The CIA obtained a confidential email to Congress about alleged whistleblower retaliation related to the Senate's classified report on the agency's harsh interrogation program, triggering fears that the CIA has been intercepting the communications of officials who handle whistleblower cases. The CIA got hold of the legally protected email and other unspecified communications between whistleblower officials and lawmakers this spring, people familiar with the matter told McClatchy. It's unclear how the agency obtained the material. read more
The rock and roll legend Chubby Checker settled his lawsuit with Hewlett-Packard that stops the tech company from selling an app named after him on its Palm OS platform. The app purported to help users measure their penises -- kind of like a more expensive version of a ruler -- and was distributed by a third-party site HouseOfPalm.com. "This lawsuit is about preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time," said Checker's attorney Willie Gary. read more
Sharknado and its upcoming Big Apple sequel may be a couple of unexpected Syfy hits, but if you ask star Tara Reid, a shark attack on New York is not as far-fetched as it might seem. "You know, it actually can happen," Reid, 38, told GQ magazine. "I mean, the chances of it happening are very rare, but it can happen actually. The chances of it are, like, you know, it's like probably 'pigs could fly.' Like, I don't think pigs could fly, but actually sharks could be stuck in tornados. There could be a sharknado." read more
The drug company GlaxoSmithKline submitted an application Thursday to the European Medicines Agency for approval of its malaria vaccine RTS,S -- the world's first. The company announced their application Thursday in a press release. Though there's still no guarantee the drug will make it to market, it is exciting news for researchers who've worked decades to figure out a way to thwart one of the most widespread and prolific diseases in the world. According the World Health Organization, the parasite infected 207 million people in 2012. Some 627,000 of those infected perished. Humans become infected with the disease via mosquitoes which carry the parasite and transfer it when they bite. read more
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans has handed a victory to the Sons of Confederate Veterans by ruling that Texas can't refuse to issue the group a specialty license plate with the Confederate battle flag on it.
The Texas [DMV] had rejected the organization's application for a specialty plate...because those who opposed it had argued that the so-called "Rebel flag" was offensive.
In a 2-1 vote last week, the court said the DMV had engaged in "viewpoint discrimination," and...had violated the free speech rights of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The judges noted that the DMV had approved plates for other veterans' groups and military actions such as Buffalo Soldiers, Korean War, Vietnam and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The panel's opinion said it "appears that the only reason the board rejected the plate is the viewpoint it represents." read more