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Al Pacino on performing with cats in Venice

Al Pacino may be one of the greatest actors of all time, but he confessed Saturday that he was helped in his latest films by performing alongside a cat and throwing his acting skills out of the window. Sporting a pair of reflective sunglasses, a spiky haircut and a cheeky…

Ecuador’s women turn to boxing to fight sexual violence

After surviving a harrowing rape attempt, Any Hurtado took up boxing — and found herself surrounded by other Ecuadoran women using their fists for protection in a country torn by sexual violence. Statistics paint a disturbing picture of the threats women face in the South American country: six out of…

Don’t bring exotic rainforest animals home, expert warns

Thousands of parrots, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, turtles and other rainforest animals are kept as exotic pets in Costa Rica, a practice putting some species at risk, according to experts. The Central American country, famous for its rich biodiversity, won plaudits from conservationists two years ago for banning sport hunting in…

Porn king Larry Flynt still fighting for free speech, on Hustler’s 40th birthday

Porn veteran Larry Flynt is celebrating the 40th birthday of his X-rated magazine Hustler — and from his gold-plated wheelchair he is as combative as ever in fighting for free speech. Dressed in a beige suit with gold and diamond rings, Flynt surveys photos ranged on his enormous, Napoleon-style desk…

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warns West will be jihadists’ next target

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has warned that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is “rapid” action. “If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” he said in…

‘Not an isolated event’: U.N. agency chides U.S. over racial profiling by police

The United States must stem police racism and brutality, a U.N. watchdog said Friday, as debate rages over the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white officer in Missouri. “The excessive use of force by law enforcement officials against racial and ethnic minorities is an ongoing issue…

Prototype for Ebola deterrent drug clears early test hurdle

Paris (AFP) – A prototype drug that has been urgently given to a handful of patients with Ebola has cleared an important test hurdle, showing that it cured lab monkeys with the disease, scientists said Friday. Normally, experimental drugs are tested first on animals and then on progressively larger groups…

Frantic search underway in Nicaragua after mine collapse traps at least 20 workers

Managua (AFP) – Rescue teams in Nicaragua were scrambling frantically Friday to reach at least 20 workers trapped deep underground for more than 24 hours after a cave-in at an unlicensed gold mine. Two workers buried near the surface managed to dig their way out after the collapse early Thursday…

Hillary Clinton on Ferguson: ‘We can do better’

Hillary Clinton, a potential 2016 US presidential candidate, has weighed in for the first time on the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, saying America can do better. The August 9 killing of Michael Brown, 18, and the subsequent crackdown on demonstrators in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson…

Ebola virus evolving — sometimes in a single person — as it spreads across West Africa

Scientists tracking the spread of Ebola across West Africa released Thursday 99 sequenced genomes of the deadly and highly contagious hemorrhagic virus in the hopes the data may accelerate diagnosis and treatment. As a sign of the urgency and danger at hand, five of the nearly 60 international co-authors who…

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