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Obama signs law against Iran Latin America influence

President Barack Obama enacted a law to counter Iran’s alleged influence in Latin America, through a new diplomatic and political strategy to be designed by the State Department. The Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act, passed by lawmakers earlier this year, calls for the State Department to develop a…

Does Facebook make everyone a cyborg?

The Huffington Post starts the weekend by asking on Friday whether or not we are all cyborgs, a reference to a TED talk that claims we indeed are. A cyborg is an organism “to which exogenous components have been added for the purpose of adapting to new environments,” says the…

Calif. sperm donor rules loosened for single women and same-sex couples

A new California law makes it easier for single woman and those in same-sex relationships to conceive via artificial insemination, reported the AP. The new law loosens regulations around sperm donation, which currently require women seeking artificial insemination who do not have a “sexually intimate [male] partner” to use sperm…

Scientists pinpoint elusive itch nerves: study

A debate over the nature of itchiness has come closer to an answer, reported LiveScience. A study published in Nature Neuroscience found specific nerve cells that detect itchy sensations but do not also detect pain, helping to answer the question of whether itchiness is just a kind of pain. Some…

Apple to drop patent claims against Samsung phone

Apple has agreed to drop its patent claims against Samsung’s Galaxy S III Mini after the South Korean rival said it would not sell the gadget in the United States, a court filing showed Friday. The announcement is the latest twist in a patent battle between the two tech titans.…

US-Russia spat puts adoption couple in limbo

Heather and Aaron Whaley just wanted to start a family with a four-year-old Russian girl nicknamed Addie who they found on the Internet but have yet to see in person. Never did they expect to find themselves caught up in a souring of relations between Moscow and Washington over human…

Obama urges ‘immediate action’ as Senate leaders get to work on new deal

President says talks ‘good and constructive’ but if deal cannot be struck by Sunday Senate will have to vote on fallback proposal President Barack Obama has demanded that Senate leaders strike a fiscal cliff deal by Sunday to avert the looming US economic crisis, or face a vote based solely…

Two University of Texas football players accused of sexual assault and suspended

Two football players for the University of Texas have been accused of sexual assault, reported WFAA, although no charges have been filed. The players have been suspended. The names of the players have not been officially released. Deadspin has a draft of the police report regarding the incident. According to…

Fiscal cliff pessimism delivers US stocks another loss

US stocks sank again Friday, showing more doubts that politicians will be able to agree a deal to fix the fiscal cliff with only days before the year-end deadline. After trading lower for most of the day amid uncertainty about last-minute negotiations in the White House, traders gave up and…

Rape victim dies after inspiring wave of protests in India

The woman who was brutally gang-raped and beaten in New Delhi, India, on Dec. 16 died at a hospital in Singapore where she was being treated, reported the Associated Press. A hospital statement say she “died peacefully.” News of the rape sparked days of demonstrations, which turned violent at times.…

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