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BP hit with new $34 billion Deepwater Horizon claim from southern state governments

Latest demand comes from local and southern state governments, including Louisiana and Mississippi, hit hard by pollution following 2010 blowout BP has been hit by a new $34bn (£21.7bn) claim for alleged economic losses and punitive damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest…

FBI: Record number of Americans buying guns

Over 2.4m gun background checks were initiated in January, topped only by last December’s 2.7m Americans are lining up to buy guns in unprecedented numbers in the wake of the Newtown school shooting and the debate around tightening gun controls, with federal background checks on prospective buyers running at record…

Austria keeps draft so military can prepare ski slopes

Two weeks after voting to keep the military draft, neutral Austria has discovered why it needs an army: not for defence but to prepare the ski races so beloved in this alpine country. Some 70 recruits were mobilised overnight to help combat severe snowfall on the courses of the World…

Instagram launches website to allow users to display photos

Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday began letting a freshly launched website serve as a gallery for images taken by users of the smartphone photo-sharing service. “Instagram, at its core, is about seeing and taking photos on-the-go,” company co-founder Kevin Systrom said in a blog post. “You can now browse your Instagram…

Ecuadoran court sentences German tourist to 4 years for smuggling Galapagos iguanas

An Ecuadoran court has sentenced a German tourist to four years in prison for trying to smuggle threatened iguanas out of the Galapagos Islands. Dirk Bender “will serve four years in prison as stated in the judgment reported today by the president and judges” of the criminal court that found…

Crowd-funded video game console Ouya plans debut for June

The crowd-funded Ouya videogame console seeking to shake up a market dominated by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo is gearing up for a US debut in June. The team behind Ouya on Tuesday began taking online pre-orders for the Android-powered devices that plug into televisions and announced that several major retail…

Obama calls for averting automatic spending cuts

US President Barack Obama Tuesday called for a balanced program of stop gap spending reductions and tax reforms to avert punishing multi-billion dollar automatic budget cuts due to kick in on March 1. Obama said the fragile US economy could not afford the hit from huge cuts to defense and…

UK lawmakers approve marriage equality

British lawmakers voted in favour of legislation allowing gay marriage on Tuesday despite a split in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative party. Members of parliament voted by 400 to 175 to approve the draft law allowing same-sex couples to marry in England and Wales. In a late intervention just two…

Study: More than half of users have taken a break from Facebook

More than half of US Facebook members have taken breaks from the leading social network, with the top reason being they are just too busy, according to a study released Tuesday. About 61 percent of US users said they had taken time off from Facebook at some point, with 27…

‘Bionic man’ goes on display in British science museum

A “bionic man” costing one million dollars went on display on Tuesday at Britain’s Science Museum, complete with artificial organs, synthetic blood and robot limbs. Named Rex, which is short for “Robotic Exoskeleton”, the six foot six inch (two metre) humanoid with its uncannily life-like face was assembled by leading…

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