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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…

Expert: Even without a cure the end of AIDS epidemic is in sight

Three decades into the AIDS pandemic an end to new infections is in sight, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “We don’t even know if a cure is possible. What we know is it is possible that we can end this…

Nelson Mandela gets birthday wishes from South Africa’s schoolchildren

South Africa’s schoolchildren sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela as he turned 94 on Wednesday, a day when he asks the world to honour his legacy by performing community service. The nation’s 12 million schoolchildren began their day with a special birthday song, ringing with the line: “We love you…

India suspends doctors over banned fetal ‘sex tests’

Twelve Indian doctors have been suspended for allegedly conducting prenatal sex tests, a practice banned to stop the abortion of female fetuses that has widened India’s gender gap, officials said Tuesday. The physicians were suspended on Monday from practicing medicine following a court order, said Archana Johri, an official of…

Syrian defense minister killed in suicide bombing

Syria’s defense minister General Daoud Rajha was killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing targeting the National Security headquarters in central Damascus, state television reported. Security officials told AFP that several other participants attending a high-level meeting were wounded in the blast and taken to Al-Shami hospital in the capital…

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