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Japan considering plan to include solar panels on all new buildings

TOKYO — Japan is considering a plan that would make it compulsory for all new buildings and houses to come fitted with solar panels by 2030, a business daily said Sunday. The plan, expected to be unveiled at the upcoming G8 Summit in France, aims to show Japan’s resolve to…

New Zealand commission urges gov’t to allow sales, use of marijuana

A government sponsored commission Tuesday recommended a major overhaul to drug laws in New Zealand. In their four-year review, the Law Commission called for legalizing medical marijuana, decriminalizing small amounts of cannabis and “social dealing,” and rescinding paraphernalia laws. Use of marijuana for medicinal purposes should not be prosecuted until…

U.S. begins using armed drones in Libya: Gates

(Reuters) – The United States is starting to use armed Predator drones in Libya to target Muammar Gaddafi’s forces after President Barack Obama approved their use, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday. The unmanned aircraft, already used to target militants along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, will allow for more precise…

WHO calls for urgent action on antibiotic use

GENEVA — The World Health Organisation warned Wednesday that drug resistance fuelled partly by misuse of antibiotics is killing hundreds of thousands of people a year and that urgent action was needed on the issue. “We’re really seeing an accelerated evolution in the spread of this problem and the bottom…

Barry Bonds trial: Missing tape alleging steroid use found

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AFP) – In a last-minute twist in the Barry Bonds trial, prosecutors announced they had a recording of Bonds’ surgeon discussing Bonds and steroids with the slugger’s ex-business manager. Doctor Arthur Ting threw a wrench in the prosecution’s case last week when he denied ever having conversations…

Billion-plus people to lack water in 2050: study

WASHINGTON – More than one billion urban residents will face serious water shortages by 2050 as climate change worsens effects of urbanization, with Indian cities among the worst hit, a study said Monday. The shortage threatens sanitation in some of the world’s fastest-growing cities but also poses risks for wildlife…

Federal agency recognizes pot for medical use

Medical marijuana dispensaries currently under fire from the IRS may have been handed a critical new weapon in their fight to stay open. The National Cancer Institute, one of the many federal agencies who make up the National Institute of Health, has ruled that marijuana does in fact have medical…

Obama condemns violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Friday condemned the use of violence against peaceful protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen and called for universal rights of expression to be respected. Obama expressed his concern in a statement read to reporters aboard Air Force One by his spokesman Jay Carney,…

Stewart busts Fox News for use of Nazi references

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly claimed last week that her network doesn’t use Nazi references. Since that’s just flat out wrong, the ball was in Jon Stewart’s court to call her out. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) had made a speech on the House floor last week comparing a Republican plan to…

‘Worst Bush-era policies’ becoming the ‘new normal’: ACLU

From the point of view of civil libertarians, the Obama administration has been an exercise in frustration, with every hopeful sign followed by failures to live up to its own promises. The ACLU has just issued a report (pdf), titled “Establishing a New Normal: National Security, Civil Liberties, and Human…

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