Saturday, February 25, 2012

Shut Down Corporations on #F29 with #OccupyWallStreet

Researchers Worried Over Finding New Mutant Bird Flu Virus

seems Bird Flu is back and this time the danger has a different carrier suggesting both the dangerous as well as non-dangerous aspects of the spread.

Concerning majorly about the public health, Bird flu experts are suggesting the concerned department to inform the public about the findings of the controversial research, which says of finding a mutant form of the virus that has potential to spread easily among humans.

Experts have also urged the department to start considering and making security assessments for the safety of the lives at least before publishing of the two studies. Research is still ongoing to get a clearer picture of the spread and its dire consequences.

Moreover, scientists have also scheduled a two-day meeting at the World Health Organization in Geneva to discuss the matter.

''The consensus was that in the interest of public health the full papers should be published,'' said Professor Ron Fouchier from the Institute of Virology in the Netherlands, the scientist behind one of the studies.

The concerns are running since November last year, when US bio-security chiefs urged the departments to publish the crucial details of the papers to alert the public in advance about the fears of a pandemic, which could occur if anyhow the mutated H5N1 virus escapes the laboratory. Read More

Hawaii Seismic swarm continues with over 74 earthquakes in Volcano area

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reports the Kaoiki seismic swarm continues about three miles Northwest of Halemaumau Crater with increased activity overnight with two magnitude 4+ earthquakes Friday (Feb 24).

As of 7:15 a.m. Friday 78 earthquakes were recorded in the previous 24 hours with 74 of these were related to the earthquake swarm, two were in the upper East rift zone and two were on the South flank faults.

None of these earthquakes are strong enough to create a tsunami. Read More

Costa Rica's Rincon de la Vieja Volcano Awakens

The Rincón de la Vieja volcano is not as famous as the Arenal, Poas or Irazú, lying in the northern part of the country away from the main tourism corridor. However, it is an active volcano and on Thursday it decide to lets its neighbours know that it still there.

The Red Sismológica Nacional (RSN) reported an eruption between 4:00am and 4:30am Thursday, waking area residents, including those in Hacienda Guachipelin.

In addition, seismological records confirmed that the colossus had two other eruptions this month, on Sunday February 19 (12:16am) and Monday February 20 (12:46am).

There have been no reported consequences associated with the activity.

The last major activity at the Rincón de la Vieja occurred in September 2011 with a series of phreatic explosions.

The RSN will be keeping a close eye on the volcano and monitor its activity. Source

Free Syrian Army Attack Check Point



Note: No matter what country you live in, would you feel safe with this going on in your streets?

What would you want your country to do.

A: Step down and do nothing

B: Send the army in

C: Have the International community bomb the hell out of your Country

Russia Today interviews Christopher Horstel about "Syrian Friends" meeting in Tunisia

Israel says IAEA report 'proof' Iran wants the bomb

JERUSALEM — A UN atomic watchdog's report saying that Iran has substantially boosted uranium enrichment is "added proof" that Tehran is trying to obtain nuclear weapons, Israel said on Saturday.

"The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency gives added proof that Israeli beliefs are true" about Iran's nuclear programme, a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said.

"Iran is pursuing its nuclear programme with no end in sight. It is enriching uranium to 20 percent, totally ignoring demands by the international community" to stop its activities, it said.

The IAEA said in a report on Friday that Iran had tripled its capacity to enrich uranium to 20-percent purity since November, and was now producing around 14 kilos of uranium per month, with around 105 kilos already stockpiled.

Enriching uranium to 20 percent is a major step towards purifying it to the 90-percent level needed for a nuclear weapon, although Iran denies intending to do so, saying its atomic activities are entirely peaceful. Read More

Africanized bees kill mother of 8 in Guyana

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- A mother of eight has died in the South American country of Guyana after she was attacked by a swarm of Africanized bees.

Police said Friday that 47-year-old Munia Sanchara was attacked while picking mangoes from a tree at her house in the coastal community of Cane Grove. Police said she was declared dead after arriving at a hospital in the capital of Georgetown.

Guyana has reported several fatal bee attacks in recent years.

