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Maddow: Meet the Republican who’s holding up all legislation in Congress

While MSNBC host Rachel Maddow admitted you couldn’t pick Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) out of a lineup, she identified him on Tuesday as the man responsible for stymying the “big kahuna” of President Barack Obama’s second term in immigration reform. “This seems like a process story and it’s not getting…

Thanks shallot! Indian police foil onion heist

Indian police have foiled a bid by robbers to make off with a truck laden with onions, in an unusual crime apparently motivated by rocketing prices of the staple food. Three men stopped a truck on the main road from the western city of Jaipur to the capital New Delhi…

Tech experts debate the smarts of the ‘smartwatch’

News that Samsung will unveil a “smartwatch” next month has sent rumour mills into overdrive within the tech community as it second guesses what the much-hyped gadget will offer. Wearable computing, including Google’s smart glasses, is considered the next frontier in consumer electronics following smartphones. Apple has long been rumoured…

Schoolgirl virginity tests prompt outrage in Indonesia

The education chief of an Indonesian city sparked outrage Wednesday after proposing that teenage schoolgirls should undergo virginity tests to enter senior high school. Activists accused Muhammad Rasyid of promoting “sexual violence against women” after he suggested the plan following the arrest of six high-school students for alleged prostitution. “If…

New Zealand passes law allowing domestic surveillance

New Zealand passed legislation Wednesday allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity. The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate,…

Leaked IPCC report reveals human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change

Human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change and global sea levels could rise by several feet by the end of the century, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report leaked to media. The draft summary of the report all but dismissed recent claims of…

Pakistan floods affect nearly 1 million people

Heavy monsoon rains triggering floods have affected nearly one million people and killed 139 others across Pakistan in the last three weeks, disaster management officials said Wednesday. “The rains affected 931,074 people, killed at least 139 and wounded 804 others,” a senior National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official told AFP.…

Brazilian town takes a stand against Amazon deforestation

When farmer Luiz Martins Neto first moved to Sao Felix do Xingu a quarter of a century ago, the area had virgin forest, gold and a reservation for the local indigenous people. “They used to say it was the best place to live,” he said. But like many others, he…

Japan upgrades Fukushima radioactive water leak to highest level in two years

Japan declared a radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima plant a level-three “serious incident” Wednesday, its highest warning in two years, as operators scrambled to seal a tank that has seeped 300 tonnes of toxic water. The leak is the worst since the nuclear crisis began in March 2011,…

Son of legendary Chinese Communist military leader apologizes for Cultural Revolution

The son of a legendary Communist military leader and politician in China has publicly apologised for persecuting people at his school during the Cultural Revolution, according to a blog. Chen Xiaolu offered his remorse to teachers, staff and students at his former school in Beijing for leading denunciations and sending…

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