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Italy’s first black cabinet minister: Racist insults hurt both me and ‘civil conscience’

Italy’s first black cabinet member, Cecile Kyenge, on Tuesday called for an end to racist insults from members of the anti-immigration Northern League party. People “should debate with ideas, not with insults, even when they have different ideas,” Kyenge, who is minister for integration, told reporters. “These attacks hurt me…

American Jewish group demands action against magazine accused of ‘whitewashing’ Nazi past

American Jewish group demands action over Waffen-SS article An American Jewish group has demanded that the German government take action against a magazine that is said to have whitewashed the history of the Waffen-SS - the Nazi party’s armed wing. According to a New York Times report, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los…

Irish president signs law increasing abortion access into law

Abortion became legal in Ireland on Tuesday in limited cases where the mother’s life is at risk, after President Michael D. Higgins signed a law that has exposed deep divisions in the Catholic-majority nation. Irish lawmakers had overwhelmingly voted through the abortion bill earlier this month, prompted by an outcry…

Audit reveals USDA paid out millions to dead farmers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department paid out $32 million in soil conservation payments and crop insurance aid to dead farmers from 2008 to 2012, congressional auditors said on Monday, calling for stricter rules to prevent improper payments. In a report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said two USDA…

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,…

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