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German bishops approve use of emergency contraception in Catholic hospitals for rape victims

The German Catholic Church ruled Thursday that the use of the morning-after pill was acceptable in certain cases for rape victims. The German Bishops’ Conference said in a press statement that rape victims treated in Catholic hospitals should “of course receive humane, medical, psychological and pastoral care.” “The administration of…

Study finds protected coral areas should be ‘as large and diverse as possible’

A new study of Asia’s Coral Triangle, which contains nearly 30 percent of the world’s reefs, shows that when it comes to ensuring a rich and diverse range of species, size matters. “The study suggests that marine protected areas should be as large and diverse as possible,” Peter Etnoyer, a…

Georgia rushes to complete executions before lethal drug supply runs out

State’s entire supply of pentobarbital runs out on March 1 with Georgia seeking permission from courts to block legal delays The state of Georgia is scrambling for legal permission to proceed with two scheduled executions before its supply of the drug that would be used to kill the prisoners reaches its expiration…

Federal Communications Commission expands capacity for Wi-Fi access

US telecom regulators have moved to expand the capacities for Wi-Fi Internet access with more room on the broadcast spectrum and “more flexible” rules. The Federal Communications Commission said actions announced Wednesday would “unleash significant additional spectrum to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology” with faster speeds,…

Vatican’s daily newspaper becoming must-read as pope resigns

With Pope Benedict XVI’s impending resignation creating shockwaves around the world, the Vatican’s official daily L’Osservatore Romano is now the most closely watched newspaper in Rome — with its blend of an official Vatican line and a modern outlook. The paper flew off the shelves with a scoop within hours…

Lego sales skyrocket as sales of girls’ toy line outpaces production

Toy maker Lego said on Thursday that net profit jumped 35 percent in 2012 on sales rising 25 percent, as demand for a controversial girls’ range outstripped production capacity. The unlisted Danish company posted a net profit of 5.61 billion kroner (752 million euros or $992 million) on revenue that…

‘The Gatekeepers’: Israeli intelligence under spotlight at the Oscars

Already under scrutiny over the Prisoner X affair, Israel’s all-powerful spy agencies have once again found themselves in the spotlight with the explosive Oscar-nominated documentary “The Gatekeepers”. The film, which has been nominated for best documentary, is a French-Israeli production that sheds a harsh and unforgiving light on the operations…

Chinese revolt over government plan to ban BBQ in order to fight epic smog problem

China web-users were furious Thursday over plans to tackle pollution with a ban on barbecues, wryly asking if Beijing would stamp out fried food and normal bodily functions in its war on smog. While many residents have grown tired of donning face-masks or having to stay indoors during prolonged bouts…

U.S. ambassador to Moscow and Russian lawmaker trade blows via Twitter over adopted boy’s death

The US ambassador to Moscow and a top Russian lawmaker traded verbal blows Thursday over the death of a Russian child adopted in the United States, in a row that threatens to overshadow upcoming talks with the new US secretary of state. The emotionally charged exchange came after US ambassador…

Israeli guards left ‘Prisoner X’ hanging for an hour

Israeli guards supposedly keeping a round-the-clock watch on a mystery dual nationality prisoner held in isolation failed to notice his suicide for a full hour, a newspaper reported on Thursday. Although his cell was fitted with four CCTV cameras, the guards did not see Ben Zygier, identified by media as…

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