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World Bank links obesity to high food prices

Food prices have dropped since peaking six months ago but remain near record levels, pushing the world’s poorest people toward “undernutrition” and obesity, the World Bank says. “Unhealthy food tends to be cheaper than healthy ones, like junk food in developed countries,” said Otaviano Canuto, World Bank Group’s vice president…

Sea lion pup waddles into luxury California hotel

A sea lion pup startled guests after waddling from a California beach into a nearby luxury hotel, where it pitched up at the patio bar. Shane Pappas, manager of the Pantai Inn in La Jolla, said he was alerted when staff found the malnourished animal. “I got an email saying…

Google reveals views of Japan nuclear ghost town

Visitors to Google Maps can now roam virtually through the overgrown streets of an abandoned town where time has stood still since a tsunami crippled Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant two years ago. Half of the town of Namie, on the Pacific coast, sits within the 20-kilometre (12-mile) evacuation zone around…

U.S. flies stealth bombers over South Korea

The United States said two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers flew “deterrence” missions over South Korea on Thursday, defying apocalyptic threats of retribution from North Korea against ongoing war games. The deployment of the stealth bombers was clearly meant to deliver a potent message to Pyongyang about the US commitment to…

U.S. Navy ship set to be lifted from Philippine reef

The final sections of a US Navy ship that has been stuck on a UN World Heritage-listed coral reef in the Philippines for more than 10 weeks are set to be removed within days, an official said Thursday. The USS Guardian’s bow was cut and lifted onto a salvage vessel…

Chicago Teachers Union plans mass demonstration against school closings

Chicago is bracing itself for a large, potentially disruptive demonstration on Wednesday involving acts of mass civil disobedience against the largest proposed round of school closures in recent memory. The city last week announced plans to close 54 schools affecting more than 30,000 students, primarily in low-income black and Latino…

Russia raids offices of Amnesty International and other human rights groups

Germany and France summoned Russian diplomats in Berlin and Paris on Wednesday, after Russia launched a series of raids on international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) across the country amid a wider crackdown on critics of the Kremlin. The sweeps, billed as an attempt to weed out “foreign agents”, targeted human rights…

Hollywood star Ashley Judd turns down 2014 bid against Sen. Mitch McConnell

The Hollywood actor Ashley Judd disappointed legions of fans – and possibly Republican activists – by announcing on Wednesday that she will not be running for a Senate seat in Kentucky. The star of such hit films as Double Jeopardy and Kiss The Girls has recently been hotly rumoured to…

State Department to hold Keystone pipeline hearing in Nebraska

The US State Department said Wednesday it will hold a public meeting in Nebraska in April on a controversial $5.3 billion Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, just days before a key consultation period ends. The April 18 meeting on the Keystone XL Project will take place in the midwestern US state’s environmentally-sensitive…

U.S. trolling fans of Al Qaeda with online campaign

The United States is deliberately sparring with Al-Qaeda supporters and militants online aiming to shoot down extremist messages and win over hearts and minds, a US official said Wednesday. Seeking out the virtual spaces where “Al-Qaeda and its supporters lurk” is part of America’s strategy to combat violent extremism, Under…

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