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Bangladesh approves law to execute convicted war criminals

Bangladesh’s cabinet approved on Monday changes to war crime laws to ensure opposition leaders on trial for alleged atrocities during the nation’s 1971 independence war can be swiftly executed if convicted. The move came amid huge demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of people in Dhaka for the past seven days…

IBM tasks supercomputer Watson with fighting cancer

IBM is putting its Watson supercomputer to work fighting cancer, in what is described as the first commercial program of its kind to use “big data” to help patients with the disease. The US computing giant last week unveiled its initiative with health insurer WellPoint and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center…

President’s AIDS council calls on feds and states to repeal HIV criminalization laws

By Todd Heywood The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) passed a resolution last week that calls for an end to federal and state HIV-specific criminal laws and prosecutions. While the resolution is only advisory, it recommends that the departments of Justice and Health and Human Services issue guidance and offer incentives to…

Italian journalist gets pope scoop because she knew Latin

An Italian journalist who beat the world’s media on Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign got the scoop on the utterly unexpected news thanks to her knowledge of Latin. “Our Vatican expert Giovanna Chirri was listening to the pope’s speech,” the ANSA news agency’s head of information Luigi Contu told…

Apple looks to make watch-like device that works as a smartphone

Apple is testing a watch-like device which could perform some smartphone functions, US media reports said Monday. The New York Times reported that the maker of iPhones and iPads is experimenting with a curved-glass device, which could incorporate a bendable display glass developed by US manufacturer Corning. The Times, which…

NASA launches largest Earth observation satellite to date

The United States launched its latest Earth observation satellite Monday atop an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, NASA said. The Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite was the latest in a line of satellites used to continuously gather imagery from space of the Earth’s land surface,…

Pope’s brother has known of resignation ‘for a few months’

The pope’s brother said on Monday he has known “for a few months” that Benedict XVI was planning to resign and confirmed that the 85-year-old pontiff was “feeling the burden of his age”. Georg Ratzinger told AFP: “The reason for his resignation is indeed that he is feeling the burden…

France maintains a small but passionate band of horsemeat lovers

“A good roast or a really nice steak – fabulous! Burgers are good too but the way I really like it is raw, minced and served with a garlicky vinaigrette!” Luc Friedrich is a member of France’s dwindling but dedicated band of horsemeat lovers, and it seems the current food…

Wind power expanded by nearly 20 percent globally in 2012

A relative slowdown in new wind turbine construction in China was offset by big increases in the US, followed by Germany, India and the UK – though renewable energy as a whole has fallen Wind power expanded by almost 20% in 2012 around the world to reach a new peak…

Russian figure skating icon sues TV commentator over plastic surgery jibe

Figure skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko has launched legal action for defamation against a Russian commentator for Eurosport for claiming that a recent operation was only a public relations stunt, his lawyer said Monday. Plushenko is suing the pan-European channel’s Russian language commentator Andrei Zhurankov, the 2006 Olympic champion’s lawyer Tatiana…

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