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Lost in evolution: a hairy penis, a tiny brain

PARIS – Some defining human traits — a penis bereft of the stiff sensory hairs common to many male mammals, a bulging brain — come less from new genes than genetic material lost through evolution, according to a study published Thursday. The findings suggest a new way of thinking about…

Obama promises to ‘unlock’ America’s productivity

WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama expressed his determination Saturday to “unlock the productivity” of American workers to make the country more competitive in a technology-driven economy. “I know we can out-compete any other nation on Earth,” Obama said in his weekly radio address. “We just have to make sure…

Nintendo issues age warning on its 3D games

Japan’s Nintendo has issued a health warning over the 3D function on its upcoming gaming console, recommending children aged six and under do not play with it to prevent damage to their eyes. At a promotional event near Tokyo in January, “we will offer 2Ds alone to children aged six…

National electronic ID cards planned for Afghanistan

KABUL – War-torn Afghanistan lacks basic national infrastructure, yet on Sunday the government unveiled plans for a $100 million electronic identification system with cards to be issued to all Afghans within five years. A chip in the wallet-size identification cards will hold a drivers’ license, vehicle registration, signature and voting…

Global poverty doubled since 1970s: UN

GENEVA — The number of very poor countries has doubled in the last 30 to 40 years, while the number of people living in extreme poverty has also grown two-fold, a UN think-tank warned Thursday. In its annual report on the 49 least developed countries (LDCs) in the world, the…

China’s ecological footprint continues to grow

The spread of consumerism among China’s burgeoning middle class is behind the rapid growth of the Asian giant’s environmental footprint, a conservation group said Monday. Demand for construction, transport, goods and public services are the key factors behind ballooning carbon emissions, the World Wildlife Fund said in its annual “China…

Republicans could scale back US science budgets

Budgets for scientific research in the United States could be scaled back with the return of a Republican-majority in Congress as conservatives aim to slash spending to reduce the ballooning deficit. The Republican electoral platform, the “Pledge to America,” details the party’s ideals of smaller government, lower taxes and robust…

Climate and consumers biggest threats to future: UN

Rich countries “need to blaze the trail” on making economic growth less dependent on fossil fuels and helping poor nations get onto the path of sustainable development, said the annual Human Development Report. Highlighting the failure of last year’s Copenhagen climate summit, it called for international commitment at events such…

Pentagon report in April never mentioned $1 trillion in Afghan wealth

Original goal of Pentagon task force that performed Afghan minerals survey was to get “contracts going between US firms and Iraqi firms” A RAW STORY investigation has revealed that a report released by the Pentagon last April on the progress of the Afghanistan “surge” included only a single passing reference…

Scientists claim to have identified stem cells that spread cancer

Hong Kong scientists say they have identified the cancer stem cells responsible for the spread of colorectal cancer to other organs and believe the find will revolutionize treatment. Current treatments regard all cancer cells as alike, but the Hong Kong University researchers discovered that cancers contain a small number of…

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