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Wine producers go hi-tech to protect against fraud

Making sure a glass of wine is everything it promises on the label was once a relatively simple process: hold against the light, tilt and observe the shade, swirl a little and give it a good sniff. But with the ever-increasing global consumption of wine now attracting the attention of…

India monsoon floods kill at least 560 with thousands still missing

By Danish Siddiqui RUDRAPRAYAG, India (Reuters) – Flash floods and landslides unleashed by early monsoon rains have killed at least 560 people in northern India and left tens of thousands missing, officials said on Saturday, with the death toll expected to rise significantly. Houses and small apartment blocks on the…

Judge blocks audio expert testimony in Trayvon Martin case

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – The judge in the George Zimmerman trial has ruled that two voice identification experts who suggested that unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin screamed for help before he was shot and killed by Zimmerman will not be allowed to testify at the trial. The…

Sopranos star had ‘wonderful’ last day with son: friend

By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) – James Gandolfini, star of the U.S. Emmy-winning series The Sopranos, had a “wonderful” last day on holiday with his son before dying of a heart attack in Italy, a family friend said on Friday. Michael Kobold told journalists an autopsy on Friday morning showed…

New documentary sheds light on U.S. ‘juvenile lifers’

Jacob Ind got the idea of killing his mother and stepfather, at the tender age of 15, from a friend who came over to his Colorado house one day and remarked how his mom was such a “bitch”. Torey Adamcik and Brian Draper, both 16 at the time, took inspiration…

Former Enron CEO Skilling’s sentence cut to 14 years

By Kristen Hays and Anna Driver HOUSTON (Reuters) – A federal judge slashed 10 years off of his prison sentence of former Enron Corp Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling on Friday, a decision that could set him free as early as 2017. U.S. District Judge Simeon Lake reduced his term to…

Victim identified nearly 12 years after 9/11

A 43-year-old woman killed in the September 11 attacks in New York has been identified, bringing the total number of identified victims to 1,636, authorities said. “The identification was made by retesting of remains recovered during the original recovery” in World Trade Center debris, said Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for…

13,000 people donate $1 million in Kickstarter campaign to build ‘first publicly accessible space telescope’

US technology company Planetary Resources has raised more than $1m on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter to build ARKYD, which it describes as “the first publicly accessible space telescope”. The telescope is part of the company’s wider ambition to prospect and mine asteroids. More than 12,800 people have pledged between $10…

Japan’s Mt Fuji granted World Heritage status: UNESCO

Japan’s Mount Fuji, known for its perfectly cone-shaped volcano, was on Saturday granted World Heritage status, UNESCO said. Fujisan, the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776 metres (12,460 feet), is one of the country’s most recognisable sights. The snow-capped peak “has inspired artists and poets and been the object of…

Snowden charges first step in long extradition process

By Tabassum Zakaria and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has filed espionage charges against Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor who admitted revealing secret surveillance programs to media outlets, according to a court document made public on Friday. The charges are the government’s first…

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