England phone hacking - A powerful British media group owned by mogul Rupert Murdoch is fighting new accusations that it illegally obtained information about members of the royal family and top politicians after a lawmaker accused the media group of hacking. Police have information that strongly suggests that a private investigator targeted royals, lawmakers and high-level terrorist informers on behalf of Murdoch's News International, Labour lawmaker Tom Watson said in Parliament. British media said the targets included former Prime Minister Tony Blair and Kate Middleton.
E. coli update -- The number of people who have died from an E. coli bacteria outbreak in Europe has risen to at least 25, all but one in Germany, health officials say. Farmers in several European countries are seeking compensation for financial losses they suffered after being wrongly blamed for the outbreak. Farmers who grow cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and lettuce will be eligible to receive up to 50% of the average market price they would have received, based on figures from 2008-2010, according to the European Union.
Libya war - An international coalition that is trying to build support for Libya's transitional government if leader Moammar Gadhafi leaves will meet Thursday. Gadhafi's forces this week launched a new attack against the rebel-held port city of Misrata, the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting in the months-long civil war that has killed thousands of civilians. Gadhafi has vowed to fight to the death.
Weiner scandal - Calls are increasing from both fellow Democrats and Republicans for New York Rep. Anthony Weiner to resign. Things got worse for Weiner on Wednesday as radio shock jocks tweeted an alleged nude photo of him. The married lawmaker admitted that he sent inappropriate digital images of himself to women after he initially denied that he'd sent them.
A Spanish official bristled Wednesday at accusations that Spain was the cause of a deadly E. coli outbreak that has swept across Germany and Sweden.
Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said, in a SER radio interview, that Spain will not rule out "taking action against the authorities (in Germany) who questioned the quality of our products."
Last week, German officials implied Spanish cucumbers were the cause for the illness that had sickened people. Rubalcaba responded forcefully to that accusation.
"If it was from the cucumbers, there would be cases (of illness) in Spain," Rubalcaba said, adding that there haven't been. "The Hamburg (Germany) authorities don't know where it comes from. I understand they have a problem. We have said, 'You need to say it wasn't us.'"
While authorities in Germany worked to contain and respond to the outbreak, the specific cause remained unclear.
The European Food Safety Alert Network said EHEC, or enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli, a strain of E. coli that causes hemorrhage in the intestines, was found in organic cucumbers originating from Spain, packaged in Germany, and distributed to countries including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg and Spain.
But the source has not yet been pinpointed, authorities said.FULL STORY