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Washington, United States (AFP) - The State Department faces thousands of cyber attacks every day, a top US official said Friday, refusing to confirm that hackers who breached their system in November were reportedly still lurking in the network. “We have robust security to protect our computer systems and our information, which includes access to an unclassified, open-net system,” State Department...

Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

Kabul, Afghanistan (AFP) - The Pentagon’s new chief, Ashton Carter, flew to Kabul on Saturday to confer with commanders and Afghan leaders about the future of the American military presence in Afghanistan. Only days after taking the helm as defense secretary, Carter paid an unannounced visit to a country where US troops have been deployed for more than 13 years but...

Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

Hong Kong, China (AFP) - Carnivals and fireworks are Hong Kong’s trademark Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations -- but tens of thousands of people also travel to a remote village to hurl oranges at a tree in hopes of making their wishes come true.
In a tradition stretching back more than a century, visitors to the “wishing tree” in Lam...

Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

Five Chinese women are sitting upright in their chairs, designer handbags at their heels, listening attentively to a trendy Chinese Tatler magazine photographer describe how to pose in public. He is talking makeup, light and cheekbones. The room is decorated with Pierre Frey wallpaper and the participants sip tea out of a Bernardaud tea set. Notepad in hand, they are learning...

Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

Lagos, Nigeria (AFP) - From grainy, amateurish footage and rambling, almost inaudible speeches to slick, expertly edited productions, Boko Haram’s media strategy has undergone a transformation in recent months. The Nigerian militants this week published two videos that contrasted starkly with earlier efforts, using visual cues and a style resembling similar messages from the...

Full Article Sunday, 22 February 2015 00:00

New Delhi, India (AFP)-Tens of thousands of supporters gathered Saturday to see Arvind Kejriwal sworn in as Delhi chief minister for the second time after his upstart anti-corruption party won one of the biggest election victories the Indian capital has ever seen.
The 46-year-old former civil servant’s Aam Aadmi (Common Man) Party (AAP) won all but three of the 70...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

On the grounds of Dresden’s trade fair site, visitors emerge from the cellar of a former abattoir. Most of it was recently turned into a cloakroom, but it partly retains its original look, of shiny white tiles and a stained concrete floor. A plaque identifies it as Schlachthof 5 [Slaughterhouse 5].

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Chavala Madlena, Hannah Patchett and Adel Shamsan A 13-year-old boy who was killed in Yemen last month by a CIA drone strike had told the Guardian just months earlier that he lived in constant fear of the “death machines” in the sky that had already killed his father and brother.“I see them every day and we are scared of ...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AFP) Bahrain’s opposition has called for protests on Saturday’s fourth anniversary of an uprising that deeply divided the key US ally in the worst internal crisis to hit a Gulf Arab state. The radical February 14 Coalition, a cyber youth group, urged demonstrations and strikes across the tiny kingdom under the slogan “Strike of defiance”.

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Washington, United States (AFP)- American pilots call it “going Winchester.” That’s when a warplane drops every bomb on board. And air crews for the B-1 bomber told AFP it was not uncommon in the battle for the Syrian town of Kobane, recaptured by Kurdish forces last month. The airmen, recently returned from a six-month stint flying combat missions over Syria....

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AFP)-|The United Arab Emirates has suspended operations at its embassy in Yemen and evacuated staff over security concerns after a Shiite militia seized power, the foreign ministry said Saturday.The move comes a day after Sunni-dominated regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia announced it had also evacuated all its staff from the embassy in Sanaa.

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Sydney, Australia (AFP)- Prime Minister Tony Abbott Saturday pleaded with Indonesia to heed Australia’s call for clemency for two death row convicts, and warned that Canberra would make its displeasure known should the executions go ahead. Andrew Chan, 31, and Myuran Sukumaran, 33, are facing execution by firing squad after being convicted over a failed 2005 bid to traffic heroin from Indonesia’s...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

Washington, United States (AFP)- US President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the “brutal and outrageous” execution-style murders of three Muslim students in North Carolina at the hands of a neighbor who espoused anti-religious views. “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” Obama...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

United Nations, United States (AFP)-| UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised three Muslim students gunned down in North Carolina and said he was “deeply moved” by scenes of thousands of people mourning their deaths. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his new wife Yusor Mohammad, 21; and her 19-year-old sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were killed on Tuesday, allegedly at the hands of...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

San Jose, United States (AFP)- Swiss researchers are developing contact lenses that contain tiny telescopes to boost vision and zoom in and out with the wink of an eye, researchers said Friday.The latest advances in vision aids -- some of which could potentially help the 285 million people worldwide with some form of vision impairment -- were discussed at the...

Full Article Sunday, 15 February 2015 00:00

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