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Japanese zoo’s pandas get some alone time to start mating progress

A mating pair of pandas have wasted no time in getting intimate, a Japanese zoo said Tuesday, coupling on their first evening together and then again the next morning. The female Shin Shin and her companion Ri Ri were put in a private enclosure on Monday evening after keepers at…

U.N. warns Syria: Civil war could cost you a generation

A whole generation of Syrian children risks being lost amid the spiralling civil war in the country, the UN children’s agency cautioned Tuesday, saying it was in urgent need of funds to address the crisis. “Millions of children inside Syria and across the region are witnessing their past and their…

Cardinals say goodbye on Twitter before entering conclave lockdown

Cardinals entering the Vatican ahead of a conclave to elect the next pope took to Twitter to say goodbye to their online flock before they are cut off from the outside world. “Last tweet before conclave: May Our Father hear and answer with love and mercy all prayers and sacrifices…

Thousands of Spain’s horses head for the slaughterhouse as economic crisis results in abandonment

In Spain’s boom years, they were a rich family’s status symbol. Now abandoned as a result of the economic crisis, horses are plodding in their tens of thousands to the slaughterhouse. At the end of a bumpy country lane in southern Andalucia, Spain’s farming and horse-rearing heartland, Virginia Solera helps…

‘Mad Men’ hires 75-year-old ad man straight from the swinging 60s for new season campaign

New series of hit show has called on British artist Brian Sanders to draw ad campaign heralding return of Don Draper and Co.  When the creator of Mad Men wants the new adverts for series six to have a certain look and sensibility he’ll always get his way – even…

Vienna Philharmonic admits sending Jewish musicians to their deaths in Hitler’s camps

On the 75th anniversary of Austria’s Anschluss with Germany, the famous orchestra is giving up dark secrets about its past On 23 March 1938, the violinist Viktor Robitsek received a curt note from the management of the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra. It told him he was being fired. Robitsek’s “crime” had…

Report finds 233 million women will lack contraception access by 2015

An estimated 233 million women in their fertile years will lack access to modern contraception by 2015, up from 221 million in 2010, according to a study published on Tuesday. Excluding China, developing countries will account for more than 80 percent of the unmet need, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, experts…

SimCity slowly recovering from launch debacle

The hugely popular SimCity game is rapidly recovering from its trouble-plagued launch but problems are yet to be completely eradicated, company officials said. Electronic Arts servers hosting SimCity online play were overwhelmed after the California company released its Maxis Studio game on March 5, and problems continued through the weekend.…

South Korean scientist expands pet cloning business

Insung Hwang’s business, according to his website, is “healing broken hearts”. Specifically those of people who have lost a beloved dog. Now he is to offer his therapeutic services in the UK. For the – some might say – barking sum of $100,000 (£66,000), Hwang will “prolong companionship with your dog…

No proof that helmets prevent concussion: experts

Helmets and mouthguards can prevent serious head and facial injuries, but there is no evidence they specifically stave off concussion, top authorities in sports medicine say. Paradoxically, wearing this protection may lead to injuries because a player is tempted to take greater risks, they say. Concussion has become a big…

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