Al Jazeera: Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the country, has condemned suicide bombings as grave crimes, reiterating his stance in unusually strong language.
The Saudi cleric, whose views influence those Muslims who adhere to the kingdom's hardline version of Islam, denounced suicide attacks after al-Qaeda's 2001 assault on US cities, but his latest comments, published on Thursday, recast the message in sharp terms.
"Killing oneself is a grave crime and a grave sin," Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh was quoted as saying by the Saudi-owned Al-Hayat newspaper. read more
A top tech official for the ObamaCare exchanges said just days before the launch of the troubled health law website that people inside the White House were nervous the site would be unavailable after its launch and would be a big embarrassment, Fox News has learned.
A Sept. 25 email chain from HealthCare.gov project manager Henry Chao, obtained by Fox News, suggests Obama administration officials had more fears than they let on publicly that the website would have problems before its Oct. 1 launch.
In the email to a number of apparent colleagues, Chao suggests the administration should design a more palatable way to tell the public that the website was not working in case it failed after the launch, saying that such a move could help prevent the media from "just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not [being] functional." read more
Breitbart.com: Washington DC talk show host Chris Plante reported today that Barack Obama omitted the words "under God" from the Gettysburg Address when reciting the great speech for a Ken Burns documentary. read more
CNN: China is quietly positioning itself to dominate the brave new world of Bitcoin. ... So why has China been so quick to embrace the virtual currency? It has been down this road before. In 2009, the government moved to staunch the rapidly rising phenomenon known as QQ, the virtual currency from social juggernaut Tencent (TCEHY). ... In just a couple of years, QQ had grown to such an extent that some estimates put it at 13% of the Chinese cash economy. It was threatening to supplant the yuan in a viral tsunami that showed no signs of abating. ... [T]he Communist Party's response was swift, hobbling QQ at its knees and bringing it well back into line overnight. How did they do it? ...[A]ll the Chinese government had to do was tell Tencent to limit QQ's use or face a total shutdown of their business. So Tencent reeled it in.
Such a move is not so easy with the decentralized cryptography of Bitcoin, and Chinese officials know that. read more
Changes in solar activity have contributed no more than 10 per cent to global warming in the twentieth century, according to a new study from the universities of Lancaster and Durham published in the journal Environmental Research Letters. As reported by the science news site Phys.org, researchers Terry Sloan and Arnold Wolfendale find that neither changes in the activity of the Sun, nor its impact in blocking cosmic rays, can be a significant contributor to global warming. "We conclude that the level of contribution of changing solar activity is less than 10 per cent of the measured global warming observed in the twentieth century," Sloan said. "As a result of this and other work, the IPCC state that no robust association between changes in cosmic rays and cloudiness has been identified." read more