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U.S. urges renewed Mideast peace effort in 2013

he United States Wednesday urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume direct talks in 2013 and move toward peace. “As we turn the calendar to 2013… now is the time for leaders on both sides to display real leadership, to focus on the work that’s necessary to return to direct…

After Newtown, company makes bullet-proof kid clothes

Miguel Caballero has been making bullet-proof clothes for politicians and other bigwigs for 20 years, but not for kids. The latest US school massacre has changed that. This year he plans a line for children — T-shirts, vests, and combination backpack-vests — and geared toward the US market. Caballero has…

Ohio twin moms both give birth to boys on New Year’s Eve

Twin sisters in Ohio gave birth to two baby boys two hours apart on New Year’s Eve, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Identical twins Aimee and Ashlee Nelson, 19, used to dress alike as young girls and both got pregnant about the same time, the Akron Beacon Herald reported. Aimee’s son…

Survey: Over three-quarters of professional soccer players say depression is a problem

Over three-quarters of professional footballers in England and Scotland believe depression is a problem in the sport, according to a survey published in British magazine FourFourTwo on Wednesday. The survey of 100 players, undertaken just over a year after the apparent suicide of Wales manager Gary Speed, who suffered from…

Coast Guard seeks to stop oil leak from Shell rig in Alaska

US Coast Guard vowed Wednesday to prevent fuel from leaking from a Shell oil rig that grounded in Alaska after breaking free from tugboats towing it in heavy seas. The Kalluk mobile drilling unit was being towed to Seattle when it broke free on New Year’s Eve and washed ashore…

Poland bans genetically modified maize and potatoes

Poland on Wednesday imposed new bans on the cultivation of certain genetically modified strains of maize and potatoes, a day after an EU required green light for GM crops took effect. The centre-right government of Prime Minister Donald Tusk imposed farming bans on German BASF’s Amflora strain of potato and…

Sandy Hook students return to classes

Students at the elementary school where a gunman massacred 26 children and teachers last month were returning to class for the first time Thursday in a new building adapted to look exactly like their old one. Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has been closed since the December 14…

Famous French comic artist refuses top honor

One of France’s best-known comic book creators, Jacques Tardi, has refused the country’s highest honour saying he does not want to fall under any political influence. Tardi, best known for his works on the horrors of war and his Adele Blanc-Sec fantasy series, said he had learned this week that…

Israel says Egypt border fence near completion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Wednesday that the final section of a security fence along the border with Egypt’s barren Sinai should be finished by the end of March. Netanyahu on Wednesday attended a ceremony marking the completion of 230 kilometres (144 miles) of the barrier, with…

UN: More than 60,000 killed in Syrian conflict

More than 60,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime broke out in March 2011, a top UN official said Wednesday. Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that an exhaustive analysis carried out by data specialists showed that 59,648…

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