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Experts withdraw from Internet security conference
Written by JACK GILLUM, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:32

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least eight researchers or policy experts have withdrawn from an Internet security conference after the sponsor reportedly used flawed encryption technology deliberately in commercial software to allow the National Security Agency to spy more easily on computer users.

RSA Security, owned by data storage giant EMC Corp., has disputed claims it intentionally introduced the flawed encryption algorithm, but otherwise has declined to discuss what a published report last month described as a $10 million government contract.

The revelation supplemented documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showing that the NSA tried to weaken Internet encryption.

The pullouts from the highly regarded RSA Conference represent early blowback by technology researchers and policy experts who have complained that the government's surveillance efforts have, in some cases, weakened Internet security even for innocent users.

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Two killed, five hurt in fire at California group home
Written by GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:28

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two people were killed and five others were injured, including a firefighter, in an early morning fire Wednesday at a group home for developmentally disabled women in California, authorities said.

The blaze broke out about 5:45 a.m. in a residential neighborhood of Santa Ana, according to Orange County Fire Authority spokesman Steve Concialdi.

The caretaker, a 71-year-old woman, was in the kitchen preparing food for the day when a smoke alarm went off, Concialdi said. She found a mattress on fire in one of two front bedrooms, and the flames quickly spread to the rest of the house, he said.

The caretaker was critically injured while attempting to rescue residents, sustaining burns to her face and arms, and had to be rescued from the house herself by firefighters, Concialdi said.

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Giffords completes skydive on shooting anniversary
Written by BRIAN SKOLOFF, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:21

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has completed a skydive jump on what is the third anniversary of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting that left her critically wounded.

Giffords landed without any injury Wednesday afternoon at a skydiving site between Phoenix and Tucson.

After completing her landing, Giffords blew kisses and waved to a crowd of reporters. She described the jump as a wonderful experience.

Six people were killed and 13 wounded when a gunman opened fire Jan. 8, 2011, at a meet-and-greet event held by Giffords.

Residents in Tucson marked the day with a bell-ringing ceremony and a moment of silence.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Two U.S. climbers presumed dead on Argentina mountain
Written by DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 16:24

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two men from Wisconsin and Pennsylvania are presumed to have died while climbing an Argentinian peak last week, their families said Wednesday.

Jarod VonRueden, 22, of Clyman, Wis., and Frank Keenan, 28, of Clarks Summit, Pa., were climbing Mount Aconcagua on New Year's Eve. The 23,000-foot peak is the highest in North and South America.

The U.S. Air Force told VonRueden's family on Dec. 31 that VonRueden's rescue beacon had been activated, said his cousin, Julie Feldman. VonRueden's parents said Feldman would act as the family spokeswoman.

Feldman said the family wasn't immediately sure how to interpret the news. Relatives speculated on different scenarios, from the possibility it was pressed in error to "something majorly wrong," she said.

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Fans gather at Graceland for Presley's birthday
Written by ADRIAN SAINZ, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:30

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Television and radio personality Wink Martindale remembers the day nearly 60 years ago when Elvis Presley's first single, "That's All Right," played for the first time on the radio.

It was July 8, 1954, and a fresh-faced Martindale was working as a disc jockey at WHBQ in Memphis. He was at the studio when legendary producer Sam Phillips brought by an acetate copy of the song Presley cut at Phillips' Sun Records.

DJ Dewey Phillips - no relation to Sam - played the song on his influential "Red, Hot and Blue" radio show, and rock n' roll history was made.

"It was almost like an out-of-body experience," Martindale told Presley fans who came to Graceland on Wednesday to celebrate the late icon's 79th birthday. "That was the beginning of Presley-mania."

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