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Tampa Bay News - photo credit: Reuters
Tampa Bay News - photo credit: Reuters

News Around the World

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How Western spyware is being used to shut down Arab rights activists

Author: System Administrator - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Since the Arab Spring seven years ago, autocratic regimes have spent millions on Western firms' technology to steal activists' contacts, listen in on their conversations, and more.

German citizens warned about travel to Turkey following ‘absurd’ arrests

Author: System Administrator - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Six human rights activists were arrested in Turkey as part of President Erdogan’s widespread terrorism crackdown, leading Germany to issue travel warnings against the nation. 

Cecil the Lion’s Son Xanda Killed by a Trophy Hunter

Author: DANIEL VICTOR - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

The lion was shot in Zimbabwe during what a researcher said was a legal hunt, two years after Cecil was killed by an American dentist.

2 Leading Online Black Markets Are Shut Down by Authorities

Author: NATHANIEL POPPER and REBECCA R. RUIZ - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

The authorities took control of one large site, Hansa Market, and covertly operated it to catch refugees fleeing the closing of the largest market, AlphaBay.

Exxon fined $2m for violating Russia sanctions while Rex Tillerson was CEO

Author: Associated Press - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Treasury says ‘senior-most executives’ were aware of sanctions in 2014 over Crimea annexation when firm signed deals with Russian oil magnate Igor SechinExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” in violating Russian sanctions while Rex Tillerson was the oil company’s CEO, the treasury department said on Thursday.The treasury fined Exxon $2m for violating sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russian entities in 2014 over Russia’s annexation of Crimea. And it said the company’s “senior-most executives” were aware of the sanctions when two of its subsidiaries signed deals with the Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin. Sechin is the chairman of the Russian oil giant Rosneft and is on a US blacklist that bars Americans from doing business with him. Continue reading...

Ringleader of 'mafia-style' gang in Rome is jailed for 20 years

Author: Agence France-Presse - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Massimo Carminati found guilty over scandal in which millions of euros meant for public services were divertedThe ringleader of a gang whose criminal tentacles reached into almost every department of Rome’s City Hall was sentenced to 20 years in prison by an Italian court on Thursday.Massimo Carminati, 59, a convicted gangster with a history of involvement with violent far-right groups, had been accused, along with 45 others, of operating a “mafia-style” network that used extortion, fraud and theft to divert millions of euros that had been destined for public services. Continue reading...

North Korea drought: Children at risk in 'worst crisis since 2001'

Author: System Administrator - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Children and the elderly are at risk from the country's worst drought since 2001, the UN says.

France’s Top General Resigns in Dispute Over Military Spending

Author: ALISSA J. RUBIN - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Gen. Pierre de Villiers stepped down after his criticism of President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to cut military spending was leaked to the news media.

Poland may be stripped of EU voting rights over judicial independence

Author: Daniel Boffey in Brussels and Christian Davies in Warsaw - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Rightwing government’s planned reforms for legal system could prompt triggering of article 7 for the first timeThe EU is on the brink of taking the nuclear option of stripping Poland of its voting rights in Brussels in response to plans by its rightwing government to “abolish” the independence of the country’s judiciary.Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European commission, accused Warsaw of seeking to put judges under full political control as he warned that the EU was “very close” to triggering article 7, a never-before-used sanction in the treaties that allows a member state’s voting rights in the council of ministers to be suspended. Continue reading...

Tobacco companies interfere with health regulations, WHO reports

Author: Jessica Glenza in Winston-Salem, North Carolina - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Tobacco industry is interfering with government attempts to regulate products and aggressively pursuing new markets in Africa, World Health Organization saysCigarette manufacturers are attempting to thwart government tobacco controls wherever possible, even as governments make progress regulating the products, a new World Health Organization report has found. World health officials also warn that tobacco companies have moved their fight to the developing world, such as Africa, where smoking rates are predicted to rise by double digits in the coming decades. Continue reading...

Suspected Isis fighter seized in Mosul may be missing German girl, 16

Author: Philip Oltermann in Berlin and Fazel Hawramy - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

German authorities urgently investigate if girl shown in footage is Linda Wenzel, who vanished from Saxony home last year German authorities are investigating whether a suspected Islamic State fighter seized by Iraqi forces in the war-torn city of Mosul is a 16-year-old German schoolgirl who disappeared from her parents’ home in Saxony a year ago after apparently being groomed by jihadist groups online.The parents of Linda Wenzel have been searching in vain for their daughter since she vanished from her home in the village of Pulsnitz on 1 July last year after converting to Islam in secret. Continue reading...

Mexico adds laptop, tablet security measures for flights to U.S.

