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Jan 21, 2015

Guantanamo inmate details torture in first book from Cuba prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The first book published by a longtime Guantanamo Bay inmate that describes torture, humiliation and despair during 13 years in captivity was selling briskly in the United States on Wednesday and drawing hard-won attention to his case.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s account from the U.S. naval base in Cuba, “Guantanamo Diary” was published on Tuesday after a seven-year legal battle.

Jan 12, 2015

U.S. says should have sent high level official to Paris march

WASHINGTON, Jan 12 (Reuters) – The White House on Monday
conceded that the United States should have sent a higher-level
representative to a Paris unity march after deadly Islamic
militant attacks there and said President Barack Obama would
liked to have come.

Some Republican lawmakers and U.S. media outlets have
criticized Obama’s administration for not sending a top leader
to the march, which featured Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas flanking the
leaders of France, Germany and Mali.

Jan 12, 2015

No Americans in Paris: U.S. absence draws criticism at home

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Republican U.S. senator lambasted the White House on Monday for not sending a top American official to a Paris unity march after deadly Islamic militant attacks in that city, and a New York tabloid headline screamed “You let the world down.”

The image of Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas flanking the leaders of France, Germany and Mali dominated coverage of Sunday’s unity march and highlighted the absence of President Barack Obama or other senior U.S. officials.

Jan 10, 2015

Obama turns focus to Internet security, privacy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will highlight plans next week to protect American consumers and businesses from cyber threats, a month after the most high-profile hacking attack on a U.S. company.

Internet security became a national focus after a cyberattack on Sony Pictures that Washington blamed on North Korea. The attack and subsequent threats of violence against theaters prompted Sony to scale back its release of “The Interview”, a comedy film that depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Jan 7, 2015

U.S. senator urges tighter screening for all airport workers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Employees at U.S. airports should face tighter security screening, a U.S. senator and a New York prosecutor said on Wednesday, two weeks after a baggage handler was charged with helping to smuggle 153 guns onto flights from Atlanta to New York City.

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said he asked the U.S. Transportation Security Administration to require that all airline and airport employees be physically screened every day before work, his office said in a statement.

Jan 6, 2015

U.S. border drone program understates cost, efficiency: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s drones have had “minimal” impact on stemming illegal immigration, and the agency has drastically understated the program’s cost while failing to prove its value, an inspector general’s report said on Tuesday.

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general recommended the CBP scrap plans to spend $443 million on additional unmanned aircraft systems, suggesting it put the money to better use.

Dec 22, 2014

Alstom to pay record $772 mln to settle bribery charges with U.S.

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – The French power and
transportation company Alstom will pay a record
$772.3 million fine and plead guilty to settle U.S. criminal
charges that it funneled million of dollars in bribes through
sham consultants to win business around the globe.

Using code names such as “Mr. Paris” and “Quiet Man,” Alstom
tried to conceal tens of millions of dollars in bribes by
pretending that the consultants it had hired were legitimate,
the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.

Dec 21, 2014

Obama says Sony hack not an act of war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism.

Washington’s longstanding dispute with North Korea, which for years has centered on its nuclear weapons program, has entered new territory with the accusation that Pyongyang carried out an assault on a major Hollywood entertainment company.

Dec 18, 2014

U.S. Secret Service too insular, needs outside leader, more agents: review

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret Service is in dire need of an overhaul that requires an outside leader, an infusion of agents and more training – not to mention a better fence – to protect the White House, an independent review concluded on Thursday.

An executive summary of the highly classified review revealed deep problems at the top of the Secret Service, which is charged with guarding the U.S. president and other senior government officials.

Nov 12, 2014

U.S. weather agency reports cyber attacks on four websites

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. agency that operates the National Weather Service said on Wednesday four of its websites were hacked in recent weeks, becoming the latest federal agency to fall victim to a cyber attack.

“In recent weeks, four NOAA websites were compromised by an Internet-sourced attack,” said Scott Smullen, a spokesman for the┬áNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.