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Insurance firm avoided payments to families of slain Iraqi translators

An administrative law judge has referred a U.S. insurance company for criminal investigation after the firm failed to pay benefits owed to survivors of Iraqi translators killed while working for the American government. Under a federally funded program, Chicago-based CNA Financial Corp. provides insurance coverage to contractors killed or injured…

Exclusive: 2012 candidate Gary Johnson wants more Medicare cuts than the House GOP

WASHINGTON – Republican 2012 presidential candidate Gary Johnson believes the House Republican blueprint to replace Medicare with a subsidies system should cut even deeper, and he isn’t shy about saying so. “As president I would sign the plan into law, because it does move forward on the issue,” the former…

EU announces long-delayed launch date for first Galileo satellites

BRUSSELS (AFP) – The European Union announced Monday it will launch the first two satellites in its long-delayed and hugely over-budget Galileo navigation system from French Guiana on October 20. EU industry commissioner Antonio Tajani said the launch, from the Kourou spacesport in the European enclave at the northern tip…

Sony’s Internet service in Japan gets hacked, points stolen

NEW YORK/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Sony Corp has been hacked again. So-Net, the Internet service provider unit of Japan’s Sony, alerted customers that an intruder broke into its system and stole virtual points from account holders worth $1,225. This latest setback comes after personal information of some 100 million Sony user…

Experimental AIDS vaccine showing promise in monkeys

CHICAGO/LONDON (Reuters) – An experimental vaccine helped monkeys with a form of the AIDS virus control the infection for more than a year, suggesting it may lead to a vaccine for people, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. They said the vaccine works by priming the immune system to quickly attack…

Mystery of hot planets’ ‘backwards’ orbit unravelled

PARIS (AFP) – Scientists on Wednesday said they could explain why heat-seared giant planets in other solar systems can mysteriously orbit their star the “wrong” way. These space oddities belong to a class of planets known as hot Jupiters — gassy giants that are the size of our own Jupiter…

Google takes on Microsoft with Chrome PCs

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Samsung and Acer Inc laptop computers using Google’s Chrome operating system will go on sale in June, as the world’s No. 1 Internet search engine tries to entice people to do more on the Web. Samsung’s and Acer’s new Web-centric PCs are an incursion into territory…

US alert system targets mobile phones

NEW YORK (AFP) – Plans were unveiled for a nationwide system that will deliver text-like emergency messages from President Barack Obama and key government agencies to mobile phone users. The free service, called the Personal Localized Alerting Network or “PLAN,” is scheduled to be available in New York by the…

Single payer health care legislation introduced in Congress

WASHINGTON – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) introduced federal single payer legislation Tuesday ensuring that states implement Medicare-like systems for all residents. The 188-page “American Health Security Act of 2011” would mandate that each state scrap private insurance and individually administer a government-run insurance program similar…

Israel ‘to invest $1 bn’ in Iron Dome missile system

JERUSALEM — Israel plans to invest $1 billion in the development and production of batteries for its Iron Dome rocket interception system, a top Israeli defence official said in an interview published Monday. Defence Ministry director-general Major General Udi Shani told the daily Haaretz newspaper that five countries have already…

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