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Even dogs go to Heaven, claims Pope Francis

Even dogs go to Heaven, claims Pope FrancisWashington, Dec 13 - Pope Francis recently sparked controversy when he told a boy that paradise is open to all of God's creatures after he comforted him over the recent death of his dog.

The 77-year leader of the Roman Catholic Church said that one day they will see their animals again in the eternity of Christ, Fox News reported.

The statement has stirred up debate between vegan groups and their counterparts in the meat industry with groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) saying the pope's statement aligned with the view of heaven as a peaceful place and could convince more Catholics to avoid eating meat.


House sends huge USD 1.1T spending bill to Senate

House sends huge USD 1.1T spending bill to SenateWashington : It's now up to the US Senate to pass a huge USD 1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill after the Obama White House and Republicans joined forces to push it through the House over objections from Democrats that it would roll back bank regulations imposed in the wake of the economic near-meltdown of 2008.

The 219-206 vote late yesterday managed to avert the threat of a government shutdown and the House passed a measure providing a 48-hour extension in existing funding to give the Senate time to act on the larger bill.


Autopsy reveals Cleveland boy was shot once by officer

Autopsy reveals Cleveland boy was shot once by officerCleveland - A 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun died from a single shot fired by a rookie police officer, according to an autopsy released on Friday.

Tamir Rice was shot in the abdomen and the bullet damaged a major vein and his intestines, the medical examiner's findings showed.

Several peaceful protests have taken place since the shooting, which has come at a time when police-involved deaths around the nation have drawn on spotlight on departments and their use of force.


US embassy in India to have its first female defence attache

US embassy in India to have its first female defence attacheWashington : he US embassy in India is all set to have its first female defence attache with the appointment of Brig Gen Robin L Fontes.

Fontes from the Defence Intelligence Agency was recently appointed to the key position.

She would be the first female attache assigned to India and the first general officer to serve as an attache in India since the 1960s, the Defence Intelligence Agency said today.

"[India] is a very important country to [the United States] in the Pacific region. Developing good relations with India... Is key to meeting our national security objectives," said Fontes.


ISIS plans to sell beheaded remains of US hostage James Foley for 1 million dollars

James FoleyWashington, December 11 : Middlemen having links with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have reportedly revealed that the militant group is trying to sell the remains of beheaded American Photojournalist James Foley, in an attempt to raise funds for the organization.

A source reportedly revealed that ISIS has demanded one million dollar for Foley's body, which would be delivered across the border to Turkey, adding that they are willing to supply a DNA sample in order to facilitate a deal, BuzzFeed News reported.


Dick Cheney says CIA torture report 'full of crap'

Dick CheneyWashington, Dec 11 : Former US Vice President Dick Cheney has reportedly trashed the Senate torture report on US interrogation tactics, calling it "full of crap."

According to CNN, in an interview with FOX News on Wednesday evening, Cheney said that the report was deeply flawed" and a "terrible piece of work."

Defending the US government's actions, Cheney said that the tactics used by the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA's) helped the United States "catch the bastards" who carried out the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 Americans.


Bill Clinton wants 'newly-born' granddaughter to be a baseballer as grown-up

Bill ClintonWashington, Dec 11 : Bill Clinton, who was recently presented at Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Awards, also mentioned about her new-born granddaughter and hinted a future in sports for her.

When talking about Sportsman of the Year, San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, the former US President envisioned taking his granddaughter Charlotte to Cooperstown to learn about the game when she will be old enough to go.

Clinton honored Little League champ Mo'ne Davis, baseball MVP Madison Bumgarner, L. A. Laker legend Magic Johnson, and Pete Frates, the former baseball player who started this summer's viral fundraiser, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


Jihadists call for retribution post publication of CIA torture report

Jihadists call for retribution post publication of CIA torture reportWashington, Dec 11 : Muslim extremists are reportedly enraged by the US Senate report detailing the forms of torture used on detainees suspected to be militants.

According to CBS News, the Senate report has sparked fresh calls for retribution by online jihadist groups and their supporters.

