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Supreme Court voting patterns surprisingly predictable: study

The ideal judge is completely rational and free of consistent bias, making their judicial decisions completely unpredictable. But the decisions of Supreme Court justices in real life may actually be quite predictable, according to a new study published in the Nov. 9 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE. For…

U.S. climate study group gets big oil funds

A reputable US think-tank that sought solutions for climate changehas lost most of its charitable donations and will now take funding from big oil and energy interests, it said Wednesday. Formerly known as the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, theCenter for Climate and Energy Solutions will be funded by Shell,General Electric, Bank of…

Climate to widen sleeping sickness risk to southern Africa

Sleeping sickness could threaten tens of millions more people as the tsetse fly which transmits the disease spreads to southern Africa as a result of global warming, a study published on Wednesday says. By 2090, an additional 40 to 77 million people could be at risk of exposure to the disease, the study concludes.…

Russian spacecraft fails to head for Mars moon

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia’s first planned interplanetary mission in more than two decades went wrong on Wednesday when a $163 million unmanned spacecraft failed to take the proper course toward Mars soon after its launch. Russian space agency chief Vladimir Popovkin said an engine failed to fire on the Phobos-Grunt probe after it reached Earth’s orbit,…

NASA plans 2014 test-flight of deep-space capsule

WASHINGTON — NASA said Tuesday it will launch in 2014 an unmanned test flight of its Orion deep space capsule, made by Lockheed Martin to someday carry astronauts to the moon, an asteroid or Mars. The test launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida aims to send the capsule into orbit, where…

AstraZeneca, Targacept drug fails depression test

LONDON (Reuters) – An experimental antidepressant fromAstraZeneca Plc and Targacept Inc failed to meet the goal of changing a key depression rating score in the first of a series ofpivotal clinical trials, in a setback for both firms. The result, announced by the companies on Tuesday, relates to the so-called Renaissance 3 Phase III study into TC-5214,…

Australia passes controversial carbon pollution tax

Australia’s parliament approved a controversial pollution tax on Tuesday, after years of bitter debate over the reform which is aimed at lowering carbon emissions blamed for climate change. Cheers and applause broke out as the upper house Senate passed the Clean Energy Act, requiring Australia’s coal-fired power stations and other major emitters to “pay…

Huge asteroid to fly close to earth on Tuesday

A massive asteroid will make a rare fly-by Tuesday, and although it poses no danger of crashing to Earth, US scientists said this week they are eager for a closer look. “This is not a potentially hazardous asteroid, just a good opportunity to study one,” said National Science Foundationastronomer Thomas Statler.…

White House: No contact yet from E.T.

WASHINGTON — In a galaxy, far, far away, there is a mathematical chance that alien life exists — but the White House says it has no evidence that extraterrestrials have ever tried to contact humans. In a blow to conspiracy theorists everywhere, a senior Barack Obama administration official also says…

Russia aims for first conquest of Mars

MOSCOW — Russia on Wednesday launches a probe for Mars that aims to collect a chunk of a Martian moon and become Moscow’s first successful planetary mission since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Phobos-Grunt probe is to blast off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a Zenit-2SB…

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