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U.S. levies sanctions on Iranian petrochemical industry

The United States on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical industry, vowing to target more of the Islamic regime’s sources of revenue after curbing its vital oil exports. Washington also announced action against companies based in Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates for support to Iranian entities accused…

Study shows general anesthesia increases dementia risk for elderly

General anaesthesia for the elderly boosts the risks of dementia by more than a third, according to a study by French doctors released on Friday. Researchers led by Francois Sztark at the University of Bordeaux in southwestern France analysed data from a long-term study into cognitive decline covering 9,300 elderly…

Researchers: Muslims outside U.S. who go online are more likely to like Western culture

Muslims outside the United States who use the Internet are more likely to have a favorable opinion of Western popular culture than those who don’t go online, the Pew Research Center said Friday. Crunching the numbers of its recent wide-ranging survey of Muslims in 39 countries, the Pew Forum on…

Georgian president accused of using state funds for botox treatments

Georgian prosecutors said Friday they were probing the alleged misuse of state funds, as accusations surfaced that President Mikheil Saakashvili had spent thousands of dollars of government money on botox treatments in the United States. “A large-scale investigation has been launched over the misuse of the state budget,” prosecutor’s office…

Dell sets July 18 date for vote on founder’s buyout bid

Dell’s special board committee reviewing a sale of the computer giant reaffirmed support Friday for a buyout led by company founder Michael Dell, and set a shareholder vote for July 18. The panel said that “no superior offer has materialized” since the proposal was unveiled in February in which Michael…

Oprah backs gun safety and immigration reform in Harvard commencement speech

Television mogul Oprah Winfrey devoted part of her speech to the graduating class at Harvard University on Thursday to advocating expanded background checks for firearm owners and immigration reform. “We understand that the vast majority of people in this country believe in stronger background checks because they realize that we…

Images of Reeva Steenkamp’s murder site leaked to media in Pistorius case

Images of the bloody bathroom where Oscar Pistorius shot his model girlfriend in February have been leaked to Sky News, just days before the South African paralympian sprinter appears in court charged with the murder. The pictures, shown on the British news channel, show a bathroom, with blood on the…

Death toll of new SARS-like virus rises to 30

The global death toll from a SARS-like virus has risen to 30, the World Health Organization said Friday after three people died of the illness in Saudi Arabia, which is bearing the brunt of the outbreak. WHO spokesman Glenn Thomas told reporters that the number was raised from 27 after…

Muslim man who stabbed French soldier faces terrorism charges

Anti-terrorism judges on Friday charged a recent convert to Islam who stabbed a French soldier over the weekend with “attempted murder linked to a terrorist enterprise”. The 22-year-old was arrested Wednesday after the stabbing of a soldier in a busy Paris commercial complex and transport hub of La Defense that…

Invasive starfish species threatens Philippines coral reef considered center of biodiversity

A coral-killing starfish has begun infesting a channel of water in the Philippines famed for having some of the most diverse marine life in the world, the government said Friday. The appearance of the crown-of-thorns starfish in the Verde Island Passage could cause great damage to the area’s biodiversity, Jacob…

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