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Parts of Africa, India, China could get too hot for key crops

By Marlowe Hood PARIS — Climate change is on track to disrupt lifeline food crops across large swathes of Africa and Asia already mired in chronic poverty, according to an international study released Friday. More than 350 million people face a “perfect storm” of conditions for potential food disaster, warns…

U.S. anti-coal film shows painful reality of mountaintop mining

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – A new film protesting against US coal mining and starring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. aims to boost green alternatives such as wind power and highlight “criminal” destruction by the industry. Five years after “An Inconvenient Truth,” Al Gore’s landmark movie about climate change, makers of “The…

2011 is deadliest U.S. tornado season in 75 years

CHICAGO (AFP) – The deadliest US tornado season in 75 years has ripped babies from their mother’s arms and transformed entire towns into apocalyptic scenes of destruction as the toll hit 523. And it isn’t over yet. While warmer summer weather should hopefully reduce their intensity, the peak tornado season…

Toxic new strain of E.coli blamed in European deaths

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The E. coli epidemic in Europe is caused by a new, highly infectious and toxic strain of bacteria that carries genes giving it resistance to a few classes of antibiotics, Chinese scientists who analyzed the organism said. The scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute, who are…

NZ prisoners given carrot sticks to quit smoking: report

WELLINGTON (AFP) – New Zealand prisoners are reportedly being offered carrot sticks to help them overcome nicotine cravings as jails prepare to go smoke-free next month. A leaked internal memo from Invercargill Prison said prisoners were being supplied with two carrot sticks a day in an effort to make them…

Hundreds feel sting of jellyfish on Florida’s east coast

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) – Thousands of jellyfish washed up on Florida’s east coast over the Memorial holiday weekend, stinging swimmers and thwarting beachgoers. Ocean lifeguards said about a thousand people had been stung since Friday, mostly at central Florida’s popular Cocoa Beach. “There’s so many. If you walked out…

USDA reviews birth control pill safety over clot risk

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is reviewing recently published studies which have pointed to an increased blood clot risk associated with a certain type of birth control pill. The studies involve pills that contain drospirenone, as opposed to another type of progestin known…

Shuttle Endeavour lands after final mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (AFP) – The space shuttle Endeavour glided home for its final landing early Wednesday and the conclusion of the next to last mission of the 30-year-old US shuttle program. Endeavour and its crew of six astronauts — five Americans and one Italian — made a nighttime touchdown…

NASA rolls out shuttle Atlantis for final time

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — The US space agency sent its last shuttle, Atlantis, out to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center so it can prepare for the final launch of the American shuttle program in July. The shuttle began its trek at 8:00 pm (0000 GMT) on Tuesday. The…

Taiwan, Philippines warn of tainted sports drink that shrinks testicles

MANILA (AFP) – Taiwan and the Philippines have warned some sport drinks may have been contaminated with a chemical that could cause infertility and block boys’ sex organ development, officials said Tuesday. The Philippine Food and Drug Administration is monitoring some imported Taiwanese sport drinks, fruit juices and soft drinks…

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