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First ‘test-tube’ hamburger to be produced this year

The world’s first “test-tube” meat, a hamburger made from a cow’s stem cells, will be produced this fall, Dutch scientist Mark Post told a major science conference on Sunday. Post’s aim is to invent an efficient way to produce skeletal muscle tissue in a laboratory that exactly mimics meat, and…

On 50th anniversary of John Glenn’s flight, U.S. lacks manned space capacity

The United States marks the 50th anniversary Monday of the first flight of an American into orbit. But the historic landmark is bittersweet: the first nation to land people on the Moon now depends on Russia for its manned space flights. At 9:47 a.m. on February 20, 1962, on the…

Syrian army besieges world heritage site of Palmyra

The Syrian army has been laying siege to the ancient city of Palmyra, a world heritage site, since early February and shooting at anything that moves from a historic citadel, residents say. “Palmyra is surrounded by the army from all fronts: the Arab citadel, the olive and palm tree groves,…

Human rights activist to be new German president

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel said her coalition and the opposition had agreed Sunday to nominate former East German rights activist Joachim Gauck as a consensus candidate to become Germany’s next president. The decision came following Christian Wulff’s resignation from the post Friday over a corruption probe and after members…

McCain warns against U.S. weakness in Taliban talks

WASHINGTON — Top US Senator John McCain warned the United States on Sunday against negotiating with the Taliban from a position of weakness due to the looming troop pullout in Afghanistan. The White House confirmed on Thursday that the United States was taking part in an Afghan-led reconciliation process, after…

Mexican prison riot leaves at least 38 dead

MONTERREY, Mexico — At least 38 inmates have been killed in a riot at a prison near the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, officials said Sunday. The clashes broke out overnight between rival gangs at Apodoca prison, some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Monterrey. Families were gathering outside the institution,…

Syria intervention ‘very difficult’: top U.S. general

WASHINGTON — The top US military officer warned Sunday that intervention in Syria would be “very difficult” and said it would be “premature” to arm the besieged country’s opposition movement. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN that Syria was the focus of competing…

Hundreds of thousands protest Spanish labour reforms

MADRID — Hundreds of thousands of people, many waving red and white union flags, protested across Spain on Sunday against sweeping labour market reforms that make it easier to slash pay and lay off workers. Spain’s two biggest unions, the CCOO and UGT, led protests in 57 cities against the…

Single-atom transistor busts the records

PARIS — Researchers in Australia said on Sunday they had made with pinpoint accuracy a working transistor consisting of a single atom, marking a major stride towards next-generation computing. The device comprises a single phosphorus atom, etched into a silicon bed, with “gates” to control electrical flow and metallic contacts…

UN inspector hopes for ‘concrete results’ from Iran trip

VIENNA — The chief UN nuclear inspector on Sunday expressed hope that “concrete results” would emerge from his two-day visit to Iran, but cautioned that progress “may take a while.” “We hope to have a couple of good and constructive days in Tehran,” International Atomic Energy Agency chief inspector Herman…

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