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New findings suggest misconceptions about ‘abortion pills’

A story in today’s New York Times suggests Republican anger over morning-after pills is misplaced, because of misconceptions about what they do. Pills like Plan B, Pam Belluck says, don’t stop fertilized eggs from attaching themselves to a woman’s uterus; instead, they delay ovulation, thus preventing eggs from interacting with…

Analysis says New York’s stop-and-frisk policy isn’t working

An analysis of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy by DNAinfo.com says that, despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s allegations, stopping more people hasn’t prevented an increase in shootings. The number of shooting victims in the city increased between 2009 and 2011, Murray Weiss writes, from 1,727 to 1,821, despite officers…

Greenpeace maps way to saving Arctic from oil drilling

BERLIN — Greenpeace called here Tuesday for more use of renewable energy and greener cars to help protect the Arctic and other areas from being spoiled by oil drilling. The environmental group launched an “energy roadmap” for cutting oil demand by about 80 percent, especially for transport, by making cars…

Disney to ban junk-food ads on TV channels, websites

WASHINGTON — The Walt Disney Company, in a first for a US media giant, said Tuesday it will ban junk-food advertising on its TV channels and websites from 2015 to help fight obesity among US children. “This new initiative is truly a game changer for the health of our children,”…

U.S. thought Taliban had nuclear bomb in 2009: book

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama confronted the ultimate security nightmare early in his administration — the possibility that the Taliban had acquired a nuclear bomb, according to a new book published Tuesday. The book, “Confront and Conceal” by New York Times chief Washington correspondent David Sanger, says Obama was…

Tunisian blogger on hunger strike to ‘defend press freedom’

TUNIS — A Tunisian journalist said Tuesday he launched a hunger strike on May 28 to defend press freedom after military police seized the cameras he used to film the trial of ousted leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. Ramzi Bettaieb, who works for Nawaat, a collective blog, said his…

U.S. services sector growth picks up in May

WASHINGTON — Growth in the massive US services sector picked up momentum in May amid improved optimism about the economy, a closely watched purchasing managers survey showed Tuesday. The Institute for Supply Management’s services index rose to 53.7 percent from 53.5 percent in April, indicating a slightly faster growth rate…

Pope’s butler risks 6 years in prison for stealing classified documents

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI’s butler risks up to six years in prison if convicted on a charge of aggravated theft for stealing classified documents from the papal chambers, a Vatican judge said Tuesday. Paolo Gabriele, a staunch Catholic who is seen as the layperson with the most access…

U.S. hopes for ‘accelerated action’ from Europe

WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday it hoped for “accelerated” action in coming weeks ahead of the G20 summit in Mexico, on the euro crisis and shoring up debt-ridden banks. “European leaders seem to be moving with a heightened sense of urgency and we welcome that. We are hoping…

Sweeping arrests over Afghan schoolgirl ‘attacks’

KABUL — Sweeping arrests have been made by desperate Afghan authorities trying to end the alleged serial poisoning of schoolgirls, but some doctors now suspect psychological stress could be behind the “attacks”, officials said Tuesday. Sixteen suspects have been detained in the past four days over the mysterious illnesses —…

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