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Thalidomide victims reject ‘insulting’ apology

Thalidomide survivors on Saturday rebuffed an apology by the German company that manufactured the drug, saying it was an “insulting” response to the thousands born disabled as a result of its use. In its first apology for the scandal in 50 years, Grunenthal said on Friday it was “very sorry” for its…

Venezuela investigating apparent massacre of Yanomami by illegal Brazilian miners

CARACAS — Venezuela has sent a team of investigators to the nation’s south to look into the apparent massacre in July of as many as 80 Yanomami Indians by illegal Brazilian miners. Forensics teams, officials and security forces were “visiting nine Yanomami communities” along the border with Brazil in Amazonas…

Facebook to eradicate ‘suspicious Likes’ from people who don’t really care

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook ramped up efforts Friday to get rid of “Likes” that aren’t from people genuinely interested in giving a virtual thumbs up to pages at the world’s leading social network. “We have recently increased our automated efforts to remove Likes on pages that may have been gained…

Self-styled ‘hillbilly’ is ‘pissed at Uncle Sam’ for taking 29% of his $225 million lottery jackpot

A US railroad engineer and self-described “hillbilly” is less than impressed that the tax man is getting a big chunk of the $337 million he won in the latest Powerball lottery. Donald Lawson, 44, of Lapeer, Michigan, who retains the accent of his native Arkansas, came forward on Friday as…

Princess Diana recalled fondly on 15th anniversal of her death

LONDON — Dozens of bouquets of flowers, posters and cards were left at the gates of Kensington Palace on Friday as Princess Diana was remembered on the 15th anniversary of her death. Tourists, well-wishers and passers-by took photos and read the tributes at the royal residence in the British capital,…

Stocks rise on Bernanke endorsement of renewed stimulus

NEW YORK — Ben Bernanke’s much-awaited endorsement of more Federal Reserve stimulus Friday gave stocks a solid boost, though tempered by his picture of an economy that remains weak and vulnerable. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 90.13 points (0.69 percent), closing at 13,090.84. The broad-based S&P 500 rose 7.10…

Two vans in Romney motorcade collide, leaving press stranded

NEW ORLEANS — Two vans in Mitt Romney’s motorcade were involved in a minor collision Friday after the Republican nominee reviewed storm damage near New Orleans, but his vehicle was not involved. A press van rear-ended a staff van in the area of Jean Lafitte, leaving the press pool which…

Judge bans West Virginia single sex classrooms

Judge stops W. Va. single-sex classes: Were they a success or psuedoscience? (via The Christian Science Monitor) Separate classes for girls and boys at Van Devender Middle School in Parkersburg, W. Va., have to be reorganized into coed classes by Monday, a federal judge ruled this week. The injunction comes…

Pentagon wants to ‘preserve our options’ on SEAL book legal action

The Pentagon has not decided whether a book by a former US Navy SEAL on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden exposes state secrets but it is keeping its legal options open, a spokesman said Friday. “I’m not going to characterize one way or the other whether we think there’s classified information in it,”…

Man dies after falling from escalator during NFL game

A 25-year-old man died after falling off a fifth-level escalator while attending a Houston Texans’ NFL pre-season home game, Houston police confirmed on Friday. “Witnesses are saying he fell from the fifth floor escalator down to the ground,” said Houston Police Department spokesman John Cannon, who added authorities were still investigating the exact circumstances of what they believe to be an…

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