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Music activates brain region associated with reward

Scientists know that music can give intense pleasure by delivering chemical rewards in the brain that are equal to the joy of good food or even sex, but now they think they may have identified the part of the brain where this pleasure starts. Researchers scanned the brains of subjects…

Fossils uncover ‘weird’ chimp-human creature called Australopithecus sediba

She walked with a knock-kneed gait, with a heel like a chimp but the upright posture of a human, and she may provide the most complete evidence yet of early man’s closest ancestor, scientists said Thursday. Two-million-year-old Australopithecus sediba’s awkward strut would eventually send a modern man begging for a…

Protesters demand Obama close Guantanamo Bay prison

Rights activists across the United States held a series of protests on Thursday demanding the closure of Guantanamo Bay as a hunger-strike at the jail entered a third month. In a day of action aimed at drawing attention to the plight of prisoners at the facility, demonstrators — many wearing…

‘Inaccurate’ to say North Korea has nuclear missiles: U.S.

The United States on Thursday insisted North Korea did not have nuclear-armed missiles as officials sought to play down a leaked intelligence report warning Pyongyang had likely succeeded in building atomic warheads that could be fit on a ballistic missile. Pentagon spokesman George Little said “it would be inaccurate to…

Documentary explores pervy performance art of eco-sex activists

“Blood and sperm. The perfect mix,” says a tattooed hippy, as he licks both off his hands, having just had sex with a woman in front of a small audience in a Berlin basement. “Life-giving fluids we are all so afraid of. We’re so afraid of ourselves! It’s all organic.”…

Church leaders rally in D.C. for stricter gun laws

Sam Saylor’s son Shane was 20 years old when he became the 20th homicide victim of 2012 in Hartford, Connecticut on October 20. The suspected gunman? Another 20-year-old. “That day he died, I was selling cakes, raising money for the church,” recalled Saylor, pastor of Blackwell Memorial AME Zion Church…

Suicide of raped teen reignites concerns over cyberbullying in Canada

Another Canadian teen’s suicide after months of harassment and circulation of an image of her alleged rape by four boys has reignited concerns over cyberbullying, and led hacker group Anonymous Thursday to call for a new investigation. Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, died in hospital on Sunday in the port city of…

White House says Jay-Z’s Cuba rap just a ‘song’

President Barack Obama did not personally approve Beyonce and Jay-Z’s trip to Cuba, the White House said Thursday, after the US rapper released a single online slamming criticism of their travels. In “Open Letter,” Jay-Z — who with Beyonce worked to raise funds for Obama’s re-election campaign last year —…

Israeli army injures ‘physically disabled’ Palestinian man

Israeli troops shot and wounded a physically disabled Palestinian man during an arrest operation in the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, a prisoners’ rights group said. Motazz Obeidu, 32, was “seriously wounded by Israeli army gunfire during an arrest operation” at dawn, the Ramallah-based Prisoners Club said,…

Stocks surge to new record highs after jobs report

US stocks pushed to new record levels after a government report pointed to lower-than-expected jobless claims. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 61.29 (0.41 percent) to 14,863.53, while the broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.47 (0.34 percent) to 1,593.20. Both the Dow and the S&P 500 recorded…

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