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N. Korean envoy stresses dialogue in China talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s special envoy told a top Chinese defence official Friday that his country wants to solve problems on the Korean peninsula through dialogue, Beijing’s state media said. The comments by Kim’s emissary Choe Ryong-Hae were reported by the official Xinhua news agency and came a day…

Tokyo denies ‘ghosts’ keeping PM out of residence

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet on Friday formally denied months-long rumours that the premier had not moved into his official residence over fears the mansion is haunted. The conservative leader took office in December but has yet to move into the 11-room brick home in central Tokyo, the longest…

EU to ban three harmful bee pesticides from December

The European Commission said Friday that it will ban for two years beginning in December three pesticides blamed for killing the bees that pollinate food and fruit crops. The decision to ban the insecticides, made by chemicals giants Bayer and Syngenta, “marks another milestone towards ensuring a healthier future” for…

Senate unanimously approves Sri Srinivasan as first India-born senior judge

The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved Srikanth Srinivasan as the most senior US judge of South Asian descent, amid speculation that he may one day be tapped for the Supreme Court. Srinivasan, who was born in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh and raised in Kansas, will serve on the…

Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign off to a rocky start after police called to rally

Former congressman Anthony Weiner began his comeback campaign in Harlem on Thursday at a chaotic event where police were called and the candidate faced heckling. But overall Weiner expressed satisfaction with his first contact with voters, finding them to be in a largely forgiving mood. Asked about poor poll figures…

George Zimmerman lawyers release Trayvon Martin’s cellphone data to discredit killed teen

Lawyers for the accused murderer George Zimmerman released a series of texts and photographs from Trayvon Martin’s cellphone on Thursday, showing the Florida teenager discussing guns, fighting and smoking marijuana. The move appears to be at attempt to discredit the 17-year-old’s character ahead of Zimmerman’s trial for second-degree murder next…

IRS director Lois Lerner placed on administrative leave

The IRS placed the head of its tax-exempt organizations division Lois Lerner on administrative leave, according to an IRS statement Thursday, after she refused to testify about a scandal at the tax agency. Lerner had come under intense criticism in recent days for failing to alert Congress about the Internal…

Questions Obama dodged in terror speech

US President Barack Obama set out Thursday to redefine the US fight against global terrorism. But despite calling for a more targeted and not “boundless” theater of global operations, Obama left the specifics and timelines for action, by which his success or failure can be measured, out of his big…

Texas Gov. Rick Perry ‘greatly disappointed’ by vote to admit openly gay Boy Scouts

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Thursday afternoon said he was sad to learn that the Boy Scouts of American voted to allow openly gay members. “The Boys Scouts of America has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years and today’s decision contradicts…

Researcher admits errors in ‘human skin to embryonic stem cells’ study

A blockbuster study in which US researchers reported that they had turned human skin cells into embryonic stem cells contained errors, its lead author has acknowledged. Shoukhrat Mitalipov nevertheless adamantly stood by the conclusions of the study published last week in journal Cell, which reported that human stem cell lines…

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