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Clinton, still recovering, to be back at desk Monday

Outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who fell ill in early December and hasn’t been seen in public since, will be back at her desk on Monday, her closest aide said. “She’s recuperating at home,” and will take up her official duties again “next week” Philippe Reines wrote in…

Indian gang-rape student ‘fighting for her life’

An Indian student who was brutally gang-raped on a bus in New Delhi was “fighting for her life” after suffering a significant brain injury, the Singapore hospital treating her said on Friday. “The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life,” Kelvin Loh, chief executive officer…

China launches rival GPS satellite system

China has launched commercial and public services across the Asia-Pacific region on its domestic satellite navigation network built to rival the US global positioning system. The Beidou system started providing services to civilians in the region on Thursday and is expected to provide global coverage by 2020, state media reported.…

Japan whaling fleet leaves port for Antarctica

Japanese whaling vessels left port Friday bound for the Southern Ocean on their annual hunt of the marine mammals, a media report and Greenpeace said. Citing the Fisheries Agency, Kyodo News reported three vessels had departed from the far-western port of Shimonoseki, while environmental group Greenpeace said the mother ship…

U.S. evacuates embassy in Central African Republic

The United States evacuated its embassy in the Central African Republic and temporarily halted its operations, amid security fears after rebels seized large swathes of the country. The State Department said it had not broken off diplomatic ties with the beleaguered government in Bangui, but warned US citizens not to…

U.S. think-tank says N.Korea is nuclear test-ready

North Korea has repaired extensive rain damage at its nuclear test facility and could conduct a detonation on two weeks notice, a US think-tank said on Friday, citing satellite imagery analysis. With the UN Security Council debating possible sanctions against the North following the launch earlier this month of a…

Egypt’s Mubarak has cracked ribs, fluid in lungs

Ousted president Hosni Mubarak has a build-up of fluid in his lungs and cracked ribs, Egypt’s official news agency MENA reported after he was transferred from prison to military hospital for treatment. The state prosecutor ordered Mubarak’s transfer on Thursday after his health deteriorated, a prosecution source had said, more…

Belgium claims ownership of French fries

Fries, crunchy, salty, tasty fried sticks of potato are claimed both by Belgium and France as the product of their national gastronomic genius but the true origins are shrouded in popular folklore. “Fries, they are the orphan of street cooking, of low birth. That is why it’s hard to establish…

Pope launches media campaign to re-invigorate the Church

Pope Benedict XVI has galvanised Catholics at the close of 2012 to go on the offensive over key faith issues, forging new alliances and fighting secularism in the West with a media campaign. Damaging sex abuse scandals and growing opposition to the Church’s attitude toward gay marriage and women priests…

Dinosaur ‘thief’ pleads guilty to smuggling

A man accused of smuggling 70-million-year-old dinosaur skeletons, including a Tyrannosaur, into the United States pleaded guilty in court Thursday. Eric Prokopi, 38, who is to be sentenced on April 25, faces up to 17 years in jail and a $250,000 fine on charges of conspiring to smuggle illegal goods,…

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