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Obama celebrates role Memphis soul music played in advancing civil rights at White House concert

US President Barack Obama paid homage to Memphis soul and the role the music style played in advancing civil rights at a star-studded White House concert celebrating the genre. “In the sixties and seventies, Memphis knew its share of division and discord and injustice,” Obama recalled on Tuesday. It was…

Google gives $3 million to combat modern-day slavery

Sex workers are more likely to call in to a hotline for victims of human trafficking on a Wednesday, and a Google-backed initiative could help to explain why. The Internet search giant is giving a total of $3 million to three groups in Europe, Asia and the United States combating…

‘Dead’ Al-Qaeda leader Saeed al-Shehri delivers audio message directed at Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has posted online an audio message from its second-in-command, Saeed al-Shehri, whose death was announced by Yemen in January, a monitoring group reported Wednesday. The 14-minute audio produced by AQAP’s media arm Al-Malahem Foundation is accompanied by what the US-based SITE Monitoring Service said was…

Texas executes man for 1990 murder and rape conviction

A 50-year-old Texas burglar convicted of murdering a man and raping his wife during a 1990 break-in was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, state justice officials said. Rickey Lewis, 50, was executed at 6:32pm local time (2332 GMT), a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. Lewis…

Scheming baby chicks blackmail doting parents for food: study

Fledglings of a southern African bird species threaten suicide to blackmail their parents into bringing them more food, scientists said Wednesday. When hungry, pied babbler fledglings flutter from the nest to the ground, where predators roam, and start screeching to highlight their plight, said a study published in the British…

Cosmetics giant Leonard Lauder donates $1 billion Cubist art collection to NY’s Metropolitan Museum of Art

Cosmetics billionaire Leonard Lauder has given New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art an astonishing, no-strings-attached collection of Cubist art that he assembled over four decades, according to the museum. The enormous gift, estimated to be worth $1 billion, includes 78 works by Picasso, Braque, Gris, and Leger, and “will transform…

Russian Orthodox Patriarch denounces ‘dangerous feminism’

The Russian Orthodox Patriarch has cautioned against the dangers of feminism, denouncing “propaganda” that encourages women to take roles beyond housekeeping and rearing children. “I consider the phenomenon called feminism very dangerous,” said the powerful Patriarch Kirill in a speech delivered Tuesday and posted Wednesday on the official Russian Orthodox…

Ex-North Korea spy says Kim Jong-Un struggling to control military

A former North Korean spy who bombed a South Korean airliner said Wednesday that the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un is struggling to control his military and using war talk to shore up support. Kim Hyun-Hee, who said she was ordered by Jong-Un’s father Kim Jong-Il to bomb the airliner in…

For the price of the Iraq War, U.S. could power half of the country with renewable energy

Discussions of how to respond to climate change often involve Very Large Numbers — the needed investments to transition to a fully renewable energy system are in the hundreds of billions. The brain sort of shuts down when it encounters…  …

Top admiral worries North Korea crisis could escalate ‘pretty quickly’

US Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear waits to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the US Pacific Command and US Forces Korea in review of the Defense authorization request for fiscal year 2014 in Washington Tuesday. (Gary Cameron/Reuters) North Korea is…  …

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