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Obama to appoint Republican Jim Comey to head FBI

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will nominate Jim Comey to be the next FBI director on Friday, picking a former Justice Department official who has deep experience in the U.S. battle against terrorism, a White House official said on Thursday. If confirmed by the Senate, Comey, a Republican, would…

Washington state pot regulators favor outdoor growth for environmental reasons

By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) – The regulatory board overseeing marijuana legalization in Washington State is leaning toward allowing licensed growers to raise the drug outdoors, citing the much higher carbon footprint of indoor and greenhouse cultivation, board members said. The view, which all three members of the Washington…

Twitter lawyer appointed to top White House aide job

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has appointed Twitter lawyer Nicole Wong to a new senior advisory position to focus on internet and privacy policy, a White House official said on Thursday. Wong will work with federal Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and will join the White House as Obama…

McCaskill: Contractor that vetted Snowden is under investigation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A company that conducted a 2011 background investigation into Edward Snowden, the source of recent leaks about U.S. secret surveillance programs, is itself under investigation, Senator Claire McCaskill said on Thursday. McCaskill identified the company as USIS, a Falls Church, Virginia-based company whose website says it specializes…

Some of world’s largest cities are improving energy efficiency

Some of the world’s largest cities are improving their energy efficiency, a report said Thursday, while nations struggle to forge a global response to climate change. Cities are taking action to reduce their carbon emissions and better manage their water strategy, said a report by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP),…

Facebook announces it will add video to Instagram

Facebook announced Thursday that it will add smartphone video-sharing to its Instagram photo-based social network, in a move that challenges Twitter’s popular Vine service. “We need to do to video what we did to photos,” Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom said while unveiling Video On Instagram at a press event at…

Study finds 40,000 people were abducted during 40-year Colombian civil war

Almost 40,000 people were abducted during the 40 years of Colombia’s civil war, according to a study published on Thursday, the first attempt to quantify the scourge of kidnapping. The research, released by the Center for Historical Memory in Bogota, was commissioned by police and prosecutors and compiled with help…

Belgium opens beer temple in former stock market building

Beer has always been one of Belgium’s biggest money-spinners but now Brussels is going a step further, announcing plans Thursday to open a temple to the amber nectar in its old stock exchange building. The “Temple of Belgian Beer” project finds a use for the grand 19th century building near…

Scientists create detailed 3-D map of the human brain

A deceased 65-year-old woman has provided scientists with the material for the first super high resolution three-dimensional digital model of the human brain, researchers said Thursday. The roadmap of the mind was painstakingly created by scientists in Germany and Canada and is 50 times more detailed than the last attempt,…

New Jersey Supreme Court approves Senate special election

N.J. Supreme Court allows special U.S. Senate elections (via NJ.com) TRENTON — The special October election to fill the seat of the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg can go on as scheduled after the state Supreme Court today said it won’t hear the case. In a one-page notice, Chief Justice…

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