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Israeli PM Netanyahu lashes out at Abbas over attacks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed disappointment Wednesday that Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has failed to condemn fresh attacks on Israelis, as a watchdog questioned the legality of Israeli reprisals. An Israeli man was shot dead Tuesday while working on the border fence with the Gaza Strip, and the Israeli…

18 dead as immigrant boat capsizes while being ‘towed into dock’ near British territory

Eighteen suspected illegal migrants died Wednesday when their boat capsized off the Turks and Caicos islands in the Atlantic, the government of the British overseas territory said. The incident occurred in the early hours of Christmas Day as the boat, which had been intercepted by police, was “being towed into…

Turkish PM reshuffles cabinet amid protests over graft scandal

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replaced nearly half his cabinet in a dramatic reshuffle late Wednesday after a spreading graft scandal forced the resignation of three top ministers and threatened the premier’s own hold on power. Erdogan announced on television he had replaced those three ministers — for the…

Streaming music services search for their ‘Beyonce moment’

When will streaming music services have their Beyonce moment? (via Pando Daily) By Nathaniel Mott On December 23, 2013 Beyonce ignited a virtual firestorm earlier this month when she released her eponymous album on iTunes with no single, no marketing, and no physical counterpart. It hasn’t left the news since.…

‘Chairman Mao will bless you’: Why tourists flock to Mao’s birthplace

‘Chairman Mao will bless you’: Why tourists flock to Mao’s birthplace (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) On a cold and blustery December afternoon, groups of tourists cluster in front of a giant statue of Mao Zedong to have their pictures taken with the founder of modern China. “Bow three…

Japanese PM Abe paves the way for relocated U.S. base on Okinawa

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe looks set to win approval from Okinawa this week for the long-stalled relocation of a US military base after a meeting Wednesday with the island’s pugnacious governor. A deal with Okinawa would end a long-running dispute that has been a source of friction with Washington…

Egypt Brotherhood vows to continue protests despite ‘terrorist’ label

A leader of the Muslim Brotherhood vowed that the movement would keep up protests after Egypt’s military-installed government designated it a “terrorist” group on Wednesday. “The protests will continue, certainly,” Ibrahim Munir, a member of the group’s executive council who is in exile in London, told AFP, adding the move…

Federal judge rules that TSA, FBI can detain and arrest you for carrying Arabic flashcards

A former college student detained at Philadelphia International Airport after Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials discovered he was carrying Arabic language flashcards lost his bid to sue the federal agents who detained him. Nicholas George alleged that the TSA agents violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights when they arrested…

Illinois man uses ‘Star Trek’ technology to defraud investors of $25 million

An Illinois man pleaded guilty on Monday in a $25 million fraud case predicated on technology from the television and film franchise Star Trek. According to prosecutors, Howard Leventhal told potential investors that Neovision USA, Inc. had written agreements with Canada’s deputy health minister to provide the country with “Heltheo’s…

Russia offers Kremlin-backed amnesty to Greenpeace activists as Sochi Olympics near

Russia on Wednesday dropped all but one of the cases against 30 crew members of a Greenpeace protest ship following a Kremlin-backed amnesty. The move marks the end of a three-month criminal probe against the 26 foreign and four Russian activists and comes less than two months before Moscow hosts…

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