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Unregulated ‘natural’ label on wine stirs confusion, controversy

Natural wine? Who could possibly object? With a desire for healthy, sustainable food stimulating trends like the farm to table movement and Slow Food, natural wine is positioning itself as the perfect accompaniment. But according to some experts, the unregulated use of the term ‘natural’ is misleading gullible consumers as…

Chinese artist tries to blow up tree on National Mall

Chinese artist Artist Guo-Qiang tried to blow up a 40-foot tree on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the 25th anniversary for the Sackler Gallery, a museum of the Smithsonian that focuses on Asian art, reported Talking Points Memo. It was meant to reference the numerous tree lighting…

Medical marijuana supporters in Illinois fear planned monopoly

Medical marijuana supporters in Illinois are accusing two businessmen of blocking legalization as they maneuver to control the future market for the drug, reported My Fox Chicago. Jim Merlo — one of the two men who created the company Medponics, which claims its technology could “track, trace and tax” medical…

Greek HIV cases reaching ‘epidemic’ proportions, experts say

HIV infection among crisis-hit Greece’s drug users is reaching “epidemic” proportions with recorded cases marking a 35-fold increase from 2010, health experts warned Friday. A Greek study found 487 HIV-positive cases among intravenous drug users in the first ten months of the year compared with 206 in 2011 and 10…

Japanese mayor tweets during campaign despite official ban

A maverick hoping to upset Japan’s political scene has vowed to continue using Twitter throughout a general election, despite a strict ban on all forms of Internet campaigning. Under Japanese election law, candidates and their supporters are not permitted to Tweet, use Facebook, update their websites or even send emails…

Sen. Shaheen: military women deserve reproductive health equality

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) spoke on the Senate floor on Nov. 30 about a provision in the National Defense Reauthorization Act (NDAA) that would allow women serving in the military to have coverage for abortion services in the case of rape or incest — which is currently covered in federal…

Mechanic husband and unemployed wife win Powerball lottery

A Missouri mechanic and his unemployed wife came forward Friday as holders of one of two winning tickets in the second largest lottery in US history: a $587.5 million Powerball jackpot. Mark and Cindy Hill vowed to stay grounded and not let the massive windfall go to their heads after…

Cuba to punish musicians producing ‘vulgar’ songs

Musicians that perform songs deemed vulgar or that “violate ethical standards” will now be punished in Cuba, the state-run Institute of Music said Friday. In communist Cuba, most everything — especially the airwaves — belongs to the government. Aside from hotels that cater to foreigners, there is no MTV, VH1…

Senate approves increased sanctions against Iran

The US Senate unanimously approved new economic sanctions Friday aimed at further crippling Iran’s energy, shipping and port sectors, a year after Congress passed tough restrictions against Tehran. The amendment, tacked on to a sweeping defense spending bill being debated by the chamber, passed 94-0, and should sail through the…

Israel to build 3,000 settlements after Palestinian U.N. recognition

Israel is to build 3,000 new settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank after the Palestinians won recognition as a non-member state at the United Nations, an Israeli official told AFP on Friday. Asked if he could confirm a report that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had decided…

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