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Central American drug violence surges as cartels move south

Drug-related violence has surged to “alarming and unprecedented” levels in Central America as Mexican drug cartels have shifted their operations, a UN report said Tuesday. The move “has resulted in increased levels of violence, kidnapping, bribery torture and homicide” in Central America, the annual report by the International Narcotics Control…

Scientists say Tyrannosaurus rex was the greatest chomper

Scientists say they have proof that the Tyrannosaurus rex, the dinosaur adored by children and makers of plastic toys, had the most powerful bite of any creature that lived on land. The bite of a grown T. rex was up to 10 times that of a Mississippi alligator, exerting a…

Study questions religion-depression link

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Some research has suggested that religious people may have a buffer against major depression — but new findings cast some doubt on that. Researchers said people who develop depression might be more likely to stop going to services, which could explain why those who regularly…

Clamor for obesity pill may test FDA limits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. drug regulators may have a hard time stopping millions of overweight Americans from taking a new obesity drug that many are likely to view as a miracle pill for slimming waistlines, despite its safety risks. Regulators and doctors are hoping they can limit the pill, called…

Virginia repeals one-a-month limit on handgun purchases

PORTSMOUTH, Virginia (Reuters) – Virginia repealed a one-per-month limit on handgun purchases on Tuesday, less than five years after a mentally-deranged student used handguns to massacre 32 people at Virginia Tech University in the worst single act of gun violence in U.S. history. Governor Bob McDonnell, who is high on…

More Americans believe in climate change: poll

WASHINGTON — Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is real — the highest level in two years — as the public trusted its own observations of rising temperatures, a poll said Tuesday. The growing acceptance of global warming comes despite fierce political division over the issue in the…

Top French court strikes down Armenian genocide law

PARIS — France’s top court ruled Tuesday that a law backed by President Nicolas Sarkozy to punish denial of the Armenian genocide was unconstitutional as it infringed on freedom of expression. Turkey welcomed the ruling — but Sarkozy, whose right-wing party had put forward the bill, swiftly vowed to draft…

Fukushima contamination ‘chronic and lasting’: French agency

PARIS — Radioactive contamination levels from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant have fallen sharply since the accident but will be “chronic and lasting” for many years, a French watchdog said Tuesday. “The initial contamination linked to the accident has greatly declined,” Didier Champion, crisis manager at the Institute for Radiological…

Chavez surgery in Cuba said to be successful

HAVANA — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was in good condition Tuesday after surgeons in Cuba removed a lesion from the pelvic area where they cut out a cancerous tumor last year, Vice President Elias Jaua said. “The diagnosed pelvic lesion was totally extracted,” said Jaua, adding that that “surrounding tissue”…

State Department to hold first Twitter briefing in Spanish

WASHINGTON — The US State Department said Tuesday it will hold its first Twitter briefing in Spanish, as part of its policy of using new social media to reach out to the international community. Hosting the briefing at 2 pm Thursday in Washington, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Public…

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