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Obama and Netanyahu discuss Iran

Obama and Netanyahu discuss Iran

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented a show of unity on Friday on preventing nuclear-armed Iran, seeking to tone down the acrimony between the two leaders that has become an issue in the final stretch of the U.S. presidential race. Obama, widely seen as having snubbed [...]

1,000-year-old Buddhist statue made from a meteorite

In a discovery that sounds uncannily like the plot of an Indiana Jones film, researchers have discovered that a 1,000 year old buddhist statue found by a Nazi expedition in 1938 is made from a meteorite. The findings, published in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science, reveal the priceless statue to be a rare ataxite [...]

Huge 158.2 carat diamond found in Russia

An enormous diamond with an estimated value of more than £1million has been discovered in Russia. The precious 158.2 carat gem was uncovered by the Alrosa company, the country’s largest diamond mining enterprise, it was revealed today. The find was made last month at diamond-mining factory number 16 of the Nyurbinsk ore mining and processing [...]

Floods kill six in southern Spain

VILLANUEVA DEL TRABUCO, Spain, Sept 29 (AFP) – At least six people, including a young girl and an elderly woman, died Friday as floods in southern Spain overturned cars and forced hundreds to flee their homes, officials said. At least 600 people had to be evacuated from their homes in the Andalusia region, with some [...]

Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels leave Kismayu

MOGADISHU, Sept 29 (Reuters) – Somalia’s al Shabaab rebels withdrew from their last major bastion of Kismayu overnight, the group and residents said, a day after Kenyan and Somali government forces attacked the southern port. The loss of Kismayu will deal a major blow to the al Qaeda-linked movement, weakening morale and depriving it of [...]

Nepal says pilot error cause of crash

KATHMANDU, Sept 29 (AFP) – Nepal’s aviation ministry said Saturday that pilot error was the likely cause of a plane crash that killed all 19 on board, including seven British and five Chinese trekkers bound for Mount Everest. “The pilot’s failure to maintain the required radius is a likely cause of the accident,” said ministry [...]

US blocks Chinese wind farms over security

WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama blocked on Friday a privately owned Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon due to national security concerns, and the company said it would challenge the action in court. The rare presidential order to divest interests in the wind farms [...]

Indian Ocean’s 2012 mega-quake broke the records

PARIS (AFP) – An 8.7 earthquake that struck west of Indonesia on April 11 was the biggest of its kind ever recorded and confirms suspicions that a giant tectonic plate is breaking up, scientists said on Wednesday. The quake, caused by an unprecedented quadruple-fault rupture, gave Earth’s crustal mosaic such a shock that it unleashed [...]

Low-key 40th anniversary of Japan-China ties

TOKYO, Sept 29 (AFP) – China and Japan yesterdaymarked the 40th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic ties, but no major celebrations were likely with relations at historic lows over a simmering territorial row. No major events were planned in Japan after China on Sunday postponed a ceremony to commemorate four decades of diplomatic relations [...]

Why Qatar wants to invade Syria

Make no mistake; the Emir of Qatar is on a roll. What an entrance at the UN General Assembly in New York; Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani called for an Arab coalition of the willing-style invasion of Syria, no less. In the words of the Emir, “It is better for the Arab countries themselves to [...]

Never lose your data again

The developments in recent years of file storage have moved from the physical to the electronic, yet the problems of damage and loss still persist. However, Hitachi have developed what could be a foolproof giant in the world of file storage, with a piece of glass. The company unveiled a method of storing digital information on [...]

The ‘even larger’ hadron collider

After discovering the smallest particle that could ever exist, the team at Cern is now considering scaling up – with a brand new collider. The Geneva-based team which discovered what they believe to be the Higgs Boson particle this summer is now looking to the future, and are proposing a new underground accelerator with a circumference [...]

Nuclear disarmament disarmed

SINGAPORE – US President Barack Obama’s foreign-policy landscape is littered with deflated balloons. Soaring speeches, high hopes, and great expectations have yielded minimal returns. Across the Islamic world – from North Africa to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan – we see fragile relationships, unhappy transitions, unresolved conflicts, and outright attacks on the United States, despite Obama’s [...]

The saga of Assange: What the International law says

The saga of Assange: What the International law says

The historical dimensions of the “Triangular episode” of the Assange Saga are well known. Among the various alleged sins committed by Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, he is accused of a particularly heinous sin which has resulted in this “triangular paradigm” of a diplomatic battle involving three nation states. He is alleged to have committed a [...]

