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Japan shuts down nuclear reactor in preparation for inspection

One of Japan’s two remaining working nuclear reactors was taken offline Tuesday, with the other to be shut down later this month and no restarts in sight amid public hostility to nuclear power. Kansai Electric Power started reducing generating power at its Unit No. 3 at the Oi plant, Fukui…

Mexican president defends ‘grand transformation’ amid teacher strikes and protests

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto defended his sweeping reform agenda on Monday, urging his countrymen to back the changes after protests against his planned energy and education overhauls. Pena Nieto used his first state of the union address to tout the “grand transformation” of Mexico that his administration has pushed…

Climate change will likely spare NYC from another Superstorm Sandy

Scientists predict stronger storms but say changing air patterns will prevent them from hitting U.S. east coast A recurrence of Superstorm Sandy – which barrelled head-on into the Atlantic coast, swamping New York City and large parts of New Jersey – is less likely under climate change, new research suggests.…

‘Sons of Anarchy’ star chosen to lead ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ movie adaptation

The film version of erotic best-seller “Fifty Shades of Grey” will star British actor Charlie Hunnam as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, the book’s author E L James said on Monday. The casting of the movie, to be directed by British filmmaker and artist Sam Taylor-Johnson of…

Syria sought WMD material in Switzerland

Syria made multiple attempts to buy equipment in Switzerland that could have been used to make weapons of mass destruction, but officials blocked the sales, Swiss authorities said Monday. A total of 14 attempted purchases by Syria were turned down since 1998 by Switzerland’s export-control watchdog, the State Secretariat for…

Pope Francis to investigate Polish ban on kosher animal slaughter

Pope Francis has ordered an investigation into a Polish ban on the ritual kosher slaughter of animals, the president of the World Jewish Congress said Monday. Ritual slaughter, including traditional Jewish kosher and Muslim halal practices, has been banned in Poland since January 1 after the country’s Constitutional Court deemed…

Scottish military rugby players charged with assault after brawl with NYPD

Fijian soldiers with Royal Regiment of Scotland allegedly punched off-duty police officer after racist abuse Six soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Scotland who had travelled to the United States on a rugby tour that included a friendly match against a New York police team have been charged with assault…

Syrian President Assad warns that Western military strikes against his country risk a ‘regional war’

Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad warned Monday that Western military strikes would risk igniting a “regional war” in the “powder keg” of the Middle East, in an interview with French newspaper Le Figaro. He also said France would face “repercussions” if it took part in US-led plans for military action in…

Justice Department paid AT&T for access to 4 billion call records a day for federal, local drug investigations

Hemisphere project, revealed by NYT, has AT&T employees sit alongside drug units to aid access to data in exchange for payment US law enforcement officers working on anti-drugs operations have had access to a vast database of call records dating back to 1987, supplied by the phone company AT&T, the…

92-year-old Dutch SS officer refuses to speak at trial for 1944 murder of Dutch resistance fighter

A 92-year-old former SS officer went on trial Monday in Germany for the murder of a Dutch resistance fighter nearly 70 years ago. Dutch-born Siert Bruins, who is a German national, was deemed fit enough for the trial in the western town of Hagen to sit for up to three…

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