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Mother takes son’s police shooting case to UN Human Rights Committee

An Australian woman whose 15-year-old son was shot five times by police who were cleared of wrongdoing took her case to the United Nations Thursday, saying they “didn’t even ask him his name”. Tyler Cassidy was armed with knives, intoxicated and in a distressed state when he confronted four police…

Forty-two kids advance to semi-finals in National Spelling Bee

Forty-two contestants advanced to the semi-finals of the top US spelling contest, the first to also ask competitors to know what the words mean. They were among 281 youngsters from eight nations who gathered at the Gaylord National Resort outside Washington for the three-day Scripps National Spelling Bee that is…

Iraq to restore ancient Arch of Ctesiphon to woo back tourists

Iraqi authorities have contracted a Czech firm to carry out a 10-month restoration of the ancient Arch of Ctesiphon as part of a plan to boost tourism to the once-popular site. Through the decades of conflict that have wracked Iraq, the famed 6th century monument, which is the world’s largest…

UN scientists warn of massive jellyfish overpopulation in the Mediterranean

The United Nations on Thursday warned overfishing in the Mediterranean was boosting jellyfish, which reduce stocks further and it called for jellyfish to be used in food, medicine and cosmetics. A study by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome said overfishing had increased the number of jellyfish…

High doses of pain-killers such as ibuprofen ‘can cause heart attack’

High doses of some commonly used pain-killing drugs like ibuprofen can increase heart attacks, strokes and related deaths by about a third, a study warned on Thursday. The drugs, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), are widely used to manage pain caused by inflammatory disorders. “NSAIDs are very commonly used…

El Salvador’s Supreme Court denies life-saving abortion to woman

El Salvador’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday against allowing a 22-year-old woman to terminate her pregnancy to save her life, according to the Associated Press. In a 4-1 vote, the judges upheld the country’s strict abortion laws even though the woman’s fetus is missing most of its brain due to a…

Ecuador’s top diplomat to visit WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said he would travel to London to meet with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, living at Ecuador’s embassy for nearly a year to avoid extradition. Patino told the ECTV public television channel Wednesday that he would deliver asylum documents to Assange during the visit, his first…

Apple to ease dependence on Foxconn: report

Apple is easing its dependence on contract electronics colossus Foxconn by enlisting Pegatron to assemble a low-cost iPhone it is planning, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Taiwan-based Foxconn had the enviable position of cranking out nearly all of the California company’s iPhones and iPad tablet computers but Apple chief…

U.S. soldier to confess to Afghan civilian massacre to avoid death penalty

A US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers last year will plead guilty in exchange for escaping the death penalty, his lawyer said. Sergeant Robert Bales is due to face a court-martial in September on charges including 16 counts of murder, six of attempted murder and seven of assault…

Ricin-laced letters sent to Michael Bloomberg and his gun control group

Letters suspected of being laced with the deadly poison ricin were sent last week to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and to an official with the gun law lobby that he supports, police said Wednesday. The letters were opened in New York on Friday and by the director of the…

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