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Friday, Aug 18th

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Tepco execs go on trial for 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster

Tepco execs go on trial for Fukushima disasterThe criminal trial of three executives from the Japanese utility that owns the Fukushima nuclear power plant that melted down after a massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 got underway Friday, with the defendants apologizing, but defending their actions in the wake of the disaster.

The men, Tsunehisa Katsumata, 77, the former CEO of Tokyo Electric Power Co., or Tepco, and former Vice Presidents Sakae Muto, 67, and Ichiro Takekuro, 71, are each charged with professional negligence resulting in death. Specifically, Tepco is being blamed for the death of 40 patients at a hospital within the evacuation zone when Fukushima's No. 1 reactor began to melt down. The patients, who were in critical care, died while being evacuated to other hospitals.

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German parliament approves same-sex marriage

German parliament passes same sex marriage lawGermany's parliament has voted by a wide margin to legalise same-sex marriage after Chancellor Angela Merkel changed her mind and said members of her ruling conservative bloc should follow their personal conscience rather than the party line.

The parliament voted by 393 to 226 on Friday in favour of same-sex marriage.

The reform gives full marital rights for same-sex couples and allows them to adopt children.

TVNL Comment: Great news.  Better late than never...

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Allies of slain Putin critic Nemtsov allege cover-up after guilty verdict

One of three found guilty of murder in RussiaA court convicted five men of murdering Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on Thursday, but the late politician's allies said the investigation had been a cover-up and that the people who had ordered his killing remained at large.

Nemtsov, one of President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics, was murdered in 2015 as he walked across a bridge near the Kremlin after dining with his girlfriend. Aged 55, he had been working on a report examining Russia's role in Ukraine. His killing sent a chill through opposition circles.

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When Civilians Are Slaughtered in the War on ISIS, the Pentagon’s Mum, the Press Silenced

Syria civilian deaths hidden by USThree weeks into a major military operation to destroy the so-called Islamic State in its self-styled capital of Raqqa, Syria, the U.S.-led international coalition has yet to confirm a single civilian casualty.

Last week, coalition forces bombed and shelled a mosque in central Raqqa, killing 18 civilians, and shelled a bakery, killing 10 or more civilians, according to two Syrian opposition news agencies and a Raqqa human rights monitoring group.

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Pope's close aide charged, bringing sex abuse scandal to Vatican

Cardinal Georhe Pell involved in sex scandalA top adviser to Pope Francis was charged with multiple historical sex crimes in his native Australia on Thursday, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican.

Appointed Vatican economy minister by Francis, Cardinal George Pell is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations. He asserted his innocence and said the pontiff had given him leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself.

"I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false," the 76-year-old told a news conference at the Vatican. "The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

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'Petya' Ransomware Hits At Least 65 Countries; Microsoft Traces It To Tax Software

Petya Ransomware hits 65 countriesThe "Petya" cyberattack that has now struck computers in at least 65 countries can be traced to a Ukrainian company's tax accounting software, Microsoft says.

"We saw the first infections in Ukraine — more than 12,500 machines encountered the threat," Microsoft says. "We then observed infections in another 64 countries, including Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and the United States."

The complexity of the attack has fueled debate over whether the malware is a new threat or a more sophisticated version of the Petya malware that was used in an attack last spring.

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Canada judges can require Google to pull results globally, supreme court rules

Canada judges say Google can pull results globallyCanadian courts can force Google to remove results worldwide, the country’s top court has ruled, in decision criticised by civil liberties groups that argue such a move sets a precedent for censorship on the internet.

In its 7-2 decision, Canada’s supreme court found that a court in the country can grant an injunction preventing conduct anywhere in the world when it is necessary to ensure the injunction’s effectiveness.

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