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Poll: Majority of Americans want Supreme Court to uphold right to abortion

Sixty-three percent of Americans would rather not see the US Supreme Court overturn its historic 1973 ruling on abortion, according to a Pew Research Center opinion poll released Wednesday. Only 29 percent want to see the Roe versus Wade decision upended, according to the poll released six days before its…

UK fines Playboy $160,000 for ‘reckless’ online exposure to children

Britain’s media regulator fined Playboy 100,000 pounds ($160,000, 121,000 euros) on Wednesday for its “reckless” failure to prevent children from accessing pornography. Two websites owned by the US adult brand provided access to “hardcore videos and images” without adequate controls ensuring that users were aged 18 or over, the Ofcom…

EU hints at banning insecticides over threat to bees

The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees. The EU’s food safety agency had reported “disturbing conclusions on three types of insecticides,” a spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg…

Hong Kong LGBT activists blast government’s stalling on anti-discrimination laws

Hong Kong’s gay community on Wednesday blasted the government for refusing to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual minorities. Rights groups hoped chief executive Leung Chun-ying would use his maiden policy speech to launch a debate on the issue, with a view…

WHO: Dengue fever shows potential for global epidemic

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate. “In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold…

Court denies Pussy Riot member request to defer prison time for her 5-year-old son

A Russian court on Wednesday turned down a request by a jailed member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to defer serving her jail sentence until her five-year-old son is older. “The court has ruled not to satisfy the petition,” the judge said at Berezniki city court in the…

Mobile company Orange will charge Google for data traffic

The head of Orange said on Wednesday the mobile phone company had been able to impose a deal on Google for generating vast amounts of traffic on its telecoms networks. Orange CEO Stephane Richard said on France’s BFM Business TV that with 230 million clients and areas where Google could…

Debate intensifies over ‘draconian’ cyber crime laws after Aaron Swartz’s death

As funeral services were held for Internet activist Aaron Swartz, the debate intensified over what some called a “draconian” US computer crime law used by allegedly overzealous prosecutors. An online petition calling for the removal of the prosecutors in his case garnered more than 31,000 signatures Tuesday and some of…

Estonian president’s Twitter fight with Paul Krugman becomes an opera

A Twitter feud in June between the Estonian president and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who questioned the impact of Estonia’s austerity measures, is being turned into an opera, US composer Eugene Birman told AFP on Wednesday. “Our short opera will be first performed by Iris Oja and the…

Renewable energy at 15 percent but 2030 targets unlikely

The share of renewables in the global energy mix has increased over the past decade to more than 15 percent but doubts remain over whether a 2030 target of 30 percent is achievable, delegates to an international conference said on Wednesday. Fossil fuels still account for 80 percent of world…

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