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UN seeks Syria peace talks amid military strike threat

The United Nations is making a desperate new push for a Syria peace conference even as the United States prepares a possible military strike, according to diplomats. Talks on a conference are to be relaunched at the Group of 20 summit in Russia this week with the 30-month-old conflict at…

New York fashion week frenzy kicks off

The fashion world takes over New York, as industry heavyweights and several newcomers unveil their lines for next spring, and one designer stages the first show for plus-sized women. As the days begin to shorten in the Big Apple, the city can bask a little longer in the warmth as…

Mexico City mulls legal marijuana ‘clubs’

The Mexico City council is considering the legalization of cannabis plants and the creation of private marijuana smoking “clubs” as it mulls controversial legislation to liberalize consumption, lawmakers said. The capital hosted a three-day forum on drug policy amid a growing debate in Latin America over the course of the…

Drug use doubles among U.S. baby boomers and seniors

The use of illegal drugs among Americans in general is holding steady, but it’s surging among middle-aged baby boomers, according to report released Wednesday. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that 9.2 percent of Americans aged 12 and over, or 23.9 million, were current consumers of illicit…

International Monetary Fund warns G20 not to stifle emerging economies

The International Monetary Fund warned the Group of 20 Wednesday that emerging economies were slowing more than expected and under pressure from U.S. plans to slow its stimulus. In a report prepared for the two-day summit of the G20 major economies that opens Thursday in St. Petersburg, Russia, the IMF…

New clinical scan helping doctors gauge patients’ risk of lung cancer

A new software tool may help doctors eliminate mistakes when judging whether a spot that turns up on a smoker’s lung scan is cancerous or not, researchers said Wednesday. The clinical risk assessment method described in the New England Journal of Medicine helped correctly decide nine times out of 10…

Lego unveils first female scientist action figure

Lego’s new female scientist is a first for toy company (via The Christian Science Monitor) About six decades after Lego began making toys, the company has begun selling a female scientist minifigure.(Lego) Some 64 years after the Lego first began manufacturing toys, the company unveiled this week a first: a…

New documentary puts Donald Rumsfeld on the hotseat about Iraq

As the U.S. mulls intervening in the Middle East again, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld wriggles out of straight answers on the Iraq war in Errol Morris’s new documentary, screening in Venice Wednesday. “The Unknown Known” takes its title from a 2002 speech Rumsfeld gave to justify the invasion. Asked…

Researchers warn: Massive Alaska quake could cause tsunami for California

A tsunami generated by a massive earthquake off Alaska could cause major damage to California’s economy and force 750,000 people to evacuate, a report published Wednesday warned. One third of all boats in California’s marinas could be damaged or sunk, costing some $700 million in losses, while major ports would…

Ecuador seeks to extend libel penalties to cover social media

The Ecuadoran government has proposed legal changes to punish libel disseminated over social networks like Twitter or Facebook, a top official said Wednesday. Alexis Mera, President Rafael Correa’s secretary for legal affairs, said the move aimed not to control content on social networks, but to extend to them the same…

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