. 8, 2013.

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) – A new video has surfaced claiming responsibility for the 2013 assassinations of two Tunisian politicians in the name of the Islamic State group. The video features four armed, bearded men, including one identified last year as

 

A Boston police officer pauses on the finish line during a tribute in honor of the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings

Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared in court for the first time in more than a year this morning while attending a final pretrial hearing at the federal courthouse in Boston. Tsarnaev, 21, who has marked the passing of two

 

Bodies lay in the streets of Bangui, Central African Republic, Friday Dec. 6 2013, a day after gun battles between Seleka soldiers and Christian militias left over 100 dead and scores wounded.

BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) – Clashes in Central African Republic between Muslim and Christian fighters have killed 28, left dozens wounded and sent civilians fleeing for safety, a Red Cross official said Thursday. The fighting began

 

 

 

 

 

President Obama Right To Call For Trade With Cuba: Half Century Of Failed Embargo Is Enough

Full ArticleForbes

18 Dec 2014

President Barack Obama used negotiations over bringing home a couple of imprisoned Americans as an opportunity to refashion the entire U.S.-Cuba relationship. He’s aiming to reopen the embassy, relax trade and travel restrictions, and improve communication systems. Of course, sustained caterwauling began immediately from the usual

File - President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, convenes a National Security Council meeting on Cuba in the Situation Room of the White House, Nov. 6, 2014.






The Pope’s Diplomatic Miracle: Ending the U.S.-Cuba Cold War

17 Dec 2014

As the first Latin American Pope, Francis was the power behind the historic thawing of U.S.-Cuban relations, the Vatican revealed today. Vatican City — Shortly after the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, was elected as Pope Francis in March 2013, he reached out to American president Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro to

Pope Francis and President Barack Obama meet at the Vatican Thursday, March 27, 2014






NORFOLK (Jan. 26, 2012) Sailors form the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) stand by as the French navy amphibious assault ship FS Mistral (L9013) approaches Naval Station Norfolk. Kearsarge is sponsoring Mistral during their visit to the United States

Thomson ReutersRussian sailors board their Russian navyfrigate Smolny at the STX Les Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire See Also SAINT-NAZAIRE, France (Reuters) – A ship carrying the Russiansailors who have been training for

 

Abubakar shekau

Lagos, December 18: Armed men suspected to be members of the deadly Boko Haram group have killed 32 people and abducted 185 others in Gumsuri village northeast Nigeria‘s Borno state, a security source and witnesses told Xinhua Thursday. Among those

 

Geert Wilders gestures during an interview with The Associated Press in The Hague, Netherlands, Thursday, July 15, 2010. Maverick Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders  says he is launching an international "freedom alliance" to spread his anti-Islam message across the West. He said he will launch the international movement late this year, initially in five countries: the United States, Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

18 December 2014, 10:41 Geert Wilders Prosecuted For ‘IncitingHatredTweet Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders has hit out at the decision to prosecute him on charges of inciting racial hatred, calling it a “travesty”. It comes after the

 

People who participate in the release operation of two police officers and a soldier, hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, are surrounded by media members as they ride an International Red Cross vehicle at a rural area of Miranda, some 210 miles southwest of Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Feb.14, 2013.

Colombia’s largest guerrilla group declared on Wednesday it would begin an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, in a challenge to the government to halt hostilities while the two sides continued negotiations toward an end to 50 years of war. But the

 

This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Revolution Against Assad's Regime which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows dead bodies on a street in Aleppo, Syria Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.

The bodies of 230 people killed by the Islamic State group have been found in a mass grave uncovered by their relatives in Syria‘s Deir Ezzorprovince, a monitoring group said. The discovery brings the number of Shaitat tribal members killed

In this photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service in Tokyo on Sunday, March 7, 2010, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il claps during a massive rally Saturday, March 6, 2010, marking the completion of the Vinalon Complex, in Hamhung, North Korea

North Korea on Wednesday marked the third anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il, ending a traditional period of mourning and setting the stage for his son Kim Jong Un to further entrench himself as the country’s unchallenged

 

Britain's bishop of Durham Justin Welby speaks during a news conference following the announcement that he will become the next archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace in London, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012.

London, December 17: The first female bishop in the Church of England was announced Wednesday, ending the history of only a male being the bishop of the church. Downing Street announced Wednesday that Rev. Libby Lanewill be the new Bishop of

 

 

 

 

Obama: ‘It’s Time For A New Approach’ On Cuba

Full ArticleBusiness Insider

17 Dec 2014

President Barack Obama made a statement from the White House on Wednesday at noon following the . “Neither the American or the Cuban people are well-served by a policy that’s rooted in events that took place before many of us were born,”Obama said. Obama described the changes as the most “significant” to occur inAmerica‘s Cuba policy in decades.

In this image from TV, US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at the FNB Stadium in Soweto, South Africa, in the rain for a memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela, Tuesday Dec. 10, 2013.




In this photo released by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service in Tokyo on Sunday, March 7, 2010, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il claps during a massive rally Saturday, March 6, 2010, marking the completion of the Vinalon Complex, in Hamhung, North Korea

North Korea on Wednesday marked the third anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il, ending a traditional period of mourning and setting the stage for his son Kim Jong Un to further entrench himself as the country’s unchallenged

 




EU Ebola Coordinator and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner

Al Jazeera

Up to one million people are at risk of going hungry in West African nations battling the Ebola virus due to border closures, quarantines and crop losses, UN food agencies have said. The deadly haemorrhagic fever that has killed 6,800 people has

 

Lt. Gen. Raheel Sharif called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at PM House, Islamabad on 27th November, 2013

December 17: Pakistan PM ends moratorium on death penalty (Second Lead) (18:28) Islamabad, Dec 17 (IANS/EFE) Pakistan Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif has ended a moratorium on the death penalty in terrorism cases after the Taliban massacred 148 people,

 

Engineers work on a model of the Mars rover Curiosity at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012.

Nasa‘s Mars rover Curiosity has found carbon-containing compounds in samples drilled out of an ancient rock, the first definitive detection of organics on the surface of earth’s neighbour planet, scientists said. The rover also found spurts of

A Palestinian members of Hamas's armed wing sits on a military vehicle during an anti-Israel rally in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip,

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which fought Israeli forces for nearly two months this year, won a court ruling that could lead to it being removed from a European Union list of terrorist organizations. The EUGeneral Court in Luxembourg said

 

A Pakistani soldier walks out of the Army Public School that was attacked the day before by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.

Pakistan has begun three days of national mourning for the 132 children and nine school staff killed in an attack on an army-run school in northwest Peshawar city on Tuesday for which the Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, claimed

 

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, March 25, 2010

NEW YORK (AP) — Falling oil prices and a plunge in the Russian ruble dominated the news Tuesday. But the U.S. stock market headed higher for the first time in a week. The ruble continued its slide against the dollar, despiteRussia‘s central bank

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama warns Islamic State

Full ArticleThe Columbus Dispatch

16 Dec 2014

FORT DIX, N.J.President Barack Obama used a holiday-season visit to a U.S. military base yesterday to issue a tough warning to Islamic State militants, saying a U.S.-led coalition will permit no safe haven to the group and will destroy it eventually. Obama spoke to hundreds of camouflage-wearing

An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the Sunliners of Strike Fighter Squadron 81 launches from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, to undertake strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed during Operation Inherent Resolve, 4 December, 2014.

