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World War II bomb found near Berlin’s main train station

An unexploded World War II bomb has been unearthed near Berlin’s main train station, risking possible disruptions to rail and road traffic, authorities said Wednesday “The bomb was found yesterday afternoon on property belonging to the rail company,” a police spokesman told AFP, adding that the 100-kilogramme (220-pound) explosive was…

Russia sets April 17 trial date for opposition leader

Alexei Navalny, a leading opponent of President Vladimir Putin, will go on trial in mid-April on embezzlement charges, a Russian court said Wednesday, in a case supporters claim is politically motivated. The case against Navalny, one of the most charismatic figures in the opposition movement against Putin, concerns a probe…

Report: Austerity cuts led to decrease in aid to developing nations

Rich countries applying budget austerity cut their aid to developing countries by 4.0 percent last year, the OECD said on Wednesday, with the poorest countries taking the brunt of the cutbacks. Development aid from the OECD’s 34 member countries has dropped 6.0 percent in real terms since reaching a peak…

Morsi’s office denies filing complaint against ‘Egyptian Jon Stewart’

President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday stressed Egypt’s commitment to freedom of expression, insisting his office was not behind a probe against a popular satirist that has raised international concerns. “The presidency reiterates the importance of freedom of expression and fully respects press freedom,” Morsi’s office said in a statement. It…

Australia braces for ‘uncomfortable truths’ in national child sex abuse inquiry

Australia opened a national probe into child sex abuse on Wednesday, with premier Julia Gillard warning of “uncomfortable truths” as institutions including schools and churches come under scrutiny. Gillard ordered the inquiry in November after a decade of growing pressure to investigate widespread allegations of paedophilia, two months after the…

Mandela feeling ‘much better’ after week of pneumonia treatment

Nelson Mandela is “much better” and responding “satisfactorily” to treatment after a week in hospital for pneumonia, the South African presidency said Wednesday. The ailing 94-year-old, who served as South Africa’s first black president, was making a steady improvement and doctors were happy with his progress, President Jacob Zuma’s office…

Fannie Mae posts record $17.2 billion profit in 2012

Fannie Mae earned $17.2 billion in 2012, the biggest annual profit in the US mortgage giant’s history, helped by a record fourth quarter. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/File) The mortgage giant Fannie Mae said it racked up its highest profit ever during…  …

Palestinian anger builds as another prisoner dies on Israel’s watch

Israeli prison guards fired tear gas to quell disturbances by Palestinian inmates on Tuesday after Maysara Abu Hamdeya, serving a life sentence over an attempt to bomb an Israeli…  …

Japan’s whale ‘research’ a flashpoint in global dispute over international ban on commercial whaling

Japan says the work that goes on at the Institute of Cetacean Research is crucial for studying whale populations; critics counter it is a way to get around an international ban on commercial whaling. The institute can be found in a nondescript white-brick office building in Tokyo’s port district. Down…

GM, Ford and Chrysler post best U.S. sales since 2007

General Motors (NYSE: GM – news) , Ford (NYSE: F – news) and Chrysler (Xetra: 710000 – news) reported their best US sales performances since 2007 on Tuesday amid booming overall auto demand following the US industry’s near-collapse five years ago. Total (NYSE: TOT – news) industry sales rose 3.4…

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