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European ministers worry about ‘new Berlin Wall’ in North-South debt crisis split

European ministers warned Thursday that the debt crisis risks splitting Europe between north and south in an echo of the east-west division of the Cold War, as pressure mounted on Greece. “Two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new split threatens to divide our continent, this time…

Pair lose appeal bid for notorious racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence

Two men jailed earlier this year for the notorious racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993 have lost the first round of their bid to challenge their convictions. Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were given life sentences at the Old Bailey in January after being convicted…

Swedish prosecutors rule out visiting Julian Assange in London

Swedish prosecutors on Thursday ruled out travelling to London to question Julian Assange over alleged sex crimes even though the WikiLeaks founder’s lawyer said he had key information relating to the matter. “There is nothing new. We are still waiting for Mr Assange,” Helena Ekstrand, spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office,…

For millions of women, cooking dinner is a matter of life and death

For millions of women around the world, cooking the family meal is a daily, dangerous chore. Sweating over smoky open stoves, they put their lives and their children at risk every day. More than three billion people, or 40 percent of the planet’s population, still rely on open fires to…

Greta Garbo’s belongings to hit the auction block

Hundreds of items belonging to Greta Garbo, including designer clothing, will be auctioned off in December, Julien’s Auctions announced Wednesday. The legendary actress’s “personal collection… has never been previously available and (is) rarely seen by others,” the Beverly Hills-based auctioneers said in a statement. The sale, set for December 14…

Presidential race tightens in Florida and Wisconsin: poll

President Barack Obama clearly leads his Republican rival Mitt Romney in the battleground of Ohio but the race has tightened considerably in two other key states ahead of the November 6 elections, a new poll said Thursday. Obama continues to enjoy a six-point advantage in Ohio with 50 percent compared…

Recently found ancient snail relative sheds light on modern-day snails, shellfish and squid

Fossils of toothy, slug-like creatures that grazed the sea floor 500 million years ago have shed light on the origins of modern-day snails, shellfish and squid, a study said Wednesday. The most comprehensive analysis yet of the ancient slugs’ mouth parts — multiple rows of teeth that moved in conveyor-belt…

California declares state of emergency amid fires

Authorities declared a state of emergency in northern California, ravaged by fires at a time when several other western US states are also fighting flames. California Governor Jerry Brown said the affected counties were Plumas, Shasta and Tehama, in the north of the state, where dozens of fires are currently…

Google takes ‘maps’ users on online Arctic adventure

Google set out to take users of its free online mapping service on an Arctic adventure with help from an Inuit community in the Canadian tundra. Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined the effort as the Internet titan’s Street View team arrived in the hamlet of Cambridge Bay in the Northwest…

Quebec students protest tuition hikes

Thousands of protesters marched against planned tuition hikes in Montreal, opposing the Liberal government of Premier Jean Charest, two weeks before parliamentary elections. “The people will vote to elect a new government and that new government will feel pressure from the students,” CEGEP college philosophy professor Martin Godon told AFP.…

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