 

 

Greenland ice ‘adding to rising sea levels’

Full ArticleBelfast Telegraph

16 Dec 2014

Melting ice from the coast of Greenland could make a much bigger contribution to rising sea levels than has previously been thought, a new study suggests. Scientistsbelieve a previously overlooked side-effect of global warming could greatly increase the rate of melting of the vast Greenland ice sheet. The ice covers 1.7 million square kilometres

File - Arctic ice viewed from aboard the Norwegian Coast Guard vessel, "KV Svalbard", during Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's visit to the Polar ice rim to witness firsthand the impact of climate change on icebergs and glaciers.

 

 

 

 

 

‘At least 20 students killed’ in Taliban attack on army school in Pakistan

Full ArticleThe Independent

16 Dec 2014

Taliban gunmen in Pakistan have reportedly killed up to 20 students and taken hundreds more hostage alongside their teachers at an army-run school in the northern city of Peshawar. A spokesperson for the terrorist group told agencies that suicide bombers had been sent into the Army Public School to target army personnel on orders not to harm young

Pakistani army troops arrive to conduct an operation at a school under attack by Taliban gunmen in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Taliban gunmen stormed a military school in the northwestern Pakistani city, killing and wounding dozens.

Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Village is an unincorporated area in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States.

A suspect in five killings has barricaded himself in a homeoutside Philadelphia, local media outlets reported. Police had discovered the bodies of five people, all shot at close range, in three separate locations in suburbs northwest of

 

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore speaks to the media after a meeting with France's President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Tuesday, Sept, 18, 2012.

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AP) — Transitional authorities in Burkina Faso have suspended the political party of the president who was forced from power earlier this year. Monday’s decision came a day

 

In this photo taken Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, French President Francois Hollande addresses the troops at the airport following his two-hour-long visit to Timbuktu, Mali.

Reuters DAKAR— France urged African nations on Monday to step up cross-border cooperation to tackle security challenges from Islamist groups in southern Libya to Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, as it seeks to scale back its military commitments on the

 

Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher wounded two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary Schoolfiled a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting. The

 

NYSE Euronext market indicators are shown on a board on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Monday, Oct. 12, 2009 in New York

17-year-old Mohammed Islam is the founder of his high school’s investing club and has made $72m in trading oil and gold futures before even graduating high school.

 

President John Dramani Mahama, foreground speaks during his inauguration ceremony, in Accra, Ghana, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

His Excellency, President John Dramani Mahama has been retained as the chairman of the Economic Community Of West African States(ECOWAS) till May 2015, as reported earlier by Peacefmonline.com. This is

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apparent Hostage Situation Erupts in Sydney

 

 

 

World watches end of Sydney cafe siege

AS the siege exploded in Sydney’s Lindt Cafe, the world watched.

IN the United States, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and other 24-hour news channels had already dedicated most of their Monday morning programming to coverage of the emergency.

When the situation climaxed with hostages fleeing and heavily armed authorities storming the cafe in Sydney’s central business district, people around the world watched live.

 

Sydney Siege Gunman Identified As Iran-Born, Self-Described Cleric Man Haron Monis

One of the very strange non-sequiturs in today’s Syndey hostage siege, now approaching its 15th hour, is that the gunman who prepared for a long standoff with authorities somehow forgot to pack the ISIS flag and as reported earlier, has been said to demand it from the outside world. Strange to say the least. But the bigger question remains: who is he? Now, courtesy of a report in Australia’s The Age we know. The man who continues to hold more than a dozen people hostage, placing Sydney’s CBD into lockdown is no stranger to the NSW police or the judiciary.  Self-described cleric, Man Haron Monis, 50, first came to attention of police when he penned poisonous letters to the family of dead Australian soldiers seven years ago. Last year he was charged with being an accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and mother of two.

 

 






 

Kerry in talks on bid for Palestinian statehood

15 Dec 2014
ROME: US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Rome on Sunday for a flurry of meetings about a looming UN showdown amid a European-led drive to push towards Palestinian statehood. US officials told reporters accompanying Mr Kerry that Washington wanted to learn more about the European position. In the

 

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov walk through the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Rome before their meeting on December 14, 2014.






Sydney cafe siege: Australia becomes the latest country to have its sense of invulnerability shattered

Full ArticleThe Independent

15 Dec 2014

For the past 10 years or so, Australian governments – and the public – have kidded themselves that they could have it both ways. They could join US-led adventures inAfghanistan and Iraq, earning themselves kudos with Western allies. And they could feel more or less safe from any kind of terrorist backlash, convinced thatAustralia was too small

A hostage runs to armed tactical response police officers for safety after she escaped from a cafe under siege at Martin Place in the central business district of Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014.






File - President Barack Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, talk with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in the Outer Oval Office, July 11, 2013.

CNN
December 14, 2014 — Updated 1439 GMT (2239 HKT)Washington (CNN) — An unlikely ally is offering a glimmer of hope that President Barack Obama can make good on his vow to close Guantanamo Bay before leaving office. Republican Sen. John McCain, a

British torture inquiry not afraid to embarrass PM, head says

Full ArticleThe Guardian

14 Dec 2014

Intelligence committee chief Sir Malcolm Rifkind says he will ask US for missing passages revealing any UK involvement in torture and rendition

File - British Prime Minister David Cameron, center, points as he poses for the media whilst bidding farewell to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, and Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif following their meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014.






Ebola Sierra Leone

Peter Clottey A spokesman for Sierra Leone’s government says banning of all public celebrations during Christmas festivities is part of the administration’s effort to contain the Ebola outbreak. Abdulai Bayraytay says security agencies

 

U.S. soldiers patrol near the site of a suicide attack in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2010

Indonesian rescue volunteers carry a body past a destroyed house in an area severely hit by landslides during last Wednesday's earthquake in the Sumatran Island village of Jumanak, in Padang Pariaman, Indonesia, Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009.

BANJARNEGARA, Indonesia — A mudslide set off by torrential rains rushed down hills into a village in central Indonesia and swept away scores of homes, killing at least 18 people and leaving 90 others missing, officials said Saturday. About 105 houses

 

Afghan police officers, one with flowers in the barrel of his weapon, leave their checkpoint

A series of attacks across Afghanistan have killed more than a dozen people, including 12 workers clearing land mines in the country’s south and six Afghan soldiers in Kabul. The largest attack on Saturday targeted the Shorab camp in Helmand

 

Indian paramilitary troops stand guard after restriction was imposed in some areas in Srinagar, India, Saturday on 15, March 2014. city and other districts of kashmir valley following the death of a youth in alleged police firing at Naidkhai in North kashmir bandipora district last night.

