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Never Ending News...2011

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Major Video Gaming Companies Abandon SOPA. (Image Source: Flickr/ Seems the Internet made a pretty brutal example of GoDaddy’s support of SOPA.

Major Video Gaming Companies Abandon SOPA

Now three of the top video game companies are also following GoDaddy’s lead and jumping the SOPA ship. Business Insider has the latest. “Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Sony Electronics — some of the largest video game companies in the world — have all pulled their support for an online bill that could encourage censorship online, according to an updated list of supporters of the bill.” That list is still pretty lengthy, with 60 plus supporters eager to make online pirates walk the plank.

A writer for Joystiq analyzes why the companies left the bandwagon -- especially when their games, at $58 a pop, are at a pricey risk of piracy. Watchdog Groups Object to 'Search Plus' (Image source:

Watchdog Groups Object to 'Search Plus'

S&P Downgrade. (Image Source: Flickr/Adam Baker) It was a gloomy Friday the 13th in Europe.

S&P Downgrade

Standard and Poor’s downgraded nine countries’ credit ratings, saying European policymakers have not done enough to address the region’s debt crisis -- which could, in turn, get worse after the ratings cut. euronews has the summary. Protesters' stories: Camila Vallejo and Chile. President of the University of Chile Student Federation, 23-year-old Camila Vallejo has led a campaign for better access to education that began in April 2011.

Protesters' stories: Camila Vallejo and Chile

She was voted person of the year in a poll of readers. We never in our dreams imagined it would grow so big so fast. We had plans for protests and for mobilising students, but what happened last year was surprising even to us. Historically, the University of Chile students' union has had an important political role. Today more than ever. The police tortured many students during the protests and continue to do so. We still have the legacy of the military dictatorship. UK must rethink its unfailing support for Canada's fossil fuels. If it's true that desperate times call for desperate measures, the Canadian government is acting like a junkie in need of a fix.

UK must rethink its unfailing support for Canada's fossil fuels

As public hearings on the proposed Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline proposal got underway in British Columbia last week, natural resources minister, Joe Oliver, lashed out at "environmental and other radical groups" and "jet-setting celebrities. " In an open letter, he accused them of being the stooges of foreign special-interest groups, opposing tar sands development in order to undermine Canada's national economic interest.

The letter was so far off the mark, one can only conclude that the government is becoming unhinged over the growing opposition to tar sands development. This should be a cue for Britain to reconsider its unfailing support for Canada on this issue in the European context. Why the desperation? Greek creditors bridle at demands, default fears grow. By Lefteris Papadimas and Steve Slater ATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) - Greece's private sector creditors warned on Monday that the Athens government must urgently break a deadlock in debt swap talks triggered by "unreasonable" demands from international lenders if is to avoid a disorderly default.

Greek creditors bridle at demands, default fears grow

Barely a month after an injection of bailout funds helped to avert bankruptcy, Greece is back at the centre of the euro zone crisis as fears of a default and a subsequent euro zone exit overshadow a mass credit downgrade of euro zone countries. Cash-strapped Athens needs a deal with the private sector within days to avoid going bankrupt when 14.5 billion euros of bond redemptions fall due in late March. Canada faces legal challenge over Kyoto withdrawal. WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Point Carbon) - The Canadian government's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol is illegal, alleges a suit to be filed in federal court by a law professor and former Canadian MP on Friday.

Canada faces legal challenge over Kyoto withdrawal

Daniel Turp, professor of law at the University of Montreal and former MP of the Bloc Québécois party, said Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has violated national law by withdrawing from the 1997 climate treaty last month without first consulting Parliament. On December 12, Environment Minister Peter Kent announced Canada would become the first country to invoke its legal right to withdraw from Kyoto, arguing it would save the country around C$14 billion ($13.7 billion) by not having to comply with its emissions target under the pact. "I think we have a good case and I hope the court of law can decide the government cannot ignore Parliament and legislation to adopt the Protocol," Turp told Point Carbon News by phone ahead of Friday's hearing. Reprise for Nortel debacle as Toronto trial opens. By Alastair Sharp TORONTO (Reuters) - Three former executives at bankrupt Nortel Networks reached into the "cookie jar" a decade ago to enrich themselves, prosecutors said, opening a fraud trial that dredged up memories of one of the most spectacular casualties of the 1990's dot-com bubble.

Reprise for Nortel debacle as Toronto trial opens

The trio - former Chief Executive Frank Dunn, former Chief Financial Officer Douglas Beatty and former Controller Michael Gollogly - misrepresented Nortel's financial results between 2000 and 2004 in a plan that brought them bonus payments while defrauding investors, prosecutor Robert Hubbard said on Monday. Their day in court came more than three years after the executives were charged and a dozen years after their alleged transgressions began. All three pleaded not guilty. Iraq: what next for a corrupt and divided country? Post-Saddam Iraq has rarely been more brittle.

