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China and U.S. military hold joint disaster exercise

The Chinese and US militaries held joint disaster response exercises Friday, as Beijing increases its global reach and Washington continues its “pivot” to the Pacific. The joint drill, which saw officers from both nations express hopes for closer ties, came amid rising concerns in Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam over…

British government divided over new proposals to curb press

British lawmakers started work Friday on a draft law to regulate the nation’s unruly newspapers as proposed by a major press inquiry, despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s strong objection to the legislation. Cameron’s government is divided on the future of the press after the Liberal Democrats, the junior partners in…

Phones and Internet cut for second day in Syria

Phone and Internet networks were down across most of Syria for a second straight day on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. “In some areas, it is possible to access the Internet but with great difficulty,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. “It is also very difficult…

Strauss-Kahn settles out of court with maid in sexual assault case

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the disgraced former head of the International Monetary Fund and French politician, has reached a preliminary settlement with the Manhattan maid who accused him of sexual assault, The New York Times reported Thursday. According to the Times, quoting unidentified sources “with knowledge of the matter,” Strauss-Kahn and the…

Australia beaches reopen after strange red algal bloom

Beaches around southeastern Australia’s coastline reopened after a red algal bloom that glowed a phosphorescent blue at night forced them to close to the public. The algae, noctiluca scintillans, forced swimmers and surfers out of the water at Sydney’s Bondi and a number of neighbouring beaches earlier this week, and…

Activist Ron Swanda discusses challenge of growing old with HIV

Old age comes faster and hits harder for those infected with HIV, a fact aging health activist Ron Swanda knows all too well. Swanda, 66, diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1989, takes six different drugs to keep his illness in check and to treat a litany of physical complaints from cardiovascular…

Robot companion to keep Japan’s astronaut company on 6-month mission

A small humanoid robot that can talk will be sent into space to provide conversational company for a Japanese astronaut on a six-month mission, according to new plans. The miniature robot will arrive at the International Space Station next summer, a few months ahead of astronaut Koichi Wakata, Japan’s Kibo…

No ‘Little Green Men’ on Monday (?)

(Playing The Martian Guessing Game – Addendum #1) Now this is unusual: NASA has taken the extraordinary step of issuing a 2nd strong denial in a formal press release Thursday afternoon (11/29/12) and tamped down expectation of any major news announcements at Monday’s American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in San…

Jon Stewart: Fiscal cliff like firing an asteroid at ourselves

The Daily Show host Jon Stewart took on the fiscal cliff Thursday night. The late-night comedian noted the combination of across-the-board spending cuts and tax increases were created by Congress to motivate legislators. Stewart said the situation was like shooting an asteroid at the Earth to make sure we put…

Maddow rips Mississippi Republicans over abortion crack down

On her show Thursday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained how Mississippi Republicans have nearly forced the only abortion clinic in the state to shut down. Lawmakers in the state forced the abortion clinic to comply with regulations that were “impossible to comply with,” according to Maddow. The abortion clinic…

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