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Damascus refugees face starvation

by Martin Chulov

The desperate residents of a besieged district of Damascus were expected to run out of food on Sunday, leaving 18,000 people facing starvation and leading relief agencies to declare the crisis “unprecedented in living memory.” Food packages had not been delivered to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp for 10 days, ...

Apr 20, 2014

Killing of environmental activists rises globally

As head of his village, Prajob Naowa-opas battled to save his community in central Thailand from the illegal dumping of toxic waste by filing petitions and leading villagers to block trucks carrying the stuff — until a gunman in broad daylight fired four shots ...

Telescope to probe deepest space

Apr 20, 2014

Telescope to probe deepest space

by Robin Mckie

Cerro Armazones is a crumbling dome of rock that dominates the parched peaks of the Chilean coastal range north of Santiago. Even the views look alien, with the surrounding boulder-strewn desert bearing a remarkable resemblance to the landscape of Mars. Dramatic change is on ...

Apr 20, 2014

Study: unique often equals most attractive

Looking the odd one out may seem like a recipe for mating disaster, but it could make you more attractive to the opposite sex. So says a study that may also explain why fashions change. Researchers in Australia used beards to test a theory ...

Small step is giant leap for NASA's Robonaut

Apr 20, 2014

Small step is giant leap for NASA's Robonaut

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot — now stuck on a pedestal — is going mobile at the ...

Cured Costa Rican seen as celebrity

Apr 20, 2014

Cured Costa Rican seen as celebrity

On a warm spring day, Floribeth Mora was in her bed waiting to die from a seemingly inoperable brain aneurysm when her gaze fell upon a photograph of Pope John Paul II in a newspaper. “Stand up,” Mora recalled the image of the pope ...

Apr 20, 2014

Preglacial terrain found in Greenland

U.S. geologists have uncovered a preglacial tundra landscape preserved for 2.7 million years far below the Greenland ice sheet. Glaciers scrape everything off any given plot of land — even the top layer of bedrock — so scientists expressed great surprise that they had ...

Apr 20, 2014

Down syndrome disrupts many genes

The extra copy of chromosome 21 that causes Down syndrome throws a wrench into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, according to a study that surprised its authors. Using data from a set of otherwise identical twins, one with the condition ...

Apr 20, 2014

Tweets can predict crime, study shows

Hidden in the Twittersphere are nuggets of information that could prove useful to crime fighters — even before a crime has been committed. Researchers at the University of Virginia demonstrated tweets could predict certain kinds of crimes if the correct analysis is applied. A ...