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Personal data of 4 million federal employees hacked

Federal employee info hackedApproximately four million former and current federal employees may have had personally identifiable information stolen as part of a massive cyber theft announced by the administration Thursday.

The Office of Personnel Management, the federal government's human resources office, is warning employees who may be affected to be on the lookout for financial fraud. The office, which handles security clearances and other sensitive information, said it identified that its systems had been breached in April.


U.N. climate deal in Paris may be graveyard for 2C goal

Climate dealThe U.N.'s Paris climate conference, designed to reach a plan for curbing global warming, may instead become the graveyard for its defining goal: to stop temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Achieving the 2C (3.6 Fahrenheit) target has been the driving force for climate negotiators and scientists, who say it is the limit beyond which the world will suffer ever worsening floods, droughts, storms and rising seas.


Researchers reverse autistic behaviors in mice

atism in mice reversedResearchers were able to reverse autistic behaviors in mice missing the Shank3 gene, a major risk factor for autism in humans.

The loss of the Shank3 gene creates a risk factor for autism by disrupting communication between neurons, but by inhibiting the chemical reaction caused by that gene loss researchers have been able to correct the disruption causing autistic behavior.


Hundreds of accidents, safety violations and near misses at secretive biolabs

BiolabVials of bioterror bacteria have gone missing. Lab mice infected with deadly viruses have escaped, and wild rodents have been found making nests with research waste. Cattle infected in a university's vaccine experiments were repeatedly sent to slaughter and their meat sold for human consumption. Gear meant to protect lab workers from lethal viruses such as Ebola and bird flu has failed, repeatedly.

A USA TODAY Network investigation reveals that hundreds of lab mistakes, safety violations and near-miss incidents have occurred in biological laboratories coast to coast in recent years, putting scientists, their colleagues and sometimes even the public at risk.


Tops on Osama bin Laden's reading list: Illuminati, US foreign policy, Noam Chomsky

Osama bin LadenOsama Bin Laden kept close tabs on 9/11 conspiracy theories and recent American foreign policy and had an interest in the illuminati, according to a list of English-language books found at his compound that was released Wednesday.

Bin Laden had more than three dozen English-language works at the compound, many of them focused on America's efforts abroad, according to a list released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.


Takata Agrees to Double U.S. Air Bag Recall to 34 Million

Air bagAir-bag maker Takata Corp. gave in to U.S. regulators on Tuesday, agreeing to what will be the largest automotive recall in history as investigators continue to search for the root cause of a defect that has killed at least six people.

About 34 million cars are now on a list for an air bag replacement, double the number that had already been recalled. With vehicles from 11 different automakers and a severe shortage of repair parts, it could take years for all the cars to be made safe, said Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Court: FAA can allow cellphones during takeoff and landing

airplaine cell useFederal aviation officials acted within their authority in allowing airline passengers to use cellphone and other electronics during takeoffs and landings, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit threw out a lawsuit from the nation's largest flight attendants union. The group challenged the change in guidance over use of small electronic devices.


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