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Nature of universe is still a mystery to Nobel winners

WASHINGTON — They won the Nobel Prize for changing our understanding of the universe, but their discovery left an even larger mystery — what is this dark energy that is propelling the universe to expand so fast? US astronomer Saul Perlmutter, 52, and his one-time competitors Adam Riess and Brian…

Russia’s Putin promotes ‘Eurasian Union’ in rare article

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for the unification ofpost-Soviet states into a “Eurasian Union” in an article published Tuesday on the announcement of his planned return to the Kremlin. Putin’s article in the Izvestia daily outlining a grand project to integrate post-Soviet states into closer cooperation comes five months before polls…

U.S. officials deny ‘complicity’ with pipeline execs

WASHINGTON — The State Department on Monday denied claims of “complicity” with a firm building a $7 billion US-Canada oil pipeline, made by an environmentalist group that released emails it said showed bias. The State Department insisted it had behaved “transparently and evenhandedly” toward the Keystone XL project to bring…

New Mexico ‘spaceport’ in the works

No stranger to offbeat space-related news, businesspeople in New Mexico have plans to make the country’s first “spaceport,” an airport for privately owned spacecraft, NPR reported. Under the authority of the newly created New Mexico Spaceport Authority and Spaceport America, plans for the new space are set for a site…

Light traffic in L.A. despite ‘Carmageddon’ predictions

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles freeway shutdown dubbed “Carmageddon” that city leaders have warned about for weeks failed to slow morning traffic in the region on Saturday, but officials remained cautious. The unprecedented weekend shutdown of a 10-mile stretch of the 405 Freeway could, in a worst-case scenario,…

Aboriginals fear spill from Canada’s first pipeline to the Pacific Coast

Aboriginals fearing a spill are threatening to try again to block Canada’s first pipeline connecting the rich oil fields of Alberta to the Pacific Coast aiming to reach new markets in Asia. Pipeline giant Enbridge has hinted in recent months it would soon receive a nod from the federal government…

Peru halts Canada mining operations amid protests

LIMA (AFP) – Peru suspended a Canadian company’s mining project in the south of the country on Saturday following intense negotiations in the wake of deadly protests by mostly indigenous anti-mining activists, authorities said. The government enacted five laws including the revocation of a concession granted to Bear Creek Mining…

Warner Bros unveils Hobbit film names, release dates

LOS ANGELES (AFP) – US film giant Warner Bros has revealed the titles of the two long-delayed upcoming “The Hobbit” movies, prequels to the Tolkien epic “Lord of the Rings” by Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” is due to be released in December 2012, while “The…

Blackwater founder sets up mercenary group in United Arab Emirates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The crown prince of Abu Dhabi has hired the founder of private security firm Blackwater Worldwide to set up an 800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates, the New York Times said Sunday. The Times said it obtained documents that showed the unit being formed by Erik Prince’s new company Reflex Responses…

Astronomers start search for alien signals from 86 planets

WASHINGTON — A massive radio telescope in rural West Virginia has begun listening for signs of alien life on 86 possible Earth-like planets, US astronomers said Friday. The giant dish began this week pointing toward each of the 86 planets — culled from a list of 1,235 possible planets identified…

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