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More Sufi shrines torched in Tunisia: witnesses

Two Sufi mausoleums were torched in Tunisia on Thursday, police and media reported, in the latest violence the mystical Muslim sect claims is being carried out by ultra-conservative Salafist Muslims. The Sidi Ali Ben Salem mausoleum in the southwestern region of Gabes was totally destroyed by fire, police said. In…

Exiled Iran lawmakers offer nuclear compromise

Exiled former Iranian lawmakers on Thursday proposed a compromise to avert conflict over Tehran’s nuclear program, calling for an end to sensitive uranium enrichment and an easing of US-led sanctions. In a letter sent to US President Barack Obama, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini and the European Union, the…

U.S. investigators ‘very concerned’ by Boeing 787 fire

US government investigators said Thursday that they were very concerned over what they called an “unprecedented” battery fire on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The fire, and a second 787 battery problem which forced an emergency landing of an aircraft in Japan, forced aviation authorities in the US and elsewhere to…

Appeals court throws out Mattel’s challenge to Bratz

A US appeals court threw out Thursday a multi-million dollar award against toymaker Matell in a long-running dispute with a rival over Bratz children’s dolls. Matell was ordered to pay its competitor MGA Entertainment $170 million in 2011, along with nearly $140 million in legal fees, in the dispute over…

Rapping the revolution: Syrian sets war to music

If his words were bullets, Ahmad El-Khalaf would have already brought down President Bashar al-Assad to end the bloodshed tearing apart his family’s homeland of Syria. But for now, this 23-year-old has to make do with setting the revolution to his own rap music, putting his indignation into stanzas slamming…

Researchers: Pesticides causing dramatic die-off in frog population worldwide

A plunge in the world’s population of frogs and toads may be blamed, at least in part, on farm pesticides, researchers in Germany said on Thursday. Tests of fungicides and insecticides, when used at recommended dilutions, killed 40 percent of frogs after seven days, and in one case, 100 percent…

3 die in central Europe of swine flu

Three people have died in Romania and Macedonia after being infected with the H1N1 influenza strain known as swine flu, the two countries’ health ministries said Thursday. “Two people have died from the H1N1 flu,” Romania’s state secretary of health, Alexandru Rafila, announced on private TV network Antena 3. The…

Missing Matisse to be displayed in Stockholm museum

Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art said Thursday it will put on display this weekend “Le Jardin”, a Matisse painting stolen 25 years ago and returned to Sweden this week. “We’re going to put it on display for two weeks”, as of Saturday and then take it into the studio for…

Two Anonymous members jailed over PayPal hack in London

Two computer hackers were jailed by a London court on Thursday for a series of cyber-attacks by the hacking group Anonymous that cost the US online payments giant PayPal millions of dollars. Christopher Weatherhead, a 22-year-old student, was sentenced to 18 months in jail after being found guilty last month…

Twitter launches iPhone video-sharing app ‘Vine’

Twitter on Thursday launched Vine, a service that lets people share video snippets from iPhones or iPod touch devices. Perpetually looping videos clips up to six seconds each can be shared using Vine or easily embedded in “tweets” fired off at the globally popular messaging service Twitter. “Like tweets, the…

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