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SwedenMass e-mails protest spying law

Swedes have bombarded lawmakers with more than 1-million e-mails protesting the country's new eavesdropping law, adding to the growing public outcry over the measure, an official said Monday.

The contentious bill allows officials to eavesdrop on all cross-border e-mail and telephone traffic. The government plans to implement it in January.

The bill was passed June 18 in a 142-138 vote despite nationwide protests that are still continuing.

Critics say the law will encroach on privacy and jeopardize civil liberties. Supporters say it is needed to fight international crime and terrorism.

Parliamentary spokeswoman Christina Green said protesters had sent 1.1-million e-mails by Monday afternoon, after the Expressen tabloid on Sunday launched an online campaign against the law.

Lithuania

Hackers plaster sites with Soviet symbols

Hackers attacked about 300 Web sites in Lithuania over the weekend, defacing them with Soviet symbols and anti-Lithuanian slogans, officials said.

The Web sites were vandalized two weeks after Lithuania, a former Soviet republic, outlawed the display of Soviet symbols, a ban that touched off new tensions with Russia. Lithuanian officials did not directly accuse Russian hackers of initiating the attacks but said they had come from foreign computers and were most likely related to the ban. Web sites were defaced with the hammer-and-sickle symbol and five-pointed stars, as well as derisive and profane anti-Lithuanian slogans.

China

Dalai Lama calls for progress in talks

The Dalai Lama called Monday for "tangible progress" in upcoming talks with China, as international pressure mounted for the sides to ease tensions after antigovernment riots that rocked Tibet.

Two envoys who regularly represent the Tibetan spiritual leader in meetings with China's Communist leadership arrived in Beijing on Monday evening for two days of talks with their Chinese counterparts, the self-proclaimed Tibetan government-in-exile said.

Sri Lanka

Army chief says rebel fighters disabled

Sri Lanka's army chief said Monday that his soldiers have killed at least 9,000 Tamil Tiger fighters during the past two years of civil war and disabled the rebel group of its conventional war capabilities.

The Army commander, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, said the rebels, known formally as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, no longer have "the same strength and willpower to fight."

He said, however, that the Tamil Tigers will decline only gradually and could even survive for another two decades as a less-potent insurgent group.

A former Sri Lankan army commander, Gen. Jerry de Silva, called Fonseka's claim mere "guesswork" and said that with both sides releasing exaggerated casualty figures for the other side, it was difficult to judge developments on the battlefront.

Elsewhere

Austria: Authorities say 18-year-old Christopher Yates of Park City, Utah, died while hiking in the mountains during a school trip.

Australia: A 69-year-old man in Cowra was charged with hacking his two grandchildren and wife to death with an ax and badly wounding his daughter, police said Tuesday.

Times wires

SwedenMass e-mails protest spying law 06/30/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 2:00pm]
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