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AMSTERDAM (AP) — If you’ve worked in an office, you’re probably familiar with the soft glow of fluorescent tubes drifting from the ceiling. If Europe’s Philips brand is right, those lamps could soon be history.

Royal Philips NV, the Dutch consumer appliances giant, said Thursday that it has developed an LED light that will soon be far more efficient than the best fluorescents on the market. That should make it cheaper and greener, as well.   Continue reading “Goodbye fluorescent bulb? Philips says yes.”

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ROME, Maine (AP) — A man who lived like a hermit for decades in a makeshift camp in the woods and may be responsible for more than 1,000 burglaries for food and other staples has been caught in a surveillance trap at a camp he treated as a “Walmart,” authorities said Wednesday.

Christopher Knight, 47, was arrested last week when he tripped a surveillance sensor set up by a game warden while stealing food from a camp for people with special needs in Rome, a town of about 1,000 whose population swells with the arrival of summer residents.   Continue reading “Maine hermit living in wild for 27 years arrested”

AFP Photo / Justin SullivanRT News

The 11 largest drug companies have made $711 billion in profits in just a decade, largely due to overcharging Medicare, which does not seek out competitive prices and uses taxpayer funds to support Big Pharma.

Since Medicare is prohibited from purchasing drugs based on their cost, its prescription drug program has been making large payouts to drug companies that have overcharged the program for years, according to an analysis by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).   Continue reading “Big Pharma made $711 bln overcharging seniors and disabled”

People queue outside a government employment office in Burgos.(AFP Photo / Cesar Manso)RT News

Eurozone unemployment levels have hit 12 percent – the highest in the history of eurozone record-keeping, since the currency was launched in 1999.

The average unemployment rate across the eurozone’s 17 constituent European Union countries rose from January’s initial 11.9 percent high to 12 percent in February, meaning a further 33,000 people were put out of work. Overall, 19.071 million are jobless across Europe.   Continue reading “Eurozone unemployment hits all-time high: 19 million out of work”

AFP Photo / Jung Yeon-JeRT News

The eight-wheeled Stryker armored vehicle, which enjoyed a visible role during the US mission in Iraq, is now the subject of reports of a badly managed maintenance program that is likely to cost taxpayers something around a billion dollars.

According to Washington State’s Tacoma News Tribune, nearly $900 million worth of parts accumulated at an Auburn, Washington warehouse, essentially collecting dust as they were never installed on General Dynamic’s Strykers deployed overseas – if they were ever needed in the first place.   Continue reading “US Army accumulates $900 million in useless, obsolete parts”

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFPRT News

A federal judge has ruled that Stockton, California will be allowed to enter bankruptcy. The city, located near San Francisco and home to 300,000, is the largest yet in the US to file for bankruptcy, marking a new low point in a trend sweeping California.

US Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein ruled Monday that Stockton would be allowed to begin reorganizing its debt in order to continue carrying out “its obligations to its citizens on fundamental public safety as well as other basic government services.”   Continue reading “California city becomes America’s largest, latest to enter bankruptcy”

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski.(Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi)RT News

The blowback caused by a new law that lets biotech companies like Monsanto escape litigation is so tremendous that a senior senator from Maryland has offered the public an apology.

US Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) has issued a statement expressing her regret for letting this year’s Agriculture Appropriations bill — an annual continuing resolution spending act — be signed into law.   Continue reading “Top senator apologizes for ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ after public outrage”

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — They bound his hands to the rear of a van, and then sped off, dragging the slender taxi driver along the pavement as a crowd of onlookers shouted in dismay. The man was later found dead.

A gut-wrenching video of the scene is all the more disturbing because the men who abused the Mozambican immigrant were uniformed South African police officers and the van was a marked police vehicle. The graphic scenes of the victim struggling for his life shocked a nation long accustomed to reports of police violence. Continue reading “SAfrican police drag man, who later dies”

cruising-japan-china-ship.nRT News

A Chinese frigate has locked weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese guard vessel in the area of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, said Japan’s Defense Ministry. The islands are the subject of a territorial row between Beijing and Tokyo.

