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UPDATE: L.A. police close inquiry into Scientology leader’s wife

By Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles Police Department on Thursday closed their inquiry into the whereabouts of the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, a police spokesman said. The location of Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, had come under police investigation after actress Leah Remini, who recently left…

Three-day losing streak over: Stocks rise on better economic data

US stocks Thursday snapped a three-day losing streak, catalyzed by stronger Chinese trade data and better sentiment on the European economy. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27.65 (0.18 percent) at 15,498.32. The broad-based S&P 500 tacked on 6.57 (0.39 percent) to 1,697.48, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 15.12…

Fears of NSA surveillance hurting the U.S. cloud computing industry

American technology businesses fear they could lose between $21.5bn and $35bn in cloud computing contracts worldwide over the next three years, as part of the fallout from the NSA revelations. Some US companies said they have already lost business, while UK rivals said that UK and European businesses are increasingly…

American Legislative Exchange Council plows forward with pro-gun agenda

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a secretive alliance of big businesses and largely Republican state legislators who co-operate to push a right-wing political agenda in the American hinterland, is continuing to wield outsized influence over gun laws across the US despite its promise in the wake of the Trayvon Martin…

White House rejects calls to boycott Winter Olympics over LGBT persecution

The White House shot down calls for a US boycott of the Sochi winter Olympics on Thursday as it tried to draw a line under recent disputes with Russia ahead of ministerial talks scheduled in Washington. Amid concerns that this week’s decision to cancel a planned presidential summit had set…

Former special education teacher guns down four people in Texas

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) – A former Texas special education teacher, described by a colleague as a “gentle giant,” was suspected of fatally shooting four people and wounding four others in an apparent domestic incident late on Wednesday, police said. The shooting spree began in a home in Dallas…

Muslims celebrate Eid amid threat of violence

Muslims marked the Eid al-Fitr festival Thursday with feasts and prayers, even as bombings killed dozens of people in Asia and the threat of fresh violence loomed in the Middle East. A suicide bomber killed 38 people and wounded 50 others, most of them policemen attending the funeral of a…

Targeted booze strikes: Aerial drone drops beer at South Africa music festival

Revellers at a South African outdoor rock festival no longer need to queue to slake their thirst — a flying robot will drop them beer by parachute. After clients place an order using a smartphone app, a drone zooms 15 metres (50 feet) above the heads of the festival-goers to…

Richard Dawkins criticized for saying Muslims have few Nobel prizes but ‘did great things in the Middle Ages’

Controversial scientist accused of ‘dressing his bigotry up as atheism’ following comments on social networking site The outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins was involved in an online Twitter row on Thursday after tweeting: “All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages,…

Two critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs born at Washington zoo

(Reuters) – Two Sumatran tiger cubs have been born at the national zoo in Washington, D.C., and by Thursday they were crawling over their mother “as if her body is a jungle gym,” the zoo said on its website on Thursday. The cubs’ birth on Monday night was heralded as…

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