BANGALORE, India (AP) – Police in southern India said Saturday they have detained a man believed to be behind a popular pro-Islamic State group Twitter account. Mehdi Masroor Biswas, a 24-year-old engineer, was being questioned by authorities, said a

 

Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of Chile, addresses the Head of State Segment of the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, 10 December, 2014.

Climate talks in Lima ran into extra time amid rising frustration from developing countries at the “ridiculously low” commitments from rich countries to help pay for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
photo: UN / Mark Garten

 

MH17 investigation: Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko promises quick resolution

Full ArticleThe Guardian

13 Dec 2014

Speaking on a visit to Australia, Poroshenko vowed to expose those responsible for the deaths of the 298 people on the Malaysia Airlines flight

 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, center, speaks as Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, right, listens in the Crisis Management Centre at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, Australia Friday, Dec. 12, 2014.






Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., emerges after a unanimous vote by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approving him to become America's next top diplomat, replacing Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013.

By Patricia Zengerle BOGOTA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of StateJohn Kerry urged Colombian negotiators on Friday to move quickly in peace talks aimed at ending 50 years of war so that the Andean country can move on and achieve “enormous

 

Italian premier Matteo Renzi gestures prior to a confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies, in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. The Senate voted 169-139 to confirm Renzi's broad coalition, which ranges from his center-left Democrats to center-right forces formerly loyal to ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi. Renzi needed at least 155 votes to clinch the victory, one of two mandatory confidence votes. The second vote, in the Chamber of Deputies, is expected later Tuesday. Renzi's coalition has a comfortable majority in the lower chamber.

ROME (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Friday proposed tougher laws against corruption amid an investigation in Rome into a mafia-like group that offered bribes to officials in exchange for lucrative public contracts. The government

 

Public sector workers walk past a statue on the Vittoriano monument, tomb of the unknown soldier, holding flags of labor unions as they protest against the Italian government's spending cuts, in Rome, Friday Sept. 28, 2012.

MILAN (AP) — Striking Italian union workers marched Friday through more than 50 Italian cities to protest government economic reforms that they say erode their rights. The thousands of protesters clashed with police in some cities, including

 

2014 Hong Kong protests

Rush-hour traffic yesterday streamed through the heart of Hong Kong for the first time in more than two months after police cleared the territory’s main pro-democracy protest camp with mass arrests, but activists vowed that their struggle would

 

Japan's Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe arrives for a press conference at the party headquarters in Tokyo Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, a day after the party's landslide victory over the ruling Democratic Party of Japan led by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in parliamentary elections. Abe stressed Monday that the road ahead will not be easy as he tries to revive Japan's sputtering economy and bolster its national security amid deteriorating relations with China.

Japan is set to hold a general election this weekend that looks likely to return Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to power and might even give him the momentum to press ahead with badly needed structural changes. Billedas a referendum on

 

Buckingham Palace in Westminster, United Kingdom.

LONDON (AP) — A mushroom with hallucinogenic properties was found growing at Buckingham Palace but no one suspects Queen Elizabeth IIof cultivating the magic mushroom. The Amanita muscaria
photo: WN / Periasamy

 

File - President Barack Obama gestures during a meeting with Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office, Aug. 27, 2014.

Once upon a time the job of president of the United Statesseemed clear-cut: you knew who the enemy was, and you knew you had the economic and military measure of them. You were seen as the most powerful man in the world. That isn’t necessarily

 

Muhammadu Buhari, a presidential candidate with the All Nigeria People's Party (ANPP) arrives to cast his vote in Daura, Nigeria, Saturday, April 20 2007. Voters seeking a new leader able to provide life's basics overcame a failed truck bombing at Nigeria's electoral commission headquarters and polling station disarray to cast ballots Saturday in general elections meant to cement democratic rule in Africa's unruly giant.

Nigeria‘s oppostion has chosen former military dictatorMuhammadu Buhari to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan at next year’s presidential elections, according to results released from party primaries. Buhari, a Muslim northerner who overthrew a

 

Afghanistan's security forces walk around the French Cultural Center

Kabul: Two Taliban suicide attacks have hit Kabul, one targeting a play at a French-financed school, killing at least seven people just as NATOforces are due to pull out of Afghanistan. The bombers targeted a bus carryingAfghan troops in the

 

Masked Palestinians throw stones towards Israeli security forces, not pictured, during clashes erupted after demonstration against an anti-Islam film called "Innocence of Muslims" that ridicules Islam's Prophet Muhammad, in Shuafat refugee camp, Jerusalem, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012.

Palestinian officials escalated their threats to cut security ties with Israel and push the United Nations Security Council to recognise the state ofPalestine as thousands turned out for the funeral of Ziad Abu Ein, a senior government minister who

 

People gather at the site of a blast at the Nyanya Motor Park, about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the center of Abuja, Nigeria, Monday, April 14, 2014

JOS, Nigeria (AP) – Twin explosions rocked downtown Jos, in central Nigeria, on Thursday and killed about 20 people, witnesses said. The blasts occurred as store owners were shutting their shops and Muslims were preparing for prayers Thursday

 

A sign on a door of a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., building warns of windy conditions, Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A powerful storm churned throughNorthern California Thursday, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. In Santa Cruz, about an hour south of San Francisco,

 

An Interpol image shows an undated photo of Luka Rocco Magnotta, a Canadian fugitive recently captured in Berlin.

By Allison Lampert MONTREAL (Reuters) – The Canadian man who killed and dismembered a Chinese student in Montreal in 2012 was “a man on a mission” who had planned to commit such an act and film it six months in advance, the prosecutor in
photo: Interpol

President George W Bush ‘knew everything’ about CIA interrogation

Full ArticleBBC News

11 Dec 2014

Former US President George W Bush was “fully informed” about CIA interrogation techniques condemned in a Senate report, his vice-president says. Speaking to Fox News, Dick Cheney said Mr Bush “knew everything he needed to know” about the programme, and the was “full of crap”. has defended its use of methods such as

 

 

File - Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shares a laugh with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney during his farewell parade at the Pentagon.

 

 

Rick Snyder, Michigan governor, Talks with Michigan Municipal League Board

12:49 PM ET Krishnadev Calamur Twitter i i Gov. Rick Snyderspeaks today flanked by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (left) and emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Snyder said that the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy will end at midnight. Paul Sancya/AP hide

 

Members of the September 11th Education Trust meet in a restaurant overlooking the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center, Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 in New York. The trust is a non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the lessons of 9/11

The most incredible and false claim in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA interrogation program is that the program was neither necessary nor effective in the agency’s post-9/11 pursuit of al-Qaida. The report, written by the

 

This photo combo shows Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, left, and Malala Yousafzai, right

OSLO, Norway — Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India on Wednesday received the Nobel Peace Prize for risking their lives to fight for working to protect children from slavery, extremism and child labor at great risk to

 

President Dilma Rousseff receives members of the Movement Free Pass, at the Presidential Palace

Brazil‘s National Truth Commission has delivered a damning report on the killings, disappearances and acts of torture committed by government agents during the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship. The 2,000-page report was delivered to

 

Front row from left, China's former President Hu Jintao, newly appointed President Xi Jinping, newly installed Premier Li Kiqiang and former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sing the Chinese national anthem at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing China, Sunday, March 17, 2013. China's new leader pledged a cleaner, more efficient government Sunday as the country's ceremonial legislature wrapped up a pivotal session that installed the latest generation of communist leaders in a once-a-decade transfer of power.

