US and Germany have strong and enduring relationship: White House

White House Press Secretary, Josh EarnestWashington - The relationship between the US and Germany is enduring and is of vital national security interest, the White House has said, amid fresh round of tension between the two countries over arrest of alleged American spies in that country.

"There is a strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Germany when it comes to our national security and intelligence sharing. That relationship continues," White House Press Secretary, Josh Earnest, told reporters.


Congressman Bera praises India ratifying IAEA agreement

Ami BeraWashington - Indian-American US lawmaker Ami Bera has praised India ratifying an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) agreement that will open its civilian nuclear programme to unannounced spot inspections.

"I am pleased with India's significant step in ratifying an International Atomic Energy Agency agreement that will open its civilian nuclear programme to unannounced spot inspections," Congressman Bera said during a Congressional hearing.


US House backs resolution supporting Israel

President Barack ObamaWashington - The US House of Representatives has backed a resolution expressing support for Israel and its right to self-defense.

Lawmakers endorsed the non-binding measure by a voice vote today. It condemns Hamas for unprovoked rocket attacks on Israel. The bipartisan resolution is sponsored by Democratic congressman Steve Israel and Republican congressman Tom Cole.

Israel has intensified its broad military offensive in the Gaza Strip to stop rocket fire from Palestinian militants targeting Israel.


Benghazi rescue hampered by info lack: Commanders

Benghazi rescue hampered by info lack: CommandersWashington - Two of the four US deaths in Benghazi might have been prevented, military leaders say, if commanders had known more about the intensity of the sporadic gunfire directed at the CIA facility where Americans had taken refuge and had pressed to get a rescue team there faster.

Senior military leaders have told Congress in closed-door testimony that after the first attack on the main US diplomatic compound in the Libyan city on September 11, 2012, they thought the fighting had subsided and the Americans who had fled to the CIA base about a mile away were safe.


US proposes construction freeze in South China Sea

State Department official Michael FuchsWashington - The US is calling for Asian nations to freeze new construction and establishment of outposts in the disputed South China Sea to lower the risk of a conflict.

The proposal was detailed today by senior State Department official Michael Fuchs. He voiced concern over the "increasingly tenuous situation" as an assertive China and five of its smaller neighbors vie for control of tiny islands and reefs in waters with plentiful fisheries and potential hydrocarbon reserves.

Fuchs said no claimant was solely responsible for the tensions, but criticized a pattern of "provocative" behavior by China.


Judge questions prosecutors claim against UK man

New Haven (US)- A US federal judge preparing to sentence a British citizen for supporting terrorists in Afghanistan challenged prosecutors on their claim that his support extended to al Qaeda.

Judge Janet Hall said today Babar Ahmad's support for the Taliban regime in Afghanistan did not necessarily mean he supported al Qaeda. She cited the testimony of a government cooperating witness who denied Ahmad supported al Qaeda.

Prosecutor Stephen Reynolds says Ahmad sent people to terror training camps run by al Qaeda. He says Ahmad was not a member of al Qaeda but became sympathetic to the terrorist group.

Hall is weighing the scope of Ahmad's conduct for his sentencing next week.


US records USD 71 billion budget surplus in June

US records USD 71 billion budget surplus in JuneWashington - The US government ran a monthly budget surplus in June, putting it on course to record the lowest annual deficit since 2008.

The Treasury Department says the June surplus totaled USD 71 billion, following a USD 130 billion deficit in May. The government also ran a surplus in June 2013, bolstered by dividends from Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant under federal conservatorship for the past six years.

For the first nine months of this budget year, the deficit totals USD 366 billion, down 28 per cent from the same period in 2013. Tax receipts are up 8 per cent compared to the prior year-to-date, while spending has increased 1 per cent.


'Homemade' telescope helps discover 7 hidden dwarf galaxies

'Homemade' telescope helps discover 7 hidden dwarf galaxiesWashington, July 11 : A new 'homemade' telescope has helped the scientists in finding seven unseen dwarf galaxies in space.

Astronomers from Yale University made a telescope by stitching together telephoto lenses, which came to their aid in discovering the celestial surprises that were previously overlooked because of their diffuse nature. The galaxies may yield important insights into dark matter and galaxy evolution, while possibly signaling the discovery of a new class of objects in space.


Manmohan Singh continues to enjoy immunity: DoJ tells US court

Manmohan Singh's new home is ready to receive himWashington - Former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh continues to enjoy immunity in an alleged human rights violation case filed against him in a US court even though he is no longer the head of the State, the US Department of Justice has said.

The US Department of Justice informed this to a Washington court Thursday in response to a petition filed by the New York-based Sikh for Justice (SFJ) in which it argued that since Singh is no longer the prime minister of India, the clause of immunity does not apply on him.


UN urges Pakistan to take immediate steps to improve healthcare in Waziristan

UN urges Pakistan to take immediate steps to improve healthcare in WaziristanNew York, July 11 - Human Rights Watch has said that Pakistan should take immediate steps to improve the healthcare needs of thousands of displaced people in violence-hit North Waziristan province.

Shortage of sanitation facilities, healthcare and potable water in the city of Bannu in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp had increased the risk of communicable diseases, said the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Pakistan Country Representative.


Now correct Google Now with 'No, I said' command

Now correct Google Now with 'No, I said' commandWashington, July 11 - Google has come up with a new voice command 'No, I said' that helps users correct Google now.

With the new command, users just have to say 'No, I said ' and then repeat the part Google Now got wrong, instead of repeating the whole command again, CNET reported.

Almost every gadget supports voice-commands nowadays. Even though the overall reliability of voice recognition software has come a long way over the last few years, it's still not perfect. Between environmental conditions and speech patterns, trying to get a device to correctly recognize what you said can be an exercise in frustration, report said.


Four children, parents shot dead by lone gunman in Texas

Ron Lee HaskellHouston - Six members of a family, including four children were killed by a lone gunman following a domestic dispute here on Thursday as police pieced together details of the latest horrific shooting rampage in the United States.

Ron Lee Haskell, 33, the capital-murder suspect in the shooting deaths of six members of a family at their Spring home apparently posed as a delivery man to gain entry to the house, police said.

He was wearing a FedEx pullover shirt when he arrived at the home said Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman.


Scientist unravel brain's way of interpreting emotions

Scientist unravel brain's way of interpreting emotionsWashington, July 10 : Scientists have unraveled the process of human brain of interpreting emotions by turning feelings into codes.

Cornell University neuro-scientist Adam Anderson, the senior author of the study, discovered that fine-grained patterns of neural activity within the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), an area of the brain associated with emotional processing, act as a neural code which captures an individual's subjective feeling.


Siblings learn from each other during playtime: Study

Washington, July 10 - A new study has revealed that uninterrupted playtime between siblings is key for learning, as young children learn a lot from their older siblings.

Through the study, researchers from Concordia University have confirmed that teaching occurs naturally and spontaneously, but that both older and younger siblings initiate learning activities and that, siblings acting as teachers use a variety of instructional techniques during these informal lessons.


Lawmaker asks FTC to explore Facebook's psych experiment

Lawmaker asks FTC to explore Facebook's psych experimentWashington, July 10 - An angry lawmaker, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) has sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requesting them to fully explore the potential ramifications of Facebook's experiment.

Facebook has reportedly apologized for altering 700,000 users' news feeds as part of a psychology experiment in 2012 but a lawmaker is still angry because of the experiment and he is hoping that Facebook will have to answer to the FTC .


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