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Authorities shoot Switzerland’s only wild bear after fearing threats to humans

Switzerland’s only recorded wild bear has been culled after fears that it could pose a threat to humans, the authorities announced on Wednesday. The male bear, known as “M13″, was shot dead by wildlife rangers on Tuesday, said Adrian Aeschlimann, spokesman for the Federal Office for the Environment. “The cull…

Swedish artist to continue painting Prophet Mohammed even after death threats

A Swedish artist who received death threats after depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog said Wednesday he would display new paintings of the prophet at an exhibition in the immigrant-heavy city of Malmoe later this year. “It’s important to continue because if you yield to the threats and back…

Bolivia president calls fast food ‘a threat to humanity’

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales on Wednesday slammed western fast food as “a threat to humanity” as he accused multinational firms of seeking to block the development of his country’s staple food. Morales said US companies had led a campaign to stop the United Nations declaring 2013 as the international year…

U.S. Postal Service launches clothing and accessories line

The US Postal Service is looking to fashion as it struggles financially. The agency, which prides itself on delivering almost 40 percent of the world’s mail, announced it plans to launch a clothing and accessories line and has signed a licensing deal with apparel company Wahconah Group, Inc. “This agreement…

Swedish queen files complaint against satirical artist who painted her scrubbing a swastika

Sweden’s German-born Queen Silvia has filed a complaint against four publications that last year printed photos of a satirical artwork depicting her trying to scrub a swastika off the floor, the palace said Wednesday. “We can confirm that the queen has filed a complaint with the Press Council,” a professional…

Astronomers spy mini-planet smaller than Mercury beyond our solar system

Astronomers on Wednesday said they had found the smallest planet ever spotted beyond our Solar System, a scorched and uninhabitable mini-world tinier than Mercury. The planet is the innermost of three that orbit a Sun-like star called Kepler-37, named after the Kepler telescope, which was launched in 2009 with the…

Belgium considers euthanasia for minors

Belgian legislators opened a debate Wednesday on whether to amend a decade-old law on euthanasia to cover minors, being told by experts that it was already taking place in practice without any set guidelines. Currently, the law applies to those over 18 but one expert told the upper house of…

‘Birthplace of stars’ Lobster Nebula revealed in infrared telescope in Chile

The new infrared view of the nebula is radically different from those seen with optical telescopes Far from Earth in the constellation of Scorpius lies the Lobster Nebula. Here, countless hot young suns are forged and glow blue, white and orange through a thin veil of interstellar dust. Great arms…

Russia: Boy adopted by U.S. lesbian subjected to conditions ‘harmful to his psychological health’

Russia expressed “serious worry” Wednesday over the fate of a Russian boy adopted by an American woman who did not reveal that she is a lesbian, Moscow’s latest broadside in a growing war of words over adoption. The ministry’s human rights envoy Konstantin Dolgov said the situation in which the…

Indonesia announces new sanctuary for sharks and manta rays

Indonesia has announced a new shark and manta ray sanctuary, the first to protect the species in the rich marine ecosystem of the Coral Triangle, known as the “Amazon of the ocean”. Environmentalists Wednesday welcomed the creation of the 46,000-square-kilometre (18,000-square-mile) protection zone, in an area at risk from both…

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