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Venezuela to install 30,000 surveillance cameras across the country

Venezuela is installing 30,000 surveillance cameras to crack down on rampant crime, officials said Wednesday. Most of the Chinese-made equipment will be put up in the capital Caracas. Some is already in place in a municipality within the Caracas metropolitan area as part of a pilot program. “The goal is…

NSA spied on Americans until a judge ruled it illegal in 2011

The National Security Agency spied on electronic communications between Americans in a program that was later scrapped after a judge ruled it illegal in 2011, US officials said Wednesday. A senior official who spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters that the surveillance collection was “a result of a technological…

U.S. reluctant to intervene in Syria despite chemical arms strike

The United States refused to set new “red lines” for Syria on Wednesday as claims of a horrific chemical arms strike reignited debate over its reluctance to intervene in its civil war. Top officials faced new questions over Syria policy after rebels said President Bashar al-Assad’s forces massacred 1,300 people…

Small neo-Nazi anti-immigration protest in Berlin dwarfed by turnout for anti-neo-Nazi protest

German neo-Nazis have protested against a new political refugee centre in Berlin, seeking to stoke anti-foreigner sentiment a month before elections and sparking large counter-demonstrations. The far-right National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) tried to drum up anti-foreigner feelings at a rally near the asylum seekers’ centre, a former school…

Scientists show that birds adapt to speed limits in order to avoid collisions

Birds sense posted speed limits on roads and react to avoid collisions, according to a study out Wednesday. Researchers said birds appear to have adapted to the local speed limits as a feature of their environment, such as the risk of predators. Strict enforcement of speed limits could therefore significantly…

French police nab escaped member of the international ‘Pink Panther’ ring of jewel thieves

French police have arrested a suspected member of the infamous Pink Panther gang of international jewel thieves who had been on the run since escaping from a Swiss prison in May. Police and judicial sources said Wednesday that the 47-year-old, born in Montenegro but with French and Macedonian citizenships, was…

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon spikes sharly after new infrastructure projects, forestry law

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is on the rise sharply, sparking alarm over the future of the world’s biggest rainforest. Between June and last August, Imazon, the first independent monitoring system for the area, detected a 100 percent surge in the clearing of land. That’s in stark contrast to last…

Kremlin’s RT network boots journalist for on-air protest of anti-gay laws

A gay journalist was kicked off the Kremlin-backed RT network on Wednesday after he hijacked a segment about Bradley Manning to talk about Russia’s laws banning the promotion of homosexuality. The Washington Free Beacon first posted the clip that begins with columnist James Kirchick quoting openly gay playwright and actor…

Minnesota Supreme Court: Transmitting HIV after disclosing one’s status is not a felony

The Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously decided on Wednesday in favor of an HIV-positive man previously convicted on felony assault charges for passing the virus even though both he and his partner at the time were aware of his health status. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that the high court ruled 5-0…

Vatican: Iranian Christian sentenced to 10 years for distributing Bibles

An Iranian Christian convert has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for distributing Bibles in his home country, the Vatican missionary news agency Fides reported on Wednesday. Mohammad-Hadi Bordhar was arrested in Iran in December and reportedly said he wanted to “evangelise by handing out 12,000 pocket bibles”. He…

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