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Google fined for privacy violations by Spanish data watchdog

Spain’s data protection watchdog ordered US Internet giant Google on Thursday to pay a 900,000-euro fine for “serious violations” of users’ privacy. The Spanish Data Protection Agency accused the popular search provider of “illegal processing of personal data” obtained from users of various services such as Google email accounts. Google’s…

U.S. Olympic delegate Brian Boitano announces he’s gay

Brian Boitano, the 1988 Olympic figure skating gold medalist who was named this week to the US delegation to the 2014 Sochi Games, Thursday announced that he is gay. Saying that “being gay is just one part of who I am,” Boitano said in a statement: “First and foremost I…

Treasury head Jack Lew: U.S. will run out of money in early March

The United States will run out of money to pay its bills by early March if Congress does not raise the nation’s borrowing limit, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday. In a letter to Congress, Lew urged lawmakers to take “prompt action” to once again extend the debt limit, after…

White House threatens to veto Congress’ threat legislation against Iran

The White House warned Congress Thursday that President Barack Obama would veto a bill threatening new sanctions on Iran, saying it could derail diplomacy aimed at sealing a comprehensive nuclear deal. The bill, backed by both Democratic and Republican senators, would impose new sanctions on Tehran if it violated an…

Microsoft executive charged with insider trading scheme involving Barnes & Noble

US authorities Thursday charged a Microsoft executive and his friend and business partner with insider trading, saying they used confidential information on the tech giant’s investment in bookseller Barnes & Noble. Criminal and civil charges were filed against Microsoft portfolio manager Brian Jorgenson, and his friend Sean Stokke, officials said.…

Chuck Hagel rips China’s ‘irresponsible’ actions during stand-off at sea

China acted in an “irresponsible” way in a stand-off with a US naval ship this month in the South China Sea, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Thursday. US officials have said that the USS Cowpens, a guided missile cruiser, had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with…

UPDATED: At least 88 people injured after ceiling of Apollo Theatre in London collapses

The ceiling of a top London theatre collapsed during a performance on Thursday, causing an unknown number of casualties, a police spokesman said. “We were called to the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue to reports of a ceiling collapse during a performance. We are aware of a number of casualties,…

BP oil spill engineer obstructed justice by deleting text messages

An engineer charged with obstructing justice in connection with the 2010 BP well blowout in the Gulf of Mexico has been found guilty of obstructing justice by deleting text messages from his mobile phone. Kurt Mix, a 52-year-old former BP employee, had faced two counts of obstruction for deleting hundreds…

Top Bush lawyer tried to ‘ship out’ gay employees to Detroit: report

The former head of the Office of Special Counsel “wanted to ‘ship out’” all the agency’s gay employees to Detroit, according to a government report released Wednesday. Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who served under the Bush administration from 2003 to 2007, established a field office in Detroit and reassigned several…

Femen activist attempts to cancel Christmas at the Vatican with topless protest

A leader of the Ukrainian feminist group Femen bared herself near St Peter’s Square on Thursday shouting “Christmas is cancelled!” in a protest against the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion. Inna Shevchenko, 23, went topless and ran towards the square but was stopped by some 20 police officers. She had…

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