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Indiana grain silo explosion kills one

By Brendan O’Brien (Reuters) – An explosion in a grain silo killed an employee at an agricultural co-op in rural northwestern Indiana on Monday, authorities said. James Swank, 67, of Union Mills was killed in the afternoon explosion at the Co-Alliance fertilizer and grain facility in Union Mills, some 70…

Obama administration fights claims of incompetence as Snowden saga continues

By Andy Sullivan and David Ingram WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has spent the past few weeks arguing it can wield power responsibly after Edward Snowden unveiled its sweeping spying programs. Now the administration must prove it can wield power effectively. As the 30-year-old leads the world’s lone superpower…

Same-sex couples anxiously wait for Supreme Court marriage ruling

By Ronnie Cohen and Sharon Bernstein (Reuters) – The Reverend Paul Mowry, a minister at the Sausalito Presbyterian Church near San Francisco, awoke at 6:30 a.m. Monday, hoping it would be the day the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling that would allow him to marry Joe Silverman, his companion…

Snapchat market value hits $800 million

The startup behind a Snapchat application for sharing self-destructing smartphone photos and messages got a dizzying valuation on Monday in a new funding round. Reports that the company launched in late 2011 had raised $60 million from investors, giving it a market value of about $800 million, hit the Internet…

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa considering request to give Edward Snowden asylum

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who has given the United States headaches throughout his tenure, risks more trouble if he grants political asylum to US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden. Much greater powers — China and Russia — have vexed the United States during Snowden’s global cat-and-mouse game, but this Andean nation…

Breastfed infants more likely to climb the social ladder: study

People breastfed as infants have a 24 percent better chance than their formula-fed counterparts of climbing the social ladder, said a study Tuesday. Conversely, being fed mothers’ milk as a baby also reduced one’s chances of social demotion later in life by as much as 20 percent, said the findings…

New Jersey poised to ban harmful ‘ex-gay’ therapy

By Victoria Cavaliere (Reuters) – The New Jersey Assembly voted on Monday to ban so-called conversion therapy, taking a step toward becoming the second U.S. state to prohibit licensed therapists from counseling gay and lesbian youths to change their sexual orientation The bill passed by a 56-14 vote, with seven…

Fracking raises risk of contaminated drinking water: study

New evidence that fracking may contaminate drinking water was published Monday in a study sure to add fuel to the fight over the controversial method of extracting natural gas from cracks in rocks. Researchers at Duke University analyzed 141 drinking water samples from private water wells across the gas-rich Marcellus…

Satellites to bring cheap, multi-gigabit Internet speeds to 3 billion people

The first four of 12 satellites in a new constellation to provide affordable, high-speed Internet to people in nearly 180 “under-connected” countries, will be shot into space on Tuesday, the project’s developers said. The orbiters, part of a project dubbed O3b for the “other 3 billion” people with restricted Internet…

CIA rolls out ‘new and improved website’

The CIA prides itself on secrecy but the spy agency unveiled a revamped website Monday that promises a user-friendly layout and a “sleeker, more modern web experience.” Borrowing the jargon of corporate marketing, the Central Intelligence Agency touted its new online look for job-seekers or people interested in the spy…

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