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Postal Service losses tripled to $16 billion

The US Postal Service tripled its losses in 2012, bleeding $15.9 billion as the state-owned enterprise faces tough competition and what it calls onerous and unfair retirement funding requirements. The US mail said its losses rocketed in the year to September 30 from a $5.1 billion loss last year, with…

Deadline extended for state decisions on health care exchanges

The Obama administration has extended the deadline for states to decide whether to set up health care exchanges in accordance with the Affordable Care Act one month, till Dec. 14, reported The Hill. Originally, that deadline was Friday, Nov. 16. However, states that decline to create such exchanges — likely…

FDA looks into potential energy drink-related deaths

The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating 13 deaths that may be linked to consumption of an energy drink called 5-hour Energy, an FDA spokeswoman said Thursday. “FDA is continuing to investigate reports of illness, injury or death of people who took products marketed under the label 5-Hour Energy,”…

Judge OKs immigration check, blocks other parts of S.C. law

A federal judge has blocked most of a South Carolina immigration law that, similar to the infamous Arizona law, created strict laws surrounding undocumented immigrants. The U.S. Supreme Court threw out parts of the similar Arizona law this past summer but let stand the ability of police officers to check…

Wal-Mart workers begin Black Friday disruptions

Strikes and protests aimed at disrupting the retail giant Walmart during next week’s Black Friday sales events began on Thursday with walk-outs at a number of stores and the promise of more actions in the lead-up to what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year. The news comes…

Florida man threatens to ‘hunt down’ and kill President Obama

Police in Melbourne, Fla., are holding a man over threats he made on Facebook to kill President Barack Obama, reported Florida Today. On Nov. 1, Christopher Castillo wrote on the social network that if Obama were re-elected, he would “hunt down” the president and “watch the life disappear from his…

Rare genetic mutation offers Alzheimer’s clues

Scientists have found a rare genetic mutation that appears to triple the risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and provides important clues into how the so-far incurable disease operates. Scientists from two independent teams stumbled on the same result, published in two studies Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine:…

Early humans used stone-tipped spears 500,000 years ago

Early humans were already using stone tips to enhance the killing power of spears at least 500,000 years ago, some 200,000 years earlier than previously thought, anthropologists said Thursday. Attaching stone points to spears — a technique known as “hafting” — requires more planning and effort than simply sharpening a…

Amazon begins shipping larger Kindle Fire ahead of schedule to compete with iPad

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Amazon on Thursday began shipping a large-screen, high-definition version of its popular Kindle Fire tablet computers ahead of schedule in a holiday season challenge to Apple iPads. Kindle Fire HD tablets ordered online were on their way to buyers and more would be available at US…

BP agrees to pay $4.5 billion in settlement over Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Oil giant will pay $4.5bn to US authorities and agrees to plead guilty to 11 felony counts of misconduct over fatal rig explosion BP has agreed to pay the largest criminal fine in US history – $4.5bn – to resolve all criminal charges arising from the fatal oil rig explosion…

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