Iraq: what next for a corrupt and divided country?

The democratic nation state that was supposed to rise from the ruins of tyranny is steadily disintegrating. Sopa plans set to be shelved as Obama comes out against piracy legislation. Sopa and e-Parasite aim to tackle online piracy by preventing Google and Yahoo from directing users to sites distributing stolen material.

Sopa plans set to be shelved as Obama comes out against piracy legislation

Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Congressional leaders are preparing to shelve controversial legislation aimed at tackling online piracy after president Barack Obama said he would not support it. California congressman Darrell Issa, an opponent of Sopa, the Stop Online Piracy Act, said he had been told by House majority leader Eric Cantor that there would be no vote unless there is consensus on the bill. "The voice of the internet community has been heard. Much more education for members of Congress about the workings of the internet is essential if anti-piracy legislation is to be workable and achieve broad appeal," said Issa. The news is a major blow for Sopa's backers in Hollywood, who had enjoyed broad support in Congress. Israeli Top Court Upholds Law Barring Palestinian Residents. (Image Source: Wikimedia Commons) Israel’s Supreme Court upheld a law that prevents Palestinian spouses from getting Israeli citizenship.

USA Today quotes one of the supporting judges as saying… “Human rights do not prescribe national suicide...” In 2003, in light of the second Palestinian intifada - or uprising -- the Israeli Parliament added an amendment to its citizenship law that has been used to exclude Palestinians. The measure, which was supposed to be temporary, has been extended numerous times. UN climate talks see 'delayer countries' throw away the 2C goal. When psychologists identified the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance – the ability to believe two contradictory things at the same time – they might have been describing the world of international climate change negotiations.

Only this month, two authoritative international agencies have pointed out that the world has only a few years left in which to begin taking sufficient action to combat dangerous global warming. The United Nations Environment Programme's Bridging the Emissions Gap report shows that, even if all countries implement their emissions targets for 2020 to their maximum extent, total emissions in that year will still exceed the level required to hold global warming to the UN's 2C goal.

Iran rejects US calls for return of spy drone. US president Barack Obama says his government has requested that Tehran return a RQ-170 Sentinel surveillance drone captured by Iran's military Link to video: Obama requests Iran return US spy drone Iran has rejected US calls for the return of a spy drone captured by its military and instead demanded an apology from Washington.

Tehran last week identified the drone as an RQ-170 Sentinel and said it was captured over the east of the country. The almost-intact aircraft was displayed on state TV and heralded as a victory for Iran in its protracted intelligence and technological battle with the US. Perpetual National Elections Make the Top 1% Richer. December 11, 2011 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Newt Gingrich condemned for calling Palestinians 'terrorists' Leading Palestinian officials have rounded on the Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his description of Palestinians as an "invented" people and "terrorists". The Republican frontrunner insisted at a candidate debate on Saturday – to warm applause from the audience – that "these people are terrorists. They teach terrorism in their schools. They have textbooks that say, if there are 13 Jews and nine Jews are killed, how many Jews are left?

We pay for those textbooks through our aid money. Canada bank bonuses rise despite market turmoil. By Cameron French TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian banks are handing out 7 percent more in bonuses to their employees this year, in sharp contrast to slumping payouts in the United States and a sign of the relative strength of Canada's financial sector. New U.N. climate deal struck. Panama ex-dictator Manuel Noriega flies home. Russians come out in force to protest against alleged electoral fraud. Up to 50,000 people braved the cold and snow on Saturday to turn out for the largest ever protest against the rule of prime minister Vladimir Putin. Bolotnaya Square, across the river from the Kremlin in central Moscow, was filled to overflowing with thousands standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the bridges and along the riverfront leading to the site. Palestinians tell Gingrich to learn history after 'invented people' claim.

Palestinian officials have reacted with dismay after the Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Palestinians were an "invented" people. The Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, said Gingrich was denying "historical truths". Does the US military want Afghanistan to get even nastier? Even by Afghanistan's high standards, the massacre of Shia worshippers in Kabul on Tuesday 6 December was an act of stomach-churning brutality.

A suicide bomber posing as a pilgrim on Ashura, one of the holiest days of the calendar of Shia Islam, had inveigled his way into the middle of a packed crowd of men, women and children. Witnesses watching from the rooftop of the nearby Abu Fazal shrine said body parts flew up into the air near the epicentre of the blast when the unknown bomber detonated himself. U.S., Canada to set security deal at White House. (Reuters) - The United States and Canada are scheduled to announce a new security agreement next Wednesday designed to lower obstacles between the two nations while ensuring the perimeter around them is secure. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are set to unveil the agreement after a meeting at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. The two countries already have a free-trade agreement but the new deal is supposed to improve commerce in a number of ways, such as through joint regulation and safety standards for different products.