The incident occurred at the end of January, but took time to confirm. Japan’s Foreign Ministry sent a formal protest to China on Tuesday in connection with the incident. Continue reading “Chinese frigate targets Japanese guard ship near disputed islands”

droneRT News 

US senators have requested the legal justification for the killings of US citizens suspected of terrorism by the Obama administration. Meanwhile a ‘chilling’ leaked memo showed that the government sees little need for constraint on the issue.

A group of 11 senators on Monday wrote a letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to release all Justice Department memos on the practice of targeting US citizens suspected of being terrorist leaders with lethal force, particularly drone airstrikes. The request comes as the administration seeks Senate approval for John Brennan, Obama’s nomination for CIA chief. Continue reading “Senators ask Obama for legal basis for targeted killings of Americans”

ikonos-afghanistan-image-facility.nRT News

At least 54 countries including Syria, Iran, Sweden, Iceland, and UK offered CIA “covert support” to detain, transport, interrogate and torture suspects in the years following the 9/11 attacks, according to a new report.

The 213-page report released by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), a New York-based human rights organization, documents wide-ranging international involvement in the American campaign against Al-Qaeda. Continue reading “54 countries helped CIA to kidnap, detain and torture – report”

RT News

North Korea has announced it’s about to carry out a third nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches, which it says are designed to target the United States.

We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are aimed at the United States,” North Korea’s National Defense Commission says. Continue reading “North Korea plans new nuclear test, threatens to target US”

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AYUTLA, Mexico (AP) — The young man at the roadside checkpoint wept softly behind the red bandanna that masked his face. At his side was a relic revolver, and his feet were shod in the muddy, broken boots of a farmer.

Haltingly, he told how his cousin’s body was found in a mass grave with about 40 other victims of a drug gang. Apparently, the cousin had caught a ride with an off-duty soldier and when gunmen stopped the vehicle, they killed everyone on the car.
Continue reading “In Mexico, self-defense squads battle violence”

RT News

Russia is to start building two new advanced nuclear-powered Borei class submarines before year’s end. Once complete, they will be lurking under the sea with 20 Bulava nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles each.

One of the submarines may be named Aleksandr Suvorov after one of the most decorated generals of the Russian Empire, a source in the defense industry told the media. Its construction is expected to start on July 28, which is Russian Navy Day.
Continue reading “Russia to start building 2 nuclear Borei super-subs in 2013”

RT News

American health is in decline as new data finds that one in four US kids are on food stamps as of fiscal year 2011 and the younger generation is more prone to death and poorer health levels compared to their counterparts in other developed nations.

Almost 20 million children out of 73.9 million under the age of 18 were in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, in 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and US Census Bureau.
Continue reading “Over a quarter of US kids on food stamps, under-50s dying young – reports”

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — George Prescott Bush is gearing up to run for a little-known but powerful office in a state where his family already is a political dynasty and where his Hispanic roots could help extend a stranglehold on power Republicans have enjoyed for two decades.

The 36-year-old Fort Worth attorney says he is close to settling on campaigning for Texas land commissioner next year. He doesn’t expect to make up his mind until he knows what Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Republican, decides to do.
Continue reading “AP Interview: George P. Bush weighing run in Texas”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A defense contractor whose subsidiary was accused in a lawsuit of conspiring to torture detainees at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison has paid $5.28 million to former prisoners held there and at other U.S.-run detention sites in Iraq during the war.

The settlement on behalf of 71 former inmates marks the first successful effort by lawyers for former inmates at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers to collect money from a U.S. defense contractor in lawsuits alleging torture. Another contractor, CACI, is expected to go to trial over similar allegations this summer.
Continue reading “Iraqis held at Abu Ghraib, other sites receive $5M”

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Owners of wrongfully repossessed houses could now get up to $125,000 as ten major US banks agree to settle federal complaints. This will end a foreclosure review process begun by a 2011 enforcement action.

Under the new agreement, those people who had their homes seized and then sold would get the biggest pay offs, while banks who failed to modify people’s loans in light of a change of income would get off more lightly. The settled compensation is anywhere between $1000 and $125,000.
Continue reading “US banks agree an $8.5 billion foreclosure settlement”