Author: beneason - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Mexican authorities say the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has instituted heightened security measures for laptops and tablets on U.S.-bound flights from the country.Orlando International Airport has routes to three cities in Mexico.Mexico's Transportation Department says in a statement that...

Anger and mistrust in Gaza as Hamas hunts for Israel 'collaborators'

Author: Phoebe Greenwood Gaza City - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Deaths of three Palestinians alleged to have provided information to Israel highlights battle against perceived internal threatAbdullah al-Nashar does not have a tombstone. His grave is a smear of concrete with his name roughly written into it marked with a breeze block. It is an ignominious memorial for a man who served as a presidential guard for both Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.But Nashar is no longer considered a Palestinian hero. On 25 May he was one of three men publicly executed for the crime of helping Israel assassinate the Hamas military chief Mazen Fuqha. And in Gaza, this is the only suitable grave for a collaborator. Continue reading...

Thailand convicts traffickers after 2015 mass graves discovery

Author: Oliver Holmes in Bangkok - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Bodies were found in southern Songkhla province where authorities said hundreds of migrants had been held captiveA Thai judge has found dozens of people guilty, including senior army general, in the country’s largest ever human trafficking trial following the discovery two years ago of mass graves in a squalid jungle camp where hundreds of migrants had been brutally exploited. Related: Cages, watchtower and 37 graves: inside an abandoned migrant camp in Malaysia Continue reading...

Malala Yousafzai condemns China over treatment of Liu Xiaobo

Author: Reuters in Abuja - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

After dissident died in custody, Yousafzai, speaking on a trip to Nigeria, criticises ‘governments that deny people freedom’The Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has condemned China over its treatment of her fellow peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo following his death from liver cancer in custody last week. Liu was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms in China.His incarceration meant he was unable to collect his Nobel prize in 2010, and he became the second winner of it to die in state custody, the first being Carl von Ossietzky in Germany in 1938. Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, remains under effective house arrest. Continue reading...

Ecuador risks Opec split by increasing oil output

Author: Adam Vaughan - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Move represents a tiny proportion of world production, but could embolden others to rethink their commitment to cutsEcuador has become the first country to publicly admit it will not meet Opec’s production curbs, saying it needs to pump more oil to address its fiscal deficit.The South American country’s promised cut of 26,000 barrels of oil a day is a tiny drop in the 1.8m b/d that the cartel recently agreed to curb until early 2018, but the decision is still the first crack in the deal’s unity. Continue reading...

Saudi Police Arrest Woman Who Wore Miniskirt in Online Video

Author: RUSSELL GOLDMAN - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

The video clip, and the debate that followed about the strict dress code for women, exposed a rift below the country’s tightly controlled surface.

Illegal trade in rhino horn thriving in China, NGO investigation reveals

Author: Andrea Crosta - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Elephant Action League’s sting operation shows how horns are trafficked from Africa and enter into China via Vietnam, alleging official complicityRhinoceros horn can be easily bought in China despite it being illegal since 1993. The rhino horn products in antiques shop are far from antique. They are new and most likely been illegally trafficked from Africa to Vietnam and then into China. A new report from Elephant Action League (EAL), Grinding Rhino: An Undercover Investigation on Rhino Horn Trafficking in China and Vietnam, shows how rhino horn makes its way into shops in China, the largest illegal market for rhino horn in the world. EAL’s 11-month investigation, called Operation Red Cloud, targeted the supply chain, exposing the players, the networks, and the means by which rhino horn is trafficked into China. Continue reading...

Afghan Vice President’s Return Thwarted as Plane Is Turned Back

Author: MUJIB MASHAL and NAJIM RAHIM - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, from de facto exile, had built an alliance of Afghan politicians opposed to President Ashraf Ghani. He was denied permission to land.

Rise of mega farms: how the US model of intensive farming is invading the world

Author: Fiona Harvey, Andrew Wasley, Madlen Davies and David Chil - Published - Expires - ( Reads)

Demand for cheaper food and lower production costs is turning green fields into industrial sheds to process vast amounts of meat and poultryUK has nearly 800 livestock mega farms, investigation revealsSince the days of the wild west frontier, the popular image of American farming has been of cowboys rounding up steers on wide open ranches, to whoops, whips and hollers. Today, the cowboys on their ranches under wide open skies have been replaced by vast sheds, hulking over the plains, housing tens of thousands of animals each, with the noises and smells spreading far beyond their fences.The US has led the world in large-scale farming, pioneering the use of intensive livestock rearing in hog farms, cattle sheds and sheep pens. There are now more than 50,000 facilities in the US classified as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), with another quarter of a million industrial-scale facilities below that threshold. Continue reading...