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‘Downton Abbey’ fan creates show-inspired cookbook

Sizzling British hit “Downton Abbey” has stolen the hearts of its legions of avid fans, but one viewer hopes the television show will steal its way to their stomachs as well. Canadian culinary historian Pamela Foster has crafted a cookbook based on the early 20th century British cuisine featured in…

Obama to hit road to push gun violence plan

US President Barack Obama will hit the road Monday to appear with local leaders and law enforcement officials in Minnesota to push his plan to cut gun violence, which faces a tough road in Congress. Obama will visit Minneapolis, a city that has taken steps to tackle firearms violence, including…

Researchers decode rock pigeon genome

A team of international researchers has decoded the genome of the pigeon, 5,000 years after it was first domesticated, according to a study published Thursday. Known as Columba livia, the rock pigeon is considered among the most common and varied species on the planet, consisting of 350 breeds with a…

Explosion at Mexico oil giant kills at least 14 people

An explosion rocked the Mexico City headquarters of Mexican oil giant Pemex on Thursday, killing at least 14 people and wounding 80 more as rescuers sifted through debris for survivors. People were carted away on stretchers and office chairs, as a huge plume of smoke billowed toward the sky. Heavy…

Chuck Hagel’s Senate hearing: Testy exchanges on key foreign policy issues

Chuck Hagel was forced to make repeated justifications of his positions on Iran, Israel and the Iraq war at a Senate confirmation hearing as Barack Obama’s next secretary of defense. The former senator was accused of holding “extreme views” and endangering US security, in testy exchanges before the armed services…

Steve Jobs depicted with ‘love and respect’, say new film’s co-stars

Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad have defended their biopic of Steve Jobs as an accurate depiction of the origins of Apple. Kutcher and Gad, who play Jobs and Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak respectively in the forthcoming release – called, simply, Jobs – rebuffed complaints from Wozniak that the film bungled elements…

Norway mass shooter files complaint over ‘aggravated torture’

Rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is serving a 21-year jail sentence for killing 77 people, has complained to the Norwegian government over prison conditions akin to “aggravated torture”, his lawyer said Thursday. In his complaint to Justice Minister Grete Faremo and the governor of the Ila high security prison,…

Wall Street Journal says computers hit by Chinese hackers too

The Wall Street Journal said Thursday its computers were hit by Chinese hackers, the latest US media organization citing an effort to spy on its journalists covering China. The Journal made the announcement a day after The New York Times said hackers, possibly connected to China’s military, had infiltrated its…

White House slams critics as Jobs Council wraps up

The White House on Thursday dismissed criticism of President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council as “ridiculous” as the advisory body wrapped up to scorn from Republicans in Congress. The panel of outside executives was convened by Obama in 2011 and its two-year charter expired Thursday and will not be extended, though…

Beyonce to sing live at the Super Bowl

Beyonce vowed Thursday to sing live at her Super Bowl half-time show, confirming she sang along to a pre-recorded recording of the US national anthem at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. The chart-topping pop diva kicked off a press conference in New Orleans ahead of Sunday’s American football event by singing…

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