Syrian President Bashar Assad's E-mail Hacked by Anonymous, Hilarity Ensues

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Our favorite hacker group of questionable motivations, Anonymous, has set its sights on its next target: Syrian president Bashar Assad. Late on Sunday night, Anonymous gained access to 78 different e-mail accounts at the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, including that of the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.

The Israeli news organization Haaretz was able to obtain some of the e-mails, and posted them online for all to read.

Sadly, it's clear that no one bothered to give Assad's office a lesson in basic computer security, because several of the accounts apparently had the password 12345. C'mon, guys, your password should never be sequential or easy to guess! We learned not to do that in the fifth grade!

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Next Step For North Korea: 'Kim Jong-il Haunting Things'

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via

Kim Jong-il's death has had a number of ripple effects, not least of which is the sudden obsolescence of the Kim Jong-il Looking at Things tumblr. Lucky for us, it's been replaced with a creepy new one: Kim Jong-il Haunting Things.

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Bye Bye, "Bye Bye, Bunga Bunga" Headlines

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As we reported yesterday, Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italy's prime minister. News outlets around the world clamored to give their own unique, measured perspective on his exit. More specifically, they all got to finally use that "Bye Bye, Bunga Bunga" headline they had been sitting on for years. After the jump, a collection of outlets that used that headline, or a variant thereof.

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Ciao, Silvio: Berlusconi Expected to Resign [UPDATED]

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World politics is about to lose a pioneer in the field of bunga bungas. Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's controversial prime minister, is set to step down this evening after Italian Parliament approved of a series of austerity measures. The New York Times reports Berlusconi is following the lead of Prime Minister George A. Papandreou of Greece, who bowed to pressure and "resigned last week to make way for a technocrat-led unity government." This news is sure to upset Silvio Berlusconi, as Silvio Berlusconi is Silvio Berlusconi's greatest supporter and fan.

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Iran Accused of Sponsoring Plot to Assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador

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Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged two men with conspiracy to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, in what they allege is an Iranian government-backed plot.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri with conspiracy to murder a foreign official and for attempting to commit an act of international terrorism. The two men were also charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

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Amjad Atallah of Al Jazeera English, on Reporting in Libya and Their New TV Presence in New York City

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Last night, as fighting raged in Tripoli and Muammar Gaddafi's son Mohammed was captured live on television by rebel forces, Twitter was abuzz with talk of who was -- and who was not -- covering the news in Libya -- and who was doing it best. There was a newcomer in the midst.

Earlier this month, Al Jazeera English launched its television presence in the New York area, becoming available to approximately two million cable subscribers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey via WRNN's RISE, which is channel 92 on Time Warner Cable. (AJE will also be available via Verizon FiOS, Channel 466.) And last night, Channel 92 was what a lot of New Yorkers seemed to be watching. But while perceptions of the news organization have certainly shifted since 9/11, its management is still working to convince distributors that there is an interest for international news in America, and to debunk remaining stereotypes.

We spoke with Amjad Atallah, bureau chief for the Americas and former co-director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation, who's stationed in D.C., about AJE's recent Libya coverage, the challenges they face, and how he hopes to impact journalism in the U.S.

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Fourth Night of Violence in the U.K.; Sex Ed Now Required in NYC Schools; Get Your Bernie Madoff iPad Case

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Mark Duggan
• Last night marked a fourth night of violence in the U.K., particularly in the northern part of the country, including Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Woverhampton, West Bromwich, and Nottingham. Nearly 700 people have been arrested in London in the past four days, and at least 111 police officers have been injured. Ballistic tests have found that Mark Duggan, suspected gang member, who was shot by police -- sparking, initially, the protests that became riots -- didn't fire at the police before he was killed. He was found to have been carrying a weapon. In the midst of all that, there are some uplifting cleanup stories. [The Daily]

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London Looters Brag About It on Twitter; the Twitterverse Fights Back

Via Reddit, here's an example of What Not to Do times two: Don't loot. And don't take to social media afterward to brag or make jokes about it. The woman (or person pretending to be this woman, because it's so grotesque it may well be a hoax or troll account) who tweeted the following has since cancelled her account. The Twitterverse has tracked down her former alias, @itsBARBZbabes.

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Riots in the U.K. Spread; U.S. Stock Futures Are Up; Upper East Side's Suspected Serial Groper Caught

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Riots and looting in the UK continued last night, spreading in intensity and span, affecting not just London but areas in locations including Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham, and Bristol. Prime Minister David Cameron, who returned home from vacation in Tuscany, has pledged that 10,000 extra police officers will be put on the streets (making that number 16,000), and that Parliament will have an emergency session. Shops, cars, and buildings were set on fire, and there were said to be "hundreds of arrests." A 26-year-old man was shot and killed in Croyden, the first known fatality since the riots began on Saturday. Countering back, some citizens have been cleaning up debris today (here's a great photo of two offering tea to the officers protecting their street). The Telegraph has live coverage of the riots. [NYT, Telegraph]

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Westboro Baptist Church Threatens to Picket Norway Funerals

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The Westboro Baptist Church, the Kansas-based organization that spends its days picketing the funerals of soldiers and insisting that "God Hates Fags," has released a statement saying that it plans to protest the funerals of those killed in the July attacks in Norway.

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