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Most Catholics in the United States approve of a Third World pope: poll

Sixty percent of Catholics in the United States think it would be a good thing for the next pope to come from South America, Asia or Africa, a Pew Research Center poll said Thursday. Another 20 percent said it would not matter if Pope Benedict XVI’s successor hails from a…

U.S. warns Iran over ‘provocative’ centrifuges at nuclear plant

The United States warned Iran Thursday that the installation of next-generation centrifuges at one of its main nuclear plants, as reported by the UN nuclear watchdog, would be a “provocative step.” The move “would be a further escalation and a continuing violation of Iran’s obligations under the relevant UN Security…

Massive winter storm blankets central United States

A massive winter storm blanketed much of the central United States Thursday, dumping heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain, and even prompting tornado warnings with its high winds. Tens of millions of people in 24 states were expected to be affected by the storm before it peters out when it…

Google unveils high-end laptop to challenge MacBook

Google on Thursday unveiled a touch-screen notebook computer designed for high-end PC users, throwing down a gauntlet for Apple and its MacBooks. Google said its Chrome Pixel computers blending tablet and laptop technology, boasting heavyweight Intel chips and screens tailored for rich graphics were released in the United States and…

United States and Iran join forces to save wrestling in Olympics

The United States and Iran may be arch foes on the diplomatic front, but bosses from two of wrestling’s power-houses have allied to fight a decision to drop the sport from the 2020 Olympic Games. Rich Bender, executive director of USA Wrestling, is in Tehran, which is hosting the World…

RIAA: Google effort fails to curb music piracy

Google’s revamping of its search formula last year has failed so far to live up to its promise of discouraging consumers from visiting illegal music websites, an industry group says. A report released this week by the Recording Industry Association of America said it found Google’s initiative announced last August…

French author writes about Dominique Strauss-Kahn in graphic detail

A French author has written in graphic detail about her eight-month affair with disgraced IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, calling the relationship “field work” for a controversial new book. The book by Argentinian-born Marcela Iacub, a columnist with the left-wing daily Liberation, was denounced by Strauss-Kahn and the wife he has…

UN rejects claim that peacekeepers spread cholera epidemic in Haiti

The United Nations on Thursday formally rejected massive damages claims filed by lawyers after UN peacekeepers were accused of introducing a cholera epidemic to Haiti. About 8,000 people have died in the epidemic but UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said the global body had told lawyers the damages claim was “non-receivable”…

Big Bird launches nutrition and fitness campaign with Michelle Obama

Big Bird is back as a player in big time US politics. Mitt Romney wanted to get rid of him, but after a reprieve following the Republican’s election defeat, the towering Sesame Street puppet has signed up to endorse First Lady Michelle Obama’s nutrition and fitness campaign. The fluffy yellow…

German bishops approve use of emergency contraception in Catholic hospitals for rape victims

The German Catholic Church ruled Thursday that the use of the morning-after pill was acceptable in certain cases for rape victims. The German Bishops’ Conference said in a press statement that rape victims treated in Catholic hospitals should “of course receive humane, medical, psychological and pastoral care.” “The administration of…

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