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Tesla Motors now more valuable than Italian auto giant Fiat

The rocketing stock price of electric sports car maker Tesla made it more valuable than Fiat Tuesday — even though the Italian auto giant produces 200 times more cars than the American upstart. After a more than 50 percent gain in the past week, Tesla’s market value topped $10 billion,…

Christian teacher in Egypt faces trial for ‘insulting religion’

A Coptic Christian teacher in an Egyptian primary school will stand trial after colleagues and the parents of students accused her of insulting Islam and evangelising, a judicial source said on Tuesday. The trial of Dimyana Ubeid Abdel Nour will begin on May 21, the judicial source said. She has…

Historic carbon levels to become global average by 2016

After seeing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere surpass a historic threshold last week, the world should brace for the new peak level to soon become the global annual average, the World Meteorological Organization warned Tuesday. “At the current rate of increase, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set…

Attacks on LGBT people in France spiked in 2012: watchdog

Attacks on gays and homophobic speech spiked last year in the run-up to the French parliament’s approval of a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt children, a leading gay rights watchdog said Tuesday. In its annual report, SOS Homophobie said it recorded 1,977 calls on its helpline in…

Officials prepare evacuation routes as Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano rumbles

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano has blown steam for days, prompting authorities to prepare for possible evacuations, but residents are used to their towering neighbor’s rumblings and keep going to work without fear. Popocatepetl, which means “smoking mountain” in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, spewed more steam, gas and ash that…

Justice Department launches criminal probe of IRS

US justice authorities said Tuesday they had launched a criminal probe into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative, as the White House denied involvement in the scandal. Attorney General Eric Holder said he had ordered an investigation into the federal tax authority’s treatment of Tea Party non-profit groups, to…

Eric Holder defends seizure of AP phone logs to track down ‘the most serious’ CIA leak

The US administration pushed back Tuesday after being accused of undermining press freedom by seizing reporters’ phone records, claiming officials took the drastic steps to protect American lives. Amid a barrage of criticism, Attorney General Eric Holder said telephone logs were secretly taken from US news agency the Associated Press…

Chinese sex workers ‘face horrifying abuse’ in prostitution crackdown

Chinese sex workers are being subjected to widespread abuse by authorities, including beatings and torture in police custody and detention without trial, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. “Sex workers are treated as if they have no rights,” the international watchdog’s China director Sophie Richardson told a press conference in Hong…

New vaccine could save thousands from deadly diarrhea-causing rotavirus

Scientists unveiled Tuesday an affordable vaccine against a deadly diarrhoea-causing virus that kills some 100,000 children in India every year. Rotavirus, which causes dehydration and severe diarrhoea, is globally responsible for some 453,000 deaths annually and is particularly threatening in Africa and Asia, where access to urgent healthcare is often…

Double mastectomy can dramatically reduce genetic cancer risk

Women whose genes put them at a high risk of contracting breast cancer can dramatically reduce the danger by having a double mastectomy — but not eliminate it altogether, experts say. The issue has been thrown into the spotlight with Hollywood star Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she had her breasts…

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