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Massachusetts senate race poised to be big –even without Ben Affleck

Massachusetts seems to have a thing about Senate races. The state is holding elections more often than usual for US Senate seats, and in ways that garner the national spotlight. First, remember what’s typical under the US Constitution: Each state has two Senate seats, with each coming up for election……

‘Invisible Exhibition’ opens eyes to blindness

The darkness is total. Mundane gestures suddenly become complicated. How do you find the door to your room, cook a meal or cross the road? The “Invisible Exhibition” in the Polish capital Warsaw offers an opportunity to understand what it is like to be sightless, as blind guides steer visitors…

Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss Syria: reports

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Jordan’s King Abdullah II in Amman recently to discuss violence in Syria and the country’s chemical weapons stock, Israeli media said Thursday. Public radio, as well as several local newspapers, said Israeli and Jordanian officials had confirmed the meeting, which was first…

Alarm company to rent out world’s first ‘autonomous’ private security drone

A Japanese security company plans to rent out a private drone that takes off when intruder alarms are tripped and records footage of break-ins as they happen, a spokeswoman said on Thursday. The helicopter-like device is equipped with a small surveillance camera that can transmit live pictures of a crime…

Ford to invest $773 million in the U.S. to create 2,350 new jobs and save 3,240 existing jobs

US auto giant Ford said Thursday it will invest $773 million to expand factories across its home state of Michigan, generating 2,350 new jobs, part of a plan to add 12,000 jobs by 2015. The investment will help save an additional 3,240 jobs, it said. “Even as we wrap up…

Italians backed by the Catholic Church aim to stop Sunday shopping

Italians are fighting a government lift of regulations on business operation hours, insisting that the move will eventually hurt the small shops and values that have long been the foundation of the Italian business community.  The deregulation, put into effect January 2012, removes restrictions…  …

Japan’s new pro-business government set to dismantle ‘zero nuclear power by 2040′ goal

Japan’s new leaders set to work Thursday on dismantling plans to rid the country of nuclear power by 2040, pledging to review a post-Fukushima policy. The pro-business Liberal Democratic Party-led government also said they would give the green light to any reactors deemed safe by regulators, indicating shuttered power stations…

Study: Coral reefs decimated by Chinese economic boom

China’s economic boom has seen its coral reefs shrink by at least 80 percent over the past 30 years, according to a joint Australian study, with researchers describing “grim” levels of damage and loss. Scientists from the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the South…

Nicaraguan farmers stay put as volcano continues to rumble

Some 1,500 farmers living on the slopes of the San Cristobal volcano refused to leave, despite being ordered to evacuate as the volcano spewed gas, sand and ash. “People have not evacuated because we do not want to go and leave the area abandoned,” Maria Pereira told AFP. Pereira lives…

Massive finback whale beached in New York City

A massive whale, some 60 feet (18 meters) long, beached itself on Wednesday morning in New York City, where, despite rescue efforts, it seemed to have little chance of survival. Experts said the ailing whale was a finback, the second biggest animal species in the world after blue whales, and…

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