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‘Unfashionable’ Victorian art enjoys revival

Cruel, enchanting and dangerous, John William Waterhouse’s red-haired femme fatale pours poison into a cup in one of the once-feted Victorian artist’s best known works, “The Love Philtre”. Looking straight ahead, the bare-shouldered woman with slanting eyes and a long, angular face pauses, as if inviting the viewer to witness…

France to cut fossil fuels by 30% by 2030: Hollande

France will reduce use of fossil fuels by 30 percent by 2030 as part of a strategy to halve overall energy use by 2050, President Francois Hollande announced on Friday. “I propose that we set a goal of reducing consumption of fossil energy by 30 percent by 2030,” Hollande said…

‘Vicious’ Japan shoe poisoner gets 7 years in jail

A court in Japan Friday jailed a man for slipping corrosive acid into the shoes of a colleague he was stalking, causing her to have the tips of her toes amputated, officials and media reports said. Tatsujiro Fukasawa, 41, was handed a seven-year sentence for assault, a court official confirmed.…

South African grannies use condoms to help arthritis pain

The elderly in South Africa are discarding pills for boxes of condoms in the belief that the lubricant oil on the latex helps alleviate arthritis-related pain, a daily reported Friday. They rub the condoms on the painful joints, and claim to feel instant relief, the Sowetan said. “This oil is…

Super Typhoon Usagi on path of destruction towards Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong

Super Typhoon Usagi — one of the strongest storms of the year — barrelled towards Hong Kong and southern China on Friday, prompting warnings of fierce winds and torrential rains. Packing gusts of up to 205 kilometres (127 miles) per hour, the storm is projected to roar between the Philippines…

Rand Corp. report suggests U.S. and China create dividing line in ‘collapsed’ North Korea

The United States should consider negotiating a separation line with China in a collapsed North Korea, a study said Thursday, warning of catastrophic consequences if Kim Jong-Un’s regime suddenly falls. The report by Rand Corp., a prominent US research institute, said that the crumbling of the totalitarian state could trigger…

Obama names large campaign donor Goldman Sachs exec Bruce Heyman as ambassador to Canada

US President Barack Obama named a Goldman Sachs executive and large campaign contributor as ambassador to Canada on Thursday amid potential rifts between the allies over the Keystone pipeline. Bruce Heyman, managing director for private wealth management at the investment bank, lives in Obama’s base of Chicago and is a…

Gene map helps trace spread of MERS coronavirus

Researchers in Britain and Saudi Arabia said on Friday that gene profiling of the MERS virus had provided insights, but no answer, as to how the mysterious microbe spreads. Reporting online in The Lancet, the scientists said they had assembled a family tree of the coronavirus causing Middle East Respiratory…

Japan’s Murakami favorite for Nobel literature prize — again

Japanese literary superstar Haruki Murakami is favourite for this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, betting odds showed Friday, after repeatedly being mentioned as a contender for the prestigious global gong. Online bookmaker Ladbrokes.com was Friday offering odds of 3-1 on the novelist scooping up the prize, which will be announced…

Leaked emails reveal bitter political struggle between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown

A former Downing Street aide released a trove of emails documenting the bitter power struggle between Tony Blair and Gordon Brown during their time in government. One of the emails, released by Blair’s strategic communications director Benjamin Wegg-Prosser, indicates that Brown told Blair to quit as prime minister as the…

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