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Hamas says ‘gates of hell opened’ as Israel kills military leader in Gaza

Israel launched a military operation to eliminate militants and weapon sites in the Gaza Strip , killing the commander of Hamas’s military wing, in a move with potentially serious repercussions beyond its borders. The assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari in a missile strike in Gaza City was the “start of a…

Ohio Republicans vote to put Planned Parenthood at bottom of funding list

Last week, pro-choice campaigners celebrated after voters used the ballot box to oppose right-wing Republican candidates with extreme views on abortion, while young women voted overwhelmingly for the return of a president who spoke of reproductive rights. But on Wednesday, state Republicans have once again been accused of a “war…

Obama ready for deal to avoid fiscal cliff

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Wednesday offered opposition Republicans a short-term compromise on avoiding the fiscal cliff, but said any deal needed to include tax increases for the rich. Obama said he was willing to negotiate a fix before year-end to avoid the harsh tax hikes and spending…

Grunt work: Scientists decode pig genome

PARIS — Scientists said Wednesday they had laid bare the genetic code of the pig, revealing that besides providing ham, bacon and sausages, the domestic swine may also be useful in fighting human diseases. Pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations which in Man have been linked to obesity, diabetes,…

Congress slams health officials over tainted drugs linked to meningitis outbreak

WASHINGTON — US lawmakers slammed federal and state health officials Wednesday for failing to properly police a pharmacy whose tainted drugs caused a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak. “This tragedy could have been avoided,” said Congressman Cliff Stearns, who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight and investigations panel. The Florida…

U.S. military justice code sets standards on adultery

WASHINGTON — Adultery, fraternization, unbecoming conduct — The United States’ Uniform Code of Military Justice restricts the behavior of soldiers and officers up to the highest ranks. Still, experts say it seems highly unlikely that either David Petraeus or John Allen — one a retired general, the other still active…

New York bomb plotter to be sentenced Friday

NEW YORK — A US man convicted of being part of a New York trio just “days” from launching suicide bombs to take revenge for the US war in Afghanistan will be sentenced Friday. Prosecutors describe Adis Medunjanin as a would-be terrorist and on Wednesday asked the sentencing judge to…

Brazil eyes cloning to bolster endangered species

BRASILIA — Scientists in Brazil will try cloning endangered animal species like the jaguar, a researcher said Wednesday. “The idea is to start with an animal that is endangered, or where species numbers have gone down sharply, such as the jaguar, the maned wolf or even the local deer,” said…

GM scraps Opel-Peugeot Citroen merger plans: report

PARIS — General Motors has scrapped plans to merge its troubled German unit Opel with PSA Peugeot Citroen because of the French carmaker’s financial woes, a news report said Wednesday. “GM gave up in early November on the merger plan between Opel and PSA Peugeot Citroen’s auto division,” French financial…

Petraeus mistress Paula Broadwell loses security clearance

WASHINGTON — Paula Broadwell, the woman at the center of the scandal that felled former CIA director David Petraeus, has been stripped of her security clearance amid an FBI investigation, CNN said Wednesday. The military clearance allowed Broadwell, a major in the US army reserve and a graduate of the…

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