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Bird ancestor reclaims its branch on tree of life

Venerated for 150 years as the forebear of all birds until being relegated two years ago to the common class of winged dinosaurs, the Archaeopteryx was restored to its hallowed branch on the tree of life on Wednesday. A fossil find in China proved the winged creature was in fact…

Citigroup settles lawsuit over federal securities law violations

Citigroup has settled a lawsuit by the US Federal Housing Finance Agency over the sale of home mortgage-backed securities to government-backed lenders, a court document showed Wednesday. According to the New York court filing, Judge Denise Cote said that both sides had reached an agreement that ends the lawsuit. The…

Canada’s Miss Universe competition embarrassingly crowns wrong winner

Losing is never easy, but for one unlucky contestant in Canada’s Miss Universe competition the bad news came 24 hours later — after she’d been crowned the winner. Red-faced organizers admitted on Wednesday that a typo led to a counting error that resulted in Denise Garrido, 26, being wrongly named…

Larry King moves to Kremlin-funded station RT

Legendary US television presenter Larry King announced Wednesday that he was moving his show to a Kremlin-funded TV station that primarily broadcasts Moscow’s views on world affairs. RT channel director Margarita Simonyan tweeted a link to a TV ad in which the suspenders-wearing veteran makes the grand announcement himself. “I…

Republicans accuse Eric Holder of misleading Congress over leak investigations

Eric Holder has been accused of misleading Congress over his involvement in aggressively investigating journalists for security leaks, forcing the White House to repeatedly defend its embattled attorney general. Republican critics seized on fresh information about attempts to obtain classified emails sent to a Fox News journalist in 2010 and…

‘Weather whiplash’ is a symptom of climate change: report

Frequent and intense weather events in the US cited in climate studies as series of natural disasters plague region America has some of the wildest weather on the planet, and it turns out those extremes – which run from heat waves and tornadoes to floods, hurricanes and droughts – carry…

Thousands of TVs go blank after Mexican city makes digital broadcasting switch

Mexicans love their televisions and telenovelas, so when thousands of TVs went blank after the city of Tijuana switched from analog to digital broadcasting, some people got off their couches to protest. The Pacific coast city, which lies at the border with California, went fully digital late Tuesday but 14,000…

Man lived for years with pencil inside his head

A young man lived for many years with a pencil lodged inside his head, said German surgeons who detected the object on a CT scan and safely removed it. The patient, a 24-year-old man from Afghanistan, had complained of impaired vision in his right eye, headaches and a discharge from…

UN experts slam Iran’s decision to ban women in elections

Several UN experts on Wednesday criticised Iran’s decision to bar women from running in upcoming elections, saying the move violated international law. “This mass disqualification including that of women wishing to stand in the presidential elections is discriminatory and violates the fundamental right to political participation,” UN special rapporteur on…

Tropical storm threatens to hit Mexico’s southern Pacific coast

Tropical Storm Barbara picked up steam off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Wednesday, threatening to make landfall with hurricane strength in a rural fishing region. Authorities closed four ports and urged residents to stay indoors, although television images showed people walking outside in coastal towns of the state of Oaxaca…

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