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North Koreans in rice belt starve to death: report

Food shortages have worsened even in North Korea’s southwestern rice belt and some residents have starved to death there, a Seoul-based online newspaper said Monday. “Because of worsening food shortages this year there were reports of people starving to death even in South and North Hwanghae provinces,” a Daily NK…

China firm buys AMC Entertainment to create cinema giant

Wanda, a property firm owned by one of China’s richest men, said Monday it would buy US cinema chain AMC Entertainment for $2.6 billion, in a sign of China’s growing clout in the entertainment business. The deal, which Wanda said would create the world’s largest cinema owner by revenue, gives…

Strauss-Kahn faces gang rape accusation

File photo of former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn. French prosecutors on Monday opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn took part in a gang rape in the United States. (AFP Photo/Richard Drew) File photo of former IMF head Dominique … French prosecutors on Monday opened…

Three climbers die on Everest

Three climbers have died on their descent from the summit of Mount Everest, tour agents and officials said Monday, bringing the season’s death toll to five on the world’s highest peak. A 61-year-old German and a South Korean aged 44 died on the mountain’s south face on Sunday, Ang Tshering…

Trans-Pacific ‘ring of fire’ eclipse wows sky-gazers

Millions of sky-gazers got the spectacle of a lifetime as a “ring of fire” solar eclipse crossed the Pacific from Asia to the United States, where it triggered whoops at festive viewing parties. The annular eclipse was visible in western US states from California to Texas late Sunday and in…

Bee Gees star Robin Gibb dies aged 62

Robin Gibb, singer with legendary British band the Bee Gees whose disco hits defined an era, has died at the age of 62 after a lengthy battle with cancer. “The family of Robin Gibb, of the Bee Gees, announce with great sadness that Robin passed away today following his long…

London to deploy security force of 40,000 during Olympics

LONDON — Some 12,500 officers will be deployed daily during the Olympic Games in the country’s largest ever pre-planned policing operation, according to the Metropolitan force. With 67 days to go until the event begins, police revealed that 52 forces from around Britain will provide officers for the operation, which…

NATO decides to activate missile shield despite Russian threats

NATO leaders launched Sunday the first phase of a US-led missile shield for Europe, risking the wrath of Russia which has threatened to deploy rockets to EU borders in response. A NATO official told AFP that US President Barack Obama and his allies “just decided” at a Chicago summit to…

Ahmadinejad should ‘open nightclubs’: Iran MP jibes

TEHRAN — A hardline Iranian MP on Saturday took a jibe at President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for failing to support an Islamic dress code for women, suggesting the president should now move to open “nightclubs” in the Islamic republic. Fars news agency quoted MP Ali Motahari as saying that the president’s…

Climate scientists say they have solved riddle of rising sea

PARIS — Massive extraction of groundwater can resolve a puzzle over a rise in sea levels in past decades, scientists in Japan said on Sunday. Global sea levels rose by an average of 1.8 millimetres (0.07 inches) per year from 1961-2003, according to data from tide gauges. But the big…

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