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D.C. protesters target NRA and other gun lobbyists

Lobbyists in Washington have blood on their hands for helping the top US gun lobby derail President Barack Obama’s push for tougher gun laws, protesters said Thursday. Several dozen people gathered in McPherson Square, near the White House, at lunch hour to name and shame six lobbying firms which, they…

Stocks climb as unemployment hits lowest level since mid-March

US stocks Thursday finished a volatile trading session higher following improved jobless claims data and a mixed bag of corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 24.50 (0.17 percent) to 14,700.80. After touching close to break-even, the index rallied in the final minutes for a gain. The broad-based S&P…

HIV vaccine trial ends in failure: official

US authorities announced Thursday they have halted clinical trials of an experimental vaccine designed to halt the virus that leads to AIDS after discovering it did not stop infection. The program, which began in 2009, is the latest in a series of unsuccessful studies of candidate vaccines aimed at tackling…

Venezuela arrests accused U.S. intelligence agent

Venezuela said Thursday it has arrested a US national whom it accused of being an intelligence agent tasked with sowing chaos and civil unrest throughout the country. The alleged agent, Timothy Hallet Tracy, was detained Wednesday at an airport near Caracas as he tried to leave the country, according to…

Brian Brown: Same sex marriage worse than death or divorce

Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, on Wednesday compared same-sex marriage to the death of a parent. In a prepared statement, Brown lashed out at the Rhode Island legislature for approving a bill that would allow same-sex couples to marry. “For the first time, the state…

South Africa sees record tourism

A record 9.2 million tourists visited South Africa last year, President Jacob Zuma said Thursday, revealing a surge in visitors from China. The number of tourists travelling to South Africa grew by more than 10 percent, despite the global economic crisis. “This phenomenal tourism growth is evidence that we are…

Google shows requests for censorship have reached new highs

Google on Thursday released data showing that requests by governments to censor the Internet giant’s content have hit new heights, with Brazil and the United States leading the way. Google received 2,285 government requests to remove content from it properties, including YouTube and search pages, in the second half of…

Einstein’s theory of relativity holds up in deep space

Some 7,000 light years away, Einstein’s theory of general relativity has stood up to its most intense test yet, scientists said on Thursday. The project involved observing a massive, fast-spinning star called a pulsar, and its companion white dwarf — a smaller but very dense star that is dying, having…

Earth’s core hotter than scientists originally believed

European scientists said Thursday that a new laboratory experiment shows the Earth’s core is likely much hotter than last reported 20 years ago. It’s not that the iron core of our planet has warmed, but rather that the technique used to estimate its heat previously was flawed, researchers said in…

Thatcher’s funeral cost British taxpayers $2.5 million

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral cost British taxpayers an estimated £1.6 million ($2.5 million 1.9 million euros), with a further £2 million spent on police who would have been on duty anyway, Downing Street said Thursday. Though never likely, back-of-an-envelope newspaper guesses in the run-up to the former prime minister’s funeral last…

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