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Scientists find ‘master switch’ to controlling human fat

LONDON (Reuters) – Scientists have found that a gene linked to diabetes and cholesterol is a “master switch” that controls other genes found in fat in the body, and say it should help in the search for treatments for obesity-related diseases. In a study published in the journal Nature Genetics, the British researchers…

Astronauts board Endeavour for next-to-last shuttle flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AFP) – Astronauts boarded the space shuttle Endeavour on Monday as it prepared to blast off toward International Space Station on the penultimate flight for the US shuttle program. The 8:56 am (1256 GMT) launch is expected to draw as many as 500,000 onlookers to the area…

Members of Congress question seizures of alleged pirate domain names

For the last several months, two Democratic members of Congress have been asking the Department of Homeland Security/ICE to clarify the policy behind its seizures of the domain names of websites that are alleged to be involved in copyright violations. According to TorrentFreak.com, they’ve finally gotten a response, but it’s…

United States to hit debt ceiling on Monday

WASHINGTON — The debt-laden US government’s credit card will hit its limit Monday, creating a cash crunch that puts the country’s credit standing at risk as politicians battle over its long-term deficit. Reaching the $14.29 trillion ceiling set by Congress will not have an immediate impact on government finances, because…

Taliban on Twitter?

KABUL (AFP) – The Taliban once banned all television, music and cinema in Afghanistan, but now they are fighting their war via Twitter, the online messaging network that revolutionised global communication. The Islamist extremists sent out their first tweet in English on May 12 claiming “enemy attacked in Khak-e-Safid”, with…

IMF chief to be charged with raping New York hotel maid

NEW YORK (AFP) – IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be charged with a “criminal sexual act, unlawful imprisonment and attempted rape,” a police official told reporters. Strauss-Kahn, widely expected to run for the French presidency next year, was detained Saturday and quizzed over an alleged sexual assault on a New…

Swiss solar powered airplane launches first international flight

PAYERNE, Switzerland (AFP) – Pioneering Swiss solar-powered aircraft Solar Impulse, which holds a 26-hour record for flight duration, took off from Switzerland on Friday on its first international flight to Belgium. The experimental emissions-free aircraft is expected to take about 12 hours to complete the journey to Brussels Airport, the…

Sony battles to regain trust after data breach

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese entertainment and technology giant Sony faces a battle to regain the trust of millions of consumers after online networks integral to its strategy were hacked, say analysts. One of the biggest data breaches since the advent of the Internet could cost it around $1 billion, but…

Lime Wire file-sharing service to pay record labels $105 million

NEW YORK – The operators of LimeWire agreed to pay record companies $105 million, ending a federal trial over copyright infringement damages owed by the once popular but now defunct file-sharing service. The settlement with 13 record companies, including labels owned by Sony Corp, Vivendi SA, Warner Music Group Corp…

Legislation to crack down on online piracy proposed in Senate

WASHINGTON — US senators re-introduced a bill Thursday that would give the US authorities more tools to crack down on websites selling pirated movies, television shows and music and counterfeit goods. “This legislation will protect the investment American companies make in developing brands and creating content and will protect the…

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