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Dozens of leaders to Chavez funeral, from Cuba to Iran

Venezuelan officials boasted that up to 55 world leaders will attend the state funeral of President Hugo Chavez on Friday, including US bugbears Cuba, Iran and Belarus. Interim leader Nicolas Maduro said heads of state or government from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean have confirmed their attendance…

Bieber halts show after ‘feeling woozy’

Under-fire Canadian pop star Justin Bieber halted his London show for 20 minutes after complaining of being “light of breath”. Bieber, who angered fans after turning up nearly two hours late for Monday’s show at the O2 Arena, returned to the stage to complete his set before being taken to…

Will Carrie Fisher return to Star Wars?

Carrie Fisher has said she will reprise her role as Princess Leia in the new series of Star Wars films being planned by Disney, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Fisher, Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), and Harrison Ford (Han Solo), have all been tipped to return to the long-running space opera…

Arkansas 12-week abortion ban likely to be struck down, says pro-life lawyer

Lawyers from both sides of the abortion debate have acknowledged that an Arkansas bill that bans terminations after 12 weeks is likely to be struck down in the courts. A vote by the Republican-dominated Arkansas legislature on Wednesday gave the state the most restrictive abortion laws in the US. Lawmakers…

Canada’s glaciers could shrink by a fifth by 2100

A fifth of Canada’s glaciers could be gone by the end of the century, a casualty of global warming that would drive a 1.4-inch (3.5-centimeter) rise in sea levels, a study found Thursday. “Even if we only assume moderate global warming, it is still highly likely that the ice is…

U.S. delays award for Samira Ibrahim over alleged anti-Semitic remarks

In an embarrassing about-turn, the US Thursday said it would delay giving a prestigious award to an Egyptian activist to check reports she had made anti-American and anti-Semitic remarks. Samira Ibrahim was to have been honored Friday along with nine other women with the International Women of Courage Award at…

Senate Democrats struggle to pass background check bill and assault weapons ban

A US Senate panel approved legislation Thursday that makes gun trafficking a federal crime, but bills banning assault weapons and expanding background checks to nearly all gun buyers face a tougher battle. President Barack Obama applauded the vote by the Judiciary Committee in support of a bill that cracks down…

Supreme Court asked to weigh in on ‘gruesome’ anti-abortion displays

The US Supreme Court has been asked to weigh in on whether anti-abortion activists can display crude photographs of aborted fetuses during protests. The conservative Thomas More Society has petitioned the apex court to overturn an order by a Colorado court banning the display of “gruesome images of mutilated fetuses…

Android rises to top — in malware threats: survey

The Android operating system accounted for 79 percent of all malware infections on smartphones, and the threat is multiplying, a security firm said Thursday. Finland-based F-Secure said in a report that the free Google operating system, which has been gaining smartphone market share globally, has become the dominant platform targeted…

Dow continues upward surge as good economic data rolls in

Growing investor enthusiasm for equities in the wake of this week’s records pushed US markets higher again Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to an all-time peak for the third day in a row, adding 33.25 points (0.23 percent) at 14,329.49. The broad-based S&P 500 also moved higher, gaining…

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