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France issues first-ever regulations for nano-particles

France has become the first country in Europe to require manufacturers to identify use of nano-particles, the extremely fine grains that are increasingly found in drugs and consumer products. Manufacturers must make a declaration if they used at least 100 grammes (3.52 ounces) of nano-particles in products that were imported,…

Digital music commerce hits new high in 2013 at 1.66 billion sales

Music sales in the United States hit a new high in 2012 powered by demand for digital downloads, according to figures released Friday by industry tracker Nielsen. The overall number of purchases — music videos, single tracks, or albums — topped 1.66 billion in a 3.1 percent climb from a…

Google settlement in U.S. unlikely to affect EU probe

The decision by US authorities to close down an 18-month anti-trust investigation into Internet giant Google has no bearing on what the EU will do with its own probe, the European Commission said Friday. The US Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it lacked a legal basis to bring a case…

Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp sees record number of visitors in 2012

The number of visitors to the World War II Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp soared to a record 1.43 million in 2012, the museum at the site in southern Poland said Friday. “This is a record in the 65-year history of this museum. We’ve received over a million visitors each year over…

New Delhi gang rape victim’s boyfriend speaks out

The boyfriend of a 23-year-old woman who died after being brutally gang-raped on a New Delhi bus spoke for the first time Friday about the savagery inflicted on her and his failed efforts to intervene. “What can I say? The cruelty I saw should not be seen ever. I tried…

Argentina plans to give out 82 million condoms in 2013

Argentina plans to give out 82 million condoms nationwide in 2013 in a campaign against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, the health ministry said Friday. The condoms will be handed out at health centers, schools, prisons, bars and nightclubs, as well as through a network of nearly 3,000 fixed spots…

Church of England allows abstinent gay men in civil partnerships to be bishops

Gay clergy in civil partnerships will be allowed to become bishops if they are sexually abstinent, according to new policy The Church of England has agreed that gay clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops so long as they remain sexually abstinent, a decision that looks set to reopen one…

Congress counts electoral college votes

The US presidential election isn’t over yet: Congress must still count the electoral college’s votes. Only then will Barack Obama be officially declared the winner — a quaint formality, perhaps, but also constitutionally required. A relic of when Americans traveled on horseback and interstate communication was less than instantaneous, electoral…

U.S. adds 155,000 jobs, unemployment rate stays the same

The US economy added a modest 155,000 net new jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday, and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8 percent. The number of jobs created was slightly lower than November’s 161,000, showing the economy still was generating enough fresh positions only to slowly pull…

Shot Pakistan schoolgirl Malala leaves U.K. hospital

The Pakistani schoolgirl shot by the Taliban for campaigning for girls’ education has been discharged from the British hospital treating her, a hospital spokeswoman said on Friday. Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, central England, said 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai would continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary English home before undergoing…

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