The world’s most expensive dress is unveiled

The world’s most expensive dress is unveiled

The saying diamonds are a girl’s best friend has been taken to a whole new level as the world’s most expensive dress has been unveiled. The dazzling dress, which received mixed reviews from onlookers at Ukraine Fashion Show, is encrusted with 50 two carat black diamonds and weighs a staggering 29lbs (13kg). The gown is one [...]

Ang Lee breaks every rule in new ‘Life of Pi’

NEW YORK, Sept 28, 2012 (AFP) – Director Ang Lee says he broke every rule in “Life of Pi,” which premiered Friday, bringing the best-selling novel into stunning 3D life with a production featuring an unknown Indian actor, four tigers and the world’s biggest wave machine. “There are a few classic advices in movies: never [...]

At UN Muslim world questions Western freedom of speech

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Muslim leaders were in unison at the United Nations this week arguing that the West was hiding behind its defense of freedom of speech and ignoring cultural sensitivities in the aftermath of anti-Islam slurs that have raised fears of a widening East-West cultural divide. A video made in California depicting the [...]

Romney’s rapidly shrinking running mate

Romney’s rapidly shrinking running mate

BOSTON, Massachusetts, Sept 28 (AFP) – From the moment Mitt Romney mistakenly introduced his running mate Paul Ryan to the world as “the next president of the United States,” one word has routinely described the pairing: awkward. Cringe-worthy as that highly anticipated launch was in Virginia in early August, the Republican ticket has since lurched [...]

Banned Bosnia candidate proud of “porn” campaign

ZENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) – A Bosnian man who was banned from running in next month’s local elections for using pornographic images on the Internet as part of his campaign says he will fight to be reinstated and get a chance to turn his town into “Hollywood”. “Seven days after my campaign began, the whole planet [...]

Australians suddenly richer as statistician “finds” $338 billion

Australians suddenly richer as statistician “finds” $338 billion

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australians are suddenly a whole lot better off after the government statistician “found” A$325 billion ($338 billion) in share assets previously unrecognized. The Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday released its latest report on household assets which included massive upward revisions to estimates for equity holdings. Total financial assets were now put [...]

Men queue up for job to ‘convert lesbian’ after father’s huge reward

The lesbian daughter of a billionaire playboy has laughed off her father’s ‘marriage bounty’ of nearly £40 million to any man who can turn his daughter straight. One of Hong Kong’s richest men, Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, made the offer after his daughter Gigi married her girlfriend of seven years Seab Eav in France. And surprise, surprise, [...]

Ignore climate change and 100m people will die by 2030, report claims

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments has claimed. As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, [...]

Five-star survival

Five-star survival

It boasts light, airy rooms, plenty of greenery and no doubt the service would be five-star. But the main reason guests would flock to the Ark Hotel would be its ability to save them from a natural disaster of Noah proportions. That’s because the futuristic building has been designed to withstand floods caused by rising sea levels. [...]

Is nowhere safe from Google?

It has covered streets, parks, historic monuments, and even Scott’s hut in the Antarctic.Now, Google has gone underwater for its latest addition to its street view service – with tours of the world’s greatest coral reefs. The firm has partnered with the Catlin Seaview Survey to add areas from the Great Barrier reef to Monterey [...]

Scientists create first ‘atlas of the brain’

Scientists have created a comprehensive and interactive ‘atlas of the brain’ – and have opened it up to the entire internet to help in neurological research. The Allen Institute for Brain Science, based in Seattle, created the atlas so that other researchers can compare and contrast their own findings from brain scans and genetic surveys, with [...]

‘These are things I know from the inside’

JK Rowling has revealed that the OCD-afflicted lead character in her new book was inspired by her personal experience with the disorder. In the first ever interview about her new adult novel The Casual Vacancy, she describes how her own battles with anxiety and depression helped shape her protagonist. Ms Rowling, 47, told Good Morning America: [...]

The very colourful truth about the king of crooners

The very colourful truth about the king of crooners

With his perma-tanned face and tinted spectacles, Andy Williams looked nothing like a multiple Grammy winner, a survivor of Sixties party madness or a political insider.  The dangerous charisma of Frank Sinatra or Sammy Davis Jr was absent. He looked more like a celebrity golfer in a cosy pullover – a role he loved to [...]

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