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European sewage study reveals Belgium city has high cocaine usage

Drug testers sifting through raw sewage in 19 European cities found the highest cocaine use in Antwerp, a Nordic preference for methamphetamines and Amsterdam unsurprisingly leading in cannabis use. From the biggest-ever European drug analysis of human waste samples, the research team deducted that the continent used about 350 kilograms…

New device allows disabled people to draw on a computer using only their eyes

A French researcher has built a device allowing disabled people to write or draw on a computer screen using only their eyes, a report said Thursday. With head-mounted cameras monitoring their eye movements, test subjects were able to write and draw on a blank computer screen in the latest breakthrough…

Google Fiber pilot program boasts ultrafast broadband speeds

Google on Thursday unveiled an ultrafast Web service along with an Internet television subscription in the Kansas City area as part of a pilot project to boost broadband speeds. The Google Fiber superfast broadband network will be available starting in September, with one-gigabyte per second speeds — about 100 times…

Florida at the forefront of the Voter ID battle

Voting rights groups are struggling to hold back a tide of new laws that are likely to make it harder for millions of Americans to vote in the presidential election in November and could distort the outcome of the race for the White House. Since January 2011, 19 states have…

Olympic officials replace backwards Arabic ‘welcome’ signs

The official shopping centre of the 2012 Olympics apologised on Thursday for putting up “Welcome to London” banners in Arabic that read backwards. The banners at the giant Westfield Stratford City complex — at the main entrance to the Olympic Park in east London — were also written with spaces…

Japan loses first place in human longevity after earthquake

Japan’s women lost their place as the world’s longest-lived in 2011 for the first time in more than 25 years, officials said Thursday, after the quake-tsunami cut female life expectancy by five months. The Japanese are renowned for their longevity, attributed in part to a healthy traditional diet and active…

Condom ban fuels HIV rise in the Philippines

Gay sex in a conservative Catholic society where the influential church forbids the use of condoms is fuelling an alarming rise of HIV infections in the Philippines, experts warn. The Southeast Asian country is facing a HIV epidemic, with sex between men making up nearly 90 percent of all new…

DC delays release of new Batman comic after Aurora shooting

DC Comics is delaying the release of a new Batman comic following the Aurora shootings because it “contains content that may be perceived as insensitive in light of recent events”. Although Batman Inc #3 was to be launched on Wednesday, DC has asked stockists not to sell the comic until…

Ghana’s Mills had cancer and could work few hours

Ghana’s ex-leader Jerry Rawlings has said late president John Atta Mills was suffering from cancer and could only work for a few hours per day before his death earlier this week. In comments to the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme while attending an event in Congo, Rawlings said Mills’ death…

Farmer cycles from China to London for Olympics

A Chinese farmer claims he spent two years riding nearly 40,000 miles (60,000 kilometres) through 16 countries on a rickshaw to reach London in time for the Olympic Games, the BBC reported Thursday. Chen Guanming, 57, said his goal was to “spread the Olympic spirit” on his epic quest through…

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