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Showing posts from March 20, 2013

South Korean banks and media report computer network crash

SEOUL, South Korea – CPolice and South Korean officials were investigating the simultaneous shutdown Wednesday of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks. While the cause wasn't immediately clear, speculation centered on a possible North Korean cyberattack.

The shutdown came days after North Korea blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites in Pyongyang.

Officials at the two South Korean public broadcasters KBS and MBC said that all computers at their companies shut down at 2 p.m. The officials said the shutdown was not immediately causing any damage to their daily TV broadcasts.

The officials declined to give their names saying they were not authorized to speak media.

YTN cable news channel reported the company's internal computer network was completely paralyzed. Local TV showed workers staring at blank computer screens, and at one coffee shop employees asked for cash, saying their credit card machine wasn&…

At least 26 reportedly killed in alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack

At least 26 people were killed by a rocket blast in the Syrian city of Aleppo, according to a human rights group, while both the Assad regime and rebels are pointing fingers at each other for the attack.

Both sides say chemical weapons were used, but the claims are being disputed.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said there is no evidence that Syrian rebels used chemical weapons. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland added there is "no reason to believe the allegations" that chemical weapons had been used, but reiterated that use of such weapons by the Assad regime would constitute a "red line" for the U.S.

Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Reuters that 16 Syrian Army soldiers were killed in the explosion, and 10 others died in a local hospital. He did not elaborate whether they were soldiers or civilians.

Syrian information minister Omran al-Zoubi said the rocket, fired from Nairab district in Aleppo into Khan al-Assal vill…

Russia accuses Syrian rebels of chemical attack killing 16

RUSSIA accused Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons in an attack on Tuesday and said it was an extremely alarming and dangerous development.

"According to information coming from Damascus, a case of the use of chemical weapons by the armed opposition was recorded early in the morning of March 19 in Aleppo province," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

It did not specify the exact source of information on the deadly attack, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and the rebels blamed on one another. It said the explosion of a piece of ammunition "containing a poisonous substance" killed 16 people and wounded about 100 others.

If confirmed, the attack would be the first use of chemical weapons in the two-year-old conflict that has killed more than 70,000 people and set Russia against the West.

"We are very seriously concerned by the fact that weapons of mass destruction are falling into the hands of the rebels, which further worsens…

Nato countries 'plan Syria action'

20 March 2013

The top US military commander in Europe has said that several Nato countries are working on contingency plans for possible military action to end the two-year civil war in Syria.

The claim came as President Bashar Assad's regime accused US-backed Syrian rebels of using chemical weapons.

The Obama administration rejected the Assad claim as a sign of desperation by a besieged government intent on drawing attention from its war atrocities - some 70,000 dead, more than a million refugees and 2.5 million people internally displaced.

A US official said there was no evidence that either Assad forces or the opposition had used chemical weapons in an attack in northern Syria.

As the war enters its third year, the US military, State Department officials and the UN high commissioner for refugees delivered a dire assessment of a deteriorating situation in Syria and the sober view that even if Assad leaves, the Middle East nation could slip into civil strife similar to the Balka…

60 killed in a dozen car bomb attacks on 10th anniversary of Iraqi invasion

Patrick Markey and Kareem Raheem – 19 March 2013

MORE than a dozen car bombs and suicide blasts tore through the Iraqi capital Baghdad and other areas , killing nearly 60 people on the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion.

Sunni Islamist insurgents linked to al Qaeda are regaining ground in Iraq, invigorated by the war next door in Syria and have stepped up attacks on Shi'ite targets in an attempt to provoke a wider sectarian confrontation.

One car bomb exploded in a busy Baghdad market, three detonated in the Shi'ite district of Sadr City and another near the entrance of the heavily fortified Green Zone that sent a plume of dark smoke into the air alongside the River Tigris.

A suicide bomber in a truck attacked a police base in a Shi'ite town south of the capital, and another blew himself up inside a restaurant to target a police major in the northern city of Mosul.

"I was driving my taxi and suddenly I felt my car rocked. Smoke was all around. I saw two bodies…