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UN orders its inspectors out of Syria over fears of U.S. air strike

UN weapons inspectors have been ordered to leave Syria early amid mounting anticipation of US-led military strikes. As the five permanent members of the security council held a second emergency meeting on Syria in two days on Thursday evening, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, instructed the 20-strong inspection team…

Leaked documents show massive expansion of CIA budget

The CIA has mushroomed into the largest US spy agency with a nearly $15 billion budget as it expands intelligence, cyber sabotage and overseas covert operations, secret leaked documents showed Thursday. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the government’s “black budget” for fiscal year 2013 to The Washington…

Obama administration hints it could act alone on Syria

The United States hinted Thursday it could act alone to punish Syria for a chemical weapons attack, following hesitation by its closest ally Britain and a deadlock at the United Nations. The Obama administration also denied that public skepticism dating to an Iraq war intelligence debacle was complicating its effort…

Valley as deep as the Grand Canyon lies beneath Greenland

A huge canyon twice the size of the longest river in Britain and as deep as the Grand Canyon lies beneath the ice sheet in Greenland, scientists said Thursday. Prior to the establishment of the ice sheet some four million years ago, the canyon is believed to have been a…

Anti-marijuana group: Fed’s new pot policy will cause more driving accidents

A relatively new group, Project SAM, is warning the nation to brace itself for the terrible consequences of legal marijuana. “We can look forward to more drugged driving accidents, more school drop-outs, and poorer health outcomes as a new Big Marijuana industry targeting kids and minorities emerges to fuel the…

Evidence suggests bird migration patterns are learned, not genetic

Whooping cranes learn how to migrate by following elders in their midst, suggesting that social influence has a larger bearing than genetics on the birds’ behavior, scientists said Thursday. The large, white birds are endangered in the wild of North America, with just one native population of about 250 in…

White House report on Syrian chemical weapons use faces high bar after Bush Administration’s Iraq lies

The White House prepared Thursday to issue a report accusing Syria’s government of waging chemical warfare, but faces a high burden proof due to the hangover from botched Iraq war intelligence and disquiet in Congress. The report is meant to bolster the case for a probable US military intervention in…

Former North Korean spy’s memoir details ‘enemization’ training conducted by abducted South Koreans

As well as the obvious classes like bomb-making, Kim Dong-Sik’s intensive spy training in North Korea included memorising hundreds of South Korean pop songs and dance moves. Such strategies for assimilating into South Korean society were considered essential to avoid suspicion, Kim revealed in a recently-published memoir that lifts the…

Treasury Department: Legally-married same sex couples qualify to file joint taxes regardless of their state

The US government on Thursday announced that legally married gay couples will be treated the same as married couples for federal tax purposes. The decision applies to legally married same-sex couples whether they live in a state that recognizes the marriage or not, the US Treasury Department and the Internal…

Syria’s wounded find medical care in Israeli hospitals despite official hostilities

The quiet hospital ward in northern Israel is a world away from the ravages of Syria’s civil war but scores of wounded Syrians, ignoring long-standing taboos concerning relations with the Jewish state, are receiving treatment here. Fatima, a Syrian woman who ended up in Ziv hospital with her daughter after…

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