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Experts say NATO intervention in Libya led to chaos, fighting in Mali

When Western forces helped topple Libya’s Moamer Kadhafi they forced hundreds of well-armed Tuareg fighters to flee home to Mali, tipping another fragile African state into chaos, experts say. And for some observers, the Western powers’ role in helping trigger the crisis now gives them a responsibility to help try…

Antarctic ice shelf shrunk by 85 percent since 1995

A vast ice shelf in the Antarctic peninsula, a hotspot for global warming, has shrunk by 85 percent in 17 years, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Thursday. Images taken by its Envisat satellite show that the so-called Larsen B ice shelf decreased from 11,512 square kilometres (4,373 square…

Zimbabwe nationalizes foreign mining firms that failed local equity requirements

Zimbabwe said on Thursday it had taken over majority shares from foreign mining firms which had not sold 51 percent of their equity to black Zimbabweans, without specifying which or how many firms were affected. “All mining companies that have not complied, should note that 51 percent of their shareholding…

New unemployment claims in U.S. at lowest level since April 2008

New claims for US unemployment benefits fell last week, hovering at four-year lows as the ailing labor continues to mend, government data showed Thursday. The Labor Department reported 357,000 initial jobless claims were filed in the week ending March 31, the lowest level since April 2008. It was a decrease…

Large Hadron Collider sets new record with proton collision

The world’s largest particle collider notched up a new record on Thursday as it escalated its quest to find fundamental matter and explore the origins of the Universe, CERN said. At 00:38 am Thursday (2238 GMT Wednesday), the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) brought together two opposing beams of protons, each…

Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika unconscious after heart attack

Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika, 78, was unconscious in hospital Thursday after suffering a heart attack, a medical source said. “He had a cardiac arrest, he is still unconscious since 9:00 am (0700 GMT),” a senior official at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe said on condition of anonymity. Mutharika, a…

Saudi Arabia rules out sending women athletes to London

The head of the Saudi Olympic Committee has ruled out sending women athletes from the ultra-conservative kingdom to the London Olympics this summer, local dailies reported on Thursday. Prince Nawaf bin Faisal said, however, that Saudi women taking part on their own are free to do so and the kingdom’s Olympic authority would “only help in ensuring…

Blasts temporarily shut down Iraq-Turkey pipeline

Overnight blasts in southeastern Turkey on Thursday temporarily shut down a pipeline pumping oil from Iraq, with Kurdish rebels suspected to be behind the explosions, authorities said. Three blasts hit the section of the pipeline running near the border city of Idil in the Sirnak province, sparking a fire, said a statement by the Sirnak regional…

Malaysia axes Singapore ballet show over tights

Authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia have abruptly cancelled a show by a Singapore ballet troupe amid concern that their costumes would be too revealing, a dance group said Thursday. Bilqis Hijjas, president of Malaysian arts group MyDance Alliance, said performers from the Singapore Dance Theatre were denied visas for the performance scheduled for this weekend due to the “indecency of…

Mali slips into chaos as world gropes for response

Fears mounted Thursday that Al Qaeda-linked Islamists were turning Mali into a rogue state despite the announcement by Tuareg rebels that their 10-week military offensive was complete. As the Tuareg trumpeted the success of a decades-old struggle to “liberate” their homeland, their fundamentalist comrades-turned-rivals began imposing sharia in northern Mali, also leaving an…

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