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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Lawyers say older brother was asked to be FBI informant

Boston marathon suspectLawyers for suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Friday said his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was the mastermind behind the incident that killed three people, and he was asked to be an informant for the FBI.

The lawyers said Tamerlan Tsarnaev had been encouraged by the FBI to observe and report on the Chechen and Muslim community and asked for the release of documents proving their assertion.

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The Security Cracks In Your Smartphone

smartphoneLaw enforcement's ability to depends on "exploits," hacker tricks that take advantage of vulnerabilities in the phones' operating systems. Many exploits are kept quiet, to be sold to criminals or security companies. Others leak out. Here's a list of some of the known cracks in the security of the two major types of smartphone.

Brute force attack: : The most direct way past a password is to throw a lot of guesses at it. If you're using Apple's basic four-digit PIN, it'll take no more than 10,000 guesses. That's a lot of guesses to enter by thumb; it's child's play for a computer. Apple for brute force attacks on its newest operating system, iOS 7, though hackers are most likely probing it for new vulnerabilities.

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Oakland to pay $4.5M to 'Occupy' vet wounded by police

Occupy vet gets $4.5MAn Iraq War veteran whose skull was fractured during an Occupy Oakland protest when he was hit by a beanbag round fired by police has reached a tentative $4.5 million agreement to settle a federal lawsuit with the city of Oakland, his lawyers and city officials announced Friday.

Scott Olsen, 26, sued the city in 2012 for medical expenses and injuries that also included a fractured vertebrae and hemorrhaging of the brain. Olsen was among more than 1,000 demonstrators protesting the police clearing of an Occupy Oakland encampment when struck by a beanbag fired by an officer outside City Hall on Oct. 25, 2011.

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Microsoft defends its right to read your email

MicrosoftMicrosoft is defending its right to break into customers' accounts and read their emails.

The company's ability -- and willingness -- to take such an approach became apparent this week. Microsoft (MSFT, Fortune 500) admitted in federal court documents that it forced its way into a blogger's Hotmail account to track down and stop a potentially catastrophic leak of sensitive software. The company says its decision is justified.

From the company's point of view, desperate times call for desperate measures.

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Missing radioactive material may pose 'dirty bomb' threat: IAEA

IAEAAbout 140 cases of missing or unauthorized use of nuclear and radioactive material were reported to the U.N. atomic agency in 2013, highlighting the challenges facing world leaders at a nuclear security summit next week.

Any loss or theft of highly enriched uranium, plutonium or different types of radioactive sources is potentially serious as al Qaeda-style militants could try to use them to make a crude nuclear device or a so-called "dirty bomb", experts say.

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U.S. says Toyota to pay $1.2 billion over safety issues

ToyotaToyota Motor Corp will pay a record $1.2 billion to resolve a criminal investigation into its handling of consumer complaints over safety issues, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Toyota admitted it misled American consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration, the Justice Department said.

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Robert Parry: A Shadow US Foreign Policy

NEDThe National Endowment for Democracy, a central part of Ronald Reagan’s propaganda war against the Soviet Union three decades ago, has evolved into a $100 million U.S. government-financed slush fund that generally supports a neocon agenda often at cross-purposes with the Obama administration’s foreign policy.

NED is one reason why there is so much confusion about the administration’s policies toward attempted ousters of democratically elected leaders in Ukraine and Venezuela. Some of the non-government organizations (or NGOs) supporting these rebellions trace back to NED and its U.S. government money, even as Secretary of State John Kerry and other senior officials insist the U.S. is not behind these insurrections.

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