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Hong Kong seizes elephant tusks worth $1 million

Elephant tusks worth more than $1 million were seized by Hong Kong customs after being discovered hidden under bags of soya in shipments from West Africa, officials said Thursday. In what officials called an “intelligence-based” operation last month, the southern Chinese city’s border control found 189 tusks in three containers.…

Teacher status around the world: How the U.S. stacks up

Teacher status around the world: how the US stacks up (via The Christian Science Monitor) Fourth-grade teacher Alicia Schoenborn works with a student at Mahnomen Elementary School in Mahnomen, Minn., on Sept. 26. In China, about a third of those in a recent survey ranking the status of teachers said…

Unemployment claims edge higher

US claims for unemployment insurance rose slightly last week but continued to point to a slowly improving job market, government data released Thursday showed. Initial jobless claims increased to 308,000 for the week ending September 28 from the prior week’s revised figure of 307,000, the Labor Department reported. The slight…

Russian imam says Elton John fans face ‘divine retribution’

A leading Russian Muslim cleric warned Thursday that fans who attend upcoming concerts by openly gay singer Elton John face divine punishment, after the star spoke out in support of Russian gays. “The only thing we can do as believers is to call the people not to give into the…

Canadian teen’s battery-free ‘hollow flashlight’ could bring light to developing world

Teen’s ‘hollow flashlight’ could bring light to Third World (via The Christian Science Monitor) It’s been a busy past few weeks for 15-year-old science whiz Ann Makosinski.   The Victoria, British Columbia teen is garnering plenty of international attention for her hollow flashlight, which operates solely on the warmth of the…

Watch: Rita Moreno reflects on life as an entertainer and Hollywood stereotypes

The remarkable career of an entertainment legend. Actress Rita Moreno has put her life story into a new book. Ray Suarez caught up with her yesterday.;  …

Japan to pay $3.1 billion to relocate Okinawa Marines to Guam

The United States and Japan said Thursday Tokyo would pay a third of the cost of Washington pulling thousands of Marines out of Japan as it reduces its heavy military presence on Okinawa. US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and…

Fracking wastewater contaminated Pennsylvania streambeds, study finds

A natural gas well is drilled near Canton, in Bradford County, Pennsylvania, in Jan., 2012. Bradford County is currently ground zero for fracking the Marcellus shale in the Northeastern United States. (Les Stone/Reuters) Despite being treated, wastewater……

Ocean acidification due to carbon emissions is at highest for 300 million years

Overfishing and pollution are part of the problem, scientists say, warning that mass extinction of species may be inevitable The oceans are more acidic now than they have been for at least 300m years, due to carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels, and a mass extinction of key species…

42 dead after swarms of ‘killer hornets’ invade Chinese cities

Swarms of hornets have killed 42 people in northwestern China in recent months, state media said Thursday, as temperatures rise and development drives the stinging insects into cities. The terrifying attacks started in July, the official Xinhua news agency said Thursday, with 1,640 people having been stung. Of those, 206…

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