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40 die as arms cache explodes

Forty people were killed and at least 120 people were wounded in an explosion at a weapons cache in the central Syrian city of Homs yesterday, a group opposed to President Bashar al-Assad said.

The explosion occurred in the south-eastern district of Wadi al-Dhahab, which the army has taken over, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The group has a network of sources in the opposition and state security forces.

The Observatory said the casualties were soldiers and civilians and that some of the wounded were in a critical condition.

ANTI-POT MOVE DOESN'T WASH

With parts of northern California's scenic hillsides illegally gouged by bulldozers to grow marijuana, frustrated local officials asked the state for help to protect streams and rivers from harmful sediment and the chemicals used on the pot plants.

They hoped to charge growers under clean water regulations with tougher penalties than those local officials could impose.

But the state agency in charge of protecting the region's water said it was too dangerous.

TWO KILLED AT FLOWER FESTIVAL

An official in Haiti says shootings and scuffling marred this week's Carnival of Flowers in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

Two people died, one from a gunshot and another in a fall from a float.

Six others were wounded by bullets and a total of 1,041 people were treated at a clinic for minor injuries. Most were hurt in fights or hit with bottles or rocks.

PHONE APP FOR FOOD SAFETY

Thanks to a cradle and app that turn your smartphone into a handheld biosensor, you may soon be able to run on-the-spot tests for food safety, environmental toxins, medical diagnostics and more.

The handheld biosensor was developed by researchers at the University of Illinois. A series of lenses and filters in the cradle transform a smartphone into a tool that can detect toxins and bacteria, spot water contamination and identify allergens in food.


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