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Supreme Court allows Texas abortion restrictions to remain in place

The Supreme Court divided down partisan lines today when it ruled that Texas can continue to enforce strict abortion restrictions that prevent nearly a third of the state’s clinics from operating. The court rejected the arguments by Planned Parenthood and several affiliated clinics that claimed that the strictures place an…

Man charged in unspeakably brutal rape claims to ‘have Jesus on his side’

State police in Hazleton, Pennsylvania arrested Emmanuel Paulino today for what they allege was a particularly brutal rape. Paulino is also accused of assaulting the officer who tried to arrest him. Warning: this article describes non-consensual sex-acts of a particularly violent nature. According to court records, the victim — whose…

German image on line with Nazi art hoard: World Jewish Congress

Germany’s credibility is on the line in its handling of a vast Nazi-era hoard of priceless artworks and the country must take bold steps to give back property to its rightful owners, the head of the World Jewish Congress told AFP. Saying that the more than 1,400 paintings, sketches and…

4.4 billion-year-old meteorite found in the Sahara sheds light on infant Mars

A meteorite found in the Sahara last year by Bedouin tribesmen is a rock from Mars, revealing that the Red Planet’s crust formed 4.4 billion years ago, scientists reported on Wednesday. Sold to the elite club of meteorite collectors, the extraordinary rock has been analysed by US and French geologists.…

Cleaning crew in India finds $1 million worth of gold bars in an aircraft toilet

An Indian airplane cleaning crew stumbled across 24 gold bars worth over $1 million stashed in an aircraft toilet compartment, officials said Wednesday. India, which rivals China as the world’s biggest gold consumer, has witnessed a sharp rise in smuggling since import duties were hiked three times this year to…

Philippines counts the cost of Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan’s devastating assault on the central Philippines exerted a catastrophic human cost, but analysts say its impact on one of Asia’s fastest growing economies will be less traumatic. The national economy has been on an upswing for the past five years and expanded 7.6 percent in the first…

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…

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