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World Meteorological Organization: Higher sea levels are making coastal populations more vulnerable

Sea levels this year posted a record high, making low-lying coastal populations ever more vulnerable to extreme weather like super-storm Haiyan, the UN said Wednesday. In an interim report on the planet’s climate, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also estimated that 2013 was on course to be one of the…

French court approves extradition of Rwanda genocide suspects

A French appeals court on Wednesday approved the extradition of two Rwandans wanted by Kigali for their alleged role in the 1994 genocide that claimed some 800,000 lives. The ruling on Claude Muhayimana, 52, a French citizen since 2010, and Innocent Musabyimana, 41, is not final and can still be…

Mexican drug lord Juarez ‘El Abuelo’ Orosco extradited to U.S.

Suspected Mexican drug kingpin Juan Juarez Orosco has been extradited to the United States from Panama and arraigned in a federal New York court, authorities said Wednesday. The 64-year-old is the alleged leader of a drug trafficking organization that smuggled tens of thousands of kilos of cocaine, according to the…

British spy managed to kill himself with weird accident in his bathtub and wasn’t murdered, police decide

A codebreaker for the MI6 foreign intelligence agency, whose naked body was found padlocked in a holdall inside a bathtub three years ago, most likely killed himself by accident, police said Wednesday. A fresh review of the mysterious “spy in the bag” case has concluded that 31-year-old intelligence analyst Gareth…

Israel scraps plans for a ‘record’ 20,000 West Bank settler homes in face of Iran deal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to scrap plans for a “record” 20,000 West Bank settler homes was driven by Israel’s bid to scupper an Iranian nuclear deal, observers said Wednesday. Netanyahu publicly forced his Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who had approved the plans, to back down after drawing US condemnation…

Endangered ‘Asian Unicorn’ spotted in Vietnam

The critically endangered twin-horned saola has been sighted in Vietnam for the first time in over a decade, raising hopes of recovery for the mysterious animal, conservationists said Wednesday. Known as the “Asian Unicorn” for its extreme elusiveness, the antelope-like creature was spotted in September using a camera trap set…

Chevron ordered on appeal to pay Ecuador $9.51 billion for environmental damage

An Ecuadoran court upheld a ruling that US oil giant Chevron was liable for environmental damage in its Amazon basin region by sister company Texaco, but ordered it to pay a reduced $9.51 billion. The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a 2012 ruling against Texaco, which operated in the South…

WWII veteran nursed to health in Philippines returns the gesture 70 years later

As a merchant mariner in the Philippines near the end of World War II, Edward Sorock suffered a serious leg injury when a boom collapsed aboard the S.S. Frederick Bouchard, the Liberty ship he served on carrying ammunition to U.S. troops…  …

Abandoned puppy rescued from Indian trash dump becomes ‘first dog’ to tackle Mount Everest

An abandoned puppy rescued from a rubbish dump in India has trekked to Everest Base Camp, becoming what is believed to be the first dog to tackle the peak, his owner said Wednesday. Former professional golfer Joanne Lefson told AFP she adopted the 11-month-old dog, called Rupee, in the mountainous…

American ballerina accuses Russia’s Bolshoi in ‘cash for solos’ scam

Russia’s legendary Bolshoi ballet was embroiled in a new scandal Wednesday after an American ballerina accused the theatre of demanding $10,000 to allow her to dance solos. Texan Joy Womack, 19, a young dancer hired last year after graduating from Bolshoi’s dancing school, said in an interview with the Izvestia…

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