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Study: Millions of East Germans returning home

Many of the millions of east Germans who flocked to the west of the country to take jobs after the Berlin Wall fell are now returning home, a study to be published Thursday showed. In 2010 alone more than 40,000 people born in communist East Germany who had moved west…

Japan looks for ‘active faults’ under restarted nuclear plant

Japan’s nuclear safety watchdog on Wednesday ordered a probe into claims the country’s only working nuclear power station sits on an active tectonic fault. The order came as Kansai Electric Power Company (KEPCO) readied to refire a second reactor at the Oi plant, western Japan, just weeks after the first…

Pakistan puts 240,000 children at risk with polio vaccine ban

Pakistani tribesmen endorsed a Taliban ban on polio vaccinations Wednesday, closing the door to the prospect of any child being vaccinated in North Waziristan as part of a nationwide campaign. Officials had pinned their last hopes of inoculating children in the northwestern district on talks with tribesmen, which were successively…

Woman with thalidomide-related birth defects wins multi-million dollar settlement from drug companies

An Australian woman born without arms and legs after her mother took thalidomide during pregnancy, on Wednesday won a landmark multi-million dollar settlement in her class action against drug firms. Lynette Rowe, 50, is leading a mass lawsuit on behalf of people born with congenital defects in Australia and New…

London Olympics withdraws 500,000 soccer tickets due to lack of interest

The organisers of the London Olympics conceded defeat Wednesday in selling all the tickets for the soccer tournament as they revealed plans to slash the capacity of some stadiums. Organisers LOCOG said more than one million tickets were left unsold, but that figure has been cut in half by reducing…

Google releases new platform to share information on dying languages

Google unveiled an online information exchange platform to try to give some extra lasting power to more than 3,000 endangered languages. Called endangeredlanguages.com, it is out to help improve the exchange of digital source materials in languages spoken by small numbers of people, from Navajo in the United States, to…

Sleeping Australian teenager attacked by dingo in the outback

An Australian teenager told Wednesday of her sleeping bag being torn off by a dingo as she slept at a campsite, weeks after a landmark ruling that a baby was snatched in 1980 by one of the wild dogs. Rebecca Robinson, 13, was sleeping on a mattress under a caravan…

U.S. FDA approves weight-loss drug Qsymia for use by obese people

US regulators approved the second new anti-obesity drug in 13 years, Qsymia, for use with exercise and a good diet in people who are obese or overweight with certain medical problems. Some analysts have touted Qsymia as the next “blockbuster”, akin to the best-selling cholesterol drug Lipitor, with the US…

George Michael reveals he woke from last year’s coma with a different accent

British singer George Michael has revealed that he woke from his three-week coma talking in the broad West Country accent spoken in western England. London-born Michael, who almost died of pneumonia at the end of last year, said he was unable to revert to his usual accent for two days…

Throat cancer victim’s self-written confessional obituary goes viral

A US man’s self-written obituary, in which he reminisces about the good times — and makes a few confessions, including never having earned the PhD he claimed in life — has gone viral. Val Patterson, who died of throat cancer last week, professed his abiding love for his wife and…

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