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Canada downgrades protections for humpback whales to clear way for Pacific Ocean pipeline

Environmentalist activists on Tuesday decried Canada’s downgrading of humpback whale protections, suggesting the decision was fast-tracked to clear a major hurdle to constructing a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean. The government however denied it is playing pipeline politics with the whales. Ottawa announced over the weekend the reclassification of humpback…

Peru investigates killing of endangered Humboldt penguins

Peruvian authorities announced an investigation Tuesday into the killing of five penguins found slashed to death at a center for endangered species. The remains of the rare Humboldt penguins — two adults and three pups — were scattered in two bloody pools of water. Prosecutor Karin Padilla told reporters the…

Supreme Court wrestles with TV, copyright and ‘cloud’ computing

A startup that threatens to shake up the television industry with mini antennas for Internet viewing and recording was the object of heated debate Tuesday at the US Supreme Court. A powerful coalition of the broadcast and cable TV industries asked the panel to rule against the startup Aereo, which…

Researchers and lawmakers warn: Florida is ‘Ground Zero’ for sea level rise

Warm sunshine and sandy beaches make south Florida and its crown city, Miami, a haven for tourists, but the area is increasingly endangered by sea level rise, experts said Tuesday. During a special Senate hearing held in Miami Beach, Senator Bill Nelson described south Florida as “Ground Zero” for climate…

Vatican dismisses claim that John Paul II ignored Catholic sexual abuse

A much-loved pope will be declared a saint on Sunday but not everyone in the Catholic Church agrees. John Paul II also alienated many left-wing Catholics and has been blamed for hushing up child sex crimes. “Not all the people of God agree about canonisation,” the International Movement We Are…

Cow manure fertilizer can create deadly human superbugs, study finds

Cow manure, commonly used to fertilize vegetable crops, contains a high number of genes that can fuel resistance to antibiotics, a US study out Tuesday found. These genes come from the cows’ gut bacteria, and while none have yet been found in superbugs that are infecting humans, researchers said the…

Joe Biden pledges support for Ukraine’s pro-Western leaders

Vice President Joe Biden said the United States stood by Ukraine’s new pro-Western leaders Tuesday in the face of “humiliating threats” as Washington and Moscow traded blame over the crisis in the ex-Soviet country. “You face very daunting problems, and some might say, humiliating threats,” Biden told a group of…

North Korea may be close to fourth nuclear test, warns Seoul

North Korea could well be preparing to carry out a fourth nuclear test, South Korea said Tuesday, citing increased activity at its main test site just days ahead of a visit to Seoul by US President Barack Obama. “Our military is currently detecting a lot of activity in and around…

Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni war shrine on eve of Obama trip

Nearly 150 Japanese lawmakers on Tuesday paid homage at the Yasukuni shrine which honours the nation’s war dead, raising the stakes in an already tense region on the eve of US President Barack Obama’s visit. A cross-section of parliamentarians — including at least one cabinet minister — paid their respects…

Uganda captures Lord’s Resistance Army rebel officer and frees 10 hostages

Ugandan troops have captured a fugitive Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) rebel officer and freed 10 hostages, the army said Tuesday, after battles with the elusive jungle insurgents. Charles Okello was captured in the southeast of the Central African Republic, army spokesman Paddy Ankunda told AFP, describing him as a field…

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