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Colorado theater shooting victims’ families condemn organizers over relief fund

Families of several of the 70 people killed or injured in the Aurora shooting in Colorado have launched an impassioned attack on local bureaucrats who they say have denied them a voice over the $5m relief fund raised after the tragedy. Family members of 11 of the 12 who died…

Why the 2012 campaign ‘optics’ really don’t look good

Are there any bits of American campaign jargon more annoying than the word “optics”? It’s inescapable this week, thanks to hurricane Isaac: Republicans in Tampa are worried about how it will look if television pictures show them partying while the storm wreaks destruction on Gulf Coast communities. But wait! Did…

New York man builds 50 foot tennis racket

NEW YORK — Talk about having a big serve: wacky New Yorker Ashrita Furman has just built a tennis racket the size of a bus. Furman, who holds the record for the most Guinness World Records at one time — currently 151 — hopes his mammoth wooden racket will soon…

Search for alien life gets boost at twin star

WASHINGTON — The universe is looking increasingly crowded as scientists Tuesday announced the first proof twin stars can host multiple planets — boosting their search for a planet that could support life. “We’re seeing more and more planets in more and more situations,” Jerome Orosz, an astronomer at San Diego…

Brazil to deploy world’s first floating oil terminal

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s state-owned energy giant Petrobras said Tuesday it will deploy the world’s first floating oil terminal capable of refueling tankers on the high seas. “The new technology will ensure lower costs, by reducing the distance covered by oil transport vessels,” the company said in a statement.…

U.S. ‘withheld’ emails on WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning: defense

FORT MEADE, Maryland — Lawyers for the US soldier on trial for passing a trove of classified documents to WikiLeaks on Tuesday accused the government of withholding emails about his pre-trial detention. The defense team for Private Bradley Manning, who could be jailed for life for “aiding the enemy” over…

Lindsay Lohan escapes new Hollywood prosecution

LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors declined Tuesday to press charges against Lindsay Lohan for an alleged theft from a Hollywood Hills home, averting a new court case for the perennially-challenged actress. Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Deborah L. Kranze said there was not enough evidence to file charges against the 26-year-old…

Europe rights court condemns Italy ban on embryo testing

STRASBOURG, France — The European rights court Tuesday condemned Italy for its ban on screening embryos for genetic conditions, saying its laws leave couples wanting to avoid passing on diseases little room for manoeuvre. The condemnation from the European Court of Human Rights relates to the case of an Italian…

Female bomber kills seven as Putin urges calm

MOSCOW — A female suicide bomber posing as a Muslim pilgrim killed a leading Islamic scholar and at least five others on Tuesday in Russia’s restive Muslim region of Dagestan. The attack was reported just as President Vladimir Putin began delivering a keynote address devoted to an assassination attempt last…

Romney deploys wife’s warmth to thaw his frosty image

ABOARD MITT ROMNEY’S CAMPAIGN PLANE — Despite facing the speech of her life within hours, White House hopeful Mitt Romney’s wife Ann had her warmth and charm on display Tuesday as she wooed reporters aboard his jet. While Mitt often appears stiff and awkward as he interacts with voters and…

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