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Obama’s weekly address given by Newtown victim’s mother Francine Wheeler: ‘Now is the time to act’

President Barack Obama handed over his weekly radio address to the grieving mother of a Newtown massacre victim on Saturday as debate raged over proposed gun control legislation. In a rare move which ramped up pressure on US lawmakers ahead of debates on gun control in Congress, Francine Wheeler —…

Chinese capital reports first confirmed case in new bird flu outbreak

A seven-year-old girl in Beijing has been infected with H7N9 bird flu, the state-run news agency Xinhua reported Saturday, the first confirmed case in the Chinese capital. Until the announcement all 43 previous human cases of the H7N9 outbreak, 11 of which had been fatal, had been confined to eastern…

Putin reports earning less than his spokesperson in 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin earned 5.7 million rubles (140,000 euros,$183,000) last year, roughly the same as the prime minister but significantly less than his spokesman declared, government income figures showed Friday. The highest earner in the list was First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, one of Russia’s richest state officials…

Legendary ballerina Maria Tallchief dies at 88

One of America’s finest ballerinas and the muse and wife of legendary choreographer George Balanchine has died, aged 88. Maria Tallchief died Thursday in Chicago, where she had founded the short-lived Chicago City Ballet, the family announced. She had previously been the dazzling prima ballerina with the New York City…

Israel offers to deport final Palestinian hunger striker to any EU country

Israel has told the European Union and UN it can deport a Palestinian prisoner on a life-endangering long-term hunger strike to one of their member states, an Israeli official told AFP on Friday. But a lawyer for Samer Issawi, who has intermittently refused food for more than eight months, said…

Primal Scream lead singer says Thatcher is dead but her policies live on in Cameron government

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher may be dead but her conservative policies have never been in better health, Primal Scream lead singer Bobby Gillespie has said. Left-wing Gillespie, 51, the Scottish son of a union official and a bitter opponent of “Thatcherism”, also said he had been happy to…

World’s first successful uterus transplant recipient is pregnant via in vitro fertilization

The first woman ever to receive a uterus from a deceased donor, is two-weeks pregnant following a successful embryo transplant, her doctors said on Friday. The 22-year-old Derya Sert was revealed to be almost two-weeks pregnant in preliminary results after in vitro fertilisation at Akdeniz University Hospital in Turkey’s southern…

Republican National Committee votes unanimously against marriage equality

The Republican National Committee (RNC) unanimously adopted resolutions against marriage equality on Friday, despite rising support for the idea among voters nationwide. The Washington Post reported that the resolutions, which were approved without debate, include one supporting marriage “as the union of one man and one woman, and as the…

Aides to Malawi’s president under fire after they issue statement attacking Madonna

Malawian President Joyce Banda has “reprimanded” aides who issued a scathing attack on Madonna that fuelled a very public spat with the pop star, a source at the presidency said Friday. She “reprimanded officers in the State House press department for issuing the statement without consulting her,” an official in…

Rumors of a Twitter music service abound after company aquires We Are Hunted software

Twitter said it acquired the emerging music software firm We Are Hunted, amid reports that the popular messaging platform was readying its own music service. “Welcome to Twitter! @wearehunted,” a tweet from the company said late Thursday. San Francisco-based We Are Hunted was launched in 2007 in Australia, and allows…

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