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France backs action on Syria as U.S. seeks coalition, says strike possible by Wednesday

French President Francois Hollande gave a boost Friday to US hopes of forging an international coalition for possible strikes against Syria after British lawmakers rejected any involvement in military action. The White House had signalled Thursday that President Barack Obama, guided by the “best interests” of the United States, was…

Irish Nobel literature laureate Seamus Heaney dead at 74

Seamus Heaney, who has died aged 74, was widely regarded as the greatest Irish poet since William Butler Yeats, who like Heaney was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature. Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Heaney was renowned for his mastery of Irish and Gaelic sources, as well…

Massive solar drone could remain in flight for five years

Huge Solar Plane Could Fly For Five Years (via Clean Technica) A solar-powered high-altitude drone made by Titan Aerospace is intended to be able to remain in flight for about five years. When manufactured, it would have 3,000 solar panels producing about 7 kW of electricity and would be above…

James Clapper says Feds will start releasing ‘some’ FISA and NSA metadata

We were just mocking the government’s position that it cannot reveal the “metadata” on the numbers of FISA orders (and the number of people impacted) when those same people insist that we shouldn’t worry about many NSA surveillance programs since they…  …

Top 10 U.S. cities for successful aging

Great hospitals! Good public transportation! Booming economy! The best small city for seniors looking to age well is … Sioux Falls, South Dakota?;  …

AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka: The Labor Movement is in ‘crisis’

As Labor Day approaches, here are some things on the mind of Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO: The union movement is in a period of crisis, it prefers Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, and its 2014 political efforts will target Texas, where unions have…

Eating whole fruit lowers risk of type 2 diabetes, but drinking fruit juice boosts risk: study

Eating more whole fresh fruit, especially blueberries, grapes, apples and pears, is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but drinking more fruit juice has the opposite effect, says a study. British, US and Singaporean researchers pored over data from three big health investigations that took place in…

192,000 acre Yosemite wildfire spreads further into national park before 3-day holiday weekend

The wildfire threatening Yosemite National Park is spreading further into the US tourist landmark, officials said as they battled to stop it clouding a holiday weekend. Efforts to contain the so-called Rim Fire, which has grown to become California’s sixth biggest wildfire ever, were also being boosted by the deployment…

Marshall Islands sounds warning on climate change

The Marshall Islands has warned that the clock is ticking on climate change and the world needs to act urgently to stop low-lying Pacific nations disappearing beneath the waves. Marshalls Foreign Minister Phillip H. Muller issued a plea for action as he prepares for next week’s Pacific Islands Forum (PIF),…

Prepare for yet another budget showdown in Congress

President Barack Obama is facing the prospect of a fiscal fight with Congress, with both sides having three weeks to break funding impasses or risk government default. Two crucial votes are on the horizon for the divided and gridlocked Congress, including approval of a federal budget for fiscal year 2014,…

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