Thomson ReutersFile photo of Liu Tienan attending a news conference in Beijing See Also BEIJING (Reuters) – The former deputy head ofChina’s top planning agency was jailed for life on Wednesday over a bribery scandal that exposed graft at the

 14th Nov 2007. Koya  Iraqi Kurdistan. The Iranian Kurdish peshmarga, military in Iraq. Jamal

Baghdad, December 10: The Peshmerga military forces of Iraq‘sKurdish semi-autonomous region said Wednesday that up to 727 Kurdish fighters have been killed fighting the Islamic State (IS) Sunni radical group. A statement issued by the Peshmerga said

 

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in New York.

US stocks are coming back. After a sell off earlier this morning, the US stock indexes have come roaring almost all of the way back. The Nasdaq is leading the move higher moving into positive territory, though the Dow and S&P500 are still in
photo: AP / Richard Drew

Some Democracies also Behead Their Humanitarians

Full ArticleWorldNews.com

09 Dec 2014

Article by WN.com Correspondent Dallas Darling Over the last century democracy has become regarded as the ideal system of government. Osama bin Laden, and others like him, didn’t think so. But if democracy is a pre-eminently legitimate form of government that provides a political and social structure within which people can live happy, fulfilled

A photograph of James Foley, the freelance journalist killed by the IS group, is seen during a memorial service in Irbil, 350 kilometers (220 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, August 24, 2014. Foley, the U.S. journalist slain by Islamic State militants after being held in captivity for nearly two years, was remembered in a small ceremony in Irbil on Sunday.



Front row from left, China's former President Hu Jintao, newly appointed President Xi Jinping, newly installed Premier Li Kiqiang and former Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao sing the Chinese national anthem at the closing session of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing China, Sunday, March 17, 2013. China's new leader pledged a cleaner, more efficient government Sunday as the country's ceremonial legislature wrapped up a pivotal session that installed the latest generation of communist leaders in a once-a-decade transfer of power.

Thomson ReutersFile photo of Liu Tienan attending a news conference in Beijing See Also BEIJING (Reuters) – The former deputy head ofChina’s top planning agency was jailed for life on Wednesday over a bribery scandal that exposed graft at the

 

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011, in New York.

US stocks are coming back. After a sell off earlier this morning, the US stock indexes have come roaring almost all of the way back. The Nasdaq is leading the move higher moving into positive territory, though the Dow and S&P500 are still in

 

The Dome of the Rock Mosque is seen in the background as Palestinian Muslim worshippers walk following the Friday prayer in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, March 26, 2010.

An American citizen was indicted in an alleged plot to blow up Muslim holy sites in Israel, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.lRelatedHomeIsrael orders more probes of suspected crimes by its forces in GazaSee all related 8 According to the

 

File - The cell of a non-compliant detainee at Camp Delta, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

A Senate committee report summary detailing torture methods used as part of a secret US detention and interrogation programme is a stark reminder of the ongoing impunity for the many appalling human rights violations perpetrated in the name of

 

Smoke rises from the airport outside Donetsk, Ukraine, Monday, May 26, 2014

Crash investigators will try to reconstruct the Malaysia AirlinesBoeing 777 that was shot down over eastern Ukraine in July from wreckage that was brought by truck to a Dutch air force hangar. Members of the national SafetyBoard will piece together

 

File - Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov gestures whilst viewing art pieces from the collection of late cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and his widow Galina Vishnevskaya displayed in Konstantinovsky Palace outside St. Petersburg on Monday, May 12, 2008.

LONDON: It was Russia‘s richest man and Arsenal football club owner Alisher Usmanov who bought James Watson‘s Nobel Prize medal at an auction last week, it was revealed on Tuesday. Interestingly, Usmanov has decided to hand back the medal to the DNA

 

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks with French President Francois Hollande after their meeting at Elysee Palace in Paris on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013.

PARIS (AP) — A Frenchman held for more than three years by al-Qaida’s North African branch was freed Tuesday, days after two of the men implicated in his abduction were reportedly released from a prison in Mali.Negotiations among the governments of

Transparency International released its global report ranking 175 countries on a corruption perception scale. Nina dos Santos breaks down the rankings.




CIA Torture Report Set for Senate Release Over Bush Objections

Full ArticleBloomberg

09 Dec 2014
The Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee are preparing to issue their report on the harsh interrogation tactics the CIA used on terrorism suspects, defying the objections of current and former U.S. officials including formerPresident George W. Bush. The panel plans to release today a summary of a 6,200-page report concluding that the
File - Guards from the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion escort a detainee to the medical facility in Camp Four, Guantanamo, Nov. 23, 2007.






The real lessons from Hagupit

Full ArticleCNN

09 Dec 2014

December 9, 2014 — Updated 0423 GMT (1223 HKT) Editor’s note: Mong Palatino is an activist on youth issues and former member of the Philippine House of Representatives. He blogs at ASEAN Beat. The views expressed are his own. (CNN) — Seeing the first set of images from the typhoon zone in the Philippines is like experiencing a dreadful sense of

 

 

Children living along coastal areas in Manila evacuate to safer grounds as the local government ordered the pre-emptive evacuation in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit which is expected to make its fourth landfall in Batangas province south of Manila Monday, Dec.8, 2014 in the Philippines.

An Ultra-orthodox Jewish man holds his ID card as he waitS to vote in Bnei Brak, Israel, during legislative elections, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.

Israel’s parliament officially ended Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term after less than two years, as campaigning intensified for the March 17 election. The Knesset voted 93-0 to dissolve itself following Netanyahu’s decision to fire two

 

File - Health workers clad in protective gear in Monrovia, during the visit of Herve Ladsous, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, to Liberia to assess how the UN Mission in the country (UNMIL) can further support the fight against Ebola, 11 September, 2014

Sierra Leone has overtaken neighbouring Liberia as the country with the highest number of Ebola cases, the latest World Health Organizationfigures suggest. Its latest estimate of the cumulative number of cases since the start of the outbreak

Greece's Prime Minister Antonis Samaras speaks to his conservative party lawmakers at the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, July 24, 2012.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras plans to bring forward the process of choosing a new president to this month, a move that may trigger snap elections in Europe’s most indebted state as early as January. “Political

 

Traffic moves down Wiliston Road in Burlington, Vt., Thursday, March 14, 2007. A trial is scheduled to begin March 22 in Burlington, Vt., on a civil suit pitting four Vermont car dealers, two Detroit auto makers and an industry group against the state of Vermont, which plans to impose new emissions standards aimed at reducing carbon-dioxide emission

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo wants to ban diesel cars and the pollution they bring from the streets of the French capital. But not long ago, diesel engines were thought to be environmentally friendly. What could have gone wrong? Opinion on diesel

Disabled Palestinians participate in the race of wheelchairs, during a rally marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, in Rafah in the southern in Gaza strip,

Geneva, December 08: The year 2014 has been “devastating” for children, as millions of them were exposed to armed conflicts, Ebola outbreak and torture, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) said Monday. According to the Unicef, as many as 15

 

Syria conflict: UN in record humanitarian aid appeal

The UN has asked for $16.4bn (£10.5bn; 13.3bn euros) for its aid operations in 2015, with the largest single sum – $7.2bn – going to help Syrianrefugees. Its last annual humanitarian appeal was for $13bn, making the new request a record for the

 

A man walks in front of the engraved wall depicting a Chinese character that means "law" inside the Hefei City Intermediate People's Court where a murder trial of Gu Kailai, wife of disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai, takes place Thursday Aug. 9, 2012 in Hefei, Anhui Province, China.

