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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…

British military runs tests before Olympics

London launched a major military exercise Wednesday to check security responses for the 2012 Olympics, as the final wave of test sports events got under way. Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets flew into the capital to herald the start of Exercise Olympic Guardian, a nine-day training operation to…

Syria’s economy contracts as violence surges: IMF

Syria’s economy is expected to contract significantly in 2012 due to 14 months of violence and sanctions, a top official at the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. “We do expect contraction in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) this year,” the head of the IMF’s Middle East, North Africa, Gulf and…

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…

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