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Climate change drives boom in tree-killing beetle population: study

Climate change is causing a population boom in a species of tree-killing beetles across a major swath of north America, according to new research published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The higher-than-usual temperatures and light rainfall over the last decade have allowed the mountain pine beetle…

New York Times reporter Chris Buckley forced to leave China after critical report on Premier Wen Jiabao

A New York Times reporter has been forced to leave China, two months after the newspaper carried a critical report on the wealth of the family of Premier Wen Jiabao. Mr Chris Buckley, who has worked in China as a journalist since 2000, left for Hong Kong on Monday after…

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner marries for third time at 86

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner has tied the knot for the third time, marrying a former Playmate 60 years his junior in an intimate New Year’s Eve ceremony at the Playboy Mansion. Hefner, 86, and Crystal Harris, 26, announced the nuptials on their Twitter feeds — @hughhefner and @crystalhefner —…

Baltimore mayor rings in 2013 by performing Maryland’s first same sex weddings

While other mayors were watching balls drop at midnight, Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake was ringing in the 2013 by giving her constituents a civil right they lacked before midnight: the right to marry. She was among several officiants across the state of Maryland that performed the state’s first legal…

Oil spill ‘possible’ after Shell drilling rig runs aground near Alaska

An oil drilling rig owned by Shell ran aground in the southeastern Gulf of Alaska on New Year’s Eve amid a storm that had forced the crew to evacuate, the U.S. Coast Guard told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The ship, the Kulluk, was built in the 1980s and carries…

Fox News host shoots self with confetti gun

In a seemingly appropriate New Year’s send off aired Monday, Fox News host Eric Bolling accidentally shot himself in the torso with the cap of a confetti gun just after pledging that his program would be “number one in 2013.” “Here’s to making my prediction a reality,” Bolling said. “‘The…

Kathy Griffin tells Anderson Cooper on New Year’s Eve: ‘I’m going to tickle your sack’

During an unpredictable segment aired on New Year’s Eve, CNN host Anderson Cooper was told by comedian and co-host Kathy Griffin, “I’m going to tickle your sack,” just seconds before she reached for his groin in jest. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Cooper nervously replied. “I have no…

Doctors: Hillary Clinton to make ‘full recovery’

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is reportedly doing fine and expected to make a “full recovery,” doctors told CBS “This Morning” on Tuesday. The secretary and former first lady was hospitalized over the weekend after doctors detected a blood clot stemming from a concussion she sustained earlier in December. Clinton,…

Sony stops making PlayStation 2 in Japan

Japanese electronics giant Sony said it has stopped producing its PlayStation 2 consoles in Japan, fueling online rumors a PlayStation 4 is in the pipeline. Since launching in 2000 the PlayStation 2 (PS2), which has a Blu-ray player, has sold more than 150 million units worldwide, making it the best selling console of all…

Fireproofing ‘inadequate’ at Japan nuclear reactors

Japanese regulators have found inadequate fireproofing at more than one fifth of the nuclear reactors that went offline after the 2011 Fukushima crisis, a major daily said on Tuesday. The finding could delay their restart by several years in some cases, the Mainichi Shimbun said. More than 10 of Japan’s…

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