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Senators Feinstein, Levin and McCain slam bin Laden manhunt flick ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Three top US senators, including former White House hopeful John McCain, on Wednesday slammed a new Osama bin Laden manhunt movie for suggesting that torture helped find the Al-Qaeda chief. In a letter to Sony Pictures head Michael Lynton, Democratic senators Diane Feinstein and Carl Levin and Republican McCain took…

Mayan apocalypse: China arrests nearly 1,000 doomsday ‘cult’ members of ‘Almighty God’

The Christian-inspired group “Almighty God” has been accused of spreading doomsday rumours apparently linked to the ancient Mayan Long Count calendar and urging followers to slay the “red dragon” of communism, state media reports said. Close to 1,000 followers of the sect, which state-run media labels an “evil cult” –…

Apple’s ‘pinch-to-zoom’ patent deemed invalid

A filing in a high-stakes legal battle between Samsung and Apple revealed that a “pinch-to-zoom” patent central to the case has been deemed invalid. The patent was a centerpiece of a trial that ended in August with a jury ordering Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion in damages for illegally…

Private equity sale of Bushmaster gun firm ‘will not be easy’

The sale by a private equity firm of the largest gun maker in the US, which was announced after one of the company’s weapons was used in the Newtown school shooting last week, is unlikely to be an easy one, experts have said. Likely regulatory changes were signalled by president…

Record-breaking support expected for UN anti-death penalty vote

A record number of countries are expected to back a UN General Assembly call for a moratorium on capital punishment on Thursday, diplomats said. The vote held every two years now sees the likes of the United States, Japan, China, Iran and Iraq stuck in a shrinking minority as pressure…

Fists came first for hand evolution, scientists suggest

Biologists say the human hand is a wonder of evolution, providing dexterity that lets our species perform activities as diverse as bricklaying, writing, ice hockey and brain surgery. But what were the forces that, over thousands of years, sculpted our hand into the shape it is today? Was it to…

Newtown tragedy turns Bloomberg into most-recognized anti-gun champion

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long been a persistent advocate for tighter gun laws, but in the wake of the Newtown school massacre, his voice has become one of the most recognizable in the United States. Bloomberg, 70, is among America’s richest people. He frequently finances pet causes and,…

Benghazi report forces resignation of three State Department officials

Three US State Department officials have resigned after a damning investigation into the killing of the American ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, in Benghazi in on 11 September found “systematic failures” of leadership and “grossly inadequate” security. The report said that US personnel on the ground acted with “courage and…

Obama calls for gun violence proposals within a month

President Barack Obama on Wednesday set up a task force to frame “concrete proposals” on ending an “epidemic” of firearms violence by next month, and denied he had been on “vacation” on gun control. With trauma still raw after the Connecticut school massacre last week, Obama put Vice President Joe…

Three astronauts blast off for ISS in Russian craft

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russian, American and Canadian astronauts blasted off on Wednesday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft took off on schedule at 1212 GMT carrying Russian Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield,…

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