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Botched Kim Dotcom case spurs New Zealand to allow domestic spying

New Zealand unveiled plans Monday to allow its foreign intelligence agency to spy on local residents, to fill a loophole exposed when Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom was illegally snooped upon. Prime Minister John Key said the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) needed additional powers because the challenges facing intelligence agencies…

South Korea rejects ‘incomprehensible’ demands by North Korea

South Korea on Monday dismissed an “incomprehensible” list of North Korean demands for reviving suspended operations at a jointly-run industrial park. The Kaesong Industrial Complex, opened north of the border in 2004 as a rare symbol of cooperation, has been shut indefinitely with the withdrawal of all North and South…

Saudi Arabia reports two more deaths from SARS-like virus

A new SARS-like virus has killed two more people in Saudi Arabia, taking the number of deaths from the coronavirus that the kingdom has announced to seven in one week, the health ministry said. “The health ministry has announced that three infections by the new coronavirus have been registered during…

Scholar: Ancient Babylon’s hanging garden was in northern Iraq

The whereabouts of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – the fabled Hanging Garden of Babylon – has been one of the great mysteries from antiquity. The inability of archaeologists to find traces of it among Babylon’s ancient remains led some even to doubt its existence. Now…

Lax security at fertilizer plant hints at regulatory gaps in Texas

During testimony before a Texas House committee last week, state regulators did not disclose knowing that thieves had for years exploited lackadaisical security to infiltrate…  …

UK watchdog admits losing nuclear materials dozens of times

Radioactive materials have gone missing from businesses, hospitals and even schools more than 30 times over the last decade, a freedom of information request to the UK’s health and safety authorities has revealed. Nuclear experts have warned that some of the lost material could be used by terrorists and said there…

Buffet praises Bush and Obama for doing ‘the right things’ on finance

AFP – US billionaire Warren Buffet said the US economy is moving in the right direction and praised the policies of both president George W. Bush and Barack Obama as “the right things,” in an interview that aired Sunday. US stocks soared to new closing records Friday after a strong…

Utah soccer referee dies after being punched by teen player

A longtime youth football official who was punched in the face by a teenaged player in a match in Utah has died, the Salt Lake Unified Police Department said. The Unified Police Department said in a statement that Ricardo Portillo of Salt Lake City died Saturday night in hospital, where…

U.S. diplomat Greg Hicks revives controversy over Benghazi attack

A key US diplomat has sharply disputed the Obama administration’s initial account of an attack on a US mission in Libya that killed the US ambassador and three others, CBS reported Sunday. The US deputy chief of mission in Libya, Greg Hicks, told congressional investigators that, from the outset, the…

Syria says Israeli air strike ‘opens door to all possibilities’

Israeli strikes on Syrian military sites have opened the door “to all possibilities” and made the situation in the region “more dangerous,” Syria’s government said on Sunday. “The government of the Syrian Arab Republic confirms that this aggression opens the door wide to all possibilities,” the cabinet said in a…

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