Africanized bees from South Africa were introduced to Brazil in the late 1950s for a crossbreeding program and some accidentally were let loose. Source

Golden Algae in Ascarate Lake kills more than 100 fish, Texas

EL PASO, Texas — Golden alga was found in Ascarate Lake and is the cause of the death of more than 100 fish.

Officials said that is a low number compared to similar events across Texas.

Park officials have been working with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to test the water in the lake, and were prompted after a series of fish were found dead, officials said.

Samples taken on Feb. 16 showed that the lake has a moderate level of toxic golden algal bloom, and that this is the first time in the lake's history this has been recorded.

The algae and dead fish were found only in the northwest part of the lake in a confined area, officials said. Read More

Britain Withdraws Kabul Staff After Deaths



Britain is pulling out all civilian advisers from buildings in Kabul after two American officers were shot dead amid protests over Koran burning.

The Afghan Taliban has claimed responsibility for the killing of the Nato officers at the interior ministry in the capital - an attack condemned as "unacceptable" by US defence secretary Leon Panetta.

It was in retaliation for the burning of copies of the Koran at a Nato base in the country, the group said. Read More

Libya urges neighbors to hand over Gaddafi supporters

(Reuters) - Libya urged its neighbors to hand over supporters of toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi who have fled the country, saying bilateral ties could be threatened if they did not cooperate.

Mustafa Abdel Jalil, chairman of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), named no specific countries but said Libya had spoken to Arab and African states about the matter.

"The NTC, the transitional government and the Libyan people reached out to our neighbors to respect each other and not intervene in our internal issues but we are sorry that they didn't listen to us," he told a news conference.

"They are hosting the enemies of the Libyan people, those who stole Libyan money and killed Libyans. We have evidence that these people committed crimes," he added, without naming those whom Libya wanted handed over.

Libya this month urged Niger to extradite Gaddafi's son Saadi, saying his call for Libyans to prepare for a "coming uprising" threatened bilateral ties. Read More

Apple's China legal battle over iPad spreads to U.S.......So they can copy anything on the Planet but do not like it when someone uses a word

(Reuters) - A Chinese firm trying to stop Apple Inc from using the iPad name in China has launched an attack on the consumer electronics giant's home turf, filing a lawsuit in California that accuses it of employing deception when it bought the trademark.

A unit of Proview International Holdings Ltd, a major computer monitor maker that fell on hard times during the global financial crisis, is already suing Apple in multiple Chinese jurisdictions and requesting that sales of iPads be suspended across the country.

Last week, Proview Electronics Co Ltd and Proview Technology Co filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County that brings their legal dispute to Silicon Valley.

Some legal experts said there could be different outcomes from the U.S. and Chinese cases, but a spreading of the lawsuit and delay in coming to settlement terms could hurt Apple more.

"In relation to the U.S., Apple is going to somewhat have a homeground advantage," said Elliot Papageorgiou, a Shanghai-based partner and executive at law firm Rouse Legal (China). Read More

Taliban militants say they shot down US drone

(Reuters) - A U.S. drone crashed on Saturday in North Waziristan, not far from the Afghan border, Pakistan intelligence officials said, while Taliban militants said they had shot it down.

Taliban militants led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur said they had collected wreckage of the destroyed drone and would provide its pictures to the media on Sunday.

"The drone today in Machikhel was flying at low altitude and our fighters fired at and shot it down," a local commander of the Taliban said. "We have trained people for such type of job."

It is impossible to verify the militants' account and a U.S. official in Washington denied the Taliban had shot down the drone and declined further comment. The CIA, which runs the drone campaign, also declined to comment.

Pakistani security officials said they did not know what caused the drone to crash.

"A drone aircraft was seen going down in Machikhel and flames were seen," a Pakistani intelligence official said.

"We don't know what caused it to go down. We are investigating." Read More

Buenos Aires Train Crash: Protesters, police clash at train station

Feb. 25 - Protesters demanding answers clash with police as last body found in Buenos Aires train crash. Masako Iijima reports.

Life and death in Juarez, Mexico





More than 10,000 have been killed in drug violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico's murder capital, just across the shallow concrete channel of the Rio Grande from El Paso. Source

Violence flares in Senegal ahead of election

(Reuters) - Senegal is heading for its most contentious election in recent history on Sunday overshadowed by political violence and a constitutional row that could sully its enviable reputation as West Africa's most stable democracy.

