The Cutline
  • An Iranian rapper who lives in Germany says he has received death threats for a song that criticizes Iranian society and, some say, an Islamic Shiite imam.

    Shahin Najafi, who sings in Farsi, has faced a backlash since posting online the song, "Naghi," earlier this month.

    One website is offering a $100,000 reward for his killing. Iran's official news agency called the song an "affront" against the imam.

    "Following the affront by rap singer Shahin Najafi against Imam Hadi (7th Imam of Shias) in a song called 'Naghi,' his apostasy sentence has been issued by Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani," the Fars News Agency said in a statement translated by CNN. "If the song contains any insults or indecency towards Imam Naghi, then it is blasphemy, and God knows what to do."

    The 92-year-old Golpayegani, CNN noted, is "the highest-ranking authority in Shiite Islam after prophets and imams." And an "apostate," or someone who forsakes Islam, is "punishable by death under Iranian law."

    Najafi has dismissed

    Read More »from Iranian rapper receives death threats over song
  • Matthews, O'Leary and Gibbs (Jeopardy/Getty)

    Chris Matthews appeared on Monday's "Jeopardy!" alongside CNN's Lizzie O'Leary and former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs in a special "Power Players" edition of the game show, taped last weekend in Washington.

    And the host of MSNBC's "Hardball," to put it politely, bombed.

    Problems started for Matthews when he requested a category in the form of a question.

    "Let's go back to, what is 'Crossword Clues E?'" Matthews said. "I mean, I'm sorry, let's go $200 for the category 'Crossword Clues E.'"

    For the answer "Full name of the U-2 pilot shot down over the Soviet Union in 1960," Matthews responded, "Who is Gary Powers?" The correct response was "Who is Francis Gary Powers?"

    "We need the full name," host Alex Trebek told Matthews.

    "Who is Gary Powers?" Matthews said, repeating himself.

    "No," Trebek said to audience laughter.

    Later, after Trebek said, "A U.S.D.C. is one of these, charged with the jurisdiction of a specific region," Matthews responded, "What is a U.S. attorney?"

    The correct answer was "What is a district court?"

    "In 1986, the Supreme Court ruled that the 'hostile environment' type of this can be sex discrimination."

    Matthews responded, "What is a hostile workplace?" The correct answer was "What is sexual harrassment?"

    In the category "6-Letter World Capitals," the clue was "St. Basil's Cathedral is there." Matthews responded: "What is Istanbul?"

    The correct answer: "What is Moscow?"

    Read More »from Chris Matthews bombs on ‘Jeopardy!’
  • Murdoch and Brooks in London on July 10, 2011. (AP)

    Rebekah Brooks, former chief executive of News International and ex-editor of News of the World, has been charged with obstruction of justice in the U.K. phone-hacking investigation.

    Brooks will be charged with three counts of "conspiracy to pervert the course of justice." Her husband, Charlie, will be charged with two. Four others—her personal assistant, her driver, her personal security guard and the former head of security of News International—will also face charges, the Crown Prosecution Service announced.

    The charges carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, the CPS said.

    They are the first people charged in the phone-hacking scandal since investigators began their probe last summer.

    The charges stem from their alleged attempts to conceal evidence last July during the police investigation into phone hacking at News International. Prosecutors say Brooks and her husband tried to dispose of a laptop and several boxes of documents related to the case. Brooks and her assistant, Cheryl Carter, are also accused of removing seven boxes of material from the archives of News International.

    "We deplore this weak and unjust decision after the further unprecedented posturing of the [prosecutors]," Brooks' spokesman David Wilson said in a statement. "We will respond later today after our return from the police station."

    Brooks, a favorite of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, resigned in the wake of the phone-hacking allegations against News International. She was questioned and arrested by police last July and arrested again in March, but had not been charged until Tuesday.

