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U.S. soldier dies after bitten by rabid dog in Afghanistan

A US army soldier died of rabies after being bitten by a dog in Afghanistan, US health authorities said on Thursday. The 24-year-old male first complained in mid-August 2011 of symptoms including shoulder and neck pain, odd sensations in his hands and fainting, shortly after arriving at Fort Drum, New…

Bin Laden worried about ‘unnecessary’ Muslim deaths

Osama bin Laden was deeply worried about “unnecessary” Muslim casualties from Al-Qaeda attacks and called on his deputies to spare civilian lives to shore up his network’s image, according to letters from his compound published Thursday. A year after bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs at his Pakistani…

Contraception use on the rise as more teens delay sex: Study

More US teenagers are postponing sex than in 1995, and hormonal contraceptive use is up among those who are sexually active, said US health authorities on Thursday. However, disparities in safe sex practices remain, with white teenagers more likely to regularly use contraception than African-Americans or Hispanics, said the report…

New N. Korea sanctions sets stage for nuclear showdown

The UN Security Council on Wednesday put three top North Korean state firms on a sanctions black list over the country’s failedrocket launch. But the assets freeze against three enterprises said to have financed and organized the North’s missile and nuclear programs could soon be followed by a new UN sanctions battle if…

Baghdad hit by attacks as VP death squad trial opens

Gun and bomb attacks struck the Baghdad area where Iraq’s fugitiveVice President Tareq al-Hashemi was to go on trial in absentia Thursday on charges he says are politically motivated. Hashemi, the country’s top Sunni official, stands accused along with several of his bodyguards of running a death squad but the vice president…

China sends more ships to disputed shoal: Philippines

The Philippine military on Thursday accused China of sending more ships to a disputed shoal in the South China Sea, describing the move as an insult that would further inflame tensions. Four Chinese surveillance ships and 10 fishing boats have anchored off the disputed Scarborough Shoal, with the fishermen taking giant clams and corals that are…

Ex-policeman held in phone-hacking inquiry

A former police officer was arrested Thursday as part of aninvestigation into alleged bribery related to the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, Scotland Yard said. The unnamed 57-year-old was arrested in a dawn raid at his house in Surrey on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, the force said in a statement. The suspect…

Australia had tree-climbing sheep-sized marsupials

Sheep-sized relatives of modern-day wombats lived in Australian treetops 15 million years ago, a palaeontologist said Thursday as she was honoured for her discovery. Karen Black, from the University of New South Wales, said her team discovered the world’s largest tree-climbing marsupial among fossils found at the Riversleigh World Heritage Site in Queensland state. The…

Campaigning on hold after 20 dead in Cairo clash

Campaigning for Egypt’s first post-uprising presidential poll was temporarily on hold after thugs attacked an anti-military protest near the defence ministry in Cairo, leaving 20 people dead. Four presidential candidates announced they were temporarily suspending their campaigns over the killings. The Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi told reporters he decided to stop campaigning for 48…

US says ready to help blind Chinese activist

The United States said Thursday it was ready to help Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng if he sought exile, after the blind activist expressed fears for his safety and pleaded to be taken abroad. The fate of the campaigning lawyer-dissident, who escaped from house arrest and spent six days at the US embassy in…

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