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Scientists wonder what the weakest solar cycle in 50 years means for Earth

The surface of the sun has been surprisingly calm of late — with fewer sunspots than anytime in in the last century — prompting curious scientists to wonder just what it might mean here on Earth. Sunspots have been observed for millennia — first by Chinese astronomers and then, for…

More than 11,000 children killed in Syria war: Oxford Research Group

More than 11,000 children have died in Syria’s civil war, including 128 killed by chemical weapons in a notorious attack and hundreds targeted by snipers, a British think-tank said Sunday The Oxford Research Group, which specialises in global security, said in a new study that there were 11,420 recorded deaths…

Saudi Arabian Juliet demands right to marry her Yemeni Romeo

A young Saudi woman on Sunday urged a Yemeni court to let her stay and marry the man she loves, defying norms in both deeply conservative countries. In a case reminiscent of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet, Huda al-Niran, 22, defied her family and crossed the border illegally to…

Crossrail: Britain’s $24 billion infrastructure project will transform London

Crossrail is not just about engineering: artists, designers and archaeologists are all involved.  Sometimes, when flying over a landscape, you see a seam of unexpected fecundity – lush trees, richer green – that indicates the presence of water or a change to a more fertile soil. Something similar is happening…

Bodies confirmed as missing San Diego family

In a dark twist to a mystery that has preoccupied the American media, police yesterday confirmed that four bodies found in shallow graves by a motorcyclist in the Californian desert were those of a young couple and their two small children, who vanished nearly four years ago. The disappearance of…

US group seeks block on blockbuster Hep-C drug patent in India

AFP – A US-based patient rights group said Saturday it has sought to block a bid by California-based Gilead Sciences to obtain an Indian patent for a potentially blockbuster drug to treat hepatitis C. New York’s Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), which works to ensure affordable access to…

Report: US, Iran reach accord on nuclear proliferation

Negotiators for Iran the world powers reached an agreement on Iran and its nuclear program in Geneva early Sunday morning, CNN International and other news agencies are reporting. “We have reached agreement between E3+3 and Iran,” tweeted Michael Mann, a spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, European Union High Representative for Foreign…

Deli clerks give $1K to unaware $1M lottery scratch ticket winner; clerks arrested

Two long island deli owners appear to have gambled against the wits of one of their lottery customers and lost. Police in New York’s Nassau County said a 34-year-old man came into the Peninsula Deli & Grocery in Hempstead Thursday with a winning “Unwrap the Cash” lottery ticket worth $1…

Happy legal weed anniversary, Washington! Massive party planned for Seattle Center

Marijuana has been legal in small quantities in Seattle for almost a year. One Seattle activist has a massive party — and a message — planned for the anniversary of legalization. “Tourists need a place to get high legally,” said Ben Livingston, a pot activist, writer and head of the…

Egypt, Syria throw out each other’s diplomats

Egypt and Turkey dismissed each other’s ambassadors and downgraded their diplomatic relations on Saturday after months of tensions over the removal of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi. Egypt’s foreign Ministry Spokesman Badr Abdelatty said he had asked Turkish ambassador Avni Botsali to leave the country because Turkey was “attempting to influence…

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