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Wildlife group says Chinese ‘river pigs’ are close to extinction

China’s wild finless porpoises are heading toward extinction, a conservation group said Thursday, with the dolphin-like animals now rarer than the giant panda. With a stubby nose and grey body, the porpoises inhabit the Yangtze River and are famed for their cuteness in China, where they are known as “river…

Shot Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai to write her life story

Malala Yousafzai, the teenage girl shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, is to tell her life story in a book due out later this year, the publishers said Thursday, in a deal reportedly worth around three million dollars. The book will be entitled “I Am Malala”. “I hope…

Research: Men twice as likely as women to underestimate their weight

Men are more than twice as likely as women to underestimate their weight, finds a project with 300,000 participants Millions of men may be putting their health at risk by not realising they’re overweight, Guardian research suggests. Men are more than twice as likely as women to underestimate their weight…

Turkish artillery fired into north Iraq: sources

Turkish forces fired artillery shells into north Iraq, apparently in a bid to intimidate Kurdish rebels with whom Ankara is in peace talks, security sources and rebels told AFP on Thursday. The shelling on Wednesday, which caused no casualties, came days after jailed Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan made a…

Judge in Sarkozy probe receives bullet by mail

The judge who charged former president Nicolas Sarkozy with taking financial advantage of France’s richest woman has received a bullet and a death threat in the post, say lawyers. Jean-Michel Gentil, the most prominent of three judges investigating the case, received the threatening letter together with blank cartridges on Wednesday,…

Pope to stamp ‘personal touch’ on Easter celebrations

Pope Francis will stamp his personal touch on Easter celebrations starting by washing the feet of young prisoners on Thursday as he stresses the importance of reaching out to those in need. The Holy Thursday mass will kick off an intense four days of symbolic ceremonies which commemorate Jesus Christ’s…

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…

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