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Video explains JPMorgan Chase’s $13 billion settlement and calls for criminal charges

A video published Tuesday on YouTube by the group The Other 98 Percent explains the $13 billion settlement between JPMorgan Chase and the U.S. Department of Justice. In the video, “Alexis” notes that the settlement will halt multiple investigations into the financial giant, including one criminal investigation. The company is…

Space tourism: U.S. firm offers 20 miles-high balloon ride

Seeking to cash in on the space tourism boom, a US firm is offering rides in a helium balloon 30 kilometers (20 miles) up to gaze down on Earth. The Arizona-based company World View Enterprises said in a statement Tuesday the trip will cost $75,000 (55,000 euros) and travelers will…

Nations debate whether to create two giant Antarctic ocean sanctuaries

Multi-nation talks on creating two vast sanctuaries in Antarctic waters began Wednesday with a key official saying a marine reserve protecting the pristine Ross Sea had the better chance of success. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) meeting in Hobart brings together 24 nations and…

Pope Francis indefinitely suspends German ‘bling bishop’

he Vatican on Wednesday suspended indefinitely a German Catholic cleric dubbed the “bling bishop” for his luxury lifestyle, despite multiple calls in Germany for the prelate to be dismissed. “The Holy See deems it appropriate to authorise a period of leave from the diocese for Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst,” the Vatican…

Guantanamo detainees can’t file complaints about torture because alleged mistreatment is classified

Lawyers for Guantanamo Bay detainees accused of the 9/11 attacks said their defendants’ rights were violated because they are prevented from open discussion of alleged mistreatment in secret prisons. Speaking at a hearing in Guantanamo as the five detainees listened, lawyers for the men asked for the death penalty to…

U.S. intel chief disputes newspaper reports about spying operation on France and Mexico

The U.S. intelligence chief said French newspaper reports about America’s espionage activities abroad contained inaccurate and misleading information, the latest flap stemming from U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts. Meanwhile, the United States faced anger on yet another front in the unfolding saga, this time from Mexico. The key U.S. neighbor and ally…

Iran spares life of drug trafficker who survived hanging attempt

Iran has decided to spare the life of a convicted drug trafficker who survived a hanging, media reports on Wednesday quoted Justice Minister Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi as saying. The reports follow calls from within Iran and appeals from international rights groups against the man found alive in a morgue facing execution…

Tuberculosis killed 1.3 million in 2012, World Health Organization says

Global efforts to rein in tuberculosis helped cut the death toll to 1.3 million last year, but drug-resistant forms of the disease are sparking huge concern, the WHO said Wednesday. The TB toll is the world’s second-highest for an infectious disease, after HIV/AIDS. In its annual report on the fight…

The ‘bootlaces’ of Beowulf’s weird fire – an unnatural history of honey fungus

The ghostly glow of this fungus – bioluminescence – appears in the Old English epic poem Fluted pillars rise ghostly pale to support roofs like golden brown handkerchiefs as if they are alien creatures breathing through hundreds of delicate gills and not well adapted to daylight and air. They come…

Biography reveals Rupert Murdoch clings to ‘outsider’ role despite his media empire

Rupert Murdoch still sees himself as an anti-establishment outsider, even after building the most powerful media empire on the planet, a new book on the tycoon says. “Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires” by David Folkenflik says the Australian-born US magnate remains distrustful of governments following his…

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