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Google hosting fundraiser for Republican Senator Jim Inhofe

Google, which prides itself on building a “better web that is better for the environment”, is hosting a fundraiser for the most notorious climate change denier in Congress, it has emerged. The lunch, at the company’s Washington office, will benefit the Oklahoma Republican Jim Inhofe, who has made a career…

Obama honors Star Wars creator George Lucas

President Barack Obama Wednesday honored luminaries of the arts, including Star Wars creator George Lucas, praising his special effects for freeing movies from “planes in space” with visible strings. Obama presented National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals to a group also including musician Herb Alpert, rhythm and blues…

Navy’s experimental X-47B drone successfully lands on aircraft carrier

A US Navy drone successfully landed on the deck of an aircraft carrier on Wednesday, in an historic first for robotic flight, officials said. The X-47B experimental plane had taken off earlier from the Patuxent River naval air station in Maryland before heading to the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft…

Bill would establish national park on the Moon

The site where astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first landed on the Moon in July 1969 could receive the same federal protection as Yellowstone. Democrats Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas and Donna Edwards of Maryland — both members of House Committee on Science, Space and Technology — proposed…

UN: Iraq violence could lead to civil war

Violence in Iraq is on the rise and could lead towards civil war, the head of the UN human rights mission warned on Wednesday. “Iraq is really at a crossroads. I wouldn’t say we’re at a civil war yet, but the figures are not looking good,” Francesco Motta told AFP.…

Vanity Fair Italy names Pope Francis ‘man of the year’

Vanity Fair in Italy on Wednesday named Pope Francis its “man of the year”, saying the pontiff’s first 100 days at the Vatican had already made him one of the world’s top leaders. Splashing on its front page a picture of the 76-year-old in his simple white robes, the magazine…

Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ returns to Venice after 43 years

St Mark’s Square in Venice on Wednesday was the spectacular backdrop to a tragic opera in the first open-air performance in 43 years by the famous La Fenice theatre — a new must on the global culture calendar. La Fenice is staging Italian maestro Giuseppe Verdi’s interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Othello,…

Workplace smoking bans and cigarette taxes could save 9 million lives in India

Banning smoking in the workplace and levying a tobacco tax could prevent more than nine million deaths from cardiovascular disease in India over the next decade, according to a US study. In India, smoking is blamed for the deaths of one in five men, and one in three people report…

60 dead or missing after oil tanker train disaster in Canada

The number of dead or missing after the runaway oil tanker train disaster in a small Canadian town has risen to 60, police announced Wednesday, as the railway chairman headed to the scene. The confirmed death toll remained at 15, Quebec provincial police inspector Michel Forget told a press conference.…

Tearful Secretary Kerry thanks supporters after wife’s hospitalization

US Secretary of State John Kerry choked back tears Wednesday saying he had been “humbled” by the outpouring of support for his wife, who remains in hospital for tests after an apparent seizure. “Teresa is doing better, under evaluation and we hope improving,” Kerry said, opening two days of talks…

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