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Growing concern over Internet data collection feeds privacy fears

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – This week’s revelations that Google Inc, Twitter and other popular Internet companies have been taking liberties with customer data have prompted criticism from privacy advocates and lawmakers, along with apologies from the companies. They are the latest in a long line of missteps by large Internet…

Controversial bird flu study gets publication go-ahead after security check

Bird flu experts meeting in Geneva ruled that controversial research on a mutant form of the virus potentially capable of being spread among humans should be made public. Security assessments must however be carried out first before the two studies can be published and the research can continue, scientists agreed…

Santorum: Obama agenda a ‘phony theology,’ not ‘based on the Bible’

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum challenged President Barack Obama’s Christian beliefs on Saturday, saying White House policies were motivated by a “different theology.” A devout Roman Catholic who has risen to the top of Republican polls in recent days, Santorum said the Obama administration had failed…

Iran halts oil sales to France, Britain

Iran has halted its limited oil sales to France and Britain in retaliation for a phased EU ban on Iranian oil that is yet to take full effect, the oil ministry said on Sunday. “Oil sales to British and French companies have ceased,” spokesman Ali Reza Nikzad Rahbar said in…

Pint-sized mariachis learn music of Mexico in New York

He has barely begun learning guitar, but already six-year-old Xcaret Gonzalez is dreaming big. He aspires to play well enough some day to form his own band — one playing the mariachi music that is an important part of his Mexican background, and which has been declared part of world…

Egypt sets date for presidential election

Egypt’s first presidential elections since a popular uprising ousted veteran leader Hosni Mubarak a year ago will be held in the first week of June, officials were quoted as saying on Sunday. Egyptian authorities are due to officially announce the timetable for the presidential election later on Sunday. “The election…

Netanyahu meets with top U.S. advisor amid Iran tension

A top US security official was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday amid rising concerns over Iran and ahead of a trip by the Israeli premier to Washington. The White House has said that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon would talk to senior Israeli officials on…

Syrian activists call for ‘day of defiance’

Syrian activists called for a “day of defiance” in Damascus Sunday after security forces shot dead a mourner at a funeral that turned into one of the largest anti-regime rallies ever seen in the capital. “We expect huge demonstrations,” in Damascus, Deeb al-Dimashqi, a member of the Syrian Revolution Council…

Wildfires kill 339,000 people per year: study

Wildfires, peat fires and controlled burns on farming lands kill 339,000 people worldwide each year, said a study released on Saturday that is the first to estimate a death toll for landscape fires. Most of those deaths are concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 157,000 people die as a…

British firm claims they’ve developed cheapest wireless tablet

A British technology company claims to have developed the world’s least expensive computer tablet for wireless Internet access. At a cost of as little as $35 (£22) apiece, Datawind Ltd hopes to supply a market of billions of customers, many in underdeveloped countries. The student tablet released in October costs…

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