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Julia Gillard ousted as Prime Minister of Australia after party coup

By James Grubel CANBERRA (Reuters) – Kevin Rudd returned as Australian prime minister on Wednesday, executing a stunning party room coup on Julia Gillard almost three years to the day after being ousted by his former deputy and less than three months out from a general election. The reinstatement of…

Controversial fugitive and Clinton-pardoned trader Marc Rich dies at 78

By Alice Baghdjian LUCERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) – Billionaire Marc Rich, who invented oil trading and was pardoned by President Bill Clinton over the then-biggest tax evasion case in U.S. history and busting sanctions with Iran, died on Wednesday from a stroke in Switzerland at 78. Rich fled the Holocaust with…

Discovery of new flame-headed bird species astounds conservationists

A new species of bird with a distinctive orange-red coloured tuft of feathers on its head has been found in Cambodia’s populous capital city, conservationists said on Wednesday. The remarkable discovery of the Cambodian tailorbird, or orthotomus chaktomuk, in Phnom Penh — and several other locations including a construction site…

Spanish town goes green by turning sewage into clean energy

By Tracy Rucinski CHICLANA DE LA FRONTERA, Spain (Reuters) – A Spanish resort town with sprawling golf courses and tree-lined beaches has added another green site to its attractions: the world’s first plant to convert sewage into clean energy. The facility in Chiclana de la Frontera on the southwest tip…

Pope Francis sets up special review of Vatican bank

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis has set up a special commission to review the activities of the scandal-plagued Vatican bank to ensure that it operated in “harmony” with the mission of the Catholic Church, the Vatican said on Wednesday. The appointment of the five-member panel, which includes four prelates…

Ohio Governor John Kasich warns fellow Republicans on the moral consequences of blocking Medicaid expansion

By David Morgan (Reuters) – Ohio’s Republican governor, John Kasich, is no fan of President Barack Obama’s health reform law. But he has become an unlikely proponent of one element of Obamacare – expansion of Medicaid healthcare coverage for the poor – and he has a warning for his fellow…

British inventor of the World Wide Web scolds ‘insidious’ Western governments over spying

LONDON (Reuters) – The British inventor of the World Wide Web accused Western governments of hypocrisy in spying on the Internet while lecturing repressive leaders across the world for doing exactly the same. Tim Berners-Lee, a London-born computer scientist who invented the Web in 1989 as the Berlin Wall crumbled,…

Ancient, cow-sized knobby lizard discovered in Africa

Even by paleontology standards, this newly discovered lizard was unusual-looking, an outcast in the ancient Earth’s nearly empty deserts. The cow-sized animal, called Bunostegos, or “knobby roof” for the quantity of huge bulbs that dot its face,…  …

‘Don’t touch my junk DNA!’ says gene signal sequence

Almost all of the human genome is made of noncoding, or “junk” DNA, that is, DNA that usually doesn’t get copied and encoded into proteins.  So when copying DNA, how do cells tell the diference between actual genes and non-coding DNA?  DNA replication…  …

McDonalds has served its last halal McChicken sandwich in the U.S.

McDonald’s, the largest fast food chain to offer menu alternatives designated for observant Muslims, is removing the items from its menu, suggesting that preparing food exclusively to suit individual religious tastes is problematic for restaurants…  …

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