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NASA estimates new heavy-lift rocket will have first test flight in November 2018

By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL Fla. (Reuters) – NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, designed to fly astronauts to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars, likely will not have its debut test flight until November 2018, nearly a year later than previous estimates, agency officials said on Wednesday. NASA is 70 percent…

California lawmakers pass bill requiring police to obtain a warrant before using drones

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) – Strict regulations on how law enforcement and other government agencies can use drones won passage by California lawmakers on Wednesday, a move supporters said would protect privacy and prevent warrantless surveillance. The bill, which heads to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown after passing 51-0…

Federal appeals court clears way for FedEx drivers to sue for unpaid wages and benefits

By Amanda Becker (Reuters) – Groups of mostly former FedEx drivers in California and Oregon can move forward with lawsuits alleging they are owed unpaid wages and benefits under state and federal labor laws after a U.S. appeals court said Wednesday they were employees, not independent contractors. A three-judge panel…

United Nations increases food shipments to Iraqis fleeing extremist attacks

Geneva (AFP) – The UN food aid agency said Wednesday that a convoy of supplies had reached 2,000 desperate families, crammed into the Iraqi city of Karbala after fleeing jihadist attacks. It said the delivery brings to 700,000 the total number of Iraqis receiving World Food Programme assistance since June,…

Report: Russian computer hackers steal sensitive data from JPMorgan Chase

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co and at least one other bank were attacked by Russian hackers in mid-August and the FBI is investigating whether the assault was in retaliation for U.S.-government sponsored sanctions against the country, according to a report by Bloomberg News citing two unnamed sources. The attack…

Blackwater gunned down Iraqi civilians as they tried to flee, US says as case goes to jury

By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Four former security guards for Blackwater Worldwide “took something that didn’t belong to them, the lives of 14 human beings,” in September 2007 when they fired on civilians in a Baghdad traffic circle, a U.S. prosecutor told jurors on Wednesday. Several victims were shot…

What global warming might mean for extreme snowfalls

Originally published at Climate Central So if the world is warming, that means winters should be less snowy, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that. OK, it’s a lot more complicated. Boston’s North End neighborhood amid the snow drifts after a February 2013 blizzard. Credit: Twitter via Matt Meister.…

Virus pioneer warns of Ebola ‘perfect storm’: Everything is there for it to snowball

Peter Piot, the Belgian scientist who co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976, on Tuesday said a “perfect storm” in West Africa had given the disease a chance to spread unchecked. “We have never seen an (Ebola) epidemic on this scale,” Piot was quoted by the French daily Liberation as saying.…

Thieves cause ‘immeasurable damage’ to former Alabama home of civil rights icon Rosa Parks

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM Ala. (Reuters) – Alabama police are seeking help in catching thieves who ransacked a Montgomery apartment building where black civil rights activist Rosa Parks lived when she was famously arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man in 1955. The vandals…

Same-sex marriage advocates to urge Supreme Court to strike down state bans

In a bold legal move that few litigants try, gay marriage advocates plan to urge the U.S. Supreme Court in three pending cases across the country to decide once and for all whether states can ban same-sex unions. Gay and lesbian plaintiffs won before appeals courts in cases involving bans…

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