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Romanian man charged with hacking NASA computers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Romanian man accused of hacking into NASA computers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles under the online moniker “Iceman” has been indicted on a federal charge, prosecutors said on Wednesday. Robert Butyka is charged with hacking into 25 NASA computers at JPL in…

Colorado student charged in ‘glitter bomb’ of Romney

DENVER (Reuters) – A Colorado student faced misdemeanor charges on Wednesday for flinging glitter toward Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney in an increasingly frequent protest act some commentators say should be subject to prosecution. The practice of “glitter bombing” has mainly been the domain of gay rights activists targeting Republican…

Hard-hit Californians more optimistic about economy

Reuters) – Two thirds of Californians believe their personal financial situation will improve in the next 12 months, a sign that residents in one of the hardest-hit states in terms of unemployment and foreclosures are becoming more optimistic about the U.S. economy, according to a survey issued on Thursday. California,…

U.S. military seeks more access in Philippines

MANILA (Reuters) – The United States is seeking more access to Philippines ports and airfields to re-fuel and service its warships and planes, diplomatic and military sources said on Thursday, expanding its presence at a time of tension with China in the South China Sea. But it is not trying…

Pakistan ‘Al-Qaeda chief’ killed by US drone

US missiles on Thursday killed Al-Qaeda’s chief in Pakistan, one of the Americans’ main targets in the volatile country and wanted for attacks that killed scores of people, officials said. Badar Mansoor, who reputedly sent fighters to Afghanistan and ran a training camp in North Waziristan, was killed in a…

New York hotel maids to be given ‘panic buttons’

NEW YORK — Large New York hotels plan to equip their housekeepers and staff with portable alarms so they get help quickly in case of trouble, officials said Wednesday. Any staff member who must enter guests rooms, such as maids, waiters and mini-bar attendants, will be given the “panic buttons”…

Judge dismisses suit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving whales

(Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday threw out an animal rights group’s lawsuit accusing SeaWorld of enslaving captive killer whales, ruling that orcas had no standing to seek the same constitutional rights as people. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, had accused the chain of aquatic…

U.S. plays down cuts to diplomatic mission in Iraq

WASHINGTON — The United States played down Wednesday plans to reduce its diplomatic footprint in Iraq, saying it would keep most programs open and denying a report that it would cut staff by 50 percent. The New York Times, quoting unnamed officials, said the United States, in the wake of…

Poll: Voters back Obama as commander-in-chief

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has overwhelming support from American voters for his use of drone strikes against terror suspects and his planned troop drawdown in Afghanistan, a poll found Wednesday. Obama, who signed off on the US special forces raid which killed Osama bin Laden last year, also…

Cantor slammed for ‘neutering’ the STOCK Act

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) faced criticism on Wednesday for introducing a version of the STOCK Act which many said had severely weakened the legislation. “Rep. Cantor has opposed the STOCK Act from the start and his bill reflects that,” said Melanie Sloan, Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility…

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