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Witness at Manning sentencing testifies about information-sharing restrictions to support prosecution

FORT MEADE, Maryland (Reuters) – Washington had to restrict access to an intelligence-sharing system after the biggest leak of classified information in U.S. history, a former official said on Friday at the sentencing hearing of Bradley Manning, the soldier convicted of the leaks. Tightening access to the system undid the…

Oscars hires Ellen DeGeneres to replace Seth MacFarlane as Academy Awards host

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has been chosen to host the annual Oscars telecast in March, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Friday. This would be her second stint as master of ceremonies for the Oscars. DeGeneres, the star of her own daytime talk…

Judge: Denver movie-theatre shooter’s online dating profile is admissible at murder trial

DENVER (Reuters) – A question once posed by accused movie theater gunman James Holmes on a dating website, asking potential love interests, “Will you visit me in prison?” can be admitted as evidence at his murder trial, a Colorado judge ruled on Thursday. The decision was a setback, but not…

Snowden’s asylum in Russia said to have negative effect on U.S. policy in Syria, Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After causing weeks of embarrassment for the U.S. intelligence community, the Edward Snowden saga has now cast a shadow over international efforts to end the Syrian civil war and deal with Iran, and could also undermine White House hopes for a nuclear arms reduction deal. Russia’s decision…

State Department ends ban on visas for same sex spouses of American citizens

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials paved the way on Friday for same-sex spouses to visit or live in the United States, announcing the State Department will give equal treatment to visa applications of gays and lesbians who want to travel with their partner. Secretary of State John Kerry, announcing the…

Department of Justice wants Apple banned from cutting low-cost deal with e-book publishers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apple Inc should face several restrictions to protect consumers and promote competition after a judge found it illegally conspired to raise e-book prices, federal and state officials said on Friday. The changes proposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and 33 U.S. states and territories will…

Judge releases alleged National Cathedral vandal to halfway house despite expired visa

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A woman accused of splashing green paint on parts of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., can be released to a halfway house to await trial on a property destruction charge, a judge ruled on Friday. Jia M. Tian, 58, is accused of dumping the paint on…

Meet the companies who generate fake Facebook ‘likes’ for corporate profits

Investigation finds fake Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter followers could be misleading consumers How much do you like courgettes? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the “like” button – even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from.…

Elizabeth Warren demands an end to the FDA’s ban on gay blood donors

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and a group of 86 other signatories from Congress sent a letter on Thursday to call for an end to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s ban on blood donors who are “men who have had sex with other men (MSM), at any time since 1977,”…

Tiny French village aims to become ‘oasis’ for aging British gays and lesbians

Salleles-d’Aude is a picturesque village like so many in France, with vines, a tree-lined canal, a church… and soon, a “private oasis” for ageing British gay people — reportedly a first in the country. The brainchild of 66-year-old Danny Silver, the luxury community for gay, lesbian, bi- and transsexual British…

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