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U.S. astronomers find planet with two Suns

WASHINGTON — US astronomers said Thursday they have discovered the first planet that is orbiting two Suns, much like the fictional home of Luke Skywalker featured in Star Wars. Skywalker’s native planet of Tatooine was hot and desert-like, but this planet, called Kepler-16b, is a freezing cold world about the…

Chevron confirms fresh oil leak in Gulf of Mexico

(Reuters) – A leak from a shallow water crude oil pipeline in the Main Pass Area of the Gulf of Mexico has led Chevron to shut down its offshore Louisiana Main Pass pipeline network, the company said on Tuesday. Chevron has also shut its Cypress line, the company said. About…

Eel slithers up man’s penis during bath

A Chinese man named Zhang Nan received a very unhappy ending during a recent trip to a spa: While sitting in a bath with live eels to cleanse his skin, an eel slithered up his urethra and all the way up into his bladder, UK newspaper Metro reported. “I climbed…

U.S. report spreads blame for BP oil spill

A key US government report spreads the blame for the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday, citing a bad cement job and poor management decisions by BP and its subcontractors. The finding by the agency that regulates offshore drilling could strengthen BP’s legal case for recovering some…

Do lazy mammals live longer?

PARIS — Small furry mammals partial to a daily dose of hibernation in winter are probably extending their lifespan at the same time, according to a study published Wednesday. Experiments with Djugarian hamsters native to Siberia showed that when the tiny rodents temporarily lower their metabolism and body temperatures, a…

Astronomers discover more than 50 new planets

PARIS — Astronomers on Tuesday unveiled a haul of more than 50 planets orbiting other stars, including a “super-Earth” which inhabits a zone where, providing conditions are right, water could exist in liquid form. It is the biggest single tally in the history of exoplanet hunting since the very first…

IBM supercomputer Watson to assist doctors

WASHINGTON — Dr. Watson will see you now. Watson, the television game show-playing supercomputer from IBM, is teaming up with health insurer WellPoint to assist medical professionals in diagnosing and treating patients. IBM and WellPoint announced on Monday they have agreed to develop the first commercial application for the computer…

Penn. township challenges fracking with ballot initiative

A small township in western Pennsylvania is fighting back against fracking and attempting to write a ban on the practice into their local Bill of Rights, but they may be thwarted by their own town council. Peters Township in Washington County, population 21,213, is home to the Peters Township Marcellus…

Al Gore launches 24-hour broadcast to convert climate skeptics

LONDON (Reuters) – Former President Al Gore will renew his 30-year campaign to convince skeptics of the link between climate change and extreme weather events this week in a 24-hour global multi-media event. “24 Hours of Reality” will broadcast a presentation by Al Gore every hour for 24 hours across…

Explosion rocks French nuclear waste site, killing one

CODOLET, France — At least one person was killed and four injured in a blast at a nuclear site in the south of France on Monday as the government sought to play down fears of a radioactive leak. France’s state nuclear regulator had said earlier that there was a risk…

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