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War-torn Syria hit with wild polio virus outbreak: United Nations

The UN health agency on Tuesday confirmed an outbreak of polio in war-torn Syria, which had been free of the crippling disease since 1999, and said it feared it would spread. Oliver Rosenbauer, spokesman for the World Health Organization’s anti-polio division, told reporters that laboratory tests had confirmed the presence…

Putin recalls ‘romantic years’ of Soviet youth

The Soviet Union may be long gone but President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB spy, has revealed that he retains fond memories of the Communist Party’s youth wing. Putin spoke on the eve of the 95th anniversary of the establishment of the Komsomol, the youth division of the Communist Party,…

Buenos Aires opens school for marginalized transgender youths

For years they have been excluded from mainstream education and often condemned to a life of prostitution, but Buenos Aires has now opened a school for young transvestites and transsexuals. Mocha Celis, which hosts 40 students on the fifth floor of an abandoned railway building in the Chacarita commercial neighborhood,…

Britain’s HS2 high-speed rail less profitable than expected: study

The predicted economic benefits of the controversial HS2 high-speed rail project are less than originally forecast, a new business case for the line published Tuesday says. For every pound spent on the proposed line from London to Birmingham and the north, the scheme’s wider economic benefit will be two pounds…

White supremacist behind right-wing plot to kill Nelson Mandela jailed for 35 years

The mastermind behind a right-wing extremist plot to kill former South African president Nelson Mandela and drive blacks out of the country was sentenced on Tuesday to 35 years in jail. The ringleader of a white supremacist militia called Boeremag, Mike du Toit, was given the highest sentence of 35…

Cretaceous-era bird tracks: Proof of 100-million-year-old flight?

Dinosaur-era bird tracks: Proof of 100-million-year-old flight? (via The Christian Science Monitor) Photograph (l.) and interpretive drawing (r.) of the four-toed footprint and the groove behind it. The diagram numbers each toe from I (hallux) to IV, outlines the overall form, and shows the main direction of movement as the…

NSA officials admit: ‘We’re screwed now’ after Senator Feinstein’s statement

NSA Officials Admit: ‘We’re Screwed Now’ After Feinstein’s Statement (via Techdirt) While we’re a bit cynical about the reasoning behind Senator Dianne Feinstein’s sudden “conversion” to realizing that perhaps the NSA is out of control with its spying, and needs greater oversight and control, apparently her statement sent chills through……

Detroit bankruptcy trial veers off course as Gov. Rick Snyder takes stand

Detroit bankruptcy trial veers off course as Gov. Rick Snyder takes stand (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) Protesters stand outside the Federal Court House in Detroit, where Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was scheduled to testify, Monday. (Rebecca Cook/Reuters) In more than three hours of often-contentious testimony Monday, Michigan Gov.…

NSA believes it can spy on everyone’s location based on existing approvals

Latest Declassified NSA Records Show NSA Believes It Can Spy On Everyone’s Location Based On Existing Approvals (via Techdirt) James Clapper has declassified another batch of documents on the NSA activities. We’ll probably write about a few of them, but let’s start with one that’s getting a lot of initial…

Pakistani family seeks answers from U.S. after drone strike that killed grandmother

Nabila Rehman was picking okra in her family garden last year when missiles from a drone rained down from the sky, killing her grandmother and injuring her and seven other children. The nine-year-old Pakistani girl now has a question for the U.S. government: “What did my grandmother do wrong?” Rehman’s…

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