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Ex-CIA agent defends herself in rendition case: report

WASHINGTON — A former CIA agent convicted by an Italian court of participating in the covert 2003 abduction in Milan of an Egyptian cleric suspected of terror-related offenses had gone public to defend herself. In an interview published in the Washington Post, Sabrina de Sousa, 56, denied playing any role…

U.S. slaps more sanctions on Iran

WASHINGTON — The United States unleashed a fresh wave of sanctions against Iran Thursday, ratcheting up pressure to convince Tehran to take seriously concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons program. The actions impose additional sanctions on Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile proliferation networks and identify Iranian “front” companies and banks…

France eyes taxing Internet retailers

The French government on Thursday launched a study that could lead later this year to levies on big Internet based companies that sell large amounts in France without paying much in taxes. Experts are to submit a report “regarding the localisation and taxation of profits, sales or, possibly, other taxable…

Human Rights Watch slams Iraqi Internet bill for hefty penalties

An Iraqi draft law that would jail web users for life for a variety of ill-defined crimes has been condemned by rights groups and activists who have slammed its vague language and hefty penalties. Little more than a year after revolutions, in part sparked by Internet-based campaigns, rocked the Middle…

50,000 flee as record flooding in Japan kills 17

At least 17 people died, 20 were missing and 50,000 were ordered to evacuate as the heaviest rainfall on record pounded the southwestern Japanese island of Kyushu, officials and reports said Thursday. Emergency workers in Kumamoto prefecture responded to multiple reports of mudslides swallowing houses and people being trapped, with…

Canadian court: No royalties for Internet downloads

Canada’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday that no royalties need to be paid to recording artists or song publishers when videogames or movie soundtracks are downloaded on the Internet. Deciding on five landmark copyright cases, the court said that record labels and recording artists are not eligible for additional “communication” royalties…

Court orders credit card company to un-block WikiLeaks payments

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks achieved its first major legal victory in a pushback against the U.S.-led financial blockade that’s crippled the publication and sapped more than 95 percent of its resources since 2010. In a ruling by the Reykjavík District Court in Iceland, credit card processing company Valitor, partner of both…

U.S. tourist injured in Spanish bull run

Six people were hospitalised Thursday after running through the streets with charging bulls at Spain’s San Fermin festival, including one visitor from the United States, authorities said. Those injured in the sixth bull-run of the colourful fiesta included a 62-year-old local and a person from San Francisco, California, both of…

South Korea liquor labels warn against drunken violence

South Korea’s top liquor maker said Thursday it has started labelling bottles with warnings against drunken violence, in a country which is one of the world’s heaviest alcohol consumers. Hite-Jinro said from Tuesday it began labelling soju and beer bottles sold in Seoul with messages reading: “No more drunken violence!…

9 dead in avalanche on ‘Cursed Mountain’ in French Alps

An avalanche swept over a group of foreign climbers in the French Alps on Thursday, killing at least nine people — with the dead believed to include three Britons — in the deadliest such disaster in the region in a decade. Most of the dead found after the early morning…

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