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National Security Adviser’s ‘greedy Jew’ joke deleted from White House transcript

Update at bottom: Jones apologizes, Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman slams ‘inappropriate, stereotypic’ joke; Mediaite: Joke ‘missing, not scrubbed’ President Obama’s National Security Adviser James Jones told a joke stereotyping Jews as greedy merchants to a Washington policy forum Friday night. The remark — little-noticed except in the New York-based Jewish…

Drought blankets Beijing in thick, yellow dust storm

BEIJING (AFP) – Beijingers woke up Saturday to find the Chinese capital blanketed in yellow dust, as a sandstorm caused by a severe drought in the north and in Mongolia swept into the city. The storm, which earlier buffeted parts of northeastern China, brought strong winds and cut visibility in…

Waterboarding sessions brought detainees ‘close to death’: report

Update at bottom: Former UK spy chief says US ‘misled’ allies on torture The waterboarding sessions that terrorist suspects were subjected to during the Bush administration were “administered with meticulous cruelty” and were in part designed so that detainees acted as “guinea pigs” for future interrogation sessions, says an exhaustive…

Chile troops clash with looters after quake

CONCEPCION, Chile — Troops fired teargas and imposed a curfew Monday to stop looters running off with trolleyloads of goods from the wreckage of Chile’s quake as rescuers scrabbled through rubble for survivors. As President Michelle Bachelet said she expected the death toll of 708 to rise, the scale of…

Tsunami waves reach Japan’s coast

“The first tsunami from Chile’s earthquake has hit Japan’s outlying islands, but the initial waves are small,” the Associated Press reports. The article continues, “Japan’s Meteorological Agency said the first tsunami to reach Japan after the magnitude 8.8 quake off Chile was recorded in the Ogasawara islands early Sunday afternoon.…

Iceberg the size of Luxembourg breaks off Antarctica

An iceberg the size of Luxembourg knocked loose from the Antarctic continent earlier this month could disrupt the ocean currents driving weather patterns around the globe, researchers said. While the impact would not be felt for decades or longer, a slowdown in the production of colder, dense water could result…

Watch: Shoppers flee as Dubai shark aquarium cracks open

A massive aquarium tank housing hundreds of sharks in a Dubai shopping center sprang a leak Thursday, sending shoppers fleeing and prompting the mall owners to close large parts of the building. The aquarium tank is one of the world’s largest, holding some 2 million gallons of water and 30,000…

Soldier reportedly holds daughter’s head underwater for failing to recite alphabet

A 27-year-old Washington state soldier allegedly admitted Sunday to having held his daughter’s head in a bowl of water because she couldn’t recite the alphabet. British newspapers labeled the technique “waterboarding,” in reference to the CIA torture measure the Bush Administration employed against terror suspects, though in actuality, waterboarding technically…

Author uses ‘Monty Python’ logic to ‘obfuscate’ on waterboarding

When CNN’s Christiane Amanpour hosted a debate on Wednesday between conservative writer Marc Thiessen and British lawyer Philippe Sands, the conversation quickly took a turn to the surreal that concluded with Sands telling Thiessen his argument was “straight out of Monty Python.” Thiessen, a former speechwriter for Donald Rumsfeld and…

US general: 200,000 dead Haitians just a ‘start point’

Haitians sought comfort in their faith Sunday, flocking to pray in church ruins as rescue teams raced against time to pull out any final survivors five days after a devastating earthquake. UN chief Ban Ki-moon flew in to assess what he called the “most serious humanitarian disaster in decades,” while…

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