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Paraguay votes on new leader after ex-president’s impeachment

AFP – Voters in Paraguay cast ballots Sunday to choose a new leader, turning the page on a political crisis that saw leftist president Fernando Lugo impeached 10 months ago. Polls closed at 4:00 pm (2000 GMT) and election officials said early results would be made available at around 8:00…

Nobel-winning biologist Francois Jacob dies at 92

AFP – French biologist Francois Jacob, who won the 1965 Nobel prize for medicine for his research into enzymes, has died at the age of 92, a relative told AFP on Sunday. Jacob, a member of the prestigious “Ordre de la Liberation” awarded to those who performed heroic deeds during…

Police bust kidnapping ring that strapped bomb vests to victims

AFP - Police have smashed a gang which used fake bomb vests in the kidnapping of 21 businessmen in France and Luxembourg to raise over three million euros in ransom, Spanish police, which took part in the operation, said Sunday. Eight suspects, including the ring’s suspected leader who had escaped from…

Brits artificially inseminate panda after bear couple fails to mate

AFP - Experts at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland have artificially inseminated Britain’s only female giant panda Tian Tian after she failed to mate with her male partner, Yang Guang, the zoo announced on Sunday. Despite Yang Guang showing “consistently encouraging behaviour”, the zoo decided to step in overnight Saturday as Tian…

Syrian opposition leader resigns, castigating global ‘inaction’

AFP - Syrian opposition chief Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib is determined to step down in the face of what he sees as world “inaction” as government forces recapture territory from the rebels, colleagues said on Sunday. Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad made advances outside the capital and near the Lebanese border,…

U.S. diplomat warns situation in Darfur deteriorating

Security in Darfur is worsening and militias need to be disarmed, the US charge d’affaires to Sudan Joseph Stafford said on Sunday, condemning the recent attack which killed a peacekeeper. Stafford also expressed grave concern “about the reports of civilian casualties and deliberate targeting of civilians by militias in Muhagiriya…

Study finds belief in free market economics predicts rejection of science

A strong belief in a hands off approach to economics is tightly linked to the rejection of scientific facts such as climate change, according to research published in Psychological Science in late March. “The conspiracist ideation that all of the world’s scientific academies have conspired together to create a hoax…

Late 20th century was warmest in 1,400 years

Earth was cooling until the end of the 19th century and a hundred years later, the planet’s surface was on average warmer than at any time in the previous 1,400 years, according to climate records presented on Sunday. In a study spanning two millennia published in Nature Geoscience, scientists said…

More than half of Guantanamo detainees on hunger strike: official

More than half of the remaining detainees at Guantánamo Bay are now on a hunger strike, US military officials confirmed Sunday. Of the 166 inmates at the controversial detention camp in Cuba, 84 are refusing all food as a protest against their indefinite confinement and conditions at the centre. The…

Koch brothers consider purchasing several major newspapers

Billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch — famous for bankrolling small-government causes — are weighing a bid to buy several top US newspapers, the New York Times reported Sunday. Koch Industries, a company owned by the brothers, is mulling the purchase of several regional newspapers owned by the struggling Tribune…

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