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Scientists map DNA of fetuses and raise ethical questions about ‘designer’ babies

A stunning breakthrough in biotechnology was announced this week that brings humanity closer to an Orwellian prospect: parents being able to choose the characteristics of an unborn child. For the first time, scientists have mapped the DNA of a fetus. They did so by using specimens from a pregnant woman……

Amnesty International: ‘Alarming’ increase in Iraq executions

Amnesty International on Friday condemned the “alarming” increase in executions in Iraq, which has put at least 70 people to death this year, and urged Baghdad to stop using the death penalty. “The killing of Abd Hmoud is part of an alarming escalation in executions in Iraq and we fear…

Philippine officials launch manhunt for kidnapped Chinese businessmen

Philippine security officials have launched a manhunt for two kidnapped Chinese businessmen in a mountainous town in the strife-torn south, a military spokesman said on Friday. The gang that kidnapped the two is believed to have hidden the businessmen in Naga, a town near the coast in the restive southern…

Scientists host NASA bake sale

Could some really great cupcakes be enough to send Americans back to the Moon? More than a dozen US universities are hosting events on Saturday to urge support for the cash-strapped space agency, which faces major cuts to its planetary programs in fiscal year 2013. Ranging from shoe shines to…

UN reaches Syrian massacre site

UN monitors on Friday finally reached the site of a massacre of villagers in Syria on their second attempt as Western powers pressed at the United Nations for sanctions against Damascus. The sanctions push came as international envoy Kofi Annan called for “additional pressure” in the wake of the latest…

DOJ calls meeting with NYPD over stop-and-frisk

A dozen New York City lawmakers will meet members of Congress and officials from the justice department on Wednesday in the hope of prompting a federal investigation into the NYPD’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy. The meeting marks the latest development in a series of efforts launched by legal organizations, policy makers,…

Qaeda chief’s wife congratulates women on Arab Spring, encourages sons to jihad

The wife of Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has congratulated Muslim women for the role they have played in the Arab Spring and urged them to raise their children for jihad. “I congratulate all Muslim women for these blessed revolutions,” Umaima Hassan Ahmed Mohammed Hassan wrote in a letter posted on…

India approves four new tiger sanctuaries

India has approved four new tiger sanctuaries and a “tiger corridor” in the latest of a series of measures designed to stem the decline of the threatened species. Prithviraj Chavan, chief minister of the western state of Maharashtra, announced the steps that will add more than 500 square kilometres (200…

UN: 2 million children could be saved by focusing on pneumonia and diarrhea

More than two million children’s lives in poor countries could be saved in the next three years by focusing on pneumonia and diarrhoea, the two biggest killers of under-fives, a UN report said on Friday. The UN Children’s Fund (Unicef) report, Pneumonia and diarrhoea: tackling the deadliest diseases for the…

Facebook forced to reveal identities of cyberbullies

A mother has won court backing to force Facebook to reveal the identities of cyberbullies who targeted her with a string of abusive messages on the website. Nicola Brookes, 45, was granted a high court order after receiving “vicious and depraved” abuse on Facebook after she posted a comment in…

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