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Cities affect weather thousands of kilometers away: study

Heat from large cities alters local streams of high-altitude winds, potentially affecting weather in locations thousands of kilometres (miles) away, researchers said on Sunday. The findings could explain a long-running puzzle in climate change — why some regions in the northern hemisphere are strangely experiencing warmer winters than computer models…

Thousands gather in Paris to support same-sex marriage

Thousands of gay rights campaigners packed the streets of Paris on Sunday to call for the legalisation of gay marriage, two days before a key parliamentary debate on the hugely divisive issue. Waving rainbow flags and carrying banners reading “For equality now, against discrimination always”, the demonstrators gathered to promote…

McCain ‘guardedly optimistic’ about immigration reform

Bitterly divided US lawmakers on Sunday expressed optimism that they could unite on immigration reform that would provide a pathway to citizenship for more than 10 million illegal migrants. “I’m confident, guardedly optimistic, that this time we can get it done,” Republican Senator John McCain told ABC News, confirming that…

Obama: Gun control advocates must respect rural hunting culture

Gun control advocates need to do “more listening” to rural Americans, Barack Obama has said in an interview during which he acknowledged going on shoots with guests at Camp David. In an New Republic article published Sunday, the president said he had a “profound respect” for the nation’s hunting traditions…

Google faces legal action over alleged secret iPhone tracking

Google is facing a fresh privacy battle in the UK over its alleged secret tracking of the internet habits of millions of iPhone users. An estimated 10 million Britons could have grounds to launch a privacy claim over the way Google circumvented Apple’s security settings on the iPhone, iPad and…

Iran sentences U.S. pastor to eight years in prison

A Tehran court on Sunday sentenced an Iranian-American pastor to eight years in prison over his role in underground churches in the Islamic nation, a US group supporting him said. Saeed Abedini, a naturalized US citizen who converted to Christianity, was convicted of threatening Iran’s national security over underground church…

Syrian civil war leaves ghost towns in Kurdish region

In this green, mountainous part of northwest Syria, the boom of shells vibrates every few hours through dozens of villages abandoned by their terrified Kurdish inhabitants. Small groups of rebel fighters have now taken up position in some of the empty homes, patrolling the rocket-scarred streets in vehicles with markings…

Experts warn obesity will soon reach pandemic proportions

Obesity has become a global pandemic that could leave more than half of all adults worldwide overweight within two decades, experts said, calling for urgent action beyond just blaming people for lacking willpower. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, health, nutrition and fitness experts said the world’s increasingly…

Japan launches new satellites to boost surveillance

Japan on Sunday launched two satellites to strengthen its surveillance capabilities, including keeping a closer eye on North Korea which has vowed to stage another nuclear test. One of them was a radar-equipped unit to complete a system of surveillance satellites that will allow Tokyo to monitor any place in…

Thousands march in Washington for gun control

Thousands of people marched in Washington to demand stronger gun control legislation, in a solemn rally six weeks after the shock massacre of young children at a Connecticut school. Protesters, backed by senior officials, marched in silence for around 30 minutes along the National Mall near the US Capitol and…

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