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Astronaut halts spacewalk when ‘free-floating’ water began filling helmet

An Italian astronaut had a leak in his helmet while doing a spacewalk at the International Space Station Tuesday, forcing an early end to the outing, NASA said. “A little more (than) one hour into the spacewalk, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency reported water free-floating behind his head…

Boat carrying 150 asylum-seekers capsizes off coast of Australia

A boat carrying some 150 asylum-seekers capsized off Christmas Island Tuesday but the Australian navy saved most of them, rescuers said. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said two navy ships were at the scene 70 nautical miles off the island, which is northwest of the Australian mainland. “There were around…

Russians block Antarctic ocean sanctuary

Russia on Tuesday blocked attempts by Western countries to create the world’s largest ocean sanctuary off Antarctica, green groups said. The Russian representative questioned the legal right of a meeting in Bremerhaven, northern Germany, to declare such a haven, according to organisations at the talks. The three-day talks gathered 24…

French police arrest Norwegian neo-Nazi metal rocker for planning ‘major terrorist act’

A Norwegian neo-Nazi black metal rocker was arrested in France on Tuesday over fears he may have been preparing a “major terrorist act”, the interior ministry said. Kristian Vikernes, who goes by the stage name of “Varg” and is reportedly linked to Norwegian mass killer Anders Behring Breivik, was arrested…

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden applies for temporary asylum in Russia: lawyer

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has applied for temporary asylum in Russia, a pro-Kremlin lawyer said Tuesday, after President Vladimir Putin accused Washington of “trapping” him in the country. Snowden, wanted by the United States for revealing sensational details of its vast spying operations, is now spending a fourth…

China shuts down $88 million mocked museum with ‘fake’ national treasures

Chinese authorities have closed a museum which contained scores of fake exhibits, including a vase decorated with cartoon characters billed as a Qing dynasty artefact, state-run media reported Tuesday. The facility, built in northern China’s Hebei province at a cost of 540 million yuan ($88 million), has “no qualification to…

Australian builders unearth ‘significant’ urban trove of 50 million year-old fossils

Australian builders doing roadworks have uncovered a rare urban trove of crocodile and other fossils thought to be around 50 million years old, officials said Tuesday. The fossils, trapped in a layer of oil shale, were found during excavation works near Brisbane’s Geebung railway station at a depth of about…

Brazil’s arabica farmers are striking over falling prices –and burning sacks of coffee in protest

COFFEE has many devoted drinkers. Its appealling aroma and caffeinated kick mean that 83% of all American adults drink it, 63% of them on a daily basis, according to a survey from the National Coffee Association. Yet despite the strong demand for coffee…  …

Former air accident investigator alleges cover-up in 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800

A former air accident investigator campaigning for a new probe into the 1996 crash of TWA Flight 800 said Monday that US authorities appear to be taking his request seriously. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) maintains that a fuel tank explosion, possibly ignited by faulty wiring, brought down the…

Seven killed, 261 wounded in Cairo clashes

Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi overnight, leaving seven people dead, health officials said on Tuesday, overshadowing a visit by a senior US envoy. The clashes in the heart of Cairo and in adjacent Giza were the first to rock the Egyptian capital since dozens…

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