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Amber Alert system latest victim of government shutdown

The federal Amber Alert website, which would normally be showing missing children bulletins, is the latest victim of the government shutdown. The most recent high-profile case of the effectiveness of the system is that of Hannah Anderson, the San Diego teenager kidnapped by family friend James DiMaggio after he allegedly…

Russia plans to spy on Olympic athletes and visitors, analysts say

Russia has installed an all-encompassing surveillance system at the site of next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Sochi that will allow security services to listen in on athletes and visitors, security analysts said on Monday. The surveillance system was first developed by the Soviet-era KGB, predecessor of the FSB special…

Democracy trumps cash as key to Nobel success

For a scientist to win a Nobel Prize, many things have to come together — ample funding, a supportive environment, even luck. But one rarely recognized factor may be more important than any other: democracy. “Of course, you need to have at least the fundamental resources,” said Swedish virologist Erling…

Leaked Snowden docs show Canada spied on Brazil’s Mining and Energy Ministry

Canada spied on communications at Brazil’s Mining and Energy Ministry, according to Canadian intelligence documents revealed Sunday by Globo television. The documents were leaked by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. His disclosures including that the United States spied on the same ministry, on President Dilma Rousseff and her aides,…

Japan dolphin-killing town to open marine park, serve dolphin meat

The Japanese town made infamous by the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove”, will open a marine mammal park where visitors can swim with dolphins, but will not end its annual slaughter, an official said Monday. The town of Taiji has begun researching a plan to section off part of a cove…

U.S. duo, German win Nobel Medicine Prize

U.S. duo James Rothman and Randy Schekman and German-born Thomas Suedhof won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for their groundbreaking work on how the cell organises its transport system, the jury said. The trio, who all work at US universities, were honoured for “their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle…

Alabama high school comes under fire from parents opposed to Arabic language elective course

“When you teach Arabic, you have to teach the culture along with it,” Chuck Pyritz told Sally Ericson at AL.com, when asked about a new Arabic language course offered by Daphne High School in a suburb of Mobile. This is some of the reaction Sanaa El-Khattabi, a former University of…

Nobel prizes to be announced this week; handicapping over Higgs boson, Malala Yousafzai starting early

And so once more to that time of year when nations join to celebrate the best of humanity, the overlooked sink into private despair, and the bookies clap their hands as punters lay bets that this year, finally, Bob Dylan will win the literature prize. The latest members of the…

No, you can’t arouse a sex offender and measure his erection, court instructs police

The technical term is penile plethysmography testing. In layman’s terms, it’s an erection-measuring device. Thursday, a federal court ruled that probation officers had no business hooking up released sex offenders to one just to see how they react to pornographic. In scathing language, the ruling of the U.S. Court of…

Iceland bounces back from the banking brink

A new mood of proud nationalism is emerging in economically resurgent Iceland after an out-of-control banking system sank the country into financial meltdown exactly five years ago. Riding this wave of confidence is 38-year-old prime minister, Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson, elected in April on populist promises of mortgage relief for every…

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