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ACLU warns bill would gut video privacy law

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday expressed its concern with proposed changes to the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA), which would allow companies to gain perpetual consent to sharing their customers’ video rental records. At a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law hearing on Tuesday lawmakers…

Anonymous super PAC campaign donors to be revealed

WASHINGTON — Anonymous donors behind shadowy “super PACs” that have shaped the 2012 Republican presidential race by funding a slew of attack ads, were finally to be exposed Tuesday, the deadline to release their financial reports. The PACs, or political action committees, numbered a total of 302 groups as of…

Google defends privacy plan to U.S. lawmakers

WASHINGTON — Google, facing pressure from US lawmakers over a new privacy policy, said Tuesday it remains committed to protecting consumer data as it creates a “seamless and easy” Web experience. The Internet giant sent a letter to lawmakers and posted comments on its public policy blog defending the changes…

U.S. approves new drug for rare cystic fibrosis

WASHINGTON — US regulators on Tuesday approved Kalydeco, a new, gene-targeted drug treatment for people who have a rare kind of the incurable lung disease cystic fibrosis. Made by the Massachusetts-based Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Kalydeco (ivacaftor) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on a fast-track for drugs that…

Police tell Occupy DC to remove ‘tent of dreams’

WASHINGTON — Police ordered the Washington offshoot of Occupy Wall Street on Tuesday to pull down a “tent of dreams” it erected the day before in an escalation of its protest against corporate power and greed. Members of Occupy DC in McPherson Square, a stone’s throw from the White House,…

Sen. Lugar wary of aiding Syrian opposition

WASHINGTON — Republican US Senator Dick Lugar, one of his party’s elder statesmen on foreign policy, cautioned Tuesday against providing US aid to Syria’s opposition “at this point.” “I think for the time being we should back our ambassador, who I think is doing a great job of witnessing what…

Egypt Islamists stop protesters on way to parliament

CAIRO — Hundreds of Egyptian protesters demanding the end of military rule were prevented on Tuesday from reaching parliament by backers of the Muslim Brotherhood, which holds the majority in the assembly. “We are standing here as a human shield, because if the protesters go any further, they will clash…

Bahrain police fire tear gas on hunger strikers: activist

DUBAI — Bahraini police fired tear gas on hunger strikers protesting against their detention over last year’s Shiite-led pro-democracy protests, an activist said, adding that one of them was admitted to hospital Tuesday. Riot police “fired tear gas Monday on detainees on hunger strike in one of the cells,” the…

More Russia diplomats depart Canada: report

OTTAWA — Canada has expelled two more Russian diplomats following the arrest earlier this month of a Canadian soldier charged with leaking secrets to a foreign entity, a newspaper reported Tuesday. Canada’s Globe and Mail said the two diplomats had been removed from the list of envoys officially recognized by…

Woman denies trying to cut husband’s penis off

LOS ANGELES — A 69-year-old US woman who allegedly tried to cut off her husband’s penis with a pair of heavy-duty scissors pleaded not guilty Tuesday. Virginia Valdez, who posted $100,000 bail and was freed from custody in December a few days after the alleged assault on her 62-year-old husband.…

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