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South African ‘village of death’ suspect taken into custody

A man suspected in a string of grisly rapes and murders that gave a South African community the moniker “village of death” has been arrested, a local newspaper said Wednesday. Bulelani Mabhayi, 39, was arrested on Sunday after an elderly woman was founded hacked to death the night before in theEastern Cape village of…

The Carlyle Group buys Getty Images for $3.3 billion

The Carlyle Group and the management of Getty Images said Wednesday they had formed a partnership to buy Getty Images, Inc. from Hellman & Friedman for $3.3 billion. The deal foresees the private investment group Carlyle acquiring a controlling stake in Getty Images while Getty Images co-founder and chairman Mark Getty and the Getty family will “roll substantially all of their…

Twitter founders launch websites Medium and Branch with hopes of revolutionizing online sharing

They inspired a boom in self-publishing with Blogger, then turned the world to 140 characters with Twitter. Now Ev Williams and Biz Stone have launched two new websites – Medium and Branch – in what they hope will prompt an “evolutionary leap” in online sharing. Williams and Stone are still…

Solar-powered toilet wins sanitation prize

A solar powered toilet that breaks down water and human waste into hydrogen gas for use in fuel cells has won first prize in a competition for next-generation toilets to improve sanitation in the developing world. The California Institute of Technology in the US received the $100,000 (£64,000) first prize…

Tobacco firms lose Australia plain packet case

Global tobacco firms lost a “watershed” court challenge to Australia’s plain packaging laws for cigarettes on Wednesday in a closely-watched case health advocates said would have a worldwide impact. The High Court of Australia ruled the measures, stipulating that tobacco products should be sold in drab, uniform packaging with graphic health warnings…

Quadruple amputee prepares for Bering Strait swim

Two silhouettes cut through the water a few hundred yards (metres) from a rainy, windswept beach bordering the flat grasslands near the small Inuit community of Wales, in the far west of Alaska. Through the mist on the horizon, the islands of Little Diomede and Big Diomede — the remote…

Norway PM under pressure after scathing Breivik report

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was under pressure Wednesday in the wake of a scathing report on the authorities’ handling of the Anders Behring Breivik attacks that left 77 people dead. Several polls published on Wednesday showed that a majority of Norwegians wanted Stoltenberg to stay on as prime minister,…

After Ryan respite, election campaign back in gutter

WATERLOO, Iowa — So much for the new, intellectual debate promised after the wonkish Paul Ryan joined the White House race. In a flurry of charge and counterpunch Tuesday, the battle for the US presidency erupted, reflecting the fast deepening antipathy between the incumbent Barack Obama and his Republican challenger…

India to launch Mars mission: PM

India plans to launch a space probe that will orbit Mars, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh confirmed on Wednesday after press reports that the mission was scheduled to begin late next year. The project would mark another step in the country’s ambitious space programme, which placed a probe on the moon…

Russia breaks up Pussy Riot protest outside church

MOSCOW — Russian security guards broke up a demonstration Wednesday in support of protest punk group Pussy Riot outside the Moscow cathedral where the women performed this year, activists said. The protesters, wearing the group’s trademark coloured balaclavas, were holding individual letters that spelled the phrase “Blessed are the merciful”…

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