World briefs – June 2

Officials say everyone who had been reported missing since last week’s massive tornado in Joplin, Missouri, has been accounted for and at least 134 people have been confirmed killed.

All accounted for after Joplin tornado; 134 dead

JOPLIN, Mo. — Officials say everyone who had been reported missing since last week’s massive tornado in Joplin, Missouri, has been accounted for and at least 134 people have been confirmed killed.

The Wednesday announcement came from the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The agency has led the effort to track down the nearly 270 people listed as unaccounted for after the May 22 tornado.

The patrol says the confirmed death toll of 134 includes 124 people who had been on the unaccounted-for list, seven people who had been taken immediately to funeral homes after the storm, and three people who have since died in the hospital from their injuries.

More than 8,000 homes and apartments, and more than 500 commercial properties, were damaged.


Gmail hit by Chinese hackers: Google

SAN FRANCISCO — Google says computer hackers in China broke into the Gmail accounts of several hundred people, including senior government officials in the U.S. and political activists.

Google says all victims have been notified and their accounts have been secured.

The attacks announced Wednesday on Google’s blog aren’t believed to be tied to a more sophisticated assault originating from China in late 2009 and early last year. That intrusion targeted the Google’s own security systems and triggered a high-profile battle with China’s Communist government over online censorship.

The tensions escalated amid reports that the Chinese government had at least an indirect hand in the hacking attacks, a possibility that Google didn’t rule out.

In the latest incident, Google believes Chinese hackers tricked people into sharing their passwords in so-called “phishing” scams.


Weiner denies sending lewd photo from Twitter account

WASHINGTON — New York Rep. Anthony Weiner denied Wednesday sending a lewd photo from his Twitter account to a 21-year-old woman, trying to calm a media furor that has only increased by the day and wasn’t put to rest by the combative lawmaker’s latest comments.

Weiner also acknowledged he “can’t say with certitude” that the photo of a man’s bulging underpants wasn’t him.

Weiner, who on Tuesday angrily refused to answer reporters’ questions about the incident, told MSNBC news Wednesday that he did not send the photo and that it was the work of a hacker.

He also said he’d retained an attorney and hired a private security company to figure out how someone could manage such a prank.

But Weiner also couldn’t resist joining the parade of double entendres about the incident.

“I’m not sure I want to put national, federal resources into trying to figure out who posted a picture on Weiner’s website, uh, whatever,” Weiner said. “I’m not really sure it rises, no pun intended, to that level.”

The photo was posted on Friday and sent to a female college student in Seattle. It was quickly deleted, but a frenzy of coverage and comment ensued on blogs, cable news outlets.


Balloon boy parents say they’ll auction off balloon

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A couple who two years ago told authorities their son floated away in a helium balloon have made a video saying they’ll auction off the inflatable to raise money for Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.

TMZ.com posted the video in which Richard and Mayumi Heene say they’ll work with California lawyer Perry Rausher on the auction. Rausher confirmed to the Coloradoan newspaper that he is working with the Heenes.

The Heenes’ son wasn’t inside the balloon when it floated away in 2009. Mayumi Heene served 20 days in jail for filing a false report. Richard Heene served 30 days in jail for a felony count of attempting to influence a public servant.

Terms of their probation say they can’t profit from their story until 2013.


Canadian unlikely to testify at Mumbai terror trial

CHICAGO — Defence lawyers say it’s unlikely that a Pakistani-Canadian accused in the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks will testify at his trial.

Lawyer Patrick Blegen said today that Tahawwur Rana’s (tuh-HOW’-ur RAH’-nahs) defence team hasn’t decided yet if he will testify.

He says some of the defence witnesses may include a computer expert and a Canadian immigration lawyer.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have called two FBI agents, a travel agent and one other witness to the stand.

Their testimony comes a day after the government’s star witness finished testifying against Rana.

During his five days on the stand, David Headley detailed how he received orders from a Pakistani terrorist group and the country’s main intelligence group.

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