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Pope Francis bolsters anti-child abuse legislation in Vatican

Pope Francis on Thursday bolstered criminal legislation against child abuse in the Vatican in an overhaul of laws that apply to the clergymen and lay people who work in the tiny city state. The Vatican said in a statement that the pope’s decree included “a broader definition of the category…

Greek plane makes emergency landing in Tel Aviv

A Greek charter plane made an emergency landing at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on Thursday after the pilot had sent out a distress signal, an airport official told AFP. “The airport was placed on a state of alert after receiving a distress message about a technical problem but the…

Microsoft unveils ‘far-reaching realignment’

Microsoft announced a sweeping reorganization of the company Thursday to “enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world.” The US technology giant said the “far-reaching realignment” would help integrate efforts around its software and devices. “We are rallying behind a single strategy as…

Kremlin turns back to typewriters to avoid security leaks

A Russian state service in charge of safeguarding Kremlin communications is looking to purchase an array of old-fashioned typewriters to prevent leaks from computer hardware, sources said Thursday. The throwback to the paper-strewn days of Soviet bureaucracy has reportedly been prompted by the publication of secret documents by anti-secrecy website…

What’s in a name? More than you think, experts say

As Prince William and wife Catherine mull over names for their royal offspring, they would do well to heed mounting evidence that a name can influence everything from your school grades and career choice to who you marry and where you live. Someone named Jacqueline or Steven will generally fare…

Tablet wars intensify as prices tumble

Tablet prices are plunging amid a flood of new devices and cutthroat competition for market share. Amazon has slashed prices of its Kindle HD tablets to as low as $169 in the US and 139 pounds in Britain, while Barnes & Noble has cut the price of its Nook to…

India’s poor ‘duped’ into clinical trials for untested drugs

Niranjan Lal Pathak couldn’t believe his luck initially. When a doctor at a hospital in central India offered the factory watchman free treatment for a heart complaint, he jumped at the chance. It was five years ago and the family of the 72-year-old says he didn’t realise that the Maharaja…

Parched Jordan to start pumping from 300,000-year-old aquifer

Jordan, one of the world’s 10 driest countries, said it will start pumping water from a 300,000-year-old southern aquifer on Thursday to the capital and other cities to help them meet high demand. “An experimental pumping of water from the wells of the Disi aquifer will start at midnight (2100…

World energy agency expects record oil demand next year

Emerging economies will be the main force in the global oil market next year, driving demand to a record high level, International Energy Agency (IEA) data showed on Thursday. Raising its demand forecast this year because of unseasonally cold weather, the IEA also signalled that in 2014 emerging economies will…

Taiwan evacuates more than 2,000 tourists as super-typhoon looms in the Pacific

Taiwan evacuated more than 2,000 tourists on Thursday as the island braced for super-typhoon Soulik while Japan’s Okinawa warned residents giant waves of up to 12 metres (40 feet) could hit the archipelago. The typhoon, packing gusts of up to 227 kilometres (140 miles) per hour, was 790 kilometres east…

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