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Snapchat market value hits $800 million

The startup behind a Snapchat application for sharing self-destructing smartphone photos and messages got a dizzying valuation on Monday in a new funding round. Reports that the company launched in late 2011 had raised $60 million from investors, giving it a market value of about $800 million, hit the Internet…

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa considering request to give Edward Snowden asylum

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who has given the United States headaches throughout his tenure, risks more trouble if he grants political asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Much greater powers — China and Russia — have vexed the United States during Snowden’s global cat-and-mouse game, but this Andean nation…

Breastfed infants more likely to climb the social ladder: study

People breastfed as infants have a 24 percent better chance than their formula-fed counterparts of climbing the social ladder, said a study Tuesday. Conversely, being fed mothers’ milk as a baby also reduced one’s chances of social demotion later in life by as much as 20 percent, said the findings…

New Jersey poised to ban harmful ‘ex-gay’ therapy

By Victoria Cavaliere (Reuters) – The New Jersey Assembly voted on Monday to ban so-called conversion therapy, taking a step toward becoming the second U.S. state to prohibit licensed therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation The bill passed by a 56-14 vote, with seven…

Fracking raises risk of contaminated drinking water: study

New evidence that fracking may contaminate drinking water was published Monday in a study sure to add fuel to the fight over the controversial method of extracting natural gas from cracks in rocks. Researchers at Duke University analyzed 141 drinking water samples from private water wells across the gas-rich Marcellus…

Satellites to bring cheap, multi-gigabit Internet speeds to 3 billion people

The first four of 12 satellites in a new constellation to provide affordable, high-speed Internet to people in nearly 180 “under-connected” countries, will be shot into space on Tuesday, the project’s developers said. The orbiters, part of a project dubbed O3b for the “other 3 billion” people with restricted Internet…

CIA rolls out ‘new and improved website’

The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped website Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a “sleeker, more modern web experience.” Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy…

‘Overkill’: Senate measure would spend billions to militarize U.S.-Mexico border

Twenty thousand new border patrol agents, hundreds of miles of fencing, billions of dollars in drones, radar and sensors: US lawmakers are proposing a militaristic remedy to staunch illegal immigrant flow from Mexico. The Senate is expected Monday to green-light the most important amendment yet to the landmark immigration bill,…

Russian intelligence officials expected to interrogate Edward Snowden

Former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden’s stop in Moscow is an unexpected windfall for the Russian secret services even if it risks worsening the already strained relations between the Kremlin and Washington. Snowden’s sensational revelations on the electronic surveillance carried out around the world by the United States present great…

Jim Carrey says he regrets filming ‘violent’ Kick-Ass 2 after Newtown shootings

Actor, who filmed role one month before Newtown shootings, tweeted that ‘now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence’ Jim Carrey has shocked producers of forthcoming comic-book sequel Kick-Ass 2, in which he stars as a baseball-bat-wielding masked crimefighter, after denouncing the “level of violence” that…

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