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John Kerry hits back as North Korea threatens Japan with nuclear strike

US Secretary of State John Kerry Friday demanded North Korea abandon an expected missile launch as the communist state threatened a nuclear strike on Japan amid a chilling new evaluation of its offensive capability. Kerry, visiting Seoul to give fulsome US backing to military ally South Korea, joined President Barack…

French court allows auction of sacred Hopi masks

A French court on Friday rejected a request for an injunction against the auction in Paris of ceremonial masks originating from Arizona’s Hopi tribe, despite opponents saying the sale amounted to “sacrilege”. A French lawyer for the tribe, Pierre Servan-Schreiber, told AFP the court had refused to halt the sale…

Turkish police prevent ‘Al-Qaeda U.S. embassy plot’

Turkish police have uncovered and foiled an alleged plot by Al-Qaeda to bomb the US embassy in Ankara, as well as a synagogue and other targets in Istanbul, Turkish media reported on Friday. As a result of a February raid in Istanbul and the northeastern city of Corlu, police had…

Egyptian doctors ordered to operate on wounded protesters ‘without anesthetic’

The Egyptian military ordered senior doctors to operate without anaesthetic on protesters injured during demonstrations against military rule, according to extracts of a leaked report published in the Guardian newspaper on Friday. The report into military and police malpractice since 2011, commissioned by President Mohamed Morsi, also found evidence that…

Coal industry battles to keep power in U.S. energy debate

Four months after pledging to lead the United States on a path to sustainable energy, President Barack Obama faces a turning point on electricity generated from coal, one of the dirtiest of fuels. The White House was expected this week to finalize a rule to reduce emissions from all new…

New H7N9 bird flu strain vaccine may take ‘many months’

Developing a vaccine for the H7N9 strain of bird flu that has killed 10 people in eastern China could take “many months”, US public health experts have said. Chinese authorities had confirmed 38 human cases of H7N9 avian influenza as of Thursday evening after announcing nearly two weeks ago that…

Legendary Havana bar ‘Sloppy Joe’s’ reopens

Mythic Cuban bar Sloppy Joe’s, a watering hole for a who’s who of Hollywood stars during Prohibition, reopens its doors Friday in Havana. The revived bar is in the center of old Havana, just steps away from Central Park and some of the city’s grand hotels. “Tomorrow, Friday, we will…

Kremlin warns U.S. against publishing blacklist of Russian human rights violators

The Kremlin warned Washington on Friday against publishing a list of Russian officials barred from entering the United States because of their alleged abuse of human rights. Russian media reports said the dozens of names included on the so-called “Magnitsky Act” — named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died…

‘Artificial leaf’ makes clean energy from dirty water

What’s all this fuss about silly federal research projects? If one day in the not too distant future you can go to the dollar store, buy a thin, flat device the size of a playing card, dunk it in a quart of dirty bath water and use it to generate…

Filmmaker David Lynch touts transcendental meditation for PTSD and new documentary

Veteran filmmaker David Lynch says US authorities should use more transcendental meditation to help soldiers returning from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. Hosting a Beverly Hills screening of “Meditation, Creativity, Peace,” his new 70-minute documentary about the technique, Lynch also touted its positive impact on troubled schoolchildren, jail inmates and…

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