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Ancient Pompeii to get 105 million-Euro makeover

The long-neglected Roman city of Pompeii will get a 105-million euro ($142-million) makeover partly funded by the EU starting on Wednesday, a day after former site managers were put under investigation for corruption. The project, which is being funded to the tune of 41.8 million euros from the European Union,…

Internet users seeking more ‘invisibility’: study

Consumer efforts to protect personal data and remain “invisible” online is leading to a “data blackhole” that could adversely impact digital advertisers, technology research firm Ovum said Wednesday. The move to seek “new tools that allow them to remain ‘invisible’ — untraceable and impossible to target by data means” will…

Chess becomes a source of hope for homeless Ugandan children

Sitting in a dimly lit room in the run-down Kampala suburb of Katwe, Phiona Mutesi stares at the chessboard in front of her as she ponders the next move in her improbable journey. “Chess has changed my life,” Mutesi says, shifting the thick-framed glasses perched on her nose. “Before I…

Indonesian Komodo dragon attack leaves two hospitalized

A Komodo dragon in Indonesia has attacked two employees in one of the giant lizards’ protected island habitats, leaving its victims hospitalised with serious injuries, an official said Wednesday. One victim, a 50-year-old park ranger, was sitting at his desk at the Rinca island front office, where tourists usually check…

China ousts police chief ‘who owns hundreds of houses’

A Chinese police chief has been sacked after reports he owned hundreds of houses and a false identity card, state media said Wednesday in the latest scandal to fuel public outrage over corruption. Zhao Haibin was stripped of his public offices for “engaging in business deals using a fake identity…

Tunisian president blames Islamist ruling party for opposition leader’s murder

President Moncef Marzouki has cancelled his participation in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Cairo and is heading back to Tunisia after the murder of opposition leader Chokri Belaid, the presidency said on Wednesday. “He returns early this afternoon. It has just been decided,” presidential adviser Ghassen Dridi told…

Illinois Senate panel approves marriage equality bill

The state of Illinois moved one step closer to legalizing same sex marriage on Tuesday. The Senate Executive Committee approved the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act by a 9-5 vote, with Republicans opposing the measure. The full state Senate is expected to vote on the bill by next week.…

Quake strikes Solomon Islands, triggering Pacific tsunami

A major 8.0 magnitude earthquake was feared to have flattened villages in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday, and triggered a tsunami with destructive potential for Pacific nations’ coasts, monitors said. A small tsunami wave reached part of the Solomons and watches were in effect as far afield as Hawaii, the…

Ahmadinejad issues challenge to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad became Iran’s president seven years ago, he made his presence felt through incendiary statements targeted at Israel and the west. Now, in his dying days in office, he is going out all guns firing. Only this time he is taking aim at the edifice of the political system…

Allen Ginsberg photos recall Beat generation

The writers of the Beat Generation, who shocked America with their bohemian lifestyles and upended literature half a century ago, are celebrated in a new photo exhibit by one of their most famous members, Allen Ginsberg. The New York exhibition, “Beat Memories, the photographs of Allen Ginsberg,” comes just after…

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