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Police officers shot outside Italian prime minister’s office

The ministers in Italy‘s new left-right coalition cabinet were sworn in on Sunday as gunfire broke out in the centre of Rome. About half a mile away from where the ceremony was taking place, a lone gunman opened fire on Carabinieri officers standing guard outside the prime minister’s office. One of…

Kenya’s new cellphone money model could disrupt global banking industry

AFP - Six months ago, Jane Adhiambo Achieng walked into a local Kenyan bank with the hope of getting a loan for her small grocery business. After providing all the paperwork and after weeks of back and forth between her and bank officials, she was turned down. “They just told me…

Eyewitness accounts call Syrian nerve gas allegations into question

New questions have emerged over the source of the soil and other samples from Syria which, it is claimed, have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin, amid apparent inconsistencies between eyewitness accounts describing one of the attacks and textbook descriptions of the weapon. As questions from arms control experts grow over…

Top US virologist: Prepare now for deadly bird flu mutation

AFP – There is no evidence that the deadly H7N9 bird flu has yet spread between humans in China but health authorities must be ready for the virus to mutate at any time, a top US virologist has warned. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and…

Chilean penguins facing extinction due to human activity

AFP – Several dozen Humboldt penguins sun themselves along the coast of an islet in central Chile where the majestic birds coming here to nest once numbered in the thousands. Humboldt penguins — which nest only in parts of Chile and Peru — over the years have become decimated by…

Venezuelan president pledges Cuba ‘a strategic alliance that transcends the times’

AFP – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has renewed a strategic alliance with Cuba, signing $1 billion in cooperation agreements two weeks after his election to replace the late Hugo Chavez. The 51 agreements signed Saturday during Maduro’s visit to Cuba encompass health, education, transportation, sports, energy and special “social missions.”…

Jobless Tunisian man sets himself on fire at key revolutionary site

AFP – A young jobless man set himself ablaze and was seriously wounded on Sunday in front of the town hall of Sidi Bouzid, birthplace of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, witnesses said. Brahim Slimani, 23, doused himself with petrol and set himself alight in front of the closed town hall, to…

Father of Boston bombing suspects hospitalized over blood pressure

The father of two brothers accused of bombing the Boston Marathon has been hospitalised, preventing his departure for the United States, he said Sunday. Anzor Tsarnaev told Ria Novosti news agency he had left Makhachkala, capital of the Russian republic of Dagestan, for Moscow to catch a flight to the…

Millions of users abandoning Facebook as newer services pop up

The Facebook website has lost 10 million visitors in the US and seen no growth in monthly visitors in the UK over the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen. Research shows that the number of unique visitors to the Facebook website from computers, smartphones and tablets has fallen…

China rapidly becoming global climate change leader

China is rapidly assuming a global leadership role on climate change alongside the United States, a new study said Monday, but it warned greenhouse gas emissions worldwide continue to rise strongly. The report by the independent Australian-based Climate Commission, “The Critical Decade: International Action on Climate Change” presents an overview…

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