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In brief: Four Americans, 11 Afghans killed

Sat., June 26, 2010

KABUL, Afghanistan – Four American troops were reported killed and the bodies of 11 Afghan men, some beheaded, were found in rising violence across Afghanistan.

Mohammad Khan, deputy police chief in Uruzgan province, said a villager in the Bagh Char area of Khas Uruzgan district spotted the Afghan bodies Friday in a field and called police.

“They were killed because the Taliban said they were spying for the government, working for the government,” he said.

The acting Uruzgan governor, Khudia Rahim, said five or six of the 11 victims had been beheaded.

NATO reported two U.S. service members were killed in insurgent attacks Friday in eastern Afghanistan, one died Friday in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan, and a fourth died in a roadside bombing Thursday in southern Afghanistan.

Their deaths brought to 84 the number of international service members killed so far in June, which is already the deadliest month of the nearly 9-year-old war. At least 50 were Americans.

.xxx may be added for porn domains

BRUSSELS, Belgium – It may soon be easier to block Internet porn: The agency that controls domain names said Friday it will consider adding .xxx to the list of suffixes people and companies can pick when establishing their identities online.

The California-based nonprofit agency ICANN effectively paved the way for a digital red light district to take its place alongside suffixes such as .com and .org, finally ending a decadelong battle over what some consider formal acknowledgment of pornography’s prominent place on the Internet.

While the move may help parents stop their children from seeing some seedy sites, it wouldn’t force porn peddlers to use the new .xxx address – and skeptics argue that few adult-only sites will give up their existing .com addresses.

Still, it’s seen as a symbolic step in the opening up of Internet domain names and suffixes.

The decision is primarily a victory for U.S. company ICM Registry LLC, which has applied repeatedly to be able to register and manage the .xxx suffix.

The Internet names agency has rejected its application three times since 2000, partly under pressure from Christian groups and governments unhappy with the spread of online porn, said ICM’s chief executive, Stuart Lawley. He pitches the suffix, in part, as protection for parents, arguing it will make it easy for Web blocking software to filter out “.xxx” sites, marking them clearly as porn.

Discomfort puts Cheney in hospital

WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Dick Cheney was admitted to the hospital Friday after experiencing discomfort, the latest health scare for the 69-year-old Republican leader who has a long history of heart disease.

Cheney was expected to remain at George Washington University Hospital over the weekend, said spokesman Peter Long.

It was not immediately clear whether Cheney’s health concern was related to his previous heart troubles. He sustained his last heart attack, deemed a mild one, in February.

Cheney’s heart attack earlier this year was his fifth since age 37. He had bypass surgery in 1988, as well as two later angioplasties to clear narrowed coronary arteries.

In 2001, he had a special pacemaker implanted in his chest. In addition, doctors in 2008 restored a normal rhythm to his heart with an electric shock.


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