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|Worthy News Brief - June 21, 2013|
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|Worthy News Features
Four Iranian Converts Convicted of Christianity
While the world's attention was focused on Iran's presidential election, four converts to Christianity were found guilty by an Iranian court of no longer being Muslims.
Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Religious restrictions on rise since Arab Spring, says study - Times of Israel
While the onset of the Arab Spring at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 brought hope that the uprisings would lead to more freedoms, they in fact ushered in an era of increased restrictions on religion, a new study has found.
Violence against women worldwide is 'epidemic' - BBC
More than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence, a report by the World Health Organization and other groups says.
Immortality by 2035? - CNBC
How's this for a weekend conference: Some of the smartest people in the world are gathering in New York to try to figure out how to build lifelike copies of humans ... to be eventually uploaded with the contents of a real human brain.
World Health Organisation calls emergency meeting to respond to SARS-like outbreak - UK Telegraph
Health experts have started an emergency international meeting to devise ways of combating a mysterious virus that has been described as the single biggest worldwide public health threat after claiming 38 lives, mostly in Saudi Arabia.
Israel, U.S., Jordan Reportedly Coordinating Attack on Syrian Weapons - Algemeiner
While the U.S. administration has officially adopted the position that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons and has declared publicly that it will provide the rebels with military aid, it appears that behind-the-scenes preparations are still being made for a much larger move.
Human organs 'could be grown in animals within a year' - UK Telegraph
Japanese scientists are expecting to be granted approval to grow human organs in animals and then harvest them for transplant within the next year.
Militants storm UN compound in Somalia; 20 killed - AP
Seven al-Qaida-linked militants on a suicide mission attacked the U.N. compound Wednesday with a truck bomb and then poured inside, killing at least 13 people before dying in the assault.
Chaos, Islamist threat plague Libya's lawless desert south - Reuters
A French-led military campaign this year broke Islamists' hold over the northern two-thirds of Mali, killing hundreds of al Qaeda-linked fighters and pushing others into neighboring states like Niger and eventually Libya, security officials say.
In northern Iraqi city, al-Qaida gathers strength - AP
Al-Qaida's Iraq arm is gathering strength in the restive northern city of Mosul, ramping up its fundraising through gangland-style shakedowns and feeding off anti-government anger as it increasingly carries out attacks with impunity, according to residents and officials.
Iran picks site for new nuclear research reactor - AP
Iran's state TV says a site in southern Iran has been selected for a planned new nuclear research reactor.
MEPs want 'United States of Europe' - even without the UK - Public Service Europe
More than 50 per cent of MEPs would haved liked to have seen the development of a 'United States of Europe', while 20 per cent thought that the European Union would have been 'better off' if the United Kingdom had left the EU -- according to research from British polling firm ComRes.
US, Jordan troops hold desert war games - AFP
US and Jordanian F-16 fighter jets hit dummy targets in the kingdom's southern desert on Wednesday, while Navy SEALs and other special forces rescued "hostages" and nabbed "terrorists" in mock exercises under major multinational maneuvers.
Rebels: Assad, Hezbollah used chemical weapons - Ynet News
The major organization of Syrian rebels, the Free Syrian Army, announced Wednesday that forces affiliated with Bashar Assad's regime and Hezbollah fighters employed chemical weapons in battles at the outskirts of Damascus, according to Alarabiya network.
Turmoil Exposes Global Risks - Wall Street Journal
Worries about China and the Federal Reserve's plans rattled global markets for a second day, sending U.S. stocks to their biggest loss this year and hammering bonds and many commodities.
CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program - Ha'aretz
The new director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, visited Israel Thursday and met with senior members of the defense and intelligence establishment. Brennan's meetings in Israel focused on the escalation of the civil war in Syria, and the international efforts to stop Iran's nuclear program.
Netanyahu urges a reluctant EU to designate Hezbollah as terror group - Israel Hayom
Israel hopes that the European countries who are refusing to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization change their mind, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.
IDF completes major navy, ground, air force drill - Jerusalem Post
The IDF completed a major combined forces drill on Thursday, which began at the start of the week and was aimed at testing out the responses of regular units and reserves to a range of fast-paced battle scenarios.
Israeli PM: EU should join US push on peace talks - UK Guardian
Israel's prime minister says the European Union should join U.S. attempts to restart stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
Find from era of King David may confirm Old Testament text - Fox News
A carved pillar discovered near Bethlehem may be linked to the Biblical King of Kings, David himself, or perhaps validate the scope of wise Solomon's majestic kingdom.
UN: Israel tortures detained Palestinian children - Jerusalem Post
A United Nations human rights body accused Israeli forces on Thursday of mistreating Palestinian children, including by torturing those in custody and using others as human shields.
Inside the United States
House Rejects Farm Bill as Food Stamp Cuts Prove Divisive - NY Times
The surprise defeat of the farm bill in the House on Thursday underscored the ideological divide between the more conservative, antispending Republican lawmakers and their leadership, who failed to garner sufficient votes from their caucus as well as from Democrats.
Fed could taper QE to US$65-billion in September - Financial Post
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will cut the Fed's US$85-billion in monthly bond purchases by US$20-billion at the Sept. 17-18 policy meeting, according to 44% of economists in a Bloomberg survey.
Lawyers eye NSA data as treasure trove for evidence in murder, divorce cases - NBC News
The National Security Agency has spent years demanding that companies turn over their data. Now, the spy agency finds the shoe is on the other foot. A defendant in a Florida murder trial says telephone records collected by the NSA as part of its surveillance programs hold evidence that would help prove his innocence, and his lawyer has demanded that prosecutors produce those records. On Wednesday, the federal government filed a motion saying it would refuse, citing national security. But experts say the novel legal argument could encourage other lawyers to fight for access to the newly disclosed NSA surveillance database.
Bush-Era NSA Whistleblower Makes Most Explosive Allegations About True Extent of Gov't Surveillance - The Blaze
Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst and Bush-era NSA whistleblower, claimed Wednesday that the intelligence community has ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.
NSA data gathering gave little help in 4 terrorism investigations - Washington Times
The Obama administration's efforts to justify the National Security Agency's vast data-gathering about Americans' phone and online communications hit a snag this week, as doubts surfaced about newly declassified details on terrorism investigations that U.S. intelligence officials released to reassure the public.
Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant - UK Guardian
Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.
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