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Ride-sharing companies like Uber may lose ‘bandit cab’ stigma in California

By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Commercial ride-sharing services offered by moonlighting motorists but frowned on by licensed taxi drivers and some cities as “bandit” cab operations would gain new legitimacy in California under a plan proposed on Tuesday by state regulators. The draft rules to govern companies that…

Controversial study finds that big and famous hospitals aren’t always the best for surgery

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) – Patients going to a hospital for surgery care about many things, from how kind the nurses are to how good the food is, but Consumers Union (CU) figures what they care about most is whether they stay in the hospital longer than they…

Billionaire Saudi prince loses UK court battle over Gaddafi jet

LONDON (Reuters) – A billionaire Saudi prince lost a London court battle on Wednesday when a judge ordered that he should pay a $10-million commission linked to the sale of a luxurious private jet to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The High Court ruling is an embarrassment for Prince Alwaleed…

5,000 Chinese factory workers strike over Indian takeover of American firm

More than 5,000 Chinese workers at a Sino-US joint venture tyre manufacturer have gone on strike against the American parent company’s $2.5 billion takeover by an Indian firm, state media reported. Cooper Tire and Rubber announced last month that it would be taken over by Apollo Tyres of India, making…

‘Find a safe haven,’ father tells Snowden in Russia

The father of US fugitive Edward Snowden reached out to his son on Russia’s national television Wednesday, telling him he did not mind if the intelligence leaker stays in Russia as long as he is safe. “Edward, I hope you are watching this. Your family is well. We love you.…

Enormous 33 pound mushroom found in China

China’s Yunnan province is known as the “Kingdom of Mushrooms” for its rich diversity of more than 600 species of edible fungi. But even the hungriest of mushroom fans might find this monster mushroom, recently discovered in Yunnan, a little hard to…  …

City of San Diego sues Mayor Bob Filner in sex harassment case

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) – The city of San Diego sued its embattled mayor on Tuesday, seeking to recover from him any damages it might face in a lawsuit filed by his former press secretary, one of eight women to publicly accuse him of unwanted sexual advances. The…

Thai king to leave hospital after four years

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s 85-year-old King Bhumibol , the world’s longest-reigning monarch, is to leave the Bangkok hospital where he has been for almost four years to live at his palace by the sea, a government official said on Wednesday. “We have been told by the Royal Household Bureau that…

Amnesty International: California prison conditions an ‘affront to human rights’

By Ronnie Cohen SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Amnesty International weighed in on a 22-day-old hunger strike in California prisons on Tuesday, calling solitary confinement conditions faced by protesting inmates an “affront to human rights” and urging an impartial probe into the death of a prisoner. Billy Sell, 32, serving a…

Scientists move one step closer to resurrecting woolly mammoths

The pioneering scientist who created Dolly the sheep has outlined how cells plucked from frozen woolly mammoth carcasses might one day help resurrect the ancient beasts. The notional procedure – bringing with it echoes of the Jurassic Park films – was spelled out by Sir Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh-based stem-cell…

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