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U.S. soldier receives rare double arm transplant

A US soldier who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq has successfully received a rare double arm transplant, Johns Hopkins hospital said Monday. The infantryman, whose name and age were not released, is one of just seven people in the United States who have…

Congress approves $50 billion in disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy victims

Congress on Monday finally approved more than $50 billion in emergency disaster aid for Hurricane Sandy, 13 weeks after the superstorm ravaged much of the coastal US northeast and left thousands homeless. The bill, approved earlier this month by the House, comes after a nearly monthlong delay triggered bipartisan rage…

Talk of CIA prisons censored at Guantanamo hearing

US authorities censored part of a preliminary hearing Monday at a Guantanamo military tribunal that touched on CIA secret prisons where suspected 9/11 plotters say they were tortured. Reporters watched the proceedings against the five 9/11 suspects at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba behind a thick, sound-proof…

U.S. military plans to build drone base in North Africa: official

The US military plans to set up a base for drones in northwest Africa to bolster surveillance of Al-Qaeda’s affiliate in the region as well as allied Islamist extremists, a US official told AFP on Monday. The base for the robotic, unmanned aircraft would likely be located in Niger, on…

Housing market continues upward trend despite dip in home sales

US pending home sales dipped in December as inventory remained tight, but the upward trend in the housing market continued, the National Association of Realtors said Monday. The NAR’s pending home sales index, an indicator of future sales, fell 4.3 percent to 101.7 in December, down from a 106.3 reading…

Porn pops up in Editor’s Picks section of Twitter’s new Vine video service

Twitter’s iPhone video-snippet sharing service Vine had concerns about porn exposed on Monday after adult content was bared briefly in an “Editor’s Picks” section. Twitter apologized for the mistake, blaming “human error” but providing little detail, and quickly removed the video. The globally popular one-to-many message sharing service last week…

State Department abandons effort to close down Guantanamo Bay

The State Department has shut down the office of its special envoy for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, a US official said Monday, in a sign of the fading hopes of shuttering the jail. Daniel Fried, the special envoy in charge of the dossier, will now move to coordinate the…

Murdoch apologizes for ‘grotesque’ Israel cartoon

Rupert Murdoch apologised on Monday for a “grotesque” cartoon carried in one of his British newspapers showing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu building a wall with Palestinian bodies. The acting editor of the Sunday Times newspaper, Martin Ivens, is due to meet with members of the Jewish community in Britain…

Guatemala ex-dictator to be tried for genocide

A judge in Guatemala on Monday ordered the trial of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt for genocide in the killings of more than 1,750 indigenous people during his 1982-83 regime. The 86-year-old Rios Montt sat stoically as Judge Miguel Galvez ordered the opening of a trial “for the crimes of…

British lawmaker suggests high heels and mini skirts to blame for rape

Richard Graham: UK lawmaker's rape remarks draw condemnation (via The Christian Science Monitor) A British lawmaker’s suggestion that young women who wear high heels and short skirts put themselves at greater risk of rape has drawn widespread condemnation. “If you are blind drunk and wearing those clothes how able are…

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