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China admits “long way to go” for citizens to enjoy human rights

BEIJING (Reuters) – China still has “a long way to go” before its citizens can enjoy full human rights, a senior Chinese official said in a rare admission of the challenges ahead, pointing to social conflict and even rising house prices as stumbling blocks. Wang Chen, head of the State…

Late talkers do fine as they grow up: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – In good news to parents of late talkers, an Australian study shows a slow start on language is unlikely to have lingering effects on kids’ mental health. Researchers followed late talkers into their teens and found the kids were no more likely to be shy,…

High-level US delegation to visit Pacific islands to discuss environment

Senior US civilian and military officials will travel next week to the Pacific islands to discuss environmental, economic and other issues, the State Department said Thursday. It said Kurt Campbell, the top diplomat for Pacific affairs, and Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Patrick will visit Kiribati, Samoa, Tonga, the Solomon Islands,…

Mullen: U.S. will not leave Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The top US military officer is vowing long-term commitment to Afghanistan, touting progress in the war against the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies ahead of an American drawdown. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the “Charlie Rose” television interview show…

Taiwan, Philippines warn of tainted sports drink that shrinks testicles

MANILA (AFP) – Taiwan and the Philippines have warned some sport drinks may have been contaminated with a chemical that could cause infertility and block boys’ sex organ development, officials said Tuesday. The Philippine Food and Drug Administration is monitoring some imported Taiwanese sport drinks, fruit juices and soft drinks…

U.S., Bill Gates call on rich nations to back poor farmers

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Microsoft billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates joined a top US official Tuesday in urging rich nations to invest in the world’s poor farmers to help end hunger — a move he said would also help improve food security. “Looking at the food prices we’ve got — at…

Scientists find startling new method for measuring male fertility

Scientists are suggesting that a man’s fertility may correlate to his “anogenital distance”, i.e., the span between his scrotum and his anus. A study from Baylor College of Medicine found that in animals, genital size and development are closely linked to anogenital distance and is shorter in males whose testicular…

General Motors leads the US in clean energy patents

DETROIT, Michigan — General Motors received more clean energy patents in the past year than any other company, a study released Friday said. GM’s 135 patents represented nearly 14 percent of the 1,881 US patents obtained by 700 organizations in 2010, according to an analysis by the Clean Energy Patent…

New York plans to revive waterfronts

NEW YORK – New York’s mayor on Monday unveiled a $3.3 billion plan to revitalize hundreds of miles of shoreline, expand ferry services and boost the shipping industry in the Big Apple. Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan calls for the long-term development of industrial and tourist potential along the maze of…

Germany and Switzerland freeze development of nuclear reactors

Germany and Switzerland said Monday that they would be the first industrialized nations to freeze development of nuclear power facilities while they reassess safety procedures, in the wake of Japan’s ongoing nuclear crisis following last week’s devastating earthquake. Despite assurances, six of their reactors are said to be melting down…

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