    Read More »from Rebekah Brooks charged in phone-hacking case

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  • This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PIN
    This iPhone case makes it easier than ever for thieves to steal your ATM PIN

    In light of this weekend’s massive celebrity photo leak, mobile security is bound to be a major topic of discussion in the weeks to come. How can we keep our private data safe if actors and actresses whose lives often revolve around keeping things private are this vulnerable? With the amount of information we store on our phones, in our email, in cloud storage, we’re always going to be at risk, but there are ways that hackers can get private data from us without accessing any of our devices. At the beginning of the year, thermal imaging company FLIR announced the FLIR One, an iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s-compatible case with a infrared camera. Although there are plenty of legitimate uses for an infrared camera, there

  • Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town

    By Isabel Coles AMERLI Iraq (Reuters) - Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militiamen paraded through Amerli on Monday, a day after breaking the two-month siege of the northern town by Sunni Islamist militants. The scenes in Amerli and the surrounding area of Suleiman Beg offered a window into the teamwork among Kurdish fighters, the Iraqi army and Shi'ite militias and into Iran's role in directly assisting their campaign against Islamic State (IS) forces. The swift end to the Islamic State's encirclement of the Shi'ite Turkmen town of 15,000 came on Sunday amid a push by Kurdish peshmerga, Shi'ite militias and Iraqi troops, after U.S. Militia fighters spoke of a new alliance with the Kurds, who had been shaken by the Islamic State's offensive on Kurdish-controlled territories last month.

  • Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire
    Islamic State group becomes target of Arab satire

    BAGHDAD (AP) — The bumbling young militant first drops the rocket launcher on the toes of his boss before taking aim and firing toward a military checkpoint outside of an Iraqi town — not realizing he's fired it backward at his leader.

  • U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq
    U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on "an unimaginable scale", with a view to holding perpetrators to account. "We are facing a terrorist monster," Iraq's human rights minister, Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani, told the U.N. Human Rights Council which adopted a resolution tabled by Iraq and France at an emergency sitting of the 47-member state forum in Geneva. The Council aims to send 11 investigators, with a total budget of $1.18 million, to report back by March 2015.

  • 'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Trailer Released – See The Clip!
    'Downton Abbey' Season 5 Trailer Released – See The Clip!

    The trailer for "Downton Abbey" Season 5 is here and from the looks of it, the PBS Masterpiece series will return with plenty of drama!

  • Tests promise 'blockbuster' new heart failure drug
    Tests promise 'blockbuster' new heart failure drug

    An experimental drug from Swiss pharma giant Novartis reduced deaths from chronic heart failure by 20 percent compared with an existing treatment, according to the results of a vast new study. Cardiovascular failure, in which the heart does not pump blood effectively, kills at least 26 million people a year worldwide. Novartis unveiled the highly anticipated results on Saturday at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Barcelona, Spain and simultaneously in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study -- conducted with more than 8,400 patients in 47 countries over 27 months -- compared the safety and effectiveness of the drug on patients with heart failure to the current gold standard, Enalapril.

  • Dengue outbreak affects at least 22 in Japan
    Dengue outbreak affects at least 22 in Japan

    An outbreak of dengue fever in Japan -- the first since World War II -- has affected at least 22 people, the government said Monday, with all cases believed to be linked to a Tokyo park. The health ministry said 19 new infections have been confirmed since last week. All are believed to have visited Tokyo's Yoyogi Park or its environs, one of the major green lungs of the metropolis, popular with residents and tourists alike. The park, one of the largest open spaces in central Tokyo, is believed to be the source of the mosquito-borne disease.

  • US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan
    US urges Israel to reverse Palestinian land-grab plan

    Israel faced increasing pressure Monday, including from the United States, after saying it plans to expropriate 400 hectares (988 acres) of Palestinian land in the Bethlehem area in the south of the occupied West Bank. Ally Washington, the United Nations and Egypt all called for an urgent rethink after Sunday's announcement, which angered the Palestinians and alarmed Israeli peace campaigners, and comes days after a long-term ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians took hold. "This announcement, like every other settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve, and construction tender they issue, is counterproductive to Israel's stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians," a US State Department official said.

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