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Mentally handicapped inmate Warren Hill granted stay of execution

Warren Hill, an intellectually disabled prisoner, has been spared the death chamber just 30 minutes before he was due to die by lethal injection in Georgia despite a US supreme court ban on executions of people with learning difficulties. Hill, 53, had already taken an oral sedative of Ativan to…

Indian workers plan nationwide strike against anti-labor policies

Millions of Indian workers were expected to join a two-day nationwide strike starting Wednesday in protest against “anti-labour” economic reforms introduced by the embattled Congress government. Premier Manmohan Singh has appealed to unions to abandon the strike, the latest in a string of protests against liberalisation, warning it would cause…

Forget feathers and beads: At Basel’s carnival Fasnacht, it’s all about politics

Forget feathers and beads: At Basel's carnival Fasnacht, it's all about politics New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro, Venice: All play host to the annual glittering, colorful, and wild extravaganza known as Carnival. But in Basel, Switzerland, the world’s only Protestant masque, celebrations take on a new twist – they get…

Copernicus and the Church: What the history books don’t say

Copernicus and the Church: What the history books don't say Legend has it that Nicolaus Copernicus and the church were at odds over his development of the heliocentric theory, a principle that disputed the widely held belief that Earth was the center of the universe. Unlike Galileo and other controversial…

Supreme Court declines to hear Sixth Amendment case on unanimous juries for criminal convictions

Unanimous juries for criminal convictions? Supreme Court declines case. The US Supreme Court declined on Tuesday to take up a case examining whether the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial requires that juries in criminal cases reach their verdicts unanimously. Two states, Louisiana and Oregon, permit convictions on less…

Election reformers doubt voting by mail is a solution to long wait times

In his State of the Union address, President Obama returned to a point he’d made on election night: The need to do something about long voting lines. Obama announced his plan for a commission to “improve the voting experience in America.” But often missing from discussions about how to make…

Biden advises Americans: Buy a double-barreled shotgun for protection

Vice President Joe Biden told Americans Tuesday that a few blasts of a shotgun should be ample for self defense, as he pushed White House gun reform plans. “If you want to protect yourself get a double barreled shotgun,” Biden said, on a Facebook forum hosted by “Parents Magazine” as…

Singer Morrissey convinces Los Angeles venues to ban meat

British singer and ex-Smiths frontman Morrissey has persuaded the venue of an upcoming Los Angeles show to ban sales of meat by food vendors, the vegetarian activist said. The sold-out March 1 concert will be the first time the LA concert venue has agreed to go 100 percent vegetarian, a…

Arkansas Senate passes bill to outlaw abortion after 20 weeks

The Arkansas Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to Reuters. The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act makes it a crime to perform an abortion once a fetus is capable of experiencing pain, which anti-abortion advocates claim occurs around 20 weeks of…

Michael Jackson’s son got gig as Entertainment Tonight reporter

The late King of Pop’s eldest child, “Prince” Michael Jackson, has started work as a television showbiz reporter, the show employing him announced Tuesday. The 16-year-old landed the job — or the show’s producers landed him — for Entertainment Tonight, starting by interviewing stars of an upcoming remake of “The…

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