- - Tuesday, December 13, 2011

SWITZERLAND

Researchers find evidence of the mysterious ‘God particle’

GENEVA — Scientists hunting for an elusive subatomic particle say they have found “intriguing hints” that it exists, narrowing the search for what is believed to be a basic building block of the universe.

The Higgs boson - popularly referred to as the “God particle” - is more likely to be found in the lower mass or energy ranges of the massive atom smasher being used to track it down, physicists from two independent research teams said Tuesday.

The researchers were careful to note they do not have enough data yet to definitively say the particle exists. But they said the latest data are strong enough that the question could be answered one way or another by next year.

Researchers hope that the particle, if it exists, can help explain many mysteries of the universe. British physicist Peter Higgs and others theorized the particle’s existence more than 40 years ago to explain why atoms, and everything else in the universe, have weight.

Both of the research teams are involved with CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research near Geneva. CERN oversees the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border, a 17-mile circular tunnel where high energy beams of protons are sent crashing into each other at incredible speeds.

MYANMAR

Suu Kyi’s party wins legal status for election

YANGON — Myanmar authorities Tuesday gave Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party the green light to rejoin mainstream politics, paving the way for the Nobel Peace Prize laureate to run for a seat in the new parliament.

The announcement in state media follows a series of reforms by a new military-backed government dominated by former generals who are now reaching out to political opponents and the West.

Ms. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) was stripped of its status as a legal political party by the junta last year after it chose to boycott a rare election, saying the rules were unfair.

A brief announcement in the official New Light of Myanmar newspaper Tuesday said that the country’s election commission had approved the NLD’s application to re-register as a political party.

PAKISTAN

President Zardari suffers ‘ministroke’ in Dubai

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