Thursday, November 20, 2014


Cuban couple domesticates large Caribbean rodents called hutias

BAINOA, Cuba — Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.
But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.
With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

Keystone XL pipeline down, but not out, after U.S. Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The woman who almost forced U.S. President Barack Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline stood quietly on the Senate floor as her plans went down in flames Tuesday.

Governments at UN summit pledge to do more to prevent malnutrition, including from obesity

ROME — More than 170 governments pledged Wednesday to do more to prevent malnutrition around the globe, adopting voluntary guidelines to promote healthy diets and reduce levels of obesity at the start of a three-day U.N. summit.

Ireland’s gay bull, Benjy, saved from slaughterhouse by ‘Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon

DUBLIN, Ireland — He faced execution for failure to perform. But Benjy, the gay bull of Ireland, has been saved following a worldwide appeal backed by “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon.

Palestinians storm Jerusalem synagogue, killing 4 Israelis; Netanyahu vows harsh response

JERUSALEM — Two Palestinian cousins stormed a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday, attacking worshippers with meat cleavers and a gun during morning prayers and killing four people before they were shot dead by police.

Elephant tramples Thai handler to death, runs off with 2 Russian tourists on its back

BANGKOK, Thailand — Police say an elephant trampled its handler to death while two Russian tourists were riding it during a nature trek in southern Thailand.
Police Lt. Col. Narong Laksanawimol said Monday the animal attacked the trainer and ran off with the travellers — a mother and her 9-year-old daughter — near a waterfall in Phang Nga province.

Putin says peace in east Ukraine is possible, but both sides not fully upholding a peace deal

MOSCOW — Russia’s president said he believes peace in Ukraine is possible but that neither side is fully holding up a truce struck in September.

Islamic State group beheads US aid worker Peter Kassig, Obama calls slaying ‘pure evil’

BEIRUT — The Islamic State group has beheaded Peter Kassig, releasing a video Sunday showing a masked militant standing over the severed head of a man it said was the former U.S. Army Ranger-turned-aid worker, who was seized while delivering relief supplies in Syria last year.

US: Muted alarms, thick shrubs, unlocked doors, fumbling cop eased White House intruder’s way

WASHINGTON — The Secret Service response to an armed intruder who jumped the fence and raced into the White House was complicated by muted alarms and radios, thick bushes on the lawn, unlocked doors and an officer inside who was physically too small to tackle the intruder and fumbled with her equipment, according to the Homeland Security Department review of the case.

Drones patrol nearly half of US-Mexico border in shift targeting remote areas

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. — The U.S. government now patrols nearly half the Mexican border by drones alone in a largely unheralded shift to control desolate stretches where there are no agents, camera towers, ground sensors or fences, and it plans to expand the strategy to the Canadian border.

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