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WHO: Dengue fever shows potential for global epidemic

The World Health Organisation said on Wednesday that it had charted progress in the fight against tropical diseases but warned that dengue fever was spreading at an alarming rate. “In 2012, dengue ranked as the fastest spreading vector-borne viral disease, with an epidemic potential in the world, registering a 30-fold…

Court denies Pussy Riot member request to defer prison time for her 5-year-old son

A Russian court on Wednesday turned down a request by a jailed member of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot to defer serving her jail sentence until her five-year-old son is older. “The court has ruled not to satisfy the petition,” the judge said at Berezniki city court in the…

Mobile company Orange will charge Google for data traffic

The head of Orange said on Wednesday the mobile phone company had been able to impose a deal on Google for generating vast amounts of traffic on its telecoms networks. Orange CEO Stephane Richard said on France’s BFM Business TV that with 230 million clients and areas where Google could…

Debate intensifies over ‘draconian’ cyber crime laws after Aaron Swartz’s death

As funeral services were held for Internet activist Aaron Swartz, the debate intensified over what some called a “draconian” US computer crime law used by allegedly overzealous prosecutors. An online petition calling for the removal of the prosecutors in his case garnered more than 31,000 signatures Tuesday and some of…

Estonian president’s Twitter fight with Paul Krugman becomes an opera

A Twitter feud in June between the Estonian president and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who questioned the impact of Estonia’s austerity measures, is being turned into an opera, US composer Eugene Birman told AFP on Wednesday. “Our short opera will be first performed by Iris Oja and the…

Renewable energy at 15 percent but 2030 targets unlikely

The share of renewables in the global energy mix has increased over the past decade to more than 15 percent but doubts remain over whether a 2030 target of 30 percent is achievable, delegates to an international conference said on Wednesday. Fossil fuels still account for 80 percent of world…

Spanish city names town square after Clash singer

The Spanish city of Granada plans to name a square after the late British punk star Joe Strummer who sang of the town in one of his band The Clash’s classic tunes, an official said Wednesday. The driving rock anthem “Spanish Bombs” on the band’s 1979 album “London Calling” recalled…

Soot is number two cause of global warming

Soot is the second-biggest human contributor to global warming behind carbon dioxide, and its impact on climate change has until now been sharply underestimated, a new study has revealed. In the study published Tuesday in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, researchers admit that the uncertainties on the impact of…

Warner Bros options Reddit thread to create time travel movie

Post on social news website about US marines going back in time to destroy the Roman empire optioned by film studio In the past decade Hollywood has given us movies that began life as theme-park rides, board games, magazine articles, and even self-help books. Now get ready for the next…

Russian mafia boss shot dead in Moscow

A man believed to be one of Russia’s biggest mafia bosses was shot dead in the centre of Moscow on Wednesday as he was leaving a restaurant after lunch, the interior ministry said. Aslan Usoyan, known by his nickname of “Grandpa Hassan”, was killed by a shot from a sniper’s…

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