President Abdoulaye Wade is seeking a third term against a field of more than a dozen challengers and he appears to have the edge over a divided opposition.

His candidacy has sparked deadly protests from opponents who say it flouts a two-term limit introduced by constitutional reform, and has also drawn criticism from trade and aid partners France and the United States. Opposition figures have said they are concerned Wade's supporters will try to rig the elections.

At least six people have been killed in street clashes between opposition protesters and police since late January, when a top legal council whose lead judge was appointed by Wade ruled the 85-year-old could stand again. Read More

Prisoner of Zintan: Gaddafi son in Libyan limbo

(Reuters) - In a secret location, somewhere among the sandstone and concrete buildings of the straggling mountain town of Zintan, Libya's most prominent prisoner awaits his fate.

Three months after he was captured far away in the Sahara desert dressed as a Bedouin tribesman, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son and one-time heir apparent of Libya's fallen leader, is being kept here, ostensibly to keep him safe from harm until the new Libyan government can organize a trial for him.

But the ad hoc nature of his detention highlights just how little control that government yet has over the country and over rival local militias, like that from Zintan which captured him.

"Zintan people must keep him for now because Tripoli is not ready to keep him safe. Outside Zintan, he could be kidnapped or killed," said one Zintan resident, chemistry teacher Bilgasim Abdallah, repeating the credo of the 35,000 townsfolk that he risks sharing his father's bloody fate if taken to the capital. Read More

Euro-zone deal on firewall awaits Germany

(Reuters) - Germany may not be ready to back an increase in Europe's bailout fund at a summit next week, delaying efforts to meet international demands for Europe to strengthen its defenses against the region's sovereign debt crisis.

Many finance leaders of G20 countries, meeting in Mexico City this weekend, have demanded that Europe strengthen its firewall as a condition for providing more resources to the International Monetary Fund.

The two actions would provide greater assurance to markets that the euro zone debt crisis will not spread.

The G20 joined forces in 2008 to fight back against financial crisis which blew up in the United States and caused the worst recession since the 1930s. In the last two years, the chaos has spread to Europe where highly indebted countries have been locked out of debt markets and forced to seek bailouts.

Euro zone officials said they do not expect a decision at a European leaders summit on March 1-2 on combining the resources of two European rescue funds. Read More

Syrians trapped in Homs say world is failing them



(Reuters) - The Syrian military took its bombardment of the rebel-held Baba Amro district of Homs into a fourth week on Saturday as the Red Cross tried to evacuate more distressed civilians from the city.

Deploring the outcome of an international "Friends of Syria" conference, opposition activists said the world had abandoned them to be killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

"They (foreign leaders) are still giving opportunities to this man who is killing us and has already killed thousands of people," said Nadir Husseini, an activist in Baba Amro.

At least 45 people were killed on Saturday, including 19 in Homs, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Read More

Four More killed in Afghanistan amid outrage over Quran burning



Herat, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Hundreds of protesters took to the streets Saturday across Afghanistan, the fifth day of demonstrations over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base, officials said.

Four civilians were killed and 50 injured Saturday amid protests near the U.N. office in Kunduz, said Saad Mokhtar, head of the city's health department. Twelve police officers were among the wounded.

Gulam Mohamad Farhad, the intelligence head of Kunduz, said the protesters tried to burn down the U.N. building.

The U.N.'s Afghan mission said all its staff in Kunduz and throughout the country are "unhurt." It denounced the attack on its compound, regretted the casualties, and thanked Afghan police for their timely response to the violent protests.

The mission also said it understands Muslim anger over the Quran desecration. Read More

Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack on an Afghan ministry that killed 2 American officers.

Fukushima Worker death was Caused by Overwork according to the labor standards inspection office

SHIZUOKA (Kyodo) -- The death last May of a man who had engaged in work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant after the nuclear crisis erupted there in March was recognized Friday as caused by overwork, according to a lawyer representing the man's bereaved family.

A local labor standards inspection office in Yokohama, acting on a workers' compensation claim by the family of Nobukatsu Osumi, who died of a heart attack at age 60, determined that his cardiac infarction was caused by excessive physical and mental burdens arising from working overnight wearing protective gear and mask, lawyer Akio Ohashi said.

