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NRA tactics lead gun owners to think universal background checks are already law

A recent poll reveals that most Americans who say no new gun laws are needed have very little clue as to what the nation’s gun laws actually are, much to the dismay of liberals pushing for sweeping reforms in the wake of the Newtown massacre. The survey, summarized in Sunday’s…

Federal officials won’t rule out Fukushima nuclear disaster for beached sea lions in California

Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stopped short of dismissing the theory that fallout from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan is to blame for a recent rash of beached sea lions around Southern California. “Radiation is being looked at, just like everything else. We haven’t ruled…

Climate change pits pandas against pinot

Which is more important, pandas or pinot? Researchers say that is a question conservationists and wine-growers will have to answer in the coming years as climate change sparks a hunt for cooler places to grow wine grapes, even if those places are home to sensitive animal populations. Already, big players…

Liberal Britons rejoice in Thatcher’s death, freak out Cher fans with #nowthatchersdead

Flags were lowered to half-mast at Britain’s parliament to mark the death of Margaret Thatcher on Monday, and flowers piled up at her London home — but at the other end of the political spectrum, left-wingers joyfully planned parties to celebrate her departure. On the streets of London’s financial district…

Pakistan’s former dictator Pervez Musharraf refuses personal appearance in court on treason charges

Pakistan’s former dictator Pervez Musharraf will not appear personally in the Supreme Court on Tuesday to answer a summons over alleged treason dating back to his time in office, officials said. He was summoned Monday by the Supreme Court, the first time Pakistan’s top court has summoned a former military…

Tests underway on drug that could ‘cure’ meth addiction

Scientists are testing a relatively common anti-inflammatory drug called Ibudilast for its potential to block the cravings of methamphetamine addicts, and the first round of results shows promise. The Huffington Post noted recently that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) fast-tracked more human trials after researchers at the University of…

WikiLeaks launches searchable U.S. historical archive

WikiLeaks on Monday launched a searchable archive containing 1.7 million US State Department documents from 1973-76 that had been officially declassified but were not easily accessible to the public. The “Public Library of US Diplomacy” brings together the archived memos — referred to as the “Kissinger Cables” after then secretary…

Female candidates suffer at the polls when media reports compliment their looks

News coverage that focuses on the appearance of a woman running for office will affect her campaign negatively, regardless of context, according to a pair of studies released on Monday. The surveys, commissioned by the Women’s Media Center and the political gender-equality group She Should Run, found that respondents thought…

Spanish actress and Hollywood icon Sara Montiel dies

Sara Montiel, the first Spanish actress to make it in Hollywood and best known for her roles in international blockbusters such as “Vera Cruz”, died at home in Madrid on Monday aged 85, her family said. One of Spain’s most loved actresses, Montiel made her on-screen debut in her mid-teens…

Anger at Margaret Thatcher’s policies triggered ‘ideological backlash’ and cultural revolution in Britain

As well as overhauling Britain’s economy, Margaret Thatcher triggered a cultural revolution in Britain by igniting a creative burst of anger at her policies, including slashing arts funding. The former premier “had a phenomenal impact on the cultural landscape of Britain by creating an ideological backlash,” said David Khabaz of…

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