FCC passes rule against loud tv commercials
Excessively loud TV commercials should be a thing of the past, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission. Responding to years of complaints that the volume on commercials was much louder than the programming they accompany, the FCC Tuesday passed an act Tuesday requiring that the sound level is the same for commercials and programming. The act affects cable and satellite TV companies as well as local broadcasters. The rules go into effect in December 2012.
Iran tells Afghans: Stop U.S. drones
Iran escalated its confrontation with the United States on Thursday over the captured U.S. spy drone launched from Afghanistan, warning the Afghan government to order a halt to such surveillance flights. Further flights would be regarded as a hostile act, Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in an interview with Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency. His warning threatened to drag Afghanistan into the dispute over U.S. aerial surveillance. There was no immediate response from the United States or Afghanistan.
Court: Evidence on Knox didn't hold up
The Italian appeals court that cleared American Amanda Knox in the killing of her roommate explained its ruling Thursday: The evidence just didn't hold up. A 143-page document criticized nearly every stage of the investigation that led to the conviction of Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. It said the lower court didn't even prove they were in the house when Knox's British roommate, Meredith Kercher, was killed.
Putin says he'll ease Kremlin's grip
Rocked by mass opposition rallies, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin pledged Thursday to slightly soften the Kremlin's grip on power as he launches his campaign to return to the presidency in a March election. Last Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in Moscow to rail against Putin, who was president for eight years beginning in 2000, and to protest vote fraud in recent parliamentary elections. Putin, in a 4 ½-hour live TV call-in show, refused to acknowledge election violations but said he would install live web cameras at every polling station in March.
Carlos the Jackal gets life sentence
Carlos the Jackal, the flamboyant Venezuelan who symbolized Cold War terrorism, was sentenced to life in prison — again — in a trial that ended late Thursday with him rallying for revolution and weeping for Moammar Gadhafi, a sort of ideological brother. The 62-year-old Carlos, whose real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, already is serving a life sentence in a French prison for a triple murder in 1975. Once one of world's most-wanted men, the former gun-for-hire and self-proclaimed revolutionary was convicted in four bombings in France in 1982 and 1983 that killed 11 people and injured more than 140.
Washington: A federal review of Arlington National Cemetery, mandated by Congress amid widespread burial problems, has found that the Army has made positive changes and transferring the national shrine to the Department of Veterans Affairs may not be necessary.