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White House ‘welcomes media interest’ in PRISM online spying program

The White House has said that it welcomes media interest in US surveillance practices, despite confirming that the Department of Justice is in the early stages of a leak investigation that may lead to criminal prosecutions of whistleblowers who revealed them. As the second of two secret US monitoring programmes…

U.S. proposes ending federal protections for gray wolves

By Environment Correspondent Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government said Friday that gray wolves have returned from the brink of extinction after decades of recovery efforts and proposed ending nationwide protection of them under the Endangered Species Act, a move some conservation groups called dangerously premature. Under the…

Closing of San Onofre nuclear plant to increase California’s reliance on natural gas

By Scott DiSavino NEW YORK (Reuters) – California’s growing reliance on natural gas to fuel its power plants will increase and power prices will remain elevated following Southern California Edison’s decision to retire a crippled nuclear power plant. Both reactors at the 2,150-megawatt (MW) San Onofre plant will be permanently…

Santa Monica gunman was armed with 1,300 rounds of ammo: police

A gunman who killed four people in a shooting and carjacking rampage in California before being shot by police, was carrying “a bag full” of ammunition as well as a handgun and a semiautomatic rifle, officials said at a press conference. Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks said the gunman,…

Karzai orders Britain to hand over detainees

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has demanded that all detainees being held by British forces in the restive south be handed over within two weeks, saying that holding prisoners any longer would be a violation of sovereignty. The British government came under fire earlier this month when it emerged that up…

City of Johannesburg plans to become Africa’s ‘New York’

City authorities in Johannesburg, South Africa’s economic hub, have unveiled an ambitious plan to undo urban inequalities of the apartheid era and turn the continent’s wealthiest city into the “New York of Africa”. City mayor Parks Tau says the 10-year scheme, which is set to cost some $10 billion (7.5…

Anti-gay evangelical Christians a growing political force in Brazil

By Anthony Boadle BRASILIA (Reuters) – When televangelist Silas Malafaia gathered 40,000 followers outside Brazil’s Congress this week, it wasn’t just to raise their arms to the sky and praise the Lord. The rally was a show of support for lawmakers who oppose abortion and same-sex marriage and a message…

UK defends links to PRISM online spying program

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said eavesdropping by its GCHQ security agency was legal and no threat to privacy but would not confirm or deny reports it received data from a secret U.S. intelligence program. British and U.S. newspapers have suggested that the U.S. National Security Agency handed…

Fires have burned 3 percent of Amazon rainforest in 12 years: NASA

The Brazilian Amazon harbours 40% of all remaining tropical rainforest, playing a vital role in global biodiversity conservation and climate regulation. (Alexander Lees/REUTERS) The size of the Amazon rainforest has been shrinking – and not just because of traditional…  …

Tens of thousands defy Turkey’s Prime Minister with fresh protests

Tens of thousands of demonstrators packed the streets of Turkish cities in defiance of a call from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for them to end their civil uprising. The government said the protests were “under control” even as the largest crowds yet on Saturday packed every inch of Istanbul’s…

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