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Nicaragua’s San Cristobal volcano spews tons of ash

Nicaragua’s San Cristobal volcano shot tons of ash into the sky after forcing evacuations of nearby towns, officials said. A column of smoke and ash rose from the cone of the volcano, Nicaragua’s tallest at 1,745 meters (5,725 feet), in the northeast, where rumbling a day earlier prompted nearby hamlets…

Caribbean coral reefs face collapse

Caribbean coral reefs are in danger of disappearing, depriving the world of one of its most beautiful and productive ecosystems Caribbean coral reefs – which make up one of the world’s most colourful, vivid and productive ecosystems – are on the verge of collapse, with less than 10% of the…

Hollywood movie casting introduced Skype to Indian village

Director David O. Russell said he used Skype for the first time to audition actors for his latest film “Silver Linings Playbook” and introduced the online video chat service to a village in India. “The Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence skyped from her parents’ home in Louisville, Kentucky, while Anupam…

Putin on the birds: ‘Only the weak ones didn’t follow’ me

Putin on the birds: 'Only the weak ones didn't follow' me (via The Christian Science Monitor) This year’s Russian-hosted summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) wrapped up in Vladivostok Sunday, with leaders of the 21-member Pacific Rim group – which accounts for 40 percent of the world’s trade – pledging to promote…

Serbia says it has witness to Kosovo organ harvesting

Serbia said Sunday it had a former Kosovo rebel witness who allegedly took part in removing the heart of a Serb prisoner for the international black market in organs during the 1990s Kosovo conflict. “We have a witness who testified about a medical procedure, done in northern Albania, that consisted…

Bob Dylan still going strong, releases 35th album this week

He was the voice of a generation. Now he barely talks. But music icon Bob Dylan, who releases his 35th album this week half a century after his first, is still going strong. The 71-year-old, who has evolved from 1960s folk-protest singer into an enigmatic rock legend, is most well…

Taliban ‘open’ to ceasefire, U.S. presence to 2024: British think-tank

The Taliban are open to a general ceasefire as well as a political agreement which could lead to a US military presence in Afghanistan up until 2024, a new report by a British think-tank said Monday. But the insurgent group, led by Mullah Omar, will not negotiate with President Hamid…

Mitt Romney: ‘My heritage and my faith have made me the person I am’

Mitt Romney: 'My heritage and my faith have made me the person I am' In the minds of many voters, two things about Mitt and Ann Romney have set them apart from most Americans: their wealth and their Mormon faith. Both issues – personal and in some ways deeply private…

U.S. to transfer controversial Bagram prison to Afghans

The United States is to hand formal control of a controversial prison to the Afghan government on Monday, despite apparent disagreements between the two sides on the fate of hundreds of inmates. In a move hailed by Kabul as a victory for sovereignty, analysts say it is largely symbolic as…

Activist rally in Spain to help end 559-year-old bull-butchering spectacle

About 500 animal rights activists protested in central Spain on Sunday against a centuries-old festival in which a bull is chased and then lanced to death. For the demonstration the protesters arrived in the fortified town of Tordesillas, which will stage the festival on Tuesday, from across Spain on 10…

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