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Bees Choose by Doing 'Neuron' Dance

Honey bees do a little dance to communicate with each other that mimics signals in the brain, a finding that may shed light on how Earth's creatures make choices, scientists said Thursday.

"The decision-making mechanisms in nervous systems and insect societies are strikingly similar," said the study in the December 8 issue of Science Express.

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Europe's Vega Rocket Launch Set for Early 2012

Europe's new Vega rocket, which can place a 1.5-ton satellite into low-Earth orbit, is expected to see its first launch early next year, Arianespace chief Jean-Yves Le Gall said Thursday.

"We will have the first launch in January or February, Le Gall told Agence France Presse in Washington, while noting that he expected to sign contracts soon for the Italian-built rocket.

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Mandela Museum 'Boot Camp' Inspires Artists

Artists pore over their computers -- drawing up work experience and not sketches -- in a rigorous "boot camp" inspired by Nelson Mandela that combines practical business sense with talent.

The five students are in a six-week residency in the isolated hills of Qunu at the Nelson Mandela Museum, overlooking the icon's childhood home where he has been living for the last four months.

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At Least 70 Killed in Kolkata Hospital Fire

At least 70 people were killed when a fire engulfed a hospital Friday in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, with many victims believed to be patients who died of smoke inhalation.

Most of the victims appeared to be patients, trapped by the smoke and flames that spread rapidly through the private AMRI hospital during the night.

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Internet Domain Name Expansion Comes Under Fire

A plan to expand the number of Internet domain names came under fire in the US Congress on Thursday, a day after the head of the Federal Trade Commission said it could potentially be a "disaster."

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global body which manages the Domain Name System that forms the technical backbone of the Web, will begin taking applications in January for new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), the suffixes such as .com, .net or .org.

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Clinton Warns Internet Firms Against Aiding Hardline Regimes

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday warned Internet firms to avoid offering the "tools of oppression" to authoritarian Middle East regimes trying to crush democracy protests.

Clinton urged private companies to "embrace (their) role in protecting Internet freedom" and ensure protection of ordinary people as well as political activists.

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Chile Glacier in Rapid Retreat

The Jorge Montt glacier in southern Chile is melting at a rate of a kilometer (0.6 miles) per year, making it one of the world's most visible milestones of global warming, according to researchers.

Chile's Center for Scientific Studies (CECs) said Wednesday that several glaciers in the country's south have shrunk because of global warming but that the 454-square-kilometer Jorge Montt is one of those shrinking the fastest.

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Bangladesh to Air Transgender Reality TV Show

A Bangladeshi television channel said Thursday it was launching the country's first reality show for transgender people in an effort to break down widespread suspicion of the country's "hijra" community.

The ATN Bangla show, "Amra Tomadery" (We are for you), is now accepting applications to be one of around 40 contestants who will showcase their dancing and acting skills to win audience votes.

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Iran Airs Footage of U.S. Drone, Protests 'Violation'

Iran made a formal protest on Thursday over a U.S. drone entering "deep" into its eastern airspace last week, and aired footage of what appeared to be the downed aircraft on state television.

Swiss ambassador Livia Leu Agosti was summoned to the foreign ministry and told the incident suggests Washington has upped its "provocative and covert actions" against the Islamic regime, the state television website reported.

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China Web Users Want Zoo Pair to Stay Together

Chinese web users have flooded a wildlife park with pleas for an amorous male sheep and female deer to be allowed to stay together after their mating habits raised concerns.

Staff at the wildlife park turned to the country's half a billion web users for advice after the deer and the ram -- whose Chinese name Changmao means Long Hair -- began their unconventional liaison.

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