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Greenpeace ‘polar bears’ protest Arctic drilling in Norway

Two Greenpeace activists dressed as polar bears boarded an oil platform in Norway on Wednesday to protest against Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil’s planned drilling in the Arctic. “No oil company in the world is prepared for Arctic conditions,” said the head of Greenpeace Norway, Truls Gulowsen, one of…

Chilean court scraps Canadian-backed gold mine over environmental concerns

A Chilean court said on Wednesday it has suspended construction of what would be one of the world’s biggest gold mines, accepting a complaint filed by indigenous groups on environmental grounds. The complaint against the project launched in 2009 by Canadian mining company Barrick Gold, the world’s largest gold producer,…

Scandal-hit French president Hollande vows to ‘eradicate’ tax havens

Mired in a scandal over an ex-minister’s secret Swiss bank account, French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday vowed to “eradicate” tax havens, increase checks on officials’ finances and crack down on tax cheats. Laying out a series of measures just over a week after his former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac…

Father of in vitro fertilization Robert Edwards dies at 87

Robert Edwards, the British scientist awarded a Nobel prize for his pioneering work in developing in vitro fertilisation (IVF), died on Monday aged 87, his university announced. “It is with deep sadness that the family announces that Professor Sir Robert Edwards, Nobel prizewinner, scientist and co-pioneer of IVF, passed away…

New York judge sets bin Ladin’s son-in-law trial for January

A New York federal judge has set the terrorism trial of Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law for January after defense lawyers said US budget cuts would make it hard to prepare by an earlier date. Judge Lewis Kaplan issued an order signed Tuesday fixing a January 7 start date for the…

Australia Foreign Minister Bob Carr claims Thatcher made ‘racist’ comment

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr says British leader Margaret Thatcher made an “unabashedly racist” comment, recalling what she said to him about Asian immigration after she left office. Carr said the “Iron Lady”, who died in London on Monday, had told him Australia could end up like Fiji “where the…

Obama celebrates role Memphis soul music played in advancing civil rights at White House concert

US President Barack Obama paid homage to Memphis soul and the role the music style played in advancing civil rights at a star-studded White House concert celebrating the genre. “In the sixties and seventies, Memphis knew its share of division and discord and injustice,” Obama recalled on Tuesday. It was…

Google gives $3 million to combat modern-day slavery

Sex workers are more likely to call in to a hotline for victims of human trafficking on a Wednesday, and a Google-backed initiative could help to explain why. The Internet search giant is giving a total of $3 million to three groups in Europe, Asia and the United States combating…

‘Dead’ Al-Qaeda leader Saeed al-Shehri delivers audio message directed at Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has posted online an audio message from its second-in-command, Saeed al-Shehri, whose death was announced by Yemen in January, a monitoring group reported Wednesday. The 14-minute audio produced by AQAP’s media arm Al-Malahem Foundation is accompanied by what the US-based SITE Monitoring Service said was…

Texas executes man for 1990 murder and rape conviction

A 50-year-old Texas burglar convicted of murdering a man and raping his wife during a 1990 break-in was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, state justice officials said. Rickey Lewis, 50, was executed at 6:32pm local time (2332 GMT), a statement from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. Lewis…

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