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Manhunt widens for man suspected in California murder-abduction case

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – Police and federal agents in Southern California widened their manhunt on Wednesday for a computer technician who is suspected in the slaying of a longtime friend, the disappearance of her two children and the arson fire of his own home. The fugitive, James…

Russian journalists face charges over ‘negative’ Winter Olympics stories

Journalists and bloggers are among several groups that have been harassed and threatened by authorities in the Russian city of Sochi in the build-up to next year’s Winter Olympics, reports Human Rights Watch (HRW). Two journalists and a newspaper director are said to be facing criminal charges after reporting stories…

Jurassic-era furry beast called Megaconus provides clues to the evolution of mammals

The discovery of a small furry beast from the Jurassic era has given scientists fresh insights into the evolution of the first mammals on Earth. The fossilised remains of the squirrel-sized animal that plodded rather than scampered, came from rock dated to 165m years ago, when feathered dinosaurs shared the…

Walmart agrees to pay $190,000 fine after inspectors find ‘repeat and serious’ health and safety violations

Walmart has agreed to improve safety conditions at more than 2,800 stores in 28 US states after inspectors discovered “repeat and serious” health and safety violations at a store in Rochester, New York. The agreement, which included a $190,000 fine, was negotiated by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health…

This is your brain on Burning Man

No need for psychedelic substances: The cultural milieu at the week-long annual art festival known as Burning Man is enough to alter your mind. Research published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Emotion Science in July found that an individual’s social and cultural environment influenced how they controlled their emotional…

NYPD agrees to purge database of people stopped by police

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York City Police Department has agreed to purge a database of names and addresses of people stopped by police under the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk program but later cleared of criminal wrongdoing. The department will cease collecting the information as part of…

Snowden’s father says Putin will continue to stand firm

By Tabassum Zakaria and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The father of Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor, predicted on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin will stand up to pressure from Washington as the two nations spar over Moscow’s decision to grant his son asylum. Lon…

JPMorgan faces both criminal and civil investigations over mortgages

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said on Wednesday it is being investigated by civil and criminal divisions of the U.S. Department of Justice over offerings of mortgage-backed securities. The civil division gave the company a notice in May that it had preliminarily concluded…

Electric-car maker Tesla Motors shares surge after surprise profit

By Paul Lienert DETROIT (Reuters) – Electric-car maker Tesla Motors Inc surprised Wall Street on Wednesday, reporting a second-quarter profit of 20 cents a share versus an expected non-GAAP loss of 17 cents. Investors pushed the stock as high as $153 in after-hours trading, up 14 percent from its Wednesday…

Chinese herb remedy extract directly linked to cancer: study

A plant extract used in Chinese herbal remedies for arthritis, gout and inflammation has been directly linked to cancer and causes a surprising number of genetic mutations, scientists said Wednesday. The gene signature of aristolochic acid — derived from a vine known as birthwort — was found in tumors from…

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