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Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel released on $1.2 million bond after murder conviction vacated

A judge on Thursday released Michael Skakel, a member of the famed Kennedy clan, on $1.2 million bail after his conviction in the murder of his teenaged neighbor was set aside. Skakel, 53, a nephew of slain politician Robert F. Kennedy, was found guilty in 2002 of the murder of…

Aldous Huxley: Prophet of our brave new digital dystopia

CS Lewis may be getting a plaque. But Huxley, for his foretelling of a society that loves servitude, is the true visionary On 22 November 1963 the world was too preoccupied with the Kennedy assassination to pay much attention to the passing of two writers from the other side of…

iPhone maker Foxconn invests $40 million into boosting U.S. operations

Taiwan’s Foxconn, the maker of iPhones, iPads and other electronics in China, is to invest $40 million in the United States to ramp up manufacturing of high-end products. The world’s largest contract electronics maker will create around 500 jobs in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania as it puts $30 million into a plant…

‘Black Beauty’ meteorite reveals warm, wet dawn on Mars

‘Black Beauty’ reveals warm, wet dawn on Mars (via The Christian Science Monitor) An ancient meteorite (NWA 7533, also called ‘Black Beauty’) dates back over 4 billion years. The gray interior surface, cut away with a diamond saw, shows the countless tiny pieces of broken rock that make up this…

Actor Hugh Jackman reveals he was treated for skin cancer

Australian actor Hugh Jackman revealed Thursday that he had been treated for skin cancer, posting a picture of himself with a plaster on his nose. The Oscar-nominated Hollywood star warned Twitter followers to have suspicious marks checked and to use sunscreen. “Deb said to get the mark on my nose…

Mexico vows to stop expansion of civilian ‘self-defense’ groups

Mexican authorities warned Thursday that they would not allow vigilante “self-defense” groups to take over more towns in a western state where civilians are arming themselves to combat drug gangs. Vigilantes are now providing security in six Michoacan state towns after self-defense forces seized the municipality of Tancitaro last weekend…

Filipino coconut farmers face ruin after Typhoon Haiyan’s devastation

The super typhoon that slammed through the central Philippines laid waste to a vast region of coconut farmland, eradicating in one fell swoop the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholders. “It’s all gone,” Glen Mendoza said, gesturing towards the collection of snapped and toppled trees that used to be…

Rescue workers among six dead in Latvian supermarket cave-in

Six people including two rescue workers were killed and 35 others injured on Thursday when the roof of a supermarket collapsed in a suburb of Latvia’s capital Riga, emergency services confirmed. “Rescue efforts will continue through the night but it’s too early to name a cause or say whether there…

French hostage recounts escape after captor left door open

The French hostage held for 11 months by an Islamist group in Nigeria told French television on Thursday he made his audacious run for freedom after his captor left a key in the door by mistake. Francis Collomp, speaking on the TF1 channel, described how on the night of November…

Antarctic ice lab sees sub-atomic particles in space

Ghostly sub-atomic particles called neutrinos in outer space have been glimpsed from an icy observatory in Antarctica, offering a rare new view of the universe, scientists said Thursday. These high-energy particles are everywhere, and billions pass though our bodies every second, according to Kara Hoffman, a physics professor at the…

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