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HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects black gay men in U.S.

HIV-AIDS is affecting black gay men in the United States on a scale unseen among any other group in the developed world, said a report issued Wednesday ahead of the International AIDS Conference. So grave is the crisis that in some US cities, one in two black men who have…

Study: Millions of East Germans returning home

Many of the millions of east Germans who flocked to the west of the country to take jobs after the Berlin Wall fell are now returning home, a study to be published Thursday showed. In 2010 alone more than 40,000 people born in communist East Germany who had moved west…

Japan looks for ‘active faults’ under restarted nuclear plant

Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog on Wednesday ordered a probe into claims the country’s only working nuclear power station sits on an active tectonic fault. The order came as Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) readied to refire a second reactor at the Oi plant, western Japan, just weeks after the first…

Pakistan puts 240,000 children at risk with polio vaccine ban

Pakistani tribesmen endorsed a Taliban ban on polio vaccinations Wednesday, closing the door to the prospect of any child being vaccinated in North Waziristan as part of a nationwide campaign. Officials had pinned their last hopes of inoculating children in the northwestern district on talks with tribesmen, which were successively…

Study: Millions of voters face ‘structural barriers’ due to voter ID laws

About 3 to 4 million voters affected by existing voter ID laws face enormous difficulties to get to the polls, according to a new study by the Brennan Center for Justice. The study says 1 in 10 voters in states with those laws – Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania,…

Anti voter-ID group to MN Supreme Court: ballot measure isn’t clear enough

The Minnesota Supreme Court took on the debate behind voter identification laws, as it addressed whether a ballot initiative on the matter was clear enough for voters, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports. In its current form, the proposal, which would go on the November ballot, refers to “valid” IDs. But the…

Woman with thalidomide-related birth defects wins multi-million dollar settlement from drug companies

An Australian woman born without arms and legs after her mother took thalidomide during pregnancy, on Wednesday won a landmark multi-million dollar settlement in her class action against drug firms. Lynette Rowe, 50, is leading a mass lawsuit on behalf of people born with congenital defects in Australia and New…

London Olympics withdraws 500,000 soccer tickets due to lack of interest

The organisers of the London Olympics conceded defeat Wednesday in selling all the tickets for the soccer tournament as they revealed plans to slash the capacity of some stadiums. Organisers LOCOG said more than one million tickets were left unsold, but that figure has been cut in half by reducing…

Google releases new platform to share information on dying languages

Google unveiled an online information exchange platform to try to give some extra lasting power to more than 3,000 endangered languages. Called endangeredlanguages.com, it is out to help improve the exchange of digital source materials in languages spoken by small numbers of people, from Navajo in the United States, to…

Sleeping Australian teenager attacked by dingo in the outback

An Australian teenager told Wednesday of her sleeping bag being torn off by a dingo as she slept at a campsite, weeks after a landmark ruling that a baby was snatched in 1980 by one of the wild dogs. Rebecca Robinson, 13, was sleeping on a mattress under a caravan…

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