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Obama fails to use National Environmental Policy Act despite calls for climate change action

By Patrick Rucker and Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has vowed to tackle climate change in his second term, but so far has not acted to strengthen a tool that does not require backing from Congress – the National Environmental Policy Act. NEPA, a statute that dates…

Solar Impulse plane lands in D.C. as cross-country tour winds down

The single-seater, solar-powered Solar Impulse aircraft landed near the US capital early Sunday, on the second to last leg of its cross-country journey, organizers said. The plane, which runs on four electric propellers powered by 12,000 solar cells mounted on the plane’s 63-meter wingspan, touched down smoothly in the dark…

Australia cracks down on synthetic marijuana and other ‘alternative’ drugs

Australia imposed an interim ban on 19 synthetic cannabis and cocaine-like drugs as part of a crackdown on the psychoactive substances which mimic the highs of their illegal counterparts. Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury said the 19 products would be banned from sale and supply for up to 120 days under…

European defense firms ask governments to launch drone programs

Three top European defence firms called on Sunday on governments to launch a programme to manufacture drones that European countries are currently having to buy from Israel or the United States. France’s Dassault Aviation, European aerospace giant EADS and Italy’s Finmeccania argued such a joint programme would “support the capability…

Contaminated water suspected as workers fall sick in Bangladesh garment factory

More than 140 workers, mostly women, at two Bangladeshi garment factories near the capital Dhaka fell ill on Sunday after drinking suspected contaminated water in their workplace, police said. A series of tragedies since last November when a fire killed 111 people in another factory have triggered renewed scrutiny of…

German spy service to monitor Internet traffic ‘as closely as possible’

Germany’s foreign intelligence service plans a major expansion of Internet surveillance despite deep unease over revelations of US online spying, Der Spiegel news weekly reported on Sunday. Spiegel said that the BND planned a 100 million euro ($130 million) programme over the next five years to expand web monitoring with…

Paul Soros, shipping titan and older brother to George Soros, dies at 87

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Paul Soros, a shipping magnate, philanthropist and older brother of billionaire investor George Soros, died on Saturday at age 87, his son said. Paul Soros passed away at his New York City home, his son, Jeffrey Soros, said. The New York Times said Soros had been…

Modern-day ‘monk’ keeps Parmesan recipe alive

Antonio Malpeli gazes proudly at the towering rounds of Parmesan in his small factory and declares one thing sure: the medieval monk recipe used to make this Italian delicacy will never change. Malpeli, who boasts arms worthy of a boxer after three decades of stirring immense vats of frothing milk,…

North Korea proposes high-level talks with U.S.

North Korea proposed high-level talks with the US on denuclearisation and easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, just days after it abruptly cancelled a rare meeting with the South. Tension has been high on the peninsula since the North’s third nuclear test in February that triggered new UN sanctions which…

Valentina Tereshkova became first woman in space 50 years ago

On June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to fly into space in a major propaganda coup for the Soviet Union. Two years after Yuri Gagarin’s historic first manned flight, Tereshkova blasted off in a Vostok-6 spaceship, becoming a national heroine at the age of 26. She remains…

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