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Senate passes bill to avert ‘fiscal cliff’ tax hikes

Update from AFP: The White House and top Republicans struck a dramatic deal to avert huge New Year tax hikes and postpone automatic spending cuts that had threatened to send the US economy into recession. After months of agonizing over the crisis, weeks of debate about a possible solution, and…

Oscars voting extended after online poll gripes

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it has extended voting for the 2013 Oscars, after reports of problems with a new online polling system. The elite movie industry body is giving its voting members an extra day — the deadline will be this Friday at 5:00 pm…

Space travel can accelerate Alzheimer’s: U.S. study

Long journeys into deep space, including a mission to Mars, could expose astronauts to levels of cosmic radiation harmful to the brain and accelerate Alzheimer’s disease, said US research Monday. The NASA-funded study involved bombarding mice with varied radiation doses, including levels comparable to what voyagers would experience during a…

Florida woman ‘mortified’ by valet ticket calling her ‘fat’

A woman in Boca Raton, Florida picked up her car from a valet service earlier this month only to find an insult scrawled on the stub of her parking ticket. “I was mortified,” Sharyn Peoples told Channel 6, NBC Miami. “In handwriting it said ‘play, red dress, and fat’ on…

Dried squash holds guillotined French king’s blood: study

Two centuries after the French people beheaded Louis XVI and dipped their handkerchiefs in his blood, scientists believe they have authenticated the remains of one such rag kept as a revolutionary souvenir. Researchers have been trying for years to verify a claim imprinted on an ornately decorated calabash that it…

Lindsay Graham: U.S. Senate is ‘where ideas go and die’

Monday on Fox News, Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said that the U.S. Senate no longer functions as a governing body, but is rather “where ideas go and die.” He called the Senate’s performance with regards to the fiscal cliff “embarrassing.” “The Senate doesn’t function anymore. The House has passed three…

Language gurus add ‘fiscal cliff’ to annual ‘List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness’

Language gurus at a Michigan college doubled down on the fiscal cliff Monday in their year-end bucket list of trending words and phrases that ought to be kicked down the road in 2013. Lake Superior State University’s 38th annual “List of Words to be Banished from the Queen’s English for…

Pentagon braces for sweeping budget cuts

The Pentagon is bracing for deep spending cuts that will affect every facet of the US military if lawmakers fail to agree to a deal to avert dramatic budget reductions, officials said Monday. The Defense Department will be forced to scale back training for troops, reduce spending for spy agencies,…

Why the price of Buffalo wings has spiked 52 percent in 2012

Feeding guests at your Super Bowl party could get a little expensive this year. Why? The price of Buffalo wings has spiked 52 percent in the past year, and analysts expect that to continue. “The wings are really causing some issues,” says Bruce Reinstein, vice president of strategic development…  …

Amazon apologizes for outage that sidelined Netflix

Amazon on Monday said it was sorry for a Web Services mishap that put online film streaming service Netflix out of commission on Christmas Eve. “We want to apologize,” Amazon said in a message posted at its website. “We know how critical our services are to our customers’ businesses, and…

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