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Trial ends as judge determines whether NYPD’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is unconstitutional

Judge did not provide timeframe for when ruling will be given but said landmark federal trial is ‘timely and pressing matter’ Civil rights attorneys called for sweeping changes to the New York City police department’s controversial street-stop practices in the closing arguments of a landmark federal trial. US district court…

Can we blame the Oklahoma tornado on climate change?

The Oklahoma twister was a ‘classic look’, but the data shows we are experiencing more volatility in the US tornado season Global climate change and politics are linked to each other – for better or worse. No clearer was that the case than when Democratic senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode…

5 die in 33-foot sinkhole that opened up in China

Five people died when a 10 metre (33 feet) wide sinkhole opened up at the gates of an industrial estate in Shenzhen, the southern Chinese boom town neighbouring Hong Kong, local authorities said Tuesday. The Shenzhen Longgang district government said on its verified page on Sina Weibo, China’s version of…

Foreign investors snap up cheap homes in deserted Sicily villages

Foreign buyers are swooping on deserted villages in Sicily to snap up homes for as little as 10,000 euros ($13,000), propping up a property market in freefall as Italy suffers its longest-ever recession. “When you go to the pizzeria now, you often meet more foreigners than Sicilians,” said Salvatore Sansemi,…

Malaysian NGOs denounce hydroelectric push over environmental destruction

Three dozen Malaysian NGOs on Tuesday denounced the world hydroelectric industry’s decision to hold a conference in a Borneo state where dam projects have uprooted forests and native peoples. The groups, including the Malaysian chapters of Amnesty International and Transparency International, said in a statement the choice of Sarawak state…

South African sprinter’s brother acquitted of homicide charges in reckless driving incident

The older brother of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of charges of culpable homicide and reckless driving Tuesday over a deadly road crash five years ago. Carl Pistorius, 28, walked free from Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court, south of Johannesburg. The prosecution said it was hard to prove that…

Hong Kong joyfully welcomes giant inflatable rubber duck after maintenance

Hong Kong on Tuesday joyfully welcomed the return of a giant inflatable rubber duck, which drew tens of thousands of visitors before it was abruptly deflated for maintenance for almost a week. The southern Chinese city has taken the 16.5-metre-tall (54-feet) yellow inflatable duck, conceived by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman,…

Factory blast in China leaves 13 dead, 20 missing

A blast at an explosives plant in China has left 13 people dead and another 20 missing, state media said Tuesday, compounding the country’s poor industrial safety record. Another 19 people were injured in the explosion on Monday at a three-storey workshop owned by Poly Explosives (Jinan), a state-owned company…

Iran wants in on Syria peace conference

Iran said Tuesday it is willing to attend an upcoming peace conference on Syria, arguing all influential parties must be included in the process for it to be a success. “The condition for success in Geneva is that all countries with influence on events in Syria participate,” foreign ministry spokesman…

Nobel laureate downplays flu pandemic ‘shock-horror scenarios’

A Nobel prize-winning scientist Tuesday played down “shock-horror scenarios” that a new virus strain will emerge with the potential to kill millions of people. Peter Doherty, who jointly won the Nobel prize in 1996 for his work on how the immune system combats virus-infected cells, said the worst-case scenario was…

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