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Saturday, Feb 28th

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Libyan charged in 1998 US embassy bombings dies

Abu Anas Al-LibiFifteen years after allegedly helping al-Qaida plot the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Abu Anas al-Libi parked his car on a quiet street in Libya's capital.

Within moments, soldiers from the U.S. Army's elite Delta Force forced him at gunpoint into a van and sped away. They'd fly him to a naval ship in the Mediterranean Sea before finally bringing him to New York to stand trial on charges of helping kill 224 people, including a dozen Americans, and wound more than 4,500.

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New Snowden Documents Reveal That The NSA Can’t Hack Everyone

NSA spyingA new wave of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) document leaks show the agency wasn’t able to spy on everyone thanks to some encryption tools several programs use that successfully thwart digital espionage.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported the NSA couldn’t decipher communications such as emails and online chat messages from a handful of services that use encryption beyond the NSA’s code-cracking abilities, based on documents obtained from former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Der Spiegel recently analyzed NSA documents Snowden previously released to news outlets in 2013.

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NYPD chief defends mayor de Blasio and criticizes police funeral protest

Bratton The commissioner of the New York Police Department, Bill Bratton, has given strong backing to Bill de Blasio, denouncing the protest of rank-and-file officers who turned their back on the mayor at a weekend funeral as politicised and inappropriate.

Speaking on CBS on Sunday, the leader of the largest police force in the US came out fighting on behalf of the beleaguered politician who appointed him.

“This is a mayor who cares very deeply about New York police officers, cares very deeply about the divide in the city and is working hard to heal that divide,” Bratton said.

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N. Korea compares Obama to monkey in hacking row

The InterviewNorth Korea has compared President Barack Obama to a monkey and blamed the U.S. for shutting down its Internet amid the hacking row over the movie "The Interview."

The North has denied involvement in a crippling cyberattack on Sony Pictures, but has expressed fury over the comedy, which depicts the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Sony Pictures initially called off the release of the film, citing threats of terror attacks against U.S. movie theaters. Obama criticized Sony's decision, and the movie opened this past week.

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Two U.S. drone strikes kill seven militants in Pakistan

Drone strikesTwo suspected U.S. drones fired missiles at militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan on Friday killing at least seven fighters, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The attacks took place in the same area where the Pakistani army has been mounting an air-and-ground operation against Pakistani Taliban insurgents who are fighting against the government in order to set up a sharia state in Pakistan.

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Israel arrests more from Jewish extremist group

Israe arrests jewish extremistsIsraeli police have arrested four Jewish activists from the extremist Lehava group opposed to Arab-Jewish coexistence.

The arrests are part of a clampdown on the fringe organization, which has become a symbol of rising anti-Arab sentiment.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri says the arrests took place on Sunday in five different cities throughout Israel. She says that along with the four arrested, four other activists were detained and then released.

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Dear Chelsea Manning: birthday messages from Edward Snowden, Terry Gilliam and more

Chelsea Manning birthdayOn Wednesday, Chelsea Manning – heroine, whistleblower and inmate – turns 27. She has been behind bars for four years and eight months, ever since her arrest for leaking ­classified US documents. There isn’t much prospect that she will be released any time soon. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence, with the earliest possibility of parole being in 2021. She has appealed to Barack Obama for a pardon. It seems unlikely he will grant it.

It is against this gloomy and unpropitious backdrop that leading writers, artists and public figures from around the world are today sending Chelsea birthday greetings. Their contributions include letters, poems, drawings and original paintings. Some are philosophical – yes, that’s you, Slavoj Žižek – others brief messages of goodwill. A few are ­movingly confessional.

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