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Is Facebook’s smartphone just a new way to collect data about you?

Facebook’s move to launch a branded smartphone is raising concerns for privacy advocates. (Jeff Chiu/AP/File) Using Facebook on your phone? Soon, the company will…  …

New face-sized tarantula discovered in trees in Sri Lanka

Wired reports on what may be a new species of tarantula in Northern Sri Lanka, and it’s unlikely to be appearing on the island nation’s tourism materials any time soon. Writer Nadia Drake describes the tree-dwelling Poecilotheria rajaei  as “about the size of your face” – the human face apparently…  …

Poll: Support for legal marijuana may have reached ‘tipping point’ at 52 percent

Support for legal marijuana may have reached tipping point, poll finds (via The Christian Science Monitor) Copyright ImageClick to View A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle last year. Fifty-two percent of Americans support legalizing the use of marijuana, the first time polls have…

Germany smacks down Apple’s patent on ‘slide to unlock’ feature

Germany’s patent court invalidated Friday a patent held by Apple — and contested by rivals Motorola and Samsung — on its “slide to unlock” function for smartphones, but the ruling can still be appealed. The federal patent court ruled that the the horizontal swiping gesture was not a technical innovation…

Pope wants to act ‘with determination’ on Catholic Church sex abuse scandal

Pope Francis on Friday urged Vatican disciplinarians to act “with determination” against sexual abuse committed by members of the Catholic clergy, the Holy See said in a statement, the pope’s first public pronouncement on the issue. “The Holy Father in particular asked that the congregation … act with determination in…

Famous Australian brothel’s sex toys go up for auction

Shackles, whips, chains and even a stretching rack will go on sale next week, with the reputable auction house Lawsons charged with selling off the contents of a closed Australian brothel. About 250 items of furniture, clothing and books and accessories from Salon Kitty go on sale on April 12,…

Mandela is ‘fine,’ getting better, wife says

Nelson Mandela’s wife has said the 94-year-old icon is “fine” and his health is improving after he was hospitalised more than a week ago for pneumonia, a report said Friday. “Madiba is fine, Madiba is getting better and better,” said Graca Machel late Thursday, referring to 94-year-old Mandela’s clan name,…

U.S. agents catch African drug kingpin on high seas

US agents have captured the former head of Guinea-Bissau’s navy, an alleged kingpin in the west African nation’s drugs trade with Latin America, in a sting operation on the high seas, intelligence sources and media said. Jose Americo Bubo Na Tchuto was transferred to the United States after being snatched…

Amnesty calls for action after New Guinea ‘witch’ burnings

Amnesty International renewed calls for an end to sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea on Friday following a report that six women were tortured with hot irons in an Easter “sacrifice.” Amnesty said Papua New Guinea police were investigating the incident, but police in Port Moresby were unable to confirm…

27 dead in India building collapse

At least 27 people were crushed to death on the outskirts of Mumbai after a building collapsed while under construction, with many victims believed to be labourers living at the site, police said. A section of the seven-storey building collapsed on Thursday evening before the entire structure came down, a…

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