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Randy pandas get privacy at Tokyo zoo

A pair of pandas in the mood for mating were being given a bit of space Thursday with Japanese zookeepers hoping they will mate on if the public was kept away. Female panda Shin Shin has begun to display the tell-tale behaviour of being ready for action, say officials at…

Ukraine’s topless feminists go international

Ukrainian feminist group Femen are taking their topless protests around the world, having already stripped off in Western Europe to highlight a range of issues from democratic violations to sexual exploitation, in what some call a new brand of feminist activism. While enjoying little support at home, Femen’s protesters have…

Bolshoi dancer appears in court over acid attack

A leading dancer at Russia?s Bolshoi Theatre appeared in court Thursday after confessing to planning the acid attack on the ballet troupe?s artistic director Sergei Filin, reportedly in revenge for Filin’s treatment of his dancer girlfriend. A Moscow district court was to decide whether to remand in custody leading Bolshoi…

Lion attacks and kills worker in California cat sanctuary

An African lion attacked and killed a worker at a Californian cat sanctuary Wednesday, emergency officials quoted by local media said. The incident happened at Project Survival’s Cat Haven at Dunlap, some 225 miles (360 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, according to a state Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman,…

Bipartisan Senate bill bars the mentally ill from buying guns

Republicans teamed up with Democrats Wednesday to introduce gun control legislation in the US Senate that aims to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill. It is one of a handful of new bills, including a beefed-up ban on assault weapons, being considered in the wake of…

New Zealand court: Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom can sue spy agency

An appeal court Thursday backed Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom’s right to sue New Zealand’s foreign intelligence agency for illegally spying on him as part of a US probe into alleged online piracy. The Court of Appeal refused a government request to overturn a High Court decision in December that said…

American Legislative Exchange Council behind push to lower minimum wages: report

The conservative lobbying group Alec has been behind a major push against the pay rates of low-wage American workers by sponsoring or supporting scores of new laws aimed at weakening their protections, a new survey has found. Since 2011, politicians backed by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which has hit…

Scientists use brain electrodes to treat anorexia

Scientists said Thursday they had, for the first time, helped women with severe anorexia through electrodes implanted into their brains. The technique is in an experimental phase and only some patients had improved, but the treatment showed promise, they wrote in the Lancet medical journal. After nine months, three of…

Sen. Rand Paul: I’ll end filibuster once Obama says no to drone strikes in the U.S.

Republican Rand Paul stiff-armed President Barack Obama’s CIA nomination Wednesday, drawing support from fellow senators concerned about the administration’s refusal to rule out drone strikes on US soil. With the blocking tactic stretching into it’s sixth hour, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tried to bring Paul’s filibuster to a close,…

House passes bill to prevent government shutdown

The US House passed a stop-gap funding measure Wednesday that keeps the government operating through fiscal year 2013, as Congress seeks to seal a needed budget extension before a March 27 deadline. The Republican-sponsored bill, which passed 267-151, would shift several billion dollars to certain military operations as a way…

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