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Palestinian government sworn in a second time following ‘power struggle’

The Palestinian government was sworn in on Thursday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, weeks after caretaker prime minister Rami Hamdallah agreed to take up the post permanently. The cabinet was unchanged from its line-up in June — when it was first appointed — but had to take the…

Analysis of Curiosity’s findings dashes hopes of finding life on Mars

Hopes of finding life on Mars suffered a setback after new findings from NASA’s Curiosity rover detected only trace amounts of methane gas in the Red Planet’s atmosphere, a study said Thursday. In the past decade, scientists have reported large “plumes” of methane in the Martian atmosphere, findings that have…

Oil companies lining up to bid on exploration rights for mammoth Brazilian field

At least 11 oil firms paid more than $900,000 each to join an auction next month for rights to explore Brazil’s huge deepwater Libra field, authorities said Thursday. The National Petroleum Agency did not identify the companies involved but Britain’s BP and BG Group, as well as American firm ExxonMobil…

Handwritten ‘amendments’ to Napoleon’s will to be auctioned off

Two handwritten amendments to Napoleon’s will that the late French emperor had drawn up fearing the British would destroy the original will be auctioned in Paris in November. Artemisia Auctions, which is handling the sale, expects the manuscripts to fetch up to 120,000 euros ($162,000) when they are auctioned off…

Bulgaria asks E.U. for help with influx of Syrian refugees

Bulgaria needs EU aid as its capacity to take in more refugees from Syria’s civil war is nearing breaking point, the EU country’s interior minister said Thursday. “We are working to minimise the risks not only for Bulgaria but for the European Union also,” Tsvetlin Yovchev told AFP in an…

Parents outraged after 12-year-old girl called racial slurs as part of slavery reenactment

A Connecticut couple is still seeking answers from their daughter’s school nearly a year after the girl said she’d been chased through the woods and called racial slurs as part of a slavery reenactment during a field trip. James and Sandra Baker said their 12-year-old daughter came home from a…

Texas woman gets life sentence for 6th DUI conviction

A Texas woman could spend the rest of her life in prison after her sixth conviction on drunken driving charges. Rose Ann Davidson was arrested July 27, 2012, after an officer said he spotted her driving erratically on Interstate 35 near Kyle, reported the Austin American-Statesmen. The officer said the…

Grand Theft Auto 5 makes more than $800 million on first day of release

Grand Theft Auto 5 has smashed its way into the record books by grabbing the largest ever first day takings for a video game, underlining the appeal of the medium as Sony and Microsoft prepare to launch a new generation of consoles. The latest instalment of the British-produced franchise took…

Republican ‘kamikaze’ tactics risk ‘serious harm’ to U.S. economy

The risk of an accidental financial meltdown has been increased sharply by the latest “kamikaze” tactics of Republican budget negotiations, according to warnings given to Congress by leading economists. The House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution on Friday that will allow government spending to continue beyond September…

JPMorgan to pay $920 million fine for trading violations

Banking giant JPMorgan Chase agreed Thursday to pay $920 million in fines to US and British regulators over actions involved in last year’s “London whale” trading debacle. “JPMorgan failed to keep watch over its traders as they overvalued a very complex portfolio to hide massive losses,” the US Securities and…

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