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World Health Organization: Outdoor air pollution a leading cause of cancer

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday classified outdoor air pollution as a leading cause of cancer in humans. “The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances,” said Kurt Straif of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). “We now know that outdoor…

U.S. Navy warship rescues 128 Somali migrants on inflatable raft

A US warship has rescued 128 migrants from an inflatable raft that was threatening to capsize in rough seas in the Mediterranean after a request from Malta, officials said Thursday. The USS San Antonio, which is equipped with an amphibious transport dock that can help in rescue operations, was scrambled…

U.S. borrowing rate falls a fraction on budget deal

Trading in U.S. government debt took the last-minute US budget deal in its stride early on Thursday when treasury bond yields were slightly lower than before the agreement. The bond market did not push down borrowing rates for the United States sharply in the light of the last-ditch deal, which…

Snowden leak: NSA deeply involved in drone strikes against terror suspects

The National Security Agency is deeply involved in U.S. drone strikes against Al-Qaeda militants, using electronic surveillance tools to track down terror suspects, The Washington Post reported. The report was based on documents provided by Edward Snowden, the U.S. intelligence contractor turned leaker who has exposed the massive scale of…

Nobel laureates urge Putin to drop ‘excessive charges’ against Greenpeace activists

Eleven Nobel Peace Prize winners have called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to ensure that “excessive charges of piracy” laid against 30 Greenpeace activists are dropped, Greenpeace said on Thursday. “We are writing to ask you to do all you can to ensure that the excessive charges of piracy against…

Syria says long-delayed peace talks could happen in November

International peace talks on the Syria conflict could take place next month, a top Syrian official said Thursday, claiming the long-awaited conference was closer than ever to taking place. Asked at a press conference in Moscow if the talks have been pushed back to late November or early December, Syrian…

China downgrades U.S. credit rating and accuses lawmakers of holding world hostage

A Chinese ratings agency downgraded its U.S. sovereign credit rating Thursday despite Washington’s resolution of the debt ceiling deadlock, warning that fundamentals for a potential default remained “unchanged.” Dagong lowered its ratings for U.S. local and foreign currency credit from A to A-, maintaining a negative outlook, the agency said…

Cory Booker wins race to fill Lautenberg’s Senate seat

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) was elected on Wednesday night to become New Jersey’s first African-American U.S. Senate member, the Washington Post reported. The race, widely expected to go Booker’s way, was called by the Associated Press with Booker leading Republican contender Steve Lonegan 55 percent to 44 percent. By…

New Zealand man goes to court for his right to be a climate change refugee

A Pacific islander is attempting to become the world’s first climate change refugee in New Zealand as rising seas threaten his low-lying homeland, the man’s lawyer said Thursday. Ioane Teitiota, 37, launched an appeal this week against a decision by New Zealand immigration authorities to refuse him refugee status and…

New study estimates 30 million people live in modern-day slavery

An estimated 30 million people worldwide are living in modern-day slavery, according to the inaugural Global Slavery Index published Thursday. The index, compiled by the Walk Free Foundation, said that while India by far had the largest number of enslaved people, the problem was most prevalent in the west African…

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