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Ohio executes man for drug-fueled bookstore murder

The state of Ohio executed a man who killed a security guard while robbing a bookstore amid a drug-fueled crime spree, officials said Wednesday. Frederick Treesh, who was stealing money to buy more cocaine at the time of the 1994 murder, is the fourth inmate executed so far this year…

Study finds link between autoimmune diseases and salt

A high-salt diet may be a risk factor for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), according to three papers published in the journal Nature on Wednesday. Two of the studies showed that salt can induce the production of aggressive cells involved in autoimmune disease development in mice and humans, while…

Sex abuse victims tell Catholic Church: Stop pretending the worst is over

Clergy sex abuse victims listed a “dirty dozen” potential papal candidates Wednesday and urged the Roman Catholic Church to “get serious” about protecting children, helping victims and exposing corruption. “We want to urge Catholic prelates to stop pretending that the worst is over regarding the clergy sex abuse and cover…

Maryland Senate approves bill to end the death penalty

Maryland, which has not executed any one since 2005, is set to abolish the death penalty for good within days, becoming the 18th US state to do so. A bill proposed by Governor Martin O’Malley to end capital punishment passed the state senate Wednesday, and the measure is widely tipped…

Scientists: Last year’s discovery is looking ‘more and more’ like Higgs boson

The subatomic particle whose discovery was announced amid much fanfare last year, is looking “more and more” like it could indeed be the elusive Higgs boson, believed to explain why matter has mass, scientists said Wednesday. But in the latest update, physicists told a conference in La Thuile, Italy, that…

Singapore-based firm develops ‘cuddle jacket’

Everyone needs a hug now and then, but at the CeBIT, the world’s top high-tech fair, even that can be created with technology as a Singapore-based firm unveiled its “cuddle jacket”, hailed as a global first. The normal-looking fleece-like item has small air bubbles that can be inflated to simulate…

New technology allows the paralyzed to paint with their brainpower

A computer programme enabling paralysed patients to create artwork using just the power of their brains drew big crowds on Wednesday at the CeBIT, the world’s top IT fair. Under a system pioneered by Austrian firm g-tec, the user wears a cap that measures brain activity. By focusing hard on…

Russia to send a woman into space in 2014

Russia will send a female cosmonaut into space for the first time in two decades next year, an official at the space training centre said Wednesday. Yelena Serova, 36 and a professional cosmonaut, “is getting ready for a space flight in the second half of 2014,” said Alexei Temerov, an…

Google: FBI is monitoring Internet for potential terrorist activity

Google says the FBI is monitoring the Web for potential terrorist activity. But it can’t say how extensive the surveillance is. As part of the Google Transparency Report, the Internet giant this week released data on so-called National Security Letters — official requests for data under the Patriot Act passed…

United Nations: We must tackle taboos that sideline women for menstruation

Aid agencies and governments must tackle the taboos surrounding menstruation as sidelining the issue undermines the quality of life of women and girls, chiefly in poor nations, a UN body said Wednesday. Poor education about menstruation, lack of access to sanitary napkins and painkillers for cramps, and inadequate washing and…

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