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Sweden topped the recently released environmental sustainability ranking of 60 countries by the Global Green Economy Index.

Sweden is a global leader in green efforts

Friday, October 31, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: I recently heard that Sweden is the greenest country in the world. Is this true and, if so, by what standards? And where does the U.S. rank? — Raul Swain, New York, NY It’s true that Sweden came out on top in the recently released ranking of 60 countries according to sustainability by consulting firm Dual Citizen Inc. …

Contract Bridge: The bidding points the way

Friday, October 31, 2014

The bidding by the opponents sometimes draws a road map that steers declarer directly to his destination. For example, suppose you wind up in three spades on this deal after the bidding shown and West leads the K-A-8 of hearts, which you ruff. It seems likely at this point — since West doubled …

NASA’s plan to snag an asteroid? May be bad idea

Friday, October 31, 2014

NASA goal to snag an asteroid and bring a space rock close to Earth is a distraction from the effort to send humans to Mars, a top asteroid expert says. In a commentary in the journal Nature, planetary scientist Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calls NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (a.k.a. ARM) “a multibillion-dollar stunt.” The strongly worded text comes after …

Polls indicate GOP continues to lead in quest for Senate control

Sunday, October 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — Republicans hold a narrow but steady lead in the contest for control of the Senate, according to polls released Sunday. Enough races remain extremely close that Democrats could still keep control of the chamber, but only if all the breaks go their way. So far, that’s …

Thirteen European banks flunk stress test

Sunday, October 26, 2014

FRANKFURT, Germany — The European Central Bank says 13 of Europe’s 130 biggest banks have flunked an in-depth review of their finances and need an extra 10 billion euros ($12.5 billion) to cushion themselves against any future crises. …

Pro-Western parties seen leading Ukraine vote

Sunday, October 26, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine — Ukrainians overwhelmingly backed several pro-Western parties in a landmark parliamentary election Sunday, another nudge in the former Soviet republic’s drift away from Russia. Two exit polls released as voting closed indicated that President Petro Poroshenko’s …

Syria activists say death toll in Kobani passes 800

Sunday, October 26, 2014

MURSITPINAR, Turkey — A Syrian activist group said Sunday that the death toll in 40 days of fighting in and around the northern Syrian border town of Kobani has reached 815, as Kurdish fighters battled Muslim militants for …

UK ends operations in Helmand

Sunday, October 26, 2014

LONDON (AP) — Britain has ended combat operations in the Helmand province in Afghanistan, defense officials said Sunday. They said U.K. troops have witnessed the lowering of the Union flag for the last time at the Camp Bastion …

School gunman was Homecoming prince

Saturday, October 25, 2014

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A student recently crowned freshman class Homecoming prince walked into his Seattle-area high school cafeteria Friday and opened fire, killing one person and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, …

Google exec sets records with leap from near-space

Friday, October 24, 2014

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Google executive Alan Eustace broke the sound barrier and set several skydiving records over the southern New Mexico desert early Friday after taking a big leap from the edge of space. Eustace’s supersonic jump …

NY doctor has Ebola

Thursday, October 23, 2014

NEW YORK — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, becoming the first case in the city and the fourth in the …

Gunman stymied getting passport

Thursday, October 23, 2014

OTTAWA, Ontario — He seemed lost, “did not fit in,” had drug problems, and went more than five years without seeing his mother. In recent weeks, he had been living at a homeless shelter and had talked about …

Mali sees 1st Ebola case

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BAMAKO, Mali — Mali reported its first case of Ebola late Thursday, marking a major setback for West African efforts to contain the deadly virus that now has affected six countries in the region and left nearly 5,000 …