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Iconic television actor Andy Griffith dies at 86

Actor Andy Griffith, 86, a beloved icon of US television for programs including “The Andy Griffith Show” in the 1960s and the popular legal drama “Matlock,” died Tuesday. President Barack Obama led tributes to the star, calling him “a performer of extraordinary talent,” adding that he “was beloved by generations…

FDA approves over-the-counter HIV testing kit

The United States announced Tuesday that it had authorized the first over-the-counter home testing kit for HIV, the virus that leads to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Under the testing procedure, the OraQuick In-Home HIV test kit will allow purchasers to collect an oral fluid sample by swabbing the upper…

Arafat was poisoned by polonium: report

Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004, was poisoned by polonium, according to the findings of laboratory research carried out in Switzerland and cited in an Al-Jazeera report on Tuesday. The analysis focused on biological samples taken from the late Palestinian leader’s belongings given to his wife Suha by the military…

Unknown disease kills 60 children in Cambodia: WHO

An unidentified disease has killed 60 young children in Cambodia in three months, the World Health Organization said Tuesday as it raced to identify the cause. “The number of deaths reported to WHO is 60 cases and they have all been in young children,” said Dr Nima Asgari, a public…

Is the hunt for the Higgs almost over?

European physicists on Wednesday will make an announcement that may solve a decades-old puzzle about the nature of matter, leave the question only part-answered or serve up yet another mystery. In a profession driven by rationality, particle scientists gave full rein to their emotions as they pondered what could lie…

German couple free lobsters from Italian restaurant

A German couple on holiday on the Italian island of Sardinia bought the live lobsters on the menu at a posh seaside restaurant for 500 euros ($629) and put them back in the sea, local media said Tuesday. “When the woman came into the restaurant, she saw the lobsters straight…

IMF cuts U.S. growth forecast, warns against ‘fiscal cliff’

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday pared its growth forecast for the US economy this year, warning against a “fiscal cliff” at year-end and the Obama administration’s proposed spending cuts. The IMF estimated 2012 US economic growth at 2.0 percent, down from April’s forecast of 2.1 percent, and said that…

Tablets to overtake notebook PCs by 2016: study

Tablet computers are expected to overtake notebook PCs by 2016 as consumers shift to newer devices like the Apple iPad, a survey said Tuesday. The survey by research firm NPD said tablets will be “the growth driver” for the mobile computer market over the next few years. Overall mobile PC…

UK confirms missiles on standby to protect London Olympics

Surface-to-air missile defence systems will be deployed at six sites in London during the Olympics as a “powerful deterrent” against attack, Britain’s Ministry of Defence confirmed Tuesday. The news came despite angry protests from residents at two locations where missiles are being deployed on top of blocks of flats. One…

Climate change no longer tops U.S. environment worries

Americans no longer see climate change as the world’s number-one environmental issue, according to a public opinion poll released Tuesday amid an ongoing heat wave in much of the United States. Twenty-nine percent cited water and air pollution as the most pressing concern, the Washington Post-Stanford University poll indicated, followed…

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