It is the first time the death of a worker involving the crisis, triggered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, was recognized as caused by overwork, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

There have been 35 cases of workers' compensation claims in connection with the nuclear disaster, and three of them involve a worker's death. Aside from Osumi's case, the two others involved workers who died due to tsunami waves on the day of the disaster. Read More

High radiation level logged in town near Fukushima plant

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- High levels of radiation have been detected in municipalities in evacuation zones around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, with the highest reading of 470 millisieverts per year recorded in one town, a midterm report on an Environment Ministry survey showed Friday.

A survey conducted between Nov. 7 and Jan. 16 showed that the annual readings topped 50 millisieverts -- a level deemed uninhabitable under a proposed new classification -- in many spots north-northwest of the plant that was crippled by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The highest level of 470 millisieverts was logged at a spot in Futaba, northwest of the plant, while the lowest level of 5.8 millisieverts was detected in another part of the same town, the survey said.

The results were similar to those in an earlier survey by the ministry of science using airplanes.

The Environment Ministry plans to compile a final report on the survey by the end of March so the government can use the data to reclassify a no-go zone and evacuation zone near the plant into three categories in April. Read More

Triple celestial phenomena has astronomy buffs breathless

An annular eclipse is seen in this photo taken from Tinian Island in the Northern Mariana Islands on June 11, 2002. (Mainichi)

Starting with an annular eclipse on May 21, Japan will be treated to three rare celestial phenomena this year, exciting astronomy fans across the nation.

In the annular eclipse, the moon will pass between the Earth and the sun and leave nothing of our star visible but a bright golden ring. The last time the phenomenon was observed in Japan was 25 years ago in 1987, from Okinawa.

Weather permitting, this year's annular eclipse will be visible from southern Kagoshima Prefecture to southern Fukushima Prefecture -- a swathe of Japan with over 80 million residents. According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) in Mitaka, Tokyo, the coming annular eclipse will be the first spectacle observable from such a large area in 932 years. Furthermore, in locations outside the abovementioned area, a partial eclipse is expected to be visible.

May 21 falls on a Monday, and the annular eclipse is expected to be observable around 7:30 a.m. "Many people will likely be able to see it from their own homes," says Masato Katayama, head of the NAOJ's Ephemeris Computation Office.

The prospects of this lucky year have astronomy buffs ecstatic. "All three (phenomena) are rare, magical astronomical events that one can hope to see once in a lifetime, if at all," says TV weather forecaster Takeshi Amatatsu. "That all three will take place in the same year makes me so happy to be living in this time." Read More

Japanese Government Demand Resignation of the Entire TEPCO (operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant) Board

Link The government is set to demand that all 17 board members of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, resign at the utility's next shareholder meeting in June, government sources said.

In return for the planned infusion of about 1 trillion yen in public funds, officials have deemed it necessary to replace all TEPCO's board members to clarify their responsibility for the nuclear crisis.

The plan will be incorporated into a comprehensive business plan that the government-backed Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund (NDF) and TEPCO will work out in March.

The government will force TEPCO Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata, who has announced his intention to step down, to give up his retirement allowance, and halve the number of the utility's board members. Read More

Graves of troops smashed and desecrated by Libyan Islamists in protest over U.S. soldiers burning Koran

A furious mob has desecrated dozens of Commonwealth War Graves in a Libyan cemetery amid continuing fury in the Middle East over the burning of the Koran by U.S. soldiers.

Headstones commemorating British and Allied servicemen, killed during World War II campaigns in the Western Desert, lay smashed and strewn across Benghazi Military Cemetery.

Protesters rampaged through site on Friday, despite efforts by America to calm tensions sparked when it emerged U.S. soldiers had burned Muslim holy books in a pile of rubbish at a military base in Afghanistan. Read More

Watch out for the 'Fireballs of February': Slow meteors that shine brighter than Venus bombard Earth

If you look up to the sky tonight you might be treated to the annual astronomical phenomenon known as the 'Fireballs of February'.

Caused by meteors entering Earth's atmosphere at a lower trajectory and speed than usual, the space rocks burn brighter than Venus in the sky, which astronomers designate as a fireball.

