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London down 0.11% as European stocks drop at open

European stock markets fell at the start of trading on Friday — the end of a turbulent week for equities owing to the Cyprus bailout and banking crisis. At the open, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.11 percent to 6,381.35 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 lost 0.19 percent 7,917.64 points…

Ellen DeGeneres happy enough to ‘kiss the ground’ Down Under

U.S. talk show star Ellen DeGeneres arrived in Australia on Friday, declaring she was happy enough to “kiss the ground” as she began a six-day visit officials are hoping will help boost tourism. Hundreds of cheering fans greeted the American wit after she touched down in Sydney, a moment she…

North Korea video depicts invasion of South and U.S. hostages

North Korea posted a new propaganda video on Friday, showing paratroopers descending on Seoul in an invasion scenario that it said would see thousands of US citizens living in South Korea taken hostage. The four-minute video, titled “A Short, Three-Day War,” begins with images of a massive artillery and rocket…

Putin welcomes China’s Xi for landmark talks

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and China’s new leader Xi Jinping are to hold landmark talks on Friday in the hope of further cementing the two countries’ partnership with a range of economic and strategic agreements. The Chinese leader chose Russia for his first trip abroad after China this month completed…

Pope Francis feels ‘close’ to the non-religious

Pope Francis on Wednesday promised “friendship and respect” for all faiths at a meeting with representatives of major world religions in the Vatican in which he said he felt “close” to non-believers. The Roman Catholic Church would “promote friendship and respect between men and women of different religions,” the pope…

Apple to guard against hackers with new mobile phone protections

Apple is introducing two-factor authentication for users of its iCloud and other services, adding an extra layer of protection against hackers trying to access peoples’ accounts by requiring mobile phone verification for changes in personal details or online purchases. The move was announced coincidentally just hours after the weakness of…

U.S. says ‘no indication’ Syrian rebels used chemical weapons

The United States has found no evidence to support a Syrian government allegation that opposition rebels used chemical weapons in an attack this week, a US official said Thursday. “We have no indication that chemical weapons were used,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Syrian government and…

Yoko Ono: We are turning this beautiful country into a war zone

A sobering image of John Lennon’s bloodstained glasses ricocheted around the Internet on Thursday after his widow Yoko Ono posted them on Twitter in an appeal for tougher US guns laws. “The death of a loved one is a hollowing experience. After 33 years, our son Sean and I still…

Los Angeles holds earthquake drill to prepare for the ‘big one’

Emergency teams staged a mock operation to respond to a catastrophic 7.8-magnitude quake in Los Angeles, saying the West Coast megalopolis needs to be ready for an “overdue” Big One. Some 300 people took part in the office-based drill on Thursday, organized by LA County’s Office of Emergency Management, based…

Planck spacecraft’s map of ‘almost perfect’ universe could point to new physics

Today is a great day. The European Space Agency has released the most precise map so far of the oldest light in the universe. The best news is that is reveals an ‘almost perfect universe‘. By that they mean it almost conforms to expectations – but not quite. While the basic…

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