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Austrian Catholic Church seeks to replace ‘the cool wetness of a lake’ with Mass

Austria’s Catholic Church is trying a new strategy to attract the faithful: advertising its churches as places to cool off in a record heatwave. As Austrians sweltered in temperatures close to 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), Catholic news agency Kathpress surveyed the country’s houses of worship Tuesday to find the…

Swiss bank pays $50 million to settle SEC charges from 2007 financial meltdown

UBS agreed to pay nearly $50 million to settle charges over its disclosures related to a money-losing 2007 investment vehicle linked to sub-prime loans, a US agency announced Tuesday. The Swiss banking giant failed to disclose to investors $23.6 million it received in upfront payments raised as collateral in conjunction…

Atheist blogger Hemant Mehta: I don’t hate God, I just think believers are delusional

Atheists don’t hate God, atheist blogger Hemant Mehta explained Tuesday, they just don’t believe the supposedly divine being actually exists. “But I guess if you lived in a country where all of the representatives, all of the politicians were religious and everywhere you went everyone just assumed you are religious,…

NOAA warns Arctic ice is melting has reached new ‘striking’ record

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate study puts 2012 among the 10 warmest years on record The Arctic lost record amounts of sea ice last year and is changing at an unprecedented pace due to climate change, a landmark climate study said on Tuesday. Last year was among the 10 warmest years…

Cyberbullying on social networks has spawned a new form of self-harm

Charities warn of vulnerable youngsters encountering pernicious abuse online but unable to cease using sites Some vulnerable children on social networks plagued by cyber bullyingare using the sites as a form of self-harm, charities warned on Tuesday, after a 14-year-old girl killed herself after being abused by online bullies. Calls for the website ask.fm to…

Researchers find mental disorders — not combat — tied to military suicide risk

By Genevra Pittman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Mental disorders including depression and alcohol abuse were linked to a higher risk of suicide among current and former military personnel, in a new study – but combat exposure and number of deployments were not. Researchers said the analysis of 83 suicides…

Appeals court reverses course and says poker is gambling, not game of skill

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) – Poker may be a game of skill, but that does not protect a man who hosted games of “Texas Hold ‘Em” from being prosecuted under an anti-gambling law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of…

Ex-madam running for comptroller against Spitzer in NYC arrested for selling drugs

By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former Manhattan madam who is running for New York City comptroller was arrested and charged with selling prescription pills for cash, FBI officials said on Tuesday. In the latest twist to a scandal-hit city campaign season, officials announced the arrest of 38-year-old…

Justice Department sues Bank of America over mortgage-backed securities fraud

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday said it had filed a civil lawsuit against Bank of America for what government lawyers said was a fraud on investors involving $850 million of residential mortgage-backed securities. The government filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Charlotte, North Carolina,…

Taiwan’s Kaohsiung wants to upstage Hong Kong bigger duck for its harbor

Taiwan’s second largest city has announced plans to display a larger version of the giant inflatable yellow duck that captivated Hong Kong — upstaging similar plans by another city on the island. In a surprise announcement, the southern city of Kaohsiung said an 18-metre-tall (59-foot) version of the duck created…

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