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Suicide rate among the middle-aged rises sharply in U.S.

Suicide rates among US adults aged 35-64 are on the rise — with more Americans now taking their lives than dying in car accidents, according to official statistics released Thursday. Motor vehicle accidents killed 33,687 people in 2010 — well below the 38,364 who died from suicide in the same…

California to confiscate guns from 20,000 people who own them illegally

Governor signs law to allow agents to seize guns from 20,000 Californians who have been disqualified from owning them California plans to confiscate guns from 20,000 people who bought them legally but have since been disqualified because of criminal or psychiatric problems, boosting the state’s relatively tough approach to gun…

Solar-powered aircraft to make first cross-continental flight in U.S.

An innovative solar-powered aircraft is set to launch from California Friday on a flight across the United States, aiming to showcase what is possible without fossil fuels. The experimental Solar Impulse plane — with the wingspan of a Boeing 747 but the weight of a small car — bears 12,000…

Insecticide linked to extreme spike in dragonfly and snail die-offs

Dutch research reveals correlation between water polluted with imidacloprid and low numbers of aquatic insects The world’s most widely used insecticide is devastating dragonflies, snails and other water-based species, a groundbreaking Dutch study has revealed. On Monday, the insecticide and two others were banned for two years from use on some crops…

States begin passing pre-Civil War ‘nullification’ laws to fight gun safety laws

By Lois Beckett, ProPublica In mid-April, Kansas passed a law asserting that federal gun regulations do not apply to guns made and owned in Kansas. Under the law, Kansans could manufacture and sell semi-automatic weapons in-state without a federal license or any federal oversight. Kansas’ “Second Amendment Protection Act” backs…

German TV pulls crime show after star revealed to be Nazi

German public broadcaster ZDF said Thursday it would stop showing reruns of the wildly popular television crime show “Derrick” after it emerged that its late star had belonged to Hitler’s notorious Waffen SS. Horst Tappert, who played the beloved baggy-eyed detective from 1974 to 1998 in a programme that ran…

Obama heads to Mexico to discuss trade and drug war

US President Barack Obama headed to Mexico on Thursday to put trade back at the heart of bilateral ties, but his southern neighbor’s shifting drug war tactics loom large over the visit. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hosts Obama on the first stop of a three-day trip that will also…

New ‘Porn Studies’ academic journal to debut next spring

By John Dugdale, The Guardian First peer-reviewed journal invites experts to contribute in time for spring debut Porn Studies needs your contributions. The Routledge academic periodical will debut next spring, and a call for papers appeared this week soliciting submissions for “the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore…

Benedict XVI returns to Vatican to visit new Pope

Two months after his historic resignation, Benedict XVI was set to return to the Vatican on Thursday, where he will live in a former monastery in an unprecedented arrangement that will see a pope and a former pope both housed in the tiny state. It is expected to be a…

Scientists develop device that can detect oncoming seizures in epilepsy patients

A tiny device implanted in the brain of epilepsy sufferers has for the fist time been able to predict the onset of seizures, scientists reported on Thursday. The potentially life-saving device works with electrodes that monitor electrical activity on the brain surface, they wrote in The Lancet Neurology. The electrodes…

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