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Russian carrier rocket explodes on takeoff

An unmanned Russian Proton-M carrier rocket exploded on takeoff at the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, in images broadcast live on national television. Spectacular footage showed the rocket veering off its trajectory just seconds after its 6.38 am (0238 GMT) launch, before erupting into a ball of flames and releasing highly…

Obama calls Morsi to express concern over Egyptian unrest

US President Barack Obama called President Mohamed Morsi to warn him that the voices of all Egyptians must be heard as a political crisis escalates, the White House said Tuesday. Obama placed the call from Tanzania, on the final stop of his African tour and told him Washington was committed…

Mongolian neo-Nazi group now pushing ‘resource nationalism’

By Carlos Barria ULAN BATOR (Reuters) – A Mongolian neo-Nazi group has rebranded itself as an environmentalist organization fighting pollution by foreign-owned mines, seeking legitimacy as it sends Swastika-wearing members to check mining permits. Tsagaan Khass, or White Swastika, has only 100-plus members but it is one of several groups…

Australian researchers closing in on malaria vaccine

Australian researchers said Tuesday they were closing in on a potential vaccine against malaria, with a study showing their treatment had protected mice against several strains of the disease. Michael Good, from Queensland’s Griffith University, said the vaccine led to naturally existing white blood cells, or T-cells, attacking the potentially…

Documents show Cardinal Dolan — top U.S. Catholic official — shielded pedophile priests

By Brendan O’Brien and Geoffrey Davidian MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – Roman Catholic Church officials in Milwaukee vigorously shielded pedophile priests and protected church funds from lawsuits during a decades-long sex abuse scandal, according to hundreds of documents released on Monday. The documents include letters and deposition testimony from Cardinal and Archbishop…

Morsi rejects army ultimatum but vows ‘path of democratic change’

Egypt’s presidency on Tuesday rejected an army ultimatum threatening to intervene if Islamist President Mohamed Morsi did not meet the demands of the people, raising the stakes in the country’s political crisis. The army statement, read out on television Monday, had given Morsi 48 hours to comply with its call.…

Arizona mourns tragic loss of 19 fire fighters killed by massive wildfire

The bodies of 19 young firefighters killed in America’s deadliest wildfire in 80 years were removed in a cortege of white vans, as experts probed how they perished so suddenly. The names of the dead men, mostly in their 20s, were released a day after the Yarnell Hill fire tragedy,…

Intelligence chief James Clapper apologizes to Congress for ‘erroneous’ NSA claims

The US director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has attempted to head off criticism that he lied to Congress over the extent of government surveillance on American citizens, with a letter to senators in which he apologised for giving “erroneous” information. Two weeks after telling NBC news that he gave…

Rafael Correa says Ecuador helped Edward Snowden by mistake

Ecuador is not considering Edward Snowden’s asylum request and never intended to facilitate his flight from Hong Kong, president Rafael Correa said as the whistleblower made a personal plea to Quito for his case to be heard. Snowden was Russia’s responsibility and would have to reach Ecuadorean territory before the…

Extremophile microbes to inherit the Earth in two billion years

Two billion years from now, an ever-hotter Sun will have cooked the Earth, leaving microbes confined to pockets of water in mountains or caves as the last survivors, a study said Monday. The bleak scenario is proposed by astrobiologist Jack O’Malley-James of the University of St. Andrews, Edinburgh. As the…

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