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Study finds troubling link between low birthweight and air pollution from traffic

Babies born to mothers who live in areas with air pollution and dense traffic are more likely to have a low birthweight and smaller head circumference, according to a large European study. The researchers, who included a team from the UK, found that babies were smaller even in areas with…

Despite GOP’s wishful thinking, Cory Booker is set to be the next senator from New Jersey

There seems a belief in some quarters that Republican Steve Lonegan has gained momentum against Democrat Cory Booker in the US Senate special election in New Jersey this Wednesday. Beyond the fact that a Tea Party candidate stands little chance of defeating a Democrat in a state that went for…

Plummeting morale at Fukushima nuclear plant as cleanup operation plagued by health problems

Dressed in a hazardous materials suit, full-face mask and hard hat, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, left his audience in no doubt: “The future of Japan,” he said, “rests on your shoulders. I am counting on you.” Abe’s exhortation, delivered during a recent visit to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power…

Supreme Court to decide if states can ban affirmative action in college admissions

The US Supreme Court will hear an affirmative action case Tuesday to determine whether state referendums can ban race and sex as factors in university admissions. In 2006, the US state of Michigan voted on a measure to disallow affirmative action in college admissions. The high court will now weigh…

Flesh-eating bacteria outbreak triggers warnings along Florida coast

A flesh-eating bacteria has killed 10 people in Florida and infected another 31 this year, and health officials have issued an alert to some swimmers to stay out of the water. Vibrio vulnificus is typically contracted by consuming raw, tainted oysters, but swimmers with open wounds are advised to stay…

Apple sends invites to event amid rumors of updated iPad

Apple on Tuesday sent out invitations to a special event on October 22 in San Francisco, revealing little about what is expected to be a day devoted to iPad updates. Emailed invitations bore few details other that time and place, and bore the message “We have a lot more to…

Rangel battles CNN host: Republicans governing the ‘same way they fought as Confederates’

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) on Tuesday attempted to explain to CNN host Ashley Banfield that it was impossible to work with House Republicans in good faith as long as they wanted to “bring down our government” the “same way they fought as Confederates.” In an interview following a House Republican…

California governor vetoes bill to reduce penalty for simple drug possession

Legislation that would have changed simple drug possession from a felony to a misdemeanor under California law was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday. “This bill would allow possession of heroin or cocaine to be charged as a misdemeanor instead of a felony,” the Democratic governor wrote in his…

Sign outside Indiana shopping center shows Obama with Hitler mustache

A video billboard outside a northeast Indiana shopping center shows a picture of President Barack Obama wearing an Adolf Hitler mustache. The billboard flashes the image at the start of a display that next flashes the words “Impeach” and “Obama.” The sign’s owner said the images were a paid advertisement…

Supreme Court agrees to hear six cases on greenhouse gas regulations

The US Supreme Court Tuesday took on six cases related to federal regulation of greenhouse gasses, raising expectations for a much-awaited ruling in the debate over climate change legislation. The court announced it was combining the six suits from plaintiffs in the chemical industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and the…

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