Canadian opposition politicians have accused the Conservative government of planning to share private information about Canadians, such as travel details of citizens traveling abroad, even if they do not pass through the United States. Julian Assange loses appeal against extradition. Space crew returns after 'Mars' mission to nowhere. U.S. seeks to manage global economic shift to China. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States must develop new transpacific trade and investment agreements to channel China's huge economic power into a "rules-based" international system that benefits all, a top State Department official said on Monday. As President Barack Obama prepares for two Asia-Pacific summits next week, Undersecretary of State Robert Hormats said the global economic shift toward Asia had highlighted new challenges as Washington's budget crunch prompts questions about U.S. economic and political strength.

"There's competition between the American economic model and the more state-centered economic model of China and other countries," Hormats told the Reuters Washington Summit. U.S. agency approves Shell Arctic oil drilling plan. Internet becomes a new battleground in Mexico's drug wars. Iran warns US to avoid clash over nuclear programme. UK economic forecast: gloomy, marked by austerity, for six years.

Lombian president dissolves intelligence service. America's itch to brawl now has a new target – but bombs can't conquer Iran. Put monarchy to a vote, NDP leadership hopeful says. Greek leader's referendum bombshell. The big squeeze: warning over incomes as Britain goes on strike. Plane lands on its belly in Poland. Judge William Adams beats daughter for using the internet. » Report: ‘US used nukes on Iraq, Afghanistan’ Alex Jones. Japanese MP drinks Fukushima water under pressure from journalists. Israeli PM orders investigation into Iran leak.

Strikes over public sector pensions hit services across UK as 2 million walk out. Police Advise Google to Remove Protest Videos. Eurozone crisis: what happens next at the G20 summit? World central banks act to prevent fresh credit crunch. G20 likely to disappoint Obama again. UK military steps up plans for Iran attack amid fresh nuclear fears. Central banks buy wiggle room, not solution. Gulf Oil Spill Crisis Not Over: BP's Deepwater Horizon Well Is Leaking Again. Over 20 Radioactive Hotspots Found in Tokyo … Despite Government and Media Attempt to Cover Up Spread of Radiation. Canada cuts environment spending. The U.S.-Canada Security Perimeter and the Political Consolidation of North America. Obama Rolls Back Miranda Rights. Keystone: pipeline to Obama's re-election. Egyptian protesters reject military's timetable for elections. Medvedev: Russia may target US missile shield. Canada regulating pharmaceuticals badly: report. Tahrir Square: police clash with protesters live coverage.

Tar Sands Fight Goes Beyond Keystone: A Little-Known Pipeline Plan Could Prove Disastrous for British Columbia. Keystone XL Pipeline Delay: Were Fears Of A ‘North American Union' Behind Opposition? Melissa Gorrie: Exposing the Blind Side of the Ethical Oil Campaign. Canada Perimeter Security Deal: Feds Fear U.S. Losing Interest. A Map Of Every McDonald's In The U.S. Tar sands oil and Keystone XL's dirty secret. Kristin Wartman: Pizza is a Vegetable? Congress Defies Logic, Betrays Our Children. Maude Barlow: CETA: A Threat to Local Democracy. Mississippi voters evenly split over controversial abortion ballot. Vicious triangle forming against Iran. UC Davis Students Blasted With Pepper Spray: Investigation, Calls For Resignation After Video Goes Viral. Iranian missile architect dies in blast. But was explosion a Mossad mission? Italy's borrowing costs at highest level in euro history. Supreme court seems troubled by police GPS tracking. With Arab vote, pressure mounts on Syria.

US officials worried about security at London 2012 Olympics. US court verdict 'huge blow' to privacy, says former WikiLeaks aide. Syria suspended from Arab League. PROTECT IP / SOPA Act Breaks the Internet. Russian space agency battles to save Mars probe. Arab spring + European autumn = Mediterranean crisis. Italy's debt crisis: 10 reasons to be fearful. European debt crisis spiralling out of control. Russia rejects further sanctions of Iran over nuclear programme. Ron Paul reveals plan to save $1 trillion. Ron Paul says Obama is practically a dictator. Ron Paul success scares establishment. Fannie Mae taps $7.8 billion from Treasury, losses widen. Israel could mount pinpoint raids on Iran: analysts. Russia warns against military strike on Iran. Europe's banks retreat into 'mini-crunch' Eurozone debt crisis: EU members line up to demand ECB intervention. Far right on rise in Europe, says report. Isn't US sponsor of terrorism? Israel's attack threats to backfire? US 'absolutely' concerned Israel... JPost - Iranian Threat - News.

Angry Jesse Ventura thinking about presidential run. Big Canadian publisher opts for paywall. Arab League 'roadmap' helps Assad play for time. Sweden vs. Assange. Press TV.