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‘Bird brains’ evolved before birds: study

New evidence has emerged that puts a dent into the reputation of the famous “first bird” — Archaeopteryx, a feathered descendant of the dinosaurs, which lived around 150 million years ago. Three-dimensional scans of skulls of early birds and dinosaurs suggests that at least a few species of dinos that…

Lawmakers sue Illinois governor over veto of legislative raises

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The leaders of the Illinois House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Pat Quinn’s veto of lawmakers’ pay during a legislative impasse over pension reform. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, both Democrats, said in a letter to…

Florida gunman who killed 6 called 911 hours earlier about someone performing ‘witchcraft’ on him

MIAMI (Reuters) – A man who shot and killed six people in a Miami-area apartment building called 911 hours beforehand and said he believed he was being followed and that someone was performing witchcraft on him, according to a copy of the call released on Wednesday. A SWAT team stormed…

Britain set to ban Google Glass for drivers

Google’s smart glasses will distract drivers, says Department of Transport. Google Glass is the highest profile product in a wave of new wearable technologies, promising to display everything from restaurant reviews to directions and allow automated video and photos wherever we go. But the internet-connected eyewear looks set to be…

IMF finds $11 billion ‘black hole’ in Greece’s finances

Recession continues in Greece as unemployment hits 27%, but flickering growth returns elsewhere in EU The International Monetary Fund warned the eurozone yesterday that it may be forced to write off a chunk of Greece’s debt after identifying an $11bn black hole in the finances of the recession-stricken country. In…

Spate of anti-Semitic attacks mar Sweden’s third largest city

Attacks against Jews in Malmoe, Sweden’s third largest city, have left members of the community questioning their future in a place known for its multiculturalism. Jewish people have lived in Malmoe for over two centuries, often arriving in the south Swedish port city — a safe haven for generations —…

XKeyscore allows U.S. intelligence to monitor ‘nearly everything’ users do online

A secret surveillance system known as XKeyscore allows US intelligence to monitor “nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet,” according to leaked documents published on Wednesday. Citing classified documents provided by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, British daily the Guardian said the program was the most wide-reaching operated…

Iraq seeks to promote tourism amid violence

As it trundles down busy roads, the minibus packed with tourists would be unremarkable except for two things — its passengers are Westerners and the city they are in is Baghdad. Iraq is no stranger to tourism, with countless pilgrims visiting its religious shrines, but now the country that touts…

Mexico’s peyote casts mind-bending spell on tourists

Gisele Beker, a 26-year-old Argentinian, trudged for hours in scorching sun to the sprawling Wirikuta desert, craving peyote, the cactus hallucinogen locals in Mexico deem sacred. Joined by three Mexican friends, Beker was living her dream as part of a new wave of tourists taking a trip for a trip…

Sweden’s ‘worst serial killer’ cleared of 8 murders he confessed to

A Swedish man long considered Scandinavia’s worst serial killer has been cleared of eight murders he once confessed to, after prosecutors Wednesday dropped their final charge against him. The prosecution said it lacked proof that Sture Bergwall, 63, killed a 15-year-old boy who died on a cold winter night in…

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