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Judge strikes down smoking ban in New York state parks

A US judge has ordered an end to a smoking ban imposed in public parks and beaches across New York state last February. The ruling applies to 179 parks across the state, as well as beaches, sporting grounds, picnic spots, camping areas and historic sites run by the Office of…

Media gives climate change deniers disproportionate amount of attention: report

There’s a 97 percent consensus on human-caused global warming in the peer-reviewed climate science literature and among climate experts. There’s a 96 percent consensus in the climate research that humans are responsible for most of the current global warming. The 2013 IPCC report agrees with this position with 95 percent…

Russia says no sign of Sochi Winter Olympics boycott

Russia on Friday said it did not have confirmation of a single country boycotting next year’s Sochi Winter Olympics despite a furore over an anti-gay law and vowed to hold one of the best Games ever. Speaking to the Russian lower house of parliament, Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that…

Legal troubles take their toll: JPMorgan Chase reports rare net loss of $380 million

US banking giant JPMorgan Chase on Friday reported a rare quarterly loss due to high legal costs, even as its underlying business produced results that bested expectations. The bank, the nation’s largest by assets, reported a net loss of $380 million on revenues of $23.12 billion, due in large part…

Television still major source of news for Americans

Television remains a key source of news for Americans even as digital media gains impoon ertance, a survey showed Friday. A Pew Research Center analysis showed 71 percent of American watch local television news at home and 65 percent view network newscasts over the course of a month. Some 38…

Republican lawmaker: We as a nation need to return to God

Rep. Jeffrey Duncan (R-SC) on Thursday said the United States had strayed too far from God. “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in honor of a gentleman who is with me in the Capitol. He was the high school valedictorian at Liberty High School,” he said, according to the Congressional record.…

Ted Cruz blames Obama after he gets heckled at Values Voter Summit

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas was heckled during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday. The tea party lawmaker suggested that President Barack Obama’s advocacy organization — Organizing for America — was behind the stunt. Watch video, uploaded to YouTube, below:…

Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke dies in Italy

Former SS captain Erich Priebke, one of the last Nazi war criminals still alive, who turned 100 years old in July, died Friday in Rome, Italian media reported. Priebke, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1998 for his role in a massacre at Rome’s Ardeatine caves in March…

John Kerry in Afghanistan to push to keep U.S. troops in the country after 2014

US Secretary of State John Kerry held talks with President Hamid Karzai in Kabul on Friday to try to advance troubled negotiations with Afghanistan on some US troops staying in the country after 2014. Karzai said this week that he was prepared to walk away from the Bilateral Security Agreement…

Bomb explodes outside Swedish consulate in Benghazi

A car bomb exploded outside the Swedish consulate in the restive Libyan city of Benghazi Friday, seriously damaging the building but causing no casualties, a security official said. “A powerful explosion in front of the Swedish consulate caused serious damage to it and neighbouring buildings but no casualties,” Colonel Abdullah…

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