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Stephen Colbert’s sister plans to run for political office

Although Stephen Colbert did not become “President of the United States of South Carolina” last year, his sister has recently announced that she will be vying for political office. Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, a Democrat, will be running in the special election race in South Carolina’s 1st District — left empty after…

YouTube screens Sundance shorts

YouTube on Friday began online screenings of a selection of short films being showcased at the Sundance Film Festival underway in an enclave in the mountains of Utah. A Screening Room channel hosted by the Sundance Institute features 12 of the 64 short films slated to debut at the festival,…

Russians warily turn to AA in battle with alcohol

One-time Russian prisoner Andrei tried to quit drinking 22 times, going for cures that lasted from one to six months. But each time, he went back to the bottle. Then 14 years ago, the 58-year-old tried Alcoholics Anonymous, attracted by the different approach, which was not about doctors reprimanding the…

Senate considers ending Pharma pay-for-delay deals

US senators are introducing legislation to end pay-off deals that keep generic drugs off shelves and give pharmaceutical giants market exclusivity that costs consumers billions of dollars per year. The bid follows Thursday’s release of a Federal Trade Commission report documenting a significant rise in the number of so-called “pay-for-delay”…

Latin American women face widespread violence: study

More than half of Bolivian women have suffered domestic violence, according to a report out Thursday that found such abuse widespread in Latin America, with partners usually the perpetrators. In seven of the 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries surveyed by the Pan American Health Organization, more than one in…

India bans foreign same sex couples and singles from using surrogate mothers

India has issued new rules barring foreign gay couples and single people from using surrogate mothers to become parents, drawing sharp criticism from gay rights advocates and fertility clinics. Commercial surrogacy is a booming industry in India and in recent years ranks of childless foreign couples looking for a low-cost,…

DNA database not so anonymous on the Internet: study

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog — but it is getting increasingly easy for someone to figure it out. As more and more of our personal data — and those of the people we know and are related to — gets posted online, the anonymity promised by the…

Oops: Norwegian maple leaf adorns new Canada $20 bill

The maple leaf shown on Canada’s new $20 bills is from a Norway maple, which is not native to Canada, several botanists cited by Canadian media decried Friday. Canada’s iconic red maple leaf image appears on its flag, government logos and countless other branding of Canadiana. “It’s our national symbol…

When is hactivism civil disobedience and when is it cyber crime?

By Christie Thompson, ProPublica When Reddit co-founder and internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide last Friday, he was facing up to 13 felony counts, 50 years in prison, and millions of dollars in fines. His alleged crime? Pulling millions of academic articles from the digital archive JSTOR. Prosecutors allege that Swartz downloaded…

Leonardo DiCaprio promises to take ‘long, long break’ from films

“Django Unchained” and “Titanic” star Leonardo DiCaprio said on Friday he was planning to take a significant break from filming and concentrate on his environmental campaigning. In an interview with Germany’s mass circulation daily Bild, the 38-year-old American actor said: “I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take…

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