Monthly Archives: December 2013

Merck subsidiary vaccine kills infants in China

Health authorities in China are investigating one of the nation’s biggest vaccine makers after eight infants died in the past two months following injections that were meant to immunize them against hepatitis B. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/world/asia/china-investigates-vaccine-maker-after-infant-deaths.html?ref=world The government said this week that it had suspended the use of millions of doses of a hepatitis B vaccine produced […]

Edward Snowden says objectives have been met

In a message broadcast Wednesday on British television, Edward J. Snowden, the former American security contractor, urged an end to mass surveillance, arguing that the electronic monitoring he has exposed surpasses anything imagined by George Orwell in “1984,” a dystopian vision of an all-knowing state. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/26/world/europe/snowden-christmas-message-privacy.html?ref=world “A child born today will grow up with no […]

US tries to dupe Karzai in new Afghanistan security deal

There have been threats by some senior administration officials, including Susan E. Rice, the national security adviser, that a complete American withdrawal from Afghanistan — the so-called zero option — would be considered if Mr. Karzai did not sign the deal by the year’s end.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/world/asia/us-softens-deadline-for-deal-to-keep-troops-in-afghanistan.html?ref=us&_r=0 Instead of prompting Mr. Karzai to action, however, setting […]

Walmart not part of landmark sweatshop compensation fund

Labor rights groups say they found documents and remnants of apparel tying 25 European and American retailers and brands to the five garment factories spread across Rana Plaza’s eight floors. Several of the firms have since denied their apparel came from any of the factories. Mango, a Spanish apparel brand, said, for instance, that it […]

US, Gulen use banking scandal to destabilize Erdogan

Turkey launches an inquiry focusing on the state-owned Halkbank, whose chief executive has been arrested in the case on suspicion of bribery. The bank has also long been suspected by the United States of helping Iran evade sanctions over its nuclear program by using gold to purchase Iranian oil and gas. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/24/world/europe/growing-mistrust-between-us-and-turkey-is-played-out-in-public.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0&ref=world This year, 47 […]

Tech security firm RSA signed “secret contract” with NSA

Security firm RSA has strongly denied reports it signed a “secret contract” with the NSA spying agency. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25492461  On December 21, a Reuters report said the NSA paid RSA to use a random number generator now known to be flawed. The Reuters report said the NSA paid RSA $10m (£6.1m) to use a random number […]

Go figure: Google wins DARPA Robotics Challenge

A robot developed by a Japanese start-up recently acquired by Google is the winner of a two-day competition hosted by the Pentagon’s research unit Darpa. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-25493584 Team Schaft’s machine carried out all eight rescue-themed tasks to outscore its rivals by a wide margin. Three of the other 15 teams that took part failed to secure […]