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‘Technical glitch’ brings down Iranian censorship firewall

A technical glitch allowed some Iranians temporary access to banned social networking websites Facebook and Twitter, an Iranian Internet official said on Tuesday. Surprised Internet users in Iran Monday night were able to log onto their accounts without using illegal software that enables them to circumvent a widespread state-run filtering…

Brachiaria ‘super grass’ could vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, say scientists

Brachiaria grasses inhibit the release of nitrous oxide, which has a more powerful warming effect than carbon dioxide or methane Scientists will call for a major push this week to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture through the use of a modified tropical grass. Brachiaria grasses have…

Colbert: ‘Throw the disabled in the river, see if they float’

During “The Word” segment on last night’s Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert discussed the case of an Oregon man who’s posting threatening fliers on the homes of people he believes to be disabled. The man, who goes by “Artemis of the wildland,” believes that people on disability are “a threat to…

Cher rejects Russian oligarch’s invite: I won’t play Winter Olympics due to country’s anti-LGBT laws

Singer claims to have rejected invitation from oligarch friend to perform at ceremonies over concerns about recent legislation Cher claims to have rejected an invitation to perform at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Although she was asked to participate in February’s official opening ceremonies, the singer said she “immediately” refused out…

JPMorgan Chase pays $700 million in ‘London whale’ settlement

JPMorgan Chase will pay at least $700 million in fines as part of a settlement linked to its handling of its “London whale” trading loss, The Wall Street Journal reported. The Wall Street banking giant is expected to admit guilt as part of the settlement, the Journal said. JPMorgan’s trading…

Taliban shooting survivor’s activism honored by Amnesty International

Rights group Amnesty International announced on Tuesday it had awarded its highest honour to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen shot in the head last year by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education. Malala will share the 2013 Ambassador of Conscience Award with American singer and human rights activist Harry…

Slain designer Gianni Versace’s former mansion set for auction

The palatial Miami mansion where iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace was murdered goes under the hammer on Tuesday with auctioneers hoping to clinch a sale for as much as $40 million. Bidding for the Mediterranean-styled estate on Miami Beach’s prestigious Ocean Drive, just steps from the sea, is to start…

150 Syrians among refugees asking Italy for asylum

Two boats carrying around 270 mainly Syrian asylum seekers landed on Italian shores on Monday, the latest of thousands of refugees fleeing the war-torn country to arrive in Italy, officials said. The first boat carrying 150 people — all of them believed to be Syrian — arrived on the tiny…

Researchers create battery that recycles sewage into energy

U.S. scientists may have found a new way to produce clean energy by way of dirty water, according to a new study out Monday. The engineers have developed a more efficient method to use microbes to harness electricity from wastewater. They hope their technique could be used in wastewater treatment…

Mythical sea creature joins campaign to ban bottom trawling

Environmentalists on Monday unveiled unprecedented footage of a legendary sea creature, the giant oarfish, as they stepped up a campaign against bottom trawling. The origin of the myth of the sea serpent — a snake deemed capable of capsizing vessels and swallowing crew — the giant oarfish reaches a length…

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