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Brazilian courts uphold Vatican’s annulment decree in incest case

A Brazilian justice has for the first time upheld a Vatican ruling to annul a marriage, with the former husband and wife to be considered single rather than divorced, judicial sources said Friday. “It is the first time that the Superior Tribunal of Justice (Brazil’s highest appeals court) has ratified…

British astronomers set up new network to join the search for extraterrestrial life

British astronomers have set up an experts’ network to promote the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, the Royal Astronomical Society said on Friday. The starter group comprises academics from 11 British institutions, who will pore over data from radio telescopes and swap ideas such as how to detect any signals from…

Snowden makes six new asylum requests

LONDON — US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied to another six countries for asylum, WikiLeaks said Friday on its Twitter feed. The 30-year-old is believed to be holed up at a Moscow airport looking for a country that will give him safe haven. Snowden has previously asked 21 countries…

Western governments set to target tech giants over tax avoidance

By Gernot Heller and Tom Bergin BERLIN/LONDON (Reuters) – Western governments are set to target a range of tax loopholes used by technology giants including Apple, Amazon as part of an international drive to tackle corporate tax avoidance, a draft action plan seen by Reuters said. The Organisation for Economic…

Chinese herbal remedy for stoke recovery no better than placebo

By Kerry Grens NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A Chinese herbal remedy marketed to improve stroke recovery failed to exceed the benefits of a placebo in a large, three-month clinical trial. “There’s no evidence of efficacy,” said Dr. James Brorson, medical director of the University of Chicago Stroke Center, who…

Manning’s team presents defense in WikiLeaks case

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For weeks, Private First Class Bradley Manning has been portrayed as an arrogant loner and a traitor who damaged U.S. security and put countless lives at risk by providing hundreds of thousands of secret files to WikiLeaks. Now, as his lawyers prepare to kick…

Poor and minority patients are less likely to be prescribed opioids

By Genevra Pittman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People who are poor, African American or both are less likely to be prescribed opioids for pain than well-off white patients, according to a new study. The powerful painkillers, which include codeine and oxycodone, have been in the spotlight recently as deaths…

Prince Harry qualifies as Apache helicopter commander

Britain’s Prince Harry has qualified as an Apache helicopter commander, the Ministry of Defence announced Friday, putting him in charge of the aircraft he co-piloted in Afghanistan. Harry, 28, served as a co-pilot gunner in the attack chopper during his 20-week tour in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand Province, which ended in…

Return to moon put in jeopardy by dust, scientists say

A return to the Moon could be hampered by dust, a poorly-understood threat to machines and people alike, according to a presentation at a space conference that ended Friday. Simulations by scientists in Britain and France show that in key zones of Earth’s satellite, dust kicked up by a landing…

Iceland parliament declines Snowden’s citizenship request

REYKJAVIK (Reuters) – A bid by Edward Snowden for Icelandic citizenship failed when the country’s parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess, lawmakers said on Friday. The vote leaves Snowden – believed to be staying in a transit area at a Moscow airport – with one option…

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