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Researchers sequence ‘world’s oldest’ genome from horse ancestor

Straight from the horse’s toe: The world’s oldest genome (via The Christian Science Monitor) Researchers have sequenced the genome of a horse that lived some 700,000 years ago – the oldest genome ever sequenced – making it possible to reconstruct an evolutionary narrative of the modern horse, whose journey through…

Defense secretary: Same sex military spouses to see benefits ‘as soon as possible’

DOMA: Military spouses to see benefits 'as soon as possible,' Hagel vows (via The Christian Science Monitor) With the Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Pentagon will move “as soon as possible” to make all the same benefits available to all military spouses, regardless…

Disgruntled viewer sues Japanese public broadcaster over using English words

Elderly viewers confused by increasing trend to use anglicised terms instead of their Japanese equivalent Japan’s public broadcaster, NHK, is in a spot of toraburu with a disgruntled viewer who has filed a damages lawsuit against the company for the “mental distress” caused by its excessive use of words derived from English.…

Japan to send ‘creepy’ talking robot into space with astronauts

Talking robots in space have a bad track record – just watch 2001: A Space Odyssey. So good luck to his fellow astronauts on the International Space Station This August, a consortium of Japanese scientists, engineers and advertising bigwigs will send a talking robot into space. The robot will be…

WikiLeaks staffer helping Edward Snowden flee U.S. authorities

Holed up with a fugitive computer expert and negotiating a legal minefield to avoid the US authorities — WikiLeaks staffer Sarah Harrison has been here before. As one of Julian Assange’s closest aides, the blonde, willowy Briton is uniquely qualified to help US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden avoid extradition to…

Official figures reveal Ireland is back in a recession

Ireland’s bailed-out economy slumped back into recession in the second half of last year, and continued to shrink in the first quarter of 2013, official figures showed on Thursday. GDP tumbled 1.0 percent in the third quarter of 2012 and by 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter, meeting the definition…

Mandela’s daughter raps media ‘vultures’ as he lay critically ill

By Siphiwe Sibeko PRETORIA (Reuters) – Former South African President Nelson Mandela is still clinging to life, his eldest daughter Makaziwe said on Thursday, but she blasted foreign media “vultures” for violating his privacy as he lay critically ill in hospital. Makaziwe’s outburst came after the government reported another downturn…

PayPal launches quest for intergalactic currency

Earthbound financial transactions service PayPal launched a quest for an intergalactic currency, saying it is time to figure out what space travelers will use as cash. “The time has now come for us to start planning for the future; a future where we aren’t just talking about global payments,” said…

Singapore gripped by Hello Kitty frenzy

Tempers flared and police had to be called in Thursday as anxious Singaporeans rushed to McDonald’s outlets to buy Hello Kitty plush toys being sold by the fastfood chain as a promotion. Hundreds had begun queueing from Wednesday night to get their hands on a kitten in a skeleton outfit,…

U.S. boss held captive by angry Chinese employees released

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese factory workers on Thursday released their U.S. boss, held captive for a week, after a compensation dispute was resolved, a company official and union representative said. Chip Starnes, president of Specialty Medical Supplies, in the Beijing suburb of Huairou, was allowed to leave the factory and…

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