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Study: Cheetah not only fastest animal, but has greatest acceleration

Cheetahs’ speed is only half the story, study finds (via The Christian Science Monitor) If the cheetah were a vehicle, it would have the acceleration of a Ferrari, the stopping distance of a Formula One racer, and the turning radius of a Toyota Yaris. Most people know that the cheetah…

Spielberg and Lucas predict Hollywood ‘implosion’ that will lead to ticket price hikes

Veteran directors warned students in US about difficulty of getting projects into cinemas, and suggested studio cautiousness could lead to hiked ticket prices Steven Spielberg and George Lucas have predicted a Hollywood “implosion” that could change the shape of the film industry forever and lead to dramatically hiked ticket prices for blockbuster…

Zadie Smith: Having more than one child doesn’t ruin your writing career

Smith, who has two children, pours scorn on suggestion that a small family is the secret to success as a writer The prize-winning authors Zadie Smith and Jane Smiley – both of whom have more than one child – have hit back at a suggestion from the journalist and author…

Judge accepts Obama administration reversal on making Plan B available without age restriction

By Karen Freifeld and Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. district court judge on Wednesday approved a U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan to allow unrestricted sales of Plan B One-Step, a one-pill version of the emergency contraception drug. Judge Edward Korman of the U.S. District Court in…

UN: Children being used as human shields in Syrian war

Children are being used as sniper targets and human shields in the Syria war, the United Nations said Wednesday, in a report that added Mali to its child soldier list of shame. UN leader Ban Ki-moon said in the report the 26-month-old war in Syria is taking an “unacceptable and…

Cuban-Americans Rubio, Menendez battle to be key voice on immigration reform

By Caren Bohan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As the Senate debates the most far reaching immigration bill in a generation, all eyes are on Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio, wondering if he might walk away from it. There are concerns that the rising political star from Florida, crucial to attracting Republican support…

Members of Congress say they’re tired of playing ’20 questions’ with NSA

By Patricia Zengerle and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some members of the Congress say that getting straight answers from intelligence agencies about top-secret surveillance is like playing the game “20 Questions,” where answers come only if a questioner knows exactly what to ask. They say quality of closed briefings…

China skirts Snowdon’s claims the U.S. is spying on China

By Ben Blanchard and Benjamin Kang Lim BEIJING (Reuters) – China refused to be drawn on Thursday on revelations of U.S. electronic surveillance and on the American in Hong Kong who leaked the information, and a senior source said Beijing does not want to jeopardize recently improved ties with Washington.…

Analysis: Whatever the Supreme Court decides, marriage equality faces more legal challenges

By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Whatever the U.S. Supreme Court decides this month, gay marriage appears destined to face several more years of legal debate and at least one more round of argument at the high court. That’s because a majority of the court’s nine justices, based on their…

U.K. child obesity hospital admissions soar

The number of children admitted to hospital for obesity-related problems in England and Wales quadrupled over a ten-year period, new research showed Thursday. Admissions rocketed to 3,806 youngsters in 2009 from 872 in 2000, a study by Imperial College in London has discovered, with teenage girls accounting for the biggest…

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