Suspect in beheading of US journalist Daniel Pearl released

BBC, October 24

One of the suspects in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl has been set free by an anti-terrorism court in Pakistan.

Qari Hashim was arrested in 2007 and held in jail in Hyderabad, a southern city in Pakistan, during his trial.

The court acquitted Mr Hashim because of a lack of [...]

Ebola crisis: Mali confirms first infection case

BBC, October 24

The Mali government has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country.

It said a two-year-old girl had tested positive for the haemorrhagic virus. She recently returned from neighbouring Guinea.

More than 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March.

Meanwhile, an [...]

EU reaches deal on CO2 emissions cut

European Union leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and set renewable energy targets.

Al Jazeera, October 24

European Union leaders have reached what they described as the world’s most ambitious climate change targets for 2030, paving the way for a new UN-backed global treaty next year.

The 28 leaders [...]

Four Blackwater guards found guilty in 2007 Iraq shootings of 31 unarmed civilians

Washington Post, By Spencer S. Hsu, Victoria St. Martin & Keith L. Alexander, October 22

A federal jury in Washington convicted four Blackwater Worldwide guards Wednesday in the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed Iraqis, seven years after the American security contractors fired machine guns and grenades into a Baghdad traffic circle in one of the [...]

Syria conflict: ‘200 air force strikes’ in 36 hours

BBC, October 22

The Syrian military has stepped up air strikes on rebel areas dramatically, carrying out more than 200 in recent days, opposition activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raids took place mostly in western areas between midnight on Sunday and noon on Tuesday.

The UK-based group said there were [...]

Joko Widodo sworn in as Indonesian president

BBC, October 20 Joko Widodo, the charismatic outsider who won Indonesia’s presidency, made a call for national reconciliation and unity as he was sworn in.

Popularly known as Jokowi, the 53-year-old took the oath of office at a ceremony held at parliament in Jakarta.

He was then cheered through the streets as he made his [...]

Nigeria declared Ebola-free after containing virus

Reuters, October 20

Abuja – The World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola free on Monday after a 42 day period with no new cases, in a success story with lessons for countries still struggling to contain the deadly virus.

“Nigeria is now free of Ebola,” WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz told a news conference in [...]

Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

The Voice of America, By Carolyn Presutti, October 18

Miami – Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion.

According to the organization whyIslam.org, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino.

And according to Latino American Dawah Organization (LADO), a group that promotes Latino conversions, a little more than [...]

U.S. airstrikes in Syria are now dwarfing those in Iraq, thanks to the fight for one town

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, October 19

The Syrian border town of Kobane is still in danger of falling to the Islamic State, more than a week after the U.S. military began launching airstrikes on militants there regularly. Hundreds of fighters have been killed, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday, but even more are swarming [...]

Arizona and Wyoming gay marriage bans struck down

Los Angeles Times, By Julie Westfall & James Queally, October 17

Same-sex couples in Arizona, Wyoming and Alaska will all be free to obtain marriage licenses by next week after federal judges struck down bans in two of those states Friday and the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for a further stay in Alaska.

[...]

Fukushima radiation nearing West Coast

The (Mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon’s) Statesman Journal, By Tracy Loew, October 17

Radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster is approaching the West Coast, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is reporting.

A sample taken Aug. 2 about 1,200 kilometers west of Vancouver, B.C. tested positive for Cesium 134, the Fukushima “fingerprint” of Fukushima.

It also showed [...]

Senior NSA official moonlighting for private cybersecurity firm

Patrick Dowd recruited by former NSA director Keith Alexander – Unusual for US official to work for private, for-profit company

The Guardian, By Spencer Ackerman, October 17

The former director of the National Security Agency has enlisted the US surveillance giant’s current chief technology officer for his lucrative cybersecurity business venture, an unusual arrangement undercutting [...]

It’s official: U.S. will build new Syrian rebel force to battle Islamic State

McClatchy, By Hannah Allam, October 15

Washington — John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground [...]

Joe Biden’s son Hunter thrown out of navy over cocaine

Vice-president’s son issues statement of regret after failed drug test leads to discharge from US navy reserve.

The Guardian, October 17

The US vice-president’s son Hunter Biden has been discharged from the US navy reserve after testing positive for cocaine.

Biden failed a drug test administered in June 2013, sources said. The son of Joe [...]

Lockheed says makes breakthrough on fusion energy project

Reuters, By Andrea Shalal, October 15

Washington – Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads [...]

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