Visible across the United States for the whole of this month, the fireballs have become a source of mystery for NASA scientists and other sky-watchers around the world.

Observing the phenomenon for the past 50 years, NASA say that February's fireballs are different from other months but the reason why is not clear.

'These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating,' said Peter Brown, a physics professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

'They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15 kilometers per second (33,500 mph), decelerate rapidly and make it to within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of Earth’s surface.' Read More

Warning over paint stripper after THIRTEEN builders killed by fumes while using it to refinish bathtubs

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning about using a common paint-stripping chemical to refinish bathtubs after linking it to 13 deaths in 10 states.

Scientists at Michigan State University found 13 workers using products containing methylene chloride to strip paint from residential bathtubs had died between 2000 and 2011. Three of the deaths were in Michigan, and the remaining 10 were reported in nine other states.

Methylene chloride is widely used as a degreaser and paint remover in industrial and home-improvement products.

'Each death occurred in a residential bathroom with inadequate ventilation,’ the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. ‘Protective equipment, including a respirator, either was not used or was inadequate to protect against methylene chloride vapour.’

The report said the chemical ‘has been recognised as potentially fatal to furniture strippers and factory workers but has not been reported previously as a cause of death among bathtub refinishers.’ Read More

LeRoy Medical Mystery Solved?

Douglas Kennedy Arrested after assaulting two Nurses and trying to walk outside with his 2 Day old Baby

The son of Robert F. Kennedy has been arrested for allegedly attacking two nurses who tried to stop him removing his newborn baby from hospital.

Douglas Kennedy, a journalist, is charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a child following the altercation, which happened last month.

He is alleged to have twisted the arm of one nurse and kicked another in the crotch as they tried to make sure his two-day-old son Boru was not being treated roughly.

Mr Kennedy strongly refutes the charges, and told NBC New York the claims were 'absurd'.

The accusations date from January 7, when Mr Kennedy, 44, was visiting his wife Molly and their newborn son - the couple's fourth - in Northern Westchester Hospital in New York. Read More

The mansions built by Romanian family of thieves who robbed train passengers from Kent to London while they slept

In Britain, they claimed to be destitute, living on benefits and scrounging from tourists to whom they sold the Big Issue.

But in fact the Rostas family had five huge palaces in their Romanian homeland, financed by the proceeds of a massive pickpocketing racket here.

These are the gaudy mansions the family of Roma gipsies built after stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from commuters, snatching mobile phones and cash as they dozed on late-night trains from London to Kent.

Over two years the gang claimed at least 185 victims, though police believe that the true number is well over 500.

The stolen phones were sold in Romania to generate huge profits which the family used to build this 16-bedroom villa. A few streets away four similar blue-roofed palaces, all decorated with the Mercedes car emblem to symbolise wealth, are shared by other members of the extended family.

All are unfinished to avoid paying Romanian property taxes. Read More

Katy Bown, 17, stabbed Shane Boulton, 21, to Death after his revving motorbike kept her toddler awake

A teenage mother who stabbed her neighbour in the heart after a row about his motorbike disturbing her two-year-old has been sentenced to seven years youth detention.

Katy Bown, 17, became upset that Shane Boulton, 21, was riding his trials bike in alleyways and a road beside her home as she tried to get her child to sleep.

She told Mr Boulton to keep quiet and then started arguing with his girlfriend Claire Matheson outside her home in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

Norwich Crown Court heard how Mr Boulton, who had been drinking, went to separate the pair and Bown returned to her home and came back with a knife.

Bown, who is now aged 18, then stabbed Mr Boulton once in the heart before running off and giving the knife to a friend who put it in a bin. Read More

London Consolidation Crew: Urban explorers hunting London's ghost stations (and they even sparked a terror alert before the Royal wedding)

Prowling beneath the streets of London, groups of train spotters have been secretly exploring the capital's underground stations.

The urban explorers sneak in at the dead of night in a search for disused platforms and tracks which have long ago been shut off to the public.

One group of four - who call themselves the London Consolidation Crew - are facing draconian court orders banning them from communicating with each other for a decade after sparking a terror alert four days before the Royal wedding.

