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U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan on track: officials

WASHINGTON — The planned withdrawal of more than 30,000 US “surge” troops from Afghanistan will be completed ahead of an end-of-month target date, officials said Friday. President Barack Obama ordered in reinforcements in December 2009 and last year promised to have the additional troops withdrawn before the end of 2012.…

Court throws out climate change deniers’ lawsuit again scientists

New Zealand’s High Court on Friday dismissed a challenge launched by climate change sceptics against a government research agency’s finding that the temperature had risen in the past century. The court backed the science that led the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to conclude that New Zealand’s…

Obama, Romney head to swing states post-convention to drum up support

When Republican Mitt Romney’s campaign plane headed east from Iowa to New Hampshire on Friday, he might have been tempted to look out the window for his White House rival. President Barack Obama, it turns out, was on a similar flight to and from the same states — albeit in…

Nelson Mandela ‘happier’ out of the spotlight in childhood home

South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela is “happier” since he returned to a quiet life in his rural childhood village, the CEO of his children’s hospital project said Friday. “He’s happier where he is now in Qunu. It’s quiet. No one’s bothering him every five minutes to sign something,” said…

Women for Mitt: Obama is the one waging a ‘war on women’

Women for Mitt: why they say it's Obama waging a 'war on women' (via The Christian Science Monitor) For Gina Maddox, a self-described “sassy Southern woman,” this presidential race is all about injustice to women. And for that reason, she says she’ll be voting for Mitt Romney.  It is, in…

Will Fed ‘ease’ pain after another month of slow jobs growth?

Jobs report shows weak August numbers. Will Fed 'ease' the way? (via The Christian Science Monitor) The pace of US job creation was disappointingly slow in August, signaling a recovery that is still weak and fragile as a pivotal election draws close. Employers added 96,000 jobs during the month, following…

Judge approves DOJ $69 million e-book settlement with three publishers

Citing Emily Dickinson’s mantra that “There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away”, a federal judge yesterday approved the US department of justice’s settlement with three publishers over alleged ebook price-fixing. The publishers Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins had been accused by…

Google blacklists sites owned by British official for copyright infringement

Google has blacklisted a network of websites run by the family of the newly promoted Tory party co-chairman, Grant Shapps, for breaching its rules on copyright infringement. A string of at least 19 sites run by the wife, sister or 75-year-old mother of Shapps have been banned from carrying Google’s…

UN: World needs reserves twice the size of Argentina to save endangered animals

The world must look to designate an area twice the size of Argentina as nature reserves, or we will have little chance of establishing enough protected areas for wildlife and fish to stave off a disastrous loss of species, according to an analysis of natural and marine reserves. In the…

‘Highly toxic’ bird flu strain hits Vietnam

A new highly-toxic strain of the potentially deadly bird flu virus has appeared in Vietnam and is spreading fast, according to state media reports. The strain appeared to be a mutation of the H5N1 virus which swept through the country’s poultry flocks last year, forcing mass culls of birds in…

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