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OND Editors  OND is a community feature  on Daily Kos, consisting of news stories from around the world, sometimes coupled with a daily theme, original research or commentary.  Editors of OND impart their own presentation styles and content choices, typically publishing each day near 12:00AM Eastern Time.

OND Editors  consisting of founder Magnifico, regular editors maggiejean, wader, Man Oh Man, side pocket, rfall, and JML9999, alumni editors palantir, Bentliberal, Oke, jlms qkw, Interceptor7, and ScottyUrb, guest editor annetteboardman, and current editor-in-chief Neon Vincent, along with anyone else who reads and comments, informs and entertains you.

BBC:US warns North Korea against provocation after execution

US warns North Korea against provocation after execution

The US has urged Pyongyang to avoid any provocative acts following the execution by North Korea of a once-powerful political figure.

North Korea announced on Thursday that it had executed Chang Song-thaek, the uncle of leader Kim Jong-un, for "acts of treachery".

The move has raised concerns of instability in the secretive and repressive nuclear-armed country.

The US said it was consulting its regional allies.

BBC:Iranian workers killed in Iraq pipeline attack

Iranian workers killed in Iraq pipeline attack

Fifteen Iranian and three Iraqi gas pipeline workers have been shot dead by gunmen north-east of Baghdad.

The attackers sped up in three cars before opening fire on the workers as they dug a trench to extend the pipeline near the city of Baquba.

Another five Iranians and two Iraqis were wounded in the attack.

At least 17 people were killed in separate attacks elsewhere in Iraq on Friday and 22 terrorism suspects escaped from detention.

BBC:US man held over Kansas 'suicide bomb plot'

US man held over Kansas 'suicide bomb plot'

A man has been arrested in the US state of Kansas and accused of planning to detonate a suicide car bomb at an airport, authorities have said.

Terry Lee Loewen, 58, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

Mr Loewen, an aviation technician, does not appear to have been affiliated with any religious group, police said.

Authorities said Mr Loewen was snared by undercover FBI investigators and the public was never in danger.

BBC:US judge approves $5.7bn Visa and Mastercard settlement

US judge approves $5.7bn Visa and Mastercard settlement

A US judge has approved a $5.7bn (£3.5bn) class action settlement against credit card firms Visa and MasterCard.

The two firms were accused of fixing the credit card fees charged to merchants each time a credit or debit card was used.

It is believed to be the largest settlement of an antitrust class action suit ever.

Some retailers objected, claiming the terms weren't satisfactory.  

BBC:Ukraine court frees protesters held after Kiev clashes

Ukraine court frees protesters held after Kiev clashes

A Ukrainian court has freed nine people arrested during clashes between pro-EU protesters and riot police, a key demand of the protest movement.

The nine were arrested during a violent crackdown on 30 November to drive protesters away from the presidential administration in the capital Kiev.

The first round of talks between protesters and President Viktor Yanukovych have made little progress.

Demonstrators are arriving in Kiev ahead of a mass rally on Sunday.

BBC:Italy scraps state funding for political parties

Italy scraps state funding for political parties

Italian political parties will no longer be funded by the state and their accounts will be externally audited, under plans announced on Friday.

The new system would avoid "the scandals of recent years", Prime Minister Enrico Letta said.

Taxpayers will now be able to choose whether to fund a party.

However, Beppe Grillo, leader of the anti-establishment Five Star Movement, called on Mr Letta's party to return the state funds it has received.

Reuters:Exclusive: After 'cataclysmic' Snowden affair, NSA faces winds of change

Exclusive: After 'cataclysmic' Snowden affair, NSA faces winds of change

(Reuters) - The U.S. National Security Agency has made dozens of changes in its operations and computer networks to prevent the emergence of another Edward Snowden, including potential disciplinary action, a top NSA official said on Friday, as a White House review panel recommended restraints on NSA spying.

Former NSA contractor Snowden's disclosures have been "cataclysmic" for the eavesdropping agency, Richard Ledgett, who leads a task force responding to the leaks, said in a rare interview at NSA's heavily guarded Fort Meade headquarters.

In the more than hour-long interview, Ledgett acknowledged the agency had done a poor job in its initial public response to revelations of vast NSA monitoring of phone and Internet data; pledged more transparency; and said he was deeply worried about highly classified documents not yet public that are among the 1.7 million Snowden is believed to have accessed.

He also stoutly defended the NSA's mission of tracking terrorist plots and other threats, and said its recruiting of young codebreakers, linguists and computer geeks has not been affected by the Snowden affair - even as internal morale has been.

