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British explorer evacuated from Antarctica

The evacuation of injured British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes from Antarctica got under way Wednesday after the veteran adventurer was forced to pull out of a marathon expedition because of frostbite. Fiennes was picked up from base camp in the early morning and on his way to a Belgian station…

Supreme Court hears challenge to Voting Rights Act protections in southern states

Case could end requirement for states with history of discriminatory policies to get federal approval for election laws An Alabama county goes to the US supreme court on Wednesday in an attempt to overturn a historic piece of national civil rights legislation protecting the voting rights of African Americans and other minorities. The challenge…

Swedish transgender people seek damages for forced sterilizations

Sweden is often hailed as a forward-thinking society promoting equality for all, but transsexuals who had to accept to be sterilised to complete their sex changes are pushing for compensation after a change in the law. Nova Colliander, a 31-year-old who completed her transformation from man to woman in 2010,…

Mobile phone makers eye Africa as world’s fastest-growing market

Africa’s mobile phone market, the fastest-growing in the world, is the last frontier for the industry with the promise of unlocked riches luring global interest including from Chinese handset makers. But there are two significant challenges in Africa, according to industry leaders and analysts at the world’s biggest mobile fair…

Muslims fail to prevent ‘Harlem Shake’ parody filming in Tunisia

Salafist Muslims tried to prevent the filming of current Internet craze the “Harlem Shake” at a Tunis school on Wednesday, but were driven off after coming to blows with students, an AFP correspondent said. When the dozen or so ultra-conservative Muslims, some of them women in veils, showed up at…

Three dead after shooting at a factory in Switzerland

A gunman killed two people and wounded seven others when he opened fire in a Swiss factory on Wednesday, police said, adding the shooter also died. “There are three dead and seven wounded, a number of them seriously,” a police spokesman in the central canton of Lucerne told AFP. The…

Horsemeat found in Ikea meatballs in 25 countries

The producer of the Ikea meatballs withdrawn from shelves in 25 countries has found horsemeat in its products, Sweden’s national food agency SLA said Wednesday. The agency was informed by Swedish company Dafgaard that its own tests had confirmed the presence of equine DNA, a spokeswoman for the agency said.…

Kadhafi’s former prime minister in critical condition after being tortured in prison

Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi, the last premier of deposed Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi, is in critical condition after being tortured in a Libyan prison, his Tunisian lawyer said on Wednesday. Mahmudi “is in critical condition as a result of the torture he has suffered,” said Mabrouk Kourchid, adding that “he could die”.…

New demolition technique shrinks Tokyo hotel ‘in a clean manner’

Passers-by in Tokyo’s busy Akasaka district have started to notice something odd about a 40-floor hotel — it has shrunk to about half its original height. Slowly but surely, and with none of the explosions or dust normally associated with the demolition of skyscrapers, the hotel is being torn down.…

Ancient Korean king’s hat recovered more than 500 years after Japanese theft

A hat which belonged to South Korea’s most revered monarch King Sejong has been recovered more than 500 years after it was looted by Japanese invaders, a senior scholar said Wednesday. Apart from its intrinsic value as an historical relic, the discovery has thrilled scholars after documents were found stitched…

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