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Obama’s Kenyan half brother running for political seat

President Barack Obama’s Kenyan half brother has launched his own political career by announcing his intention to run for a Kenyan county gubernatorial seat in the upcoming March 4 elections. Malik Obama, 54, who shares a father with the US president, told AFP in an interview late Wednesday that the…

Tucson shooting survivor heartened by Obama’s gun plan: ‘Now is the time’

Two years ago Patricia Maisch gained first-hand experience of America’s epidemic of gun violence. She was attending a street rally called by Tucson politician Gabby Giffords when shooting erupted, and she helped disarm the gunman by grabbing his second magazine thus preventing him from reloading. Unharmed in the incident that…

Gene study hopes to settle debate over origin of European Jews

Jews of European origin are a mix of ancestries, with many hailing from tribes in the Caucasus who converted to Judaism and created an empire that lasted half a millennium, according to a gene study. The investigation, its author says, should settle a debate that has been roiling for more…

American to be executed by electric chair for first time since 2010

An American who murdered two fellow inmates to speed up his execution faces death on the electric chair Wednesday, the first execution of its kind since 2010, authorities said. Robert Gleason, 42, is due to be executed at 9:00 pm local time (0300 GMT) after a year on death row,…

Assault weapons ban likely to die in GOP-dominated House

The assault weapons ban proposed by US President Barack Obama on Wednesday faces quicksand in Congress, where Republicans are in a position to defeat any such a measure. Instead, lawmakers in the House and Senate could address some of Obama’s other proposals, including a universal background check for all gun…

Judge: Bradley Manning’s motive not a defense in WikiLeaks case

A US military judge on Wednesday ruled that Bradley Manning’s motive for allegedly leaking a cache of secret government files to WikiLeaks is no defense against the charges he faces. Manning, an army private who was arrested in May 2010 while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, faces trial…

Piers Morgan blasts NRA ‘cowards’ for refusing interview

CNN host Piers Morgan continued to berate gun rights advocates on Wednesday, calling the NRA “cowards” on Twitter. “I’ve repeatedly asked the @NRA leaders to come on my show, and they’ve repeatedly refused. Cowards, the lot of them,” the former British tabloid editor tweeted. Morgan has been on a personal…

Senate to hold Chuck Hagel confirmation hearing Jan 31

US lawmakers will have their first chance to formally question Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s defense secretary nominee, on January 31 when the Senate convenes a confirmation hearing. The Senate Armed Services Committee announced Wednesday it will hold an open hearing, with the possibility of a follow-up session that would…

‘Supergene’ explains red fire ant society: study

The complex social structure of the red fire ant, a fast-spreading invasive insect with a painful bite, is made possible by a DNA fusion known as a supergene, biologists said Wednesday. It is the first study to link supergenes to animal behaviour, the scientists reported in the journal Nature, and…

American-born Israeli settler convicted of murdering Palestinians

An Israeli court on Wednesday found a US-born Jewish settler guilty of murdering two Palestinians and convicted him on two counts of attempted murder. Jack Teitel, a 41-year-old extreme right religious activist, was found guilty of the killings in 1997 of a bus driver and a shepherd, both Palestinians. He…

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