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Eurozone unemployment hits record 10.9 percent

Eurozone unemployment spiked to a record 10.9 percent in March, piling pressure on governments on Wednesday to shift from austerity-first to growth policies so as to revive the economy. The figures, up from 10.8 percent in February, coincided with a survey showing manufacturing in the 17-nation eurozone stumbling to near…

Pakistani health worker knocked on bin Laden’s door days before raid

A sacked Pakistani health worker recalled Wednesday how she knocked on Osama bin Laden’s door just days before he was shot dead by American soldiers, an unwitting pawn in a controversial vaccination programme set up by the CIA to ensnare the Al-Qaeda leader. Amna Bibi spoke to AFP while revisiting…

1,550 Palestinians now on hunger strike

At least 1,550 Palestinians in Israeli jails are now taking part in a mass hunger strike, Israel’s Prison Service said on Wednesday, with two of them marking their 64th day without food. IPS spokeswoman Sivan Weizman told AFP that another 100 prisoners had begun refusing food in the last two…

Yemen asks for $10 billion to stabilize economy

Yemen will ask donors for about $10 billion in urgent aid at a “Friends of Yemen” meeting to be held in the Saudi capital later this month, the country’s planning minister said on Wednesday. “We are talking about $10 billion that we will need for economic recovery, to stabilise the…

Study: Space rock caught some dinosaurs already in decline

Large, plant-eating dinosaurs were already in decline by the time a space rock smashed into Earth 65 million years ago and ended the reptiles’ long reign, a study published on Tuesday says. The findings by scientists in the United States and Germany do not dispute the mass extinction that so dramatically ended…

China demands apology as activist leaves U.S. embassy

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has left the US embassy to seek medical care and join his family, officials said Wednesday, as Beijingdemanded a US apology on the eve of key talks between the two powers. Chen, who riled Chinese authorities by exposing forced abortions and sterilisations under the “one-child” policy, fled house arrest…

Stray parakeet tells Japanese police where he lives

A pet parakeet was returned to its owner Wednesday after the lost bird told police its home address near Tokyo. The male bird had escaped early Sunday morning from its owner’s home in the city of Sagamihara, west of Tokyo, and remained at large before perching on the shoulder of a guest staying in…

World record for fastest motorized toilet

Stunt woman Jolene Van Vugt was flushed with pride Wednesday after setting a new land speed record for the fastest motorised toilet. Van Vugt, a former Canadian motocross champion, steered the contraption through some early wobbles to 75 kilometres per hour (46 mph) in Sydney, seven kilometres more than the previousGuinness world record. Police…

Greenpeace activist flies into French nuclear plant

A Greenpeace activist on Wednesday flew inside the grounds of a French nuclear power plant using a motorised paraglider, police and the organisation said. “A Greenpeace activist arrived with a motorised paraglider around 7:40 am (0540 GMT). He flew over the plant, threw a smoke bomb and landed inside, where he was detained,” police near…

NGO: Media rights deteriorating in Iraq

orsened in the past year in Iraq, a local rights group said, in a country already thought to have among the worst press freedoms in the world. The statement by the Iraq-based Journalism Freedoms Observatory(JFO), issued ahead of World Press Freedom Day on Thursday, voiced concern over what it said were arbitrary arrests, restrictions…

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