BEIJING: A Chinese court on Monday sentenced eight people to death on charges of leading terror groups and setting off explosives in two attacks that left 46 people dead in the far western region of Xinjiang, home of the MuslimUighur minority, state

Risks of nuclear war is rising because of global tensions and insecure stockpiles, warn experts

Full ArticleThe Independent

08 Dec 2014

Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned. Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which starts today, the experts

Soldiers take a break during a mission at Camp Stanley, South Korea on Nov. 9, 2011: Operation Saber Strike II was focused on Soldiers being able to detect, identify and defend against; Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear threats.

Risks of nuclear war is rising because of global tensions and insecure stockpiles, warn experts
Full Article The Independent 08 Dec 2014
Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned. Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which starts today, the experts…


Members of Leftist women organization block the traffic to protest against the recent rape at Contai in East Medinipur in Kolkata on Aug 19, 2014

Uber has been banned from operating in the Indian capital ofNew Delhi following sexual assault allegations against one of its drivers. A 26-year-old woman told police that she was raped by her cab operator after booking a taxi through Uber’s

 



The Washington Post sign is seen on its building in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008. The Post Company reported a 13 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings, the result of some one-time restructuring costs and a continued erosion of revenue at its flagship newspaper.

12:45 PM ET Scott Neuman Twitter i i Jason Rezaian, an Iranian-American correspondent for The Washington Post, smiles as he attends a presidential campaign even for President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran in 2013. Rezaian, who was arrested in July, was

 

In this May 14, 2009 file photo, reviewed by the U.S. military, Guantanamo detainees pray before dawn near a fence of razor-wire, inside Camp 4 detention facility at Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base, Cuba

MIAMI — Six prisoners held for 12 years at Guantanamo Bayhave been sent to Uruguay to be resettled as refugees, the U.S. governmentannounced today — a deal that had been delayed for months by security concerns at the Pentagon and

 

Hagel: Afghan training is key in war's final act

Add comment Reprints + – U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks to American troops at Tactical Base Gamberi in eastern Afghanistan, Sunday, Dec. 7, 2014. Hagel was winding up a two day visit, his last to Afghanistan as secretary of defense. (AP

 

Veteran, 99, recalls painful memories of Pearl Harbor attack

LOS ANGELES (Tribune News Service) — As an 8 a.m. bugle sounded a raising of Old Glory aboard the U.S.S. Arizona, U.S. Navy seaman FordRice saw a strange plane emblazoned with rising suns roar by toward the great battleship. That’s when the

 

File - Pakistani men from tribal forces hold their weapons as others chant slogans against the Taliban in Raghagan, near Khar, in the troubled Bajaur agency, Pakistan, Friday, Sept. 26, 2008.

Nine fighters killed by drone missiles in Afghanistan, as US hands over Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan leader to Islamabad

 

Global Movement Against Child Marriage Grows Stronger

Marcia Almeida was a child bride at the age of 16 inMozambique, where more than half of all girls marry before they are 18. MAPUTO, Mozambique –- Marcia Almeida holds her 3-month-old daughter inside a patterned capulana, a sarong that doubles as a
ONE MILLION EVACUATED
 



Qassem Suleimani: can this man bring about the downfall of Isis?

 

Full ArticleThe Observer

07 Dec 2014

Qassem Suleimani with a group of peshmerga fighters in Kurdistan Photograph:None Qassem Suleimani is not used to defeat. So, when the Iraqi army fled in the face of the Sunni insurgent group, Islamic State (Isis) in June, the Iranian general was on unfamiliar ground. In 48 fateful hours from 10 June, six divisions of Iraqi forces had capitulated,






File - In this Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 file photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, then chief of the Quds Force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Ghasem Soleimani, attends a meeting of the commanders of the Revolutionary Guard with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran.

 

 

Ukrainian presidential candidate Petro Poroshenko, speaks to press at a polling station after his vote during the presidential election in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, May 25

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Saturday a preliminary agreement had been reached to hold talks in Minsk on Dec. 9 on implementing the steps of a September ceasefire deal with eastern separatists, Interfax reported.

 

Russia - France

MOSCOW (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande metRussian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the Ukraine crisis during a brief stopover at a Moscow airport on Saturday. Putin looked nervous as he greetedHollande, who was on his way back to

Somalia's new Prime Minister Abdiwali Sheikh Ahmed is seen after his election, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. Somalia's parliament on Saturday approved as the new Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, a political newcomer and economist who faces tough challenges in the war-torn nation.

Politicians said possible candidates included Finance MinisterHussein Halane and Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, a former holder of the premiership. Members of parliament voted Somalia’s prime minister out of office on Saturday for the second

 

Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, visits Kabul, March 10, 2013. Hagel is traveling to Afghanistan on his first trip as the 24th Secretary of Defense to visit U.S. Troops, NATO leaders, and Afghan counterparts. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)

8:35 AM ET Scott Neuman Twitter i i Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted by Gen. John F. Campbell (right) after arriving in Kabul on Saturday. Hagel announced that an additional 1,000 U.S. troops would remain behind in country after Dec. 31.

 

	Military has given millions in surplus equipment to Wis. police

(TNS) — The Dane County Sheriff’s Office used a controversial military surplus program to acquire 151 rifles from the Department of Defense.Madison police and 23 other law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin each received a mine-resistant armored

 

A Philippine Air Force Huey helicopter flies away from a camp of the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front on top of Mt. Palaw, Sultan Gumander town in Lanao del Sur, Southern Philippines after dropping off troops and supplies Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2002. The MILF camp, captured by government troops last October 10, was allegedly occupied by MILF and Abu Sayyaf rebels led by Isnilon Hapilon who fled Basilan island to escape military pursuers. Army soldiers engaged the rebels in several running gunbattlesand killed nine and captured one

6 December 2014, 10:07 Swiss Hostage Kills Guard And Flees Militants Tweet A Swiss wildlife photographer captured by Islamist rebels in thePhilippines over two years ago has escaped after killing his guard with a machete. Members of the Abu Sayyaf

Peacekeeper in Liberia tests positive for Ebola virus

A UN peacekeeper in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown to the Netherlands for treatment. The Nigerian soldier is expected to arrive in the Netherlands this weekend and will go into isolation at the UniversityMedical Centre in
photo: UN / UN

 

Luke Somers: British-born photojournalist ‘killed by al-Qaeda after failed rescue attempt in Yemen’

Full ArticleThe Independent

06 Dec 2014

A British-born photojournalist has reportedly been killed by al-Qaeda militants inYemen during a failed rescue attempt by US special forces. Luke Somers, 33, had been held hostage since being kidnapped in the capital, Sana’a, in September 2013as he left a supermarket. His captors had taunted his family after a previous attempt by American and

 

This image made from video posted online by militants on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows Luke Somers, an American photojournalist born in Britain and held hostage by al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen.

