New York Times, Twitter hit by hackers
The New York Times website was unavailable to readers after an online attack on the company’s domain name registrar, Melbourne IT. The attack also forced employees of the Times to take care in sending e-mails. The hacking was just the latest of a major media organization, with the Financial Times and the Washington Post also having their operations disrupted within the past few months. It was also the second time this month that the website of the New York Times was unavailable for several hours. People also had trouble accessing Twitter. A hacker group calling itself the “Syrian Electronic Army” claimed responsibility.
Hasan has no defense in trial’s penalty phase
The Army psychiatrist who fatally shot 13 people at Fort Hood decided not to present any evidence during his trial’s penalty phase even though jurors are deciding whether to sentence him to death. Maj. Nidal Hasan rested his case without calling witnesses or testifying to counter the emotional testimony from victims’ relatives, who talked of eerily quiet homes, lost futures, alcoholism and the unmatched fear of hearing a knock on their front door. Hasan was convicted last week of the 2009 attack.
One of nation’s oldest nuclear plants to close
The Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor, one of the oldest nuclear plants in the country and the subject of heated battles, will close late next year, the company that owns it said, less than two weeks after winning a protracted legal fight against the state of Vermont to keep it open. The company, Entergy, said a long depression in natural gas prices had pushed the wholesale price of electricity so low that it was losing money on the reactor.
Citrus grower is fined over honeybee deaths
One of Florida’s largest citrus growers has been fined after a state investigation found it illegally sprayed pesticide that caused the death of millions of honeybees. For the past seven years, beekeepers have been plagued by a malady in which bees disappear from their hives. Pesticides have been blamed as one of the causes. The $1,500 state fine last week is believed to be the first time a Florida citrus grower was cited in connection with a bee kill. Ben Hill Griffin Inc. is run by the family’s fourth generation.
Karzai’s visit yields little agreement
A two-day visit to Pakistan by Afghan President Hamid Karzai ended in muted disappointment, with no agreements or specific statements on the key issues of Taliban peace talks, prisoner releases or insurgent sanctuaries. The visit was the first since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office in June.
Ansar al-Sharia is labeled terrorist group
Tunisia’s government labeled the radical Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia a terror group, saying it had proof of the group’s involvement in the assassinations of two opposition politicians and in attacks upon security forces. Prime Minister Ali Larayedh also blamed the group for attacks on the army, which has come under attack from radical Islamists along the border with Algeria. Ansar al-Sharia is considered the most hard line of the Salafi Muslim groups that have emerged since the ouster of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.