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Dutch authorities using ‘scratch and sniff’ cannabis cards to bust pot growers

A Dutch initiative to combat illegal cannabis cultivation through the use of marijuana-scented “scratch-and-sniff” cards has gone nationwide to alert citizens to what their neighbours may be up to. The expansion comes after a pilot project launched three years ago to combat illegal weed plantations by helping people to recognise…

Mass appeal: The Higgs Boson is suddenly hip

The Higgs boson has not only pushed back the frontiers of science — it has also broken new ground in hipness, spawning songs, merchandising and jokes. Youtube lists nearly two dozen songs devoted to the elusive mass-giving particle, the search for which climaxed last year and earned two physicists the…

Gibraltar betting it can become a hub for U.S. online gamblers

The tiny British territory of Gibraltar is bidding to snap up a giant slice of the nascent US online gaming market as states gradually begin to relax a ban on Internet betting. Some 60 percent of all global business via online casinos and gaming currently flows through Gibraltar, Chief Minister…

Asylum requests for European Union increase by 50 percent

There were more than 100,000 asylum requests across the European Union in the three months to June, most of them from Russians, Syrians and Kosovars, a 50-percent year-on-year rise, EU data showed Tuesday. The Eurostat statistics agency reported 16,845 requests for asylum from Russians in the second quarter, with a…

Nobel Physics Prize honoree pays tribute to his late colleague

Belgian scientist Francois Englert said his happiness Tuesday at winning the Nobel Prize for Physics was tempered with regret that life-long colleague Robert Brout could not enjoy the plaudits too. “Of course I am happy to have won the prize, that goes without saying, but there is regret too that…

Human remains found amid Costa Concordia wreckage

Italian rescuers have found more human remains on the wreck of Italy’s Costa Concordia, which are believed to belong to one of two victims who are still missing, the civil protection agency said Tuesday. The “remains of a human body, which could be one of the two missing, an Indian…

Chevron abandons bid to explore for Lithuanian shale gas

U.S. oil and energy giant Chevron on Tuesday decided to withdraw its bid to explore for shale gas in Lithuania due to new regulations. “Significant changes to the fiscal, legislative and regulatory climate in Lithuania have substantially impacted the operational and commercial basis of the investment decision,” the company said…

Can your baby DJ? They can in New York

If baby yoga seems so yesterday and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star so last century, then the newest craze among trendsetter New York parents is for you: Baby DJ School. DJ, composer and playwright Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is offering an eight-week program to teach babies hip-hop, how to mix their own…

Obama: ‘We can’t make extortion routine as part of our democracy’

Failure to raise the debt ceiling would cause the United States to default on its bills, a situation “dramatically worse” than the current government shutdown, President Barack Obama warned Tuesday. But he also sought to assure jittery markets and nervous countries that the US would honor its debts despite the…

IRS grants tax-exempt status to conservative ‘America Is Not Stupid’ dark money group

Smart move? The IRS has granted nonprofit status to America Is Not Stupid 2013 a so-called dark money group best known for a 2012 election ad featuring a talking baby who compared the smell of his diaper with a Montana senator. As ProPublica wrote in January, America Is Not Stupid…

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