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Sensitive U.S. files unguarded in Libya embassy: report

WASHINGTON — A trove of documents, including travel plans and security contracts, lay unguarded at what remains of the American consulate in Benghazi, said a reporter who entered the building on Wednesday. A Washington Post journalist discovered the papers after he gained access to the diplomatic mission where US ambassador…

U.S., British universities top in academic excellence

LONDON — US and British universities continue to dominate in academic excellence but Asia is catching up fast, said an influential education rankings report published Wednesday. The California Institute of Technology kept its top spot in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2012-2013 which also saw the University…

Life of mouse at stake in online election parody

WASHINGTON — A little white mouse risks being devoured by a hungry snake in an online parody of cutthroat American politics that went online Wednesday just hours before the US presidential debate. Snakeormouse.com invites visitors to cast ballots on whether the “MouseOn President” will be fed to the “Friends of…

Humans added plenty greenhouse gases before industrialization: study

PARIS — Humans were big emitters of greenhouse gases long before the Industrial Revolution, a finding that raises worrying questions about the benchmark for measuring global warming, a study published on Wednesday said. For 1,800 years before industrialisation took off in the 19th century, emissions of methane rose in line…

Cell phones being built with fewer toxic substances

WASHINGTON — Mobile phone manufacturers, responding to consumer and regulatory pressure, are using fewer toxic substances in their products, researchers in the United States said Wednesday. The Motorola Citrus, Apple iPhone 4S and LE Remarq emerged as the least toxic cell phones in a study of 36 different models that…

NASA rover checks in online from Mars

SAN FRANCISCO — NASA’s Mars rover took the post-PC revolution into space on Wednesday by using location-sharing mobile application Foursquare to “check-in” on the Red Planet. “NASA is using Foursquare as a tool to share the rover’s new locations while exploring Mars,” said NASA spokesman David Weaver. “This will help…

Clinton vows to answer all questions on Libya attack

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to answer lingering questions about last month’s deadly attack on a US mission in Libya, seeking to counter a barrage of Republican criticism. “There are continuing questions about what exactly happened in Benghazi on that night three weeks ago and…

Slain border patrol agent worked a well-worn drug-smuggling corridor

Slain border patrol agent worked a well-worn drug-smuggling corridor (+video) (via The Christian Science Monitor) Authorities are still piecing together the events leading to the shooting death Tuesday of a US border patrol agent and the wounding of another in remote southern Arizona. Nicholas Ivie, who had worked for the…

Sweden plans to open ABBA museum

A museum dedicated to legendary Swedish disco group ABBA, which disbanded thirty years ago, will open in Stockholm this spring, former member Bjoern Ulvaeus announced on Wednesday. “This is a Cinderella story worth telling,” he said at a press conference. ABBA, one of the most popular and enduring bands of…

Spain provided a record number of organ donations in 2011

Spain provided a record number of donors of bodily organs in 2011 as the number of transplants in Europe rose, the health ministry said Wednesday. In Spain there were 35 donors per million inhabitants, while the number of transplants performed in Europe passed 30,000 for the first time, it said.…

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