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Biden sworn in for second term as vice president

US Vice President Joe Biden re-took the oath of office Sunday as Barack Obama officially begins his second term, a day ahead of public festivities planned for Monday. Biden placed his hand on a thick and weathered-looking bible held by his wife, Jill, and pledged to “support and defend the…

British survivors recount terror in Algeria

British survivors returning from the Algerian gas plant hostage crisis have told of their experiences, with the mother of one saying that her son will have nightmares for life. One Briton has been confirmed killed in the attack by Islamist militants, while a further five British nationals and one UK…

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…

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