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Retired Army officer: Bradley Manning’s leak caused costly scramble

By Tom Ramstack FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – Assessing the breach of the largest leak of classified data in U.S. history cost the military hundreds of thousands of dollars, a retired Army officer on Wednesday told the judge weighing the length of time soldier Bradley Manning will spend in prison.…

Uruguay president wants to legalize marijuana as a ‘contribution to humanity’

Uruguay wants to make a “contribution to humanity” by legalizing marijuana but will backtrack if the “experiment” goes awry, President Jose Mujica told AFP in an exclusive interview. Mujica said he sees his country as a potential test case for an idea slowly gaining steam across Latin America — that…

Russian television network accidentally airs anti-Putin rant

A Russian television channel accidentally interrupted its evening news show with a doom-laden report of evils committed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, apparently slipped on air by a disgruntled employee. The female newsreader on the Eastern Express channel, based in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, read an upbeat item about…

Gay Turkish Muslims torn between religion and sexuality

“When I was a child, I was told that homosexuals would burn in hell,” said Ertugrul, a Muslim fighting for greater freedom for gays in a country where homosexuality remains taboo. Ertugrul, who did not want to give his last name, is president of the group Muslims and Gays, which…

Thailand relaxes 40-year-rule mandating students have identical hairstyles

Pudding-bowl bobs and army-type cuts were for decades the only hairstyles allowed to be sported by Thai schoolchildren — but now looser rules spell new freedom for classroom coiffures. “I am embarrassed having this kind of hairstyle,” 14-year-old Visarut Rungrod told AFP, running his hand over his close-cropped head, adding…

CIA official: Syria poses greatest threat to U.S. security

The war in Syria poses the greatest threat to US security because of the risk of the government falling and the country becoming a weapons-rich haven for Al-Qaeda, a CIA official says. CIA second-in-command Michael Morell gave the assessment in an interview published Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal as…

French farmers enraged over low prices go on egg-breaking rampage

A group of rogue French farmers has gone on a furious egg-breaking rampage, destroying tens of thousands on roads and pledging to smash many more in protest against low prices. “More than 100,000 eggs were destroyed in the Cotes d’Armor (a department in the northwestern region of Brittany),” a spokesman…

Study finds food companies have ‘undue influence’ over vouching for safety of additives

By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – U.S. food companies have “undue influence” in vouching for the safety of common additives such as salt, trans fats and artificial sweeteners, according to an analysis released on Wednesday that calls for better oversight of the additive process, which is currently…

7 surveillance reforms Obama supported before he became president

When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA’s bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance…

Obama cancels meeting with Russia’s Putin over Snowden asylum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is cancelling his planned meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin scheduled for next month in Moscow, an administration official said on Wednesday. The Obama administration has repeatedly expressed disappointment after Moscow granted asylum to former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, rejecting U.S. pleas to…

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