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Deep-sea exploration is dangerous business. Immense pressures of up to 16,000 pounds per square inch can crush even the hardiest subs. The un-manned sub, Nereus, found this out on Saturday as it explored depths as deep as 6 miles.


Seven hours into a nine-hour dive researches lost contact with Nereus. The sub is designed to automatically surface upon losing contact. Crew members aboard the research ship Thomson were unable to retrieve the sub and soon noticed debris from Nereus on the surface.

Researchers now believe the un-manned sub was destroyed during an implosion under massive pressures.

“Extreme exploration of this kind is never without risk, and the unfortunate loss of Nereus only underscores the difficulty of working at such immense depths and pressures,” WHOI Director of Research Larry Madin said in a statement.

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Nigeria abductions: Video of girls ‘gives me hope’

A man whose three cousins are among more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Islamist militants in north-eastern Nigeria tells the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme of his reaction to the emergence of a video apparently showing about 130 of them.

The man declined to give his name because of security concerns for his family.

The girls, a mixture of Christians and Muslims, were taken by Boko Haram fighters on the night of Monday 14 April from their school hostel in the town of Chibok in Borno state.

In the new video a group of them is shown reciting Koranic verses, after apparently converting to Islam. Boko Haram’s leader then offered to swap the girls who had not converted for imprisoned militants.

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Clippers’ week in review

The Clippers survived a challenging week, overcoming a huge deficit in Game 4 on Sunday to tie their second-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder 2-2.

Led by Chris Paul with 32 points and 10 assists, the team opened the week with an impressive 122-105 win on the road over the Thunder in Game 1.

Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were tremendous in Wednesday’s Game 2, a lopsided 112-101 win in favor of Oklahoma City — that wasn’t as close as the final score.

The Clippers needed more out of Blake Griffin, and a better effort on the boards to challenge the Thunder. The franchise also needed additional bench support and depth, with players such as Danny Granger struggling to hit shots.

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Russia Hails Local Votes to Split From Ukraine as EU Imposes Sanctions

Russia indicated it “respects” the results of two disputed referendums in eastern Ukraine, which separatists said backed independence, while the European Union added companies to its list of sanctions for the first time.

Russia praised the high turnout in yesterday’s ballots, according to a statement e-mailed today by President Vladimir Putin’s press service. The U.S. and the EU deem the votes illegal and the government in Kiev called them a “farce.” Donetsk showed 90 percent backing for the breakaway plan, while in Luhansk, 94 percent to 98 percent supported autonomy with turnout at 75 percent, Russia’s state-run RIA Novosti reported.

Russia “assumes that the practical implementation of the referendums will be realized in a civilized manner, without any relapses of violence,” according to the Kremlin’s statement.

The votes went ahead amid violent clashes between pro-Russian rebels and government troops, who are trying to wrest back control of the nation’s eastern provinces before May 25 presidential elections. Ukraine and its allies accuse Putin of stoking the unrest, which is threatening to rip the former Soviet republic apart. The U.S. and the EU are threatening to tighten sanctions to target Russian industries.

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New Unreal Tournament in development, and it’ll be absolutely free

Epic Games announced today that is has started work on an all-new Unreal Tournament game. Interestingly, the Unreal Engine 4-powered game will be entirely free when it’s released. Not free-to-play, completely free, Epic Games said. A “small core team” is currently working on the game, which is coming to Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Development on the game began today, May 8, Epic Games said. The studio plans to develop the new Unreal Tournament game “in the open,” as a collaboration between Epic Games, Unreal Tournament fans, and Unreal Engine 4 developers. “The game will be true to its roots as a competitive FPS,” Epic Games says.

Epic Games cautioned that it will take “many months” until the studio has a build of the game that’s playable. “This is real development from scratch,” the company says.

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In a nutshell: What is Boko Haram?

Boko Haram is among the most vicious terrorist groups operating in North Africa, home to some of the worst Islamist extremists in the world.

The group is responsible for more than 4,000 deaths in 2014, according to the Nigeria Security Tracker at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The group was begun in 2002 by Mohammed Yusuf, a cleric whose aim is an Islamic state in Nigeria. He was killed in 2009. The group’s current leader, Abubakar Shekau, surfaces sporadically in videotaped messages.

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Can 20 US women senators help save 276 kidnapped Nigerian girls? (+video)

The demand of all 20 female US senators that the United States press the United Nations to add Nigeria’s Boko Haram to its Al Qaeda sanctions list is unlikely to do anything in the short term for the 276 schoolgirls the terrorist organization is holding captive.

But adding the Islamist militant group to the global terrorism list could be beneficial in the longer fight against Africa’s spreading Islamist extremism, some regional experts say. In recent months, Boko Haram has focused its vicious attacks on educators and students involved in what it considers to be forbidden Western-style education.

The Democratic and Republican senators said in a letter to President Obama Tuesday that placing Boko Haram on the UN’s list of organizations affiliated with Al Qaeda could help dry up the terror group’s international support and sources of income.

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House votes to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress

The House of Representatives voted Wednesday to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for refusing to testify about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

The House voted 231-187 for a resolution holding Lerner in contempt. All the Republicans voted yes, along with six Democrats.

Lerner’s case will now be sent to the Justice Department, which then must decide whether to essentially prosecute Lerner in the case.

Minutes after the Lerner vote, the House passed a resolution asking the Department of Justice to appoint a special counsel to probe the IRS by a vote of 250-168.

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Daily Aspirin Regimen Not Safe for Everyone: FDA

TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Taking an aspirin a day can help prevent heart attack and stroke in people who have suffered such health crises in the past, but not in people who have never had heart problems, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Since the 1990s, clinical data have shown that in people who have experienced a heart attack, stroke or who have a disease of the blood vessels in the heart, a daily low dose of aspirin can help prevent a reoccurrence,” Dr. Robert Temple, deputy director for clinical science at the FDA, said in an agency news release.

A low-dose tablet contains 80 milligrams (mg) of aspirin, compared with 325 mg in a regular strength tablet.

However, an analysis of data from major studies does not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medicine in people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or heart problems. In these people, aspirin provides no benefits and puts them at risk for side effects such as dangerous bleeding in the brain or stomach, the FDA said.

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Has Putin extended an olive branch to Kiev?

In a Kremlin meeting with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, who is also chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Mr. Putin also insisted – as Russian officials have been doing  for more than a week – that Russia has long since pulled back its 40,000 troops from the Ukrainian border and is no longer threatening to intervene in the country’s restive east.

It’s unclear whether this marks a real change in policy. But the Russian president appears to have at least offered a way for Kiev and the east to halt their grim march toward civil war.

According to Russian news agencies, Putin is throwing his support behind a new “road map” for peace and reconciliation in Ukraine that is being prepared under the auspices of the OSCE. The road map will involve a cease-fire, deescalation of tensions, and a national dialogue, followed by elections to create a legitimate government that reflects all regions of the strife-torn country.

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