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Fearful Indian schoolchildren refuse free meals

Thousands of schoolchildren were refusing free meals in poverty-stricken eastern India after 22 children died from eating lunch apparently contaminated with insecticide, officials said Thursday. Authorities were trying to reassure frightened students and parents in the state of Bihar as police stepped up their investigation into the tragedy, focusing on…

‘Improving’ Mandela marks 95th birthday in hospital

Nelson Mandela spent his 95th birthday in hospital Thursday but his health was “steadily improving”, the South African presidency said, as people around the world honoured his legacy with charitable acts. With a wave of good deeds planned to mark Nelson Mandela Day, South Africans awoke to word that their…

U.S. Air Force engineer sentenced to 15 months after reporting sexual assault

A flight engineer, who accused the US air force of prosecuting him in retaliation for reporting a sexual assault, was dismissed from the military and sentenced to 15 months in prison on Tuesday. Lieutenant Adam Cohen, 29, of the 18th air force, pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators,…

Long-necked plant-eating dinosaurs regrew teeth every 1-2 months: study

Long-necked plant-grazing dinosaurs that roamed the Earth 150 million years ago evolved a nifty way of fixing broken teeth. They just grew new ones, said a US study Wednesday. Scientists analyzed the fossils of two of the largest herbivores known to have lived in North America — Diplodocus and Camarasaurus…

Edward Snowden’s travels overshadow his leaks in U.S. media

Edward Snowden’s revelations about a vast American data dragnet may have riveted the world for weeks, but in the United States the fugitive and his scramble for asylum are overshadowing the substance of the leaks themselves. US broadcasters last month gave wall-to-wall coverage to the bombshell leaks by Snowden, a…

Study finds tea party can act as a political ‘racialization’ experience

Is the tea party motivated by racial animus over the election of the first non-white president in the United States? Many critics of the conservative movement think so. Tea party supporters themselves have objected to such claims. They insist their movement is based on legitimate concerns about the size and…

Pope Francis ditches bullet-proof ‘popemobile’ for Brazil trip

Pope Francis will ditch the bullet-proof “popemobile” used by his predecessors on his visit to Brazil this month and travel in an open-top jeep, the Vatican said Wednesday. Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi also dismissed concerns ahead of the July 22-28 trip about the demonstrations that have recently been rocking Brazil.…

Federal Reserve: Economy growing at ‘modest to moderate’ pace

The US economy grew at a “modest to moderate” pace in recent weeks, with the housing market and construction improving nationwide, the Federal Reserve said in a report Wednesday. Most of the Fed’s 12 districts reported a pickup in manufacturing, consumer spending and auto sales, while hiring that “held steady…

Female sand sculptures in Rio get more modest attire for pope visit

Out of respect for Pope Francis due here next week, sand artists have covered up the curves of female sculptures on Brazil’s world famous Copacabana beach. The beach is where crowds of young Catholic faithful from around the globe will welcome the pontiff for World Youth Day. “My job is…

U.S. Olympic Committee rejects boycott over possible Snowden asylum in Russia

US Olympic Committee officials rejected a political call Wednesday for American athletes to boycott the 2014 Sochi Winter Games if Russia grants asylum to Edward Snowden. Americans boycotted the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics in the wake of the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan, but USOC spokesperson Patrick Sandusky made it…

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