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Syria faces new sanctions as activists urge demonstrations

Syria on Friday faced fresh sanctions targeting its oil exports, as activists called fresh anti-regime protests under the banner of “death rather than humiliation.” The European Union was to formally adopt an embargo on Syrian oil, but the sanctions would not take effect until November 15 for existing contracts after…

Israel has ‘reservations’ about UN flotilla report

Israel will accept the United Nations report on its deadly attack last year on a flotilla of aid boats for the Gaza Strip with some reservations, a senior official said Friday. “We will announce our acceptance of the report after its official publication, with specific reservations,” the official who declined…

Louisiana declares emergency as new storm looms

Oil companies began evacuating workers from rigs in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of what US forecasters said could be a powerful and dangerous storm, and Louisiana declared a state of emergency. The National Hurricane Center on Thursday issued tropical storm warnings for the coastal areas from Pascagoula, Mississippi, to…

Lawsuit charges Windows 7 smartphones track users

Microsoft is in the crosshairs of a lawsuit charging that smartphones powered by Windows 7 software noted the whereabouts of users even if they didn’t want to be tracked. A suit filed Wednesday on behalf of a woman from the US state of Michigan maintained that Microsoft gathered location information…

Colombia police find two tonnes of buried cocaine

Colombian police said they have seized 2.2 tonnes of cocaine that was buried in a northern desert and which has a street value of $65 million. The drugs were found in 87 waterproof sacks several feet (metres) beneath the arid La Guajira department in the far north, a coastal province…

Bush’s brother Neil writes Chinese blog

The brother of former US president George W. Bush has opened an account with the most popular microblogging service in China, where his musings on his daughter’s wedding have attracted tens of thousands of followers. Neil Bush, who runs an oil company in Texas and is nine years younger than…

Trapped Chinese miners unlikely to survive: Xinhua

Three workers trapped in a mine in northeastern China since it flooded 10 days ago are unlikely to survive the disaster, according to the state Xinhua news agency. Rescue workers on Tuesday pulled 19 miners from the pit in China’s Heilongjiang province, providing a rare good-news story in an industry…

9/11 firefighters more likely to get cancer: study

Firefighters exposed to the World Trade Center attacks are more likely to get cancer, while 9/11 rescue workers still suffer high illness rates generally, according to studies published Friday. In a 10th anniversary edition of medical journal The Lancet, scientists said however that death rates among emergency staff and civilians…

U.S. government to sue major banks over mortgages: report

The United States plans to file lawsuits against more than a dozen big banks over mortgage-backed securities seen to have fueled the 2008 economic crisis, the New York Times said. The lawsuits are set to be filed Friday or early next week against Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman…

New Mars samples ‘unlike any seen before’

A new site being explored by the Mars rover Opportunity has yielded soil samples unlike any examined before on the red planet and that appear more favorable for life, scientists said. Opportunity, the indefatigable robot that has been exploring Mars for seven and a half years, arrived three weeks ago…

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