By Patricia Zengerle and Warren Strobel WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday legislation passed by Congress earlier in the day reforming a government surveillance program that swept up millions of Americans' telephone records. Reversing security policy in place since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the bill ends a system exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Passage of the USA Freedom Act, the result of an alliance between Senate Democrats and some of the chamber's most conservative Republicans, was a victory for Obama, a Democrat, and a setback for Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Fictional city-wrecking monster Godzilla has been granted special residency in Tokyo's Shinjuku ward, as a newly-installed model of the lizard's huge head proves a pull to visitors. Marking "the emergence of the 12-metre (40-feet) high Godzilla head on a terrace on the eighth floor of Shinjuku Toho Building... we issued a special certificate of residence to Godzilla," a Shinjuku official told AFP Wednesday. "Shinjuku ward also appointed Godzilla as a special envoy for tourism," the official said.
Toting panels on donkeys, Maasai women lead a solar revolution
By Leopold Obi MAGADI, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Not long ago, dusk was a time of unease for the people of Magadi, a village in Kenya's Kajiado County. The women, trained in solar panel installation, use donkeys to haul their solar wares from home to home in the remote region, giving families their first access to clean and reliable power. "For us, the impact of solar technology is unparalleled,” said Jackline Naiputa, who heads the Osopuko-Edonyinap group, one of the five women's groups leading the alternative energy charge in the area.
By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Michael Brune is pleased that activists in kayaks are training for another "Paddle in Seattle" to confront an expected Royal Dutch Shell rig on its way to the Arctic to explore for oil. What makes the head of the Sierra Club just as happy is the effect Shell's Arctic ambitions are having on his own environmental organization. Sierra's funding drive against the resumption in Arctic drilling has taken in three times more money than usual campaigns by the nation's oldest green group, said Brune, though he wouldn't reveal specific amounts.
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