An international dragnet has dismantled a global computer hacker network which used a sophisticated computer virus to steal millions of dollars from companies and consumers, the US Justice Department announced Monday. Gameover Zeus, which first appeared in September 2011, stole bank information and other confidential details from victims. According to FBI investigators, the virus infected between 500,000 and a million computers in 12 countries, creating a network of "bots" the hackers could "infiltrate, spy on, and even control, from anywhere they wished." "Gameover Zeus is the most sophisticated botnet the FBI and our allies have ever attempted to disrupt," said FBI Executive Assistant Director Anderson.
Has Europe under-estimated the security threat posed by battle-hardened homegrown Islamic militants returning from Syria? After the chance arrest in France of the suspected perpetrator of last week's deadly shooting at a Jewish Museum in Brussels, concern mounted Monday that the region is ill-equipped to cope with the threat posed by homegrown Islamic militants returning from Syria's battlefields. Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman who spent more than a year fighting in Syria, was detained on Friday in Marseille following a random customs check on the coach on which he had been travelling, which had started its journey in the Netherlands. Police sources said Nemmouche had refused to say anything to his interrogators.
President Barack Obama vowed Monday to force US power plants to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent in his most ambitious action yet on climate change. Acting on his own faced with steely opposition in Congress, Obama laid out a plan that would let the 50 states choose their own approaches as long as each enforces restrictions on carbon emissions. The plan will help "make sure that future generations are able to enjoy this beautiful blue ball in the middle of space that we're part of," Obama said. Power plants account for some 40 percent of US emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that contributes to the planet's warming temperatures.
Ankara on Monday brushed off criticism from Baghdad that it is being "driven by greed" in an escalating row over oil pumped from Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and shipped overseas via Turkey. Hussein al-Shahristani, Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy affairs, on Sunday threatened legal action against firms that purchased what he called "smuggled oil", which Turkey started to export through its territory on May 22. His remarks represent a significant ratcheting up of rhetoric after Baghdad filed an arbitration case against Ankara in a widening dispute over Iraq's prized natural resources. But Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz dismissed claims that Ankara was trying to illegally profit from the exports, saying: "This oil is not Turkey's, it is Iraq's."
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter.
Protests by supporters of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram have been banned in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, police said on Monday. None @ ALL," said Oby Ezekwesili on her Twitter account @obyezeks. Bring Back Our Girls spokesman Rotimi Olawale added that the protesters were "unperturbed" and would meet again in the capital on Tuesday. Noisy street protests in Abuja have become a regular feature of the campaign to keep the mass kidnapping of the girls in the public domain, as well as pressure on Nigeria's government.
The United States said on Monday it intends to work with the new Palestinian unity government and will continue to disburse aid to the Palestinian Authority but will monitor its policies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a unity government on Monday in a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists, who advocate Israel's destruction. "Based on what we know now we intend to work with this government but will be watching closely to ensure that it upholds principles that President Abbas reiterated today," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a briefing.
The European Union on Monday announced it has imposed sanctions on Nigeria's Boko Haram as an Al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group weeks after it kidnapped more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. The decision to blacklist the group follows its designation as a terrorist movement two weeks ago by the United Nations. Boko Haram, whose name translates loosely from the Hausa language spoken widely in northern Nigeria as "Western education is sin, was added to the EU list late last week along with Syria's jihadist Al-Nusra Front for the People of the Levant. The move subjects Boko Haram and Al-Nusra as well as people or entities supporting them financially or materially to sanctions including an arms embargo, asset freeze and travel ban.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third by 2030. But it delays the deadline for some states to begin complying until long after President Barack Obama leaves office.
Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef said on Monday he has cancelled his television show which mocked ex-army chief and president-in-waiting Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because of "enormous" pressure. The heart surgeon turned comedian, often compared to US satirist Jon Stewart, had moved to Saudi-owned channel MBC last year after his show was suspended by the private Egyptian broadcaster CBC. MBC's Egyptian affiliate which aired the weekly show Al-Bernameg (The Programme) said in April the show would be taken off air in May to avoid "influencing" the presidential election that Sisi won. Sisi won last week's election with more than 90 percent of the vote, riding a wave of nationalistic fervour after deposing the elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
Israel threatened Monday to impose new sanctions against the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority after a new unity government was sworn in under a deal with Gaza rulers Hamas. A security cabinet meeting called to discuss the new Palestinian government decided "to authorise the prime minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) to impose additional sanctions on the Palestinian Authority," Netanyahu's office said, without elaborating. It added that Israel would hold the PA entirely responsible for any attacks on the Jewish state. The long-awaited unity government took the oath before president Mahmud Abbas after a landmark reconciliation deal in April with the Islamist movement Hamas.