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Chinese artist tries to blow up tree on National Mall

Chinese artist Artist Guo-Qiang tried to blow up a 40-foot tree on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 25th anniversary for the Sackler Gallery, a museum of the Smithsonian that focuses on Asian art, reported Talking Points Memo. It was meant to reference the numerous tree lighting…

Medical marijuana supporters in Illinois fear planned monopoly

Medical marijuana supporters in Illinois are accusing two businessmen of blocking legalization as they maneuver to control the future market for the drug, reported My Fox Chicago. Jim Merlo — one of the two men who created the company Medponics, which claims its technology could “track, trace and tax” medical…

Greek HIV cases reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions, experts say

HIV infection among crisis-hit Greece’s drug users is reaching “epidemic” proportions with recorded cases marking a 35-fold increase from 2010, health experts warned Friday. A Greek study found 487 HIV-positive cases among intravenous drug users in the first ten months of the year compared with 206 in 2011 and 10…

Supreme Court will hear arguments on breast cancer gene patent

The Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments next year regarding patents on breast and ovarian cancer genes, according to the ACLU, which brought the lawsuit with the Public Patent Foundation. The suit claims that genes are “products of nature” and so cannot be patented by the Utah-based Myriad…

Japanese mayor tweets during campaign despite official ban

A maverick hoping to upset Japan’s political scene has vowed to continue using Twitter throughout a general election, despite a strict ban on all forms of Internet campaigning. Under Japanese election law, candidates and their supporters are not permitted to Tweet, use Facebook, update their websites or even send emails…

‘In Jennifer’s Room’ details routine sexual abuse case at CA mental facility

A video released Thursday by the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) outlines one of several cases of neglect by the agency charged with protecting residents at California’s five care centers for the developmentally disabled. According to California Watch, records show the Office of Protective Services (OPS), which serves as the…

Sen. Shaheen: military women deserve reproductive health equality

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) spoke on the Senate floor on Nov. 30 about a provision in the National Defense Reauthorization Act (NDAA) that would allow women serving in the military to have coverage for abortion services in the case of rape or incest — which is currently covered in federal…

Mechanic husband and unemployed wife win Powerball lottery

A Missouri mechanic and his unemployed wife came forward Friday as holders of one of two winning tickets in the second largest lottery in US history: a $587.5 million Powerball jackpot. Mark and Cindy Hill vowed to stay grounded and not let the massive windfall go to their heads after…

FBI dad’s spyware experiment accidentally exposes pedophile principal

When Joseph Auther installed a spyware program on his 12-year-old son’s school laptop, he was hoping to keep tabs on his son’s Internet use and head off any potential trouble.  According to Kashmir Hill at Forbes magazine, that decision set in motion a chain of events that cost his son’s…

Former Last.fm executive blames marijuana for sex assault

Stefan Glaenzer, the former chairman of Internet radio provider Last.fm, pleaded guilty recently to allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman on the London Underground in August. The millionaire and current chairman of the investment group Passion Capital told a British magistrate that he’s used marijuana for years and was…

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