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Appeals court upholds decision to block New York City soda ban

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s plan to ban large sugary drinks from restaurants and other eateries was an illegal overreach of executive power, a state appeals court ruled on Tuesday, upholding a lower court decision in March that struck down the law. The law, which would have prohibited…

Polish man with life-saving face transplant makes public appearance

A Pole who doctors claim has received the world’s first life-saving face transplant appeared in public for the first time on Tuesday as physicians said he was ready to go home. Identified only as Grzegorz, the 33-year-old man wore dark sun glasses and walked with ease, but was unable to…

Florida fire chief: Propane plant explosion likely accidental

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – A propane gas plant explosion in central Florida that injured seven workers, including at least three critically, was most likely caused by an accident, the fire chief for the town of Tavares said on Tuesday. “We don’t think there was any act of sabotage or anything…

Obamacare panel approves free cancer screenings for heavy smokers

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) – After decades of debate, an influential U.S. panel has endorsed the use of low-dose CT scans to detect lung cancer in high-risk individuals, paving the way for insurance coverage of the test for as many as 10 million smokers and former smokers. The draft…

‘Anonymous’ hackers attack New Zealand Prime Minister’s website over spying bill

The “hacktivist” group Anonymous on Tuesday briefly crashed New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s website in protest at plans to allow the country’s intelligence agency to spy on local residents. A group identifying itself as Anonymous NZ posted a clip on YouTube saying it had attacked Key’s website www.johnkey.co.nz and…

Overpicking threatens Greek herbs

Forestry officials on the Greek island of Crete have slapped a five-year ban on the collection of a variety of wild herbs snipped to near-extinction, the state-run ANA agency said. The forestry department of Hania, one of the island’s main towns, placed restrictions on picking sage, marjoram, oregano and sideritis,…

Stolen Stradivarius recovered after three-year search

Police said Tuesday they have recovered a rare Stradivarius violin worth £1.2 million that was stolen from its owner in a London railway cafe in 2010. Thieves took the antique instrument, which was made in 1696, and two bows from Korean-born violinist Min-Jin Kym as she ate at London’s Euston…

Mass jail break in Pakistan as Taliban gunmen storm prison to free 250 inmates

By Saud Mehsud DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) – In an operation carried out with military-like precision, Taliban fighters disguised as police and armed with bombs broke 250 prisoners out of a Pakistan jail on Tuesday with the help of what appeared to be insider informants. The attack in the…

Reuters’ Twitter account hacked, apparently by Syrian Electronic Army

Syrian Electronic Army suspected of attack in which cartoons in support of Bashar al-Assad were posted on feed The Twitter account of Thomson Reuters was hacked on Tuesday in another apparent attack by the Syrian Electronic Army. The hackers used the account to post seven images , mostly explicit cartoons…

A life spent in the wettest place on earth

Deep in India’s northeast, villagers use grass to sound-proof their huts from deafening rain, clouds are a familiar sight inside homes and a suitably rusted sign tells visitors they are in the “wettest place on earth”. Oddly enough, lifelong residents of Mawsynram, a small cluster of hamlets in Meghalaya state…

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