	Military has given millions in surplus equipment to Wis. police

(TNS) — The Dane County Sheriff’s Office used a controversial military surplus program to acquire 151 rifles from the Department of Defense.Madison police and 23 other law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin each received a mine-resistant armored

Bill Cosby's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

According to E! News, the damage to Cosby’s star on the Walk of Fame was discovered Friday morning. The 77-year-old comedian has been accused by some two dozen women of drugging them and sexually abusing them. While there are numerous

Egypt's ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi sits in the defendant cage in the Police Academy courthouse during a court hearing on charges of inciting the murder of his opponents, in Cairo, Egypt, Monday, Nov. 3, 2014.

Unverified leaked recordings appeared to show senior officials colluding before trial of ousted president

 

Zhou Yongkang, State Councilor; Minister of Public Safety and commissioner of National Narcotics Control Commission; People's Republic of China

updated 1:32 PM EST, Fri December 5, 2014 Zhou Yongkang was once one of nine members of China’s top decision-making body, the Politburo Standing Committee. (CNN) — China’s former top domestic security official, Zhou Yongkang, has been arrested as

 

File - A view of an honour guard at the Vatican.

The Independent

Vatican officials will be forced to work from a strict new financial rulebook from 1 January 2015, as Pope Francis makes the final push to clean up the Holy See after decades of sleaze. The accounting manual will improve the Holy See’s financial

Cour de marbre, Palace of Versailles with the French flag raised ready for Bastille Day 2011

PARIS — Thousands of Holocaust survivors and family members in the United States and elsewhere will be entitled to compensation from a $60 million French-U.S. fund announced Friday, as reparations to those deported byFrance‘s state rail

 

Candidate to Rome's Mayor Ignazio Marino scratches his forehead during a tour part of his electoral campaign in Rome, Monday, June 3, 2013. Studied under pioneering U.S. surgeon. Saved lives transplanting livers on two continents. Helped create cutting-edge transplant center in Mafia-plagued Sicily. Elected mayor of Rome? Whether Ignazio Marino adds that last credential to his impressive resume will be decided by a runoff election in Rome's mayoral race. The June 9-10 balloting pits the surgeon against incumbent Gianni Alemanno, a former neo-Fascist street protester who in 2008 became the city's first right-wing mayor in decades.

Rome‘s mayor is weighing whether to stop using a bicycle and accept a limousine escort from police after facing threats from mobsters allegedly in cahoots with city politicians over lucrative municipal contracts. Mayor Ignazio Marino told reporters

Does AI really threaten the future of the human race?

Full ArticleBBC News

05 Dec 2014
The end of the human race – that is what is in sight if we develop full artificial intelligence, according to Stephen Hawking in an interview with the BBC. But how imminent is the danger and if it is remote, do we still need to worry about the implications of ever smarter machines? My question to Professor Hawking about artificial intelligence
File - Dr. Stephen Hawking, a professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, left, and his daughter Lucy Hawking talk about their co-authored children's book "George's Secret Key to the Universe" Monday, April 21, 2008, at George Washington University's Morton Auditorium in Washington.

 



 

A year later, recalling the ‘Mandela Magic’

Full ArticleCNN

05 Dec 2014

December 5, 2014 — Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT) (CNN) — Last December 5, just after 7 p.m. South African time, I got a text message from one member of Nelson Mandela‘s family. “It’s imminent.” And so that’s how I knew a great man was taking his final breaths. “It’s done,” said the next message from those who were with him at the end. It was 9 p.m.

Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall, 22 June, 1990.






It’s Official: A Secretary Of Defense Nominee Has Been Chosen

Full ArticleBusiness Insider

05 Dec 2014

Lee Jin-man/APUS Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter during a news conference at the US Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, on March 18, 2013. See Also Ashton Carter, the former theoretical physicist who was briefly second-in-command at the Pentagon under Chuck Hagel, will be President Barack Obama‘s nominee to succeed Hagel as secretary of

Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton B. Carter addresses the officers and crew of the USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) moored in Yokosuka, Japan, on July 21, 2012.






 

Typhoon Ewiniar formed in the western Pacific on June 29, 2006, a hundred miles south of the Yap Islands in the Federated States of Micronesia. The tropical depression gathered power and size as it traveled in a zigzagging fashion over the next several days, tracking northwest, then east, northwest again, then north. It passed almost directly through the Yap Islands before turning northwest yet again on a projected track towards the southern end of Japan. Fortunately for the island residents, Ewiniar was still a tropical storm during its passage through the island chain. As of July 4, 2006, Typhoon Ewiniar was 880 kilometers (550 miles) northwest of the Yap Islands.  This photo-like image was acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Aqua satellite on July 4, 2006, at 2:40 p.m. local time (04:40 UTC). The typhoon had a very distinct and clear spiral structure in this image, hinting at its intensity. Most of the islands of the area, including Yap, are hidden under the clouds, though the Philippines are visible well to the storm’s west. Sustained winds in the storm system were estimated to be around 200 kilometers per hour (125 miles per hour) around the time the image was captured, according to the University of Hawaii’s Tropical Storm Information Center.

 






Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon, Friday, March 15, 2013, to announce that the Obama administration will add 14 interceptors to a West Coast-based U.S.-based missile defense system reflecting concern about North Korea's focus on developing nuclear weapons and its advances in long-range missile technology.

Thomson ReutersU.S. President Obama listens to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after the president announced Hagel‘s resignation at theWhite House in Washington See Also WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday his

 

40 people rescued from flash floods in California

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A dayslong storm took a parting shot as it moved out of the drought-stricken state Thursday, dumping more heavy rain that triggered flash floods and stranded more than three dozen people in their cars inSouthern California. Five

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe delivers a speech following his inauguration in Harare, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013.

Reuters HARARE, ZIMBABWE— Ninety-year-old Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe purged the deputy seen just months ago as his most likely successor, denouncing her before party loyalists as leader of a “treacherous cabal” bent on removing him

 

Orion Crew Module mockup.jpg  Orion  A mock-up of the Orion space capsule heads to its temporary home in a hangar at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.  In late 2008, the full-size structural model will be jettisoned off a simulated launch pad at the U.S. Army's White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to test the spacecraft's astronaut escape system, which will ensure a safe, reliable method of escape for astronauts in case of an emergency.  NASA's Constellation program is building the Orion crew vehicle to carry humans to the International Space Station by 2015 and to the moon beginning in 2020.

