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Yoko Ono: We are turning this beautiful country into a war zone

A sobering image of John Lennon’s bloodstained glasses ricocheted around the Internet on Thursday after his widow Yoko Ono posted them on Twitter in an appeal for tougher US guns laws. “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years, our son Sean and I still…

Los Angeles holds earthquake drill to prepare for the ‘big one’

Emergency teams staged a mock operation to respond to a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude quake in Los Angeles, saying the West Coast megalopolis needs to be ready for an “overdue” Big One. Some 300 people took part in the office-based drill on Thursday, organized by LA County’s Office of Emergency Management, based…

Planck spacecraft’s map of ‘almost perfect’ universe could point to new physics

Today is a great day. The European Space Agency has released the most precise map so far of the oldest light in the universe. The best news is that is reveals an ‘almost perfect universe‘. By that they mean it almost conforms to expectations – but not quite. While the basic…

Federal judge: ‘Clipping’ news articles violates copyright law

A US federal judge has ruled that the online news “clipping” service Meltwater violates copyright law by using excerpts from Associated Press articles, the parties said Thursday. The US news organization sued Meltwater, claiming the service infringed on AP’s copyright by delivering its articles to clients without paying a subscription…

Obama appeals for peace to young Israelis

In a powerful direct appeal to Israelis, President Barack Obama Thursday insisted a two-state peace with the Palestinians could still be forged and was their only hope of true security. In a trademark soaring address, Obama also built on his vow of an “eternal” defence of the Jewish state in…

New York man released after being wrongly imprisoned for 23 years

A New Yorker was freed Thursday after serving more than 20 years in prison for the murder of a rabbi that the authorities now say he did not commit. David Ranta was sentenced to 37 years behind bars after being convicted in 1991 of killing an Orthodox Jewish rabbi during…

Joe Biden: White House is not going to rest until gun laws passed

The White House will keep pushing for tough new gun ownership laws despite lack of support in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday, urging politicians to show “courage” for the sake of shooting massacre victims. “I’m not going to rest and nor is the president until we do all…

Chuck Schumer: Senate close to finalizing ‘pathway to citizenship’ for immigrants

Eight US senators crafting an overhaul of immigration policy are on the verge of finalizing a deal that could bring 11 million undocumented migrants out of the shadows, one of the lawmakers said Thursday. Senator Chuck Schumer, the leading Democrat in the bipartisan Gang of Eight, said the plan, which…

U.S. House votes to avert government shutdown

Congress approved a funding stopgap Thursday to keep the US government operating through September, while the House backed a Republican blueprint that lays out budget austerity for the next decade. The two votes came in rapid-fire succession in the House of Representatives ahead of a two-week congressional holiday recess. The…

Thailand to distribute 1.7 million tablets to schools

Thailand plans to distribute about 1.7 million tablet computers to students and teachers this year in the world’s largest handout of the devices for education, officials said Thursday. Nine firms from countries including China, India, Germany and the Netherlands are set to join an online tender in April to supply…

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