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Former U.S. commander warns strike on Iran would not end nuclear program

A former US military commander warned Wednesday that a potential US strike against Iran would take weeks and probably only set back the country’s nuclear program by several years. Admiral William Fallon, the former head of US Central Command which covers the Middle East, said that Iran posed concerns for…

Evangelical minister calls to embrace LGBT instead of ‘condemn and exclude’ policy

The Rev Steve Chalke says Christians need to find ways to support those in or seeking faithful same-sex partnerships An influential evangelical minister has declared his support for monogamous and loving same-sex relationships, and called on the church to stop treating gay people as pariahs. The Rev Steve Chalke, a…

BP estimates that U.S. will be energy self-sufficient by 2030

LONDON — The United States will become almost self-sufficient for its energy needs by 2030, boosted by shale oil and gas output and slowing demand, British energy giant BP forecast on Wednesday. “By 2030, increasing production and moderating demand will result in the United States being 99-percent self-sufficient in net…

Scientists: ‘Supergene’ explains complex fire ant social structure

The complex social structure of the red fire ant, a fast-spreading invasive insect with a painful bite, is made possible by a DNA fusion known as a supergene, biologists said Wednesday. It is the first study to link supergenes to animal behaviour, the scientists reported in the journal Nature, and…

Poll: Majority of Americans want Supreme Court to uphold right to abortion

Sixty-three percent of Americans would rather not see the US Supreme Court overturn its historic 1973 ruling on abortion, according to a Pew Research Center opinion poll released Wednesday. Only 29 percent want to see the Roe versus Wade decision upended, according to the poll released six days before its…

UK fines Playboy $160,000 for ‘reckless’ online exposure to children

Britain’s media regulator fined Playboy 100,000 pounds ($160,000, 121,000 euros) on Wednesday for its “reckless” failure to prevent children from accessing pornography. Two websites owned by the US adult brand provided access to “hardcore videos and images” without adequate controls ensuring that users were aged 18 or over, the Ofcom…

EU hints at banning insecticides over threat to bees

The European Commission hinted on Wednesday that it could ban several insecticides, some made by German chemicals giant Bayer, after scientists found disturbing evidence of harm to bees. The EU’s food safety agency had reported “disturbing conclusions on three types of insecticides,” a spokesman for EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg…

Hong Kong LGBT activists blast government’s stalling on anti-discrimination laws

Hong Kong’s gay community on Wednesday blasted the government for refusing to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of anti-discrimination laws to protect sexual minorities. Rights groups hoped chief executive Leung Chun-ying would use his maiden policy speech to launch a debate on the issue, with a view…

WHO: Dengue fever shows potential for global epidemic

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate. “In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold…

Court denies Pussy Riot member request to defer prison time for her 5-year-old son

A Russian court on Wednesday turned down a request by a jailed member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to defer serving her jail sentence until her five-year-old son is older. “The court has ruled not to satisfy the petition,” the judge said at Berezniki city court in the…

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