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This artist's rendering provided by NASA on Thursday, April 17, 2014 shows an Earth-sized planet dubbed Kepler-186f orbiting a star 500 light-years from Earth. Astronomers say the planet may hold water on its surface and is the best candidate yet of a habitable planet in the ongoing search for an Earth twin. (AP Photo/NASA Ames, SETI Institute, JPL-Caltech, T. Pyle)

Astronomers Spot ‘Earth Cousin’ Planet in Galaxy Far, Far Away

Friday, April 18, 2014

Los Angeles — Astronomers have discovered what they say is the most Earth-like planet yet detected — a distant, rocky world that’s similar in size to our own and exists in the Goldilocks zone where it’s not too hot and not too cold for life. The find, announced Thursday, excited planet hunters who have been scouring the Milky Way galaxy …

Cuba Blames Chinese-Made Condoms for Shortage

Friday, April 18, 2014

Miami — First, potatoes disappeared from Cuban markets. They are back, but police are struggling to keep throngs of frantic buyers in check. And now there are shortages of beer and condoms, with some shops charging up to $1.30 for each prophylactic. A Communist Party newspaper, Vanguardia, tried to explain the reasons for the condom shortage in an April 3 report, and all …

Boston Bomb Little Affected Govt. Policy

Friday, April 18, 2014

Boston — A year after homemade bombs ripped through the Boston Marathon, state and federal officials have enacted virtually no policy changes in response to the attack, a dramatic departure from previous acts of terrorism that prompted waves of government action. “There was a great deal of concern right after this happened,” said …

Shooting Suspect Was Known for Racism

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Overland Park, Kan. — Never one to keep his hatred to himself, Frazier Glenn Cross for decades sought out any soapbox to espouse his white-supremacist beliefs, twice running for federal office with campaigns steeped in anti-Semitism. Yet there’s …

Coverage of NSA Spying Wins Pulitzer Prizes For ‘Washington Post’ and ‘The Guardian’

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Washington Post and The Guardian captured coveted Pulitzer Prizes for public service Monday for their revelations about the U.S. government’s massive surveillance programs. The newspapers’ stories were based on thousands of secret documents obtained from Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who is living in …

CBO: Lower Premiums to Cut ‘Obamacare’ Costs

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Washington — The health-care law’s expansion of insurance coverage will cost $104 billion less than projected over the next decade, according to revised estimates from nonpartisan budget analysts Monday. The lower costs are attributable to premiums that will be cheaper than expected. The Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions …

E-Cig Tactics Rile Politicians

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Washington — E-cigarette companies are preying on young consumers by using candy flavors, social-media ads and free samples at rock concerts, according to a report released Monday by Democratic legislators. A survey of nine e-cigarette companies found that most were taking advantage of the lack of federal regulations …

Feds Won’t Target Refunds for Debt

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Washington — The Social Security Administration announced Monday that it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers’ debts to the government that are more than 10 years old. The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government was seizing state and federal tax refunds that …

Study: Salt-Reduction Campaign Saved Lives

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A 15 percent reduction in salt consumption was likely “an important contributor” to a 40 percent reduction in stroke and heart disease deaths in the last decade in England, researchers said Monday. The “single largest” contribution to the decline in deaths was a decrease in blood pressure, they …

Poll: Most Americans Won’t Sweat Income Tax Deadline

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

WASHINGTON — One in four Americans waited until the end of tax season to file their returns and a majority think they pay about the right amount in federal taxes, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll released Monday, a day before the tax deadline. The taxman cometh Tuesday, …

Accusation of FBI Spying Stalls 9/11 Hearing

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, Cuba — A military judge abruptly recessed the first 9/11 trial hearing of the year Monday after defense lawyers accused the FBI in open court of trying to turn a defense team security officer …

Feel Like Reading This Later? Study Explains Procrastination

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

To the many reasons why people are chronically late filing their taxes, add another possibility: Blame their genes. Procrastination, suggests a new study, is an evolved trait that probably served humans well in a time when finding food and fending off prey were job one, and time spent …

Long Ago, Estonia Was on Putin’s List

Monday, April 14, 2014

Tallinn, Estonia — Two decades before seizing Crimea, Vladimir Putin showed his willingness to challenge the post-Cold War order in defense of Russians in Estonia, a country now bracing for the possibility he may go even further. In …