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New study challenges consensus scientific belief that sharks are ‘living fossils’

Modern sharks are not “living fossil” replicas of their prehistoric ancestors but have evolved significantly over millions of years to develop their hallmark design, a consensus-busting study said Wednesday. The newly discovered fossil skull of a shark-like ancestor of all jawed vertebrates adds to evidence that a bony skeleton, not…

Sexual violence against Egypt women ‘goes unpunished’: report

Sexual violence against women has been rife since the 2011 uprising in Egypt, where hundreds of female protesters have been the target of attack with apparent impunity, rights groups said Wednesday. “Successive Egyptian governments have failed to address violence against women, with serious implications for women’s participation in the political…

Actor Ted Neeley hopes Pope Francis will attend ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ in Rome

Ted Neeley, the original lead in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, is back four decades on as the son of God in the hit musical in Rome, and hopes Pope Francis will be in the audience. The pontiff will be “just down the street and we’re hoping he’s going to come visit…

NATO to deploy more forces in eastern Europe

NATO said Wednesday it will deploy additional air, sea and land forces in eastern Europe in response to the worsening crisis in Ukraine and take further action if needed. “Today we have agreed a package of military measures,” NATO head Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after a meeting of ambassadors of…

Bank of America reports $276 million loss on huge legal costs

Bank of America reported Wednesday a quarterly loss of $276 million due to $6 billion in legal expenses that included a huge settlement with the US on mortgage-backed securities. The bank had revenues of $22.8 billion, compared with earnings of $1.5 billion on revenues of $23.4 billion in the period…

Ancient erotic art offers glimpse of China’s lost sexual philosophy

Ancient paintings of fornicating Chinese couples and phalluses made of stone are among items that Dutch art collector Ferdinand Bertholet hopes will help China reconnect with its sexually charged past. Explicit works spanning from the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) are among more…

U.S. tech giants turn to space drones to spread Internet access

The shortest path to the Internet for some remote corners of the world may be through the skies. That is the message from US tech giants seeking to spread the online gospel to hard-to-reach regions. Google took a step in that direction this week with the acquisition of Titan Aerospace,…

Pro-Russian militants take two Ukrainian soldiers hostage in Lugansk

Ukraine’s defence ministry said on Wednesday that pro-Russian militants had taken two of its soldiers “hostage” in the separatist eastern region of Lugansk. The ministry said an officer and a soldier were seized by “extremists” on Tuesday and taken to an unknown destination after they pulled over to repair their…

Nigeria parents face ‘nightmare’ after mass kidnap by Islamists

Desperate Nigerian parents pleaded Wednesday for an end to their “nightmare” after Boko Haram Islamists kidnapped more than 100 girls from a secondary school in the embattled northeast. The mass abduction by heavily armed insurgents from the Chibok area of Borno state late Monday came just hours after a bomb…

Heartbleed fix may cause some online confusion and delay

The heartache from the Heartbleed Internet flaw is not over, and some experts say the fix may lead to online disruption and confusion. The good news is that most sites deemed vulnerable have patched their systems or are in the process of doing so. The bad news is that Web…

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