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New Jesuit pope fuels conspiracy theories about an ‘army of shadows’

As the first Jesuit pontiff, Pope Francis will have a global outlook without the far-fetched theories often associated with a community long shunned by the Vatican hierarchy, experts said. The Society of Jesus, founded in 1540 by Ignatius of Loyola — a former Spanish soldier — is sometimes depicted as…

Conservative conference exposes Republican divisions

Still nursing election wounds, soul-searching Republicans gathered Thursday at the first conservative casting call for the US presidential election in 2016, with the party divided over how to broaden its appeal. Several prospective White House candidates including Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Paul Ryan lined up for a chance to…

Treasury chief Jacob Lew not worried about financial bubble

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew said Thursday that he was not worried about a potential financial bubble forming as Wall Street stocks racked up record highs. “The analysis that I’ve seen doesn’t give me reason to be worried right now,” Lew said in an interview on US business news channel…

Reuters editor Matthew Keys charged with aiding ‘Anonymous’ hackers

A Reuters editor has been indicted in a California district court for allegedly conspiring with the hacker group Anonymous to access and alter a web site of the Tribune Company, his former employer. Matthew Keys, 26, the deputy social media editor at the news agency, is accused of supplying Anonymous…

Swiss Space Systems aims for low-cost satellite service

A new Swiss-based company said Thursday it would offer low-cost satellite launches which it claims could be a quarter of current market rates. Swiss Space Systems-S3 said its goal was to offer launches for 10 million Swiss francs (8.1 million euros, $10.5 million) using unmanned suborbital spaceplanes that could carry…

Michigan governor appoints bankruptcy expert Kevyn Orr to run Detroit

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder tapped a restructuring expert who helped successfully steer Chrysler through a government-backed bankruptcy to lead a state takeover of Detroit. The move by a white, Republican governor to take control of a predominantly black and Democratic city has drawn intense criticism and charges of racism. The…

U.S. says Iranian fighter jet attempted to intercept drone

An Iranian fighter jet tried to intercept a US Predator drone over the Gulf but backed off after encountering two American military aircraft, the Pentagon said Thursday. “One of the US aircraft discharged a flare as a warning to the Iranian plane, which then broke off pursuit,” spokesman George Little…

United Nations: Developing countries imperiled by climate change

The rise of developing nations has cut poverty while the combined economies of Brazil, China and India are on a path to overtake wealthy nations, but failure to act on climate change could reverse those gains, a UN report said Thursday. Developing nations are now driving economic growth, helping to…

Victims call on Pope Francis to excise ‘cancer’ of sexual abuse

The Catholic Church has an opportunity to begin to excise the “cancer” of sex abuse under its new pope, a US victim who just won a $1 million settlement and his lawyer said Thursday. Michael Duran, who says he was raped repeatedly by a Californian priest in the mid-1980s, urged…

Fossils show primitive birds had four wings: study

Some primitive birds boasted four wings, before evolution led them to ditch their hind feathers in favor of webbed or scaly feet, scientists in China said on Thursday. Previous research had uncovered the existence of bird-like dinosaurs with hind limb feathers, but evidence has remained slim in birds, which are…

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