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U.S. missed ‘red flags’ about gunman

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel acknowledged authorities missed some “red flags” that might have averted a deadly shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, vowing to close any gaps in security. Hagel made the admission in the wake of Monday’s massacre that left 13 dead, including the shooter, as details…

McCain tells Russia Putin ‘doesn’t believe in you’

US Senator John McCain penned a blistering column for Russian media, telling the Russian people that their President Vladimir Putin is a dissent-quashing tyrant who “doesn’t believe in you.” The senior US lawmaker, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, accosted Putin and his associates for rigging elections, imprisoning and murdering opponents,…

Long-range forecast: Sunny spell will …wipe out life on Earth

Great heat will make Earth uninhabitable in 3 billion years, say scientists.  And journey to balmy Mars may be best escape route If the end of the summer, the short, cold days, and party conference season were not enough to bring on the gloom, scientists have calculated when life on…

Lawsuit over Bob Marley recordings renewed after court ruling

A U.S. appeals court Wednesday revived legal action between music giant Universal and a small media company over rights to distribute remixes of early recordings by reggae icon Bob Marley. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California ruled that a previously-dismissed lawsuit can go to trial over the Marley…

House Judiciary chair on NSA surveillance: ‘Further protections are necessary’

Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte calls for ‘robust oversight’ of NSA programs and that ‘further protections are necessary’ The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday that he believed “further protections are necessary” to protect Americans’ civil liberties from the nation’s surveillance programs. After a classified hearing with senior…

France turns to online crowdsourcing to fight corruption of aid to Africa

France is enlisting the help of Malians to police its aid projects in the west African country with an innovative crowdsourcing project asking people to report corruption by text or online. The foreign ministry’s project is the first of its kind in France, which has pledged 280 million euros ($374…

Boeing to end C-17 military aircraft program in 2015

Boeing announced Wednesday it would end production of its C-17 military transport aircraft in 2015, citing a difficult environment amid government spending cuts. Boeing said it would close the C-17 final assembly plant in Long Beach, California in 2015, after completing the 22 aircraft remaining to be built. Nearly 3,000…

Federal court rules Facebook ‘Likes’ are protected under the First Amendment

Hitting the “Like” button on Facebook is an element of free speech protected by the U.S. constitution, a federal court ruled Wednesday, in a case closely watched by employment lawyers. The U.S. Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia, made the judgment in the case of a Virginia sheriff’s department…

‘Beanie Babies’ creator will pay $53.5 million penalty for tax evasion

The creator of the wildly popular Beanie Babies toy line agreed to plead guilty to felony tax evasion charges and will pay a $53.5 million penalty as part of a settlement agreement, the Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday. Officials at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago told the Tribune that…

European ‘robot snake’ being prepared to assist Mars rover Curiosity

Robot snakes on Mars? Serpentine probe could explore Red Planet. (via The Christian Science Monitor) Scientists hope that the Mars “snake,” called Wheeko, will be able to do and see things that a six-wheeled rover cannot do or see.(SINTEF/YouTube) Last month, fans of the Curiosity rover’s images spotted something unusual…

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