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – NASA plans to try again Friday to launch its next-generation space capsule Orion after a wayward boat, wind gusts and fuel valve problems scrubbed Thursday’s launch.lRelated NewsOrion spacecraft arrives at Cape

 

In this Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011 photo, a police officer armed with an AK-47 rifle walks past pedestrians as he patrols a major road in Maiduguri, Nigeria. The radical sect Boko Haram, which in August 2011 bombed the United Nations headquarters in Nigeria, is the gravest security threat to Africa's most populous nation.

DAMATURU, Nigeria (AP) — Nigerian police and soldiers repelled an attack by gunmen on a French-owned cement factory on Thursday in northeast Nigeria, where security forces are battling an Islamic

 

File - An endangered gray wolf peers out from a snow covered shelter.

Published December 04, 2014Associated Press Facebook0 Twitter0 livefyre Email Print This undated handout photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows a gray wolf. Scientists have found that, contrary to what many people think, killing

Wind gusts stall launch of new Orion spacecraft

Full ArticleThe Associated Press

04 Dec 2014

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA stood poised to usher in a new era of exploration Thursday with the premier launch of its new Orion spacecraft. The unmanned test flight was set to begin with a sunrise liftoff, but was delayed after a boat strayed into the launch-danger zone and a minor rocket issue popped up. Then a wind gust halted the countdown

NASA’s Orion spacecraft, mounted atop a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket, is visible inside the Mobile Service Tower where the vehicle is undergoing launch preparations, Wednesday, Dec. 3, 2014, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37, Florida.

 

 

 

How science is solving today’s development problems

Full ArticleThe Guardian

04 Dec 2014

Ebola, climate change and food security are just some of the challenges that research and science can help us face, and bring knowledge that we can act on

In this photo taken on Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, health workers wearing Ebola protective gear spray the shrouded body of a man with disinfectant as they suspect he died from the Ebola virus, at a USAID, American aid Ebola treatment center at Tubmanburg on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia.

 

 

Soldiers stand guard by communications towers in Corinto in southern Colombia, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009

The Colombian government and Farc rebels have agreed to resume peace talks, which were suspended last month over the abduction of an army general, mediators say. Officials from Cuba and Norway, the two countries brokering the peace process, said a

 

Five million children out of school in West Africa due to Ebola

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Some five million children are out of school in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the deadly Ebola outbreak, according to a report by the Global Business Coalition forEducation. Schools and other public

 

Thai Army Chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-Ocha, center, and other high ranking Thai officers are shown on television announcing the military takeover in Bangkok

Steve Herman BANGKOK— The two top generals of the junta running Thailand on Wednesday defended the May 22 coup that ousted the civilian government but told international audiences in Bangkok they are committed to a return to democracy. Prime Minister

 

India Bhopal Anniversary

BHOPAL, India (AP) — Three decades after lethal gas swept through Bhopal, the central Indian city remains haunted by memories of the world’s worst industrial disaster. Hundreds of survivors of the gas leak that claimed thousands of lives took to the

 

Knesset chamber, celebrating 61 years of the Knesset. The size of the Knesset, currently at 120 members, has often been a source of cause for proposed reforms.

JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmakers overwhelmingly approved a motion on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset in a preliminary vote, paving the way for early elections after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to iron out differences with coalition

 

Ukraine Parliament

The Associated Press KIEV (AP) — Ukraine’s parliamentapproved the formation of a new government Tuesday, bringing an end to weeks of behind-the-scenes political wrangling following an October election that ushered in a group of pro-Western parties.

 

UN food aid system fails Syria's refugees

Syrian refugees are leaving grocery stores with empty shopping bags this week. A UN-backed “e-card” system had enabled millions of the displaced to buy food in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan; but funds dried up on December 1 and families now

Afghanistan at crucial juncture

03 Dec 2014

On Thursday, the so-called London Conference on Afghanistan will convene. Of all the high-profile international conferences that have been held on Afghanistan over the years – in Bonn, Tokyo, and Istanbul – this comes at a crucial juncture. At the end of October, British forces lowered the flag at Camp Bastion – from where they had engaged in

 

File - U.S. Army Spc. Samnith Thy, right, a security force team member for Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Farah, provides security outside a youth meeting in Farah City, Afghanistan, Dec. 2, 2012.

 

 

 

UN food aid system fails Syria's refugees

Syrian refugees are leaving grocery stores with empty shopping bags this week. A UN-backed “e-card” system had enabled millions of the displaced to buy food in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan; but funds dried up on December 1 and families now

 

Russia, the West, and Gas Pipelines

The US/EU discouragement of the South Stream project to supply natural gas to Western Europe is a prime example of rigid ideology gunning for confrontation no matter the cost, a permanent war mindset directed to Russiaand China and broader

 

EU, U.S. present Russia with united sanctions, energy front: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. and EU leaders on Wednesday will pledge to work together on sanctions and on strengthening Europe and Ukraine‘s energy security as they seek to present a united front to Russia, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

 

File - Physicist and best-selling author Stephen Hawking appears in Seattle, Saturday, June 16, 2012.

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has warned that development of artificial intelligence could mean the end of humanity. In an interview with the BBC, the scientist said such technology could rapidly evolve and overtake mankind, a

 

China's 'fox hunt' must do more than attack the symptoms of corruption

The anti-corruption campaign that has been sweeping acrossChina is extending beyond its borders. Two high-profile international meetings last month – the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing and the G20 summit in Brisbane – both

Rain both welcomed, feared in drought-scarred state

LOS ANGELES — Heavy rain from a powerful Pacific storm swept through parched California today, providing some relief from a three-year drought but prompting evacuations in wildfire-scarred communities threatened by mudslides and flooding. The rain

 

Portrait of Richard III of England, painted c. 1520 (approximate date from tree-rings on panel), after a lost original, for the Paston family, owned by the Society of Antiquaries, London, since 1828.

Scientists studying the DNA of Richard III, the Plantagenet king whose body was found buried beneath a Leicester car park, have revealed that there was marital infidelity among his aristocratic relatives. Paternity tests on the DNA of a living
photo: Creative Commons
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    U.S. weighs a new front to create safe zone in Syria











    Climate change impacts heat up UN talks in Lima

    02 Dec 2014

    LIMA, Peru With 2014 on track to become the warmest year on record and time running short, more than 190 nations began talks on a new worldwide deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming from causing irreversible damage. New targets for fossil fuel use were announced ahead of the climate conference by the U.S., the European

    Peru's Minister of the Environment and new President of COP20, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, talks during the opening ceremony of the Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, Monday, Dec. 1, 2014.






