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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…

With marriage equality in effect, same-sex couples flock to New Zealand

More than 80 same-sex couples, including 24 from overseas, have said “I do” in New Zealand since a law legalising gay marriage took effect a month ago, figures showed Friday. Officials expect the number to accelerate as New Zealand moves from the gloom of winter into the more desirable wedding…

Rescuers pull first bodies from Mexico mudslide

Rescuers pulled two bodies from a mudslide that buried a Mexican village, but dozens remained missing after storms lashed the country and killed almost 100 people nationwide. As soldiers and police removed debris in the southwestern village, Hurricane Manuel pounded the northwest state of Sinaloa, bringing more rain to the…

Video game pioneer and former Nintendo head Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85

Games industry unites to honour role at firm that dominated ‘golden age’ of console gaming He was known as “the godfather of the console”, building the Japanese firm Nintendo from a playing cards manufacturer into one of the world’s most powerful computer games businesses. Now the gaming industry is paying…

Wisconsin union fight rumbles toward state Supreme Court

Wisconsin union fight rumbles toward state Supreme Court (via The Christian Science Monitor) Teachers rally at the Wisconsin state Capitol in Madison in this 2012 photo. The state Supreme Court has accepted a legal challenge to the state law that effectively ends collective bargaining for most state workers. (AP Photo/(M.P.…

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