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Scientists claim the UN’s Montreal Protocol helped cause slowdown in global warming

A slowdown in global warming that climate sceptics cite in favour of their cause was partly induced by one of the world’s most successful environment treaties, a study said on Sunday. The UN’s Montreal Protocol, designed to phase out industrial gases that destroy Earth’s protective ozone layer, coincidentally applied a…

Former British PM John Major ‘shocked’ by power held by ‘affluent middle class’

Former prime minister John Major has hit out at the dominance of the “affluent middle class” in public life and blamed Labour for deepening the class divide, in a speech published in Monday’s Daily Telegraph. In Friday’s talk to Conservative activists, Major said the number of privately educated men and…

North Korea publicly executes 80 people, many for watching smuggled South Korean TV shows

North Korea publicly executed around 80 people earlier this month, many for watching smuggled South Korean TV shows, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday. The conservative JoongAng Ilbo cited a single, unidentified source, but at least one North Korean defector group said it had heard rumours that lent credibility to…

Pentagon sends emergency relief to battered Philippines

The United States, Australia and the United Nations are mobilising emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerges. The Pentagon is sending military personnel and equipment to assist with the relief effort following the typhoon, which may have killed more than…

Gun violence in movies for teens has more than tripled since 1985

Gun violence is on the rise in US movies and has more than tripled since 1985 in those rated as acceptable for teenagers 13 and older, according to a study out Monday. The amount of such violence seen in modern movies rated PG-13 even exceeded that in films rated R…

Neuroscience criminal defense emerges: ‘my brain made me do it’

Criminal courts in the United States are facing a surge in the number of defendants arguing that their brains were to blame for their crimes and relying on questionable scans and other controversial, unproven neuroscience, a legal expert who has advised the president has warned. Nita Farahany, a professor of…

Homeless man finds $850, turns it in and gets benefits cut for his honesty

A homeless man who turned over $850 he found on a New Jersey street is a bit poorer for his honesty now, after the Hackensack Human Services Department cut his newly-granted Medicaid and housing benefits for failing to report new income. James Brady, 59, a former news photographer, found an…

Iran nuclear talks unravel after Binyamin Netanyahu intervention

Julian Borger, The Guardian The diplomatic progress that brought six foreign ministers tantalizingly close to a historic agreement on the Iranian nuclear program is in danger of unraveling before negotiators meet again this month, officials and analysts warned on Sunday. In a bid to contain the danger, the lead US…

Senate Republicans praise unlikely party in Iran talks: ‘Thank God for France!’

Conservative US leaders, fond of finger-pointing at France in recent years, lavished praise on Paris Sunday for blocking an agreement between Western powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program. “Vive la France!” senator John McCain, an outspoken voice on national security issues, wrote on his Twitter account. “France had the…

Police find 36 human skulls at home of Italian expatriate

Police in Burundi have discovered dozens of human skulls during a search of the home of an Italian expatriate, officials said Sunday. The Italian national, identified as Giuseppe Favaro, has been in custody in the small central African nation since late October after he was caught trying to export two…

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