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Indonesia announces new sanctuary for sharks and manta rays

Indonesia has announced a new shark and manta ray sanctuary, the first to protect the species in the rich marine ecosystem of the Coral Triangle, known as the “Amazon of the ocean”. Environmentalists Wednesday welcomed the creation of the 46,000-square-kilometre (18,000-square-mile) protection zone, in an area at risk from both…

Life returns gingerly to Mexico’s ‘city of death’

A young crowd filled “El Rudo” bar in Ciudad Juarez, laughing at jokes, downing beers and dancing to Shakira tunes, no longer afraid to go out after dark in the Mexican city once known as the world’s murder capital. Just over a year ago, the 30 university students would have…

Revamped historic Czech breweries get back on tap

Rising from the ashes after closure or near-collapse, historic Czech breweries are getting back on tap with new owners seeking to tickle the taste buds of the world’s greatest beer lovers with exotic new flavours. Along with a wave of new micro-breweries, these revamped elders — many with several hundred…

Soccer leaders vow to stamp out match-fixing ‘cancer’ tainting the sport

Football authorities vowed to excise the “cancer” of match-fixing, but said tougher laws were needed worldwide to protect the bruised integrity of the world’s most popular sport. FIFA director of security Ralk Mutschke told a two-day gathering with Interpol that the world governing body’s “zero tolerance” for match-fixing needs to…

Scientists looking beyond Earth in search for ‘rare earths’ elements

The quest for rare earths vital to some of modern life’s most indispensable technologies may see mining robots jet to the stars within decades, a world-first conference in Australia was told Wednesday. Yttrium, Lanthanum and the other 15 minerals which make up the group of elements known as rare earths…

Chinese military leaders deny U.S. firm’s hacking allegations

China’s defence ministry Wednesday rebuffed a report linking its People’s Liberation Army to sophisticated cyberattacks on US firms, saying there was no internationally agreed definition of hacking. The 74-page analysis by the American Internet security firm Mandiant provided one of the most detailed accounts of large-scale hacking operations that many…

Deadly new virus that has already killed six can infect twice as fast as SARS: study

Study: Deadly new virus can infect twice as fast as SARS (via NJ.com) A foreign tourist is seen at Manila’s international airport, Philippines, on Feb. 19, 2013. The Bureau of Quarantine of the Department of Health will screen in-bound passengers for any signs of an infection by a new coronavirus…

Three young Indian sisters aged between six and 11 raped and murdered

Three sisters aged between six and 11 were raped and murdered before their bodies were dumped down a village well in rural western India, police said on Wednesday. The bodies of the three schoolgirls were found last week, two days after they went missing on February 14 from their home…

Pope Benedict XVI is ‘nearly blind in one eye’ and was advised to limit air travel because of high blood pressure: report

Pope Benedict XVI is nearly blind in one eye and was advised by his doctor to limit air travel because of his high blood pressure, the website Vatican Insider reported on Wednesday. The report also said the 85-year-old pontiff often has problems sleeping and has fallen out of bed several…

Bulgarian government resigns amid protests

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov announced his government’s resignation on Wednesday following days of sometimes violent street protests in the European Union’s poorest member. The move paves the way for early elections, which had been due to be held in July. “We have dignity and honour. It is the people…

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