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- 'Sound of Music' alive for 18.5 million viewers
- Ted Cruz Criticized for Praising Nelson Mandela
- Elton John challenges Russian gay ban from stage
British pop icon Elton John escaped serious criticism in Russia on Saturday after using a sold-out Moscow concert to challenge a highly contentious law banning the "propaganda of homosexuality" to minors. The 66-year-old singer is the first Western star known for fighting gay prejudice to tour Russia since it adopted in June a measure making it illegal to explain same sex relationships to children. John -- openly gay and in a civil partnership with filmmaker David Furnish since 2005 -- performed in Moscow on Friday and is due to play in the heart of the Muslim region of Tatarstan on Saturday night. He had been urged by some gay rights advocates to cancel the concerts as a form of protest against President Vladimir Putin's 13-year rule.
- Solid US job growth cuts unemployment to 7 pct.
- Federal judge criticized by Supreme Court Justice fires back
By Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge this week defended his custom of urging lead law firms in class actions to staff the lawsuits with women and minority lawyers, two weeks after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took the unusual step of criticizing the practice. The judicial dustup stems from the Supreme Court's decision on November 18 not to review a challenge to a class action settlement that resolved antitrust claims against Sirius XM Radio Inc. Though it declined to hear the case, Alito wrote a six-page statement criticizing the practice of Judge Harold Baer, of U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, of encouraging firms that represent plaintiffs in class actions to assign lawyers that reflect the gender and racial makeup of the class. In court orders, Baer has written that the practice is warranted under a federal rule governing the certification of class action lawsuits.
- De Klerk honours Mandela, recalls 'stormy' relationship
F.W de Klerk, the former South African president who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela, on Friday paid tribute to his successor while recalling their "often stormy" relationship. "It was an honour to work with former president Nelson Mandela in bringing democracy to South Africa," de Klerk said in a statement after the death of the anti-apartheid hero. When Mandela was finally released from prison in February 1990 he was entrusted with the task of persuading the new president de Klerk to call time on the era of racist white minority rule. Mandela and de Klerk, South Africa's last white president, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for their role in the ending of apartheid.
- Lemurs Snooze in Caves Like Early Humans
Some of Madagascar's ring-tailed lemurs head to bed in caves every night, new research finds. The study is the first evidence of modern wild primates sleeping regularly in caves. Early human remains in South Africa have been found in caves, suggesting that although lemurs and humans aren't particularly closely related as far as primates go, there is something in deep primate history that makes caves appealing — possibly protection from predators, said study researcher Michelle Sauther, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "We think cave-sleeping is something ring-tailed lemurs have been doing for a long time," Sauther said in a statement.
- Root Causes of Dyslexia Unraveled
Dyslexia, the learning disability that makes reading and processing speech a challenge, may result from problems with brain connectivity, a new study suggests. Some hypothesize that in people with dyslexia, the way that speech sounds are represented in the brain is impaired, while others contend that the brains of people with dyslexia represent the sounds correctly, but have trouble accessing them because of faulty brain connections. Ultimately, understanding the roots of dyslexia could lead to better ways to help people with the disability, the researchers said. These brain representations have to be robust, for instance, all "b" sounds must map to the same category.