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Al Gore rips Keystone XL: ‘It is an atrocity and a threat to our future’

Former US vice president Al Gore on Thursday urged President Barack Obama to block the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, likening the carbon-intense project to drug addiction. Gore, who has championed action against climate change since his razor-thin loss for the White House in 2000, praised Obama’s general views…

Universal Studios Hollywood pulls Halloween show over ‘gay Superman’ skit

Hollywood’s Universal Studios theme park has cancelled a Halloween show based on the “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” franchise after criticism that a scene where Superman turns gay was homophobic. The theme park, which runs hugely popular “Halloween Horror Night” evenings in the run-up to the Oct. 31 holiday, posted…

Two 1,000-year-old mummies found in ancient Peruvian cemetery

Two pre-Columbian mummies more than a thousand years old were found in a pre-Incan cemetery in a suburb of Lima, archeologists said Thursday. “This is one of the most important finds in more than three decades of excavation, because both mummies are intact,” Gladys Paz told AFP at the foot…

Swiss activists on campaign to rein in executive pay: ‘We’re going to pull out all the stops’

Supporters of a drive to rein in executive pay in Switzerland stepped up their campaign Thursday after polls put them neck and neck with opponents a month before a referendum. Hoping to see the same kind of backlash that in March saw Swiss voters back a ban on golden handshakes…

Corporations push back against Mexico’s proposed junk-food tax

Via lobbying and full-page newspaper advertisements, big companies and health advocates are pressing lawmakers in a fight over soda and junk-food taxes to curb Mexico’s obesity epidemic. The Senate is debating legislation that would impose a five-percent tax on high-calorie snacks such as sweets and potato chips as well as…

Turkish college students revive the country’s dormant protest movement

Four months after protests against the planned redevelopment of an Istanbul park devolved into a violent national uproar against the government, Turkish students are taking to the streets once again to fight an all-too-familiar scheme. Turkish riot police fired on students with tear gas and water cannon as workers broke…

Unemployment drops as Spain’s economy begins to beat recession

Spain turns corner, as its recession officially ends (via The Christian Science Monitor) A woman walks under an umbrella in front Santander Bank in Pamplona, Spain, on Wednesday. Spain’s National Statistics Institute says the country’s jobless rate edged down from 26.3 percent to 26.0 percent during the third quarter, a…

Iran blasts ‘unfair’ UN report on human rights record

Iran on Thursday angrily rejected as “unfair” and politically-motivated a UN report which said the Islamic republic’s human rights record showed no sign of improvement. The report “describes the human rights situation in Iran in a completely unfair light and with political motivations,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham said in…

Twitter names NBC digital chief to head its news operations

Twitter announced Thursday it hired Vivian Schiller to head its news operations, as the popular messaging service ramps up its efforts in the field ahead of its stock market debut. “We’re thrilled to announce @VivianSchiller is joining the team as Twitter’s new Head of News Partnerships. She starts in January!”…

New Snowden leak: NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders

The National Security Agency monitored the phone conversations of 35 world leaders after being given the numbers by an official in another US government department, according to a classified document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The confidential memo reveals that the NSA encourages senior officials in its “customer” departments, such…

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