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Obama on the death of Hugo Chavez: We support the Venezuelan people

President Barack Obama said within hours of the death of American foe President Hugo Chavez Tuesday that the United States was interested in a “constructive” future relationship with Venezuela. Antipathy in the US Congress towards the leftist champion Chavez, who died after a long battle with cancer, meanwhile bubbled up…

Shipwreck may contain near-mythical Viking navigation aid

An oblong crystal found in the wreck of a 16th-century English warship is a sunstone, a near-mythical navigational aid said to have been used by Viking mariners, researchers said on Wednesday. The stone is made of Iceland spar, a transparent, naturally-occurring calcite crystal that polarises light and can get a…

Republican leaders optimistic about averting government shutdown

Leaders from both sides of the bitterly divided US Congress said Tuesday they were optimistic about a funding bill that would avert a possible government shutdown at the end of the month. President Barack Obama has been pushing for a deal in recent days by calling several Republican lawmakers, the…

News Corp to launch Fox Sports 1 to challenge ESPN’s dominance

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. on Tuesday announced plans for a new multi-sport network for the US market called Fox Sports 1 to challenge ESPN’s dominance. The launch had been widely anticipated as the conglomerate pursues a plan to split its publishing operations from its film and entertainment units. “Our secret,…

White House says ‘no more tours’ until Congress agrees to end sequester

This afternoon, Roll Call reported that the White House will no longer be giving tours to the public due to budget cuts that resulted from the sequester. White House officials said they’re cancelling tours due to staffing reductions resulting from sequestration. White House Budget ranking member Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.,…

‘Cannibal cop’ says torturing and eating women nothing more than his fantasy

New York’s so-called “cannibal cop” opened his defense in court Tuesday with video testimony from the Russian founder of an extreme fetish website who said that discussing eating young women was a standard online fantasy. Sergey Merenkov described his site darkfetishnet.com, a favorite of suspended New York police Officer Gilberto…

U.S. warns Iran: Don’t take advantage of reduced naval presence

A top commander on Tuesday warned Iran not to test US resolve in the Gulf after Washington scaled back its naval presence in the area, saying no adversary should underestimate American military power in the region. “I still have one carrier out there, and I would just caution any enemy…

White House ‘deeply concerned’ with House Republican funding plan

The White House on Tuesday expressed deep concern with a Republican bill to avoid a new fiscal showdown by funding the government through 2013, which keeps most sequester spending cuts in place. The Republican bill introduced in the House of Representatives does not cancel the $85 billion in arbitrary and…

FBI investigating mysterious drone hovering near JFK airport

The FBI is hunting down a UFO. Really. At John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Monday, a pilot reported seeing an unidentified black drone hovering about 2,000 feet from the ground as his plane made its final descent. The drone came within 200 feet of the plane,…

Facebook changes made users share more private data: study

Facebook users began sharing more private data after the social network giant revamped its policies and interface, according to a study released Tuesday. The seven-year study by Carnegie Mellon University researchers said users had been moving toward greater privacy settings from 2005 to 2009, but that the trend reversed with…

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