Reuters:Qualcomm promotes Mollenkopf to CEO, ends Microsoft talk

Qualcomm promotes Mollenkopf to CEO, ends Microsoft talk

(Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc, the world's biggest maker of cellphone chips, unexpectedly named Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf as chief executive on Friday, heading off the possibility he might be poached to run Microsoft Corp.

Mollenkopf had been in line to eventually succeed CEO Paul Jacobs, the 51-year-old son of a Qualcomm co-founder, but that plan was sped up in order to keep the senior executive from leaving, Jacobs told Reuters in an interview.

"Our executives are very talented and very sought after," Jacobs said, when asked by Reuters whether the promotion was related to an offer from Microsoft.

"The timing is a little faster than we originally planned but the key thing is to make sure we kept management continuity," Jacobs said.

Reuters:Brazil's Rousseff popularity keeps climbing ahead of 2014 vote

Brazil's Rousseff popularity keeps climbing ahead of 2014 vote

(Reuters) - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's popularity continued to recover in November thanks to her government's social programs and a slowdown in inflation, a poll showed on Friday, making her the clear favorite in next year's presidential vote.

Seventy-five percent of respondents rated Rousseff's government "good/great" or "average" in the latest Ibope/CNI poll. That was up from 72 percent in September and 65 percent in July, when millions of Brazilians took to the streets to protest poor public transportation, corruption and crime.

That wave of discontent and disappointing economic growth brought the lowest ratings of Rousseff's three-year presidency and put her reelection chances in doubt.

Although the economy remains sluggish and inflation is relatively high, Rousseff has regained the confidence of many Brazilians thanks in part to social welfare programs. An initiative implemented this year brought thousands of Cuban doctors to the most desolate areas of Brazil as part of a program to improve the country's public health system.

Reuters:U.S. sanctions move angers Iran, Russia sees threat to nuclear deal

U.S. sanctions move angers Iran, Russia sees threat to nuclear deal

(Reuters) - A breakthrough agreement to end the standoff over Iran's nuclear program appeared to face its first major difficulty on Friday with Russia warning that expanding a U.S. sanctions blacklist could seriously complicate the deal's implementation.

Russia, which, along with the United States, is among the six world powers that negotiated the November 24 interim accord with Tehran, echoed Iranian criticism that it violated the spirit of the deal and could "block things".

The United States on Thursday blacklisted additional companies and people under existing sanctions intended to prevent Iran from obtaining the capability to make nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such aims.

Diplomats said Iran, in what appeared to be a response, interrupted technical talks in Vienna with the six nations over how to implement the agreement, under which Tehran is to curb its atomic activities in return for limited sanctions easing.

Reuters:U.S., Chinese warships narrowly avoid collision in South China Sea

U.S., Chinese warships narrowly avoid collision in South China Sea

(Reuters) - A U.S. guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship maneuvering nearby, the U.S. Pacific Fleet said in a statement on Friday.

The incident came as the USS Cowpens was operating in the vicinity of China's only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, at a time of heightened tensions in the region following Beijing's declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone farther north in the East China Sea, a U.S. defense official said.

Another Chinese warship maneuvered near the Cowpens in the incident on December 5, and the Cowpens was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, the Pacific Fleet said in its statement.

"Eventually, effective bridge-to-bridge communications occurred between the U.S. and Chinese crews, and both vessels maneuvered to ensure safe passage," a defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in an email.

Reuters:Japan should embrace nuclear power, government panel says

Japan should embrace nuclear power, government panel says

(Reuters) - Japan should embrace nuclear power as an "important and fundamental" energy source, a government panel said on Friday, in advice that looks almost certain to be accepted, despite widespread anti-nuclear feeling after the Fukushima disaster.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is keen to restart Japan's idled nuclear reactors to cut the cost of fossil fuel imports used by power stations, which have swelled the trade deficit to a record and driven up electricity prices.

The recommendation, if adopted, could put atomic power back into Japan's energy mix after the previous government decided to abandon it following triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant north of Tokyo, the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

"Nuclear energy is an important and fundamental base energy source that will support the stability of energy demand and supply," the panel wrote in its report, adding that securing safety was paramount in utilizing atomic power.

NY Times:Cantor Fitzgerald to Settle 9/11 Lawsuit Against American Airlines

Cantor Fitzgerald to Settle 9/11 Lawsuit Against American Airlines

The Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald has agreed to settle a 2004 lawsuit against American Airlines and its insurers over Cantor’s business and property losses resulting from the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

 Cantor lost 658 of its nearly 1,000 New York employees when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the trade center’s north tower, where Cantor headquarters occupied top floors.

Lawyers for both companies disclosed the agreement on Thursday in Federal District Court in Manhattan, where the case was scheduled for trial next month.

“We have reached an agreement on the terms of a settlement,” Cantor’s lawyer, John F. Stoviak, told Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.  

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