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Chinese state media mocks ‘repulsive’ government cliches

Chinese state media turned on the government’s own use of language Thursday, mocking a list of “repulsive” official cliches submitted by social media users. The public shaming of bureaucrat-speak — hosted on the microblog of the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily — came after China’s new leaders slammed the…

FDA orders sleep drug makers to reduce dosage

US authorities ordered sleep drug makers to lower their recommended dosage because evidence shows some people wake up groggy and not in the best shape to do things like drive. The active ingredient to combat insomnia is called zolpidem and is contained in drugs like Ambien, Edluar and Zolpimist. The…

Amazon ramps up challenge to iTunes store with AutoRip

Amazon.com on Thursday launched a service that gives compact disk buyers instant copies of music in the Internet “cloud” in a major challenge to Apple’s iTunes shop. Amazon AutoRip provides free MP3 versions of music on CDs bought from the online retail titan. Copies of tunes are stored in Cloud…

Unusual heavy snowfall hits Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — Jerusalem was transformed into a winter wonderland on Thursday after heavy overnight snowfall turned the Holy City and much of the region white, bringing hordes of excited children onto the streets. As temperatures plummeted, the bitter winds and rain that have battered the Middle East since Sunday turned…

EU moves to end state monopolies of railways

In proposals likely to infuriate Germany, the EU executive will this month urge an end to Europe’s last rail monopolies and so open the lucrative passenger market to competition from 2019. The toughest opposition to the European Commission plan is likely to come from Germany and its rail giant Deutsche…

Mexico City officials blame pack of wild dogs for string of gruesome deaths

By Jo Tuckman, The Guardian Official explanation of marauding wild dogs for deaths of five people found with horrific flesh injuries prompts public backlash Crime scene tape strung between trees in a hilly park in the working class Mexico City suburb of Iztapalapa marks the place where a teenage couple…

Critics object to Obama nominating ‘Mr. Drone’ John Brennan to CIA head

Obama’s decision to elevate ‘Mr Drone’ meets with outrage among liberal groups who plan to protest at inauguration The nomination of President Barack Obama’s top counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan to head the CIA has sparked outrage and concern about America’s growing drones programme and its use for targeted killings of…

UN: Developing countries face mercury exposure risks

Communities in developing countries are facing increased health and environmental risks linked to mercury exposure, the United Nations Environment Programme said Thursday. “Mercury … remains a major global, regional and national challenge in terms of threats to human health and the environment,” said UNEP head Achim Steiner. Parts of Africa,…

Report: Half of all food is thrown away

Up to half of all the food produced in the world — two billion tonnes of it — is thrown away, according to a report published on Thursday. The waste is caused by poor infrastructure and storage facilities in the developing world, and “buy-one-get-one-free” offers, and the fussiness of consumers…

Car explodes in Tel Aviv near Israeli defense ministry, police say ‘crime-related’

A car exploded near the Israeli defence ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday, injuring several people, in what police said was a crime-related incident and not linked to militant groups. “A car bomb exploded in Tel Aviv. Apparently it is a criminal incident, a settling of accounts,” police spokesman Micky…

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