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New Zealand passes law allowing domestic surveillance

New Zealand passed legislation Wednesday allowing its main intelligence agency to spy on residents and citizens, despite opposition from rights groups, international technology giants and the legal fraternity. The bill to expand the power of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) passed by 61 votes to 59 after impassioned debate,…

Leaked IPCC report reveals human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change

Human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change and global sea levels could rise by several feet by the end of the century, according to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report leaked to media. The draft summary of the report all but dismissed recent claims of…

Pakistan floods affect nearly 1 million people

Heavy monsoon rains triggering floods have affected nearly one million people and killed 139 others across Pakistan in the last three weeks, disaster management officials said Wednesday. “The rains affected 931,074 people, killed at least 139 and wounded 804 others,” a senior National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) official told AFP.…

Brazilian town takes a stand against Amazon deforestation

When farmer Luiz Martins Neto first moved to Sao Felix do Xingu a quarter of a century ago, the area had virgin forest, gold and a reservation for the local indigenous people. “They used to say it was the best place to live,” he said. But like many others, he…

Japan upgrades Fukushima radioactive water leak to highest level in two years

Japan declared a radioactive water leak at the crippled Fukushima plant a level-three “serious incident” Wednesday, its highest warning in two years, as operators scrambled to seal a tank that has seeped 300 tonnes of toxic water. The leak is the worst since the nuclear crisis began in March 2011,…

Son of legendary Chinese Communist military leader apologizes for Cultural Revolution

The son of a legendary Communist military leader and politician in China has publicly apologised for persecuting people at his school during the Cultural Revolution, according to a blog. Chen Xiaolu offered his remorse to teachers, staff and students at his former school in Beijing for leading denunciations and sending…

New theory emerges that attempts to explain the African ‘Fairy Circle’ mystery

Earlier this year, a paper published in the journal Science (and reported here on PS) claimed to explain the long-standing puzzle of the African ‘Fairy Circles’ — the strange circular patches of barren, reddish- earth ringed by tall grasses that…  …

Dog’s blood used to save poisoned cat in rare inter-species transfusion

Traditional animal rivalries were set aside in New Zealand when a dog’s blood was used to save the life of a poisoned cat in a rare inter-species transfusion, reports said Wednesday. Cat owner Kim Edwards was frantic last Friday when her ginger tom Rory went limp after eating rat poison,…

Tesla’s Model S is out-selling Buick, Fiat, Land Rover and Lincoln in California

Articles about sales figures are always weird, especially when they’re broken down into regions. Consider that Tesla’s Model S is out-selling Buick, Fiat, Land Rover, and Lincoln in California — the most populous state in the union and home to…  …

Japanese anime film ‘Castle in the Sky’ sets new record for largest number of tweets per second

STUDIO Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio renowned for its hugely successful anime films, the best known of which is “Spirited Away”, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, which won the Oscar for best animated feature in 2003. Earlier this month the studio…  …

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