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World has 5 million ‘test tube’ people: estimate

In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) has given the world about five million new people since the first test tube baby was born in England 34 years ago, according to an estimate released on Monday. As the initial controversy over man’s scientific manipulation of nature has faded, about 350,000 babies conceived in petri…

Rupert Murdoch: Scientologists are ‘creepy, maybe even evil’

LOS ANGELES — Media mogul Rupert Murdoch weighed in on the Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes divorce story Sunday, saying he thinks Scientologists are “creepy” and possibly even evil. The News Corporation chief urged his Twitter followers to watch the story, which broke on Friday when Holmes announced she was filing from…

China dispatches patrol ships as tensions with Vietnam mount

China has deployed four patrol ships to a disputed area of the South China Sea, state media said Sunday, amid a deepening row with Vietnam over competing territorial claims. The ships, described by the Xinhua news agency as surveillance vessels, reached what China calls the Huayang reef in the Spratly…

Peruvian archaeologists unearth pre-Inca relics

Archeologists in Peru have discovered a sundial, an underground tunnel and a reception room in a complex dating back to the Wari civilization, El Comercio newspaper reported Sunday. One of the relics is believed to be a precursor to an Incan sundial, while 18 niches painted in white on the…

Barclays Bank chairman to quit in lending rate scandal

LONDON — The chairman of Barclays Bank is set to step down after the group was fined for attempting to manipulate the inter-bank lending rate, the BBC reported on Sunday. Marcus Agius will announce on Monday that he is to leave his post in the face of public and political…

Electricity slowly returns as U.S. heatwave drags on

WASHINGTON — Utility crews made slow progress Sunday in restoring electricity to millions of households amid a record-setting heatwave in the eastern United States that showed no sign of abating soon. Temperatures shot back into the 100 degree Fahrenheit (37.7 Celsius) range in many areas, prompting the National Weather Service…

Okinawa governor rejects U.S. Osprey deployment

TOKYO — With the threat of a mass protest, the governor of Okinawa on Sunday rejected a US plan to deploy Osprey military aircraft on the sub-tropic Japanese island chain amid safety concerns. “We have no choice but to reject it if they forcibly bring in something which is questioned…

Mali Islamists destroying ‘more Timbuktu shrines’

BAMAKO — Islamist rebels in northern Mali took hoes and chisels to the tombs of ancient Muslim saints in the city of Timbuktu for a second day, ignoring international pleas to halt their campaign of destruction. After smashing three ancient tombs on Saturday, the Islamist militants who consider the World…

‘Strikingly’ few women in Asia’s top jobs: report

SEOUL — Companies in Asia’s leading economies have “strikingly” few women in senior jobs, missing out on a vital pool of talent to fuel the region’s growth, consultancy firm McKinsey & Company said on Sunday. In a survey covering 744 firms of 10 major stock markets in the Asia-Pacific, McKinsey…

Health care ruling restores faith in Supreme Court

With Chief Justice John Roberts’ decisive swing vote to uphold “Obamacare,” the conservative-majority US Supreme Court has seen its reputation as an independent final arbiter restored, experts say. Roberts silenced critics who believed that the court would vote along partisan political lines and strike down President Barack Obama’s signature domestic…

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