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Saudis panic over SARS-like outbreak

Panic gripped Saudis in the country’s east on Monday, where most cases of the deadly coronavirus have been detected, witnesses said, as the death toll from the SARS-like virus in the kingdom hit 15. Scores of people have reported to the emergency services at hospitals in the city of Al-Ahsa…

Greece takes emergency action against striking teachers

Greece on Monday took emergency action — the third this year — to ward off a strike by secondary school teachers timed to coincide with university entry exams. The emergency order to work follows similar steps taken against metro workers in January and seamen in February as the conservative-led coalition…

Installment loans trap low-income borrowers with 182 percent interest rates

By Paul Kiel, ProPublicaThis story was co-produced with Marketplace. Listen to their coverage. One day late last year, Katrina Sutton stood at a gas pump outside Atlanta and swiped her debit card. Insufficient funds. But that couldn’t be. She’d been careful to wait until her $270 paycheck from Walmart had…

French experts reject charging Google for content

A report by a French expert panel published on Monday recommended imposing taxes on smartphones and tablets but rejected a call for search engine Google to be charged for linking to media content. The nine-member panel, headed by respected journalist and businessman Pierre Lescure, said in the keenly awaited report…

Tommy Chong claims cannabis helped cure his prostate cancer

Comedian and stoner Tommy Chong says ‘I kicked cancer’s ass!’ with a variety of treatments including diet and supplements Tommy Chong, the veteran star of the dope-fuelled Cheech and Chong films, says he has beaten prostate cancer with a combination of cannabis use and a special diet. Chong, 74, was…

R&B star Chris Brown outrages neighbors by painting red and orange devils with sharp teeth on his Beverly Hills mansion

Chris Brown has found himself embroiled in yet another row, this time with his neighbours. The controversial R&B star has painted an outside wall of his Beverly Hills mansion with a garish, street art-style mural depicting colourful monsters with sharp teeth. And neighbours are complaining that it is lowering the…

Unprecedented speed of global warming to impact half of all plants and a third of animals

More than half of common species of plants and a third of animal species are likely to see their living space halved by 2080 on current trends of carbon emissions, according to a climate study. Output of man-made greenhouse gases is putting Earth on track for four degrees Celsius (7.2…

Space tourism won’t hurt environment: Richard Branson

British billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that rocket-powered space tourism flights by his firm Virgin Galactic would have only a minor impact on climate change. More than 500 people have already reserved seats — and paid deposits on the $200,000 ticket price — for a minutes-long suborbital flight on the…

Thousands need ‘immediate food assistance’ in Niger

The United Nations on Sunday said 800,000 people in Niger face food insecurity and that some 84,000 are in immediate need of assistance as the humanitarian crisis worsens in the impoverished landlocked African nation. Struck by droughts and shortages of crops, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian…

Pioneer TV anchor Barbara Walters to retire

Barbara Walters, who in 1976 became the first woman to anchor one of the daily network television news shows, announced late Sunday that she will retire next year. Walters, 83, began her career in TV journalism in 1961 at NBC’s morning news and entertainment program “The Today Show.” Fiteen years…

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