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Wind power expanded by nearly 20 percent globally in 2012

A relative slowdown in new wind turbine construction in China was offset by big increases in the US, followed by Germany, India and the UK – though renewable energy as a whole has fallen Wind power expanded by almost 20% in 2012 around the world to reach a new peak…

Russian figure skating icon sues TV commentator over plastic surgery jibe

Figure skating icon Yevgeny Plushenko has launched legal action for defamation against a Russian commentator for Eurosport for claiming that a recent operation was only a public relations stunt, his lawyer said Monday. Plushenko is suing the pan-European channel’s Russian language commentator Andrei Zhurankov, the 2006 Olympic champion’s lawyer Tatiana…

Report: U.S. economy ‘picks up’, while China’s ‘may slow’

Economic activity in the United States is rising, in the eurozone it is steadying, but in China and India the growth trend is slowing, leading indicators from the OECD showed on Monday. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said that its index of leading indicators suggested that economic growth…

Radio DJ behind fatal royal hoax back on the air

One of the Australian radio hosts at the centre of a royal hoax call controversy in which a nurse was found hanged returned to the airwaves Monday. Michael Christian, with Mel Greig, made the phone call to London’s King Edward VII Hospital in December pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and…

Australian court summons Microsoft, Apple and Adobe to answer for high prices

Global technology giants Microsoft, Apple and Adobe were on Monday ordered to appear before a pricing inquiry examining the often-higher cost of tech goods in Australia compared with other economies. The lower house committee holding the probe, which was launched last May, said it had summoned the trio to appear…

Egypt on high alert as protesters prepare to commemorate Mubarak’s fall

Egypt’s security forces were on high alert Monday ahead of pro-democracy protests to mark the second anniversary of former president Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, a police official told AFP. Authorities have boosted security around the presidential palace, the interior ministry and around Tahrir Square, as well as around key public installations,…

Israel approves construction of 90 settler homes in the West Bank

Israel has given final approval for 90 new homes in Beit El settlement near Ramallah in a move likely to spark tension ahead of a top-level visit by US President Barack Obama, officials and an NGO said Monday. Hagit Ofran of the Peace Now settlement watchdog said the plans had…

‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ wins Grammy for Record Of The Year

“Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra won the coveted Record of the Year award at the 55th Grammy Awards. The song beat “Lonely Boy” by The Black Keys, “Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)” by Kelly Clarkson, “We Are Young” by fun., “Thinkin Bout You” by Frank…

Pakistan’s Taliban bans ‘obscene films’ and Viagra

The Pakistani Taliban have warned shopkeepers in a popular market to stop selling “obscene films” and Viagra-style male potency pills. Shopkeepers told sources on Monday that they found handwritten pamphlets containing the warnings after opening on Saturday in Karkhano market on the edge of the northwestern city of Peshawar. “Selling…

Afghanistan’s growing number of child drug addicts

They play badminton, kick a ball around and huddle over computer games just like normal children. Except that they are recovering drug addicts aged around three to 12, representing a growing proportion of drug users in war-torn Afghanistan. In response, increasing numbers of rehabilitation centers are weaning such children off…

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