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Soul legend Aretha Franklin to wed longtime friend

Aretha Franklin, 69, is making plans to tie the knot with longtime friend William “Willie” Wilkerson, the Queen of Soul said Monday through her publicist. “We’re looking at June or July for our date and no, I’m not pregnant,” said the Grammy-winning voice behind such classics as “Respect,” “Think,” “Chain…

Bird flu virus doesn’t jump between humans: China

HONG KONG (Reuters) – The latest bird flu virus that killed a 39-year-old bus driver in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen over the weekend is not yet transmissible between humans, Chinese health authorities said. “The virus found in the patient was 90 percent similar to H5N1 viruses previously isolated in ducks in China,…

Taiwan mulls armed guards on ships against pirates

Taiwan is considering a plan to place armed guards on board local ships that sail in pirate-infested waters, especially off Somalia, officials and media said Tuesday. “The proposal has been under evaluation, but details of how it can be done have not been finalised,” an official at the transportation ministry told AFP, declining…

Republican White House hopefuls in last Iowa blitz

One day before Iowa holds the first vote of the 2012 White House race, Republican candidates blitzed the state, with frontrunner Mitt Romney ripping President Barack Obama on the sour US economy. “This American president didn’t cause the recession, but he made it worse and it’ll last longer because of his policies,” the former Massachusetts governor and millionaire…

Obama swaps Hawaii for reelection heat

U.S. President Barack Obama lands in Washington after his Hawaiian vacation Tuesday, facing a buzz saw of Republican campaign attacks as his reelection bid enters an intense new phase. The president on Monday left behind the idyllic beaches, sumptuous restaurants and golf courses of his native state just before voters in chilly Iowa cast…

Egyptians vote in final phase of landmark polls

Egyptians are voting on Tuesday in the final round of a landmark post-revolution election that has propelled Islamist movements into the centre stage of politics. Around 15 million eligible voters have their chance to cast ballots for the first parliament since an uprising overthrew veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February last year. Small queues began to…

World-first hybrid shark found off Australia

Australian scientists hailed what they described as a world-first discovery of two shark species interbreeding Tuesday, a never-before-seen phenomenon which could help them cope with warmer oceans. Lead researcher Jess Morgan said the mating of the local Australian black-tip shark with its global counterpart, the common black-tip, was an unprecedented…

‘Saudi hacker’ publishes Israeli credit card details

A self-defined Saudi hacker claimed he had published details of 400,000 Israeli-owned credit cards online, but the card firms on Tuesday insisted that only 14,000 cards had been affected. Details of the hack were exposed late on Monday in a statement posted on an Israeli sports website. “Hi, It’s 0xOmar…

Russia says Iran has no long-range missiles

Iran has no long-range missiles, a Russian defence official said Tuesday in Moscow’s first response to a series of tests conducted by Tehran near the vital Strait of Hormuz oil supply route. “Iran does not have the technology to create intermediate or long-range inter-continental ballistic missiles,” defence ministry spokesman Vadim…

Human remains found on British royal estate

British police launched an investigation after human remains were discovered in woodland on the royal family’s Sandringham Estate on New Year’s Day. A member of the public alerted police shortly after 1600 GMT on Sunday after stumbling across the remains while walking in Anmer, east England, according to a statement…

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