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‘Yak insurance’ plan saving Nepal’s endangered snow leopard

The remorse felt by Himali Chungda Sherpa after he killed three snow leopard cubs in retaliation for his lost cattle inspired him to set up a scheme to prevent other herders from doing the same. Sherpa lost his cattle near Ghunsa village at the base of Mount Kangchenjunga on the…

Actor Charles Durning dies at 89

Prolific American actor who was Oscar nominated for roles in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and To Be Or Not to Be The American actor Charles Durning, who has died aged 89, first grabbed audience attention as the crooked Lieutenant Snyder in The Sting (1973). He makes an explosive…

Bangladesh slaughters 150,000 birds over avian flu

Bangladesh’s livestock authorities are slaughtering around 150,000 chickens at a giant poultry farm near Dhaka after the worst outbreak of avian flu in five years, officials said Wednesday. The deadly H5N1 strain of flu was detected at Bay Agro farm at Gazipur, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Dhaka, on…

Director Werner Herzog relishes rare acting role in Tom Cruise flick ‘Jack Reacher’

German filmmaker Werner Herzog is taking a rare turn in front of the camera as a cold-blooded murderer in the new thriller “Jack Reacher”, portraying a character he calls “the epicenter of evil.” “Jack Reacher,” the Christopher McQuarrie film which just opened in North America, sees Tom Cruise back in…

Emerging China, Brazil and India agree to increased United Nations dues

China, Brazil, India and other emerging powers agreed to major increases in their United Nations payments as the global body hammered out a new budget deal this week to avoid its own fiscal cliff. The boom countries will pay more as economic crisis allows European nations, such as Britain, Germany…

World’s longest bullet train service launched in China

China launched service on Wednesday on the world’s longest high-speed rail route, the latest milestone in the country’s rapid and — sometimes troubled — super fast rail network. The opening of the new 2,298-kilometre (1,425-mile) line between Beijing and Guangzhou means passengers will be whisked from the capital to the…

George H.W. Bush still hospitalized after health ‘setbacks’

Former US president George H.W. Bush celebrated Christmas in a Texas hospital with his family Tuesday after a series of health setbacks that have delayed his release, his spokesman said. The 88-year-old was first admitted to Methodist Hospital in Houston on November 7 for bronchitis treatment and released on November…

Egypt approves new constitution with 63.8% support

Egypt’s constitution was passed with 63.8 percent voter support in the two-stage referendum that ended last weekend, the national electoral commission said on Tuesday. Turnout was 32.9 percent of Egypt’s total 52 million voters, the president of the commission, Samir Abul Maati, told a news conference in Cairo. The figures…

Radiation worries curtail kids’ exercise time in Fukushima

Children in Fukushima are getting fatter as outdoor activities have been cut in the area due to radiation fears after last year’s nuclear disaster, a Japanese government report said Tuesday. The education ministry said it had surveyed the heights and weights of about 700,000 children, aged between five and 17,…

Policeman held in Bahrain over ‘slap’ video

A policeman in Bahrain has been arrested after a video showing him hitting a resident of a Shiite village was posted online, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. “The video shows the policeman slapping a citizen in Aali, a local village, on December 23rd, 2012,” the ministry said in a…

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