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Al-Jazeera vies to keep audience despite competition

After its coverage of Arab Spring uprisings sent its popularity rocketing, Qatar’s Al-Jazeera is vying to keep its audience despite competition from mushrooming local channels and accusations it supports new Islamist governments. The Doha-based network claims that it remains at the top among Arab news channels, citing compiled results from…

Spike in carbon spurs ‘urgent’ call at UN climate talks

Negotiators on Monday launched a new round of UN climate talks to warnings that a newly breached threshold was a wakeup call to tackle surging carbon emissions. The 12-day talks under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) seek to breathe life into a quest to forge a pact…

Greenpeace: Indonesia ‘turned the tide’ on saving rainforests

A $1 billion deal to save Indonesia’s rainforests has slowed a “tidal wave” of logging destruction, Greenpeace’s global chief said Monday, but he warned much more needed to be done. While many environmentalists have sharply criticised Indonesian efforts to end rampant logging across some of the planet’s most vital forests,…

China: Manned space mission will launch ‘in the middle of June’

China will launch three astronauts into space this month to dock with an experimental space-module, state-media said Monday, marking the latest step towards the country’s aim of building a space station. The Shenzhou-10 spacecraft has entered the “final stage of preparations,” for a launch “in the middle of June,” China’s…

Trade fair in Taipei expected to showcase wearable tech

Wearable computing, the next great frontier in consumer electronics, is expected to draw crowds to Taipei’s Computex trade fair this week as interest in the nascent technology surges. With rumours of an Apple smart watch around the corner and ongoing hype around Google’s pioneering Glass, all eyes will be set…

Former Taiwanese president attempts suicide in prison

Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian has tried to commit suicide in the prison where he is serving a 20-year sentence for corruption, the justice ministry said Monday. Chen attempted to hang himself with a towel in a bathroom at the jail in the central city of Taichung Sunday night, but…

Sao Paulo’s Gay Pride parade draws more than a million people

More than a million people took to Sao Paulo’s streets for a massive Gay Pride parade, aiming to end discrimination and support same-sex marriage rights in Brazil. Under rainy skies and cold that did not dampen many spirits, marchers waved banners like “Never going back in the closet” in the…

South Korean president warns North over returned refugees

South Korean President Park Geun-Hye warned North Korea on Monday that it would be held responsible for the safety of nine young asylum seekers forcibly repatriated after their capture in Laos. “What’s most important is to ensure (their) lives and safety, and that they will not receive unfair punishment,” Park…

Assange: Director of WikiLeaks film has ‘lost perspective’

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has accused an acclaimed filmmaker of losing objectivity while making a documentary about the whistleblowing organisation. Assange, who is holed up in Ecuador’s embassy in London, refused to cooperate with Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”. “WikiLeaks has never co-operated with…

Updated: Poultry plant fire kills 119 in China

At least 93 people were killed in a fire at a poultry processing plant in northeastern China on Monday, local officials said, in what appeared to be the country’s worst blaze for 12 years. More than 300 workers were at the Baoyuan poultry plant at Dehui in Jilin province when…

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