    A lab officer prepares blood samples from a cancer patient for further DNA testing, Thursday April 19, 2007 at a medical lab at the National University Hospital in Singapore, a country well known for its advanced medical treatment and research facilities. The number of cancer cases in Asia is set to rise dramatically by 2020 due largely to longer life spans and changing lifestyles, threatening a health crisis as poorer countries in the region struggle to keep up.(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

    A personal DNA test that has sparked controversy in the US has been approved for use in the UK by regulators. The Medicines and HealthcareProducts Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says the 23andMe spit test, which is designed to give details about a

    Children from Hownslow Manor school take part in an assembly based on the upcoming World Aids Day, in London Tuesday Nov. 29, 2005. World Aids Day takes place on Dec. 1, with recent World Health Organisation figures showing that some 40 million people are now infected with the HIV virus. Teaching awareness in schools could be one of the many ways of trying to reduce the number of future infections, which in Britain rose again in 2004. The number of Children under the age of 15 in Britain who are affected is 1650

    HIV is evolving to become less deadly and less infectious, according to a major scientific study. The team at the University of Oxford shows the virus is being “watered down” as it adapts to our immune systems. It said it was taking longer

    WHO: Ebola Stabilizing in Some Places But Far From Over

    Lisa Schlein GENEVA, SWITZERLANDThe World Health Organization reports the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is slowing down and stabilizing in some places, but is far from over. The World Health Organization reports two United Nations targets have been

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left. shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, after a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

    © AFP/File Alain JocardTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured, on Monday holds talks in Ankara with his Russian counterpartVladimir Putin to tighten links which have survived potentially grave disputes over the Syria and Ukraine crises

    Smoke rises after a bomb blast at a bus terminal in Jos, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Two explosions ripped through a bustling bus terminal and market frequented by thousands of people in Nigeria's central city of Jos on Tuesday afternoon.

    Twin blasts have exploded in the north-eastern Nigerian city ofMaiduguri in a crowded market where two female suicide bombers killed 70 people a week ago. Eyewitness reports say rescue workers are evacuating the dead and injured while police say it

    In this Nov. 28, 2014 photo , lawmaker Robert Biedron, Poland’s first openly gay lawmaker

    Voters in Poland have elected the country’s first openly gay mayor. [TICON-A VIDEO] Robert Biedron, who already made history in 2011 by becoming the first openly gay politician in parliament, was elected mayor of the small city of Slupsk in northern

    Indian actess and model Gauhar Khan poses for photographers as she walks the green carpet for 15th annual International Indian Film Awards Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Tampa, Fla.

    The incident took place when the actor-model was shooting for a reality show. Bollywood actor and model Gauhar Khan was today slapped for wearing a short dress while hosting a reality show, India‘s Raw Star, in Mumbai.Khan was slapped by an audience

     

     

     

     

     

    Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn violence

    Full ArticleAl Jazeera

    01 Dec 2014

    Pope Francis has urged Muslim leaders to “clearly” condemn violent attacks carried out in the name of Islam after returning from a historic three-day visit toTurkey. The Catholic pope made the remarks on Sunday during a press briefing on board a plane carrying him back to Rome after wrapping up a three-day visit to Turkey. Francis said he had made

     
    Pope urges Muslim leaders to condemn violence

     

     

     

    Hong Kong protesters clash with police at government HQ

    01 Dec 2014

    HONG KONG: Police unleashed pepper spray and baton charges at students who tried to storm Hong Kong‘s government headquarters early on Monday, as tensions soared in the third month of pro-democracy protests. With morning rush hour under way, fresh scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators at the main Admiralty protest site. Tearful

    Police officers throw a pro-democracy protester on the main road outside government headquarters in Hong Kong Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014.

     

     

     

     

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left. shakes hands with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, after a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

    © AFP/File Alain JocardTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pictured, on Monday holds talks in Ankara with his Russian counterpartVladimir Putin to tighten links which have survived potentially grave disputes over the Syria and Ukraine crises

    Smoke rises after a bomb blast at a bus terminal in Jos, Nigeria, Tuesday, May 20, 2014. Two explosions ripped through a bustling bus terminal and market frequented by thousands of people in Nigeria's central city of Jos on Tuesday afternoon.

    Twin blasts have exploded in the north-eastern Nigerian city ofMaiduguri in a crowded market where two female suicide bombers killed 70 people a week ago. Eyewitness reports say rescue workers are evacuating the dead and injured while police say it

    In this Nov. 28, 2014 photo , lawmaker Robert Biedron, Poland’s first openly gay lawmaker

    Voters in Poland have elected the country’s first openly gay mayor. [TICON-A VIDEO] Robert Biedron, who already made history in 2011 by becoming the first openly gay politician in parliament, was elected mayor of the small city of Slupsk in northern

     14th Nov 2007. Koya  Iraqi Kurdistan. The Iranian Kurdish peshmarga, military in Iraq. Jamal

    Iraq has uncovered the existence of 50,000 “ghost soldiers”,Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has said, promising a crackdown on corruption. “The prime minister revealed the existence of 50,000 fictitious names” in the military, said a statement
    photo: WN.Jamal Penjweny / Jamal Penjweny

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Sepp Blatter: Fifa boss faces more questions after World Cup claims

    30 Nov 2014

    Just when you thought you had heard it all about Fifa and its handling of the selection process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, along comes more. Just when you might have assumed it could not get any worse, it does. More intrigue. More suspicion. And more allegations. The publication by the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee of a

     
    In this Thursday, Dec. 16, 2013 file photo, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, right, and Qatar Football Association (QFA) President Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Bin Ahmed al-Thani exchange documents after officially appointing Qatar as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, in Doha, Qatar.

     

     

    Arabs Are About To Ask The UN For A Concrete Timetable On The Creation Of A Palestinian State

    Flickr/kevkrabbe See Also CAIRO (Reuters) – Arab League foreign ministers agreed on Saturday to formally present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council that will set a timeframe for the creation of a Palestinian state. The

    Chuck Hagel, you had the worst week in Washington, congrats: Chris Cillizza

    By Chris Cillizza It’s a unique Washington tradition that when someone is removed from a high-level government post, that person must not only act as though he or she left voluntarily, but also must do so in a public setting.Witness Chuck Hagel, the

    More than 16,000 sickened with Ebola, 7,000 died

    More than 16,000 people have been infected with Ebola and nearly 7,000 have died, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization. The new death toll, released late Friday by the UN agency, represents an increase of more than 1,000

    This video image taken from Egyptian State Television shows 83-year-old former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak laying on a hospital bed inside a cage of mesh and iron bars in a Cairo courtroom Wednesday Aug. 3, 2011, as his historic trial began on charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protesters during the uprising that ousted him from office. The scene, shown live on Egypt's state TV, was Egyptians' first look at their former president since Feb. 10, the day before his fall when he gave a defiant speech refusing to resign.

    An Egyptian court is to deliver its verdict in the murder retrial ofHosni Mubarak, almost four years after the long-time president was overthrown in a popular uprising. Mubarak, 86, is accused along with seven of his former police commanders of

    Police called to 'Black Friday' supermarket crowds

    28 November 2014 Last updated at 08:23 GMT Police have been called to more than 10 UK supermarkets amid crowd surges as people hunt for “Black Friday” offers. Greater Manchester Police appealed for calm after attending five Tesco stores, making “at

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