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FTC unveils new online privacy rules for children

US regulators unveiled new rules Wednesday aimed at strengthening online privacy protection for children, to reflect the growing use of mobile apps and social networks. The Federal Trade Commission said its updated rules require online services to get consent from parents if they are aimed at children under 13 or…

Letters stolen from World War II Nazi postbox delivered after 71 years

Letters written by German soldiers stationed on the Channel Island of Jersey have finally been delivered, 71 years after they were stolen in an act of resistance against the Nazi occupation. The 90 letters and cards were taken just before Christmas 1941 by a group of young men who ‘liberated’…

Army to seek death penalty for U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers

Military prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a US soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in southern Afghanistan in March, an army spokesman said Wednesday. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is to face a full court martial authorized to sentence him to a maximum penalty of death, the military decided…

Controversial lawyer Robert Bork dies at age 85

By Godfrey Hodgson, The Guardian Controversial lawyer and legal scholar who was a pugnacious standard bearer for the American right Robert Bork, who has died aged 85, was one of the most controversial American legal scholars of his generation. After two of President Richard Nixon’s attorney generals had refused to obey…

Sandy Hook shooting highlights flaws in mental health care system

Sandy Hook shooting's glare illumines cracks in mental health care (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) Details about Adam Lanza’s mental health are anecdotal, at best. Unverified news reports have suggested he may have been diagnosed with a personality disorder and/or with Asperger syndrome, a mild form of autism (considered…

Mother of 3-year-old named Jihad faces French court for putting ‘I am a bomb’ shirt on her son

The mother and uncle of a three-year old named Jihad, who was born on September 11, were due in a French court Wednesday for sending him to school in a top with “I am a bomb” written on it. The sweatshirt also had the words “Jihad, born on September 11″…

Fancy foods garner thousands at charity auction in Paris

Truffles, oysters, an aged side of beef or a three-star dinner by a top French chef: a mouthwatering line-up of festive delicacies were the star lots of an offbeat charity auction in Paris. Dubbed “Fine Food”, and held for the second year running by the auctioneer Artcurial for the benefit…

British prosecutors back off harsh punishments for offensive messages on Facebook and Twitter

British prosecutors announced new guidelines on Wednesday making it less likely that Twitter and Facebook users will face criminal charges for offensive messages they post online. The guidelines, intended to draw a line between genuine threats and misjudged jokes, have been published following a sharp rise in the number of…

Greek civil servants stage 24-hour strike over austerity measures

Hundreds of civil servants protested in Athens against new austerity measures as part of a a 24-hour strike called Wednesday by unions that paralysed public services and disrupted transport. Wednesday’s action grounded flights for six hours, left trains operating on emergency schedules and halted the Athens metro during morning rush…

Time names Obama person of the year again

 Time magazine on Wednesday named the recently re-elected US President Barack Obama as its person of the year for 2012 — the second time it has accorded him this honor. The venerable American news magazine said the United States is in the midst of huge cultural and demographic changes and…

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