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1792 penny sells for $1.15 million

Talk about a pretty penny. A 1792-dated copper cent has sold for $1.15 million, a US auction house said Friday. The experimental coin with a silver center was one of the first ever struck at the United States mint and is one of just 14 known to have survived. It…

Two years after BP oil spill, disaster is far from over

Two years after the worst maritime oil spill in history, fishermen, scientists, and environmentalists up and down the US Gulf Coast warn that the disaster may be far from over. Dead dolphins keep washing up on shore in unprecedented numbers. Oil-coated coral reefs are dying in the deepwater. Eyeless shrimp…

Mexico’s Senate passes climate change bill

Mexico’s Senate has unanimously passed a climate change bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, following Britain in creating legally binding emissions goals. The law — approved late Thursday and which still needs to be signed by President Felipe Calderon — seeks to promote policies and…

Moroccan activists look to repeal law that encourages rapists to marry victims

The suicide of a Moroccan teen who was forced to marry her rapist has sparked outraged calls for reform, but the weight of tradition and the inertia of the justice system can make change slow here. Amina Al Filali, a 16-year-old girl from the northern village of Larache, drank rat…

Al-Qaeda clashes with Yemen military kill 34

Clashes between Al-Qaeda militants and the army in Yemen’s restive south killed 34 people, mostly jihadists, as soldiers advanced on the city of Zinjibar, the defence ministry said on Friday. “Eighteen Al-Qaeda militants were killed and dozens wounded while the rest fled” the clashes on the outskirts of the extremists’…

Parents cleared of 4 month old’s death ask for inquiry

A couple who were falsely accused of murdering their four-month-old son called on Friday for an inquiry into two hospitals that treated him, saying they believe that quicker action by medics might have saved the child’s life. Rohan Wray, 22, and Chana Al-Alas, 19, were accused of killing baby Jayden…

US Airways, American Airlines move toward merger

US Airways chief executive Douglas Parker told employees Friday that the company had taken initial steps toward a possible merger with rival American Airlines, which is in bankruptcy protection. In a letter to staff, Parker said a deal had been reached with three unions representing 55,000 American Airlines staff to…

Japan all-girl group ad ‘encourages homosexuality’

A commercial showing members of wildly popular all-girl band AKB48 passing bite-sized candies seductively from mouth-to-mouth is under fire in Japan for encouraging homosexuality. The advertisement, which aired in March, shows the school uniform-clad young women — all in their late teens or early 20s — intimately exchanging the sweet, with the close-up footage slowing…

Polar bears older than previously thought: study

Polar bears diverged from their closest relatives 600,000 years ago, far earlier than previously thought, suggesting more challenges in the face of climate change, scientists said. Previous genetic analysis of polar bears had determined the species was only about 150,000 years old. But in fact, it took them five times longer for the…

‘I am not a psychiatric case,’ Breivik tells court

Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is on trial for killing 77 people last July, insisted to an Oslo court Friday that he is sane. “I am not a psychiatric case,” Breivik told the court when questioned by a lawyer for the plaintiffs about his understanding of “empathy”, insisting “I…

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