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Obama calls Jason Collins to praise his bravery in coming out

US President Barack Obama called NBA player Jason Collins on Monday to praise his courage after he became the first star in big-time American professional team sports to come out as gay. Collins, currently a free agent who has played for six teams over 12 seasons, made the announcement in…

Those who choose utilitarian ethics have empathy deficit, study finds

Those who would sacrifice one person to save five others score low on one particular measure of empathy, but not other measures, according to research published this month in the scientific journal PLoS One. The study of 2748 people by Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht of the Institute of Cognitive Neurology in Argentina and…

Guantanamo gets extra medical staff as hunger strike continues

Extra medical staff have been sent to the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay to help address a hunger strike that has spread to nearly two-thirds of the detainees, authorities said Monday. With the strike now entering its 12th week, President Barack Obama has faced fresh calls to honor his…

Global carbon dioxide levels on pace to hit ‘sobering milestone’ of 400ppm

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has reached 399.72 parts per million (ppm) and is likely to pass the symbolically important 400ppm level for the first time in the next few days. Readings at the US government’s Earth Systems Research laboratory in Hawaii, are not expected to reach…

Rep. Paul Ryan: I’m ruling out thinking about 2016

House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has ruled out seeking the White House in 2016 — at least for now. “I’m ruling out thinking about it right now,” he said in video uploaded to YouTube by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. “I really don’t think it is in my interest…

Living in U.S. raises risk of allergies

Children born outside the United States have a lower risk of asthma, skin and food allergies, and living in the United States for a decade or more may raise the risk of some allergies, said a study Monday. The research in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that…

Tamerlan Tsarnaev had links to slain radical militants: Russian newspaper

One of the brothers suspected of carrying out the Boston bombings had made links with two figures in the Islamist anti-Kremlin insurgency in the Northern Caucasus, both of whom were killed by Russian security forces, a security source said Monday. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, who was himself killed during his capture…

Palestinian Christians urge pope to oppose Bethlehem wall

Palestinian Christians near Bethlehem on Monday urged Pope Francis to speak up against an Israeli decision to build its controversial separation barrier on a route they say would cut off their community. “We cry to your Holiness with a feeling of despair and urgency in order to keep alive our…

Kobe Bryant praises Jason Collins: Don’t suffocate who you are

NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash on Monday led a throng of players and celebrities offering support for Jason Collins, after the veteran center made the landmark revelation that he is gay. Collins, who played for Boston and Washington this past season but who is now a free agent,…

U.S. calls on North Korea to release American ‘immediately’

The United States on Monday urged North Korea to free a US citizen on “humanitarian grounds” as it sought to pin down the charges against him ahead of a planned trial by Pyongyang. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Saturday Pae Jun-Ho, known in the US as…

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