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British wildlife faces ‘stark’ threat as 60 percent of species assessed in ‘The State of Nature’ report decline

British wildlife is under serious threat, according to a major new study out Wednesday, which found that 60 percent of species assessed have declined in numbers over the past 50 years. The State of Nature report, produced by 25 wildlife organisations working together for the first time, examined the population…

David Bowie’s ‘Spiders From Mars’ bassist Trevor Bolder dies

Trevor Bolder, the bass guitarist in David Bowie’s Spiders From Mars band, has died at the age of 62 following a battle with cancer, it was announced Wednesday. Bolder joined the British rock star’s backing group in 1971, appearing on classic albums including “Hunky Dory” and “Aladdin Sane”. “Trevor was…

Senate committee approves comprehensive immigration reform bill

The sweeping overhaul of the US immigration system took a major step towards viability when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to approve a landmark bill offering a path to citizenship for millions. “It passes!” committee chairman Senator Patrick Leahy exalted moments after the vote, which followed days of marathon…

Conservatives in Britain call for rejection of same-sex marriage bill

Conservative opponents of gay marriage have invited the House of Lords to reject the bill after 133 Tory MPs, including two cabinet ministers, defied David Cameron to vote against the measure. As a Tory grassroots organisation warned of a “civil war in conservatism”, prompted in part by the legislation, more…

Richard Wagner’s 200th anniversary reignites debate over controversial composer

To some he will never be more than a narcissist, an antisemite and a misogynist. To others he is an undisputed musical genius and towering intellect. Richard Wagner, often described as one of the most controversial Germans of all time, will be commemorated – warts and all – on the…

Obama does not want Fox News reporter James Rosen prosecuted: spokesman

President Barack Obama does not want journalists prosecuted for doing their jobs, his spokesman said Tuesday, amid a furor over a Fox News reporter caught up in a Justice Department leak probe. The plight of reporter James Rosen had further riled Washington journalists already angered by the department’s seizure of…

Muslim religious leaders meet with Holocaust survivors in Poland

Muslim religious leaders from across the globe met with Holocaust survivors and their saviours in an emotional encounter Tuesday at Warsaw’s synagogue, as part of an anti-genocide programme that includes a visit to Auschwitz. “Today, we’ve met real people who suffered the Holocaust and the heroes that saved them at…

Rescuers dig for life after tornado rips through Moore, Oklahoma

Families returned to a blasted moonscape that had been an American suburb Tuesday after a monstrous tornado tore through the outskirts of Oklahoma City, killing at least 24 people. Passengers flying into Oklahoma City could see the track left by nature’s fury as it played out Monday: the spot where…

Harry Potter book fetches $227,000 at London auction

A 1997 first edition of “Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone” annotated by J.K. Rowling sold for £150,000 ($227,000, 176,000 euros) at a London auction Tuesday, a new record for a printed book by the writer. Two bidders battled it out for the work before the hammer finally came down,…

Bradley Manning trial to be closed for some testimony: judge

Some testimony in the espionage trial of a US soldier who passed secret files to WikiLeaks will be held behind closed doors to safeguard classified information, a US judge ruled Tuesday. Evidence from 24 witnesses, including some US ambassadors, will be given in closed session as requested by prosecutors in…

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