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Japan scrambles fighters to meet Chinese government plane

Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday to head off a Chinese government plane flying towards disputed islands in the East China Sea, the defence ministry said. It said the Y-12 propeller plane did not enter airspace around the Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus.…

Fukushima disaster increased risk of cancer for residents who live near plant: WHO

Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has raised the risk of thyroid cancer for people living near the plant, but no jump in cases is expected elsewhere, the WHO said Thursday. The World Health Organisation said in a report that within a 20-kilometre (12-mile) radius of the plant, rates of thyroid…

Sen. Marco Rubio urges U.S. to provide Syrian rebels with ammo

US Senator Marco Rubio urged the United States on Wednesday to provide ammunition to Syrian rebels and share intelligence, as Washington was said to weigh “non-lethal” aid. “What the opposition really needs is access to ammunition,” the prominent Republican said days after a US congressional visit to Israel, the occupied…

Jack Lew confirmed as new Treasury secretary

President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Jack Lew was confirmed Wednesday as the next US Treasury secretary, taking over a key portfolio at a time of deadlock over the US budget and debt. The US Senate voted 71-26 — with support from 20 Republicans — to confirm Lew, a…

Autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia share common gene problem

Five major psychiatric disorders share a common problem in several faulty genes, according to the biggest study of its kind published on Thursday. In the widest trawl yet of genetic mutations linked with mental disorders, US-led researchers looked through the DNA code of 33,332 people with autism, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder…

Sugar caused global explosion in type 2 diabetes: study

Sugar is behind the global explosion in type 2 diabetes, say researchers who claim it plays a uniquely damaging role in causing a disease that experts fear could overwhelm the NHS. Obesity is usually cited as the main driver of diabetes. But a new study by US medical researchers identifies…

Pentagon forced to release documents on WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning

The US Army published dozens of documents online Wednesday in the case of WikiLeaks suspect Bradley Manning, after media outlets and other groups had criticized a lack of transparency. The move came in response to multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to the case against Manning, who stands…

Canada’s top court upholds hate speech ban

Canada’s top court on Wednesday upheld a ban on hate speech contested by a Christian anti-gay activist, but struck down a section of the law also prohibiting belittling or ridiculing others. The Supreme Court said in its decision that the hate speech ban “is a reasonable limit on freedom of…

Francis Bacon’s studio bric-a-brac on show in Brussels

As Ireland helms the troubled EU, bric-a-brac from the studio of Irish-born artist Francis Bacon, who came to exemplify angst in 20th century Europe, goes on show in Brussels this week. Photos of a zebra carcass and an elephant foetus, of artist friends Lucian Freud and Salvador Dali, as well…

Israel police probe apparent hate attack on Arab woman

Israeli police on Wednesday confirmed they were investigating an apparent hate crime against an Arab woman in Jerusalem and said a policeman had been dismissed after praising the attack on Facebook. The attack took place on Monday at one of the light rail stops in west Jerusalem, with an Israeli…

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