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South African arrested in Paris for rocking out with his coq out

An eccentric South African artist has been charged with sexual exhibitionism after a street performance in central Paris in which he tied a rooster to his penis. Steve Cohen was arrested on Tuesday on a busy public square a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower. Sporting platform shoes, dressed up…

New genetic test could identify aggressive prostate cancers

A new test — looking at three genes — could predict which prostate cancers will turn aggressive, helping avoid invasive treatments for those that will grow more slowly, a study out Wednesday said. Used alongside existing tests, the analysis will help doctors determine whether treatment is needed or if “active…

Is Assad just buying time with his pledge to turn over chemical weapons?

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad may have averted a US strike by agreeing to hand over his chemical arsenal but the move could backfire against his weakened regime, analysts say. Damascus quickly embraced a Russian plan for it to hand over its chemical arsenal. The initiative defused talk of a strike,…

Pope Francis to atheists, agnostics: ‘God forgives those who obey their conscience’

Pope Francis responded at great length to questions from Eugenio Scalfari, the former editor of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, in a letter published Wednesday. In it, he said that non-believers must “obey their conscience,” because “God forgives those who obey their conscience.” The carefully-worded letter, which stretched over four…

Secret deal allows NSA to share Americans’ data with Israel

The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and…

Russia hands Syria chemical arms plan over to the U.S.

Russian officials have given the United States a plan to put Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal under international control, ahead of a key meeting between Moscow and Washington’s top diplomats in Geneva, reports said Wednesday. “We handed over to the Americans a plan to place chemical weapons in Syria under international…

Olbermann: Sports ushered in a return to normalcy after 9/11

On his eponymous show last night, Keith Olbermann reflected on the value of sports on 9/11. He began by mocking the case of The Tumbledown Trails golf course, which offered a special 9/11 promotion: “18 holes with cart for $9.11! 9/11/13 Only!” He then advocated for the effectiveness of sports…

American blogger calls 911 to report person texting during movie

An American blogger annoyed by texting and emailing on smartphones during a movie at the Toronto film festival called police this week. Alex Billington reportedly first complained to theater managers at the Monday midnight screening of Ti West’s “The Sacrament.” But when no action was taken, he called the police…

Sen. Grassley: Marijuana prohibition based on ‘what science tells us’

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws,” Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) claimed that marijuana prohibition was based on “what science tells us about this dangerous and addictive drug.” He followed that by noting that there’s “a process that exists for moving drugs on…

One third of food — worth $750 billion — wasted every year

One third of the food produced worldwide is wasted, costing the global economy around $750 billion (570 billion euros) a year, a new report by the UN food agency said Wednesday. The Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said some 1.3 billion tonnes of food are wasted every year, with…

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