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Sex offenders booted from videogame playgrounds

NEW YORK — New York State’s top prosecutor on Thursday announced that thousands of sex offenders have been kicked out of online playgrounds popular with young videogame lovers. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that 3,580 accounts belonging to people compelled by law to register with authorities for sex crime convictions…

Mega Millions mystery drags on

BALTIMORE, Maryland — The Mega Millions mystery dragged on Thursday with no one yet coming forward for a share of a world-record $656 million jackpot, even after a Baltimore woman claimed she had a winning ticket. Tickets with the winning combination of 2, 4, 23, 38, 46 plus Mega Ball…

Russian arms smuggler gets 25 years in U.S. prison

NEW YORK — A US judge on Thursday sentenced Russian “merchant of death” arms smuggler Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison for conspiring to sell a massive arsenal to anti-American guerrillas in Colombia. Bout, 45, has been accused of selling arms to despots and insurgency groups embroiled in some…

YouTube signs deal with Paramount Pictures

Web channel wins contract to screen Paramount films in the US and Canada, while UK service blinkbox signs deal with Disney YouTube has reached a deal to screen films from Paramount Pictures in the US and Canada, meaning the web channel now has agreements with all six major Hollywood studios…

French nuclear reactor shut down after fires

RENNES, France — A French nuclear reactor shut down automatically Thursday after two small fires at the installation in the north of the country that firefighters quickly extinguished, officials said. EDF, the operator of the power plant in Penly on the English Channel near the port of Dieppe, said the…

Drug-resistant malaria spreading rapidly in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand

Deadly malaria that is resistant to drug treatment has spread rapidly to the border between Thailand and Myanmar, raising concerns of an uncontrollable epidemic, scientists said Thursday. A pair of studies published in The Lancet and the journal Science showed how the disease is moving fast into new territory and…

Author to repay Afghan schools charity $1 million for misusing funds

A US author, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan, has agreed to repay $1 million to his charity after a probe into financial misdealings. Greg Mortenson, who wrote the best-selling book “Three Cups of Tea” about his work, will also step…

Anonymous: We hacked 300 Chinese government, commercial sites

The hacking group Anonymous has claimed it has hacked 300 Chinese websites in recent days, including government and commercial sites, in protest at web censorship in the country. According to messages posted on the group’s Twitter account this week, the latest of which was on Thursday, Anonymous said it had…

UNESCO to protect Titanic wreck from pillaging and destruction

The wreck of the Atlantic liner Titanic will this month come under UNESCO protection, as it has now lain at the bottom of the Atlantic for 100 years, the United Nations cultural body said Thursday. The British liner sank in international waters and so comes under no state’s protection but,…

Successful AIDS vaccine trial may be due to individuals’ existing antibody levels

The success of an AIDS vaccine trial that in 2009 was shown to protect 31 percent of people studied may have been due to varying levels of antibody responses in the patients, researchers said Thursday. Different types of antibody responses were associated with who became infected and who did not,…

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