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Friday, Oct 24th

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Lego To Scrap Shell Deal After Arctic Drilling Protests

LEGODanish toy maker Lego said Thursday it won't renew a deal allowing Shell to hand out Lego sets at its gas stations in some 30 countries, following a viral campaign protesting Arctic drilling.

Environmental activists Greenpeace launched in July a video showing an Arctic landscape with a Shell drilling platform made of Lego bricks covered in oil.

Lego CEO Joergen Vig Knudstorp said the protest "may have created misunderstandings among our stakeholders," adding the company didn't want to be embroiled in the environmental campaign.

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Bionic arm restores sense of feeling

bionic armAdvances in bionic hands have restored a sense of touch to two patients for more than a year, report US scientists.

The men can now delicately pluck the stalks out of cherries.

Sensors on the artificial hand are used to send signals directly to the nerves, the study, published in Science Translational Medicine, said.

Meanwhile, a Swedish team has made a separate breakthrough in artificial limbs - anchoring bionic arms directly on to the bone to improve control.

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Where the Hell Is the Surgeon General?

Dr. Vivek MurthyWe’ve got an Ebola crisis on our hands—and no surgeon general to deal with it. Blame the NRA, but Obama and the Senate Democrats, too.

When the Sunday morning TV shows needed to talk to an official with the Obama administration about the deadly Ebola virus on American soil, longtime senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer was sent out to reassure the American people.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan’s a nice guy, but when there is a health crisis in this country, I want to hear from a doctor, not a political guy with no health experience at all.

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U.S. top court allows North Carolina voting restrictions

Supreme CourtThe U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed North Carolina's new voting restrictions, considered among the nation's most stringent, to go into effect.

The court, with two of the nine justices dissenting, granted a last-minute request by state officials seeking to block an appeals court ruling that suspended parts of a new state voting law.

The state objected to the Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' conclusion that same-day registration should be restored and provisional voting reinstated for voters casting ballots outside their normal precincts.

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Hong Kong calls off talks with pro-democracy students

Student protest Hong KongA meeting between Hong Kong officials and pro-democracy movement student leaders, planned for Friday, was called off Thursday.

Hong Kong Chief Secretary Carrie Lam said the protest leaders' call for continuation of the occupation of primary protest sites in the city made it "impossible to have a constructive dialogue" and blamed the leaders for "undermining trust" in the scheduled negotiations.

"The dialogue cannot be deployed as an excuse to incite more people to join the protest. The illegal occupation activists must stop."

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France's Patrick Modiano wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel in LiteraturePatrick Modiano of France, whose work focuses on the Nazi occupation and its effect on his country, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature Thursday.

The Swedish Academy gave the $1.1 million prize to Modiano "for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the occupation."

Modiano, 69, whose novel "Missing Person" won the prestigious Prix Goncourt in 1978, was born in a west Paris suburb two months after World War II ended in Europe in July 1945.

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2 suicide attacks in Yemen kill nearly 70 people

Yemen bombingTwo suicide bombers struck in Yemen on Thursday — one targeting a gathering of Shiite rebels in the country's capital and the other hitting a military outpost in the south — in attacks that killed nearly 70 people, officials said.

The bombings underscored Yemen's highly volatile situation following last month's takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by the Shiite Houthi rebels whose blitz stunned the impoverished Arab nation on the southern corner of the Arabian Peninsula. The Houthis' push into Sanaa also prompted threats of retaliation from their Sunni militant foes in al-Qaida's Yemen branch.

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Coastal Cities Are Drowning, Thanks To New Reality Of Sea Level Rise

coastal floodingCoastal American cities are sinking into saturated new realities, new analysis has confirmed. Sea level rise has given a boost to high tides, which are regularly overtopping streets, floorboards and other low-lying areas that had long existed in relatively dehydrated harmony with nearby waterfronts. The trend is projected to worsen sharply in the coming years.

A new report, released by the Union of Concerned Scientists late on Tuesday, forecasts that by 2030, at least 180 floods will strike during high tides every year in Annapolis, Md. In some cases, such flooding will occur twice in a single day, since tides come in and out about two times daily. By 2045, that’s also expected be the case in Washington, D.C., Atlantic City, N.J. and 14 other East Coast and Gulf Coast locations out of 52 analyzed by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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GNC stops sale of two supplements in wake of news story

Redline White HeatNutritional supplement retailer GNC has stopped selling two products containing a new stimulant ingredient that is under fire from scientists, senators and a major industry group.

The products Redline White Heat and OxyTHERM Pro were being sold on GNC's website this week. But as of Wednesday afternoon, in the wake of a USA TODAY article, they had been removed from online store. GNC web pages that had offered the products for sale have had all information stripped from them.

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