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U.S. prosecutors have no plans to press charges on Lance Armstrong

US prosecutors said Tuesday they have no plans to press criminal charges against cycling cheat Lance Armstrong, despite his confession that he owes his Tour de France victories to illegal doping. US Attorney Andre Birotte, who led a federal investigation into the disgraced rider, did not definitively rule out action,…

Senate approves plan to beef up embassy security

US lawmakers have moved toward freeing up $1.1 billion to boost America’s diplomatic security, just as new Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to work to improve safety at missions around the world. The US Senate late Monday approved a State Department request to dip into unused funds that had…

California teens lose fingers in school’s tug-of-war contest

Two Californian teenagers had some of their fingers ripped off when a school tug-of-war contest went horribly wrong, officials said Tuesday. The pair of senior students, a girl and a boy, were said to be in stable condition in hospital after the lunchtime accident Monday, said an official from the…

Treasury sells last Citigroup holding

The US Treasury Department said Tuesday it was selling its last holding in Citigroup, one of the banks rescued by the government amid the 2008 financial crisis. The sale of Citigroup subordinated notes is expected to add $894 million to the Treasury’s coffers, bringing the overall positive return to US…

FDA on the verge of approving first bionic eye for the blind

After years of research, the first bionic eye has seen the light of day in the United States, giving hope to the blind around the world. Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System has helped more than sixty people recover partial sight, with some experiencing…

BP hit with new $34 billion Deepwater Horizon claim from southern state governments

Latest demand comes from local and southern state governments, including Louisiana and Mississippi, hit hard by pollution following 2010 blowout BP has been hit by a new $34bn (£21.7bn) claim for alleged economic losses and punitive damages resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest…

FBI: Record number of Americans buying guns

Over 2.4m gun background checks were initiated in January, topped only by last December’s 2.7m Americans are lining up to buy guns in unprecedented numbers in the wake of the Newtown school shooting and the debate around tightening gun controls, with federal background checks on prospective buyers running at record…

Austria keeps draft so military can prepare ski slopes

Two weeks after voting to keep the military draft, neutral Austria has discovered why it needs an army: not for defence but to prepare the ski races so beloved in this alpine country. Some 70 recruits were mobilised overnight to help combat severe snowfall on the courses of the World…

Instagram launches website to allow users to display photos

Facebook-owned Instagram on Tuesday began letting a freshly launched website serve as a gallery for images taken by users of the smartphone photo-sharing service. “Instagram, at its core, is about seeing and taking photos on-the-go,” company co-founder Kevin Systrom said in a blog post. “You can now browse your Instagram…

Ecuadoran court sentences German tourist to 4 years for smuggling Galapagos iguanas

An Ecuadoran court has sentenced a German tourist to four years in prison for trying to smuggle threatened iguanas out of the Galapagos Islands. Dirk Bender “will serve four years in prison as stated in the judgment reported today by the president and judges” of the criminal court that found…

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