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Lance Armstrong admits taking performance enhancing drugs

Shamed former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong admitted taking several banned performance enhancing substances, in a television interview broadcast Thursday. Armstrong told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he had used blood transfusions and taken EPO, testosterone, cortisone, human growth hormone in all seven of his Tour victories…

Black conservatives launch effort to scrap part of Voting Rights Act

A group of prominent black conservatives is trying to help scrap a key part of the Voting Rights Act, the landmark civil rights-era legislation that enshrined the right of black Americans to have equal treatment at the ballot box. The law was signed in 1965 by President Lyndon Johnson in…

Boy brings handgun to school in New York

A seven-year-old boy brought a gun to school in his book bag Thursday, New York police said. The find — a .22 caliber handgun — caused police to place the Wave Preparatory Elementary School in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens on lockdown for about an hour. The student has…

Geithner sees too much economic pessimism: report

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned against too much pessimism about the US economy, in an interview published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal. “I think people are too dark about the economy now, in part because of the shadow of pessimism, skepticism about our political system today,” said Geithner,…

Authoritarian regimes use Silicon Valley software to censor Internet: report

Authoritarian regimes around the world are using technology from a Silicon Valley firm for Internet surveillance, filtering and censorship, according to a report by Canadian researchers. The report this week from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab said devices from California-based security firm Blue Coat Systems were being used in…

Robert Redford: Debate on movie violence ‘overdue’

Studying the impact of movies on real-life gun violence is “overdue,” veteran director Robert Redford said Thursday, suggesting a possible link between guns and box office takings. Redford was asked about the gun debate triggered by last month’s school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, at the start of the annual Sundance…

‘Anonymous’ hacks Argentina data agency

Hacker group Anonymous blocked the official website of Argentina’s National Institute of Statistics and Census amid an international stand-off over claims the country has lied about its economy. “They lie to the people, but the people are true to their word,” the hacker collective’s Argentina branch wrote on its Twitter…

Study: Flu shots pose no extra risk for pregnant women

Pregnant women in Norway who got vaccinated against the swine flu virus that caused the 2009-2010 pandemic showed no increased risk of pregnancy loss, contrary to popular belief, says a study released Thursday. Pregnant women who came down with the flu did however have increased risk of miscarriage and still…

Report: Work in U.S. and Spain losing its appeal for Latin Americans

For Latin Americans seeking work abroad, traditional magnets like the United States and Spain are losing their appeal because of weak economies, said a report released Thursday. Instead, more and more are looking to countries such as Canada, Japan, South Korea and Australia, according to the study by the Organization…

‘Dear Abbey’ founder Pauline Phillips dies at 94

Pauline Phillips, who consoled millions around the world as the creator of the iconic Dear Abby advice column, has died at the age of 94, her syndication service said Thursday. In a statement, Universal Uclick said Phillips — who wrote Dear Abby from 1956 until her daughter Jeanne Phillips formally…

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