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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…

Smoking orangutan goes cold turkey in Malaysia

An orangutan that amused visitors to her Malaysian zoo by smoking cigarette butts thrown into her cage is being forced to go cold turkey, a keeper said Monday. Authorities seized the orangutan, named Shirley, along with a tiger and other animals from a state-run zoo in the southern state of…

Happy Feet the penguin missing in Southern Ocean

Scientists tracking Happy Feet, the wayward penguin who became a worldwide celebrity after washing up on a New Zealand beach, said Monday they had lost contact with the giant bird. Researchers said they had received no transmissions since last Friday from a satellite tracking device that was attached to the…

Fresh crews, light winds help fight Texas wildfires

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) – More than a thousand firefighters, aided by lighter winds, on Saturday began to beat back raging wildfires that have scorched Texas for the past six days torching 1,600 homes and killing four people. “We’ve had quite a bit of success today,” Bill Paxton of the Texas…

Japan to mark six months since March earthquake

Ceremonies to mourn the dead and rallies against nuclear power were scheduled to take place across Japan on Sunday as the nation marks six months since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Silent prayers are to be offered at 2:46 pm, the moment the quake struck six months ago triggering…

U.S. endures hottest summer since 1936

Skeptics of climate change will have to deal with more evidence contrasting their disbelief. The U.S. has experienced its hottest summer in 75 years, according to USA Today and the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C. This latest summer season, with an average temperature of 74.5 degrees, has also been recorded…

Philippines urged to free giant crocodile

An animal rights group urged the Philippines to free what is thought to be the world’s largest crocodile in captivity, even though it allegedly killed two people. The monster 21-foot (6.4-metre) male saltwater crocodile was placed in a penned pond after it was caught in a remote southern creek on…

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