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News In Focus:
From Current Events To Current Affairs

News In Focus: A Look At This Week’s Most Interesting Stories

Thailand: A bomb blast in Bangkok at about 7 p.m. on Monday killed 20 people and injured more than 123.

The Thai authorities, focusing on one suspect, issued an arrest warrant on Wednesday.

The bomb was said to be an improvised device that went off near the Erawan Hindu shrine.

The shrine, dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma, is a major tourist attraction for Asian visitors and is popular among Thailand’s Buddhists.

In addition to six Thais, the dead included four Malaysians, four Chinese mainlanders, two Hong Kong residents, an Indonesian and a Singaporean.  Two other victims remained unidentified on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

The intention of the attack was not known and no organization has claimed responsibility.  But Thai authorities believe that the suspect belongs to an “anti-government group based in Thailand’s north-east.”

Said Thai Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwan: “The perpetrators intended to destroy the economy and tourism, because the incident occurred in the heart of the tourism district.”

CNN gives us a look at the shrine, which has now reopened:

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U.S.: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave green light on Tuesday to the “female Viagra” pill that helps women regain their sex drive.

The drug, Flibanserin, and marketed as Addyi, is produced by Sprout Pharmaceuticals, and is designed to treat a flagging or absent libido for women by boosting levels of chemicals in the brain.

A vocal group, called Even the Score, has campaigned for the drug’s approval, by pitching the absence of drugs to help women with low libido as a gender inequality issue.

The drug will be on sale in the U.S. from October.

But experts doubted the potency of Addyi and said that it has potentially serious side-effects such as low blood pressure, fainting, nausea, dizziness, and sleepiness.

Even Sprout Pharmaceuticals warns that the drug is not to be used with alcohol or by people with liver impairments.

Flibanserin was originally developed as an antidepressant in the 1990s by Boehringer Ingelheim, the German pharmaceuticals group, but failed to make it through clinical trials.

It was twice rejected by FDA on the basis of a small benefit and substantial side-effects.  It was finally approved this week, with precautions, following recommendations in June by a panel of experts by a vote of 18 to 6.

For those looking to naturally boost their libido, eHow offers the following tips:

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Internet security: On Tuesday, a group of hackers called Impact Team released close to 10 gigabytes of data, which contained details from over 30 million accounts connected to the Ashley Madison adultery website.

The data, which Impact Team stole from Ashley Madison last month, includes users’ names, addresses, sexual preferences, and transaction history going back as early as 2007.

Fortunately for cheaters, the data was dumped onto the “Dark Web,” which is not accessible by most search engines.

Still, info is getting to the public. The Telegraph reports that among the users disclosed include “124 civil servants, 92 Ministry of Defence staff, around 50 police officers, 56 NHS workers, 65 local education and school staff and 1,716 people at universities and further education colleges.”

Ashley Madison, promoting its slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair,” arranges extramarital liaisons for married people who intend to cheat on their spouses.  The site is owned by Toronto-based Avid Life Media, which also owns two other dating sites, Established Men and Cougar Life.

The hackers demanded that Ashley Madison and Established Men be shut down.  But their ultimate motives are unclear.

Avid Life Media is cooperating with law enforcement agencies in Canada and the United States to find the hackers, and may face mountains of civil claims for personal data breaches.

The company condemns the hackers’ intrusion, announcing that “this event is not an act of hacktivism, it is an act of criminality,” and the hackers have “appointed themselves as the moral judge, juror, and executioner, seeing fit to impose a personal notion of virtue on all of society.”

If you like us are still asking wondering what is the Deep and Dark Web, we offer this primer by Mashable:

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Brazil: Brazilians in more than 200 cities took to the streets on Sunday to protest the presidency of Dilma Rousseff, whose been leading the country during a time of economic woes and corruption allegations.

Demonstrators, many dressed in the yellow, green, and blue colors of the national football team, could be found from the impoverished Belém, to Rio de Janeiro’s fashionable Copacabana beach, to the middle-class enclaves in the southeastern cities of Belo Horizonte and São Paulo.

The protests coincided with the 23rd anniversary of mass demonstrations that forced President Fernando Collor de Mello to resign in 1992.

Even though Rousseff’s approval rating has recently dropped to a reported 8 percent low, she said she will not step down.

For more on the story, watch this Reuters report or the following Al Jazeera produced-piece:

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Have a story that you’d like us to cover or review? Contact NewsWhistle’s Tony Church at Tony@NewsWhistle.com

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