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Former USGS scientist: Coastal cities are ‘sitting ducks’ for next big storm

Marcia McNutt, who resigned as director of the US Geological Survey, says Hurricane Sandy has left communities exposed Cities on the United States east coast are “sitting ducks” for the next big storm because of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, one of Barack Obama’s top scientists warned on Tuesday.…

Watchdog: U.S. postal service in desperate need of rescue from Congress

Inspector general David Williams says cash-strapped service, saddled with debt and low revenues, is in ‘very serious trouble’ The chief postal watchdog has warned that the troubled US Postal Service will go out of business this year unless Congress acts to rescue it. David Williams, the inspector general of the…

Study: Companies from emerging markets will shape global economy in next decade

Top companies from emerging markets are riding the rapid growth of their regions and will shape the global economy over the next decade, a study said on Tuesday. The top 100 fast-globalising companies from rapidly developing economies are outpacing their rivals from developed economies in terms of expansion, job creation…

Kenyan officials impound 600 pieces of ivory

Officials in the Kenyan port city of Mombasa have impounded more than 600 pieces of ivory, weighing two tonnes, officials told AFP Tuesday. “They were labelled as decorating stones and were headed to Indonesia from Tanzania,” a police source based at the port told AFP on condition of anonymity.…

Solar-powered robots coming to greener French wine future

An Earth-friendly future for French wine could include disease-resistant grapes, solar-powered robots, and lighter packaging, as vintners innovate to slash their environmental footprint. “We can’t keep functioning like this, polluting the Earth,” Alexis Raoux, sustainability manager for the Bordeaux-based drinks group Castel, told AFP. “What feeds us is the soil.…

U.S. seeks new trade deal on services

The United States will meet representatives of other major economies to try to negotiate a global agreement on the trade in services, the top US trade representative Ron Kirk said Tuesday. “The negotiations will begin in Geneva, Switzerland, with a group of 20 trading partners, who represent nearly two-thirds of…

Obama to demand gun control measures while surrounded by children

With recommendations from Biden in hand, president expected to opt for legislative options rather than executive action Barack Obama is to step up pressure on Congress to act on gun violence by surrounding himself with schoolchildren from across the country when he unveils proposals on Wednesday aimed at preventing a…

‘Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence’ director Nagisa Oshima dies at 80

The Japanese director of the acclaimed World War II prison camp drama “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”, Nagisa Oshima, died Tuesday, his son said. He was 80. Oshima, who had a critical hit with the controversial erotic work “In the Realm of the Senses” which famously contained unsimulated sex scenes, had…

Monaco Prince Albert accepts damages for a story claiming wife was reluctant to marry him

Prince Albert of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene have accepted an offer of damages from Britain’s Sunday Times over a 2011 story which had suggested she was reluctant to marry him. The royal couple were represented at London’s High Court by their lawyer, Mark Thomson, who said the July…

Breast cancer drugs proposed for ‘high-risk’ women

Women with a family history of breast cancer who are thought to be at greater risk of developing the disease could be offered drugs aimed at preventing it under draft guidelines published Tuesday. The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has launched a consultation on proposals to recommend…

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