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Raul Castro promises end of an era in Cuba as he steps down as country’s president

Cuban President Raul Castro made the strongest statement yet that the island nation is preparing for a post-Castro era in announcing yesterday that he will step down in five years with plans to institute term limits. He also replaced his No. 2 with a younger Cuban who would be poised…

‘Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite’ to hunt for potentially hazardous asteroids

Efforts to discover near-Earth asteroids – including those that are potentially hazardous – received a potential boost Monday with the launch of the Canadian Space Agency’s Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat). Housed in a spacecraft the size of a large suitcase, the space telescope…  …

Saudi Arabia bought Balkan arms to supply Syrian rebels: NYT

Saudi Arabia has been supplying Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad with arms bought from Croatia, according to The New York Times. Citing unnamed US and Western officials, the newspaper reported late Monday that the Saudi-financed “large purchase of infantry weapons” was part of an “undeclared surplus”…

Samsung managers grilled over fatal chemical leak at factory

South Korean police said Tuesday they were investigating three Samsung managers for possible negligent homicide after a deadly toxic chemical leak at a chipmaking plant last month. One repair worker died after trying to stop the leak of diluted hydrofluoric acid at the Samsung Electronics’ plant in the city of…

19 tourists killed as hot air balloon explodes at Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor

A hot air balloon caught fire and exploded over Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor during a sunrise flight on Tuesday, killing 19 tourists including Japanese and Koreans, sources said. The balloon which was carrying 21 people was flying at 300 metres caught fire when it caught fire, a security…

New York ‘cannibal’ cop watched death porn: wife

The estranged wife of a New York policeman sobbed as she testified Monday that her husband, who is accused of plotting to kidnap and cannibalize women, went online to discuss torturing and killing her. Kathleen Mangan-Valle, 27, was the star witness for the prosecution in a trial that opened with…

KFC cuts Chinese suppliers after tainted chicken scare

Fast food giant KFC has cut more than 1,000 farms from its supplier network in China to ensure food safety after a scandal over tainted chicken hurt sales in the key market last year. The issue came to light when China’s commercial hub of Shanghai and the northern province of…

Two U.S. sailors admit to Okinawa rape charges

Two US sailors Tuesday admitted raping a Japanese woman in Okinawa last October, news reports said, in a case that generated huge anti-American anger on the strategically vital island. Skyler Dozierwalker, 23, and Christopher Browning, 24, attacked the woman in central Okinawa during a brief trip to the semi-tropical island…

Japanese whalers ram environmental activists’ ship in Antarctic waters

Japanese whalers and militant conservationists have been involved in dangerous clashes in icy waters off Antarctica, with both sides accusing the other of ramming their vessels. Veteran anti-whaling campaigner Paul Watson said the Japanese factory ship the Nisshin Maru rammed the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s much smaller vessel the Bob…

Controversy erupts over where Richard III’s recently discovered bones will be buried

Justice minister Thomas McNally said parliament should not intervene in the row over where the recently uncovered remains of Richard III will be buried. In a letter issued the day after descendants of the monarch called for the remains to be interred in York, McNally said the decision was to…

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