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Police shoot dead California man suspected of killing mother before firing at neighbors from a tractor

Police in Simi Valley, California shot and killed a 29-year-old man suspected of shooting his own mother dead before shooting randomly in his neighborhood while riding a tractor. KCBS-TV reported that Ryan Carnan’s brother informed authorities on Saturday that Carnan admitted on the phone to killing their mother, identified by…

Indiscriminate surveillance fosters distrust, conformity and mediocrity: research

Recent disclosures about the scope of government surveillance are staggering. We now know that the UK’s Tempora program records huge volumes of private communications, including – as standard – our emails, social networking activity, internet histories, and telephone calls. Much of this data is then shared with the US National…

NATO members could act against Syria without UN mandate

Kosovo-style humanitarian intervention could justify NATO military action against Assad regime after alleged chemical attacks Barack Obama is unlikely to have much trouble mustering a Nato coalition of the willing if Washington opts for military intervention in Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons atrocities by the Assad regime.…

Anger as China ‘restores’ Dalai Lama’s ancestral home

The Chinese town where the Dalai Lama was born is undergoing huge redevelopment, and behind a mountain the exiled spiritual leader’s family home has received a makeover of its own, with a three-metre wall and security cameras installed. The building in Hongai village, at the summit of a towering peak,…

Netflix women’s prison drama-comedy ‘Orange is the New Black’ a smash hit

A television series by streaming video service Netflix about a middle-class white woman learning to get by in a women’s prison has slowly and quietly become a smash hit in America. “Orange is The New Black” — a “dramedy” based on a best-selling autobiography with the same title — has…

Iraq blames energy giant Shell for $4.6 billion in lost income

Iraq’s oil ministry, struggling with sputtering output, has blamed Anglo-Dutch energy giant Shell over $4.6 billion in lost revenue due to production delays, in a letter seen by AFP Monday. The document, dated July 21, 2013, sharply criticises the foreign energy firm for shortfalls in oil extraction at the giant…

Two trekkers in their twenties missing in Indian Himalayas

Two French trekkers in their twenties have gone missing in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas after breaking away from their group near the mountain town of Dharamshala, police said Monday. “Over two dozen people are searching for the missing trekkers in the Dhauladhar mountain ranges,” local police chief Balbir…

Environmentalists warn plan to link Red Sea with Dead Sea could have dire consequences

A plan to link the Red Sea with the shrinking Dead Sea could save it from total evaporation and bring desalinated water to thirsty neighbours Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians. But environmentalists warn that the “Red-Dead” project could have dire consequences, altering the unique chemistry of the landmark inland lake…

Military response to chemical weapons attack from West on table despite decision to allow inspectors in

by Martin Chulov in Beirut Syria appears to have bowed to international pressure to allow UN investigators to travel to the scene of last week’s chemical weapons attack in Damascus, allowing a forensic science team to visit the site today. The green light for the UN inspection came almost five…

Government plans to euthanize hundreds of desert tortoises after budget cuts to refuge

A combination of federal budget austerity and the dramatic decline of the Nevada housing market may claim some unlikely victims: desert tortoises. The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center — a 23-year-old federal refuge in Las Vegas for the threatened species — has collected only $290,000 from its primary funding source of…

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