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Chinese state media reports 22 killed in mine accident

An accidental explosion at a coal mine in southwest China killed 22 miners on Saturday, state media said, in the latest deadly incident to hit the country’s troubled industry. Nine others were trapped after the blast at the Taozigou coal mine in Sichuan Province, Xinhua reported, citing the country’s work…

Iran allows Reuters to re-open its Tehran bureau

Iran has given Reuters news agency permission to reopen its Tehran bureau after work there was suspended in March 2012 over one of its video reports, a culture ministry official said on Saturday. “The court authorised Reuters to open its Tehran bureau,” deputy culture minister Mohammad Jafar Mohammadzadeh told the…

Sudan shuts down local TEDx conference

Sudan’s security service on Saturday ordered the closure of a community forum, one of the independently run TEDx events held around the world, even though it was non-political, the organiser said. “They unplugged the electricity,” Anwar Dafa-Alla, who founded Sudan’s version of TEDx two years ago, told AFP. He said…

Skyping with elephants: a new paradigm for education

Think Elephants, a Thailand-based organization that promotes conservation through education, published the results of a study that found that elephants could follow vocal commands telling them to find food hidden in one of two buckets. This suggests…  …

Germany probes suspected potato price fixing

The chips are down as Germany launches a probe into suspected potato price fixing over the past decade which may have cost consumers and farmers hundreds of millions of euros, according to local media. The culprits face a roasting after the national competition regulator has investigated allegations that at least…

Egypt ‘foils Al-Qaeda-linked plot against Western embassy’

Egypt’s interior minister said on Saturday police arrested members of an Al-Qaeda-linked cell that plotted to carry out a suicide bombing against a Western embassy and other targets in the country. Police “have delivered a successful blow against a terror cell plotting suicide bomb attacks,” including a plot to attack…

Counting begins in landmark Pakistan elections

Counting got underway Saturday in Pakistan’s landmark elections after millions of people defied deadly Taliban attacks to take part in an historic democratic transition in the nuclear-armed state. Polling stations officially closed at 6:00 pm (1300 GMT) after a “huge turnout” in Punjab, the biggest province, capping a dramatic day…

Pakistani women stopped from voting in Taliban stronghold of Waziristan

Women were stopped from voting in Pakistan’s elections on Saturday in the northwestern tribal district of North Waziristan, a notorious Taliban stronghold, residents said. North Waziristan is one of seven semi-autonomous districts on the rugged border with Afghanistan which are a haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants. Tribesmen were informed…

White House temporarily evacuated: official

he West Wing of the White House was temporarily evacuated Saturday morning after a minor electrical problem set off a smoke alarm, a White House official said. “Early this am, an electrical transformer near the West Wing malfunctioned and set off a smoke alarm in the West Wing. The transformer…

Astronauts in spacewalk to try to fix space station ammonia leak

he International Space Station’s crew set off on a precedent-setting spacewalk Saturday to try to stop ammonia leaking into space from the research laboratory’s power system. During the spacewalk, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn and Chris Cassidy were to try to inspect and possibly repair the ammonia leak that affected the…

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