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Scottish referendum: Scotland votes 'No' to independence

Scottish referendumScotland has voted to stay in the United Kingdom after voters decisively rejected independence.  With the results in from all 32 council areas, the "No" side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for "Yes".

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond called for unity and urged the unionist parties to deliver on more powers.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was delighted the UK would remain together and that commitments on extra powers would be honoured "in full".

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Islamic State shows captive British journalist in new video

John CantlieA man identified as British journalist John Cantlie has purportedly appeared as a captive of Islamic State militants in a video posted by the organization's supporters online.

The Islamic State group, which controls territory in Syria and Iraq, has already beheaded two American journalists and one British aid worker in recent weeks in what it said was reprisal for U.S. air strikes against it in Iraq.

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Islamic State seizes 16 villages in northern Syria

Islamic stateIslamic State fighters backed by tanks have captured 16 Kurdish villages over the past 24 hours in northern Syria near the Turkish border, prompting civilians to flee their homes amid fears of retribution by the extremists sweeping through the area, activists said.

For more than a year, the Islamic State group and Kurdish militias have been locked in a fierce fight in several pockets of northern Syria where large Kurdish populations reside. The clashes are but one aspect of Syria’s broader civil war — a multilayered conflict that the U.N. says has killed more than 190,000.

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Chinese hacking into critical Pentagon contractors

Chinese hack PantagonThe Chinese government has frequently hacked into the computer systems of defense contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command, the Pentagon agency responsible for deploying American troops and military equipment worldwide.

A bipartisan Senate investigation found that in one year, from June 1, 2012, through May 31, 2013, the Chinese government had gained access to sensitive U.S. defense logistics information at least 20 times, but that the Transportation Command, known as TRANSCOM in military circles, was aware of only two of the security breaches.

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Boko Haram: Nigeria teacher training college attacked

Nigeria attack on collegeGunmen have attacked a teacher training college in the Nigerian city of Kano, with officials saying at least 15 people have been killed.

The attackers exchanged fire with police outside the college before running inside.

Another 34 people were injured.

It is not clear who was responsible, although suspicion will fall on militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009.

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Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal

israel's NSA scandalIn Moscow this summer, while reporting a story for Wired magazine, I had the rare opportunity to hang out for three days with Edward J. Snowden. It gave me a chance to get a deeper understanding of who he is and why, as a National Security Agency contractor, he took the momentous step of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents.

Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.

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Celebrity rabbi takes plea bargain over bribery

rabbi guilty of briberyA multimillionaire Israeli celebrity rabbi with a following in the United States has accepted a plea bargain in which he admits to attempting to bribe a senior police official, and could now face a one-year prison sentence, Israel's Justice Ministry said Wednesday.

As part of the plea bargain, the Justice Ministry said Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto will admit to offering bribes and making payments in 2012 in an attempt to receive classified information on a police investigation into him and one of his charitable organizations.

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