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Australia police seize huge cocaine haul in Pacific

Australian police said Friday they had seized 750 kilograms (1,650 pounds) of cocaine in Vanuatu following a multinational investigation into yachts trafficking drugs in the South Pacific. Australian Federal Police, Australian Customs and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration said they had collaborated with South Pacific countries for several years…

Ben Affleck succeeds Christian Bale as Batman

US actor Ben Affleck will replace Christian Bale in the next Batman film, Warner Bros. Pictures said. Affleck will appear in a Batman-Superman mega flick slated for release in 2015 that follows on the heels of this summer’s Superman hit “Man of Steel.” Bale, who played the title role in…

Possessing atomic bomb would threaten Iran: minister

The possession of a nuclear bomb would threaten Iran’s security, the country’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said in comments reported on Friday. “We consider the possession of nuclear arms doesn’t conform with the interests of the country and threatens the security of Iran,” Zarif said, adding however that Iranians…

Obama says Syria chemical attack claim ‘a big event’

US President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Friday that new allegations of chemical weapons use by Syrian forces are more serious than previous ones. “What we’ve seen indicates clearly this is a big event, of grave concern, and we are already in communications with the entire international community,”…

Israel strikes Lebanon after rocket attack

The Israeli air force struck a Palestinian group in Lebanon on Friday, officials said, hours after a different organisation said it fired four rockets at the Jewish state from Lebanon. Israeli aircraft “targeted a terror site located between Beirut and Sidon in response to a barrage of four rockets launched…

NSA promises transparency by launching new Tumblr blog

As scrutiny of the activities of the US National Security Agency (NSA) continues, a new Tumblr blog launched by the Office of the Director of National Security is promising more transparency on “lawful foreign surveillance activities” carried out by US agencies. IC on the Record will host official statements, declassified…

Obama offers plan to deal with the high cost of college

Barack Obama took aim at the spiralling cost of higher education on Thursday, threatening US universities with a new official ranking system he claimed would help students identify whether they were getting value for money. As crippling student loans are increasingly seen as a impediment to social mobility and a…

The world’s most accurate clock is made from the element ytterbium

US scientists said Thursday they have built the world’s most precise clock, whose ticking rate varies less than two parts in one quintillion, or 10 times better than any other. The clock, made from the element ytterbium, could be used for technological advancements beyond timekeeping, such as navigation systems, magnetic…

Retiring FBI director warns ‘the threat is still here’

He took the reins of the FBI a week before the attacks of September 11, 2001. Twelve years later, Robert Mueller is retiring, convinced that “the threat is still here.” Shortly before passing the baton to his successor James Comey on September 4 — a dozen years to the day…

Palestinian activist arrested for selling ‘Morsi perfume’

Palestinian security services have arrested an Islamist sympathiser in the West Bank for selling perfume named in honour of Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi, family members said on Thursday. Islambuli Badir, a 36-year-old member of Islamist movement Hamas, was arrested during a raid on his perfume shop in the town…

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