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Doctors urge Obama to provide independent medical examiners to Guantanamo detainees

More than 150 doctors, including from the US, have signed an open letter to Barack Obama, urging him to allow Guantánamo detainees access to independent medical examinations and advice. They have backed the plea of 13 hunger strikers, made in a letter to the Guardian last month, who said they…

Internet freaks out as Facebook goes down

Many users experienced an error when trying to access the social networking website Facebook on Tuesday. Those who attempted to visit the popular site at approximately 9:00 pm ET were met with the error message: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”…

Actor Edward Furlong charged with assaulting ex-girlfriend

US actor Edward Furlong, whose credits range from “Terminator 2″ (1991) to 2011 hit “The Green Hornet,” was charged Tuesday with assaulting his girlfriend, prosecutors said. The 35-year-old is also accused of threatening her if she went to the police, and could face up to four years behind bars if…

Study: Painful and extreme rituals enhance social cohesion and charity

Human beings in cultures across the world engage in extreme rituals that involve self-mutilation or enduring other types of suffering. Why do these extreme rituals — in which people willingly put themselves through harm — continue to persist? A new study published online in Psychological Science suggests that such rituals…

Conservative Republican at IRS casts doubt on conspiracy to target tea party

By Kevin Drawbaugh and Kim Dixon WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A manager from a U.S. Internal Revenue Service office in Cincinnati where staffers have been accused of unfairly subjecting conservative groups to extra scrutiny has said his agents were not influenced by any political agenda. John Shafer, who described himself as…

NASA wants citizen astronomers to help hunt for deadly asteroids

NASA announced a Grand Challenge on Tuesday to enlist government agencies, industry, academics and citizen astronomers in the hunt for asteroids that could cause massive destruction. The US space agency said the challenge would complement another recently announced project to use a robot to redirect an asteroid into the Moon’s…

ACLU slams House Republicans for ‘shamefully’ passing 20-week abortion ban

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday blasted members of the House of Representatives who voted in favor of ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. “A woman shouldn’t be denied basic health care or the ability to make the best decision for her family just because some members…

Journalist Michael Hastings dies in car crash

The journalist and author Michael Hastings died at the age of 33 on Tuesday morning. According to his employer BuzzFeed, Hastings was killed in a car crash in Los Angeles. “We are shocked and devastated by the news that Michael Hastings is gone,” Ben Smith, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief, said in a…

Three in Ohio accused of keeping disabled woman and her daughter in slavery

By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) – Three Ohio residents are accused of holding an intellectually disabled woman and her daughter against their will and forcing the woman to perform physical labor for them, threatening her with snakes if she didn’t comply, authorities said on Tuesday. The trio, Jordie Callahan, Jessica…

Comprehensive immigration reform would cut deficit and boost economy: CBO

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A White House-backed immigration bill moving through the U.S. Senate would cut federal budget deficits over the long term and provide an overall boost to the economy, the Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday. The CBO, the nonpartisan budget scorekeeper for Congress, estimated the legislation would reduce…

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