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U.S. charges Eastern European cyber thieves with stealing banking data from NASA, others

US law enforcement on Wednesday announced charges against three alleged East European cyber thieves accused of stealing banking information from computers across Europe and the United States, including at the space agency NASA. The “alleged international cyber criminals (were) responsible for creating and distributing a computer virus that infected over…

Archaeologists uncover new fox species in South Africa

Archaeologists digging outside Johannesburg have unearthed a fossilised species of previously unknown fox, which they hope will help flesh out the evolutionary journey of modern canines. The new species — named Vulpes Skinneri after South African ecologist John Skinner — is thought to have lived about two million years ago.…

Privacy concerns mount as Facebook roles out new Graph search tool

New blog aims to show how those who share photos, personal information and “likes” on Facebook could see privacy invaded Privacy concerns are mounting around Facebook’s recently unveiled search tool, after it was used to unearth lists of people related to supporters of the outlawed Chinese group Falun Gong and companies…

More than 100 children die of measles in Pakistan in 19 days

More than 100 children have died of measles in Pakistan this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday, calling it “an alarming outbreak.” “Some 103 Pakistani children have died from Jan 1 to Jan 19 this year because of the post-measles complications such as pneumonia, post-measles encephalitis and diarrhoea,”…

Australian court clears goat for eating flowers in Sydney

An Australian court Wednesday heard the case against a goat accused of munching on flowers in central Sydney — and found in favour of the peckish beast. Gary the goat waited outside the local court while his owner James Dezarnaulds contested an Aus$440 (US$464) fine issued last August, after police…

Google reports ‘steady increase’ in gov’t requests for user data

Google on Wednesday reported a “steady increase” in government requests to hand over data from Internet users in the second half of 2012. The Web giant’s semiannual “transparency report” showed the most requests came from the the United States, with 8,438 requests for information about 14,868 users. India was second…

Women join ranks of Assad’s new paramilitary force in Syria

At 40 years of age, Abir Ramadan joined the all-female unit of Syria’s new paramilitary force, pledging loyalty to Bashar al-Assad in the armed struggle against those seeking to topple the president. Dressed in camouflage, she marches at a stadium in the central city of Homs, raising her fist and…

Drinking water restored to Chilean capital after 24-hour outage

Water has been restored in Chile’s capital Santiago after a 24-hour pollution-related outage that affected more than two million people, the water utility said Wednesday. The cut-off in the supply of drinking water to more than 593,000 homes from early Tuesday was linked to contamination in a key river that…

Secretary Clinton warns of rising militancy at Benghazi hearing

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned of the challenges posed by rising militancy after the Arab Spring as she appeared before US lawmakers Wednesday to be grilled about a deadly attack. “Benghazi didn’t happen in a vacuum,” Clinton said at the start of a Senate hearing into the…

Sundance study: Women directors fare better in independent films

Male film-makers might dominate the mainstream, but in the indie world the gender gap is closing, says Sundance survey Female directors remain woefully underrepresented in Hollywood but appear in greater numbers in the field of independent film, according to a new study commissioned by the Sundance film festival and Women in…

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