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China’s Communist Party prepares for power handover

China’s political elite are expected to oust disgraced figure Bo Xilai and jostle for leadership roles in their last formal meeting which opened Thursday ahead of next week’s landmark power handover. The Communist Party’s Central Committee convened behind closed doors, state media said, with 500 senior members to debate key…

U.S. military forces train for zombie apocalypse

No prank: On Halloween, US military forces train for zombie apocalypse Why is the US military preparing for a zombie apocalypse? That’s the latest training exercise that US Marines and Navy special-operations forces will be taking part in on an island off the coast of San Diego – starting on…

East coast travel chaos continues with 20,000 flights cancelled

NEW YORK — Travel chaos from Hurricane Sandy dragged into a fourth day with roads still covered in floodwater and debris, New York’s subway still closed and flights cancellations reaching nearly 20,000 Wednesday. Massive cleanup efforts have restored power and most public services to millions caught in Sandy’s destructive path…

Campaigns to spend $6 billion in 2012: report

WASHINGTON — US political campaigns will spend $6 billion in federal races this year, making the 2012 general election the most expensive poll in American history, experts said Wednesday. The presidential election pitting President Barack Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, alone accounts for $2.6 billion, according to the Center…

Homeland Security faces lawsuit over details of domestic drone flights

SAN FRANCISCO — The Electronic Frontier Foundation said Wednesday it has sued the US Department of Homeland Security to obtain details about Predator drones on loan to domestic police departments. EFF Internet freedom and privacy champions contended that they filed suit in federal court in San Francisco because the DHS…

Canada lawmakers ban masks at protests

OTTAWA — Parliament passed a ban on wearing masks at riots that punishes violations with up to 10 years behind bars in a bid to crack down on radical groups. The measure, adopted 153 to 126 on the Halloween holiday that sees revelers walk the streets in masks and costumed,…

Genomes project publishes inventory of human genetic variation

Scientists have published the full genetic sequences of more than 1,000 people from 14 countries, creating the most complete inventory of the millions of variations between people’s DNA sequences ever assembled. The resource built by the 1,000 Genomes Project will shed light on the genetic roots of complex diseases and…

U.S. warns Israel against preemptive strike on Iran

US military commanders have warned their Israeli counterparts that any action against Iran would severely limit the ability of American forces in the region to mount their own operations against the Iranian nuclear programme by cutting off vital logistical support from Gulf Arab allies. US naval, air and ground forces…

Sandy puts climate change back on the election agenda

The images of a paralysed New York City at the mercy of Hurricane Sandy’s wall of water have forced climate change on to the political agenda in the final week of the 2012 presidential election campaign. Campaigners said the devastating storm could turn out to be the October Surprise of…

Chinese heroin demand doubles poppy cultivation in Southeast Asia

Opium cultivation in Southeast Asia has doubled over the last six years as growing demand for heroin in China and the rest of Asia lures more farmers to grow poppies, the UN said Wednesday. Opiate users in East Asia and the Pacific now account for about a quarter of the…

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