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Mourners exchange fond memories and angry calls for justice at Aaron Swartz memorial service

It was fitting that a memorial service held Saturday for computer freedom activist Aaron Swartz, who killed himself on January 11 as he faced hacking charges, was open to all. In a spacious meeting room in the heart of New York’s East Village neighbourhood, friends, fellow activists and supporters of…

On the trail of dinosaur fossil swindlers

Dinosaur fossils are big business, with complete skeletons fetching millions. And that much cash attracts swindlers, science writer Brian Switek reports Fossils are priceless. I mean that in both senses: they are invaluable clues about vanished lives and their worth should never be measured in dollars. But Eric Prokopi made…

‘Political coward’ Binyamin Netanyahu sees rift with Barack Obama widen

Israeli prime minister’s aides accused American president of interfering in Israel’s elections Already fractious relations between Binyamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama have been further strained in the runup to the president’s inauguration on Monday and the Israeli prime minister’s anticipated victory in Tuesday’s election. Netanyahu aides accused Obama of interfering…

India’s Sonia Gandhi slams ‘shameful’ attitudes towards women

Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party, on Sunday condemned “shameful” social attitudes that led to crimes like the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi. “We cannot tolerate shameful social mindsets that lead to unspeakable atrocities on women and children… every woman in the country has the…

Japan’s grandmother poet Toyo Shibata dies at 101

Japanese poet Toyo Shibata, who started writing at the age of 92 and whose first anthology sold almost 1.6 million copies, died Sunday aged 101, her son said. Shibata died at a nursing home near her residence in Utsunomiya north of Tokyo, said her eldest son Kenichi Shibata. She had…

Obama ‘guidebook’ for targeted killings to include exemption for CIA drone strikes in Pakistan: report

The administration of President Barack Obama is completing a counterterrorism manual that will establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations, The Washington Post reported. But citing unnamed US officials, the newspaper said the guidebook would contain a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan. This exemption will…

Kim Dotcom claims Megaupload successor got ‘massive’ response

New Zealand-based Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom claimed a “massive” response to his new file-sharing service launched Sunday, suggesting it could be the fastest growing start-up in history. The mega.co.nz website, which replaces the outlawed Megaupload, went live at dawn, exactly a year after armed police stormed Dotcom’s Auckland mansion and…

Hundreds rally against spread of Neo-Nazi influence in Greece

Hundreds of people held a rally against racism and fascism in central Athens on Saturday as mourners gathered to pray over the body of a man killed in a suspected racist attack. Nearly 3,000 people, according to state broadcaster NET, joined the peaceful protest that ended with a concert and…

U.S. banking earnings paint a mixed picture

Earnings released in recent days by leading banks and other large financial institutions might be thought of as the good, the bad and the ugly. On one side, banks like Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase zoomed ahead with earnings that either set new records, beat expectations or accomplished…

Libyan defense minister survives firefight with former rebels

Libya’s defence minister was unhurt Saturday after being caught in a firefight between his bodyguards and ex-rebels at an airbase in the east of the country, his deputy told AFP. Mohammed al-Barghati was leaving the airport in Tobruk, eastern Libya, when the shooting occurred, said Khaled al-Sherif. “As the minister…

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