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Snowden not aboard flight from Russia to Cuba: reports

MOSCOW (Reuters) – There was no sign that former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden was onboard a Russian plane bound for Cuba as it prepared to take off on Monday, a Reuters correspondent on the plane said. A flight attendant said Snowden was not on the plane and the…

Somalis asks British bank not to cut off funds

Somalia’s money transfer businesses appealed on Monday for the last major British bank they work with not to close its accounts, warning this would cut lifeline services for the war-torn nation. With their country ravaged by decades of conflict and without a formal banking system, many diaspora Somalis depend on…

New Jersey to lower flags in honor of James Gandolfini

Flags will fly at half staff Monday on official buildings in New Jersey as a mark of respect for “The Sopranos” star James Gandolfini, a native of the northeastern US state, officials said. In an executive order issued Friday, Governor Chris Christie said the symbolic move served “to recognize the…

Experimental cancer drug put on hold after patient dies

(Reuters) – Cell Therapeutics Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed a partial clinical hold on the company’s experimental blood cancer drug after the death of a patient. The patient, being treated with the drug tosedostat in combination with a chemotherapy drug, died of myocarditis, or infection…

India to begin mass cremation of flood victims

Indian priests are planning to cremate hundreds of flood victims on Monday, as heavy rains halted the search for thousands of tourists stranded in the devastated Himalayan region, officials said. Up to 1,000 people are feared dead and more than 8,000 mainly pilgrims and tourists are still awaiting rescue nine…

U.S. envoy heads to Afghanistan to restart peace efforts

US envoy James Dobbins was set for talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul later Monday, officials said, as Washington works to put peace efforts back on track after a dispute over the rebels’ new office in Qatar. Karzai reacted furiously to the office being styled as a Taliban…

Climate change making insurers reassess natural disaster policy

Climate change is creating more frequent and more unpredictable extreme weather events, forcing insurers to change how they assess the risk of natural disasters hitting a specific area, the Geneva Association think tank said Monday. “Traditional approaches, which are solely based on analysing historical data, increasingly fail to estimate today’s…

Verdict looms in Berlusconi sex trial

A verdict is expected Monday in a high-profile trial against former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his official powers to favour her. Prosecutors in Milan have called for the 76-year-old magnate to be banned from politics for life and serve…

Turkish transgender people join popular protest marches

Hundreds of Turkish transsexuals and rights activists staged a protest in Istanbul on Sunday against the conservative government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The annual march came after weeks of unprecedented anti-government protests in Istanbul, the capital Ankara and other cities over what is seen as Erdogan’s increasingly…

Study finds H7N9 bird flu killed 1/3 of those infected

The H7N9 bird flu that hit China this year killed over a third of hospitalised patients, said researchers Monday who labelled the virus “less serious” but probably more widespread than previously thought. They warned watchdogs not to take comfort from a lull in new infections, as the virus may reappear…

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