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Iranians march in government-sponsored rally to mark revolution

Hundreds of thousands of people marched on Sunday in Tehran and other cities chanting “Death to America” as Iran marked the 34th anniversary of the Islamic revolution that ousted the US-backed shah. In the capital, crowds waving Iranian flags and portraits of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini walked towards the…

Genetically engineered virus kills cancer: study

A genetically-engineered virus tested in 30 terminally-ill liver cancer patients significantly prolonged their lives, killing tumours and inhibiting the growth of new ones, scientists reported on Sunday. Sixteen patients given a high dose of the therapy survived for 14.1 months on average, compared to 6.7 months for the 14 who…

Rights groups slam Raytheon secret software that tracks social media and ‘predicts’ people’s future behavior

A video obtained by the Guardian reveals how an “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Raytheon says it has not sold the software – named Riot, or Rapid Information…

Paterno family report says original findings regarding Sandusky scandal were ‘fundamentally flawed’

Findings that the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno conspired to cover-up child sex abuse carried out by Jerry Sandusky have been slammed as “fundamentally flawed” in a new report commissioned by Paterno’s family. The report, by a team led by the former US attorney general Dick Thornburgh, challenges conclusions…

Republican rebrand: Is it more than skin deep?

US Republicans are rebranding themselves in the wake of last year’s defeat, but the makeover is looking less like a genuine bid to woo women and minorities and more like a civil war within the party. The party was hammered in the November election, with voters rejecting Republican nominee Mitt…

Twins’ DNA confounds French police investigating rape case

French police investigating a series of rapes in the southern city of Marseille are confounded after tracing DNA evidence to a set of twins but not knowing which one may be to blame. With telling the difference between the twins’ DNA extremely difficult and expensive, police have in the meantime…

‘Ping pong diplomacy’ hero dies at 73

Zhuang Zedong, a triple world champion table tennis star who played a crucial role in thawing relations between China and the USA has died at the age of 73, the Chinese press reported on Sunday. His gift of a painting of the Huangshang Mountains to American player Glen Cowan in…

Obama to Israel: why now?

He’s hardly best buddies with Benjamin Netanyahu and his drive for a Palestinian state is comatose, so why did Barack Obama pick Israel to fire up his legacy-boosting second term diplomacy? The US president sprung a surprise last week by announcing he would pick the turmoil-laced Middle East for the…

Falling lifeboat kills Thomson cruise ship crew in Canary Islands

Five die and three injured in incident during emergency drill on Thomson Majesty moored at Santa Cruz on island of La Palma Five people have died on a cruise ship operated by the holiday firm Thomson after a lifeboat fell from the vessel during an emergency drill at La Palma…

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates endorses ‘drone courts’

Former US defense secretary Robert Gates on Sunday endorsed the idea of having a special court review drone strikes as a check against a president’s power to, in effect, execute Americans. The issue came to the fore last week during a Senate hearing to confirm John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s…

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