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Bolivia nationalization hurts investment climate: U.S.

WASHINGTON — The United States voiced concern Wednesday after Bolivia nationalized Spanish firm Red Electrica’s local grid, saying it will damage the country’s investment climate. Bolivian President Evo Morales’s seizure of the Red Electrica subsidiary came just 15 days after Argentina’s much larger expropriation of Spanish oil giant Repsol’s YPF…

Twelve dead in clash between Mexico soldiers, outlaws

CULIACAN, Mexico — A fresh clash between soldiers and suspected criminals in northwest Mexico left 12 dead, including two soldiers, a state official said Wednesday. At least 22 others have been killed in similar clashes in Sinaloa state, home to the eponymous drug cartel, since Saturday. In the latest clash,…

SpaceX delays ISS launch again

WASHINGTON — The first attempt by a private company to send a cargo-loaded spacecraft to the International Space Station was delayed again on Wednesday and a new launch date remains uncertain, SpaceX said. The planned May 7 launch has been postponed while engineers work out software issues, said SpaceX spokeswoman…

Controversial ‘mutant virus’ study published

Scientists who created a mutant virus to explore a key aspect of influenza published their research Wednesday after a four-month storm that brewed fears of bioterrorism and accusations of censorship. The controversy began in December when teams in the United States and the Netherlands separately said they had engineered a…

Scientists watch black hole devour unlucky star

Scientists have witnessed the rare spectacle of a supermassive black hole devouring a star that had ventured too close — an event that occurs about once in 10,000 years, they reported on Wednesday. Matter-sucking black holes normally lurk dormant and undetected at the centre of galaxies, but can occasionally be…

WWF calls for investigation into Indonesian elephant death

Environmental organisation WWF called on the government Wednesday to investigate the death of a critically endangered Sumatran elephant allegedly poisoned at an Indonesian oil palm plantation. A ranger at the plantation in Aceh Jaya on Sumatra island said he found the 18-year-old female elephant dying on Monday and that locals…

Scientists have underestimated climate change impact on plants: Study

Experiments that try to simulate global warming’s impact on plants badly underestimate what happens in the real world, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature. The investigation backs anecdotal evidence from farmers and gardeners, especially in the northern hemisphere, who say seasonal plants are stirring into…

News Corp board has ‘full confidence’ in Murdoch

The board of embattled publishing empire News Corp declared “full confidence” Wednesday in chairman Rupert Murdoch a day after British lawmakers branded him unfit to lead a major global company. “The board based its vote of confidence on Rupert Murdoch’s vision and leadership in building News Corporation, his ongoing performance…

North Korea ‘ready for third nuclear test’

North Korea has apparently finished preparations for a third nuclear test and is awaiting a political decision to go ahead, a South Korean nuclear expert said Wednesday. The expert also said the communist state is likely to use highly enriched uranium (HEU) for any test, and may have produced enough…

Iron Maiden frontman takes over aircraft maintenance hangar

Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson has taken over an aircraft maintenance hangar in Wales and hopes to create hundreds of jobs at the facility, he said Wednesday. Dickinson, 53, an airline pilot when he is not rocking out stadiums, has taken a lease on the Twin Peaks hangar in St…

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