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Twitter hack reveals Africa may be ‘soft underbelly’ of cyber security

Hackers have claimed the scalp of the South African Ministry of State Security’s Twitter account, underlining concerns that Africa may be the soft underbelly of global cyber security. As part of what was described as a large-scale attack spammers hijacked the @StateSecurityRS account to advertise a “miracle diet” before officials…

Chinese couples increasingly seek divorce to avoid property tax

Chinese couples are flocking to divorce to avoid a new tax property sales tax imposed by the government, after it left open a loophole for those who end their marriages. Government marriage registration offices — which also handle divorces — were swamped by scores of couples trying to untie the…

New data shows Eurozone sinking deeper into recession

The 17-nation eurozone sank further into recession in the last three months of 2012 as the debt crisis continued to exact a heavy price, official data showed Wednesday. The eurozone economy shrank 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 compared with the third quarter when it contracted 0.1 percent,…

Bolshoi dancer confesses to acid attack on dance company’s director

A leading Bolshoi Ballet soloist and two other detained suspects have confessed to their involvement in the acid attack on the artistic director of world famous dance company Sergei Filin, Moscow police said Wednesday. One of the company’s leading male dancers Pavel Dmitrichenko , the suspected mastermind of the attack,…

Vietnam polices police bodies: No more short, fat traffic cops

Short, pot-bellied policemen will be banned from traffic duty in Vietnam’s capital Hanoi and given office jobs in a bid to improve the force’s public image, police said Wednesday. Details of the new height and weight restrictions were not available but the head of Hanoi’s traffic police said they were…

Report: Japan and U.S. agree to auto exemptions in free trade pact

Tokyo and Washington have agreed on exemptions for the auto industry in a mooted Pacific-wide free trade pact, as Japan readies to announce its entry into negotiations, reports said on Wednesday. The two Pacific powers agreed in principle that the United States will be able to keep tariffs on car…

U.N. rips Israeli military for ‘institutionalized’ mistreatment of Palestinian children

The ill-treatment of Palestinian minors held within the Israeli military detention system is “widespread, systematic and institutionalised,” a report Wednesday by the UN children’s fund found. UNICEF in the 22-page report that examined the Israeli military court system for holding Palestinian children found evidence of practices it said were “cruel,…

New U.S. study probing personality traits via brain scans

U.S. researchers published incredibly detailed images of the human brain as part of an international project aimed at uncovering how brain architecture influences personality. The five-year “Human Connectome Project” or HCP — being conducted at 10 research centers in the US and Europe — will use advanced brain imaging technology…

South Korea vows to retaliate if provoked by North Korea

South Korea warned Wednesday that it would retaliate against any provocation from North Korea, a day after the North threatened to tear up the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953. “If North Korea carries out provocations that threaten the lives and safety of South Koreans, our military will…

Egyptian women and ‘Tahrir Bodyguards’ declare war against rampant ‘sexual terrorism’

Faced with a spike in sexual violence against female protesters, Egyptian women are overcoming stigma and recounting painful testimonies to force silent authorities and a reticent society to confront “sexual terrorism”. The victims of the attacks have been talking openly about their ordeals, insisting they will not be intimidated by…

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