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Pro-Russian rebels have shot down two Ukrainian fighter jets, a spokesman for Ukraine’s military operations said on Wednesday. The spokesman said the two were downed near Savur Mogila in eastern Ukraine. No details were known about the pilots. Possible video of the crash site of one of the two fighter jets EDIT:This is an unconfirmed video released today….

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Fears of possible listeria contamination have led to a national recall of whole peaches, nectarines and other fruits packed by a California company. No illnesses have been reported, but the Wawona Packing Company has told retailers such as Wal-Mart, Costco and Trader Joe’s to pull its products. The recall applies to “certain lots of whole peaches (white and yellow), nectarines (white and yellow), plums and pluots packed between June 1, 2014 through July 12, 2014,” according to a recall bulletin from the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA has posted product images of the recalled fruits’ packaging. “Fruit sold as individual pieces should…

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Having written not one, but two posts about Joe Biden in four days, I was going to leave the guy alone for a bit, but there’s a profile on the Vice President in the latest New Yorker with a nugget just too awesome to ignore. On the heels of the downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet over rebel-held eastern Ukraine where Russian sympathies run high, Biden explained to the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos how individual personalities can shape foreign policy. Biden recalled a 2011 meeting he had with then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow: “I had…

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More than 560 Palestinians have been killed in the 14-day battle with Israel. Burying the bodies has become more difficult and dangerous with each passing day. Movement can be a risky sprint not only for ambulances but also for the beat-up vans that ferry the dead to cemeteries. The central morgue in Gaza City is overflowing, its wheezing refrigerators losing the struggle against the smell. The graveyards are filling, and mourners dig their own holes. In the early days of the current Israeli offensive against Hamas, the militant movement that controls the Gaza Strip, people took bodies to the mosque…

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Tel Aviv/ Gaza City: Sunday witnessed the heaviest attack by Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip. The intense shelling has till now claimed the life of 87 people in a single day with 60 people being reported dead in a single district. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described the scene at Shuja’iya as a massacre. Witnesses recounted harrowing details of streets littered with dead bodies. A humanitarian truce for few hours was agreed by both the warring sides, but lasted only an hour after Israel resumed shelling accusing Hamas of breaking the ceasefire. On its 13th day of the onslaught death…

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A depressed businessman going through a divorce decapitated himself by tying a rope to a tree and driving away in his open-top car, an inquest has heard. Gerald Mellin, 54, of Neath, showed the rope to his 33-year-old wife two weeks earlier when he had asked her to quit their business and their farmhouse. He cancelled his life insurance and ran up debts because he wanted to leave her “with nothing,” the hearing was told. Swansea coroner Phillip Rogers recorded a verdict of suicide. Mr Mellin’s widow Mirrielle told the hearing she had won a court order the day before…

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Cancer is a numbers game. Larger, longer-lived animals with more cells should get more tumors than do small, short-lived animals. And yet mice are more susceptible to cancer than we are. Now, a new study offers a tantalizing explanation. The genomes of smaller mammals contain more viruses, which the authors suggest may account for their higher rates of cancer. Aris Katzourakis, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, didn’t set out to explain rates of cancer in animals. He was interested in why over the last 10 million years the genomes of mice have accumulated…

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In rodents, brown adipose tissue (BAT) regulates cold- (CIT) and diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT). Whether BAT recruitment is reversible and how it impacts on energy metabolism has not been investigated in humans. We examined the effects of temperature acclimation on BAT, energy balance and substrate metabolism in a prospective crossover study of 4-month duration, consisting of 4 consecutive blocks of 1-month overnight temperature acclimation [24°C (month 1) → 19°C (month 2) → 24°C (month 3) → 27°C (month 4)] of five healthy men in a temperature-controlled research facility. Sequential monthly acclimation modulated BAT reversibly, boosting and suppressing its abundance and activity…

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Obesity researchers have been studying ways to turn the body’s energy-storing “bad fat” into energy-burning “good fat.” Now, scientists are reporting that the flip side of that approach could address a huge killer of cancer patients—the muscle wasting, emaciation, and frailty known as cachexia, which kills 30% to 80% of people in the advanced stages of cancer. “This exciting new [work] … offers potential answers to some of the great unsolved biomedical questions of our times,” writes endocrinologist Matthias Tschöp, research director of the Helmholtz Diabetes Center near Munich, Germany, in an e-mail. Brown fat is typically considered good because…

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A new look at the “vital signs” of Earth’s climate reveals a stark picture of declining health. As global temperatures rise, so do sea level and the amount of heat trapped in the ocean’s upper layers. Meanwhile, mountain glaciers and Arctic sea ice are melting away beneath an atmosphere where concentrations of three key planet-warming greenhouse gases continue to rise. “Data show that the climate is changing more rapidly now than it has at any time in the historical record,” says Thomas Karl, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, North Carolina….

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