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WHO sets up emergency committee on MERS virus

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization is forming an emergency committee of international experts to prepare for a possible worsening of the Middle East coronavirus, which has killed 40 people, WHO flu expert Keiji Fukuda said on Friday. Fukuda said there was currently no emergency or pandemic but the…

Spain sees no reason to apologize to Bolivia in Snowden saga

By Sonya Dowsett MADRID (Reuters) – Spain said on Friday it had no reason to apologize after a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales was diverted on suspicion that fugitive U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was on board. Bolivia said Morales was returning from Moscow on Tuesday when France…

More modern monarchs choose not to rule until death

Retirement is not traditionally on the cards for queens, kings or popes, but a string of abdications in recent months, some unprecedented, show many are choosing to step aside instead of labouring on until death. Belgian King Albert, 79, became the latest to announce he will abdicate his throne, a…

How do you stop an asteroid from hitting Earth?

MOST asteroids in the solar system come nowhere near the Earth, and of those that do, most are so small that they burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere. But, as a report written by America’s National Academy of Sciences points out, a big one is almost…  …

European watchdogs order Google to rewrite privacy policy or face legal action

European watchdogs threaten tech company with legal action over 2012 policy which ‘violates commitment to transparency’ Privacy watchdogs in the UK, Germany and Italy have told Google to rewrite its privacy policy in Europe or face legal sanctions, 15 months after the search giant unilaterally altered them to unify data…

‘Florida’ spelled incorrectly on highway exit ramp sign — twice

Maybe it’s a sign of the times: People aren’t so good at spelling. That seems to be the case down in Florida, where transportation workers were recently getting ready to install a new exit sign on a freeway, and someone realized the word “Florida” was…  …

Delay in Obamacare requirement puts onus on the honor system

By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s move to delay a key element of healthcare reform has another, unintended, consequence: A crucial part of that reform will depend on consumers observing the honor system, with millions of dollars at stake. The U.S. government said on Tuesday it…

Astronomers finetune search for life on other planets with new water detection technique

European astronomers said on Friday they had devised a technique to detect water in the atmosphere of planets orbiting other stars. Using a telescope in Chile, they teased out a tell-tale infra-red signature from water in the atmosphere of a gassy planet called HD 189733b, which orbits its star every…

Bolivia’s President Evo Morales threatens to close U.S. embassy

Bolivia’s president threatened to close the US embassy as leftist Latin American leaders joined him in blasting Europe and the United States after his plane was rerouted amid suspicions US fugitive Edward Snowden was aboard. President Evo Morales, who has suggested the United States pressured European nations to deny him…

South Africa denies Nelson Mandela in permanent ‘vegetative state’

The South African government denied that former president Nelson Mandela is in a permanent vegetative state, as outlined in court documents filed on June 26. ” We confirm our earlier statement released this afternoon after President Jacob Zuma visited Madiba in hospital that Madiba remains in a critical, but stable…

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