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Definitive study links polar ice cap melting to climate change

The melting of polar ice caps raised sea levels by nearly half an inch (11 millimeters) over the last two decades, scientists said Thursday, calling it the most definitive measure yet of the impact of climate change. There have been more than 30 previous estimates of whether and how much…

Senate committee passes email privacy bill

A US Senate panel approved a bill to boost email privacy protections in a vote Thursday that followed widespread uproar over the FBI probe that toppled CIA director David Petraeus. The measure, which if enacted would require police to obtain a warrant in most cases to access email accounts, drew…

Oregon passed ballot measure to copy edit state constitution

Constitutional copy-editing (via The Christian Science Monitor) It was no great surprise that Oregon went blue last month. But something else on the ballot got even more votes than Obama-Biden. Measure 78, designed to copy-edit the state constitution, passed 1,129,688 votes to 441,581. What exactly did Oregonians vote to change?…

Manning testifies for first time in WikiLeaks case

The US Army private accused of passing a trove of secret government documents to WikiLeaks testified Thursday for the first time at a pre-trial hearing before a military judge. Bradley Manning, 24, looked nervous and his voice trembled slightly as he began to answer questions about his detention in a…

Johnson & Johnson won’t enforce anti-AIDS drug patents in developing world

Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson announced Thursday that it would not enforce its patents on its AIDS drug Prezista in the world’s poorest countries and throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Offering cost relief to people infected with the HIV virus, J&J said it wanted to assure manufacturers that they can freely produce…

UN leader warns Middle East peace is on ‘life support’

UN leader Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday ahead of key vote on UN recognition of a Palestinian state that the Middle East peace process is on “life support”. But he told a UN meeting that only “direct negotiations” between the Palestinians and Israelis can lead to a permanent settlement. Ban called…

Secretary Clinton unveils roadmap to AIDS-free generation

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton unveiled Thursday an ambitious US blueprint on how to realize the vision of an AIDS-free generation, aiming to see virtually no babies born with HIV by 2015. “Scientific advances and their successful implementation have brought the world to a tipping point in the fight against…

Boehner: ‘No substantive progress’ in fiscal cliff talks

The White House and Republican US lawmakers have made no headway in crucial talks on avoiding the so-called “fiscal cliff” of rising taxes and huge spending cuts, House Speaker John Boehner warned Thursday. “No substantive progress has been made in the talks between the White House and the House (of…

Web traffic monitors: Syria has been cut off from the Internet

Syria has effectively been cut off from the Internet, two US technology companies which monitor web traffic reported Thursday. Akamai, one of the firms which monitors global traffic, said traffic stopped from 1026 GMT, and that this supports the observation from another IT firm, Renesys, “that Syria is effectively off…

Lohan arrested for assault charges at New York City nightclub

Troubled US actress Lindsay Lohan has been arrested once again, this time on assault charges after a fight with a woman in a New York nightclub in the early hours of Thursday, police said. “She was charged with assault” and ordered to appear at a later date, a New York…

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