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South African sprinter’s brother acquitted of homicide charges in reckless driving incident

The older brother of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius was acquitted of charges of culpable homicide and reckless driving Tuesday over a deadly road crash five years ago. Carl Pistorius, 28, walked free from Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court, south of Johannesburg. The prosecution said it was hard to prove that…

Hong Kong joyfully welcomes giant inflatable rubber duck after maintenance

Hong Kong on Tuesday joyfully welcomed the return of a giant inflatable rubber duck, which drew tens of thousands of visitors before it was abruptly deflated for maintenance for almost a week. The southern Chinese city has taken the 16.5-metre-tall (54-feet) yellow inflatable duck, conceived by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman,…

Factory blast in China leaves 13 dead, 20 missing

A blast at an explosives plant in China has left 13 people dead and another 20 missing, state media said Tuesday, compounding the country’s poor industrial safety record. Another 19 people were injured in the explosion on Monday at a three-storey workshop owned by Poly Explosives (Jinan), a state-owned company…

Iran wants in on Syria peace conference

Iran said Tuesday it is willing to attend an upcoming peace conference on Syria, arguing all influential parties must be included in the process for it to be a success. “The condition for success in Geneva is that all countries with influence on events in Syria participate,” foreign ministry spokesman…

Nobel laureate downplays flu pandemic ‘shock-horror scenarios’

A Nobel prize-winning scientist Tuesday played down “shock-horror scenarios” that a new virus strain will emerge with the potential to kill millions of people. Peter Doherty, who jointly won the Nobel prize in 1996 for his work on how the immune system combats virus-infected cells, said the worst-case scenario was…

Climbers from Bangladesh and South Korea die on Mt. Everest

A climber from Bangladesh and another from South Korea have died on Mount Everest as hundreds flock to the world’s highest peak during good weather, Nepalese tourism officials said Tuesday. “Both men died while descending from the summit on Monday,” an official with the tourism ministry told AFP from Everest…

Australian zoo sees ‘sign of hope’ in white rhino’s birth

An Australian zoo said Tuesday the birth of a southern white rhinoceros was a “sign of hope” for the species given the escalation of poaching in Africa. Taronga Western Plains Zoo said the yet-to-be-named male calf was born to first-time mother Mopani in the safari-style animal park in Dubbo, 400…

Vatican denies video shows exorcism by Pope Francis

The Vatican on Tuesday denied that Pope Francis had performed an exorcism after an Italian religious television channel said footage of the pontiff blessing a boy in a wheelchair showed he had. “The Holy Father did not intend to perform any exorcism,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement,…

Guatemala strikes down ex-dictator’s genocide conviction

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has struck down the 80-year sentence given to former dictator Efrain Rios Montt as well as his conviction for genocide and war crimes. The 3-2 ruling annulled all proceedings that took place after the trial was temporarily halted on April 19 due to a technicality, overturning the…

7 children among 24 dead in Moore, Oklahoma tornado

UPDATE: The state medical examiner’s office revealed that some of the victims may have been counted twice and the most recent death toll is at 24 people, 7 of whom are children, according to the Associated Press. Twenty children were among at least 91 people killed when a powerful tornado…

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