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Senate Democrats call for probe into suspected gas price fixing scam

Democratic leaders in the Senate have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission requesting a probe into gas price fixing. “Recent reports have indicated that U.S. refiners are cutting back on U.S. gasoline stockpiles in order to artificially keep prices high and inflate their bottom line,” part of the…

World’s oldest panda, 34, dies in China

BEIJING (AFP) – Ming Ming, the world’s oldest panda, has died of old age, Chinese state media reported on Tuesday. She was 34. Ming Ming was rescued in Pingwu country in the southwest province Sichuan in 1977 and had resided in Xiangjiang Wild Animal World, a safari park in southern…

Tai Chi improves mental health in elderly: study

A review of medical studies gave the thumbs-up on to Tai Chi as a way of improving mental health in the elderly, but does not confirm other claims made for the Chinese martial art. British and South Korean researchers looked at 35 assessments of Tai Chi found in English-language, Chinese…

Activists milk a cow in front of U.S. Capitol

It’s not unusual to spot metaphorical cash cows around Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., but real-life dairy cows aren’t so commonplace in Congress. On Monday, however, an adult cow was on hand to provide fresh milk and a spectacle, as part of a rally in favor of legalizing the interstate…

Shuttle Endeavour launches, heads to space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) – U.S. space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on Monday to deliver a potentially revolutionary physics experiment to the International Space Station on the next-to-last flight in NASA’s shuttle program. Spacecraft Endeavour’s 25th and final voyage was expected to reach the orbital outpost on Wednesday. NASA plans…

Stephen Hawking dismisses idea of a universal creator, calls heaven a ‘fairy story’

LONDON (AFP) – British scientist Stephen Hawking has branded heaven a “fairy story” for people afraid of the dark, in his latest dismissal of the concepts underpinning the world’s religions. The author of 1988 international best-seller “A Brief History of Time” said in an interview with The Guardian published on…

Watch live: NASA Endeavour space shuttle launch

The space shuttle Endeavour is set to launch this morning, after multiple setbacks. The shuttle launches from Kennedy Space Center to a mission to the International Space Station. Watch the launch live. Embed courtesy of spaceflightnow. spaceflightnow on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free…

Floodway opening a blessing for Louisiana refineries

KROTZ SPRINGS, Louisiana (Reuters) – The opening of a key spillway to relieve flooding along the Mississippi River could create logistical headaches for big Gulf Coast refiners, but will likely spare the lion’s share of the area’s refining capacity from flooding danger. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Saturday…

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…

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