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Drug legalization ‘worst thing that could happen’ to organized crime, say advocates

In light of the recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the BBC interviewed two advocates of further reforms, both in the U.S. and world-wide. The BBC sat down with Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the N.Y.C.-based Drug Policy Alliance, and Richard Branson, chair of Virgin Group. His son produced…

BP claims new supercomputer will improve safety

BP is to spend $100m (£62m) over the next five years in an attempt to find more oil using what it claims is the world’s largest supercomputer for commercial research, with a memory equivalent to nearly 150,000 iPods. A new “high-performance computing centre”, which will boast 536 terabytes of memory,…

‘War on Christmas’ forces Christians ‘into the closet,’ say radio hosts

On the conservative Liberty Counsel radio show Faith and Freedom, hosts Mat Staver and Matt Barber discuss the fact that an elementary school in Jackson County, Fla., removed a nativity scene while allowing Santa Clause and Frosty the Snowman to remain. “What an irony at this time of year, where…

Projected birth increases leads Texas to revisit family planning funds

The Texas state legislature made substantial cuts to family planning funds in 2011, which is estimated to result in almost 24,000 more children born to low-income women in 2014-15 and cost taxpayers $273 million, reported the Texas Tribune. Now, those numbers are leading some lawmakers to shift their position, although…

Veterans with brain injuries to get easier health care access

New proposed rules from the Department of Veteran’s Affairs would make it easier for veterans to access health care for brain injuries, a working hazard for those in the military, reported the New York Times. The regulations would “speed up and simplify” the process of receiving benefits and coverage for…

Bill Maher: Carbon tax fixes fiscal crisis, serves ‘just desserts’ to oil industry and Kochs

In a Friday blog post, Bill Maher suggested that President Obama should use the looming fiscal cliff to raise revenue in the form of a carbon tax, which would issue a “fuck you” to the Koch brothers and “just desserts” to the oil industry for spending millions in support of…

Belize archeologist sues over Indiana Jones ‘Crystal Skull’

A Belize archeologist is suing the makers of a blockbuster “Indiana Jones” film for using a likeness of a so-called Crystal Skull, which he says is a stolen national treasure. Dr. Jaime Awe claims the skull was stolen from Belize 88 years ago, and that filmmakers had no right to…

Military faces though questions about targeting ‘hostile’ children in Afghanistan

Outrage grows after official suggested US troops in Afghanistan were on the lookout for ‘children with potential hostile intent’ The US military is facing fresh questions over its targeting policy in Afghanistan after a senior army officer suggested that troops were on the lookout for “children with potential hostile intent”. In comments which legal…

Behind Google’s mission to map the world

Brian McLendon tells Dominic Rushe about Google’s ambitious attempt to map the world, from street plans to penguins and beyond Eight years ago, Google bought a cool little graphics business called Keyhole, which had been working on 3D maps. Along with the acquisition came Brian McClendon, aka “Bam”, a tall…

Occupy protester to face trial over subpoenaed tweets

Malcolm Harris, who has been in a battle with prosecutors over the privacy of his tweets, has plea deal withdrawn by judge An Occupy Wall Street protester who has been fighting with prosecutors to keep some of his tweets private looks likely to face trail next week after a judge…

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