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Tuesday, Oct 21st

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CIA curbs spying in Europe after Germany catches official selling secrets to U.S.

CIA curbsThe CIA has curbed spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States and the Edward Snowden revelations of classified information held by the National Security Agency, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The pause in decades of espionage, which remains partially in effect, was designed to give CIA officers time to examine whether they were being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery, said a U.S. official who has been briefed on the situation.

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France strikes Islamic State group's depot in Iraq

France strikes ISISJoining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, French fighter jets struck Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot, Iraqi and French officials said.

A pair of Rafale fighter jets accompanied by support planes struck in northern Iraq on Friday morning, and the target was "entirely destroyed," President Francois Hollande said. Four laser-guided bombs struck the Iraqi military installation that had been overrun by the militants, and hit a munitions and fuel depot, a French military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss operational details.

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Hundreds of Gaza children permanently disabled by this summer’s conflict

gazan children disabledAfter being declared dead earlier this summer, 9-year-old Louay is fortunate to be back home with his father and older brother, Odai, 13. But with their friends back in school this month, both boys are confined to the small, dark apartment where they live in al-Zaitun, a suburb of Gaza City, dealing with permanent disabilities from their recent injuries.

This summer’s 51 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas took a heavy toll on Gaza’s children, killing 501, according to U.N. figures. It injured an additional 3,374, and though the bombs have stopped, hundreds of those children, just like Louay and Odai, face an uncertain future as disabled.

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Scottish referendum: Scotland votes 'No' to independence

Scottish referendumScotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.  With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and urged the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and that commitments on extra powers would be honoured "in full".

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Islamic State shows captive British journalist in new video

John CantlieA man identified as British journalist John Cantlie has purportedly appeared as a captive of Islamic State militants in a video posted by the organization's supporters online.

The Islamic State group, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against it in Iraq.

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Islamic State seizes 16 villages in northern Syria

Islamic stateIslamic State fighters backed by tanks have captured 16 Kurdish villages over the past 24 hours in northern Syria near the Turkish border, prompting civilians to flee their homes amid fears of retribution by the extremists sweeping through the area, activists said.

For more than a year, the Islamic State group and Kurdish militias have been locked in a fierce fight in several pockets of northern Syria where large Kurdish populations reside. The clashes are but one aspect of Syria’s broader civil war — a multilayered conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 190,000.

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Chinese hacking into critical Pentagon contractors

Chinese hack PantagonThe Chinese government has frequently hacked into the computer systems of defense contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command, the Pentagon agency responsible for deploying American troops and military equipment worldwide.

A bipartisan Senate investigation found that in one year, from June 1, 2012, through May 31, 2013, the Chinese government had gained access to sensitive U.S. defense logistics information at least 20 times, but that the Transportation Command, known as TRANSCOM in military circles, was aware of only two of the security breaches.

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