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Report: Islamic State waterboarded James Foley and other captives in Syria

Washington (AFP) – At least four Western hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria, including murdered American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, The Washington Post said Thursday. Foley, whose recent execution at the hands of the extremists provoked revulsion, and the other…

Opposition party storms out as Turkish Premier Edrogan is sworn in as new president

Ankara (AFP) – Turkey’s outgoing premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in as president on Thursday, extending his decade-long rule, as opponents who accuse him of authoritarianism stormed out of the ceremony. Erdogan, 60, took the oath in Ankara to begin a five-year mandate in which he has vowed to…

‘Everything I know is a lie’: Fans of ‘Hello Kitty’ stunned to hear she’s not a cat after all

Tokyo (AFP) – Hello Kitty is not a cat, the company behind Japan’s global icon of cute insisted Thursday, despite an uproar from Internet users who spluttered: “But she’s got whiskers!” The moon-faced creation that adorns everything from pencil cases to pyjamas the world over is, in fact, human. “Hello…

Joan Rivers ‘stable’ in New York hospital after possible cardiac arrest

Joan Rivers, the tart-tonged US stand-up comic renowned for her rapier wit, was rushed to hospital with a possible cardiac arrest on Thursday but was in a stable condition, reports said. US media said the 81-year-old Rivers stopped breathing while undergoing surgery on her vocal cords at a clinic in…

US economy grew at robust 4.2 percent pace in 2nd quarter

The US Commerce Department raised its estimate for US economic growth to 4.2 percent Thursday, confirming the solid rebound from the first quarter’s steep contraction. The department said a fuller set of data showed a higher level of fixed investment by companies and the government, contributing to the 0.2 point…

Neuroscientists say it’s possible to overwrite bad memories

Emotions connected to memories can be rewritten, making bad events in the past seem better and good things appear worse, scientists from Japan and the United States have found. The discovery of the mechanism behind the process helps to explain the power of current psychotherapeutic treatments for mental illnesses such…

‘We have glimpsed the Sun’s soul’: Underground solar lab detects low-energy neutrinos

A lab sited under 1.4 kilometres (4,500 feet) of rock has detected particles from the Sun that help to measure activity at the very heart of our star, scientists said Wednesday. Deep beneath Italy’s Apennine Mountains, the laboratory recorded low-energy neutrinos spewed out by the fusion of hydrogen protons, the…

Romney for US president in 2016? Iowa poll puts him on top

Americans may not be through with Mitt Romney after all. The two-time Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly stressed over the past year that he is not interested in a third shot at the White House. But an Iowa poll released Wednesday suggests that Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who lost…

California set to triple tax credit for filmmakers

California is set to more than triple its tax credits granted to the film industry in a bid to limit an exodus of movie makers from Hollywood tempted by more generous aid. Governor Jerry Brown said he is set to sign an accord passed by the western US state’s lawmakers,…

Syria rebels support US air strikes against Islamic State jihadists

In Syria’s Aleppo, devastated by two years of fighting and regime attacks, rebels and activists are eager for US strikes against jihadists they say have stolen their anti-government uprising. The United States has yet to decide on whether it will carry out air strikes in Syria against jihadists from the…

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