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Health officials confirm deadly flu-like MERS virus jumped from Saudi Arabia to the UAE

Health authorities in the UAE have announced that an 82-year-old man has been diagnosed with the MERS coronavirus infection, the first case to be recorded in the Gulf state. The Emirati citizen who contracted the SARS-like virus suffers from cancer and is being treated in hospital in the capital, Abu…

John Kerry lends support to closed-door negotiations over protecting waters around Antarctica

The guardians of Antarctica’s marine wealth gather in Germany on Sunday for a fresh round of talks on creating the world’s largest ocean sanctuary. Two plans of unprecedented scope are on the table, aimed at protecting vast, pristine waters and 16,000 species from human predation. But whether one scheme, both…

Swiss prosecutors return pre-Columbian artifacts to Peru after arresting attempted online seller

Swiss authorities said Friday they had returned a pre-Columbian ceramic jug to Peru after police caught someone trying to sell it over the Internet. The Geneva public prosecutor’s office said it had returned the small, two-handled jug dating from the pre-Columbian Chancay period between the 12th and 15th centuries to…

Gitmo’s prisoner force-feeding regimen could become reality for inmates on hunger strike in California

More than 12,400 inmates across California have been fasting since Monday, to protest solitary confinement and call for improved prison conditions. The strike, involving roughly two-thirds of the state’s prisons, is one of the largest in California history. So far no prisoners have been force-fed, and the Corrections Department says…

New Yorkers to experience century-old French amusement park

New Yorkers, said to always embrace the next new thing, will have a chance this summer to sample rides and amusements enjoyed by fun seekers a century ago. Beginning this weekend and running through September 29, the inaugural Fete Paradiso fair will recreate the festival from a long bygone era.…

Mexican journalist acquitted of drug charges pens book on hellish prison experience

When journalist Jesus Lemus was locked up in one of Mexico’s most notorious prisons, next to killers and drug lords, he used the only writing material he could find to take notes: toilet paper. Lemus was jailed in the maximum-security prison of Puente Grande in western Mexico in 2008 after…

Vatican freezes Italian cleric’s assets in money laundering probe

The Vatican has frozen assets belonging to a senior Italian cleric suspected of money laundering and corruption as part of a probe which may extend to other account holders at the Vatican bank. The Vatican’s chief prosecutor has seized funds held at the bank by Nunzio Scarano, who was arrested…

Snowden’s full statement from Moscow: ‘I did what I believed right’

Full transcript of the statement made by Edward Snowden, in which he accepts all offers of asylum he has been given Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, posted by WikiLeaks: Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago,…

Snowden announces plans to apply for asylum in Russia

MOSCOW — Edward Snowden could stay in Russia if he stops issuing leaks that damage the United States, the Kremlin said Friday after the US fugitive told rights activists in a Moscow airport that he is seeking asylum in Russia. “Mr. Snowden could hypothetically stay in Russia if he: first,…

Documents reveal IRS put Occupy groups on ‘watch list’ too

Documents to be released by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on Friday reveal that the IRS targeted progressive groups — including groups associated with Occupy Wall Street — on its so-called “watch list” alongside conservative tea party groups, according to USA Today and the Washington Post. Cummings said that this new…

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