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Nation & World briefs, June 22

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 9, 2013. The man who told the world about the U.S. government’s gigantic data grab also talked a lot about himself. Mostly through his own words, a picture of Edward Snowden is emerging: fresh-faced computer whiz, high school and Army dropout, independent thinker, trustee of official secrets. And leaker on the lam. (AP Photo/The Guardian)   MANDATORY CREDIT

This photo provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden, who worked as a contract employee at the National Security Agency, in Hong Kong, Sunday, June 9, 2013. The man who told the world about the U.S. government’s gigantic data grab also talked a lot about himself. Mostly through his own words, a picture of Edward Snowden is emerging: fresh-faced computer whiz, high school and Army dropout, independent thinker, trustee of official secrets. And leaker on the lam. (AP Photo/The Guardian) MANDATORY CREDIT

Brazil’s president breaks silence

More than a week of massive, violent protests across Brazil finally broke the near-silence from President Dilma Rousseff, who said during a primetime TV broadcast last night that peaceful demonstrations were part of a strong democracy but that violence could not be tolerated.

Rousseff, standing before a Brazilian flag, said that the government knew there were many things “we can do quicker and better” and that Brazil “fought hard to become a democratic country,” but that she could not tolerate the violence carried out by a minority of the protesters.

FAA could permit some electronics

The government is moving toward easing restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices to listen to music, play games, read books, watch movies and work during takeoffs and landings, but it could take a few months.

An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing the restrictions. But the agency said yesterday the deadline has been extended to September.

The agency is under public and political pressure to ease the restrictions as more people bring their e-book readers, music and video players, smart phones and laptops with them when they fly.

Technically, the FAA doesn’t bar use of electronic devices when aircraft are below 10,000 feet. But under FAA rules, airlines that want to let passengers use the devices are faced with a practical impossibility – they would have to show that they’ve tested every type and make of device passengers would use to ensure there is no electromagnetic interference with aircraft radios and electrical and electronic systems.

Facebook: Users’ information exposed

Facebook said a bug in its system caused 6 million users’ contact information to be inadvertently exposed.

The social media company said yesterday that a bug led to users’ contact information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, to be accessed by other users who either had some contact information about that person or some connection to them.

Facebook said in a blog post that the cause of the bug is “pretty technical” but that the problem is tied to its “Download Your Information” tool.

The Associated Press

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