Despite the obvious safety risks and the fact that they are committing criminal offences, others are still taking risks to explore the lines. Read More

Man Shoots Himself Point Blank to Test his Bullet Proof Vest

Greeks learning German jumps by 20% (despite resentment at their neighbours over austerity)

It’s a sight that would surely please the bureaucrats in Berlin - hundreds of desperate Greeks lining up to learn German.

But that's exactly what is happening on the restive streets of Athens, where unemployment is sky-high and protests at EU-inflicted austerity measures frequently turn violent.

Ruediger Bolz has 350 students coming through the doors of his German language institute in central Athens each day - 20 per cent up on a year go.

The rush among Greeks to learn German may seem odd after the war of words between the two countries, with Athens fuming at German accusations of financial mismanagement and some Greek media playing on Nazi caricatures of Berlin politicians.

Yet for Bolz, who has run the Goethe-Institut for the last six years, there is no mystery: his Greek pupils are happy to side-step politics and face up to harsh economic realities by acquiring new skills. Read More

Burger King pulls out of Government's 'slave labour' work experience scheme

Restaurant chain Burger King has announced it has pulled out of the Government's controversial work experience scheme.

The fast food giant said it had decided to end its involvement in the Get Britain Working programme because of recent concerns expressed by the public.

The scheme has attracted growing criticism in recent weeks, with opponents describing it as a form of 'slave labour' because youngsters worked for nothing, while keeping their benefits.

Burger King said it had intended to take on youngsters on work experience at its Slough headquarters but had not recruited anyone for the scheme.

It said in a statement: 'Burger King United Kingdom Ltd registered for the voluntary Get Britain Working work experience programme six weeks ago, with the intention of providing work experience at our HQ in Slough.

'Since then we have not recruited anyone for this scheme. Given the recent concerns expressed by the public we have decided to no longer have any involvement in the programme.' Read More

NATO withdraws all personnel from Afghan ministries after two Americans are shot dead in over Koran burning

All American and international advisers today deserted Afghan government buildings after two senior US officers were murdered in their office at the interior ministry in Kabul.

The unnamed colonel and major were reportedly shot in the head by an Afghan - thought to be a police officer - with the security clearance necessary to access their secure area, the heart of the Afghan government.

The killing of the two high ranking US military advisers- is likely retaliation for American troops burning copies of the Koran - as protests over the controversial actions enter their fifth day.

At the time of the deadly shooting, the high security compound in central Kabul was packed with Afghan police officers, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The attack was the culmination of a 'verbal clash,' AFP reported.

Inevitably the latest shooting has raised questions over security at what should be one of the most secure compounds in the city. With the dangerous gunman still at large, all NATO personnel have been recalled from Afghan ministries.

General John Allen said the recall is 'for obvious force protection reasons.' Read More

5.0 Magnitude Earthquake KURIL ISLANDS, RUSSIA - 25th Feb 2012

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has struck the Kuril Islands, Russia at a depth of 15.8 km (9.8 miles), the quake hit at 16:51:56 UTC Saturday 25th February 2012
The epicenter was 168 km (104 miles) South of Severo-Kuril'sk, Kuril Islands, Russia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No Reports of Damage or Injuries at this time

Berlusconi corruption Case thrown out by Judge



Rome (CNN) -- A judge has dismissed the corruption case against former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying that the statute of limitations has expired.

Berlusconi was charged with bribing a British lawyer, David Mills, to secure favorable testimony in legal cases.

Although Saturday's decision will spare Berlusconi prison time, the ruling is not the same as an acquittal. A written report on the case will be published within 90 days. Read More

U.S. officers killed in Afghan Interior Ministry

KABUL (Reuters) - Two Americans believed to be a U.S. colonel and major were shot dead in Afghanistan's interior ministry on Saturday, security sources said, while rage gripped the country for a fifth day over the burning of the Muslim holy book at a NATO base.

A spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) confirmed two of their servicemen had been shot dead in central Kabul by an individual who turned his weapon on them. She declined to say if the killer was a member of the Afghan military or police.

Afghanistan's Taliban movement claimed responsibility for the shootings, which it said were in retaliation for the desecration of the Korans at Bagram airfield.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an e-mailed statement to the media that four high-ranking Americans had been killed, though the Islamist group often exaggerate and inflate claims of casualties. Read More