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Iran’s new U.N. nuclear envoy gets harsh reception

Western envoys gave Iran’s new ambassador to the UN atomic agency a frosty welcome Wednesday, saying Tehran’s new government should waste no time proving to the world it does not want the bomb. Speaking at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors, US envoy Joseph Macmanus…

Missouri lawmakers pushing to nullify federal machine gun ban

Republican lawmakers in Missouri vow to overturn a gubernatorial veto and enact a law that will both nullify the federal ban on owning machine guns and make it illegal for federal authorities to try to enforce it. “This bill doesn’t put one new gun on the street,” state House Bill…

Israel’s Supreme Court upholds ban on Polish aid worker

Israel’s Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a decision to bar entry to the Jewish state to a Polish humanitarian worker for having unspecified links to “terrorist elements.” Although Kamil Qandil had a valid visa when he landed at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv on September 2, he was refused…

Red Cross chief: Syria needs humanitarian aid, not just military threats

Red Cross chief Peter Maurer on Wednesday urged the international community to do as much to improve the humanitarian situation in Syria as it is doing to fight the chemical weapons threat in the country. “As much as we appreciate the whole political power and energy going into the really…

Ex-supermodel opens help center for female genital mutilation victims

Somali-born activist and former supermodel Waris Dirie on Wednesday opens a centre in Germany to treat victims of female genital mutilation, which she was subjected to as a child. About 8,000 young girls are circumcised every day in Africa and the Middle East, and the Desert Flower Medical Center, located…

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…

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