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‘The Vines’ frontman charged with assault after holding knives to mother’s throat

The lead singer of Australian rock group The Vines appeared in court Wednesday charged with assault after allegedly holding knives to his mother’s throat, and intimidating his parents, with whom he lives. Vines frontman Craig Nicholls fronted a Sydney court on five charges including assault and stalking or intimidating with…

Obama, Romney agree on comfort zone: 63 degrees

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney disagree on many things, but their teams reached consensus on one issue — the room temperature in the hall at their second debate. By bipartisan agreement, the non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates kept the room at a cool 62 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit (17 to…

Rare earthquake rattles Maine

A 4.0-magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern US state of Maine and was felt as far south as Boston and throughout New England, shocking residents unaccustomed to such tremors. There were no reports of damage or casualties following the quake, which struck shortly after 7:00 pm local time (2300 GMT), with…

Arafat widow ‘questioned in French murder probe’

French investigators probing the death of Yasser Arafat questioned his widow Suha, who claims the veteran Palestinian leader may have been poisoned, in France in mid-September, a source told AFP Wednesday. France opened a murder enquiry in late August after Arafat’s family launched legal action following reports he may have…

Foxconn admits employing 14 year-old ‘interns’ in China

Taiwan’s Foxconn has admitted employing children as young as 14 on assembly lines at a plant in China, a fresh blow to the tech giant that has been attacked over its treatment of staff after several suicides. The company, which makes products for Apple and Sony, admitted it hired the…

U.S. embassy in Stockholm evacuated in security scare

The US embassy in Stockholm was evacuated on Wednesday over a possible security incident, a spokesman for the mission told AFP, while police said a suspect envelope had sparked the scare. “We’ve evacuated the embassy while we are investigating a possible security incident,” embassy spokesman Jeff Anderson said. “We are…

Half of all wetlands ‘destroyed since 1900,’ threatening human welfare

An alarming 50 percent of the world’s wetlands have been destroyed in the last 100 years, threatening human welfare at a time of increasing water scarcity, a new report said. Wetlands serve as a source of drinking water and provide protection against floods and storms, yet they have been decimated…

World ministers meet for crunch biodiversity talks

More than 70 environment ministers meet in India on Wednesday for key talks on halting the depletion of Earth’s natural resources, under pressure to put up money to match their political pledges. The high-level gathering comes two years after UN countries agreed at a conference in Japan to reverse by…

Earth-sized planet found orbiting nearest star

European astronomers on Wednesday reported they had detected a planet with about the mass of Earth which orbits the closest star to the Sun. The observation breaks new ground in the hunt for exoplanets — worlds that exist in other solar systems — although the planet itself is not “another…

Novelist Hilary Mantel makes history with second Booker Prize

Novelist Hilary Mantel on Tuesday made literary history by becoming the first woman and the first British author to be a two-time winner of the Man Booker Prize for fiction. Mantel picked up the prize, one of the highest profile awards in English-language literature, for “Bring up the Bodies,” part…

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