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Turkey returns fire ‘after fresh Syria shelling’

Turkey returns fire ‘after fresh Syria shelling’

DAMASCUS, Oct 6 (AFP) – Turkey hit back on Saturday against what it said was a fresh round of mortar fire from Syria, little more than 24 hours after UN condemnation of deadly cross-border bombardment. Syria, for its part, said four Turks were among a convoy of “terrorists” killed in fighting in the heart of Aleppo, [...]

‘Sea of People’ flock to China’s Great Wall

‘Sea of People’ flock to China’s Great Wall

Tourists clamouring to climb the Great Wall of China take photo-bombing to an extreme with barely a brick of the 5500 mile ancient structure visible in this image. ‘It’s easy for a camera with face recognition to break down in this situation!’ quipped one visitor who took a picture of the famous World Heritage site and [...]

The spy who loved men

The beautiful young woman looked coolly around her as the steam train she was travelling on rattled through wartime Poland and armed guards moved from carriage to carriage, carrying out spot-checks on passengers. No one observing her calm demeanour would have guessed the incriminating contents of the parcel beside her. Full of British propaganda leaflets [...]

Imran Khan leads US drone protest in Pakistan

MIANWALI, Pakistan, Oct 6 (AFP) – Pakistani cricketer turned politician Imran Khan led Western activists and thousands of supporters Saturday on a defiant march to the tribal belt to protest against US drone strikes. Crowds lined the road to greet Khan, and scrums of media and well-wishers thronged his 4X4 as the convoy of more than [...]

Dubai plans billion-dollar replica of Taj Mahal

Dubai plans billion-dollar replica of Taj Mahal

Understated is a word you could never knowingly apply to Dubai – but the latest project set for the emirate could put everything that has gone before firmly in the shade. Developers have unveiled an ambitious plan to create a complex with a $1-billion (£618 million) replica of India’s iconic Taj Mahal marble mausoleum, which [...]

Islamist preacher Abu Hamza due in US court

NEW YORK, Oct 06, (AFP) – Radical Islamist preacher Abu Hamza was due in court in the United States yesterday, officials said, in the next stage of a likely prolonged legal battle following his extradition from Britain. A saga that has dragged on for more than a decade in the courts of Britain and Europe [...]

The Beatles: Love Me Do 50 years on

The Beatles: Love Me Do 50 years on

LONDON (AFP) – The Beatles’ debut tune that helped launch Britain into the Swinging Sixties and ignite a worldwide obsession for the four-man band from Liverpool celebrates its 50th birthday on Friday. Even though it only peaked at number 17 on the British charts, “Love Me Do” was not only the group’s first record but [...]

Blue and green honey makes French beekeepers see red

MULHOUSE, France (Reuters) – Bees at a cluster of apiaries in northeastern France have been producing honey in mysterious shades of blue and green, alarming their keepers who now believe residue from containers of M&M’s candy processed at a nearby biogas plant is the cause. Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the [...]

Where’s Gandhi?

There will be no prizes for guessing the theme of this fancy dress party. Dressed in matching skin-coloured caps, round spectacles and grey moustaches, these young children are taking part in a lookalike record attempt like no other. A thousand children donned matching outfits in honour of Mahatma Gandhi, the iconic Indian spiritual leader who was [...]

Space debris threatens ISS

Space debris threatens ISS

MOSCOW (AFP) – The International Space Station is in danger of being hit by two pieces of debris from an old Russian satellite that had previously hit a US craft in 2009, a news report said on Wednesday. The space station will encounter pieces of the Kosmos 2251 military spy orbiter in the next few [...]

Green tea extract eradicates skin cancer

A chemical found in green tea has been used to treat two types of skin cancer, scientists say. The extract is too weak to make an impact when consumed in tea. However, when applied to cancer cells in the lab it made two-thirds of tumours shrink or disappear. Scientists at the universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, [...]

How watermelon could prevent heart attacks

A daily slice of watermelon could help prevent heart disease by halting the build-up of harmful cholesterol, new research shows. Scientists who carried out studies on mice fed a high-fat diet found the fruit halved the rate at which ‘bad’ low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, accumulated. LDL is a form of cholesterol that leads to clogged [...]

Free-fall from the edge of space

Should anyone else be planning the feat Felix Baumgartner will undertake on Tuesday morning, this weekend would be a time of sleepless nights and dread-filled days.  For 23 miles up on the edge of space, and wearing only a pressurised suit and a parachute, he will pause at the hatch of his tiny capsule as [...]

‘How Buddhist monks saved my life’

‘How Buddhist  monks saved my life’

A former opium addict has described his 20-year love affair with the drug and the vomit therapy that cured him in a tell-all book. At the peak of his addiction, Steven Martin, now 50, would smoke up to 30 pipes per day and was unable to leave his home at night for fear he might not [...]

Japan author, “spooky” science up for cut-price Nobels

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Japanese author who writes of love and isolation, researchers into “spooky” quantum physics and experts on economic inequality have all been tipped as possible Nobel Prize-winners ahead of the start to the annual awards on Monday. Medicine, physics and chemistry laureates will receive their Nobels first in Stockholm next week, followed [...]

The ‘Scuba Suit’ case for your iPhone

For many owners, the iPhone has become a gadget they simply cannot live without.But few would even contemplate taking their fragile handset with them while taking a dip in a swimming pool – until now. Manufacturers have produced a case called a ‘Scuba Suit’ which enables customers to use their phone to take underwater photographs. [...]

It might not just be in our heads after all

It’s the 21st century phenomenon experienced by millions of people every day.You can feel your phone in your pocket ringing or buzzing away, but when you check there are no calls or texts. Now scientists believe they can explain the cause of so-called phantom ringing syndrome – and it might not just be in our heads [...]

Syria, the story so far

“Today, many Americans are asking – indeed I ask myself,” Hillary Clinton said, “how can this happen? How can this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction? This question reflects just how complicated, and at times, how confounding the world can be.” The Secretary of State was [...]

Israel’s hypocrisy on a nuclear Middle East

Israel’s hypocrisy on a nuclear Middle East

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) – When world leaders packed their bags and headed home last week, there was one lingering memory of the General Assembly’s high-level debate: Benjamin Netanyahu’s dramatic presentation of a cartoonish nuclear red line, which hit the front pages of most mainstream newspapers in the United States. The Israeli prime minister warned Iran [...]

Daddy not-so cool

Mothers worldwide can rejoice, because according to a new survey, children are more likely to be left red-faced by their fathers. Researchers found that children are embarrassed by their father thanks to their bad fashion sense, lack of style and even the car they drive. Youngsters admitted to being so embarrassed by their dad that [...]

The vagina chronicles

The vagina chronicles

NEW YORK – Has there really been a sexual revolution? One of the themes that I explore in my new book, Vagina: A New Biography, is that the West’s supposedly sexually liberated societies, in which sexual images and content are available everywhere, have not really been all that liberating for women. Many of the reactions [...]

American presidential beauty

American presidential beauty

NEW YORK – What is the point of a presidential debate? In the context of American presidential elections, “debate” is something of a misnomer. When former French President Nicolas Sarkozy faced his Socialist challenger, François Hollande, that was a debate – addressing substantive issues and lasting more than two hours. By contrast, presidential debates in [...]

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