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Appeals court grills US lawyer on NSA phone collection NEW YORK: A on Tuesday grilled an Obama administration lawyer about the legality of the continuing collection of millions of Americans' phone records, adding fuel to a debate that has raged since the spy program was revealed more than a year ago. The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was the first appellate court to hear arguments on whether the National Security Agency (NSA) program is lawful, in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging the gathering of so-called metadata. Judge Gerard Lynch, one of three judges who heard the arguments, said it was "hard for me to imagine" Congress had envisioned such a sweeping effort when it passed an expansion of anti-terrorism powers known as the Patriot Act after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Stuart Delery, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told Lynch in response that Congress was fully informed ...

Frankfurt court bans Uber taxi services across Germany FRANKFURT: A German regional court has issued a temporary injunction against Uber, the fast-growing, US-based online chauffeur service which is no stranger to legal challenges from taxi-cab rivals and regulators around the globe. In its ruling, the Frankfurt Regional Court said the company could no longer offer its phone apps to connect drivers with passengers, stating that Uber's network of drivers lacked the necessary commercial licenses to pick up passengers. Uber responded in ...

Robin Hood monkey showers Indian town with cash SHIMLA: A monkey sparked a dash for cash in a northern Indian town when he showered banknotes from a rooftop, witnesses told AFP on Tuesday.Passersby in the hill town of Shimla spotted the monkey with a bundle of notes on Sunday after it broke into a construction site in search of food.Finding nothing to munch on, it stole 10,000 rupees ($165) that a contractor had planned to pay his labourers, according to the Amar Ujala ...

Austrian finance minister vows tax reform VIENNA: Austria needs "tax reform not tax cuts" to help eliminate its structural deficit in 2016, new Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Tuesday, less than a week after his predecessor quit in a row over tax. Addressing parliament for the first time in his new role, Schelling vowed to start dismantling the country's bloated bureaucracy and simplify state finances as a way to free up resources badly needed to boost a flagging economy. ...

Victims of Nazi ‘euthanasia’ killings commemorated in Berlin BERLIN: Some 300,000 people with physical or mental disabilities who were killed under Nazi Germany's "euthanasia" programme because their lives were deemed unworthy were commemorated on Tuesday with the opening of a memorial in Berlin.Relatives of the victims joined Mayor Klaus Wowereit and members of the public to lay wreaths and white roses in front of the 30-metre-(100-foot)-long, blue glass wall of the open-air memorial and permanent exhibition. "The Nazi murders of disabled people are ...

EU new leadership may missed opportunity BRUSSELS: At first sight, the European Union's new leadership team looks like a missed opportunity.Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk and Federica Mogherini seem a less than ideal crew to tackle the EU's biggest challenges dynamising a stagnant economy, standing up to Russia over Ukraine and preventing Britain from drifting away from Europe.Yet each may surprise their detractors on the upside. The former Luxembourg prime minister, current Polish prime minister and Italian foreign minister bring a combination ...

Washington Post names ex-Politico executive as publisher WASHINGTON: The Washington Post's owner, Inc founder Jeff Bezos, has named a former executive from rival Politico as publisher of the 137-year-old newspaper, replacing Katharine Weymouth.Frederick J. Ryan Jr. will lead the paper, the Washington Post said in a statement on Tuesday. His appointment ends 80 years of control by the Graham family after Weymouth's great-grandfather bought the newspaper at a 1933 auction, according to a separate report in the Post. "This is just ...


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