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Anti-Muslim hate crimes skyrocket in U.K. in 2013

Hate crimes against Muslims have soared in the UK this year, figures show. Hundreds of anti-Muslim offences were carried out across the country in 2013, with Britain’s biggest force, the Metropolitan police, recording 500 Islamophobic crimes. Many forces reported a surge in the number of anti-Muslim hate crimes after the…

Australian sharks take to Twitter to warn surfers and swimmers of their presence

Australian scientists have outfitted almost 400 sharks with transmitters that send automatic warnings, via Twitter, to Surf Life Saving Western Australia’s (SLSWA) Twitter feed. For example, this morning, when a shark ventured into the waters between Floreat and City Beach in the western Australian city of Perth, subscribers to SLSWA’s…

Boy Scouts hope opening ranks to gays as ‘eventful as Y2K’

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will begin accepting openly gay youths into its ranks on New Year’s Day, 2014. This sea change in BSA policy has raised many questions, from pragmatic concerns about the logistics of showering to symbolic issues, like whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.…

New Pentagon blueprint sees bigger role for robot warfare

At a NASCAR racetrack in Miami earlier this month, teams from NASA, Google, and 14 other groups of engineering gurus put cutting-edge robots through some challenging paces. The aim was to see how well the robots could tackle tasks that may sound simple…  …

Indian train inferno kills at least 26 people

Fire raced through an Indian train carriage packed with sleeping passengers on Saturday, killing at least 26 people, and forcing terrified passengers to smash windows in a frantic bid to escape. Some passengers were able to break the train’s toilet cabin windows, but other victims were overcome by the thick,…

Saudi Arabian police ‘pounce on woman defying drive ban’

Saudi police on Saturday pulled over a woman minutes after she got behind the wheel in the Red Sea city of Jeddah after activists called for a new challenge to a driving ban. “Only 10 minutes after Tamador al-Yami got behind the wheel police stopped her,” activist Eman al-Nafjan told…

Four U.S. servicemembers freed after a brief detention by the Libyan government

Four US military personnel have been freed after a brief detention by the Libyan government, the US State Department said on Saturday. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who hours earlier announced that the Americans had been detained, did not say why they were held. “All four US military personnel being…

Four new species of deep sea creatures discovered off Scottish coast

Large sea snail, marine worm and two kinds of clam are believed to live near a cold seep vent in north Atlantic Marine scientists have hailed the discovery of four new species of sea creature in deep ocean waters off the coast of Scotland. The new species – a large…

France seeks to ban anti-Semitic comedian who popularized ‘reverse Nazi-salute’

French authorities are debating whether they can ban performances by a comedian who regularly insults Holocaust victims on grounds that he threatens the public peace. On Friday, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said he is seeking a legal means of banning performances by Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, a comedian repeatedly fined for…

Racist attacks elderly black man to see whether his ‘knockout’ would be ‘nationally televised’

A Texas man has been charged with a federal hate crime after he assaulted an elderly black man in an attack motivated by the “knockout game.” Conrad Alvin Barrett singled out his victim — who authorities did not identify — because of the color of his skin, and federal prosecutors…

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