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Obama awards Medal of Freedom to Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey and others

President Barack Obama on Wednesday celebrated American legends of politics, sports, letters, science and the arts including Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey in awarding his country’s highest civilian honor. The Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony was lent added poignancy as the award was first minted by John F. Kennedy, who…

Nobel-winning ‘father of genomics’ Fred Sanger dies aged 95

British biochemist Frederick Sanger, the “father of genomics” who won two Nobel prizes, has died aged 95, the Cambridge research institute that bears his name announced Wednesday. “Sad news: Fred Sanger, after whom we’re named, has died. The legacy of this modest man is transforming medicine,” said a statement from…

Councilors lock Toronto crack mayor Rob Ford out of city hall

The locks at Toronto City Hall have been changed, and boxes were packed in the mayor’s staff offices ahead of his handover of powers to his deputy Wednesday. “The locks have been changed, security has been changed, everything’s been changed,” Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly said at the end of business…

Republican congressman Trey Radel pleads guilty to cocaine possession

First-term US congressman Trey Radel pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of cocaine possession and was sentenced to one year of supervised probation. The Florida Republican, 37, was arraigned in Washington DC Superior Court on the misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance. According to court documents, Radel is subject…

Britain to join U.S. in ending coal power support abroad

Britain said Wednesday it would join the United States in a charge to curb financial aid for building coal-fired power plants abroad. The announcement was made at UN climate talks in Warsaw where the fossil fuel — the biggest single contributor to global warming — has been at the centre…

People magazine crowns ‘Maroon 5′ frontman Adam Levine ‘Sexiest Man Alive’

Tattooed ‘Maroon 5′ frontman Adam Levine has been named People’s “Sexiest Man Alive,” the magazine revealed late Tuesday. “As a musician, you have fantasies that you want to win Grammys, but I didn’t really think that this was on the table,” Levine, 34, told People. “I was just amazed and…

Bitcoin value jumps after mostly positive Senate hearing

Call it a speculative bubble or the rise of a currency of the future: the bitcoin jumped in value Tuesday after US authorities appeared to give the virtual money their blessing. The electronic currency that is suspected of being used for illicit transactions on the Internet reached a value of…

Church of England backs women bishops in principle

The Church of England’s national assembly on Wednesday gave strong backing to the principle of allowing women to serve as bishops. The General Synod voted 378 to eight in favour of the move, clearing the way for a possible vote next year which could bring the measure into Church legislation.…

Congress to honor Native American ‘code talkers’ who helped beat WWII Germany

Native American “code talkers” who used their indigenous languages to keep critical military secrets from World War II enemies are finally getting their due in Congress, decades after their heroism. Twenty-four years ago France bestowed its highest civilian honor on American Indians who used their ancestral words as shields, forging…

Questions raised by recommendation that 33 million Americans take anti-cholesterol drug

New recommendations to expand the use of cholesterol-lowering medication to millions of adults to reduce heart attacks and strokes overestimated risks faced by that population, according to a study. An updated clinical guide released by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) last week set…

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