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‘Things Fall Apart’ novelist Chinua Achebe dies at 82

Nigerian author recognised for key role in developing African literature has died in Boston, where he was working as a professor Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist seen by millions as the father of African literature, has died at the age of 82. African papers were reporting his death following an illness and…

80-year-old Japanese man looks to climb Mt. Everest for the third time

A thrill-seeking Japanese octogenarian said Friday his third assault on Mount Everest will be the “ultimate anti-ageing” remedy, despite his recurring heart troubles. Yuichiro Miura is readying to begin his third ascent of the 8,848-metre- (29,028-foot) peak and recapture a record he previously held for being the oldest person to…

Malaysian condom maker expands to meet growing need in Asia

The array of cheeky condoms on Goh Miah Kiat’s desk — multi-coloured, textured and flavoured — would make most business executives blush. They come with grape and strawberry flavours, pleasure-boosting textures, barber pole-like striping, a “Baggy” model and its opposite, the missile-shaped “Powershot.” They hardly seem the stock and trade…

Obama visits Bethlehem’s Nativity Church attributed to Jesus’ birth

US President Barack Obama on Friday visited Bethlehem’s Nativity Church built on the site where tradition says Jesus was born, at the end of a three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank. The visit took place later than expected because of an unexpected sandstorm which forced the president to…

South African authorities put up shark net after attacks

South African authorities put up a shark exclusion net Friday at a popular beach in Cape Town, a first in the city as they try to avert further deadly attacks. The net was installed at Fish Hoek beach, where Great White sharks are common and three attacks have taken place…

Apple and Microsoft defend themselves against accusations of overcharging Australians

Technology giants including Apple and Microsoft on Friday defended their pricing policy in Australia at an official inquiry launched over concerns that they were overcharging customers. Australians, on average, are forking out 34 percent more for software, 52 percent more for iTunes music, 88 percent more for Wii games and…

Ninjas gather in Tokyo for women’s training seminar

More than 200 ninjas from around the world gathered at a Tokyo gymnasium Friday to kick off a two-day training seminar, especially designed for women. The disciples of Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi, the founder of the Bujinkan school, gathered from more than 17 countries at the Tokyo Budo-kan martial arts gymnasium…

Palestinians invoke MLK, civil rights struggle on Obama tour

Palestinians sour at Barack Obama’s perceived failure to honour their historical struggle have invoked the US civil rights movement and South Africa’s apartheid in a bid to win his sympathy. At a news conference earlier this week, Palestinian MP Mustafa Barghuti said it was clear that the US president would…

Divorce just as much a hurdle as marriage for the LGBT

It’s hard enough for same-sex couples to marry in the United States, but divorce is a headache as well, and one that supporters of gay marriage hope the US Supreme Court can resolve. “Divorce is the new frontier for gay couples,” said Susan Sommer of Lambda Legal, a legal advice…

London down 0.11% as European stocks drop at open

European stock markets fell at the start of trading on Friday — the end of a turbulent week for equities owing to the Cyprus bailout and banking crisis. At the open, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.11 percent to 6,381.35 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 lost 0.19 percent 7,917.64 points…

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