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New York Times confirms embassy closures due to al-Qaeda threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Intercepted communications in which al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri ordered the leader of the affiliate in Yemen to carry out an attack as early as last Sunday prompted the United States to close diplomatic missions in the Middle East and Africa, the New York Times reported on…

Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez one of 13 players suspended for doping

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s highest-paid player and one of the sport’s greatest hitters, was suspended for a record 211 games on Monday for alleged doping offences. Another 12 players, including three All-Stars, were handed 50-game suspensions by Major League Baseball following a long investigation into links between…

State Department: Bradley Manning had ‘chilling effect’ on foreign relations

By Tom Ramstack FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – U.S. soldier Bradley Manning’s leaks of classified government files had a “chilling effect” on foreign relations, impeding U.S. diplomats’ gathering of information, a senior State Department official said Monday. “Every single embassy” was affected, said Undersecretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy,…

Australian entertainer Rolf Harris re-arrested on child sex abuse charges

Australian entertainer and artist Rolf Harris was re-arrested by police in Britain on Monday over further allegations of sexual offences. Harris, 83, was first arrested in March by officers from the unit set up after claims of sex abuse were made against the late BBC TV star Jimmy Savile. Harris’s…

EPA accuses BP of manipulating U.S. natural gas market in 2008

A US energy regulator Monday proposed to fine oil giant BP $28 million for allegedly manipulating the natural gas market in 2008. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission charged that a team of Texas-based traders for BP America undertook a number of trades in late 2008 that deliberately lost money as…

RNC Chair to NBC, CNN: Cancel your planned Hillary Clinton movies or we’ll yank the 2016 debates

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, issued strongly-worded letters to the chairman of NBC Entertainment, Robert Greenblatt, and CNN President Jeff Zucker today after both networks announced plans to make and air movies about Hillary Clinton. In them, he lambasts the networks for being unfair to potential…

Law designed to strip criminals of assets targets innocent homeowners

By Isaiah Thompson, Special to ProPublica When Rochelle Bing bought her modest row home on a tattered block in North Philadelphia 10 years ago, she saw it as an investment in the future for her extended family — especially for her 18 grandchildren. Bing, 42, works full-time as a home…

Turkish court jails former military chief for life over alleged ‘plot’ to overthrow government

By Ayla Jean Yackley and Ceyda Caglayan SILIVRI, Turkey (Reuters) – A Turkish court on Monday sentenced a former military chief to life in prison and dozens of others including opposition members of parliament to long terms for plotting against the government, in a trial that has exposed deep divisions…

Irish man battles U.S. extradition request for running largest child porn network on the planet

Man alleged to be behind Freedom Hosting, service provider for many hidden sites, battles FBI request for extradition to US.  Freedom Hosting, described by an FBI special agent as “the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet”, has been taken down as part of a year-long operation to extradite…

Pakistan to go global with ‘Burka Avenger’ superhero animation

Pakistan’s new cartoon superhero who fights bad guys disguised in a flowing black burka is set to go global, her creator told AFP, with plans afoot to broadcast the show in 60 countries. The Urdu-language animation “Burka Avenger”, showing the adventures of a mild-mannered teacher who uses her superpowers to…

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