- Answers to questions about the Target data breach
NEW YORK (AP) — With less than a week until Christmas, a real-life Grinch has stolen the credit and debit card information of about 40 million Target shoppers.
- Can Human Civilization Continue Indefinitely?
SAN FRANCISCO — Human beings have altered the Earth so much that human extinction is a real possibility if people continue on their current path. "For our civilization to become a new kind of entity on the planet, we need to live comfortably, over the long haul, with world-changing technology," David H. Grinspoon, an astrobiologist at the Library of Congress, said Dec. 12 here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. Not everyone agrees that a long-term perspective is possible or that it will prevent Earth's demise. For most of the last 4.5 billion years, Earth has been shaped by natural disasters, such as the dinosaur-killing asteroid, or biological forces, such as the rise of cyanobacteria that created the planet's oxygen-rich atmosphere, Grinspoon said.
- Angels have no wings, says Catholic 'angelologist'
Angels exist but do not have wings and are more like shards of light, at least according to a top Catholic Church "angelologist" who says the heavenly beings are now back in vogue thanks to New Age religions. "I think there is a re-discovery of angels in Christianity," Father Renzo Lavatori told AFP on the sidelines of a conference on angels in a lavishly-frescoed Renaissance palace in Rome. The senior clergyman was taking part in a debate this week on angelic art by the Fondazione Archivio Storico, an Italian art foundation, and was held in the Vatican-owned Palazzo della Cancelleria. Professor Valerio Massimo Manfredi, an art historian taking part in the conference, said the first mention of the word "angelos" came from the Mycenaean civilization in Greece more than 3,000 years ago.
- Murray Retreats from Military Pension Cuts Amid Uproar
We may be seeing the first crack in the bipartisan budget deal that passed the House and Senate this week. Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) appears to be backing away from a controversial provision that would reduce military pension benefits for some retirees amid a tidal wave of opposition from Senate GOP defense hawks and military organizations. The COLA reduction would last until military retirees reach age 62, at which time they would collect the full cost-of-living increases. Murray, the first woman to serve as chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, has a strong interest in how the government treats its veterans.
- Target: 40M card accounts may be breached
- Demi Lovato Reveals Reason For X Factor Departure; Is Simon Cowell Also Exiting?
- Runway reopened after plane slides in Utah
- Bubonic plague claims 32 lives in Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — Bubonic plague, which wiped out a third of Europe's population in the Middle Ages, has reared its ugly head in the African island state of Madagascar where 32 people have died in a fresh outbreak of the so-called Black Death disease, according to health authorities.