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Grateful Dead’s John Perry Barlow: Hacktivism unites diverse ideologies

If there is a battle over the future shape of the internet – and society as a whole – then hacktivist groups such as Anonymous and Lulzsec, Wikileaks and the file-sharing site Megaupload.com are among the frontline battalions. While the individual incidents and clashes involving these groups may seem disparate…

Japan all-girl group ad ‘encourages homosexuality’

A commercial showing members of wildly popular all-girl band AKB48 passing bite-sized candies seductively from mouth-to-mouth is under fire in Japan for encouraging homosexuality. The advertisement, which aired in March, shows the school uniform-clad young women — all in their late teens or early 20s — intimately exchanging the sweet, with the close-up footage slowing…

Polar bears older than previously thought: study

Polar bears diverged from their closest relatives 600,000 years ago, far earlier than previously thought, suggesting more challenges in the face of climate change, scientists said. Previous genetic analysis of polar bears had determined the species was only about 150,000 years old. But in fact, it took them five times longer for the…

‘I am not a psychiatric case,’ Breivik tells court

Norwegian right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who is on trial for killing 77 people last July, insisted to an Oslo court Friday that he is sane. “I am not a psychiatric case,” Breivik told the court when questioned by a lawyer for the plaintiffs about his understanding of “empathy”, insisting “I…

AIDS experts launch ‘CNN of virology’ in Canada

A new digital media service will foster the global collaboration of physicians and help them to share the latest advances in AIDS and other virus research, according to its Canadian promoters. The new bilingual French and English service, “viroXchange,” is funded by large pharmaceutical companies but will provide “independent” reporting on the…

Ohio Amish plead not guilty in beard-cutting case

Sixteen members of a US Amish community accused of carrying out a string of beard and hair-cuttings against religious rivals have pleaded not guilty and are set to go on trial in August. The defendants — 10 men and six women — refused to speak to media after their afternoon…

Smithsonian welcomes space shuttle Discovery

Discovery on Thursday became the first spaceship of the retired US shuttle fleet to enter its permanent home as a museum artifact, marking a solemn end to the 30-year manned spaceflight program. The oldest surviving US shuttle, Discovery flew 39 missions to space beginning in 1984 and its transition from…

Black firefighter tasered as he tried to help police

A black firefighter has said he was assaulted, shot with a stun gun and arrested as he tried to help police while he was off-duty, in the latest racism allegation against Scotland Yard. Edric Kennedy-Macfoy, 28, made a formal complaint after the incident in the early hours of September 4, in which he…

Guantanamo 9/11 detainee contests court’s secrecy rule

An accused September 11 conspirator filed a motion challenging a rule that keeps statements by the Guantanamo detainees secret, his lawyer said. Attorney James Connell called for end to “the presumption of classification” that applies to everything the Guantanamo detainees say. His client, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, is scheduled to…

Levon Helm, drummer and singer with The Band, dies at 71

NEW YORK — Levon Helm, whose gruff vocals and razor-sharp drumming underpinned the seminal late 1960s rock group The Band, died Thursday, his recording studio said. He was 71. “Levon Helm passed peacefully this afternoon,” said Barbara O’Brien, executive manager of Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock, New York, in an…

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