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Report: Pentagon OKs spy missions in Mideast

Pentagon OKs spy missions in MideastThe Pentagon has approved a broader range of secret military operations against militant groups in the Middle East and Africa, The New York Times reported Monday.

The newspaper said Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, signed a directive in September authorizing Special Operations troops to conduct surveillance missions in such countries as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia.


McChrystal calls Marjah a 'bleeding ulcer' in Afghan campaign

McChrystal calls Marjah a 'bleeding ulcer' in Afghan campaignArmy Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top allied military commander in Afghanistan, sat gazing at maps of Marjah as a Marine battalion commander asked him for more time to oust Taliban fighters from a longtime stronghold in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province.

"You've got to be patient," Lt. Col. Brian Christmas told McChrystal. "We've only been here 90 days." "How many days do you think we have before we run out of support by the international community?" McChrystal replied.


Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change

Polar bears face 'tipping point' due to climate change Climate change will trigger a dramatic and sudden decline in the number of polar bears, a new study has concluded. The research is the first to directly model how changing climate will affect polar bear reproduction and survival.

Based on what is known of polar bear physiology, behaviour and ecology, it predicts pregnancy rates will fall and fewer bears will survive fasting during longer ice-free seasons.


Oil inspectors let companies fill in own audits, while one admitted getting high on meth, report says

The agency in charge of overseeing the United States' oil reserves was plagued with gross mismanagement that in at least one case allowed the companies being inspected to fill in their own audit reports, an Inspector General's report will reportedly reveal this week.


BP refuses EPA order to switch to less-toxic oil dispersant

Reporting from Los Angeles and Elmer’s

BP has rebuffed demands from government officials and environmentalists to use a less-toxic dispersant to break up the oil from its massive offshore spill, saying that the chemical product it is now using continues to be "the best option for subsea application."


Doctor who first suggested a link between MMR vaccinations and autism struck off medical register

Dr Wakefield still stands by his research linking MMR and autismThe General Medical Council found Dr Andrew Wakefield guilty of serious professional misconduct over the way he carried out his controversial research. It follows a GMC ruling earlier this year that he had acted unethically.

Dr Andrew Wakefield's 1998 Lancet study caused vaccination rates to plummet, resulting in a rise in measles - but the findings were later discredited.


The memos and minutes that confirm Israel's nuclear stockpile

This is the cover page and two other pages from the secret military agreement between Israel and South Africa, signed by both Shimon Peres and Botha. Note on page two there is a clause that says the very existence of the agreement is secret. Both men have signed the agreement on page three.


Gaza children's camp destroyed

Dozens of masked men have broken into a UN-run Gaza summer camp for children and set it on fire, after beating up the guard and destroying the plastic tents.

The men blocked Gaza Strip's main coastal highway on Sunday before destroying the facility, one of the largest of several summer camps across the occupied Palestinian territory run by UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).


'Shame on you, democracy,' Vanunu yells as he returns to prison

Nuclear whistleblower Mordechai VanunuAfter having served 18 years for leaking Israeli nuclear secrets, Mordechai Vanunu begins serving additional 3 months for violating terms of his parole.

He warned that the Shin Bet security service "controls the prisons" and that they will try to torture him psychologically, the same way they did the last time he was incarcerated.


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