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Tunisia launches ‘huge’ operation to hunt jihadists

Tunisia’s army launched a “huge” operation to track down jihadists in the central Sidi Bouzid region Tuesday, the defence ministry said, after militants killed six policemen in the area last week. “A huge military operation was launched on Tuesday in the hills of Sidi Ali Ben Aoun,” a district of…

France and Spain spied on their own citizens and handed data over to the NSA

Electronic spying on French and Spanish phone records was carried out by those countries’ intelligence services and not by the National Security Agency, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Citing unnamed US officials, the Journal’s report contradicted earlier accounts from French and Spanish media that alleged the NSA was scooping…

1,800-year-old Roman eagle sculpture found by archaeologists in London

A superb Roman eagle in near pristine condition, serpent prey still wriggling in its beak, has been found by archaeologists in the City of London. A symbol of immortality and power, it was carefully preserved when the aristocratic tomb it decorated was smashed up more than 1,800 years ago –…

French ‘curvy women’ group files complaint against Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld

A French association that fights for the rights of curvy women has made an official complaint against designer Karl Lagerfeld over his comments that no one wants to see plump models on catwalks. The association — called “Pretty, curvy, sexy and fine with it” — filed the complaint at the…

Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner apologizes for ‘Obamacare’ website woes

A key official overseeing the US health care law’s new website apologized Tuesday for its trouble-plagued rollout, but insisted the online program is fixable. Marilyn Tavenner, the first Obama administration official to testify before Congress about the rocky start to healthcare.gov, took heat at a hearing on problems with the…

Van Jones: Republicans oppose their own ideas as soon as Obama mentions them

In video uploaded to YouTube by Big Think on Tuesday, former White House special advisor Van Jones said Democrats should stop trying to appease Republicans. Jones compared Republicans to a mechanical bunny on a dog racing track. Democrats would never be able to catch up to them, no matter how…

After encouraging launch, Al Jazeera America plans to ramp up programming

Al-Jazeera America said Tuesday it would expand its programming, adding staff and a new morning news show as it seeks to boost viewership in the US market. The news channel, which launched in August, said it would be opening new bureaus in the United States — adding to 12 opened…

Ancient skeletons challenge modern religion in ‘humanity’s cradle’

In Kenya’s national museum, wide-eyed school children gaze at blackened skeletons of long gone ancestors, 1.5 million-year-old remains that provide key lessons today for modern teachers of mankind’s origin. For deeply religious Kenya — dubbed the ‘cradle of mankind’ for the wealth of early hominid fossils dug up from its…

Saudi Arabia frees blogger jailed for blasphemy

A Saudi journalist accused of posting tweets deemed insulting to Islam’s Prophet Mohammed was on Tuesday freed from detention after 20 months, a human rights activist said. Hamza Kashgari fled Saudi Arabia to Malaysia in February 2012 after receiving death threats for tweets on the occasion of the prophet’s birthday.…

Hi-tech aqueduct explorers map ancient Rome’s ‘final frontier’

Armed with laser rangefinders, GPS technology and remote control robots, a group of speleologists is completing the first ever mapping of the aqueducts of ancient Rome on archaeology’s “final frontier”. They abseil down access wells and clamber through crevices to access the 11 aqueducts that supplied Rome, which still run…

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