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Charities brace for higher demand this Thanksgiving as Congress contemplates more cuts to food stamps

The United States celebrates its “land of plenty” Thanksgiving Day this week, but for the poor and most vulnerable, there is less food on the table after Congress cut aid. As Americans stock up on turkeys for Thursday’s traditional Thanksgiving feast, food pantries and charities are bracing for higher demand…

World’s most expensive book — the first printed in the U.S. — sells for $14 million at auction

The first book printed in what is today the United States of America sold for more than $14 million at auction in New York Tuesday, Sotheby’s said, becoming the world’s most expensive book. The translation of Biblical psalms “The Bay Psalm Book” was printed by Puritan settlers in Cambridge, Massachusetts…

If it survives close encounter with the sun, Comet ISON will light up morning skies until mid-December

If it survives a potentially disastrous encounter with the sun this week, Comet ISON will put on an impressive early morning display in the run up to Christmas. But anyone hoping for a Bethlehem-style celestial sign on the big day will be disappointed. The comet will probably be too faint…

Alec Baldwin blames ‘fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy’ for MSNBC show cancellation

Actor, who reportedly called photographer a ‘cocksucking fag’, acknowledged he had to take some responsibility The actor Alec Baldwin has blamed “the fundamentalist wing of gay advocacy” for the decision by MSNBC, the US cable news channel, to cancel his weekly show after he used offensive language to a photographer.…

Wikileaks flick ‘Fifth Estate’ heads list of 2013 movie turkeys

WikiLeaks drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch records worst takings-to-budget ratio in past year, says Forbes WikiLeaks drama The Fifth Estate, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, has been named the year’s biggest movie turkey by experts at financial magazine Forbes. Bill Condon’s film about the early years of the whistleblowing site…

Lithuanian ‘Banksy’ finds admirers in anti-graffiti Singapore

A Lithuanian artist who angered Malaysian officials with a street mural depicting a knife-wielding Lego robber has found unlikely admirers across the border in graffiti-averse Singapore for his works on a softer theme. Ernest Zacharevic, who has been likened to British graffiti artist Banksy, has seen photos of his murals…

SAS resistance hero and French ‘father of the pill’ dies

Lucien Neuwirth, the Gaullist politician responsible for the 1967 legalisation of the contraceptive pill in France, died Tuesday at the age of 89. News of his death, from a lung infection, topped the morning news bulletins as commentators reflected on the impact of a landmark reform that was hugely controversial…

Snapchat finds its niche with disappearing messages

For 13-year-old Coral Fairchild, Snapchat trumps old-style text messaging as the way to socialize with friends in the mobile Internet age. The northern California girl adds mustaches to faces in pictures or speech bubbles using touch-screen features that allow people to draw on Snapchat images being sent. “You can take…

Watch out, parents: ‘Furbys’ are back

Furby is back. Sorry, parents. (via The Christian Science Monitor) Furby Party Rockers are displayed in Hasbro’s showroom at the American International Toy Fair in February in New York. The latest Furby iteration is emerging as one of the marquee toys of the 2013 holiday season. (Jason DeCrow/Invision for Hasbro/……

American Humane Association accused of ignoring Hollywood animal abuse

A rights group that monitors animals used in the entertainment industry has dismissed a report that it turns a blind eye to deaths and injuries because it is too cozy with TV and film bosses. The Hollywood Reporter lists alleged incidents on movies including Ang Lee’s Oscar-winning “Life of Pi,”…

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