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Military response to chemical weapons attack from West on table despite decision to allow inspectors in

by Martin Chulov in Beirut Syria appears to have bowed to international pressure to allow UN investigators to travel to the scene of last week’s chemical weapons attack in Damascus, allowing a forensic science team to visit the site today. The green light for the UN inspection came almost five…

Government plans to euthanize hundreds of desert tortoises after budget cuts to refuge

A combination of federal budget austerity and the dramatic decline of the Nevada housing market may claim some unlikely victims: desert tortoises. The Desert Tortoise Conservation Center — a 23-year-old federal refuge in Las Vegas for the threatened species — has collected only $290,000 from its primary funding source of…

MLK on NBC in ’63: ‘The shape of the world today does not permit us the luxury of anemic democracy’

Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and NAACP executive secretary Roy Wilkins sat with a panel of reporters on Meet the Press. NBC broadcast the show three days before King delivered the historic “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington. In retrospect, the questions…

Zurich debates merits of drive-in ‘sex boxes’ as way to regulate prostitution

Some places try to drive away prostitution. Others build a driveway for it. Swiss citizens are divided over the country’s first attempt at a “sex drive in” in Zurich as a means of regulating and controlling prostitution near the city’s tourist and commercial district outside the city center. Prostitution is…

Prison reform advocates: ‘The war on drugs is the 800-pound gorilla that must be killed’

Sentencing reform in the criminal justice system emerged as a major theme from the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington this week, an issue highlighted by Attorney General Eric Holder’s proposals to review and alter the sentencing process for drug convictions. Panelists discussed the proposals and the conditions leading…

Scientists reveal excess atmospheric carbon dioxide causes rapid ocean acidification, threatens species

Experts claim current rate of change is likely to be more than 10 times faster than it has ever been in Earth’s history Rapidly rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are causing a potential catastrophe in our oceans as they become more acidic, scientists have warned. Hans Poertner, professor…

LA porn sets grind to a halt after actress Cameron Bay tests positive for HIV

Female actor, who uses the screen name Cameron Bay, discloses positive test saying ‘I hope no one else was affected’ The adult film industry in the US has called for a moratorium on production after an actor tested positive for HIV. The 29-year-old, who uses the screen name Cameron Bay,…

Fresh religious unrest breaks out in Myanmar

About 1,000 anti-Muslim rioters burned shops and homes in a fresh outbreak of communal unrest in Myanmar, officials said Sunday, as the former army-ruled nation grapples with spreading religious violence. Police fired warning shots on three occasions as a mob tried to set property ablaze and attacked fire engines that…

NSA broke encryption on UN communications: report

The US National Security Agency broke the encryption securing the United Nations’ internal video conferencing at its New York headquarters, German news weekly Der Spiegel reported Sunday, citing secret NSA documents. The move provided the agency with “a dramatic improvement of data from video teleconferences and the ability to decrypt…

India police arrest five men over gang-rape of photographer

Mumbai police Sunday arrested the fifth and final member of a gang suspected of raping a photographer, a crime that reignited anger about women’s safety in India following a similar attack last year. The latest arrest came as the victim’s family urged the nation, including the media, to continue to…

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