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Bad weather linked to train suicides in Japan: study

The number of suicides on Japanese railways increases after several days of bad weather, according to a study released Thursday, which urged train operators to increase patrols during rainy periods. The study, which chimes with commonly held beliefs about mood and weather, was an attempt to find reasons behind some…

Human Rights Watch urges Israel to stop displacing Bedouins

Human Rights Watch on Thursday urged Israel to stop trying to displace Bedouin families in the West Bank, where the army last week manhandled European diplomats on an aid mission. “The Israeli military should end its unjustified attempts to forcibly remove a decades-old community,” the New York-based watchdog’s Middle East…

Afghan doctors remove extra head from baby girl

Surgeons in Afghanistan have carried out a life-saving operation on a baby girl born with an extra head, doctors and relatives said Thursday. The girl — named Asree Gul (new flower) and one of a pair of twins — was admitted to a hospital in the eastern city of Jalalabad…

Russian court detains two Greenpeace activists for two months over Arctic drilling protest

A Russian court on Thursday ordered two Greenpeace activists to be detained for two months over a protest on an Arctic oil platform, as the Netherlands called for the activists’ immediate release and threatened legal action against Moscow. The first group from the 26 foreign and four Russian activists accused…

‘UpWorthIt’ parodies Upworthy’s socially-conscious linkbait

Tomorrow’s PandoMonthly guest Chris Hughes is best known for cofounding Facebook, jumpstarting Obama’s online campaign, and taking over the New Republic. What’s less talked-about is his role as an early investor in Upworthy, the socially conscious, social-media-powered beast of a content site that exploded to 30 million monthly uniques last…

The X chromosome is not, in fact, X-shaped

Humans, we know, have 23 pairs of chromosomes in each cell, including one pair of sex chromosomes: females have two X chromosomes, and males have an X and a Y chromosome…  …

Scientists discover 419-million-year-old fish fossil that shows roots of modern jaw

A rendering of Entelognathus primordialis. (Brian Choo/Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology) The next time you and a child make fish faces at each other, take a moment to appreciate Entelognathus primordialis…  …

New California law targets massive online ticket-scalping scheme

Dean Levin still hasn’t gotten over the fact that he missed The Rolling Stone’s “50 and Counting” Tour here in May. “I called Ticketmaster as soon as I heard,” says the unemployed actor, standing in line at Starbucks here. “Sold out.”;  …

Mont Blanc climber finds 50-year-old treasure trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires worth $332,000

A French climber scaling a glacier off Mont Blanc got more than satisfaction for his efforts when he stumbled across a treasure trove of emeralds, rubies and sapphires that had been buried for decades. The jewels, estimated to be worth up to 246,000 euros ($332,000), lay hidden in a metal…

Home-grown radio brings ‘fresh air’ to Syria’s Aleppo

“Gooood morning, Vietnam,” Wael Adel joked as he prepared to greet his listeners halfway around the world from Fresh Air of Syria radio in the war-battered northern city of Aleppo. “I’ve always wanted to say that, ever since I watched the movie,” said Adel, aged 30, referring to the 1987…

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