The infuriated extremists have taken to social media to express their anger on the inhumane treatment meted out to the detainees at various "black sites" across the world.

Abu Talha Al Muhajir, an IS fighter in Syria reportedly tweeted "Real torture is in hell." "Disbelievers, your turn's soon."


81 pc Americans expecting attacks by IS militants on US soil: Poll

81 pc Americans expecting attacks by IS militants on US soil: PollWashington, Dec 11 : A recent poll has revealed that around 81 percent American voters believe that the Islamic State militants will attempt an attack on the US soil in the near future.

Meanwhile, 48 percent Americans thought that an attack was "very" likely, FOX News reported.

A majority of voters said they wanted Islamic State terrorists to be sent to the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp when captured by the US army.

US President Barack Obama plans to shut down the detention centre - a promise that he made during a 2008 campaign.


Italian singing nun presents 'Like a Virgin' song in CD to Pope Francis

Italian singing nun presents 'Like a Virgin' song in CD to Pope FrancisWashington, Dec 11 - Pope Francis was recently presented a CD by a Italian singing nun which features a remake of the Madonna hit titled 'Like a Virgin'.

Sister Cristina Scuccia, who recently won a Italian singing competition, recently met the Pope and gifted him with her CD including Madonna's song, CBS News reported.

The 25-year-old Sicilian nun was criticized by Italian Bishops' in public but she defended her decision and said the song was "prayer-like".

Scuccia won the Italian edition of 'The Voice' in June with a series of unadorned pop song performances. (ANI)


Seat kickers named most annoying airline passengers

Seat kickers named most annoying airline passengersWashington, Dec 10 : A new survey has revealed that people who use their feet as weapons are the most annoying airline passengers.

Expedia's list of onboard etiquette violators in its 2014 Airplane Etiquette Study found that 67 percent find rear seat kickers very annoying, while inattentive parents came in second in the list, followed by the aromatic passenger, the audio-insensitive passenger, the boozer and the chatty Cathy, CNN reported.


Russian purchaser to give $4.75M Nobel medal back to DNA pioneer James Watson

James WatsonWashington, Dec 10 : DNA pioneer James Watson, who helped discover the double helix after stealing research from Rosalind Franklin, will finally get his 23-carat gold Nobel medal back from the Russian purchaser who bought it for 4.75 million dollars.

Watson's medal went up for auction at Christie's in New York, where it was sold by telephone auction to Alisher Usmanov, owner of the English football club Arsenal and the richest man in Russia, the Verge reported.

Watson, who got 4.1 million dollars from the auction, said while putting his medal up for sale that he wanted to reenter public life, after a series of racist 2007 comments about the intelligence of Africans.


CIA unlikely to lose power post release of 'brutal' 9/11 interrogation dossier: Report

Central Investigation AgencyWashington, Dec 10 - The Central Investigation Agency (CIA) is unlikely to lose power following the release of a dossier by the United States Senate that said the CIA carried out "brutal" interrogation of Al Qaeda suspects in the aftermath of 9/11, said reports.

Director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University William Banks said that nothing would change and that the CIA is right in every place, conducting paramilitary operations, drone strikes and gathering intelligence, reported the Washington Times.


'Info gained by interrogating detainees aided Laden finding'

'Info gained by interrogating detainees aided Laden finding'Washington : Information gained through interrogation of detainees resulted in the finding of Osama bin Laden, the CIA said after an explosive US Senate report today alleged the spy agency's torturing did not yield any substantial information.

In a statement, the CIA said its reviews indicate that the program, including interrogations of detainees on whom enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) were used, did produce valuable intelligence that helped thwart attack plans, capture terrorists and save lives.


US posts across the world put on high alert

John KerryWashington: American posts - both diplomatic and military - across the globe have been put on high alert following the release of a US Senate committee report on its post 9/11 detention and interrogation program, officials said.

Released by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the report said "enhanced interrogation" programs in many cases amounted to torture.

Following the release of the report, US has been in constant communication with several countries, which officials did not identify, to ensure the safety of US assets globally.


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