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American ex-presidents invited to Thatcher’s funeral

Britain has invited all the surviving former US presidents to the funeral of Margaret Thatcher next week in a final testament to the Iron Lady’s special relationship with America, the government said Thursday as it unveiled a 2,000-strong guest list. But great figures from Thatcher’s Cold War era, including former…

New unemployment applications fall after three weeks of increases

New claims for US unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, partly erasing the increases of the prior three weeks, Labor Department data released Thursday showed. Initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, dropped 11 percent to a seasonally adjusted 346,000 in the week ending April…

Facebook’s Zuckerberg launches lobbying group to push immigration and education reforms

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new political action group he is spearheading Thursday to press for reforms in areas including immigration and education. “To lead the world in this new economy, we need the most talented and hardest-working people. We need to train and attract the best. We need…

Fukushima nuclear plant springs another radioactive leak

Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has sprung yet another leak of radioactive water, its operator said on Thursday, the latest in an increasingly long line of mishaps to rattle public confidence. Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said around 22 litres (six US gallons) of highly radioactive waste water leaked from…

British organ donations jump 50 percent in five years

The number of people in Britain donating their organs after death has surged 50 percent in the past five years, says the NHS Blood and Transplant service (NHSBT). Each person who donates organs provides an overall average 56 years of extra life for the recipients, according to a specialist surgeon.…

Syria activists reject Qaeda call for Islamic state

Syrian activists on Thursday dismissed as “blatant interference” a weekend call by Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri for an Islamic state to be established in the strife-torn country. “The Local Coordination Committees in Syria completely reject the statement by … Zawahiri in which he called for the establishment of an Islamic…

Maine police arrest ‘North Pond Hermit’

Police in the far north-eastern state of Maine have arrested a loner who vanished from sight in 1986 and survived by stealing supplies from area camps, local media reported Thursday. Christopher Knight, the 47 year-old man locals called the “North Pond Hermit,” was arrested last week and charged with burglarizing…

Israel police arrest 5 feminists for praying at Western Wall

Five Jewish feminists who on Thursday wore prayer shawls and prayed out loud at Jerusalem’s Western Wall in defiance of a court order have been detained for questioning, a police spokeswoman said. Some 200 women gathered at the Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City to stage what has become a monthly…

Mandela ally rejects daughters’ bid to oust him

Nelson Mandela’s long-time friend and lawyer George Bizos will fight an attempt by the anti-apartheid icon’s daughters to oust him from the board of Mandela companies, his lawyer said Thursday. Bizos, who defended Mandela in a 1960s treason trial and successfully opposed his death sentence, will reject accusations that he…

Louvre reopens after staff walkout over pickpockets

Paris’s Louvre museum on Thursday reopened its doors to the public after a walkout by some staff in protest at gangs of pickpockets operating at the world famous art gallery. Around 20 police officers have now been drafted in to patrol the museum in response to staff concerns, Louvre officials…

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