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Japan now nuclear-free as last reactor is shut off

Japan is to start the process of switching off its last working nuclear reactor Sunday for a scheduled inspection with no restart in sight due to public hostility towards atomic power. The move will leave the world’s third largest economy without atomic energy for the second time since the Fukushima…

War on Science continues: plan to create science laureate falters in Congress

What began as a seemingly nonpartisan proposal to name an honorary unpaid Science Laureate of the United States in the same vein as the US Poet Laureate has fallen on the rocks of partisan rancor in Washington. The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI)…

Hurricane Ingrid slides toward Mexico

Tropical Storm Ingrid has become Hurricane Ingrid, and is heading for Mexico, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The category 1 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour and is likely to grow stronger over the next two days before making landfall Monday, the…

Destroying chemical weapons is hard enough, but Syria is a new challenge for inspectors

If US and Russia strike a deal in Geneva, inspectors may soon be embarking on a task that has never been tried. The job of an international chemical weapons inspector is one of the most dangerous in the world. Inspectors have to seek out some of the most poisonous substances…

Teen arrested for using app to “shoot” his classmates with a cellphone

Police arrested a 15-year-old high-schooler Thursday in Louisiana for “terrorizing” his classmates with a phone app that edits video to make them appear as though they are being gunned down Terrebonne Parish sheriff’s Capt. Dawn Foret told the Lafourche Daily Comet that the H.L. Bourgeois High School student, used a…

Sarah Palin sued for copyright infringement by New Jersey publisher

The North Jersey Media Group filed suit against Sarah Palin and her political action committee Friday, alleging copyright infringement over the use of an iconic photograph of a flag at Ground Zero taken by one of their newspaper photographers. The suit filed in Manhattan federal court by the publisher of…

Secret terrorism court orders declassification of its own rulings

The Edward Snowden leaks may have helped the ACLU win a victory in America’s most secretive courtroom Friday. Court cases before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — the court that reviews requests by the NSA to wiretap suspected terrorists’ communications — are generally classified. But Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV…

Error delays Friday the 13th paycheck for 40,000 federal workers

Friday the 13th, indeed. About 40,000 federal employees working for the Interior Department didn’t get paid Friday as they had been expecting, due to a processing error. The error affects 40,000 of the 240,000 federal employees in 23 of the 42 agencies served by the Interior Department’s Interior Business Center,…

Massachusetts man planned to eat children, prosecutors say

Geoffrey Portway’s attorney says the man’s “fantasy world” posed no actual threat of harm to a child. But the 40-year-old Worcester man pleaded guilty in May to child pornography charges along with solicitation to commit a crime of violence, according to court documents, and the locked, soundproof basement with a…

Iran says U.S. no longer has pretext to attack Syria

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Saturday the United States no longer has a pretext to attack Syria, following a deal struck to eliminate that country’s chemical weapons. “The new situation means in fact that any pretext for the United States and certain countries to engage in military action against Syria…

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