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Bilingualism may help delay dementia

People who speak two languages may be able to ward off dementia for years, regardless of whether they have the ability to read or not, according to a study Wednesday. The study in the U.S. journal Neurology is the first of its kind to show that the protective effects of…

Wells Fargo pays $335 million to settle Fannie and Freddie lawsuits

Wells Fargo said Wednesday it had agreed to pay $335 million to settle claims by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that it overstated the quality of mortgage securities it sold them. The US bank said the two state-controlled housing finance agencies had agreed to the sums having earlier pulled out…

Mexican Supreme Court overturns release for drug kingpin Caro Quintero

Mexico’s Supreme Court overturned Wednesday a lower court decision to free drug kingpin Rafael Caro Quintero, whose sentence for the killing of a US agent was cut short in August. Caro Quintero, considered a forefather of Mexico’s modern drug cartels, has vanished since walking out of prison on a legal…

Spain reports first case of deadly MERS coronavirus

Spain said Wednesday that a woman who just returned from Saudi Arabia has been infected by the MERS coronavirus in the country’s first case of the deadly disease. The patient, who was born in Morocco but lives in Spain, is receiving treatment at a Madrid hospital and is in a…

The Philippines’ elite turn to stem cell therapy to fight aging

Cynthia Carrion-Norton flits high-heeled around the Philippine capital with energy levels belying her years, thankful for a controversial treatment she highly recommends to fellow sixty-somethings. Carrion-Norton, 66, a member of the Philippine Olympic Committee and a former undersecretary for medical tourism, credits her vitality to adult stem cell therapy. “The…

Controversy sure to surround agreement between Iran and British Petroleum

Iraq said Wednesday it would proceed with work alongside British energy giant BP on a controversial northern oilfield, in a move likely to spark anger in the country’s Kurdish region. The development of the Kirkuk oilfield, which lies amid a swathe of disputed territory in north Iraq, is at the…

Russia sends Olympic torch to International Space Station

Three new crew members blast off Thursday for the International Space Station (ISS) on a Russian rocket, taking with them the precious cargo of an Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. In an unprecedented move, the Olympic torch will on Saturday be…

Blockbuster Video to close 300 U.S. stores by 2014

Blockbuster will close the last 300 of its own US video rental stores by January, its parent firm said Wednesday, after consumers shifted en masse to streaming services like Netflix. The company said it will continue to support Blockbuster’s domestic and international franchise operations and retain the rights to the…

Dutch government faces lawsuit for collaboration with NSA

A group of lawyers, journalists and privacy advocates in the Netherlands is taking the government to court to prevent Dutch intelligence using phone data illegally acquired by the US National Security Agency. Five individuals, among them a prominent investigative journalist and a well-known hacker, and four organisations filed the case…

Senators berate health secretary over Obamacare website failures

US senators unloaded fresh attacks on the Obama administration’s handling of the rollout of the new health care law Wednesday, with one Republican accusing officials of being “untruthful” about its impact. Five weeks into the rocky launch of the website through which millions of Americans are expected to register for…

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