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Being the underdog can make you more attractive: study

Though power may be “the ultimate aphrodisiac,” being the underdog could make others view you as being more physically attractive. “Despite theory and research suggesting a ubiquitous attraction to winners, we propose that people are, at times, attracted to disadvantage,” Kenneth S. Michniewicz and Joseph A. Vandello of the University…

Judges: Spending cuts ‘strike at the heart’ of justice system

The drastic spending cuts that hit the United States on March 1 will “strike at the heart” of the US justice system, a group of judges warned Tuesday. If the budget slashes known as the “sequester” stay in force, the justice system will see a five percent across the board…

Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agrees to sex abuse payout

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay nearly $10 million to four men who alleged they were molested by a former priest in the 1970s, their lawyers said. LA’s Cardinal Roger Mahony — currently taking part in the Vatican conclave to choose a new pope, despite protests…

States push forward with new gun laws while Congress stalls

Three months after the mass shooting of 20 young children in a school in Connecticut, states across America are adopting starkly conflicting approaches to reducing gun violence. Colorado and New York are in the process of introducing some of the toughest gun controls the country has ever seen at local…

Mayor Bloomberg to continue pushing for soda ban after leaving office

The mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, vowed on Tuesday to continue his fight for a controversial ban on large sugary drinks after he leaves office, in a tacit admission that he will not be able to resurrect his signature health measure before a successor takes over. After a state…

Lawyers call for end to ‘humanitarian crisis’ at Guantanamo prison

Lawyers for detainees at Guantanamo prison called for the US to show concrete steps towards closing the facility on Tuesday, citing a “humanitarian crisis” at the controversial jail. “The situation is dire,” said lawyer Omar Farah of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represents a Yemeni detainee, at a meeting…

Venezuelan foreign minister claims U.S. plotting coup

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua charged Tuesday that the United States had been plotting to overthrow late president Hugo Chavez. He also denied that a US decision to expel two Venezuelan diplomats after Caracas ordered two US military officials out was a “tit-for-tat” slap. The two US officials were expelled…

John Kerry shows off to diplomats by speaking Norwegian

US Secretary of State John Kerry showed off more of his hidden language skills on Tuesday, revealing he still knew some Norwegian picked up as a boy when he spent a couple of years in Oslo. And he won praise from his Norwegian counterpart Espen Barth Eide, who said after…

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel orders review of Air Force sexual assault case

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered a review of US military law and of a sexual assault case in which an Air Force general overturned a fellow officer’s conviction, the Pentagon said Tuesday. The move came after an outcry from lawmakers and rights advocates over the case of Lieutenant Colonel…

Colorado theater shooter to face trial in August

A US judge entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday on behalf of alleged Aurora theater gunman James Holmes, and set an August date for him to stand trial over the horrific massacre. The 25-year-old’s lawyers said they were not yet ready to enter a plea at Holmes’s arraignment for…

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