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Car explodes in Tel Aviv near Israeli defense ministry, police say ‘crime-related’

A car exploded near the Israeli defence ministry in Tel Aviv on Thursday, injuring several people, in what police said was a crime-related incident and not linked to militant groups. “A car bomb exploded in Tel Aviv. Apparently it is a criminal incident, a settling of accounts,” police spokesman Micky…

Joe Biden: Obama prepared to use executive action on gun control

Vice-president promises swift action from administration at inaugural meeting of national task force on gun control President Barack Obama is considering the use of an executive order to restrict access to guns or ammunition in the wake of nationwide revulsion in the US over the Connecticut school shootings, vice-president Joe…

Australian firefighters race to beat rising heat and out-of-control fires

Australian firefighters raced to control a series of blazes on Thursday before a forecast rise in temperatures brings the risk of more infernos, as dramatic accounts of survival emerged. Fires have been raging across southeast Australia for nearly a week. While many have been contained, 120 are still burning and…

63-year-old blind man Tasered by police launches compensation claim

A blind man who was Tasered by police who mistook his white stick for a samurai sword launched a claim for compensation on Thursday. Colin Farmer, 63, was shot in the back with a 50,000-volt Taser stun gun on October 12 last year in Chorley, Lancashire, after police received reports…

Worst storms in decade bring parts of the Middle East to near standstill

The worst storms in a decade left swathes of Israel and Jordan under a blanket of snow and parts of Lebanon blacked out on Thursday, bringing misery to a region accustomed to temperate climates. Freezing temperatures and floods since Sunday across the region have claimed at least 11 lives and…

Pap smear test could screen for more types of cancers: study

The pap smear — a routine test women undergo to screen for cervical cancer — could help screen for other types of cancer as well, a study said this week. A new test takes the same fluid swab from the cervix and tests it for the presence of certain cancer-specific…

Almost half of the world’s food thrown away, report finds

Figures from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers show as much as 2bn tonnes of food never makes it on to a plate As much as half of all the food produced in the world – equivalent to 2bn tonnes – ends up as waste every year, engineers warned in a…

Fears for a dozen killer whales trapped in Canada ice

Twelve killer whales could be in imminent danger after getting trapped by ice in the Hudson Bay off the shore of northern Quebec, the Canadian broadcaster reported. Video posted on the CBC website showed the giant sea mammals taking turns to breathe by popping up through a small patch of…

Defense attorney alleges police brutality in Delhi gang-rape case

A defence lawyer accused Indian police on Thursday of beating confessions out of five men charged with murdering and gang-raping a student in New Delhi, as they were due to appear in court again. Speaking before a hearing at which a magistrate is expected to transfer the case to a…

With Chavez absent, Venezuela launches new presidential term

With President Hugo Chavez ailing and absent, Venezuela’s leftist government launches a new presidential term Thursday with a display of popular support on the day he was to be inaugurated. Leaders of other leftist Latin American government also began arriving in Caracas to pay tribute to Chavez, 58, who has…

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