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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…

Google denies its Street View car ran over a donkey

Google on Wednesday moved to reassure users that no animals were harmed in the making of its popular maps after a street view picture surfaced of a donkey lying on the side of a road. The message put out Wednesday by the Internet giant was prompted by reaction to the…

Former U.S. commander warns strike on Iran would not end nuclear program

A former US military commander warned Wednesday that a potential US strike against Iran would take weeks and probably only set back the country’s nuclear program by several years. Admiral William Fallon, the former head of US Central Command which covers the Middle East, said that Iran posed concerns for…

Evangelical minister calls to embrace LGBT instead of ‘condemn and exclude’ policy

The Rev Steve Chalke says Christians need to find ways to support those in or seeking faithful same-sex partnerships An influential evangelical minister has declared his support for monogamous and loving same-sex relationships, and called on the church to stop treating gay people as pariahs. The Rev Steve Chalke, a…

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